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Critic-Turned-Cook makes first-round casting call for “Master Chef”

Credit: Leslie Kelly via Serious Eats

Credit: Leslie Kelly via Serious Eats

As most of you probably already know, FOX Television is conducting a series of casting calls for Gordon Ramsey’s latest reality cooking show, “Master Chef,” including one tomorrow at the Viking Cooking School in Brookwood Hills between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

This time around, Ramsey is saving his spittle-propelled invective for amateur cooks who think they have what it takes.

As Buzzin’ Brett noted:

The show, already a hit in the U.K. and Australia, is billed as an opportunity for “wannabe chefs who simply cook as a hobby and have absolutely no experience in the food industry” to face Ramsay’s culinary wringer. Those who make it to prime time “will be put through the paces with various challenges as they compete head-to-head to create delicious dishes, ” a statement from Fox said. “The series will serve as a unique platform for people from all walks of life who want to follow their dream of working as a professional chef. These everyday at-home cooks will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show their passion and excitement for food as they are put to the test and judged by world-renowned chefs.”

Are any of you planning to try out? (Here’s the application, which you’ll need to fill out.)

If you want to read about the process, you should check out this hilarious blog post from Leslie Kelly — the “critic-turned-cook” who is a regular contributor to Serious Eats. Kelly had been the restaurant critic at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer until that paper folded in March of 2009. Now she works as a restaurant cook. (Kelly’s personal blog is here.)

49 comments Add your comment

Laverne

January 15th, 2010
12:12 pm

Mr. Kessler , me thinks you should be on the show ! You have a very loyal fan base that could only grow !

Gil

January 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

Don’t do it, John. That’s not how a pro. kitchen is run (or was ever run) and you know it.

John Kessler

January 15th, 2010
3:22 pm

Very funny! My kids were always trying to get me to try out for “Top Chef” — mostly I think because my great specialty is preparing reasonably edible food in 10 minutes or less.

Fred

January 15th, 2010
8:29 pm

I think I found a question on the application that would automatically disqualify me if i answered it honestly:

Q: Describe Your Feelings About Chef Gordon Ramsey
A: Since I have no idea whatsoever who he is other than he is obviously a Chef on some stupid reality show, presumably this one I am filling out the application for, I have absolutely no feelings for him what so ever.

On another note: GO FOR IT JOHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See if you can beat the old bat you linked us too………

Fred

January 15th, 2010
8:30 pm

Dang, I used whatsoever twice in the same post, (both in different forms lol). How droll.

Ellen

January 16th, 2010
2:28 pm

John, you should definitely try out. If the judges like your cooking half as much as I like your blogs then you will be a shoe-in!

top chef fanatic

January 16th, 2010
7:25 pm

as you already know mr. kessler i did audition today with a free range strauss farms vealchop stuffed with prosciutto basil and buffalo mozzarella cheese accompanied with organic fingerling potatoes lightly fried in duckfat and smoked on hickory wood, with a portabello demi -glace sauce. I really had a winner and honestlly there were some good judges working in pairs mostlly with fox news people. But i got a bad draw and only had 1 judge who talked with me and took a slice of my chop. I hope it was good enuff to make the cut , but i would of rather been judged by a duo of judges who asked smart questions and folowed some sort of story line and interest. But im gonna keep my faith up and all it takes is the chance to be seen i guess. If Gordon dosent pick me thats BULLOXS!

ReallY?

January 17th, 2010
6:48 pm

@ top chef fanatic

1- You are the most annoying person in the universe.

2- Your dish sounds like it was srraight out of a 1970’s cook book.

top chef fanatic

January 18th, 2010
9:02 pm

really? your srraight ghetto….straight* hooked on phonics ghetto, free range veal wasnt even an option in 1970 bon appetitte boche dag

ATL Chef

January 18th, 2010
10:53 pm

@ top chef fanatic

“free range veal wasnt even an option in 1970 bon appetitte boche dag”

What planet are you from? Free range Veal has been around since Veal itself……….

As for your correcting peoples spelling Its “Bon Apetit” not bon appetitte.

Fail

top chef fanatic

January 19th, 2010
8:11 am

thanks for sticking with the theme chef…..as for your history lesson and grammar lessons why dont you stick to cooking at the waffle house and serve up really? he needs the attention :)

Tom Ramsey

January 19th, 2010
10:47 am

Actually you two, its Bon Appetit.

ATL Contestant

January 19th, 2010
12:49 pm

Enough smack. Has anyone gotten a call back, yet?

top chef fanatic

January 19th, 2010
4:14 pm

nothing yet atl contestant…..im not expecting anything if it pops up i will pursue it , at the very least it was a good learning experience. Tom i spelled it incorrect just to stick with the theme, I subscribe to the magazine:) its amazing the smackdown that happens when people cant produce good food like me.

Daniela

January 21st, 2010
8:55 pm

Hmmmm….wondering why no one is talking about call backs. Is there a gag order on the contract / application.

Daniela

January 21st, 2010
11:26 pm

I got a call back.

wendy

January 22nd, 2010
9:01 am

called back…video/30pg background check sent.

Daniela

January 22nd, 2010
9:50 am

Yah for Wendy!!! I did the video and 30 page background check as well. Do you know when we heat the next step? I am very thrilled for you! I live in Denver, where did you audition? Our auditions were on the 16th of January.

John Kessler

January 22nd, 2010
11:26 am

Congrats Wendy and Daniela. 30 pages? I don’t think the State Department vets people that closely!
Wendy? Are you here in Atlanta?

John Kessler

January 22nd, 2010
11:28 am

And, FWIW, I thought Top Chef Fanatic’s dish sounded good….

Daniela

January 23rd, 2010
11:53 pm

Yeah. 30 pages. They want to make sure no one has any Boogie Monsters coming out of their closet:)
I do know they received my background info…and that’s all I know. There has to be others out there besides Wendy and I. Well Thank you John for the Congrats! Not in Calafornie yet:) We are keeping our thoughts positive.

top chef fanatic

January 25th, 2010
11:14 am

Thanks for the kind words Mr. Kessler, I just wanted to add this to our blog, havent heard anything yet. No background checks….cause guys who eat vealchops….dont fill out background checks:)
(just kidding) enjoy and good luck to the ladies of the blog who got selected!

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.editAlbumPhoto&albumID=2900600&imageID=63236056

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.editAlbumPhoto&albumID=2900600&imageID=63236058

top chef fanatic

January 25th, 2010
4:04 pm

sorry about my previous link but if you cant display it just type solsss in search engine and my profile has the masterchef photos:)

Daniela

January 25th, 2010
5:27 pm

I found another two peeps that made it to the filmed interview audition and that’s it so far. I am so weary of searching…does anyone know when they contact us? My supportive boss is trying to write February’s schdule and doesn’t know whether to put me on it or not. I know this coming weekend is the last of the auditions.
Please post if you know something I don’t and vice versa. Good day all.

anca

February 2nd, 2010
3:51 pm

i auditioned in chicago on the 24th. over here they told everybody on the spot whether they made it to the next round or not. i had the on camera interview the next day. and then was told to send in the video, background check, pictures and 3rd person bio. now we play the waiting game. i’m sure the elected cast will find out soon since filming is scheduled for march.

Daniela

February 2nd, 2010
5:16 pm

Yup….we wait. I have figured the same thing, that we should here somethining soon. Plus they have to go through all the mail in apps. This waiting is brutal. Glad I have a supportive Boss and company that accept we could be called on the spur of the moment! If you hear anything please post.
Daniela

Danielle

February 4th, 2010
7:52 pm

Enter your comments here

Tonya

February 15th, 2010
9:13 pm

I’m in Texas and got a call back and did the same stuff you guys did (on camera interview, bio and background check, video) haven’t heard anything either. Hoping to hear something soon, even if it’s a no thanks! The “not knowing” is killing me!

David

February 16th, 2010
9:05 pm

Yeah I am here in SF and wishing I knew too….made it to the home video and background check. Although LA’s audition was on the 1st or something….so hopefully we hear soon. They said the next round would most likely take place the end of February so that is only two weeks away. I wonder if they have told people and they are not allowed to say anything to others. HMMMM.

jim

February 16th, 2010
10:54 pm

i was asked to make a video, but no background check….. wonder if that means i didn’t make it? anyone else?

Perry

February 17th, 2010
5:42 pm

I was asked to do a video but no background check, as well. Hopefully they’ll put out the word when casting is complete so we’ll know one way or the other…

Stacy

February 17th, 2010
10:53 pm

I made it through in Kansas City, was asked to do a video and background check. Haven’t heard either, and dying to know! Everyone seems really nice in the casting dept., I’m sure we’ll hear one way or the other, right?

David

February 18th, 2010
3:20 am

Has anyone tried to contact the casting company? Hmmm….I wonder if they have done any actual investigation with the background checks. It has to end soon….can’t take the suspense.

Stacy

February 18th, 2010
3:21 pm

I got in touch with a casting director, they haven’t made a decision yet but should be soon. I guess that’s good news, but I’m dying here!

John Kessler

February 18th, 2010
5:19 pm

Everyone: Let me know if you hear anything. And good luck!

KScookie

February 23rd, 2010
12:01 pm

I was in the KS batch, no call…nothing. (There were 40 that day, so I figured I had a 1/40 chance.) It seems like they would have made the calls by now. Hope is fading…:( I can’t wait to watch it though! It will be a completely different perspective knowing how close I was to actually being there.

Rick

February 23rd, 2010
1:22 pm

I was in the ATL audition, made it to the second day. Still waiting too. Feel like everything is on hold till we find out. Good luck everybody

David

February 24th, 2010
12:18 am

I know how you are all feeling….I was in the SF group….and just can’t stand waiting any longer. They said the last phase before the show was going to happen the end of February….so I am guessing that it is probably being pushed out. WE HAVE to hear this week…right? Has anyone tried calling the producers to see if there is a date that they will know by. As long as we know there will be a decision by a certain date….I can deal with that.

Stacy

February 24th, 2010
1:15 am

Posted on the masterchef twitter page last Thursday, they said this is the last week for casting. So hopefully we hear next week?? http://twitter.com/MstrChefCasting

anca

February 24th, 2010
1:47 pm

sorry, everybody, to be the bearer of bad news, but the decision has been made, and casting wrapped up last friday. they are not following up except with the people that were cast. the rest of us suckers were left to keep stewing indefinitely. the number that i used to communicate with the casting team was disconnected. i emailed one of the casting directors yesterday and did get a response back, so i finally got closure. so if you haven’t heard anything back yet, it’s a no. better luck next year!

Ramon

February 24th, 2010
2:11 pm

All due respect to Anca….but I am not sure you are correct…..their casting number has no been disconnected….and the 3 Ball Production Office still transfers people to the Masterchef office. I spoke with the main receptionist and he did not say one way or another that the casting for Masterchef is done. I know it is easier to just be disappointed and have that answer….but you never know. I am hopeful…I will give it another week or so.

anca

February 24th, 2010
7:43 pm

ramon, i have that answer because they gave me that answer.

stacy

February 24th, 2010
9:55 pm

I’m holding out hope until Friday, then I’m going to email masterchef myself on Monday if there is still no word. I just feel like I’ve put to much energy into this to believe one comment….again, no offense anca, I just gotta find out myself before I believe it. Especially since on their twitter page they said casting would wrap up this week, kind of doesn’t match to what you heard.

Matt

February 26th, 2010
8:04 pm

Many conflicting stories out there, I made it through to the on camera interview, sent the background information and have been waiting ever since. There is a facebook page for Master Chef, and I found one of the casting directors on there that works freelance casting for 3 ball. I emailed him and recieved a simply reply that casting had closed and to try back for season 2. My guess is that they have made the decisions and either have not contacted the cast – these time lines are typically drawn out longer than anticipated – or have put a gag order on the cast that has been contacted. I left a message directly at 3 ball with the producer I interviewed with on camera and have recieved no reply. It seems typical for casting that it is a don’t call us we will call you type thing. So, I think we will all sit and wonder who got on the show until it airs supposedly this summer!

stacy

March 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

I emailed casting last thursday, and they emailed me back today and said I didn’t make it as a finalist. They already made their decision, so I guess they aren’t contacting anyone who didn’t make it…but at least they did email me back. It sucks, but maybe next year.

JT

March 2nd, 2010
5:14 pm

I was also a finalist in the San Francisco group and have heard nothing, though a friend of mine says her best friends mother-in-law was also in the SF group and has been called and they are making travel arrangements for L.A. today! I guess that means I’m out…felt great to just to have a Michelin star chef tell my food was fantastic!!! Good luck to any of you who did get the call back, can’t wait to see how the show goes.

Jordan

March 3rd, 2010
6:34 pm

I had originally went to the Seattle casting on 01/10/10 and was #85 out of 450 or so. After standing in line for 3.5 hours, plating for 7 minutes, talking for 1.5 minutes I was told that if chosen I would be called back that same night. I didn’t get that call. Two weeks later 1/24/10 at 5:55pm I was called back for the second Video. Orginization doesnt seem to be a strong suit since its so new to the US. I was told that the final third would be contact at the latest by 3/5/10. Good luck to all of those who make it.

Bob

March 4th, 2010
2:18 pm

I was right away selected in San Francisco for the on-camera interview after scoring the maximum number of points at the tasting round. No news since the video/background check and it seems from your posts that I can now stop memorizing recipes! I’m a little disappointed, but I will keep cooking :O)

Daniela

March 11th, 2010
12:06 pm

I went through the whole audition process, had my film interview, heard back from the casting directors by email and phone about 4 or 5 times, telling me to be available, if chosen to meet with their pscyh doctor after a 500+ personality questionaire. Then I got an email saying I didn’t make the final call back before the test and to try again next year. I was so sure I was gonna be selected from all the communication I had with them, but in the end…the door closed. Well, good luck to those who made it. It’s hard when you come so close….then boom!