Sammi Turano

Tell me about yourself.

I’m a 33 year old single guy who lives in San Diego, CA.  I grew up in a town called Redding in northern California where my love for cooking began around age 13.  I lived in Redding until the age of 22 when I moved to San Diego for Graduate school and have lived here ever since.  I have followed my mother’s footsteps by working in Magazine Advertising on and off since the age of 18.  I was also employed by National University for six years where I was an Admissions Advisor.  I now hope to share my love for the culinary arts with the world in any way I can.
What made you decide to audition for MasterChef?
Funny story actually!  I was on an annual “pub crawl” in San Diego with about 200 friends and at stop four my friend Kim Snow asked me “Don’t you really like to cook?”  I said “Yeah. Why?”  She then pulled up a flyer she found about the audition for MasterChef which was to be held one week from that day in downtown San Diego.  Over the next seven days I did my research, filled out all appropriate applications, composed a dish to bring to my audition and picked out an outfit.  I’d never auditioned for anything before so I was nervous, but confident with my ability.  The rest is history…
What was the experience like? 
It was a very memorial experience being on the show.  There were many stressful times during the audition process and many more while shooting the season.  There were a lot of ups and downs, but overall it was an experience I will always treasure.  The people I met through the experience were the best part.
What are some highlights from the experience?
My favorite moments were obviously when I do well on the show.  Winning my white apron was among my favorite highlights because I got to share that moment with my family.  Seeing how proud my mom was after I won the apron made me cry.  Also, winning the first mystery box was a dream come true.  To have Gordon Ramsay and the other judges pick your dish above all other Top 20 Best Home Cooks in America was humbling.
What were some of your biggest challenges? 
Team Challenges were the hardest for me.  Especially when I was the Team Captain.  It is much easier to calm yourself down when you control all aspects of your dish.  When you rely on 9 other people to do things right it requires a lot of hands on attention.  Luckily the Home Cooks that were on my team during the beach challenge, really carried me to victory.  Couldn’t have done it without those guys.
What is your signature dish?
Currently my signature dish is the dish that got me on MasterChef in my auditions.  It is called my “Fourth Generation Meatloaf Dinner” and it was my favorite dish growing up.  The dish consists of my Great-grandmother’s Meatloaf recipe with homemade Scalloped Potatoes and White Corn.
What is one dish you want to learn how to make?
Currently it’s cheese.  Every kind of cheese.  I have done a lot of research on how to do it, but have never done it myself yet.  It is quite the art form so I’d like to learn from the best.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I was kicked out of High School the summer before my Senior year so I tested out of High School and began my college career at 17.  I now have an Associate’s degree in Communication, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Human Behavior.  I like to do things my own way.
What are you watching on TV these days?
Obviously, MasterChef!!  I also really do like the F-Word and most other shows Gordon Ramsay is a part of.  Other than that and other cooking shows it’s all about Game of Thrones…
Anything else you want to tell America?
Keep your eyes out for me!!  I plan on fully embracing what it is to be a professional cook and hope to share my message with the world.  Feel free to follow me on any social media outlet to follow my journey!!

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