Prince of the Dawning Sky: a plated dish

This would have been my main course for the finale. Inspired by the sun-filled sky, and the morning, it is duck and mushroom congee with ponzu-black garlic puree, duck egg yolk, braised duck thigh meat, crispy shallots, cilantro duck fat, caramelized mushrooms, and micro cilantro to garnish. The idea has multiple folds behind the inspiration….

Prince of the Sea Angels: a plated dish

So even though I was eliminated in top 10, I actually did have dishes in mind for the finale. The amount of thought you saw put into the crab lantern dish, trust me, a lot more were put into these. So while it is a shame I could not make these dishes for the judges,…

IDGAF(ilet mignon): a plated dish

When I was preparing for season 10, I did cook with a lot of different kinds of meats and proteins. Lamb, duck, pork, chicken, scallops, fileting and then cooking with whole fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, black cod, I even practiced cooking ribeye for steaks. I never thought to practice with filet mignon. And…

Here comes a thought: a plated dessert

When I came up with the concept for this dessert, it really was to be something that would tackle the themes of anxiety and depression, two things I had to deal with a ton when I had come out. Having an entire student organization essentially outcast and passive aggressively bully you, as anyone can imagine,…

Mixed berry cheesecake and black sesame macarons

For the second half of MasterChef’s Sweet Week, we had 60 minutes to make a box of twelve macarons in two flavors, and they actually had to all fit inside the box. In the past, I have royally messed up my macarons because they got too runny and melted into each other at the piping…

My matcha dreamscape: a green tea-coconut layer cake

So before the cake replication challenge during MasterChef’s Sweet Week, we actually did get hints that we would be making a layer cake! So thinking we could make our own, I went ahead and thought up of a matcha and coconut layer cake. For the inspiration, I just imagined my trips to Taiwan and Japan,…

“Welcome to the lantern festival!”: a plated dish

This dish was definitely my favorite to make when I was in the competition. Not only did I get to impress the judges(and finally claim some much needed emotional redemption!), but also Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as well! And with a freaking $500 Alaskan King Crab! Like what the hell?! Even to this day, I…

Beef and Broccoli Revised: a plated dish

On the back of that wedding challenge, the elimination that followed was a freaking outdoor grilling challenge, in the patio where we all stood during the helicopter intro! It was crazy! The contestants on the losing Red Team had to choose from a huge variety of steaks and grill a dish in an hour. Which…

Face my fears: tarte tatin redemption

Fucking tarte tatin. Let me tell you now, this was the LAST dessert I expected to ever have PTSD from during my reality cooking competition journey. I love apples, I love caramel, and I love flaky pastry. And I’ve made this before(as the judges let everyone know to the point where they made it seem…

Phoenix in the Hawker Stall: a plated dish

So continuing on with my experiences in the lovely, most amazing MasterChef Kitchen (I hope I had enough adjectives there), there was actually a challenge where we had to cook with chicken. This challenge, not to brag, would have been a cakewalk for me, because I practiced breaking down chickens regularly in college (mostly because…

it’s my life: a plated dish

Now you might be saying, if you somehow managed to read through ALL of my blog posts, that I had already made something with this as the name. That was a dessert. This is a savory course. I’m allowed to have a dessert and a dish share the same name, since they can be different…

One Day Afternoon: a plated dish

For the first Mystery Box of my MasterChef 10 experience, the people who were not saved during the mise en place challenge had to cook with British ingredients and make a dish inspired by Gordon himself! It was a really interesting challenge, and I was actually kind of bummed that I didn’t get to cook…

“Moon Crying”: a plated dish

Back when I was thinking of signature dishes for MasterChef, I wanted to make sure I covered my bases, so I had this dish in my back pocket in the event I had to make a fish dish. I named it Moon Crying, again after a Koda Kumi song, because she’s by far my favorite…

For Mollie: a plated dish

So during the beginning part of my MasterChef journey, I had made several close friends, besides my bestie Bri. There was Sage, the 18 year old from Long Beach(my neighboring beach town!) who competed on MasterChef Junior, season 1(and sadly didn’t make it to the top 36). David, my fellow skinny Asian/straight clone from NorCal….

“Shines Forever”: my signature malted chocolate cake

This chocolate cake recipe is the very same chocolate cake that actually won me my white apron in season 10 of the American version of MasterChef! During the casting process, we had to submit four signature dishes that we could make in 45 minutes, and this was the one I had practiced the most (before…

Strawberry-blood orange risotto

Just a heads up, this is not a dessert. If you thought that I was going to make some kind of sweet rice porridge and call it a risotto, then YOU’RE WRONG. This risotto, but all definition, is savory. Yes, I’m using fruit in my rice, but that’s besides the point. For all of you…

S’mores panna cotta: a plated dessert

This dessert came about two summers ago when I was really bored. And I mean REALLY bored. Although that summer, I learned how to do a lot of things, specifically in terms of plating beautiful desserts and tackling ingredients I have never used before. The inspiration for the dessert came from a couple different things….

Homemade mascarpone cheese

I initially learned about mascarpone (don’t pronounce it “marscapone” unless you want a fork in your eyes) while watching episodes of the Food Network’s Chopped. Keep in mind, this was back in high school, when I had just began to like baking and cooking, so seeing mascarpone, I had no clue what it even was. But…