HAVRE BOUCHER: A home chef from Havre Boucher is taking on 17 other amateur cooks just like herself to become a member of an elite cooking group of six title holders and to take home a $100,000 cash prize.
Jenny Miller, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom of four kids, who lives on a 50-acre hobby farm and produces as much of their own food as they can, is vying for her white apron, and ultimately contending for the Masterchef Canada title.
Miller told The Reporter in an interview on March 24, that she doesn’t have any childhood memories of being in the kitchen, as she only began cooking about 10-years ago when she became a mother and wanted to provide fresh, healthy food for her family.
“Watching the show, I always questioned how much better their food actually was from mine, so I decided to audition,” she said. “I cook everything from scratch and being a stay-at-home mom, I have all the time I ever need, but being on the show, the time limit is real, when you have one hour, you have exactly one hour to plan, grab your groceries, cook and plate your dish.”
Keeping the heat on high for Miller and the other hopefuls this season are esteemed judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile. With only a limited number of white aprons up for grabs, Miller will have to prove she has the culinary skills to cut it in the Masterchef Canada kitchen.
Her audition dish was a dark chocolate beet cake, which ended up being a big hit with the judges, one of whom was Andy Hay, last year’s runner-up of Season 5.
“I noticed during my audition that Andy ate about half of my dish, which was a great confidence booster.”
In a new twist this season, each judge selects six home cooks to invite to the Top 18, which each member receiving personal invitations delivered via courier.
“I was at home with family, when I got the call. I actually told the guy on the phone to ‘Shut up,’ because I thought it was my brother playing a joke on me,” Miller said. “Then it all became very real, very fast. This was actually happening, but during the application and audition process it felt like it was just a sheer dream.”
In each episode of Masterchef Canada, Miller will have her culinary expertise tested through a series of mystery box challenges, team challenges, and pressure tests, with the judges providing direction and feedback throughout the process.
“As a cook, I learned a lot about myself competing on Masterchef Canada. Going into it – I had very little confidence in myself, as the only people to ever eat my food has been my family. I have become such a better cook from this experience,” she said. “Walking into the Masterchef Canada kitchen for the first time, it is every aspiring cook’s dream come true, you’re finally there in a place you’re familiar with from watching it on TV. I was super overwhelmed with emotion.”
Miller, who advised she is a salt and pepper girl and someone who doesn’t work with a lot of different spices, found herself in heaven inside the pantry of the Masterchef Canada kitchen, which had anything and everything you could ever need or want as an ingredient.
Staring down the trio of gourmet gurus during judging was not the most stressful part of being on the show, according to Miller, but rather being away from her family and not knowing what was going on back at home. She said it was that strength from her family that kept her head in the right place.
Miller is one of three Nova Scotia women who are competing on Masterchef Canada Season 6.
A 2019 Canadian Screen Award nominee, Season 6 of Masterchef Canada kicks off with a special two-hour premiere on Monday, April 8 beginning at 9 p.m. on CTV before settling into its regular timeslot on Mondays at 10 p.m.