Twin Cities delivery guy Jordan Roots is taking a shot at a dive-bar dream as a contestant on Fox’s “MasterChef.”
“I want to work as a chef somewhere, but my ultimate goal would be to be a chef and owner of a five-star dive bar,” Roots said Friday, “serving modern cuisine in a casual setting.”
Everyone is an amateur home cook on “MasterChef,” one of the TV shows starring the rather ill-tempered chef Gordon Ramsay. He’s so unpleasant in TV promos for “Kitchen Nightmares,” I never imagined I could spend an hour watching him. By accident I did, and I rather enjoyed Ramsay, on whose side I stand as he walked out the doors of Amy’s Baking Company, the Arizona restaurant that will go down in the annals of TV dining shows in numerous bad ways. Google it.
When you read Roots’ answer to my question about chefs talking over food they are not eating, know that his answer turned my stomach. We did this Q&A via e-mail because our schedules would not coincide. However, I tasted his Ancho Chile Pork Tostada prepared when Roots was at Fox 9 (www.tinyurl.com/JRancho), and the dish was delicious. Roots tells me he tasted the filleted beaver tail prepared on “MasterChef” by the amateur I’m calling “Crazy Eyed Brian from Texas” (www.tinyurl.com/MCbeaver). And here’s a link to Roots’ emotional “MasterChef” audition: www.tinyurl.com/JRaudition.
Q Could that have been something else besides beaver and you wouldn’t have known the difference?
A Can’t comment.
Q What does beaver taste like anyway?
A I tried Brian’s beaver when he was cooking it. It was very reminiscent of beef.
Q Why is “tastes like chicken” the phrase used to describe so many unusual dishes? I mean, rattlesnake couldn’t possibly taste like chicken.
A An overused phrase in my book. I think every meat, to an extent, has some sort of difference.
Q How are the spices arranged in your kitchen?
A My spices are on two racks, on opposite sides of the kitchen. I use them so often they are not in any order, because I am just grabbing what I need and putting them back erratically. Only I know exactly where each one is located.
Q Germ freaks want to know if TV chefs (servers and others) are aware that when they are TALKING over the food, they are SPITTING on the food?
A I think most chefs are aware that when someone leans over food and talks, a small amount of saliva might fall onto the food. However, I believe this would only be addressed if someone was sick. Sharing food is quite common. I don’t think it’s a concern.
Q What will you do to curb the overusage of salt in restaurant cooking?
A My food dream is to own a restaurant and cook with organic, farm-grown produce and meats. They already have such a great natural flavor that it doesn’t take much salt to bring it out. Using great produce curbs the amount of salt you need, in return making it healthier.
Q What is the most disgusting food you have ever put in your mouth?
A I roasted a pig’s head last summer; it was a great success! I was trying every piece I could get my hands on, but when I tried the eyeball in a corn tortilla … it was too much! The flavor was great; just couldn’t do the texture.
Q Did you spit it out or eat it?
A I gutted it down, barely. I try to never spit out any food unless I absolutely have to.
Q What is your favorite pig-out food?
A Homemade pizza with everything on it. You name it, it’s good on a pizza.
Q You dropped a “y’all” on “MasterChef.” That’s not a Minnesota expression?
A Y’all is not a Minnesotan expression in the least. I guess I am just unique.
Q Why do Minnesotans think cooking food outside over gas is “barbecuing” when you are only “barbecuing” if you are cooking with coal or wood?
A I think the barbecuing mistake is probably common in more places than Minnesota. However, I don’t mind the mix-up as long as the food tastes good.
Interviews are edited. C.J. be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.”