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[05/05/17 - 02:00 PM]
Meet the Newest Batch of Home Cooks Who Have the Ingredients for Success on the Season Premiere of "MasterChef" Wednesday, May 31, on FOX
In the season premiere, the Top 40 travel to Los Angeles to compete in the Battle for a White Apron challenge, during which only 20 will move forward in the contest.

[via press release from FOX]

MEET THE NEWEST BATCH OF HOME COOKS WHO HAVE THE INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS ON THE SEASON PREMIERE OF "MASTERCHEF" WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, ON FOX

NATIONWIDE SEARCH BRINGS 40 OF THE BEST HOME COOKS TO LOS ANGELES TO COMPETE FOR THE "MASTERCHEF" TITLE

Debt Collector, Dentist, Phys. Ed. Teacher, Harvard Student, Swimsuit Model, Wedding Singer and Minister among Hopefuls

Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, world-renowned pastry chef Christina Tosi and James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Aarón Sánchez welcome 40 of the nation's best home cooks to the MASTERCHEF kitchen on the Season Eight premiere of MASTERCHEF, airing Wednesday, May 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

In the season premiere, the Top 40 travel to Los Angeles to compete in the Battle for a White Apron challenge, during which only 20 will move forward in the contest for the MASTERCHEF title, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

Hopefuls auditioned at MASTERCHEF's open casting calls in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Washington D.C. to prove they have the culinary skills to be the next MASTERCHEF. Only one talented home cook will join MASTERCHEF winners Shaun O'Neale (Season Seven), Claudia Sandoval (Season Six), Courtney Lapresi (Season Five); Luca Manfe (Season Four); Christine Ha (Season Three), the first-ever blind contestant; Jennifer Behm (Season Two); and Whitney Miller (Season One) in the elite group of MASTERCHEF titleholders.

This season features 40 contestants from all walks of life, representing 18 states - including a debt collector, dentist, PE teacher, Harvard student, swimsuit model and two ministers - all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality.

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the Top 40 Home Cooks who will participate in the MASTERCHEF Battle for a White Apron:

State/Hometown Name Profession

California
Pacific Beach Lauren Lawless Sales Rep
Redding Brien O'Brien Magazine Ad Sales

Florida
Clearwater Paola Annoni Patel Dentist
Miami Heather Dombrosky Registered Nurse
Land O'Lakes Danny Flores Steel Supplier
Tampa Jeff Philbin Marketing Director

Hawaii
Honolulu Paige Jimenez Swimsuit Model
Pahoa Tom Ward Draftsman

Illinois
Chicago Caitlin Meade Nutritionist
Eboni Henry Addiction Counselor

Louisiana
Chalmette Jennifer Williams Debt Collector
New Orleans Janice Scott Tour Guide
Kelseay Reed Events Planner
Vacherie Lesci Oubre Phys. Ed. Teacher

Massachusetts
Cambridge Adam Wong Harvard Student
Medford Daniel Pontes-Macedo Substitute Teacher
Newton Jason Wang High School Music Teacher
Springfield David Smith Wedding Singer

Michigan
Ann Arbor Julia Huldin Food Truck Promoter
Detroit Yachecia Holston Minister

New Jersey
North Arlington Michael Lertchitvikul Former Startup COO

New York
Bensonhurst Dino Luciano Ignacio Dancer
Brooklyn Mia Rivera Grocery Clerk

Ohio
Cincinnati Jenny Cavellier Special Needs Therapist
Josh Cooper Political Consultant

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City Gabriel Lewis Fast Food Server
Ty Hamilton Model

Oregon
Myrtle Beach Shasta Dring Bartender
Portland Mark Togni Stay-at-home Dad

Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Caitlin Jones Dancer

Puerto Rico
Carolina Nilka Barbosa Human Resources

South Carolina
Newberry Necco Ceresani Marketing Manager

Texas
Austin Taylor Waltmon Digital Marketer
Carthage Reba Billingsley Stay-at-home Mom
Lipan Mike Newton Ranch Owner

Virginia
Alexandria Aakash Trivedi Client Manager

Washington
Yakima Shawn Niles Pastor

Washington, D.C.
Angel Anderson Spice Store Owner
Jessica Heath Former Model
Sam Reiff-Pasarew Creative Writing Teacher

MASTERCHEF is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Robin Ashbrook, Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Georgie Hurford-Jones, Gordon Ramsay, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. "Like" MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on Facebook at facebook.com/Masterchef/. Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefonFOX and join the discussion with #MasterChef. See photos and videos on Instagram @MasterchefonFOX. Follow the judges on Twitter: Gordon Ramsay - @gordonramsay; Christina Tosi - @christinatosi; Aarón Sánchez - @Chef_Aaron.

About One Potato Two Potato

Renowned for award-winning original programming, One Potato Two Potato produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, the blockbuster MASTERCHEF, irresistible spin-off MASTERCHEF JUNIOR and MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN, all for FOX; as well as "Best New Restaurant" and competition series "Food Court Wars." In the U.K., OPTP produces "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape," for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series "My Kitchen," for UKTV's Good Food Channel; and "Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch," starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children's channel CBBC. OPTP has also produced two instructional cookery series featuring Gordon Ramsay, "Ultimate Home Cooking" and "Ultimate Cookery Course," both of which have sold all over the globe.

About Studio Ramsay and Gordon Ramsay

The next-generation multi-media production company STUDIO RAMSAY has a joint venture with All3Media to develop and produce both unscripted and scripted television shows, creating new formats and innovative programming that includes a scripted arm focused on food-related themes, and development of new talent on a global front. The catalogue of programs that Ramsay has worked on historically with All3Media via One Potato Two Potato, together with new original content he's currently developing, make for a unique and dynamic production and distribution partnership. Studio Ramsay's first production, live food variety show THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY, premieres later this month on FOX. Its first daytime cooking series, "Culinary Genius," premiered this spring on ITV in the U.K. while his new documentary series for ITV will premiere this fall. Renowned for highly successful and award-winning original programming, multi-Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay produces TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic seen by audiences worldwide, including his FOX shows MASTERCHEF, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, HELL'S KITCHEN, MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN and the upcoming THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY, as well as Bravo's "Best New Restaurant" and Food Network's competition series "Food Court Wars." In the U.K., he's produced "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape" for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series "My Kitchen" for UKTV's Good Food Channel; two instructional cookery series, "Ultimate Home Cooking" and "Ultimate Cookery Course" for Channel 4; and the first two seasons of "Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch," starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children's channel CBBC, all under his One Potato Two Potato banner.

About Endemol Shine North America

Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Its Endemol Shine Studios division develops and produces original scripted television programming in the U.S. for global exploitation and Endemol Shine Latino oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and now across all of Latin America. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions. Endemol Shine Group's companies in North America are behind such hit series as "Big Brother" (CBS), "The Biggest Loser" (NBC), "Ink Master" (Spike), "Kingdom" (AT&T Audience Network), MASTERCHEF (FOX), MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), "The Almost Impossible Game Show" (MTV), "Swamp People" (History), "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Bravo), "Steve Harvey" (NBCU), "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" (VH1), "Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge" (CMT), "Billion Dollar Buyer" (CNBC), "Hunted" (CBS), and upcoming "Best.Cover.Ever" (Youtube), "Fear Factor" (MTV), "Ambulance" (CBS), "Page Six TV" (Syndicated), "Trading Spaces" (TLC), SUPERHUMAN (FOX) and "I'm Dying Up Here" (Showtime).





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· MASTERCHEF (FOX)





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