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Before Episode 1: What’s done, is plated. My experience in the MasterChef Kitchen.

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

What happened before Episode 1

The call, my calling.

Photo Credit: Charu Shah Photography

All I needed was a little nudge, encouragement from my friends and colleagues to channelise my end-less food talk into eight website pages worth of application. I hit the “life-altering” submit button, unaware of the unknown that would soon become a reality.

I was in yet another boring endless meeting when I received a call from a Singapore landline. Well after the boring concluded, I decided to step out to call the number back.

The other end picked the call. I introduced and profusely apologised for missing the call. The voice on the other end of the phone call said, “Hi, I am calling from MasterChef Singapore..” and my fingers that held the mobile phone decided to let go. But thanks to my badminton reflexes, I flexed my back, caught the phone and frantically slammed the phone back to my ear. It was the call, my calling.

Several emails were exchanged detailing time, date, place of the auditions. Family at home helped me cope to the best of their abilities. The husband, a tri-athlete created a training plan to time precision my signature dish. Paper rehearsal of the steps coupled with Garmin timing the actual cooking in my kitchen. My son kept the pressure with his ambition to see me on television, his favourite pastime. The helper, secretly worried that my ability to create a mess in the kitchen might become the drama element and overtake the Kardashians.

At the auditions, I was not bothered about the camera and story producers quizzing me with questions. I thoroughly enjoyed the cook-off!

I placed the food on a handcrafted chopping board. Everyone thronged to the dishes on the table. Everyone took small bites, licked their fingers. It looked like an army of black backs all bent over the food-laden chopping board. I was grinning ear to ear. Nothing, absolutely nothing makes me happier than feeding people.

They ushered me into a room for an interview. The big boss quizzed me with some questions. I answer. I don’t remember what he asked or any of what I said. He took a bite of my food. Then another. Comes backs for the fourth. Apologies, as he helped himself to another. I was brimming with happiness. My heart swelled with a feeling that remains to be the most memorable moment in the entire MasterChef journey.

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