DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — An aspiring professional chef living in Dawson Creek made the Top 12 on last night’s fifth season premiere of Master Chef Canada.
28 year-old Jen Jenkins, who grew up in both Mackenzie and Prince George and now lives in the Mile Zero City, made her first appearance on the show last night, when the Top 21 contestants were whittled down to just 12. The contestants’ first challenge for the panel of three judges was to make a signature dish using an ingredient they had brought from home.
The stay-at-home mom had brought eggs with her to the challenge, deciding to wow the judges with her famous (among family and friends) Eggs Benedict. Jenkins explained that she’s worked on her version of the classic brunch dish for the better part of her life, and that it made sense she would open the competition with Eggs Benny.
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“I cook eggs everyday for myself, for my daughter, my husband. I figured why not go with that, and that’s what got me there today. For years and years I worked really hard on trying to create a Hollandaise sauce that was homemade instead of the packaged brand. I was always unhappy with the packaged brand. So I worked really hard on figuring out trying to make it and fixing it when it cracks. We used to have family meals every Sunday and I would do Eggs Benedict every time and everybody loved it. I would just start to put my own spin on it, but I’ve never done like I did last night with the potato nest. That was completely out of left field, I was like ‘I have to make it cooler, I have to make it better.’ And I did.”
After sampling all the dishes, the judges proclaimed that Jenkins was deserving of the white apron, allowing her to make the first cut of the competition. The winner will be walking away with $100,000 and the title of Master Chef Canada. Jenkins said that she’ll be continuing to stay focused during the rest of the competition in order to take home the title.
Even if she doesn’t take home the title, Jenkins said that she’s already incredibly happy with qualifying for the show, which she applied for last August. Regardless of how well she does during the TV competition, the amateur chef will be making a big step toward her goal of turning pro: Jenkins said that she and her family will be moving to Ontario later this year after she was accepted to the Stratford Chefs School. Jenkins said that she’ll begin her studies next fall, with the goal of achieving her dream of being paid to do what she loves: cook delicious food.
Master Chef Canada airs Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on CTV.