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EstrellaTV's 'MasterChef Latinos' Reveals Top 16 Amateur Chefs Vying for the Title of MasterChef

Representing Latinos from the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Venezuela, and Cuba, the Top 16 Start Their Journey as First Elimination Begins February 17

February 11, 2022 — EstrellaTV has revealed the 16 finalists for its first season of “MasterChef Latinos.” Revealed in the premiere episode that aired last night, the top 16 are a cross-section of Latinos from across the U.S., Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean. They come from a wide range of professions and backgrounds, from home cook to street cook, influencer to homemaker. New episodes air weekly every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m./7 p.m. to 9 p.m. CT, with encore showings on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m./6 p.m. to 8 p.m. CT. The series airs on EstrellaTV and streams on multiple platforms, including the EstrellaTV app on Roku, Android, and iOS devices.

The top 16 amateur chefs and home cooks who are advancing are:

Lulú Armendáriz, Los Angeles, CA – Real estate
Christopher Basteris, Mexico – Digital creator
Juan Rodriguez Cobos, Veracruz, Mexico – Government  employmee
Lorena DeCristofaro, Chandler, AZ - Teacher
Luis Ángel Esquivel, Michoacan, Mexico – Street vendor
Rafael Gabeiras, Venezuela – Actor
Raquel Gad, Miami and New York – Homemaker
Dalia Gonzalez, Sacramento, CA  – Stylist
Freddy Hidalgo, Mexico and Peru – Actor
Michelle Mathelin, Acapulco, Mexico – Businessperson
Mónica Patiño, Mexico City – Homemaker
Jesús Manuel Ponce, Monterrey, Mexico – Digital content creator
Elvia Rivera, Puerto Rico – Designer
Neuris Rivera- Houston, TX – Medical Assistant
Jesús Segovia, Chicago, IL – Auto Dealer
César Tolano, Sonora, Mexico – Businessperson

In episode two, airing Thursday, February 17, the first elimination round looms as our 16 MasterChef Latinos contestants face a series of challenges meant to show they are worthy of the title. Each week will see contestants eliminated based on skill tests, mystery boxes, team challenges, eliminations, and pressure tests. The season finale will feature a battle between the remaining three finalists who make it through the gauntlet.

Produced for EstrellaTV by Endemol Shine Boomdog, the series premiere showed the audition rounds with 50 potential amateur chefs and home cooks competing for the 16 aprons to advance. Contestants were shown preparing their best meals in front of MasterChef Latinos judges Chef Benito Molina, Chef Adrián Herrera, and Chef Claudia Sandoval.

The series aims to find the best amateur chefs and home cooks whose talent and passion could transform their lives. The diverse mix of contestants drives the energy and excitement of the show, with amateur chefs from a cross-section of Latin America and the U.S., including California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Puerto Rico, Mexico (Mexico City, Michoacan, Monterrey, Sonora), and Peru, among others. Thousands applied to audition for the 50 MasterChef audition spots, but only the top 16 chefs received a white apron and made it to the MasterChef kitchen. Once in the MasterChef kitchen, their culinary skills are pushed to the limit. It’s a life-changing journey for many, but only one will be crowned MasterChef.

A #1 rated show from the U.K. to Australia, France to Israel, Italy to the Middle East, and beyond, television's toughest talent series has truly become a global hit. Now produced in over 50 countries worldwide and broadcast in over 200 territories, MasterChef is watched globally by over 250 million viewers and has transformed over 100 amateur chefs into professionals. MasterChef Latinos is based on a format created by Franc Roddam.

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