The beginning of my food journey

A mere 5 months ago, I was just finishing up my first semester of college at Texas A&M University. College had been treating me well: I had a perfect 4.0 GPA, had started making friends, and was on the path that people expected of me. I had been to an open casting call, and despite the MC3 Casting team telling me that I was “one of their favorites,” I had little faith that much was going to come out of it. That’s just something they say to everybody so people don’t get upset, I thought to myself.

Throughout the winter, as Casting called me again and again to get more information, set up interviews, and even asked me to drive all the way out to Atlanta for an interview, I realized that there was a distinct possibility that I might be one of those selected. Still, that raised more questions than it answered. What was I to do about school? Would I be able to take classes and participate in the show at the same time, perhaps via email or skype? I was quickly informed that it wouldn’t be possible, that my options were either to a) stay in school, and then pulling out if the call finally came, b) stay in school, and even if the call came, reject it because it’s just too much risk for a 19 year old to take, or c) withdraw from school and hope that I didn’t just waste a semester of my time, banking on actually being cast for the top 100.

Then, following some serious introspection following some events in my life including my attendance at Passion 2012, I slowly came to the realization that life as a meteorologist wasn’t the right career path for me. Sure, I loved the mystique of studying the weather, but when it came down to sitting in front of computer screens all day, entering data into complex mathematical formulas, attending meetings, presenting research, I wasn’t cut out to do that. I wanted a job where I could interact with people, where my “work” sent a message about my values and who I am as a person, where honest relationship building was just as important as making money. I wanted work to be something that I was truly passionate about, not just something I could tolerate. I realized that meteorology couldn’t provide that career for me, and once I had that epiphany, the doors were thrown wide open. I would not waste any more time pursuing a degree that wouldn’t be beneficial towards what I wanted to achieve in life.

With that in my mind and my fingers crossed that I’d be able to make it to LA, I withdrew from Texas A&M mere days before classes were set to start.

Thank goodness the bet paid off. As I’m sure most of you know by now, I officially made it all the way out to LA to take part in the filming of MasterChef! Making the top 100 was a huge feat that I’ll never forget. I never thought that one Saturday in November during my open casting call audition that something this big would come out of it. Watch me on FOX, June 4 and 5 at 9/8c to see if I can earn myself one of those coveted aprons!

Check out this commercial below. Perhaps if you pay extra close attention you will be able to find me :).

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About Michael Chen

A contestant on season 3 of FOX's MasterChef! Tune in on June 4 and 5 at 9/8c to watch me compete in the top 100 home cooks in America!
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3 Responses to The beginning of my food journey

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awesome Michael, I went to highschool with you, I read this whole thing and I am so pumped to watch your progress :-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    It was really cool to watch you on television. I’m 19 years old and Asian as well, so it was exciting to see someone like you compete and actually do well enough to make the Top 18. It almost felt like I could relate to you because of these minor similarities alone, though you probably don’t give a crap. It’s okay; I wouldn’t care either if I were you. :-)

    Superb job Michael.

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