Wow. Where do I begin. After several months of practicing, studying, and perfecting my signature dish the day came upon us way too quick.
Friday I took the day off work for last minute shopping and preparing my dish.
First I made my spicy red pepper and carrot purée along with my broccoli, leek and basil purée. We would keep these heated with some awesome thermos I bought in the camping section of Target.
The morning of auditions I woke up in a panic. After checking the coolers, I noticed water leaked in to my container holding the fish. Oh. My. Goodness. But thankfully my amazing husband helped calm me down the best he could. We got everything ready and I was headed to the lobby to catch a cab.
I showed up promptly at ten am when the doors were set to open. I was welcomed by an awesome bell man who recognized immediately I was trying out for the show. He directed me to the third floor and there was only two people in front of me in line. I got all checked in and turned around to see Kira and Elise from last season. Trying to soak it all in, and squelch my nerves I asked for photo ops with them both.
They were both amazing, chatting with us all and my nerves calmed down a little. I found a seat, and waited for about an hour in the initial holding room. And then…my number was called to head to the second room to wait in a smaller group of about 21 home cooks. Quickly we bonded, sharing stories, recipes, and what we brought for the show. I made a couple friends, and settled in being my normal silly self.
Finally an hour and a half later we were called in to the tasting room. There were several producers, and a couple chefs that would taste our dishes. Sadly no photos were allowed but I was quite pleased with my plating. After being given a couple minutes to get organized we had three minutes to plate our dish.
Finally the chef came to my plate and I described the dish. She tasted and seemed to enjoy it, nodding and really enjoying my spicy purée. After several questions she thanked me and next was the producers questions. I answered all the questions with confidence and felt good.
But once they finished and the numbers were called for people to stay on, sadly my number wasn’t called. I smiled, wished my fellow cooks good luck and walked to the lobby to text Brian telling him the audition was over. I had tears in my eyes, sad to see the journey end so quickly but was reminded quickly from my friends and family how far I had come these last few years.
I just tried out for one of the biggest cooking shows on TV in the world. And they liked my food. Even my fellow contestants tried and liked my dish! So despite slight disappointment, I am ultimately pleased and proud of all they happened this weekend.
So instead of feeling sad or sorrowful after the audition, we went and had an amazing meal afterwards and shopped at Eatily for ingredients for Sunday supper.
Today I cooked with a renewed passion and strength in my cooking, regardless of my lack of progressing to the next round. I made a French cut veal chop with roasted veggies and basmati rice. I also made a red wine and cranberry reduction for the veal that was delish.
At the end of the day, I’m pleased, proud, and know that cooking will always be a huge part of my life.