“MasterChef made me tell my dad I was a lesbian before he died”

Mary Lou, The young woman from Cadiz of Chinese descent defeated Veronica Gomez Crowned as the last MasterChef in the final With a list that began with a poem by Cádiz, continued with a Galician-Catalan fusion and culminated in an oriental fudge. But that was probably the least of his cost in the program. In cooking, he has a talent.

Because during the registration of the competition he had to deal not only with his colleagues and opponents from MasterChef or with the jury Samanthaand George and babybut also with other personal issues such as his father’s illness or his reunion with Teresa Jimenez La Blanca in the kitchens of culinary talent, his former partner.

The Spaniard has spoken with Mary Lou To review everything that lives in a space TVE To assess this massive breakdown of emotions he experienced derives from his personal situation while trying to cheer Samantha Vallejo-Nágera, Pepe Rodríguez and Jordi Cruz in the kitchen to win the competition.

His father’s death

Maria lived there chef Many feelings and experiences. But it is not all about the culinary world. The woman from Cádiz, after passing the cast organized by TVE (produced by Shine Iberia), finds herself on the set with a surprise, her ex-partner TheresaSo he had to tell his father about his sexuality before he found out on TV.

“Those are two things that budget a lot chefIt could seem like a problem, but to me it was a very nice part of the competition,” the chef admits. It was not easy for her to be reunited with her ex-husband, whom she had not met for four years.

Maria Lou with her mother.

Maria Lou with her mother.


– How was the meeting on the show with your ex-partner, Teresa?

I realized, when I met that person with whom I was so involved, that although the romance was over because we had chosen our path, Teresa was important to me. At that moment I only remembered the beautiful part of this love, not the ugly part, plus it was one of the highest in MasterChef (it was the seventh part that was left out of the program).

[Samantha (Masterchef) en su refugio de Pedraza: “Hay mucho egoísta, las familias deben ser más numerosas”]

Did it cost you too much to tell your father about your sexuality?

– I was a bit scared to see the reaction of my dad, who is 83, very Chinese and traditional, when he found out I was a lesbian and had a partner. When I saw he was going to the show and I didn’t want him to find out on TV, because he might be having a heart attack, I hardened myself, picked up the phone, made a video call and told him about it. Between tears he told me that if I was happy, he was too, and that he only wanted me to have health and love in this life. It was so nice because I had the opportunity to tell my dad who he really is and show myself without filters. Teresa and my dad was an amazing thing that happened to me at MasterChef and I’m so grateful.

– What did your father tell you after the victory?

– He passed away on May 7 and I left MasterChef a week ago, but I was lucky enough to be able to stay with him for a few days and explain the whole experience, everything he went through, what he achieved and seeing that he had a proud face. The truth is, he was very nice. At least I was able to share it with him, which is key to me. I was so sad that my dad wasn’t in the final, somehow I dedicated that final list to my mom and my girl, but above all to my dad, because my passion for cooking comes from him.

What now?

After winning the chefMaria Lo won a succulent award consisting of the MasterChef Cup Spain, The bag with 100,000 euros of prize And the book to be published with his recipes. The next course will be attended by the master’s program in the kitchen, technology and product taught Basque Culinary Center. This latter award stands out above the rest, “because going to Donosti for a master’s degree is, frankly, the absolute best, and being able to continue training,” he says.

During the broadcast of the program, he created his small community on networks “by uploading content that interests me with my recipes. I thought it was easier, but it takes many hours”, says the woman of Cadiz, laughing.

Maria Lou and her mother during MasterChef.

Maria Lou and her mother during MasterChef.

– I will continue with the network world because I like to reach people with my recipes and to make them at home, but I want to embody that in personal projects related to gastronomy, and one of them is opening a delivery in Barcelona with dishes that I know a lot and being able to reach people’s homes, which I will try Done while I was in Donosti’s Master’s. In the future I want to open a restaurant, which has always been my dream and my father’s dream too, but I don’t know where yet.

– As a chef you should try all kinds of food, but is there one you don’t like?

– I don’t really like hangovers and the mental moment and stuff. I find it hard to eat because the flavor is so strong. But if I go to La Tasquería de Javi Estévez and he gives me some fancy dishes, I change my mind anyway (laughs).

[Carlos MasterChef, de limpiar cuadras a estrella Michelin: “Estuve a 15 días de cerrar”]

What is the most surprising food you have eaten in your life?

There is something that people find very strange, but very common in Cádiz, the sea anemones, the lifelong nettles that look like fried green mucus, but have a wonderful marine flavour. I wouldn’t call it weird, but I understand why people don’t like it. The snails that are very typical of Andalusia.

His father, very present

The woman’s father from Cadiz always accompanied her during her time as RTVE’s culinary talent despite being unable to appear during recordings due to her illness. Furthermore, she was the first person that came to mind when her victory was announced.

Who did you think of when they said you were the winner?

In my father because he instilled in me this passion for cooking. He gave me all his love through food and cooking, he taught me it was the best when we went to the market…His way of loving and giving me affection, was so much more than a hug or I love you, since Asians, on the level of emotions, are much cooler. He was the first that crossed my mind because, besides, he couldn’t be with me because he was sick. My time at MasterChef was a tribute to my father. Apart from him, I also dedicate it to my mom and my girl, who are the most supportive people for me in this world.

– Why did you decide to introduce yourself to MasterChef?

– Everyone who saw what I liked about cooking told me to introduce myself to the show because this world scared me. In the end I did because I always wanted to dedicate myself to it. At the time my father didn’t like it, he preferred me to do classic professions like lawyer, architect or engineer, but I eventually studied hotel management because my father didn’t allow me to study cooking, but I still do it. my head. I thought introducing myself to MasterChef was a way to change my life and using it as a stepping stone into this career, making it easier for me to change my enrollment. This entry here is a sweepstakes. I still dread a little and pinch myself every morning to believe it.

His life list

Maria Lou has been quite clear since she entered MasterChef that she must think of a great menu if she has access to the final, expressing who she is, and who she is, in the three dishes she will serve.

So he started the service with a poem by Cadiz: To my roots, to the salty touches, to the tuna from barbateI made tomato juice, chamomile, coach tuna, pickled onions and false pipara caviar.” For the main course (siegala soaked in cap i pota juice, balls of celery, lentils, caviar and dried Iberian ham), the Cadiz-born woman explains: “I mentioned the part of personal development and maturity I experienced when I became independent in Barcelona and Galicia, which are budgetary places So much on a gastronomic level. Galicia has an amazing product and Barcelona is the birthplace of the avant-garde and some superb chefs.”

Maria Lou and her mother.

But the last garnish on the list was dessert (matcha and pistachio tea sponge cake, spicy white chocolate cream, pink pepper, lychee sorbet and an air of lychee and yuzu), where “That Asian part that I have denied all my life, But it was clear to me that I wanted to leave a section for just that because Maria Lu is 70% Chinese and it was a way of accepting that very special Asian part,” she explains.

– How do you feel after winning MasterChef?

– I’m still absorbing it and it’s been recorded for a long time, but on the day of the final I was watching it and applauding because it’s so strong where I am, I can’t believe it. I have a joy and happiness in my body that isn’t even half normal (laughs) because I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do, dedicating myself to the kitchen. I can’t ask for more.

– Did you organize a meeting with friends for the last program?

I’m not at home because I had to go to Madrid for the whole promotion and I couldn’t be with my family in Cadiz. But my mother gathered about 40 people in her house and put a projector on them to watch the final. I saw it with my girl and three of my Chiclana friends who live in Madrid and had an absolutely amazing time. Sharing it with them was very nice.

– Was it difficult for you to hide that you know the result?

– They looked at my face to see my reactions, they asked me… I had to put on a poker face and warn them that I wouldn’t tell them anything even though I knew it. I kept the secret until the end because I’ve already been able to do this for three and a half months.

– What was the first thing you thought of when they said you were the winner?

My body went into a state of shock wondering if this was really happening or not, but what a beautiful emotion I was feeling. It was a very close final with Veronica because we didn’t really know who would win, but when they called me… it was so powerful! I couldn’t believe it, it was so exciting.

How does Veronica know your opponent in the final?

She is a woman that I admire a lot and I see myself reflecting on her, we are very similar in order and perfection, and we take things professionally seriously when we are passionate about her and that seems to me to be a great trait. He’s someone who will do anything with him, his eyes are closed, he’s a machine. Besides, Veronica is very smart, has a great sense of humor and we get along very well. I had the pleasure of meeting her in the last fight for something we’re excited about.

rigor of judges

Samantha Vallejo-Nágera, Pepe Rodríguez and Jordi Cruz are so strict with MasterChef contestants that they give their best in every dish, although they don’t always succeed. In each edition, there is no shortage of confrontations and compliments between the two sides, but in the end, they always end up as friends.

Maria Lu with the MasterChef Jury and Ferrán Adriá.

Maria Lu with the MasterChef Jury and Ferrán Adriá.

Did you pass the judges’ evaluations?

They are clearly strong, but not so much that they crush you. I learned a lot from their reviews, but everything they say is true, they are people who have been in the profession for many years and I think they know us better than we do. I remember it was with a comment from Pepe that he told me he was going so far that I let out my inner anger. But he was right, I got it and it was all apprenticeships.

– How do you know them?

Samantha is a very close woman, she was a real find, I laughed with her a lot, she has a lot of art and she is the common thread among her classmates. Pure and tough, Bibi has a big heart. Jordi is precision and passion for what he does.


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