I just got back from a year abroad in Japan and figured I'd do an AMA; got back into reddit earlier this year and it seemed fun. Feel free to ask whatever you'd like! It can be about the show, my experiences abroad, cooking, etc.

Instagram @nathaneodom

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/dOwrvpN?

Edit: Thanks so much for gold! I'll try and keep answering questions throughout the next few hours, and if there's anything you're reaaally curious about feel free to PM me and I'll try to get back to you.

Edit 2: Platinum?! Thank you all for having such interesting questions!

Update: I'm off for the night, but will try to answer any lingering questions in the morning. This has been a great experience!

Comments: 1326 • Responses: 97  • Date: 

squid50s1102 karma

What’s somethings that goes on behind the scenes, that the viewers wouldn’t know about?

P.S. Late congrats on winning!

tarte-aux-pommes3402 karma

The little "confessional" scenes where they cut to contestants talking are actually filmed after each episode, kind of like recaps. This means that the kids who are like "I don't want to go home!!" already know they got eliminated

Averill212129 karma

I freaking knew it

TwatMobile367 karma

I always thought it was obvious. Like when people were literally trying to hold back tears "I hope I can make it!!" Haha

kievaughn316 karma

I always thought they asked them questions like, "tell me what you were thinking when X was happening" and then cut it down to their responses

tarte-aux-pommes237 karma

Yeah, that's pretty much how it goes.

CallToMuster1006 karma

What’s one thing you wish you knew before going in? Also, how has your life changed after winning?

tarte-aux-pommes1769 karma

I wish I had known that the amount of exposure/opportunities I thought I'd have wouldn't be as much as I actually ended up with. Of course I'm super thankful for the whole experience, and the prize money did allow me to go on exchange in Japan and is going to be extremely helpful in my future. Also, my obsession with food has grown significantly since winning.

CardboardSoyuz957 karma

Does anyone actually run out of time between finishing their dish and plating it? Never once on one of these shows have I seen someone not finish the plating for lack of time.

tarte-aux-pommes1112 karma

Absolutely! In earlier episodes they usually edit it out, but I've seen people miss certain intended components that leads to their elimination.

scott81425936 karma

When they shoot those scenes where the judges get turned into banana splits or whatever, do you guys just chill out there while they get their makeup redone and stuff?

tarte-aux-pommes1032 karma

There's a solid 1-2 hour break afterwards, yeah. It's still pretty quick considering how much they get dumped on them

colin12142796 karma

What is the actual length of the tasting scene by the judge and doesn't the food gets cold when your the last one?

tarte-aux-pommes1133 karma

Oh yeah, it's all ice cold by the time the judges get to it. The tasting probably takes about 2-3 hours in the beginning, and gets shorter as the amount of kids decreases.

kernal133799 karma

I would hate to just stand there for 3 hours waiting. I hope they give you chairs to sit on!

tarte-aux-pommes173 karma

There's a lot of surfaces to lean on, but not chairs unfortunately. The first time sucked but you get used to standing around in between, it's not too bad really

IAmGrum503 karma

Are the children given "outfits" to wear for each episode, and told to dress in that style each time?

It seems that there is always one kid who wears a baseball cap (that changes each episode), another that wears fancy clothes, another that wears garish colours, another that's wearing flannel, etc.

tarte-aux-pommes868 karma

We bring our own wardrobes at the beginning of filming, and the producers pick outfits for us every episode based on what they want your "image" to be. Mine was black pants and black converse (every. episode.) while the top changed every time. A very interesting question actually, and something not a lot of people ask about

flamingglobes484 karma

What's your favorite meal to cook?

tarte-aux-pommes892 karma

Definitely my late-grandmother's pasta sauce. It's a pretty laborious process (takes about 6 hours to make) but it always reminds me of her and everyone in our family loves it.

olliepots264 karma

Can you share the recipe?

tarte-aux-pommes1870 karma

She'd probably come back from the dead and hit me with a wooden spoon, so unfortunately I cannot

TheTWP459 karma

What was Gordon like? Did he ever get mean with people or was he just awesome all the time? And do you guys still keep in touch at all?

tarte-aux-pommes827 karma

I tweet him once in a while and he'll respond, but he's very busy so I don't expect him to be available all the time. He's absolutely amazing

changaroo13455 karma

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

tarte-aux-pommes1389 karma

That's a tough one. I wish I could say it was some michelin-starred restaurant, or a dish cooked by a famous chef, but probably the tostadas I got from a truck the last time I went to Mexico. There's an old woman down in Ensenada who makes the best I've ever tasted

miles2912560 karma

I was expecting some generic ama. But after this comment I think you're the most real person on Reddit. Congrats on the win.

tarte-aux-pommes195 karma

Thank you! One thing I've tried to focus on throughout the course of MasterChef is that some of the greatest food doesn't get the recognition it deserves just because it doesn't fit the description of what "gourmet" food should look/taste like.

sdforbda105 karma

That's why I loved Anthony Bourdain so much. He immersed himself in the local culture and foods rather than going to the fancy places for the most part.

tarte-aux-pommes94 karma

god I miss him. the news of his death hit me so much harder than I could have imagined

AdeptAcorn424 karma

Do you know how the contestants are chosen? I always had the feeling they were children of well-connected parents.

tarte-aux-pommes768 karma

That's what I thought at the time of applying as well, which is part of why I never expected to actually get on the show.

The auditions are open to children of all backgrounds, and they are typically chosen by a mixture of how well they perform on camera and how good they are at cooking. Some kids make up for their average cooking skills with a great personality, and vice-versa.

W4T3R_W0RKS424 karma

As a young aspiring chef who is only in middle school do you have any tips? I’m only in the 7th grade but being a chef has been my dream ever since my mother taught me to cook when I was 5. I take classes at my local Sur La Table and cook at home whenever I can. I’m decent at best and trying my hardest to get better. Any tips?

Ps: My mom and I watched you win! Congrats!

Edit: This is my first silver ever. Thanks so much

tarte-aux-pommes526 karma

I'm so happy to hear that you have a passion for food/cooking as well! My best advice would be to focus less on how other people say cooking should be done. Once you've nailed the basics, knife skills, cooking temperatures, etc. you can feel free to branch out into different regional cuisines and cook food that pleases you personally. I think everyone has a cooking "style" so be careful not to let your own flair be washed away by society's ideas about how food should taste. Good luck!

Bettiered398 karma

What's your next cooking adventure? And second, what is your least favorite? It can be your least favorite anything. Food to eat or make, flavor, movie, song...

tarte-aux-pommes796 karma

I'm going to return to Japan (probably sometime next year) and train in a restaurant. I'd eventually like to open my own down the road, so I need more experience.

I absolutely despise artificial grape flavoring.

IAmAbigfatcow394 karma

How long did the process take? From initial application to completion of filming?

Congrats on the win!!

tarte-aux-pommes673 karma

Thank you!

I applied in late-2013, and filming took place the following Spring. The actual series was filmed over about 6 weeks, but the gap between when we finished filming and when it aired was almost a year, so I had to keep quiet about the whole thing.

ThePyroPython301 karma

Follow up question: How difficult was it to keep quiet about the outcome? Did anyone know before it aired?

tarte-aux-pommes583 karma

My close family knew, but I kept it from my extended family and all of my friends. It was pretty emotionally tolling having to hide such a big thing from the people I cared about, but I understand why it had to be that way

kilowatkins180 karma

That's a big secret to expect a kid to keep! Were there consequences if you told people?

tarte-aux-pommes85 karma

Since I signed a proper NDA, the penalty for telling people (assuming the news of the outcome got out) was a lawsuit and potential fine, as well as cancellation of the entire season. It sounds extreme but this is the case for most competition shows

Duzlo344 karma

What ingredients do you put in an average sandwich?

tarte-aux-pommes506 karma

I'm not a huge fan of deli meats so I'll usually either use leftover meat from another dish/stew or bacon. As far as vegetables, I stick with lettuce, tomato, green peppers, and onions for the most part. I always go light on mustard/mayo just because they can really easily overpower everything else

kkeahi293 karma

Do you guys get recipies? I have a hard time believing 24 kids know how to bake cupcakes from scratch.

tarte-aux-pommes482 karma

For baking in particular a lot of the ingredients are pre-measured, but we do develop and conceptualize the recipes by ourselves. For regular cooking (i.e non-baked goods) we generally have a rough set of guidelines just so nobody completely fails, but we receive way less help than you'd think

roll_fizzlebeef_16256 karma

I've always wondered, do the judges likely have their minds made up on the winning/losing dishes before calling people to the front for the official taste test?

Because if they spend two minutes critiquing each dish (which is how it appears to the viewer), wouldn't the last ones to be tasted be stone cold?

tarte-aux-pommes441 karma

They go around and taste individual components such as sauces while we're cooking, so they have an idea of whether or not it was correctly made even though it's cold by the time they taste it

drippingwithsunshine253 karma

I saw you mentioned that the filming takes about six weeks. What do those six weeks look like? Are you filming every day? Do they teach you like it’s a cooking camp? Do you all stay in a dorm together? Are your parents in town with you?

tarte-aux-pommes456 karma

We all stay in the same hotel in different rooms with our parents. We have filming maybe 4-5 times a week, and all other time can be used for individual practice, leisure, whatever you want really. Because of child labor laws, we can only be on set for 3-4 hours per day, so there are some limitations as to how much we can actually work on the show in one day.

MrsChimpGod122 karma

Are there kitchens in the hotel rooms? Where do you practice?

tarte-aux-pommes319 karma

There are practice kitchens on set, but not in the hotel. I had a cheap cutting board and knife that I used for knife skills, and a microwave, but that's it. Some of the kids used the iron to make grilled cheese and stuff but I didn't want to get fined because the hotel equipment is covered in melted gruyere

seffend78 karma

It's considered work...do contestants get paid to be in the show?

tarte-aux-pommes236 karma

unfortunately, we don't receive compensation solely for being in the show. we're given money for daily expenses, airfare, and all that so we're not coming out of pocket.

14Three8246 karma

How much pressure would you say you’re working under and how much experience did you have in cooking before going on the show?

tarte-aux-pommes403 karma

Before going on the show I had taken a cooking class and of course cooked at home in my free time, but had no professional experience. The pressure doesn't seem too bad looking back on the whole thing, but at the time I was freaking out pretty much every episode.

mothertrucker201757 karma

Yeah I don’t know how the kids do it? I have a hard enough time picking something off the menu when it’s my time to order.

tarte-aux-pommes159 karma

I think choosing from a menu is a whole different ballpark. I get really bad FOMO every time I order food at a restaurant so I usually convince whoever I'm with to order the other thing I want just so I can have at least a bite. Selfish? Yeah. Does it give me peace of mind and keep me from wondering what could have been all night? Also yes

360walkaway226 karma

Did you learn more about cooking or swearing from the show?

tarte-aux-pommes484 karma

My dad is a tattoo artist, so I was already a pro at swearing at the time. Definitely cooking

360walkaway175 karma

So you're saying you learned nothing about the art of swearing from Gordon Ramsay? Your dad must be a legend then.

tarte-aux-pommes441 karma

You have no idea... he makes Gordon Ramsay look like Mr. Rogers

sadlymen222 karma

Whats Gordon Ramsay like?

tarte-aux-pommes591 karma

he's the best. super nice, really energetic (bordering on too energetic sometimes) and genuinely cares about everyone involved with filming. I've never seen him talk down to any of the staff or kids, and he's pretty unanimously adored by everyone on set

Bammerice210 karma

Wikipedia says you're from San Diego. I too am from there. What's your favorite restaurants out there?

tarte-aux-pommes356 karma

Urban Solace (RIP) and Carnita's Snack Shack (RIP) were two of my faves. I don't know what to do with myself now that they're gone and I'm not paying 100 dollars to eat at Addison anytime soon

lilscm192 karma

Do you know the theme/challenge ahead of time before filming so that you can actually practice your dish before making it for the camera?

tarte-aux-pommes351 karma

We usually get a rough idea of what we'll be making, so we can practice certain components and finalize our ideas. It'd be an absolute shitshow if we had to come up with everything on the spot ahaha

pinkfloydchick6451 karma

How far ahead of time do you get the rough ideas of what you'll be cooking?

tarte-aux-pommes135 karma

No more than a day or so, enough time that we're still comfortably uncomfortable if that makes any sense.

Jackrwood186 karma

During filming of the episodes do the parents stay?

tarte-aux-pommes334 karma

My mother was with me the whole time but my dad was back in San Diego. Most kids have just one parent that stays with them, and our other isn't allowed to visit until we're eliminated (or in my case, win). We're allowed to skype though, so it's not that bad

sbeck14156 karma

Favorite and least favorite part of being on the show?

tarte-aux-pommes376 karma

Favorite part was definitely finding other kids who share my passion for cooking, I made quite a few friends and it helped me be more confident in myself. My least favorite part was definitely having to act more energetic than I actually am for the camera. I'm a pretty relaxed, quiet person so that was a challenge.

rcw16143 karma

Was there any drama between the contestants? I have a hard time believing that a group of elementary-middle school age kids get along with everyone and don’t form cliques or have any drama. It just seems so wholesome, which is why I love watching it, but I’m wondering what goes on behind the scenes.

tarte-aux-pommes236 karma

Some of us definitely had clashing personalities but we're all kind of united by the love of cooking. Even though we'd have disagreements once in a while it was generally a very wholesome environment and we all got along pretty well. It might depend on the season/batch of kids though

ClaudeKaneIII135 karma

Is reality TV something you would let your future children do?

tarte-aux-pommes260 karma

If they really wanted to experience it for themselves I wouldn't feel right holding them back, but I'd definitely tell them what they don't see on TV. I personally am an introvert so I was in kind of over my head, but it's not necessarily bad at all

cmbf4133 karma

Which judge you actually got the best feedback from?

tarte-aux-pommes285 karma

As far as constructive feedback, Graham was honestly the most detailed. Not to say that Gordon didn't have great advice as well, which he did. Joe was more of a this is good/this is not good kind of guy

Accomplished_Square132 karma

What did you do in Japan?

tarte-aux-pommes292 karma

Just went to a regular high school, learned the language, taught a couple of cooking classes for my school, and lived there normally for about a year. It was pretty great

Accomplished_Square119 karma

Did you know Japanese before going? I have heard that Japanese schools have good food. Did you experience this and what was your favorite?

tarte-aux-pommes254 karma

My Japanese wasn't fantastic, but I could kinda get around. Now I have JLPT N2 Certification and have no problem with the language.

Can confirm, our cafeteria food was delicious

xAaronnnnnnn99 karma

Why does it seem like everyone finishes last second on the show? Are there some people that just chill for the last 10 minutes?

tarte-aux-pommes209 karma

It's just edited that way. I usually finished a couple minutes before the time ran out. They actually have us film an extra little "tens seconds left!!!" segment for camera after time actually runs out

etnguyen0395 karma

For this "ten seconds left!!!" segment do you just take things off your plate and be like "oh my god I need to put this on and I only have ten seconds dsldkfjaflsdj!!!!"?

tarte-aux-pommes246 karma

My signature move was having some diced chives ready to just saltbae over my dish when we filmed that segment. everybody had a little finishing thing that they pretended to do

emilyeverafter93 karma

What precautions are put in place with the much younger contestants operating kitchen equipment? Are the eight year olds subjected to as high of standards as the older kids, would you say?

tarte-aux-pommes162 karma

We aren't allowed to use really dangerous equipment, like meat slicers, but even the young kids are taught how to properly use knives and other equipment to minimize injury. We do have medics on set and cutting yourself when you cook is kind of unavoidable, so it's no big deal

TwatMobile92 karma

What's your advice for someone that has never cooked? How can I start enjoying cooking?

tarte-aux-pommes219 karma

I would say just start simple, easy recipes like scrambled eggs, and then work your way up. A big part of cooking is learning how to control heat, so depending on the kind of stove you have just play around until you find a heat that works for you. For knife skills, don't try and be too quick when you're starting out and invest in a decently sharp knife. Victorinox is a great brand if you want a decent knife that won't break the bank

JohnWad88 karma

What condiments do you personally love to put on hot dogs?

tarte-aux-pommes145 karma

Relish and Ketchup. I'm not a huge fan of mustard.

(If bacon counts as a condiment, that too)

Keeblerliketheelf80 karma

Are you subscribed to r/Nathan ?

tarte-aux-pommes123 karma

I am now

c_lytine74 karma

What were your favourite competitors from your season? Best challenge? Are you in touch of any of your former competitors?

tarte-aux-pommes133 karma

I loved Riley and Ryan-Kate. Spent a lot of time with them offset, and still keep in touch with some of the others to this day. Logan from Season 2 and I talk a lot as well

Jon_D0PE69 karma

Congrats on winning!!!!

What made you love the world of food. I never find myself wanting to engage in making food or discovering new recipes. Where did your love for it come from?

tarte-aux-pommes135 karma

Thank you!

It probably started when I took my first cooking class in fifth grade. I had a really passionate cooking teacher who brought us to farms on field trips and basically showed us why he loves food so much, and it kind of rubbed off on me. I think it's one of the few art forms that incorporates all of your senses and is a really uniquely human experience

kzygawd68 karma

What was your first reaction to being complemented by Gordon Ramsay?

Edit: Ramsey->Ramsay

tarte-aux-pommes127 karma

I was happy for the rest of the day. Seriously. It didn't matter what happened for the next 24 hours

WesleyDonaldson62 karma

How often do you cook for schoolmates?

tarte-aux-pommes106 karma

I bake for my friends once in a while but otherwise, almost never. Of course, on their birthdays and other special occasions I might make something

parijatwashere60 karma

isn't it annoying when the judges come up to your counter and keep asking questions?

tarte-aux-pommes154 karma

sometimes, for sure. especially during the finale I was like "I'm busy!!!!!go!!!!"

DevannB57 karma

Not a question - you look like someone I went to school with. (You definitely aren't him though - we're from the south.)

You were the one we wanted to win, so it was cool to see you win.

What was it like to cook for Gordon Ramsay, the guy whom the internet always makes out as this loud guy with a zero-tolerance policy on undercooked meat?

tarte-aux-pommes89 karma

Thanks so much! Weird coincidence

At first it was definitely intimidating but he's really nice about it in person. Sometimes he can get a bit intense but he just wants to bring out the best in each competitor because he truly cares about us

AlexJenkinss53 karma

In a previous comment you mentioned that there was less opportunities for you than you initially imagined.

Do you think this is due to your age? And if so, do you think as you get older you’ll start to see more opportunities open up?

Thanks for doing this AMA, super jealous of people like yourself that can actually cook well

tarte-aux-pommes107 karma

I think my age definitely kept me from being respected in certain parts of the culinary community, but I would say my personality (I'm far from extroverted) was more limiting than anything. Still, I expected that I would be able to do more events through MasterChef than I actually did, which is partially just because of bad timing.

Anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great ;)

SizzlingSloth50 karma

Is it staged?

tarte-aux-pommes113 karma

Nope, it's all real. 100% of the cooking is done by the kids, and we don't receive scripts. The judges do have people telling them what to say as far as introductions and whatnot

hendrick_X49 karma

Hey Nathan , also want to give you my late congrats.

I recently got engaged to a girl that has studied gastronomy. So your answer may also inspire a gift :p.

What would you say it is the most important equipment ( or your favorite) for a professional cheff that a normal person normally does not have at home?

tarte-aux-pommes104 karma

A really, really good knife.

One of the first things I bought with my winnings was a beautiful Japanese chefs knife (a kiritsuke). It makes cutting vegetables, meat, and fruit so much easier and reduced the wrist pain I was experiencing from struggling with hard vegetables.

if she's into gastronomy though, I'd invest in a vitamix/similarly great blender. It's good for gels, purees, foams, you name it

Deadmeat55349 karma

Is there any particular dish that you've been working towards eventually making? Something that you think is still beyond your current skillset, but you want to make someday?

Why that dish? What makes it so difficult?

tarte-aux-pommes158 karma

Sushi. Let me get into why.

Sushi, while it doesn't seem extremely complicated, is one of the hardest foods to get right in my opinion. for nigiri, knife cuts have to be flawless, the ratio of vinegar to rice exact, and the temperature is crucial as well. Rolled sushi (makizushi) has to have the right proportion of rice to filling to seaweed, which is hard to get correct. And of course, the social aspect of it. Most sushi chefs go through years if not decades of training before they have "mastered" their craft, which I personally think is very admirable. Does that mean I'm willing to put in all that work?


Caitsyth46 karma

What is your biggest guilty pleasure prepackaged food/meal? I feel like everyone has that one thing like Kraft Dinner where you know it’s lazy but you just can’t resist sometimes

tarte-aux-pommes135 karma

Kraft mac and cheese and hot dogs. my family barely had enough money to get by when I was little, so this was a go-to meal for us

FermiDiracDist44 karma

Thanks for answering my first question. The other question I had was, what happens to all of the finished dishes that the judges taste? It seems that they only take a bite or two and then slide it under the podium. Does it get eaten or just thrown out?

tarte-aux-pommes123 karma

the food the judges taste gets thrown out after judging. unless it's really good. I've seen gordon clear a plate before just because he liked it

maruffin44 karma

Congratulations on your win. Master Chef is one of my favorite shows. There’s been so much lately about how reality shows are not on the up and up; that who is going to “win” is decided ahead of time. I know first hand that one of the real estate shows decided ahead of time which house was to be picked. Please know that I am not trying to take anything away from your win. I am genuinely happy for you. Were you aware of any “we’ve already decided who’s going to win” attitude from the judges?

tarte-aux-pommes101 karma

I don't think the show was completely void of bias. There are certain contestants who had way better on-screen personas, were more marketable, and would've done better for the show than me, I think, and the criticism they received might not have been as frank. However, it really does come down to cooking ability in the end, so there's only a certain amount of "planning" they can do.

tl;dr: not rigged, but definitely favorable to certain people

kilowatkins43 karma

What dish of yours were you most proud of on the show?

tarte-aux-pommes88 karma

Probably the dessert I made in the finale, an Earl Grey Meyer Lemon Tart with Blood Orange Coulis. I still make that tart from time to time

kilowatkins36 karma

My mouth was watering watching the judges taste that one! Do you mind sharing the recipe? I totally understand if you don't want to!

tarte-aux-pommes70 karma


Here you are! This one has already been published so I have no qualms about sharing it here as well

dynamikone41 karma

What's your go to fried rice recipe?

tarte-aux-pommes129 karma

I don't really use proportions when I cook, so it goes like

1 cup-ish of day old rice

1 egg, beaten

chives (enough)

2 cloves garlic

glug of soy sauce

drizzle of sesame oil

salt, pepper, shichimi togarashi

and maybe some chopped up meat if I have it

notjustanymike110 karma

When you're old enough, you're going to make a great drunk cook.

tarte-aux-pommes87 karma

I'm counting down the days

WolfMafiaArise40 karma

If you could get a job that doesn't have anything to do with cooking, what would it be?

tarte-aux-pommes80 karma

Honestly, I'd probably want to do some kind of crafting profession. I don't really care what it is, woodworking, textiles, weaving, art, as long as I get to work with my hands

lddiamond39 karma

What is one meal you despise making?

tarte-aux-pommes77 karma

Anything with hollandaise. it's a pain in the ass to make, I don't particularly like how it tastes, and it only lasts for like 3 minutes after plating

IlatzimepAho39 karma

Given the chance would you do another show? Hell’s Kitchen, chopped, anything along those lines or something else entirely?

tarte-aux-pommes70 karma

If the opportunity arises I'd definitely go on another show! Hell's Kitchen is a bit too much drama for me, but I wouldn't be opposed to a one-off competition or maybe a short series

ProwessSG39 karma

This has been bothering me for a long time everytime i watch Masterchef.

What actually happens to the food that didn't get tasted? Like there's a portion in the show that the judges will look at the dishes and pick the 3 dishes they want to taste the most.

What happens to the food that were not picked??

tarte-aux-pommes93 karma

if it's a complete dish, someone will probably eat it. hell, I missed out on judging in one mystery box and started just eating what I had on my plate. there really isn't much waste though, and the food in the pantry that doesn't get used is donated to local food banks

Ysorigin38 karma

How did filming the show interfere with school? Were you able to just take a 2 month "vacation" to go film and then you had to make everything up?

PS Loved the show! I also went to Japan, but it was after college. Taught English there for two years and got my N2 as well! Barely failed the N1 though T.T

tarte-aux-pommes73 karma

Good question! We actually had an onset tutor who assisted us with assignments, which were sent in by our respective schools. She was the nicest old lady, we all called her Sissy.

etnguyen0338 karma

Does Gordon curse on set as much as he does on Masterchef?

Congrats on winning!

tarte-aux-pommes92 karma

not as much, but a wayward fuck does slip out occasionally.

thank you!

Meyrdron36 karma

What was the biggest culinary mistake you saw during filming?

Also, big congrats on the win!

tarte-aux-pommes91 karma

I saw someone taste off of a spoon and put it back in the pot once, that really irked me. I won't name them for the sake of anonymity

dutchesskitty36 karma

Hi! I’ve always wondered... you said one parent comes and stays with you during filming but are they on set or do they have to stay in the hotel all day? Also, do the eliminated contestants have to stay hot the entirety of filming the season so they don’t give away when they were eliminated?

tarte-aux-pommes63 karma

Eliminated contestants go home within a day or so of being eliminated, but sometimes they come back at the end to cheer for the final two.

There's a building on site (not on the set but on the lot where it's filmed) where the parents stay while the kids are cooking/filming. They get to see what's going on on camera as well, and we go back there for lunch breaks and down time.

maglen6934 karma

How often between shoots did you all get to practice the foods you were about to cook?

I've heard anecdotally that it was upwards of a week. Confirm?

What's more important: Visual appeal or flavor? Can something look like shit but still taste amazing?

tarte-aux-pommes61 karma

It was more like a day or two between shoots, so we didn't have much time at all actually. A lot of it relied on our prior abilities.

I think visual appeal and flavor are a difficult balance to achieve, but I'd say flavor is by far more important. Provided it doesn't look absolutely foul, food doesn't have to look like a michelin-quality dish to taste good

TheHairyPlumbus32 karma

What is the best cheap dish in your opinion?

tarte-aux-pommes78 karma

Tacos al Pastor. I love them

Sashimiroll1628 karma

What is one tip you would give to a picky eater who wants to try new foods?

tarte-aux-pommes58 karma

I saw a tip online the other day for how to approach new foods. Even if it comes off as repulsive when you first taste a new food, just try to think "this is what this is supposed to taste like" and normalize the idea of eating that food in your mind. we often shy away from new foods just because they're unfamiliar, but you just need to approach them lightheartedly. and even if you decide you don't like it, that's the worst that can happen

JasonDinAlt27 karma

Great, great ama. Thanks for staying with it and answering so many questions.

What haven't we asked you yet about MasterChef behind the scenes? Anything else you can think of?

tarte-aux-pommes38 karma

I'm glad I decided to take a shot and see how it goes, I'm having a lot of fun with it!

One thing I haven't heard asked yet is how often we get to interact with the judges offset, which some of my friends were curious about after the show aired. While we don't talk to or spend time with the judges for the most part, they do come and say hi to us and our parents during filming once in a while and chat which surprised me. Gordon and Graham, particularly, are very down to earth and loved speaking with us and our parents.

haramberevenge25 karma

Do you like Japanese curry? It's one of my faves to cook

tarte-aux-pommes50 karma

I love it. I eat it probably once a week (even though I'm back in America and have to go out of my way to get it)

TheMasterLordB23 karma

Favourite pokemon?

tarte-aux-pommes58 karma


ldylion421 karma

I just started to teach myself to cook, and out of all the meats I'm really scared to cook chicken. Do you have any tips to cooking chicken without overdoing it?

P.S. late congrats!

tarte-aux-pommes61 karma

If you have the money to invest, consider getting a probe thermometer that can be used in the oven. I have a digital one that you stick into the meat before roasting, and then it beeps when it reaches the desired internal temperature. Just be sure to undercook it 5-10 degrees so you can sear it in a pan afterwards and get some color on the outside. This is called reverse-searing if you'd like to look more into it. Good luck!

RadSpaceWizard13 karma

Does your hair look like pasta because it's your favorite thing to make, like various cartoon characters?

tarte-aux-pommes28 karma

yes. it's the italian genes

mellifluousbird8 karma

Would you rather be chased by 1 horse-sized duck or 10 duck-sized horses?

tarte-aux-pommes10 karma

duck-sized horses, for sure.

TonySmokes5 karma

Nathan, could u give me a good recipe on chicken wings? Need to cook my girl something for our one month and her favorite food is chicken wings.

tarte-aux-pommes12 karma


This is a favorite of mine. simple but absolutely delicious

thatguyrich58915 karma

What's it like to have a edgy hair cut ?

tarte-aux-pommes22 karma

every time I take a step, a single electric guitar chord plays from an unknown location.

yuppiem3 karma

Of all the contestants of MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, who's your favorite and why?

tarte-aux-pommes7 karma

I don't think I can pick a favorite, there's so many great people...

just kidding, it's Riley from Season 3

cozybuilder3 karma

How did you get into cooking? Where is a good place to start learning? What region has your favorite foods (e.g. Japanese, European, French, Italian, etc.)

tarte-aux-pommes4 karma

Japanese food is by far my favorite, but I love French cuisine as well. I've always loved food, so cooking was a natural progression of that I suppose

StivanosD22 karma

Is gordon Ramsey an asshole to kids as much as he is to grown ups? Or less?

tarte-aux-pommes7 karma

He's not bad at all! Actually way nicer than most people would think

Stardustchaser2 karma

Congratulations! What is either an ingredient or a popular dish you haven’t cooked with, but would like to try?

tarte-aux-pommes5 karma

Thank you!
I've never tried raw oysters, which are pretty popular in San Diego at the moment. I just haven't had the opportunity to taste them yet

Insatiated1 karma

Aren’t you supposed to wait until the show finishes airing before you give it away?

tarte-aux-pommes2 karma

yep, it's been over for about 4 years now