I didn't get much MasterChef airtime in the first two episodes, so I was confident I'd get a little love in the third. And I did. But in Colorado, it was an election day. And the local FOX affiliate mistook Andrew Romanoff's concession of the Democratic senatorial ticket to Michael Bennet, who was up by 10 points, for breaking news. Just as we were about to watch the one minute of airtime that MasterChef would devote to me, FOX cut to Bennet's acceptance speech. Good thing I'm not registered to vote; I might be forced to vote for the crazy dude on the Republican ticket come November just to spite Bennet for stealing my show.
But the rest of the world was watching, with only limited commercial interruption. My mom, who lives in a suburb of Toronto and who thought that MasterChef was not only a waste of time but also a
surefire detriment detrimental to my professional career as an attorney (even though she equally disapproves of my post as a government attorney), was also watching.
As it turns out, she was having viewing parties with all of my aunts and uncles (this includes their close friends who are not actual blood relatives, but nonetheless carry the titles of "aunties and uncles".... yes, just like in the Joy Luck Club) in Toronto. Today my mom finally fessed up that she'd been watching, and she told me what she really thought. Disclaimer: If she weren't in such an unusually chipper mood, it would have sounded mean. But really, her voice was almost melodic when we spoke today, so it was more comical than hateful, which is how I'm able to share this.
On my egg dish: "You really should have cooked Chinese food. Too bad you never learned how because the Vietnamese girl cooked traditional food and white people just like Asian food. They don't know the difference. You could have wowed them with real Chinese food because all they know is sweet and sour." [I'm sure Gordon Ramsay regularly dines at the Panda Express, Mom.]
On learning how to cook Chinese food: "How would I know where you can learn how to cook Chinese food? No one taught me so I don't know either. But I think I have a DVD somewhere. If I can find it, I'll mail it to you." [Cool, thanks. Just look for the DVD that's still shrink-wrapped.]
On how I looked: "You're almost 34 years old and you still don't know how to put on makeup. You looked terrible... So your makeup melted off but no one else's did? Did you notice that they only picked pretty girls? And those girls probably don't really know how to cook because they never have to cook for themselves. They just get taken out on dates every night... No, I didn't say you're not a pretty girl. Those were your words." (See below... does it look like I'm not wearing makeup? Indeed, it did all melt off in that warehouse with 24 Viking ranges with ovens all set to 350 degrees and studio lights towering over us.)
On going back next year: "I wouldn't do it if I were you. All they want is to make you cry for the show. Why show everyone your shame? That's just ridiculous."
I am my mother's daughter. Both pride and brutal honesty are in my blood. And I don't make empty promises; I always do what I say I'm going to do. Just like I'm positive that I will be getting an instructional Chinese cooking video in the mail in a couple of weeks, I'll be back for MasterChef Season 2 if they'll have me. In case you were watching in Colorado and missed me making that vow, you can watch the whole show here: http://www.fox.com/watch/masterchef