One local woman has secured her spot as a finalist on the upcoming season of MasterChef Canada. She is now competing to make a spot in the top 16.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Meg Tucker said during a recent chat. “It’s been really awesome. I’ve always been an avid cook and I love to cook so much so that my friends say that I need a cooking show – it’s been a running joke for so many years.”
Following the initial rounds of the audition process, the premiere episode of the second season, which took place Feb. 1st on CTV, found the home cook finalists enter the most nerve-wracking first phase of the competition as they presented their signature dish for tasting by judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile.
Tucker, a Red Deer radio host, was chosen out of thousands of applicants to present her signature dish to the judges in the hopes of moving on in the competition to the top 16. She is competing to win $100,000 and the title of Canada’s next MasterChef.
For her first audition in Calgary she presented the judges bacon leek and Gruyere quiche with apple fennel chutney. “I made my own bacon for the dish which was really fun.”
After the first audition, Tucker got a call from the show’s producers saying that she had made it to the next round – the top 50.
“I had all types of emotions going on when I got that call,” she said. “I immediately started crying because for those people who know me, I am emotional. I was so, so proud of myself and then it was quickly oh my god – what did I get myself into?
“It was a bit daunting too because when you’re in Toronto you’re in a little bit of a bubble. You are cut off and you can’t be emailing and letting everyone know how you’re doing. There is definitely a mental aspect to it as well in that regard and you have to psych yourself up for that too.”
Tucker’s audition dish for the second round in Toronto was pumpkin and ricotta-stuffed ravioli with crispy sage and hazelnut brown butter.
She said she decided to make that dish because one of her favourite kinds of food is comfort food. “It’s not super fancy, but it’s just yummy, good for your soul food – that is my favourite.”
Only those with the most impressive plates receive a coveted white apron and have the opportunity to reach the next level of the competition. In the second episode, airing Feb. 8th, the auditions continue, and the remaining home cooks battle it out to make it into the top 16 of MasterChef Canada.
As the date for the show to air is coming closer, Tucker said she is excited for the season to start.
“I’m excited, I’m nervous and I don’t even know what is going to be shown – there’s an element of the unknown. People don’t like having photos of themselves taken let alone watching themselves on TV. But I am really excited and I am proud.”
As for being on MasterChef Canada, Tucker said it’s another check on her bucket list.
“My entire life has been a giant adventure. I did stand-up comedy in New York City, I was a nanny in New York, I’ve lived all over the country, I’ve worked in marketing and now I’m a radio host,” she said. “So on one hand it wasn’t really surprising that I got the call because of course I’m going to do MasterChef, why the heck not? It was one more for the bucket list.”
Looking forward, Tucker said one day she would love to have a cooking show with kids.
“Kids are so funny and I love to teach so to be able to teach cooking and do a show with hilarious children would be amazing.
“But really what it all comes back to is that I love to cook but I also love to feed people. You want to make people happy.”