‘MasterChef’ exclusive: Eric Howard on potatoes, elimination, and more

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Wednesday night’s new episode of “MasterChef” proved to be quite the roller-coaster ride, mostly because we lost two people we had considered to be favorites at one point. First, it was Terry Mueller who went out the door in the first hour, and he was then followed by Eric Howard. The firefighter fought hard for most of the season and shined during some challenges, but a lengthy series of potato-related tests ended up doing him in.

Luckily, it doesn’t seem that the elimination is getting him down — or making him hate potatoes for the rest of his life, either! We spoke to Eric briefly via email following his time on the show; take a look at some of his responses.

CarterMatt – The first question should be clear: Are you ever going to look at a potato the same way again? (I’d probably swear them off for months.)

Eric Howard – I love potatoes, always have always will, not going let any challenge get me down on one of my favorite foods!!!

Have you second-guessed yourself a lot since filming the show in terms of things you could’ve done differently, or are you at terms with what happened?

Of course there are things I would’ve done differently, I don’t think any contestant could say they were fully satisfied with what they’ve done. In the end I’m happy with how far I went and what I accomplished, I’m a much better chef now than I’ve ever been.

There was a time watching the show when I felt like you were a candidate to make it all the way to the end! Did you feel that confident at any point, or is that a dangerous way to think?

It’s definitely a dangerous way to think, you never want to get complacent. Hell I thought I could win too, but you can’t go into a challenge thinking you already have it in the bag, that’s just not a smart play.

What’s the dish looking back that you’re the most proud of?

I’m certainly most proud of my stuffed pesto chicken, all of the judges loved it and who else can say they have a recipe published in Family Circle magazine?!?

What’s the experience been like watching the show? Is everyone around you expecting you to cook pretty much every meal now?

It’s been a very surreal experience watching the show and knowing what’s to come before anyone else, I’ve always cooked around the firehouse, and I certainly have continued doing so! On top of that I have some pretty new amazing dishes to cook for my beautiful girlfriend Olivia.

What’s next for you? Are you sticking around in the firehouse or branching out to do other things?

I’m definitely sticking around at the firehouse, that’s my number 1 passion. This isn’t the end of my culinary story though. Stick around and see what’s next for me!

If you are interested in getting some further news on “MasterChef,” including the aforementioned episode reviews, be sure to head over to the link here! We’re hoping to have an interview with Terry at some point in the near future.

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