Friday, June 8, 2012

North Texas hopefuls vye for the title of MasterChef on FOX

Gordon Ramsey is one of those people you love or love to hate.  MasterChef  is returning for a third season with famed award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham ElliotMasterChef hit the road for the first-ever food truck casting tour.

Nearly 30,000 hopefuls auditioned at MasterChef's open casting calls. Only the best amateur cooks were flown to Los Angeles for a chance to compete and this season has two North Texas hopefuls vying for the coveted title of MasterChef and the $250,000 grand prize.

The first North Texan is Audrey McGinnis from Frisco.  She has four children and is a custom cake designer (check out Elizabeth Rose Cakes and Catering on FB) and creator of the soon to be released "Every Girl Gourmet" concept.

There seems to be nothing Rami Rassas can’t do. This sales professional for E-CarOne in Carrollton, Texas, handles mainly online sales and manages to squeeze in over 40 vehicle sales per month. Rassas also has a performing arts degree, worked as a cook in his family’s Italian restaurant, and is known as the "Mavs Belt Guy," one of their biggest fans, named for a custom-made team belt he wears.

I sent Brittany Husted over to meet our two North Texas hopefuls and report back on how the MasterChef premier party went down:


Audrey McGinnis and Rami Rassas
Ok all you MasterChef fans out there, have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet a contestant and taste their creations? Well let me tell you!

Sfuzzi presents the Dame’s Dinner Club on Tuesday nights where ladies come in for a complimentary dining experience. Naturally, when I hear the words complimentary and dining I am practically salivating, and to make the experience ever more awesome I was going to taste the creations of two MasterChef contestants, Rami Rassas and Audrey McGinnis! Are you jealous yet?

I wasted no time looking over the menu when I arrived and immediately placed my order. There were three starter options to choose from: Chilled Pea Soup, Garden Green Salad, and the Wagyu Beef Tartar, I chose the Garden Green Salad with Coriander Vinaigrette and it was delicious! For the entrée I had the choice of Scallops Florentine, Short Ribs, or Duck Legs.

Audrey McGinnis goes for girl power!

My stomach suggested I go with the Scallops Florentine and I must thank my stomach and Chef Rami Rassas for an outstanding dish! The scallops, with spinach and roasted red pepper on top of a sweet potato puree, were so delicate and full of flavor! Last but definitely not least my dessert arrived. Chef Audrey McGinnis had crafted the most amazing Apple Spice Cupcake I have ever had; one was not enough, so of course I asked for another.

After my meal, it was time to mingle with the MasterChefs themselves! I met up with Chef Rami Rassas first and congratulated him on a job well done! When I asked what the hardest part of the competition was for him he said, “It was the time constraint. You want to spend time perfecting your dish but you have to remember the dreaded clock is always ticking!” Chef Rassas also said that one of his favorite dishes so far has been his Scallops Florentine…who knew we had so much in common!!

Rami Rassas gives a show of brute strength

Next I chatted it up with Chef Audrey McGinnis who secretly told me where the Apple Spice Cupcakes were stashed and instantly I knew we would be good friends.  She had quite the support system there by her side including her husband and four kids, all looking very proud! “This has been such a great experience,” she says  “and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me.”

Who knew these super stars were so down-to-earth and to think they even had time to smile for a quick picture…with me in it!

Watch the MasterChef season unfold every Monday and Tuesday on FOX at 9/8c.

Brittany attended Texas State University where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. Brittany and her husband live in Dallas with their two beautiful children/dogs, Marley and Kona. She currently works at Gangway Advertising as an Account Executive and in her spare time she enjoys her family and friends, traveling, shopping, taking pictures, and trying new restaurants. You can follow her on Twitter @brittanyhusted.