Whitney Miller of Poplarville is hoping to turn her culinary hobbies into a quarter of a million dollars by competing on Fox’s new reality show, “MasterChef.”
“Just to have the title of ‘MasterChef’ because I’m so much younger would prove that I’ve taught myself so much,” the 23-year-old and youngest chef competing said. “I’m very competitive in everything. I want that title. I never got the chance to attend culinary school, so this is my chance. This is a dream.”
“MasterChef,” featuring Gordon Ramsay the snarling chef of “Hell’s Kitchen” fame, premiers at 8 tonight on Fox.
Contestants have one hour to prepare their signature dishes and present them to the MasterChef judges, who are looking for passion, creativity and most importantly great flavor and taste. The top cooks will win the coveted white apron and move on to the next round of competition.
Miller auditioned for the show in New Orleans and was selected for the top 50 chefs from throughout the nation. She will be preparing blackened catfish tacos with mango chutney for the first round of competition.
“The mango chutney was an experiment. The spiciness of the catfish goes with the sweetness of the chutney,” Miller said. “The catfish is shredded. I have given it to people to try and they didn’t even know what they were eating – and they loved it.”
A senior at the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in nutrition and biology, Miller hopes she will inspire more young people to get in their own kitchens and eat healthier while keeping within a meager budget.
“I want them to see that they don’t have to pick up fast food all the time. I’ve always cooked during the week, while going to college and on (my parents’) teacher salary budget,” she said. “I use cheap ingredients and make it a little more gourmet. I really try to think outside the box.”