Jennifer Crawford wants viewers to taste and smell her creations through their T.V. screens as she competes on this season’s MasterChef Canada.
The Kingston-raised cook has had a lifelong obsession with food and is a dedicated follower of the show, which she says always sparked her passion each time she watched it.
Crawford recalls being mid-squat at the gym when she was handed the envelope that told her she’d been selected as a Top 18 finalist.
“Opening it made me feel like I was bursting at the seams. I got hit with a million ideas of things I would love to make,” she says.
Crawford says food-centric family outings and early memories of flipping through her mother’s copy of The Joy of Cooking as a child forged her food connection early on in life.
“That book was my Internet. I would read that voraciously because I knew if I learned how to do those things, I could eat them,” she laughs.
Now, she lives in Toronto and is a policy analyst for the Ontario government. She turns 38 on April 5 just days before the show’s April 8 premiere on CTV, which she says feels like a birthday gift that keeps on giving.
Crawford says her competition superpower will be her ability to focus and even enjoy stressful challenges, along with her ability to face each one with a curious and creative mind.
“To quote Julia Child’s husband, ‘I know how to suffer well,’” she laughs. “I love all food so much that I can’t imagine a challenge I wouldn’t like.”
Crawford is grateful for her family and friends in Kingston, and her Annapolis Valley childhood she describes as a special place to grow up surrounded by food and farmlands.
She feels forever indebted to that proximity to produce and Julia Child cookbook, and says her experience on the show has also brought her back to another childhood memory.
“I remember this one time I was chasing a bird as a child. I caught it, and then I was like, ‘but what do I do now?’ This makes me feel like that – just astonished, and excited to see what might happen,” she says.