Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whatever happens...

I'm not really a US Masterchef big fan although I admit that I am one that I would like to call as a culinary junkie. I enjoy watching homecooks battling it out in the kitchen and I just love watching people cooking. (I try to apply what I have watched though in my limited resources and capabilities). I was more drawn to Masterchef Australia, but that's another story.

Anyhow, this week caught me with the c/pox virus so I had not much choice but to stay home. I found it as an amazing time to deepen my relationship with the Lord and at the same time, get my share of rest from all the traveling and the stress of hinterland work.

I also was able to catch up on some TV time and it was quite a welcome since I did not have much of the television for the five months of my hinterland duties. And so, it was in our very own sala and in our very own TV set that I get to watch the last few episodes of Masterchef US Season 4. Now, to start with, I have had a few re-runs of season 4 during the weekends or holiday that I am home and to be very honest, I did not quite like it. To begin with, there was a lot of bad-mouthing and pride and people fighting and calling each other names. I mean, that was just so unusual for a reality cooking show.

The Judges. Photo credit:
Anyway, I am not going to write about the culinary masterpieces or critique about the show. Instead, I am going to write this very small albeit life-changing moment that happened during the semi-finals round--something so small and may be insignificant to others but something which has a profound effect on me.

You see, the semi-finals saw three of the best contestants left, namely: Luca, a restaurant manager from New York City but is actually Italian; Natasha, a stay-at-home mom from San Diego; and Jessie, a yacht stewardess from Georgia. Since Jessie won the previous challenge, she enjoyed the privilege of choosing her own "king" ingredient for her dish which was Kobe Beef. Natasha got the Alaskan King Crab while Luca got the king of cheeses and forgive me for forgetting the name. Afterall, I am no chef. :))

Masterchef US Season 4 Top 3: Natasha, Luca, Jesse.
Photo Credit:
So, I'll spare you the other details but what happened was while on the semi-finals round, Jessie forgot to get butter from the pantry for her Seared Kobe beef with Ponzu Butter. Since she won't be able to go back to the pantry, she asked for spare butter from Natasha who was on the kitchen counter behind her. It was an intense moment as Natasha paused and had a let-me-think-it-over look in her face. A part of me was already expecting that she was going to give at least one stick of the three butter sticks in her counter which were obviously just sitting there. I mean, come on, isn't it a girl thing to share? Although there was this small part of me which doubted that she would actually do that because I just had that gut feeling that she was being competitive. So, it wasn't really much of a surprise when she said "No." I kind of understood her because she was in a competition, after all, and that one stick of butter might be her loss.

What surprised me then was the gentleman in Luca who stepped up and threw a stick of butter to Jessie. And if that gesture alone was not enough, what he said during the interview is really something all of us should always consider. It goes something like this: "It was just one stick of butter so what's the big deal? And if I go home just because of that stick, then, at the very least, I can still look at the mirror tomorrow and say that I am still Luca." 

You know, not all of us would have that attitude. I cannot judge Natasha just because of that one act but really, just that one small act will have an impact to a person (and a lot of persons actually, counting the viewers from around the world) and will forever be associated with her. Luca did not care if that one stick of butter will make Jessie's dish a whole lot tastier than his and which in turn will earn him an elimination. He only cared that someone needs something and he actually has that capacity to help. 

This really made me think about my life. I am pretty sure that there were times that I was very hesitant to help others because of personal reasons or convictions. There were also several times that I did not do what I know I was supposed to do in the name of saving myself or for any amount of advantage to myself. 

And this brings me to the verse in Philippians which commands us to conduct ourselves worthy of the Good News, whatever happens. 

May we all learn from the simple act of kindness of Luca. Let us be like Christ...whatever happens. 

In the end, Jessie was eliminated and it was Natasha vs. Luca for the final round.
Photo credit:

And after serving a three-course meal of seared duck liver, short ribs,
and basil panna cotta with tomato jam, Luca wins the Master Chef title! Photo credit:

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