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Meet The Newest Batch Of Home Cooks Who Have The Ingredients For Success On The Season Premiere Of "MasterChef" Wednesday, May 31, On FOX

May 5, 2017 - Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, world-renowned pastry chef Christina Tosi and James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Aarón Sánchez welcome 40 of the nation’s best home cooks to the MASTERCHEF kitchen on the Season Eight premiere of MASTERCHEF, airing Wednesday, May 31 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

In the season premiere, the Top 40 travel to Los Angeles to compete in the Battle for a White Apron challenge, during which only 20 will move forward in the contest for the MASTERCHEF title, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

Hopefuls auditioned at MASTERCHEF’s open casting calls in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Orlando, FL;  Portland, OR; San Diego, CA;  San Francisco, CA; and Washington D.C. to prove they have the culinary skills to be the next MASTERCHEF. Only one talented home cook will join MASTERCHEF winners Shaun O’Neale (Season Seven), Claudia Sandoval (Season Six), Courtney Lapresi (Season Five); Luca Manfe (Season Four); Christine Ha (Season Three), the first-ever blind contestant; Jennifer Behm (Season Two); and Whitney Miller (Season One) in the elite group of MASTERCHEF titleholders.

This season features 40 contestants from all walks of life, representing 18 states – including a debt collector, dentist, PE teacher, Harvard student, swimsuit model and two ministers – all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality.

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the Top 40 Home Cooks who will participate in the MASTERCHEF Battle for a White Apron:









Pacific Beach

Lauren Lawless

Sales Rep



Brien O’Brien

Magazine Ad Sales






Paola Annoni Patel



Heather Dombrosky

Registered Nurse

    Land O’Lakes

Danny Flores

Steel Supplier


Jeff Philbin

Marketing Director 










Paige Jimenez

Swimsuit Model



Tom Ward








Caitlin Meade




Eboni Henry

Addiction Counselor






Jennifer Williams

Debt Collector


New Orleans

Janice Scott

Tour Guide



Kelseay Reed

Events Planner



Lesci Oubre

Phys. Ed. Teacher







Adam Wong

Harvard Student



Daniel Pontes-Macedo

Substitute Teacher



Jason Wang

High School Music Teacher



David Smith

Wedding Singer






Ann Arbor

Julia Huldin

Food Truck Promoter



Yachecia Holston



New Jersey




North Arlington

Michael Lertchitvikul

Former Startup COO


New York





Dino Luciano Ignacio




Mia Rivera

Grocery Clerk







Jenny Cavellier

Special Needs Therapist



Josh Cooper

Political Consultant






Oklahoma City

Gabriel Lewis

Fast Food Server



Ty Hamilton







Myrtle Beach

Shasta Dring




Mark Togni

Stay-at-home Dad







Caitlin Jones



Puerto Rico 





Nilka Barbosa

Human Resources


South Carolina





Necco Ceresani

Marketing Manager







Taylor Waltmon

Digital Marketer



Reba Billingsley

Stay-at-home Mom



Mike Newton

Ranch Owner







Aakash Trivedi

Client Manager






   Shawn Niles




Washington, D.C.





Angel Anderson

Spice Store Owner



Jessica Heath

Former Model



Sam Reiff-Pasarew

Creative Writing Teacher

MASTERCHEF is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Robin Ashbrook, Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Georgie Hurford-Jones, Gordon Ramsay, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. “Like” MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefonFOX and join the discussion with #MasterChef. See photos and videos on Instagram @MasterchefonFOX. Follow the judges on Twitter: Gordon Ramsay - @gordonramsay; Christina Tosi - @christinatosi; Aarón Sánchez - @Chef_Aaron.

About One Potato Two Potato
Renowned for award-winning original programming, One Potato Two Potato produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, the blockbuster MASTERCHEF, irresistible spin-off MASTERCHEF JUNIOR and MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN, all for FOX; as well as “Best New Restaurant” and competition series “Food Court Wars.” In the U.K., OPTP produces “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape,” for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series “My Kitchen,” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel; and “Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch,” starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children’s channel CBBC. OPTP has also produced two instructional cookery series featuring Gordon Ramsay, “Ultimate Home Cooking” and “Ultimate Cookery Course,” both of which have sold all over the globe.

About Studio Ramsay and Gordon Ramsay
The next-generation multi-media production company STUDIO RAMSAY has a joint venture with All3Media to develop and produce both unscripted and scripted television shows, creating new formats and innovative programming that includes a scripted arm focused on food-related themes, and development of new talent on a global front. The catalogue of programs that Ramsay has worked on historically with All3Media via One Potato Two Potato, together with new original content he’s currently developing, make for a unique and dynamic production and distribution partnership. Studio Ramsay’s first production, live food variety show THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY, premieres later this month on FOX. Its first daytime cooking series, “Culinary Genius,” premiered this spring on ITV in the U.K. while his new documentary series for ITV will premiere this fall.

Renowned for highly successful and award-winning original programming, multi-Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay produces TV  shows on both sides of the Atlantic seen by audiences worldwide, including his FOX shows MASTERCHEF, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, HELL’S KITCHEN,  MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN and the upcoming THE F WORD WITH GORDON RAMSAY, as well as Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” and Food Network’s competition series “Food Court Wars.” In the U.K., he’s produced “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape” for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series “My Kitchen” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel; two instructional cookery series, “Ultimate Home Cooking” and “Ultimate Cookery Course” for Channel 4; and the first two seasons of “Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch,” starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children's channel CBBC, all under his One Potato Two Potato banner.

About Endemol Shine North America
Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world.

Its Endemol Shine Studios division develops and produces original scripted television programming in the U.S. for global exploitation and Endemol Shine Latino oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and now across all of Latin America. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind such hit series as “Big Brother” (CBS), “The Biggest Loser” (NBC), “Ink Master” (Spike), “Kingdom” (AT&T Audience Network), MASTERCHEF (FOX), MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), “The Almost Impossible Game Show” (MTV), “Swamp People” (History), “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo), “Steve Harvey” (NBCU), “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” (VH1), “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” (CMT), “Billion Dollar Buyer” (CNBC), “Hunted” (CBS), and upcoming “Best.Cover.Ever” (Youtube), “Fear Factor” (MTV), “Ambulance” (CBS), “Page Six TV” (Syndicated), “Trading Spaces” (TLC), SUPERHUMAN (FOX) and “I’m Dying Up Here” (Showtime).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For episodic photos and more information on MASTERCHEF, please visit]

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