Serving up some Rice on MasterChef Canada

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Wet your palates and wave the green, pink and white tonight because some Newfoundlanders will be on MasterChef Canada representing.

You know there is nothing more strong in Newfoundland than a bit of pride- we loves when one of us gets the spot light and puts a mark of significance on the mainland.

Kristal Rice of Gander will be one of Newfoundlanders cooking up a storm on the premier of MasterChef Canada tonight.

The 29-year-old clerk at the hospital is married and the mother of a four-year-old and has been cooking ever since she was a little girl.

“I got into it with my Nanny, she loves to cook. Every time she was in the kitchen, she was never one to push you away, she was always ‘come get your hands dirty with me,’” said the contestant. “I would help her mix up some bread and would have a little bun of bread for me.” Her favourite dish to prepare is anything pasta.

“My husband just loves pasta and I love to make my husband happy, I do some fresh homemade pasta. I’ve done gnocchi, linguine. I haven’t tried tortellini yet,” said Rice. “ Pasta is just so versatile. You can make a sauce out of just a few cherry tomatoes, you can go anywhere with the sauce.”

That being said Rice’s favourite dish to eat is her cookies.

“Can’t go wrong with a cookie. It doesn’t matter what kind of cookie. I am not a big fan of coconut. I love Newfoundland Cherry Blossoms. They are my absolutely favourite. Favourite cookie that my Nanny makes me is shortbread,” said the cook.

Although Rice cannot give us any details about what will happen on the show, she said winning $100,000 would be life changing.

“The possibilities of that would be a start. I wouldn’t give up my job at the hospital because I love it so much but I would be able to throw myself passionately into a hobby and just create with food. Cooking is an art,” she said.

Rice would consider a career in cooking in a catering aspect but wouldn’t want it to be her full-time employment because she does not want it to become a job. She would enjoy cooking to the fullest everyday but she doesn’t think she could take away from the love of it.

Being a Newfoundlander allows Rice some advantages, as our province has a lot of different food traditions and tastes.

“Newfoundlanders are just a friendly outgoing bunch. We have a lot of unique items that are just Newfoundland and Labrador. You got your partridge berries, bake apples. We have a different way of how we cook and season fish. Like caplin, the different ways we cook it, that is not done anywhere else,” explained Rice. “Just being able to take those things and bring it to the next level and be able to give a whole new experience, that’s great.”

When Rice heard that Come Dine with Me Canada was coming to St. John’s, she applied and never heard anything back and she was watching MasterChef Canada season one at the time and thought she could do that.

She got an e-mail from Come Dine with Me that explained they did not come to Gander, but that MasterChef season two was taking applications.

“I looked at my husband and said ‘I am doing it. I am going for it.’” Said Rice.

Then she got an unknown name and number on her phone while out to lunch with a friend and she ignored it.

When she got home, there was a message from MasterChef Canada and thankfully they called back the next day and did a phone interview.

She was then invited to Halifax.

“I met some life changing friends in Halifax. It was exciting, you get to present,” she said. “Everything went great and everything fell into place.”

Then Rice and the top fifty went to Toronto- and after that she can’t say much else.

Tune in tonight to cheer Rice and two other Newfoundlanders, Kristen and Kyle on screen.

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