Helene sat down for a Q&A session with Todd Betzoid of RealityWanted.com to talk about her experience on MasterChef.
It was Mystery Box Challenge Elimination Challenge time on MasterChef and with such strict time constraints, the challenges can be extremely hard on the homecooks. Helene Leeds struggled with the live crab she was given and made a lackluster Dungeness Crab and the judges sent her home. During the show you didn't get to see much of Helene and what her passion is: healthy foods and healthy living. Today, we got and exclusive interview with Helene as she talked about the passion, why she picked Frank to win it all and much more.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: What made you want to try out for MasterChef?
A. Helene: I wanted to try out for MasterChef because I'm really committed to healthy living and spreading the message to as many people as I can. I met some girlfriends on the beach last summer surfing and they said I'd be perfect for the show. This would be a great message for American to hear through you. So I went to D.C. and I thought I'd give it a try and I brought my organic raw chocolate, which they loved and the process started there. They really were interested in exploring this avenue because what I do is the cutting edge of food right now and nutrition and longevity.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: The judges were very harsh with their critiques of your soup. How did that make you feel?
A. Helene: Clearly, I made that dish and I thought it was a great dish. I was upset and disappointed in myself that I didn't make something up to par for them and for the show. So, it was disappointing and devastating, but at the same time I have to come to terms with the responsibility of it. I did not execute it properly. Although my soup was delicious, I did not execute it as well as I should have.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: During the show, you told Monti you weren't trusting yourself and you weren't doing what's in your heart, but doing what you think they (the judges) want. Why is that?
A. Helene: I'm in a competitive cooking environment. I want the judges to embrace my culinary spectrum and I wanted to show them as much as I could. For example, they wanted Dungeness Crab to be fresh and in a salad and I didn't think that would be competitive enough to cook, therefore I chose a soup. My heart is really where the health is and that is the message I wanted to get across and it didn't really shine through because I felt I was doing what the judges wanted, what I thought they would like, what I thought would win compared to my competitors who were frying things and tasted really good, but very unhealthy.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: When it was you and Tali in the bottom two, what was going through your mind then?
A. Helene: I didn't really know. I know both of us failed on execution. I really didn't know. Tali is interesting in who he is. I guess I am too, to a certain degree, and I guess it could have been Tali, but I guess I really was just ready for whatever the judges were going to dish us.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: When you were leaving Chef Ramsay asked you who you thought would win and you picked Frank. Why Frank?
A. Helene: Frankie! He's the best. He's really got what it takes. I think this year a man should win MasterChef because the last two years have been women. I think it is time for a man to take the trophy and he's got what it takes. He has the passion for food, like I, but he has an incredible spectrum of skill. He's really extraordinary and I think he's got what it takes to win and I think he should. He's a great guy and a real standout guy and I think he will do great things no matter what he chooses to do.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: What's the biggest thing you're going to take away from this whole experience?
A. Helene: I'm failing with where my limits are. I think any time you are going to compete, whether it is a backpack competition or a cooking competition, you are always stretched to your limits. To get evaluated by professionals, in this case very high-profile individuals, you get to know. So for me it is really about pushing my limit, expanding my level and really taking myself to the next level.
Q. Todd, RealityWanted: Has being on MasterChef inspired you to pursue a career in cooking?
A. Helene: I lived in Switzerland for ten years, relocated to the States about three years ago and I'm a house coach. I have my masters degree in nutrition. For me, I definitely want to enable people with the knowledge of how to do it for themselves. I feel like if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime and if you give him a fish, he eats for a day. For me, I really want to educate and I give cooking workshops in how to make healthy food taste delicious. I also coach programs where we shift our fundamental relationship with food, but at the same time we celebrate the abundance of what is available to us. It's not about going without when you're healthy, it's about celebrating it. I also started a raw chocolate company, because raw chocolate is the premiere longevity super food, called Helene's Cloud 9 Raw Chocolate. I started a blog talking about whatever recipes I'm into or whatever my child is enjoying, a new healthy treat that she's celebrated that day and that's at HelenesKitchen.com. There I will be sharing the events and new ideas.
Article by Todd Betzold of RealityWanted.com