The latest two home cooks ousted from the penultimate episode of “MasterChef Canada” on Monday have both been inspired to make a foray into the professional food world.
Third-place finisher Kaila Klassen of West Kelowna, B.C., who was dismissed from the “MasterChef Canada” kitchen after making a minor error in the pressure test, is in the process of opening her own restaurant in Kelowna called Krafty Kitchen and Bar.
Tammara Behl, who came fourth, has just launched a Calgary catering company and says she will also make guest appearances on CTV Morning. She’s given up her teaching position with the Calgary Board of Education.
Behl was eliminated during a mystery box challenge that featured Italian ingredients chosen by guest judge Joe Bastianich of “MasterChef.”
Both women said Tuesday that being one of the 16 home cooks on “MasterChef Canada” meant sacrifices — Behl left her husband and two young children while Klassen relinquished her real estate career during the six weeks spent in Toronto taping the show — but the experience was ultimately rewarding.
“I learned that you really have to learn from people even though they might be less experienced than you or less informed. Everybody has something to teach you and really to be nice to your neighbour,” Behl said.
Klassen added: “I know now that it is very, very important to listen to your instincts and listen to your gut and, as Tamarra says, be kind, be genuine, be honest and to listen to the judges. Always listen to the judges. They’re always right.”
Chefs Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile, who judged the contestants in Season 1 of “MasterChef Canada,” will be staying on to helm Season 2, CTV announced Monday.
Being on “MasterChef Canada” was like living in a pressure cooker, the two acknowledged, but their love of all things culinary kept them going.
“When we weren’t filming we were thinking about food,” said Klassen. “We were thinking about ‘MasterChef’ and so it was a very stressful situation, but I think with us all having a commonality with a love for food it was great because we could get away at the end of the night and just talk about food and not have to talk about the show and just enjoy. It was fantastic. Everyone was amazing.”
“These were a whole bunch of strangers, right, so we didn’t know who we could trust or who we wanted to trust, so it was a learning experience in all aspects,” said Behl.
Eric Chong, a chemical engineer from Oakville, Ont., and Marida Mohammed, a stay-at-home mom from Toronto, will battle it out to win $100,000 in the finale, airing Monday, April 28 on CTV.
Home cooks have until July 13 to apply for Season 2.