Minnesotans invade MasterChef season four

Local food blogger and master of cakes Marie Porter will be a season four contestant
Local food blogger and master of cakes Marie Porter will be a season four contestant
Courtesy Marie Porter

The time has come for another season of the Fox Network's hit reality cooking show, MasterChef. This season get ready to root for the home team as six home chefs from Minnesota will enter into the culinary battlefield along with many others from around the country in an effort to take home the much coveted title of MasterChef.

Here's the lowdown on the local contestants:

The show, now in its fourth season, is hosted by the most notorious of television chefs, Gordon Ramsay. Joining him are Chicago native and celebrity chef Graham Elliot and restaurateur Joe Bastianich. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, the premise is simple: Home cooks from across the country compete in a series of culinary shenanigans under the guidance and at the mercy of the show's hosts, until only one remains, thus earning the title of MasterChef.

This season will feature six residents of the great state of Minnesota. A statement from the network lists James Blesi of Anoka County, Liyah Sangathit of Bloomington, Marie Porter and Jordan Roots of Minneapolis, Nick Garcia of St. Paul, and Joan Webb of Vadnais Heights. The Minnesota contestants come from a variety of different occupational backgrounds including motorcycle mechanic, debt collector, writer, delivery driver, day laborer, and government accountant clerk.

We had a chance to get a few words from Marie Porter, a local writer/food blogger, about what she's been doing to prepare for her upcoming culinary battle royal. "Preparing for MasterChef was a huge, multifaceted thing for me," says Porter. "There was some kitchen work, a lot of studying...researching every exotic meat available in the USA, prep methods and flavor profiles for each, and a lot of mental prep. I'm not the best at dealing with people -- especially strangers, and especially crowds."

We also asked her a little bit about her thoughts on dealing with hot-tempered culinary guru Gordon Ramsay. "You know, a lot of my fellow contestants were really worried about coming face to face with Gordon Ramsay, but that really was never on my stress radar," says Porter. "If his TV persona is to be believed, then his issues rest with things like stupidity, inefficiency, etc. -- all things that piss me off too! Going on some of the people I'd watched on previous seasons, I knew he'd have much bigger targets for his rage than me!"

MasterChef premieres on Wednesday, May 22, with a special two-hour episode. You can also follow Porter's journey through the process on her blog Celebration Generation.

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