Colin Buckingham never intended to apply for MasterChef Canada, but the nudge from a friend helped convince him to go for it.
“One of my buddies was on a show, the season previous and we were out to a retreat in Cape Breton and he said I should apply and I said ‘I don’t think I am really that good’,” recalls Buckingham. “I started thinking about it more and more and at the end of the day I decided I wanted to see if I could do it. The worst thing they could say was no. So I just applied online and sent in an application and kept making it further and further.”
A car salesman by trade, the St. John’s native made it onto MasterChef Canada, which recently aired on April 8 for its sixth season.
Buckingham has been cooking since he was 17 years old. His audition dish was a classic Newfoundland meal with a twist: an elevated Jiggs Dinner with beef tenderloin and cabbage purée. Though he enjoys cooking, he readied himself with more than traditional meals in consideration of all possible challenges.
“You obviously try to prepare yourself as much as possible because you are going on a cooking show. Before the show I wasn’t a regular baker and I tried to learn as much baking stuff as I possibly could. I’m a cook not a baker, it’s 100% my weakness. I can only bake a little bit,” he said.
Buckingham might not consider himself a baker, but he mainly enjoys cooking seafood.
“I‘m from Newfoundland, so fish obviously,” said the cook of his preferred meal to prep. “Blackened cod is probably my favourite thing to cook. I have my own spice blend, I blacken it and usually have a root vegetable purée, with maybe parsnip purée or cabbage purée goes really well with it. I’d have some roasted root vegetables on the side, which makes it really nice and I try to source everything locally.”
Though Buckingham enjoys preparing fish, his favourite meal to eat is a bit different.
“Wagyu Steak- I don’t eat it very much but it’s probably my favourite thing. It’s either that or foie gras, duck liver. I do love French Cuisine, like scallops but they are my two favourite things to eat.”
Buckingham is thankful for all the support he has received along the way, especially from his parents.
“My dad is an inspiration, my mom is an inspiration. My dad probably taught me how to cook the most and my mom pretty much raised us- both of them gave a lot of inspiration and I got a lot of support from friends and family all over, it will be cool to see how that plays out with the show,” said the contestant.
For those considering taking a chance in the future, Buckingham suggests just taking the plunge, because it could end up changing your life.
“It was probably like the coolest experience of my life. It taught me to follow your dreams and never give up, no matter how old you are,” he said. “If you like something, you should follow it, especially if it’s a passion of yours. Give it your all and go for it, why not? If you don’t try you’ll never know what would happen. If you don’t try, you can’t fail either. You have to have a bit more confidence in yourself at the end of the day.”
The show airs on CTV on Monday nights – see how Buckingham does this evening and watch the first episode online.
Feature image submitted by CTV