As the third episode of MasterChef Canada (Season 3) approaches on March 6, Albertans have two home cooks to cheer for as the competition heats up between the Top 14.
During the premiere episode on Feb.14, we saw six of 40 contestants earn a white apron and secure their place in the Top 14. Among those six home cooks are Albertans April Lee Baker, a homemaker who runs a hobby farm just outside of Calgary and Terry Adido, a PhD law student in Edmonton.
“If I were Alberta right now, I would get behind April Lee and Terry to support them,” says Travis Petersen, former Calgary contestant on the show. “They will show you exactly what chasing their dreams will do.”
Eighteen home cooks were selected for a second chance to cook for the judges, hoping to earn one of the remaining eight aprons in the Top 14. Among those 18 were Albertans Domingo Lumanog and Travis. The remaining 16 contestants unfortunately did not make the cut.
Unfortunately, during the second episode that aired on Feb.22, neither Domingo nor Travis was selected to be in the Top 14 and the episode marked the end of their MasterChef Canada journey. Nonetheless, their brief time on the show changed their lives in more ways they could imagine.
How MasterChef changed their lives
“I’m very fortunate,” says Travis. “I essentially got to do a pressure test on the show. But as soon as I finished (cooking) my tacos…I began picking them apart in my head and I knew I was done. I have a good memory of standing there in that moment and enjoying every second of what was happening around me.”
Although Travis would have loved the opportunity to continue on the show, he gives MasterChef credit for his new-found career and happiness.
Before the show, Travis was working out of Calgary as a manager in the oil and gas industry. Today, Travis lives in Kelowna, B.C. operating his own private catering business — The Nomad Cook — where he travels to other people’s homes and cooks for private dinner groups and parties.
“This is what I’ve been searching for, for so long,” he says. “MasterChef gave me just the push I needed to chase a dream and now it’s all come true. I was there for a short period of time that felt like forever because the impact it had on my life is just crazy.”
Travis continues to stay in touch with other contestants from the show and looks forward to watching the rest of the season.
“It was a life changing experience,” says Domingo as he reflects about his time on the show. “The show definitely gave me more confidence in my cooking and it was a great way to meet different people who have the same passion as you. It’s a different level of passion than I’ve seen before. It’s nice to know you’re not alone and that there are people out there who love something as much as you do.”
Domingo continues to live in Calgary working as a brand manager in the fashion industry. However, since the show, he also began his own initiative and in his free time he cooks for private groups and special get-togethers using his ability to cook with anything he can find.
“I go into their kitchen and cook with what they have available,” says Domingo. “My style is all about finding inspiration from what people already have. Food is really about the experience, so if I can go into someone’s home and show them a different way of using the ingredients they already have I can help them build more of a taste in every day food.”
While Domingo says he will never forget his experience on the show that has led to lifelong friendships, he also credited MasterChef Canada staff behind the scenes on their excellent work in portraying him for exactly who he is.
“It’s important to acknowledge the more than 200 people who put the show together,” he said. “I was really stressed that I wouldn’t be represented accurately, but I must say, it was a replication of me and I’m really proud to have been a part of it. I would absolutely do it again.”
He will continue to watch the rest of the season with his good friend and Top 14 contestant April Lee by his side.
Tune in to CTV on March 6 and cheer on April Lee and Terry as one of the country’s biggest cooking competitions heats up. (Check CTV.ca for local broadcast times).