Fox Broadcasting is on the hunt for the next MasterChef. Could it be you? The popular reality cooking show is scouting out talent for Season 2 by hosting casting calls across the nation. Known as the American Idol for home cooks, the winner of MasterChef takes home a $250,000 grand prize and a cookbook publishing deal.
Winning the grand prize for MasterChef is no easy feat. Contestants compete in a series of culinary challenges which are judged by the infamous Chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur and wine maker Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot, the youngest four-star chef in America.
Season 1 of MasterChef required contestants to cater a luxury wedding, peel and chop a truckload of onions, create a gourmet meal using random ingredients, and prepare hundreds of meals sent to the U.S. Marines. The competition was intense and led many contestants to breakdown in tears when their dream of becoming America’s most talented home chef vanished.
In order to become a contestant for MasterChef, home cooks must attend a casting call to present their signature dish. The tricky part is there is no kitchen available at casting calls. Instead, hopeful contestants must cook their dish at home, transport it to the casting call, and present it to food judges.
MasterChef casting calls will be held across the nation from November 6 through December 11, 2010. Host cities include: Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, New Orleans, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Portland. A complete list of dates, times, and locations is available at MasterChefCasting.com.
Applicants are required to preregister at the MasterChef casting website and download an application for Season 2. If applicants are unable to attend a casting call they can submit a video that is no longer than 15 minutes in duration. Cooking videos must be submitted no later than noon EST on December 13, 2010. Detailed directions and mailing address are provided at MasterChefCasting.com.
While creating a cooking video to showcase your dish is not a requirement for those who attend casting calls, it is a good idea to make one anyway. If you contract a bad case of stage fright during your presentation, the casting producers can review your video for consideration. As one who has competed in cooking contests I can attest it is always smart to have one or more backup plans. Considering this is a competition for a quarter million dollars, I’d recommend having multiple backup plans in place.
Applicants are also required to bring a photo of their self and their prepared dish when attending casting calls. Photographs do not need to be professional shots, but should encompass the essence of the dish being served. If your dish doesn’t hold up well during transport, your photograph could be the saving grace.
Those who aren’t familiar with food photography may benefit from visiting HowToPhotographFood.com. This website offers multiple articles about lighting, preparing for the shoot, food styling tips, tips for using a tripod, and much more.
When attending MasterChef casting calls, applicants are prohibited from wearing clothing with logos or photographs. In other words you can’t wear a T-shirt with your child’s photograph, favorite beverage, or recognizable celebrity or band. There is no need to dress up in a business suit, unless that is what you normally wear when you cook. MasterChef casting producers want to see the real you and your vibrant personality.
If you think you have what it takes to become the next MasterChef and can stand the heat in the kitchen, head over to the MasterChef casting call website to download the application. If you plan to attend the Orlando casting call, I hope to see you there!