Greenwich resident Allison Abernethy is at home in the kitchen – and she had the chance to show off her skills recently with MasterChef Canada. The show premiers on Jan. 20. – Wendy Elliott, www.kingscountynews.ca
Allison Abernethy of Greenwich chose not to know who won the first MasterChef Canada, but she was pretty excited to participate in the Toronto-based series.
It begins on Jan. 20 and Abernethy is one of three young Atlantic Canadians who landed roles in the reality TV cooking series.
A second-year student at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, where she is taking a double major in business and psychology, is among 50 MasterChef participants.
“It was a fantastic opportunity,” she said. “I learned a lot more about the television business.”
Abernethy said the first season ran like a beautifully oiled machine.
“They treated us like celebrities. They were genuinely great.”
Crediting her grandmother, sociology professor Barb Moore, for nurturing her love of cooking, Abernethy says Moore also impressed her with the importance of local and fresh ingredients.
Working for three years at Noggins Corner Farm Market also convinced her this region has the “best produce in the world.”
Her mother, Carla, while not a keen cook herself, allowed Abernethy the latitude to explore in the kitchen. In high school, she recalled, Abernethy thought hard about whether to follow her passion for food preparation or go to university. Currently, she plans to complete her degree and then go into the restaurant business here in Kings County.
Abernethy learned about the development of MasterChef Canada last May, when her sister sent her a message.
Despite thinking she had “slim to no chances,” she filled out an intensive online application about cooking and her character.
“I submitted my entry at 10 a.m., and in two hours, I got a call,” she recalled.
Several thousand applied for the chance. Abernethy took part in the eastern audition in Halifax in early August by cooking scallops with pea puree and Meadowbrook back bacon.
She made it through that one day round and went to Toronto in September for the shooting.
Three judges/chef and restaurateurs, Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung, have the task of drilling the 50 contestants through individual and team-based cooking challenges. There will be a weekly elimination round until the winning chef is crowned. The winner walks away with $100,000 and the MasterChef trophy.
The premiere episode airs on Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m.
The original MasterChef is a BBC television competitive cooking show. It initially ran from 1990 to 2001 and was later revived in 2005.
The series now appears in four versions. They include: the main MasterChef series, MasterChef for working chefs, Celebrity MasterChef, and Junior MasterChef for nine- to 12-year-olds.
The show's format has been exported around the world and is now produced in more than 40 countries.