Dara Yu Is Your New MasterChef: Back To Win Champion


What’s something people might not know about cooking on set?

This is a good one. A lot of people, they’re like, “What?” when they hear this. The judges eat our food cold, but we’re judged with that being known. Because of the nature of a show and how it’s filmed and we have to take breaks and everything, the food will sit for a little bit. So yeah, it’s cold.

Does that affect how you approach different challenges?

Definitely. I learned one of the first challenges, the Peruvian, the Global Challenge. I made a lomo saltado and I did it with a beef … with a filet. I cut the filet and I realized … After that I was like, “If I’m making a protein, I’m leaving that protein whole.” I’m not going to slice it. If you slice a steak and it sits for 30 minutes or so, it starts to dry out and look overcooked. You have to be strategic with that, with all the factors of the show and challenges.

How did filming during COVID affect this season?

It was interesting because it was on that tail end where the world was opening up again, but COVID was still happening. It didn’t really affect the production of the show, but it affected behind-the-scenes stuff. We stay in a hotel the whole time we’re filming, and because of COVID, we were stuck on one floor of the hotel, so we weren’t even allowed to go down to the pool or the gym. 

The production company they built us a gym and a library in one of the rooms on the fourth floor. The contestants, we would have hallway parties, hallway hangouts after we came back from filming. Because of that, we all got really close, and you can see on the show that we’re a really tight-knit cast and really supportive of each other.



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