My 103.9 DJ Monti Carlo Dishes About Her Life Before, During and After Master Chef
I'm in love with Monti Carlo. And if you've listened to her lighthearted patter on My 103.9 or seen her emoting on Master Chef or met her in person (in which case, she gave you a great big hug, guaranteed), you're probably in love with her too.
Nikki Buchanan Monti Carlo at Citizen Public House
Local Restaurants Featured on Food Network's Mystery Diners Tonight
Kim Brennan of Big Earl's Greasy Eats Pushes Back Against Conservative Cave Creek Columnist, Defends Mystery Diners Episode and Plans White Trash Bash
You see, Monti -- who got her stage name from Dwight Douglas, the guy who discovered Howard Stern -- is what you'd call "irrepressible." And since her stint on the third season of Fox's Master Chef -- the wildly popular TV show in which amateur cooks compete for a $250,000 grand prize -- this ivory-skinned, ruby-lipped sweetheart is definitely on a roll.
Courtesy of My 103.9 Monti at My 103.9
Her honesty and expressiveness on Master Chef landed her a gig as morning show DJ on My 103.9 this past June. And as of this week -- when Master Chef: The Ultimate Cookbook hit the shelves -- she became a cookbook contributor, her recipes featured alongside those of Master Chef judges and other contestants.
And that's a good thing because getting to this place -- a steady job, a nice home for her 3-year-old son, her name in a cookbook -- took sacrifice and grit.
Here's a bit of the backstory, which I learned from Carlo over a couple of beers at Citizen Public House.
When she heard about the casting call in LA in the fall of 2011, Carlo was living in a 300-square-foot apartment about a mile away. She had 50 bucks in her bank account and her unemployment benefits were running out. Knowing she'd at least get a day-rate if she made it on the show, she decided to bake her specialty: apple pie. Having nothing to put them in (she wound up making three small ones), Carlo "MacGyver'd" a pie carrier using an empty diaper box and a dog leash.
Arriving for the audition, she knew immediately that she was out of her league. The other contestants showed up with fantastically elaborate containers to present their dishes, and they all seemed familiar with the judges, while Carlo had heard only of Gordon Ramsay, not of Graham Elliot or Joe Bastianich.
At one point in the extensive process, she had to face six producers who grilled her on cooking. "What are the five mother sauces?" one of them asked her, to which she humbly replied, "I've made a mistake. I'm a mom, but I don't know anything about mother sauces. Obviously, I underestimated what was happening here today." Well, of course, they loved her answer, and she was in.