by Jacki Mick
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: