Home chef Claudia Sandoval showed her prowess in the kitchen and got a succulent win in FOX’s sixth season of “MasterChef” Wednesday night.
“In life nothing is handed to you, it is earned. With determination, heart and a lot of hard work, everything can be accomplished. Yes you can. I’ve proven it,” she wrote on Instagram in Spanish after her win.
The new winner is the general manager of Instagrammers San Diego and former events manager for the San Diego-based marketing agency i.d.e.a., according to her website Claudia’s Cocina, where she blogs about her cooking adventures and shares recipes.
She also chronicles her experience as a single mother to her 9-year-old daughter in her blog “The Adventures of Single Latina Mama.”
On Wednesday night’s finale, Sandoval was one of three finalists with Derrick Peltz and Stephen Lee. They were asked to participate in a team challenge with former contestants with Peltz coming out on top and earning immunity in a pressure test.
Sandoval and Lee went head-to-head with the La Mesa-based home cook coming up on top. Lee was sent packing.
In the final challenge, Sandoval brought her “A game” to be triumphant in the end. She goes home with her own cookbook deal, a trophy and $250,000.
In a recent interview on FOX, Sandoval credited her cooking inspiration to Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and – first and foremost – her mother.
“She is a person that has always chosen to cook, not cooked because she had to. She experiments and plays with flavors without steering away from what we know and love. She reinvents our traditional flavors,” Sandoval said.
Keeping to her Mexican heritage, Sandoval said if she could only bring three ingredients to a deserted island, it would be rice, beans and corn.
“I grew up on these things. I know about 20 different ways to make them and can never get tired of them. Besides, they keep well, and even when corn molds ... you get Huitlacoche! Yum, Mexican Truffles,” she said.