November 19, 2011 09:44 AM by Lisa Princ
Who can forget fan favorite, Ben Starr of Fox‘s Masterchef? Certainly not us! Ben Starr won us over this past season with his fun personality, and his ability to overcome the obstacles to prove he was one of the best home cooks on the show. Recently, we had a chance to chat with Ben one on one, where he dished about the show, and what he has been up to since then. Read on for our exclusive interview with Ben Starr!
Masterchef fans fell in love with Ben Starr during the show’s second season, as his fun personality, and love of food was evident as he tried to prove to the judges that he was one of the best home cooks. If you thought Ben Starr was fun and down to earth on the show, you will be thrilled to know Ben Starr is still as fun as he was on the show – he was by far one of my funnest interviews! One thing that Ben Starr wanted to make very clear from the start our chat, as he told me he still prefers to be called a home cook instead of a chef, was that he never wants people to think that he is unapproachable. In fact, he is still the same ole down to earth Ben Starr, who loves cooking, and loves to teach and encourage others!
Next Ben and I chatted a bit about his upcoming project, and while he could not reveal too many details, he did hint that he was working with Gordon Ramsay, and trying to brand himself, and broaden his recognition. Ben Starr is always uploading new videos to YouTube, to help guide you to making the perfect recipe. While Ben has no desire to be the next Rachel Ray, he likes to think of himself as the perfect addition to any dinner party, while showing his fans, that yes, good guys do still exist. Ben Starr loves to hear from his fans, and he emphasized that he would always like to remain accessible to them. You can add Ben Starr to your Facebook and Twitter lists: Ben Starr on Facebook and Ben Starr on Twitter. Even cooler yet, is that on Monday, Ben will be setting up a hotline, where he can help give people tips and tricks for Thanksgiving – or if you have a Turkey emergency!
Next, we moved on to some questions.
RTVM: Did you ever think you would have made it as far as you did on Masterchef?
Ben Starr: Before I arrived, I did, because I had done reality TV before. I stood by my own rules, and did not play the reality TV game. Then, when I got there, and saw how well everyone could cook, I expected to go home with my crappy dishes. I certainly did not expect to get as far as I did.
RTVM: You quickly became a fan favorite because of your personality, versus others, such as Christian, who came across as arrogant. Was he really as bad as he was portrayed? I mean, past contestants, including Jennifer, have said he is the same way on and off camera.
Ben Starr: Christian is one of the coolest people I have ever met. It’s really a shame that the good stuff was edited out. I actually stayed with him in Maine for a bit. You know, he and Jennifer had a feud going that carried on behind the scenes. I adore them both, but if I had to pick someone to stay with, I would stay with him.
RTVM: Do you think he should have won over Jennifer?
Ben Starr: Actually, if it came down to passion and creativity, as well as skill, Adrien should have won. It’s another one of those editing issues, where you did not get to see all that genuine passion from Adrien. If it was based on pure skill alone, Christian should have won.
RTVM: If you go back and change anything, would you?
Ben Starr: Yes I would. The challenge that got me kicked off, I would redo. Instead of cooking venison the way Gordon Ramsay told me to, I would have done my way. I have been cooking venison for years, I normally sear it and then leave the inside rare, and it is delicious. I wish I hadn’t asked Gordon Ramsay for his advice, but I did. I did venison my way at least 1,000 times in my life, and I should have stuck with that. In the end, I went with Gordon’s advice, and it ended up overcooked, but I thought I may have lost points for not doing it his way.
RTVM: What was it like working with the judges on Masterchef?
Ben Starr: Well, I auditioned for the first season, and I knew of Gordon Ramsay from his BBC shows. I admit it, I have never watched Hell’s Kitchen before – I can’t watch it – I need positive happiness. That is what Gordon does in is F Word show, it’s amazing, and I was accustomed to that warm side of him. There was about a 4 day period that I just sweated through, thinking “What have I gotten myself into?” Graham and Joe were kind of unknown then, so I was thinking maybe they wouldn’t have been doing season two, but then they asked me if I was familiar with Joe Bastianich, and I was shaking in my boots. But once you get to know him, he is a great guy. Something interesting is that Joe is a bit camera shy, so he had to think of what he wanted to say, and many times it would be edited out, so all you would see was his stare – which is intimidating. Despite that though, I was the most intimidated by Gordon Ramsay, because we have a special relationship, and I was terrified of letting him down.
Ben Starr also wanted his fans to know that he has started a cookbook series, FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Every Recipe Has a Story, which can be found on his website: Benstarr.com. Ben believes that food is not just a formula, but that each recipe does have a unique story, and that is exactly what you will find in his cookbook. Ben also shared a delicious Thanksgiving pie recipe with us, that we will posting tomorrow for our viewers. Remember to add Ben Starr to your Facebook and Twitter lists: Ben Starr on Facebook and Ben Starr on Twitter!
A huge thank you to Ben Starr for chatting with me yesterday, it was such a pleasure to chat with you – you are one heck of a person, and we look forward to hearing the exciting details of your future endeavors!
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Photo Credit: FOX