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"Masterchef" top contenders include three Ohio competitors

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 28, 2014

Youngstown, Columbus and Wilmington are represented. The official word: The competition continues on Monday, June 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, as the Top Finalists face their first mystery box challenge of the season. The contestants will have 90 minutes to cook a unique and impressive dish using mainly dessert ingredients including chocolate, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, brandy, ladyfingers, extracts, honey and ground coffee. The winner of the mystery box challenge will have a significant advantage in the next round and determine which classic American dishes the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. At the end of the episode, the MASTERCHEF journey will end for two home cooks.

 

Below are the Top Finalists and the signature dish that earned them a MASTERCHEF apron:

 


FRANCIS BIONDI                           Age: 25          

Hometown: Orlando, FL                Occupation: Server

Signature Dish: Crusted Halibut Cheeks on Moroccan Chickpea Ragu

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5FrancisB

Twitter: @MC5FrancisB

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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WHITNEY BRAY                            Age: 28       

Hometown: Columbus, OH            Occupation: Call Center Representative

Signature Dish: Braised Pork Belly with Mustard Greens, Banana Mustard and Fingerling Potatoes

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Whitney

Twitter: @MC5Whitney

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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CUTTER BREWER                         Age: 33

Hometown: Beaumont, TX             Occupation: Petroleum Landman

Signature Dish: Venison Backstrap Lollipops with Fruit Chutney or Whiskey Gravy, Potato Salad

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Cutter  

Twitter: @MC5Cutter

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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ELIZABETH CAUVEL                      Age: 31      

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY               Occupation: Advertising Executive  

Signature Dish: Peanut Butter Bread Pudding with Mixed Berry Compote

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Elizabeth

Twitter: @MC5Elizabeth

Link: YouTube / Embeddable 


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AHRAN CHO                                   Age: 18

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA               Occupation: High School Student 

Signature Dish: Korean Garlic Soy Fried Chicken

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Ahran

Twitter: @MC5Ahran    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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LESLIE GILLIAMS                          Age: 56     

Hometown: Malibu, CA                   Occupation: Stay-At-Home Dad      

Signature Dish: Broiled Salmon with Citrus Glaze over Sautéed Spinach

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Leslie 

Twitter: @MC5Leslie

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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CHRISTIAN GREEN                        Age: 29

Hometown: New Orleans, LA           Occupation: Sales Representative

Signature Dish: Macadamia Crusted Chicken, Garlic Mash, with Two Signature Sauces

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Christian

Twitter: @MC5Christian    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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GORDON HOUSTON                       Age: 30     

Hometown: Irvine, CA                       Occupation: Law School Graduate

Signature Dish: Sea Urchin Risotto

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Gordon 

Twitter: @MC5Gordon   

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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JORDAN KAMINSKI                         Age: 19     

Hometown: Muskego, WI                Occupation: College Student

Signature Dish: Seared Scallops with Sautéed Leeks, Crispy Chorizo and Coconut Cilantro Sauce

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Jordan

Twitter: @MC5Jordan    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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COURTNEY LAPRESI                     Age: 25     

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA           Occupation: Aerial Dancer  

Signature Dish: Ricotta Gnocchi in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Courtney 

Twitter: @MC5CourtneyL    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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ASTRID LAVENIA                            Age: 41     

Hometown: Mandeville, LA              Occupation: Food Sales

Signature Dish: Coriander Crusted Shrimp with Duckfat Potato, Smoky Lardons with Jalapeno Emulsion

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Astrid

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MC5Astrid    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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FRANCIS LEGGE                            Age: 34     

Hometown: New York, NY               Occupation: Music Video Director    

Signature Dish: Crazy Caprese Salad

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5FrancisL

Twitter: @MC5FrancisL   

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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ELISE MAYFIELD                            Age: 28     

Hometown: Birmingham, AL            Occupation: e-Learning Administrator

Signature Dish: Blueberry Goat Cheese Hand Pies with Whipped Cream and Almond Brittle

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Elise

Twitter: @MC5Elise  

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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DANIEL McGUFFEY                        Age: 32     

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA           Occupation: Video Game Designer 

Signature Dish: Deerly Beloved (Venison Tartar with Quail Egg and Tempura Okra)

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Daniel

Twitter: @MC5Daniel    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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WILLIE MIKE                                   Age: 25

Hometown: Houston, TX                  Occupation: Church Music Director

Signature Dish: White Wine Apricot Chicken, Almond Rice Pilaf and Cinnamon Roasted Carrots

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Willie 

Twitter: @MC5Willie   

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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KIRA NOVAK                                   Age: 31

Hometown: Youngstown, OH           Occupation: Medical Recruiter

Signature Dish: Herbed Goat Cheese Crusted Steak with Roasted Habanero Red Pepper Sauce and garlic Cauliflower Puree

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Kira

Twitter: @MC5Kira    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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VICTORIA SCROGGINS                     Age: 35

Hometown: San Angelo, TX              Occupation: Bartender

Signature Dish: Roasted Goat Heart with Parsnip, Celeriac and Pickled Beets

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Victoria 

Twitter: @MC5Victoria    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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CHRISTINE SILVERSTEIN               Age: 31     

Hometown: Yonkers, NY                 Occupation: Investment Director

Signature Dish: Wild Boar Meatballs with Squash and Chestnut Radicchio Salad

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Christine 

Twitter: @MC5Christine   

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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STEPHANI SYFAX-SHEPHERD      Age: 25      

Hometown: Detroit, MI                    Occupation: Server

Signature Dish: Lobster Polenta with Corne Maque Choux and Rose Beurre Monte Shellfish

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Stephani 

Twitter: @MC5Stephani   

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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TYLER VIARS                                 Age: 27     

Hometown: Wilmington, OH             Occupation: Hunting Sales Manager

Signature Dish: Venison Chimichurri with Fried Potatoes

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Tyler

Twitter: @MC5Tyler    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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JAIMEE VITOLO                              Age: 23    

Hometown: Queens, NY                  Occupation: Bakery Assistant 

Signature Dish: Peanut Butter and Banana Elvis Cream Puffs with Bacon

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Jaimee

Twitter: @MC5Jaimee    

Link: YouTube / Embeddable


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DAN WU                                          Age: 39     

Hometown: Lexington, KY               Occupation: Unemployed 

Signature Dish: Home Alone (and All Grown) Ramen with Sriracha Pickled Peaches

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Dan

Twitter: @MC5Dan

Link: YouTube / Embeddable

 

Later this season, the home cooks will prepare a hearty meal for more than 500 servicemen and women on an army base in the biggest field challenge in MASTERCHEF history. Then, the hopefuls will hit the beach to prepare an unforgettable two-course meal for a summer wedding, visit a local diner to prepare American classics, cook a romantic dinner for couples on date night at the MASTERCHEF restaurant, serve game-day favorites for hungry football fans and take command of a legendary Hollywood restaurant. With each new challenge, the pressure will mount as the home cooks compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

 

MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato and is based on the format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.

 

“Like” MASTERCHEF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MasterChef. Follow the series on Twitter @MASTERCHEFonFOX and join the discussion with #masterchef.























 

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