MASTERCHEF cooks up two-hour Season Premiere Event Wednesday, May 22 on FOX 50.

Top Finalists Revealed Wednesday, May 29

MASTER CHEF: Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay (C), restaurateur Joe Bastianich (R) and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot (L) return for Season Four of the culinary smash hit MASTERCHEF with a two-hour season premiere on Wednesday, May 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) on FOX 50.

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By FOX50.com

Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot return for Season Four of the culinary smash hit MASTERCHEF with a two-hour season premiere on Wednesday, May 22 (8:00-10:00 PM) on FOX 50.

More hopefuls than ever before auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Portland, OR; and San Diego, CA to prove they have what it takes to make a mark on the culinary world. Only one hopeful will join Season Three winner Christine Ha, the first-ever blind contestant; Season Two winner Jennifer Behm; and Season One winner Whitney Miller in the elite group of MASTERCHEF titleholders. The best home cooks in America were flown to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to the judges and the chance to compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize. This season will feature contestants representing 26 states from all walks of life– including an archaeologist, a high school gym teacher, a former pro-football player, a biochemist, a student, a firefighter, a paralegal and a delivery driver – all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality.

In the premiere episode, the hopefuls will prepare their signature dishes and present them to the distinguished MASTERCHEF judging panel: Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill), Bastianich (Del Posto, Osteria Mozza) and Elliot (Graham Elliot, g.e.b.). The judges will taste for flavor, creativity and presentation. In order to earn a coveted white apron and move to the next round, the home cooks must have an immense passion for food and be determined to win. Above all, they must convince the judges – who will taste for flavor, creativity and presentation – that they have the potential to out-cook all their rivals.

The auditions continue Wednesday, May 29 (8:00-10:00), as the judges winnow down the competition by granting white aprons to the best home cooks. Only 40 hopefuls will move onto the next round and compete in an intense lamb challenge. By the end of the episode, only the top home cooks who impress the judges will advance to the MASTERCHEF kitchen and compete to become America’s next MASTERCHEF.

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the Top Home Cooks who participated in the MASTERCHEF auditions:

State/Hometown

Name

Profession

Alabama    
Birmingham  Ilona Barrett Architect
Tuscaloosa Sasha Foxx Singer/Chanteuse
California     
Banning Rebecca O’Connor Animal Trainer 
Chula Vista Gabriella Arjona Loan Officer
  Jorge Cristo Food Runner
Escondido Mark Oberle Software Engineer
La Jolla Eli Moeller Financial Advisor
Los Angeles Zuleika Hasbrouck Cosmetics Company Owner
Palm Springs Christopher Simon Food Server
San Diego Lynn Chyi IT Systems Administrator 
  Natasha Crnjac Stay-At-Home Mom
  Christine Kim Bakery Assistant
  Rudy Reyes Archaeologist  
  Howard Simpson Bar Back
  Ayla Skye CEO of Health Company
  Savannah Sturges Special Ed. Teacher
San Francisco Paulina Farro Flight Attendant
  Andrew Keller Construction Project Manager
San Jose Elden McFeron Patent Engineer 
Solvang  Blake Fowler Ostrich Farmer
Stockton Chan Heu Graduate Student
Topanga Henrik Jakobsson Music Composer
Van Nuys  Nancy Nester Singer 
West Covina Laloni Harris Cashier
Westminster Alex Kemp Student
Connecticut     
New Canaan Shawnee Knight Stay-At-Home Mom 
Stamford Doug Miriello  Bar Back
Florida    
Tallahassee Erin Burnside Flavor Scientist
Georgia    
Americus  Eddie Jackson Personal Trainer 
Marietta Andrea Plichta Acupuncturist/Herbalist
Social Circle Jessie Lysiak Yacht Stewardess
Hawaii    
Laie Kalaokahaku “Kevin” Miller  Fashion Retailer
Idaho     
Boise  Carl Wippert  Data Entry Specialist 
Illinois     
Aurora Rim Zivalich U.S. Army National Guard Soldier 
Chicago Thao “Duckie” Huynh Nail Technician
  Reina Martinez Bikini Waxer
  Kevin Tindell Pastor
Long Grove Maya Parekh Attorney
Peoria Heights  Julie Gibson Personal Assistant 
Wauconda Jeremy Lewis A/C Salesman
Massachusetts    
Cambridge  Malcolm Green  Unemployed
  Paul Yuan Math Student
Lawrence  Dawn Hunt Small Business Owner
Lincoln  Abby Wolf Farmer
Marlboro Jonny Blanchard Carpenter
Taunton Bime Cruz Health Care Professional/Boxing Coach
Michigan    
Detroit Dahlia Abrams Unemployed 
Minnesota    
Anoka Country  James Blesi Motorcycle Mechanic
Bloomington Liyah Sangathit Debt Collector
Minneapolis Marie Porter Writer
  Jordan Roots Delivery Driver
St. Paul Nick Garcia Day Laborer
Vadnais Heights Joan Webb Government Accountant Clerk 
Mississippi    
Columbus Seonkyoung Longest Housewife
Nevada    
Reno  Rachel Jessee Fire Performer
New Jersey    
Jersey City   Kristine Kennedy  Insurance Underwriter
Verona Joelle DeNotaris  Student 
New York     
Astoria  Luca Manfe  Restaurant Manager
Brooklyn Wanda Allende-Ortiz Retired Teacher
Bronx Mike Bernardi Construction Manager 
  Kathy Prieto Office Assistant
Ithaca Brian Baum IT Consultant
New York  Adriana Guillen  College Admissions Representative
Queens Chris Ciccone ER Nursing Assistant 
Staten Island Damian Stapelkamp Wrestler
Washington Heights Mitchell Watson  Former Pro-Basketball Player 
Westhampton Beach  Bill Ciraco Wall Street Trader
North Carolina    
Raleigh Shaun Jay Magician 
Wilkesboro  Steven Smith  Welder
Ohio     
Akron Tori Cunningham High School Student
Cleveland  Mark Famiano  Firefighter 
  Dean Karadimas Web Designer 
  James Ladd Retail Manager 
Cuyahoga Falls  Jenn Thomas-Pallotta Front-Of-House Manager
Kettering Sheena Hetzel  Armored Truck Messenger
Strongsville  George Mastrosavas  Real Estate Investor
  Jennifer Thornton  Olive Oil Specialist 
Oregon    
Estacada Bethy Rossos High School P.E. Teacher
Portland Monica Watson Model 
Pennsylvania      
Blue Bell Grace Chen  Biochemist
Doylestown  Bri Kozior Theatre Assistant
Philadelphia Krissi Biasiello Paralegal 
State College  Seymira Salamy Kinesiology Student
South Carolina    
Fort Mill Carrie Peterson Airline Pilot
Texas    
Irving Matthew Orsini Auditor 
Terrell Brian Kohler Stay-At-Home Dad
Victoria  James Nelson  Retail Sales 
Tennessee    
Chattanooga Beth Kirby Writer/Photographer
Nashville  Nanci Filipelli Sportscaster/Model
Utah     
Ogden Alexandra Jones Stay-At-Home Mom 
Virginia    
Blacksburg Dennis Hong Robot Scientist and Professor
Virgin Islands    
St. Croix Olga George  News Assignment Editor 
Washington     
Seattle Zach Wilson Digital Phone Specialist 
Wisconsin     
Dousman  Steve Schafer Construction Worker
Milwaukee Kevin Radanovich  Carpenter 

MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a 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 at #masterchef.

About One Potato Two Potato:
One Potato Two Potato (OPTP) was co-founded by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen Television in 2008 to exclusively create and produce worldwide content for Ramsay ventures across all media, including television, digital and publishing. Renowned for award-winning original programming, the company produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, which was the highest-rated new network show of summer 2012 (OPTP is now in pre-production on Season Two); and four seasons of MASTERCHEF, all for FOX; “Food Court Wars” for Food Network; massive U.K. hit “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon’s Great Escape” for Channel 4; and “My Kitchen” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel. Ramsay’s groundbreaking Channel 4 series, “Cookalong Live,” aired as a special on FOX and has since become a successful format around the world. OPTP is also currently in development on several exciting unscripted and scripted projects, within and beyond the food genre, for network, cable and digital platforms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. OPTP distributes its hugely popular TV programming and formats to more than 200 territories via Optomen International. The company became part of the All3Media group in 2010. Find out more about One Potato Two Potato at www.onepotatotwopotato.tv.

About Shine America:
Shine America is a world leader in producing and distributing compelling scripted and unscripted television and digital content. Shine America is known for popular and award-winning original series, including “The Biggest Loser” and “The Face”; as well as adaptations of Shine Group formats, such as MASTERCHEF and “Minute to Win It”; and scripted series, including “The Office” and the upcoming FX drama “The Bridge.” Shine America has development deals with some of the top producers in television, including Nigel Lythgoe (Nigel Lythgoe Productions) and its own unscripted format label in Ardaban, led by the creators of the hit Food Network series, “Chopped.” Shine Latino, a new division of Shine America, is producing and distributing original Spanish-language content to the U.S. and Latin American marketplaces.

The global Shine 360˚ division builds brands through the leveraging of its intellectual property and by creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. The company has also developed more than 20 groundbreaking original online series on MSN, Yahoo!, YouTube premium channels and other platforms, many produced in partnership with global brands such as Walmart, Toyota, Kraft Foods, Subway and Microsoft. Through Shine Group’s distribution arm, Shine International, Shine America distributes its extensive library of programming and formats to more than 150 countries. Visit www.shineamerica.com for further information.

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