Andrea Galan was clearly one of the stronger contestants on this season of “MasterChef,” which makes it all of the sadder that she is gone in one of the more shocking and controversial departures in show history. We understand the importance of show rules (they have to mean something; otherwise, why have them?), but you never want to see someone go home just because they didn’t make it to the front with their dish before time went out.
Luckily, we had a chance to send Andrea some questions via email to get her take on what happened, how she’s doing now, and also how she and Nathan have developed a close bond despite being at odds during the show itself.
CarterMatt – After being eliminated in such an unconventional way, what has the support been like from the internet community?
Andrea – I have received huge amounts of fan mail from all parts of the world – from India all the way to the Philippines with the cutest, sweetest messages of support and cheering me on to pursue my passion for cooking.
When you did arrive late with your plate, did you know right then and there you were toast?
Yeah, I definitely realized I messed up, but I truly thought I made it on time since all along, we had cooked in our stations and just watched out for the ‘hands up’ signal. The judges also tasted my dish, so a big part of me was hopeful that they were not going to hang me because of the three seconds that took me to run to the front. So when Gordon announced that the worst dish of the night wasn’t the one going home, my heart simply sunk. It came as much of a shock to me as it did for viewers.
Was it redeeming in some way that you did serve a plate that the judges seemed to really enjoy? Those extra few seconds, after all, weren’t the reason it was great!
You know, in retrospect, I’m really happy about the way I went home. It was because of a time infraction, a technicality, not because my food was subpar in taste or plating. Having the best sausage of the night (as per Gordon himself!) was the perfect way to exit the MasterChef kitchen. I earned the respect of the judges, the contestants and my fans by proving my skills and talent in the MasterChef kitchen.
I know the show hasn’t done a MasterChef All-Stars or anything of that variety, but would you be interested in going back and giving this another crack if given the chance?
Oh my god. What I would do to just cook one more time in the MasterChef kitchen!!! I could live in that state of the art kitchen. But part of me thinks that going back would imply that I went back because something was left unfinished or unfulfilled, which is something I absolutely don’t feel. I believe I accomplished everything I needed to in season 7 and exceeded my own expectations. It is one tough competition!
What was the source of tension between you and Nathan most of the season?
Ahhhhh tensions are just so high in the Masterchef kitchen already. Then you put two twenty year olds together on EVERY single team challenge and we start to go a little mad. Nathan and I have a brother-sister type of relationship. We know exactly how to tick each other off but at the end of the show, we developed a real type of unconditional love and respect for one another.
If you were in the position of the winning team last night, would you have tried to target threats, or given safety to the people you felt deserved it the most?
I honestly was not a fan of elimination strategies on the show or, actually, in life. I get why some contestants felt the need to plan and scheme to get to the top, but in the end, your work product and what you’re made up always rises to the top. I was indifferent of those tactics and let my food speak for itself.
In closing, what are you up to now? How are you planning to make use of your time in the competition?
I’m focusing on finishing my last year of college at NYU and have been working in different kitchens in the New York city, which exposes you to so many flavor profiles and incredibly talented chefs. I’m also working on a photo series and doing a pop up restaurant in two weeks! The food industry is such a cool industry and there are so many different aspects to the food industry that go beyond preparing a beautiful dish! I’m really just trying to continue learning and soak up the amazing experience that was MasterChef.
We’re going to have an exit interview with Diamond Alexander up shortly over at this link, so be on the lookout for that soon! Also, sign up over here to secure some other TV news on all we cover sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Fox.)