Francis Biondi, a 25-year-old server who hails from Orlando, made it through the first round of televised cuts on MasterChef's fifth-season premier on Monday night. Biondi, who has no professional culinary training (and looks more than a little bit like Ralph Macchio in his Karate Kid days), secured an apron with his signature dish: Crusted Halibut Cheeks on Moroccan Chickpea Ragu.
Formerly a professional golfer, Biondi says his kitchen inspiration comes from his parents. He enjoys mixing the foods of his Filipino and Italian heritages and creating something unique. He'll get the chance to do just that during the MasterChef competition, where he'll compete against the 22 remaining contestants in challenges like serving a game-day snacks for hungry football fans, taking command of a legendary Hollywood restaurant, preparing American diner classics and more.
Gordon Ramsey returns to berate, er, judge the contestants, alongside restaurateur Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot. You catch watch the hometown boy fight for the MasterChef apron (and $250,000!) Monday nights on Fox35. This Monday, the chef-hopefuls will compete in their very first mystery box challenge, which will be filled (spoiler alert) with dessert items. We can't wait to see what spin the local boy puts on the ingredients.
Check out Biondi's MasterChef teaser here:
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.