For the first time on Fox’s reality cooking competition show, Master Chef, a black woman in her mid-40s has won the coveted title, “Master Chef.”
Dorian Hunter,45, emerged winner during the series’ 10th edition in the U.S. She out-cooked two other contestants, San Diego’s Sarah Faherty and Rhode Island resident Nick DiGiovanni to win the $250,000 prize money, Parade magazine reported.
Speaking to the magazine on her win, she said, “I am the oldest person to ever be in the finale and that says a lot. You know what I am saying? I am 45. The people I was up against could be my babies.”
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“It’s crazy, so it is never too late for you to say, you know that dream that I had, I’m going to go ahead and dust it off and try to make it work. I failed a lot, but here I am. I am succeeding now, so it is never too late,” she added.
Aside the big win, Dorian will self-author a cookbook and be mentored by the show’s judges and world acclaimed chefs including host and judge Gordon Ramsay, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Bastianich.
To her the opportunity to train with the judges in their restaurants is priceless.
“Is it bigger than the money? Of course,” she says. “It is way bigger than the money. This year, with everything they are giving out to the person who wins, it outweighs the money.
“You can’t put a price on the training you are going to get out of each of these chefs’ restaurants.”
The Atlanta native and her competitors whipped up a sizzling three-course meal for the judges in the finale but Hunter’s appetizer of seared scallops with cornmeal tuille, sweet corn puree and pickled swiss chard, an entrée of applewood smoked short ribs with potato and horseradish gratin as well as a lemon blueberry tart for dessert brought the money home for her.
Hunter had to keep the win a secret from family and friends since the competition was pre-recorded. She and her family and friends had a watch party when the show was aired on TV and her utmost gratitude was to her family.
“This is a life-changer and I’m so happy to, not my fans, but my family,” she said, adding that, “I’d just like to say thank you to everybody here in Atlanta and everybody in Canton, Ohio who have supported me and who have sent me prayers and who have sent me well-wishes.”
With regards to her upcoming cookbook, Hunter restated her mantra throughout the competition which is to incorporate her “elevated soul” type of cooking into her book.
“My vision for my cookbook would be what I have been saying all season, elevated soul,” she said.
“I don’t want to be too rustic, because I think that has already been done a lot, but I want to show soul food cooking done in a different way – in a beautiful way, not just in a homestyle way,” Black enterprise reports.
When it comes to plating food, the judges have said throughout the seasons that aesthetics come into play. Hunter added that, the meals in her cookbook will be “plated differently and presented in a different manner.”
In a few years to come Hunter hopes to open her own restaurant banking on her Master Chef title and the $250,000 as seed money. She hopes to bring on investors or take a loan to support the winning money that may reduce after it is taxed, Parade reported.
“I always say that having the title is more than the money. I am hoping to be able to work the title to, ultimately, open up that restaurant.”