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Inside Scoop on the Maya Brownie that Earned My MasterChef Apron!

Apron Battle Brownie!

Here it is in all of its glory in 45 minutes at home! This is what it looks like WITHOUT the added elements of cooking in a new kitchen, of not knowing where things are, and sure that lil' added piece of cooking in front of 3 powerhouses of the industry. Ha!.. Oh and with the proper amount of baking release spray lol! (Oh Ash haha)

Honestly, I was only a bit nervous because this was it; this was the moment I had been waiting for since auditioning. I was more excited than anything and kept reminding myself to live in the moment. I knew the recipe inside and out. I developed it myself to be the exact brownie that I love having. Light crackled thin top layer covering a fudgy, chewy, and dense chocolate forward brownie layer underneath that (why not) gets a little messy eating. Also, let's mention they're talking to you while you're cooking/baking, and trust me you want to sound knowledgeable. I had so much fun battling for my apron even with it not coming out designed exactly how I practiced.

Components: Spicy Brownie, spiced chocolate ganache, candied pecans, and spiced whipped cream.

I love spices that creep up on you like a birthday surprise versus the guy from SAW. My whole objective with this one is for the cayenne to greet you at the end of your chewing experience, every single time, and that's exactly what happens with the ratios I use.

My inspiration for this dish was a gift a student of mine gave me from a Mexican bakery. It was a basket filled with all sorts of Mexican confections. In there was a spicy candy and some chocolate fudge. I tried a piece together and new I should do a spin of the flavor in my brownie recipe. Another layer of inspo is I've made these brownies for my mom's coworkers several times, and received raved reviews. Lastly, I love dessert! The decision for this to be the dish came naturally from the cosmos- if you will. And in the end, hey, of course I'm happy that I didn't steer away from it. Now to the juicy stuff!

Seeing all 3 judges for the first time was awe-inducing. Gordon stands in all of his allure looking so dapper and indestructible. Chef Aaron has this air of swag and cool flare. And Joe, well, Joe gives off the impression that you've stepped into the most important business meeting of your life with his intense suave style. I always wanted my apron from Gordon! I can finally share. Always Always! I've looked up to him for so long that when the plot twist of a mentorship season was announced I knew exactly who I had my eyes on.

The kitchen is MORE glamorous than you can imagine, and I love that I now have entered the reigns of other competitors who put it to use to earn that fly apron! All the equipment you see is real and luxurious. Yes, the judges can come off intimidating as hell. My life will never be the same, and I can't wait to see where I can take this ride because after also experiencing the Mystery Box Challenge- and winning it- this is going to be one of the hardest journeys ever. The time just flies by in the Masterchef kitchen when you're cooking.

Last but not least, shoutout to those VIKING stoves for raising the bar and my understanding of what it takes to work with a top of the line, luxury cooking equipment.

Tune in and Turn up! Next Week: June 13th as we, the Top 22, claw our way to the balcony after our first Skills Test with west coast fave: Dungeness Crab!

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