West Kelowna realtor Kaila Klassen is one of 50 competitors in MasterChef Canada, which
debuts tonight on CTV.
The West Kelowna realtor auditioned for the MasterChef Canada competition in late summer, but it's the first time she'll see her performance on screen. About 35 of her workmates plan to gather at Kelowna's Re/Max office to sip wine and taste the fruits of her talents.
"They've got me cooking," she said laughing on Sunday. "I'm doing five appetizers. I always overdo it - it's a problem."
At 25, Klassen is a confident amateur chef who may or may not get chosen for the next round of the new reality series on CTV. She flew to Toronto in mid-September to prepare an exotic tuna dish with shaved truffle for tonight's show.
The series premiere will reveal whether she makes the top 16 of the 50 contenders chosen from across Canada.
If she does, Klassen goes on to compete in the first elimination episode, which airs after the Super Bowl Feb. 2.
She's coy about whether she travelled back to Toronto to accept one of the 16 white aprons.
"Hopefully I get an apron," she said Sunday. "I can't say if it's finalized or not."
Klassen grew up in Penticton and moved to Kelowna five years ago. Her affection for cooking expanded in Vancouver, where she worked in restaurants. She was curious about re-creating expensive entrees in her own home.
The contest for amateur cooks features three top chefs who judge each dish on its own merits. Klassen admits she's pretty comfortable in front of the cameras.
"TV doesn't really make me nervous very much. My poor boyfriend (Kelly Dhaliwal) was there for the audition. He is so nervous about being on TV . . . If I get the white apron, he'll be there to celebrate with me."
Klassen has no plans to give up selling real estate. If she wins the title and the $100,000 grand prize, she may pursue a food career some day. For now, she loves what she does, she says, and is developing an organic dog food she hopes to bring to market later this year.
If you're curious about the appetizers Klassen plans to bring tonight, here they are:
- Two flatbreads, one with wild mushroom, truffle, goat cheese and arugala, the other with burrata cheese, roasted garlic, chorizo sausage made from scratch and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Seared ahi tuna with wasabi aolei on a crispy wanton;
- Seared scallops with homemade tartar sauce on a potato chip - "Like a riff on fish and chips," she said.
- Toasted brie cheese with thyme, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes and chutney.
Tonight's premiere begins at 8 p.m.