In the second chapter of the fifth season of RCN’s ‘MasterChef Celebrity’, which began last week, the first cry of a contestant was seen: the red team, despite cooking very well, did not get points in a competition because they only prepared seven dishes out of the 15 they had to do.

The actor Juan Pablo Barragán forgot to ask for a table order and his companions did not notice either.

(Also read: ‘Vargasvil’, the first eliminated in ‘MasterChef Celebrity’)

And went Nicolás de Zubiría, one of the jurors, the one who gave them the bad news and, incidentally, called everyone’s attention to a mistake that they cannot make again. “If any mistake happens several times, that is a lack of competitiveness,” says the chef from Cartagena.

De Zubiría, who turns 40 in September, has been in all seasons of the program. He came for an audition that he went to blindfolded. A producer from RCN did call him, but he didn’t know what project he was for. After several sessions he was elected.

He has been on the judging team with Jorge Rausch and the Chilean Christopher Carpentier and they have chosen the comedian as winners Piter Albeiro (2018), the singer Adriana Lucía (2020) and the actors Carla Giraldo (2021) and Ramiro Meneses (2022).

Now, and in the edition that has had the most contestants, are the actresses Francisca Estévez, Martha Isabel Bolaños, Marcela Benjumea, Luces Velásquez, Daniela Tapia, Carolina Acevedo, Zulma Rey, María Nela González and Juliana Galvisand the actors Julio César Herrera, Álvaro Bayona, Karoll Márquez, Juan Pablo Barragán, Biassini Segura and Jairo Ordóñez.

Nicolás de Zubiría, judge of MasterChef Celebrity.


Instagram: @nicodezubiria and @jorge.rausch

(You may want to read: ‘The kitchen is my memory’: Adriana Lucía)

In addition, comedians Crisanto Vargas Vargasvil, Natalia Sanint, Adrián Parada and Catalina Guzmán (La Tasting with Boots); the presenter Laura Barjum; the priest Walter Zapata; the influencers Diego Sáenz and El Negrito W, and the youtuber Mario Ruiz.

“There are many challenges ahead and also many emotions, because we are all going to tell things that are saved and that are going to unite us,” adds De Zubiría.

The chef, who has always loved to cook, did not go professionally into this field in the first place. He completed five semesters of Advertising and Marketing at the Gran Colombiano Polytechnic and later enrolled at La Salle College of Culinary Arts in Bogotá and the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, Canada.

Upon his return to Colombia, he worked with Jorge Raush, is a restaurant partner and author of several books, including ‘Eating for two’ and ‘Mom and Dad’s Kitchen’, with his wife, Daniela Vidal, a publicist from Cali, and ‘100 recipes with the basic family basket’. She has two children: Sienna and Alessio.

There are many challenges ahead and also many emotions, because we are all going to tell things that are saved and that will unite us

His phrase “heard kitchen” is already famous among contestants and viewers. Like the other jurors, he is very strict, but he has his coastal location in favor, which makes him close.

His role is not “to judge the famous guests. There are those who prepare more and others not so much, but the first ones will always have more options. We are guiding them, and we are interested in what they cook”.

In general, the actors say that they know how to work as a team, “but in your job, here it is preparing dishes, and it can be difficult. They don’t know each other in the kitchen and it can be more difficult, ”she adds.

(You may be interested: “With ‘Masterchef’ I feel like in the days of ‘Los Victorinos”: Ramiro Meneses)

And this season has been more challenging: from day one they are being given great challenges, which include taking orders at tables, cooking for 101 members of the National Army, and even carrying fruit platters from Cartagena vendors, experts in food, on their heads. walk miles with them.

De Zubiría really likes Italian cuisine and also Cartagena. “And I say so because the flavors and recipes brought by the immigration of the French, Italians, Spanish, Africans, and the Chinese came together there, who came to the city after the construction of the Panama Canal. All these kitchens tell wonderful, important stories, not only of fusion but of memory”.

And he agrees that it is the kitchen that will always go through history: it is in birth and in death, in joy, in war, in peace. “Gastronomy is a fundamental part of what has happened in the world and the earth is the pantry not only for fruits, vegetables, tubers, but also for the food of the animals that we consume.” He adds that this season of ‘Master Chef Celebrity’ there will be much more Colombian cuisine.

The strategy

The chef from Cartagena will soon celebrate his 40th birthday.


Instagram: @nicodezubiria

And returning to the contest, he says that it is always hard to remove a participant, “but those are the rules and I must say that often the best cook does not win, but the one who has the best strategy and the one who learns the most within the competition in all sense: the one who knows when to make a normal dish to go in the group and when to take it out of the stadium to continue. For me, without a doubt, the most important thing is the winning mentality of each one, and that they take advantage of the advantages they achieve, since not using them to look good with the public can lead them to the black apron or to elimination. That does not make a contestant a bad person, but a better competitor, a strategist.”.

And he emphasizes that no one wins the contest without knowing how to make desserts. “Many arrive with knowledge of salty food, not sweet, and this section is a fundamental tool, even more so when we are in a country full of wonderful desserts to which we are also going to give more emphasis this season.”

Without giving names, Nicolás de Zubiría says that he continues to talk to most of the former participants. “There are great friends with whom I talk very often and we also see each other, the ties are very strong.”

Every year, ‘MasterChef Celebrity’ is news and a trend, with editions of very close or fighting contestants, and the viewer only has to see these events and how the dishes are served. The smells and flavors are kept in the studio.

For De Zubiría, this franchise is very powerful and successful in Colombia, even though it often does not win in ratings. “I love being in the contest, it is an honor to be part of the jury of a program that is one of the few to watch as a family, because it connects with roots, culture, stories and the land”.

With his great love for cooking, Nicolás de Zubiría will continue to push the contestants to the limit because he likes them to be competitive and to fall in love with what they prepare and with all the products with which the dishes are cooked.

“It is very important to me to tell the beautiful stories of all the ingredients that are used to cook”. Because cooking is an act of love.


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