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Adriana Guillen in "MasterChef"
Adriana Guillen MasterChef
Adriana Guillen from "MasterChef" is one of the top 19 contestants in Season 4 of the FOX reality cooking competition series. She is a 26-year-old college admissions representative from New York City. Her lamb dish that earned her a spot in the "MasterChef" kitchen was Spicy Lamb Shank with Apricot Israeli Couscous.

Here is an interview with Adriana Guillen:

Who is your primary cooking inspiration?

My mom is the person that inspired me to cook when I was a child, and she is still my inspiration today. There was never a day when she wouldn't cook extravagant meals from scratch. Her passion was and still is in every dish she makes.

What are your favorite food blogs (besides your own)?

I find most of my inspiration through Pinterest. There is something about simple and beautiful photos that spark ideas in my head. However, when I do check blogs it's usually one of these three: Cocina Y Comparte, Desserts for Breakfast, La Buena Vida by Nicole Franzen.

What is your favorite/least favorite dish to eat?

It is so difficult to choose a favorite dish, but I can eat plate after plate of my mom's potato enchiladas. My least favorite dish to eat would be anything fast food and processed; I swear I can taste the preservatives.

What is your favorite/least favorite dish to cook?

It's probably not a surprise that my favorite thing to cook is a simple but delicious plate of refried Mayocoba (a.k.a Peruano) beans with homemade tortillas and a prickly pear cactus salad to go with it. They represent where I come from and who I am. They are full of comfort, full of flavor, and almost buttery. My least favorite dish to cook of course is anything meat! My heart hurts thinking about it.

What is your favorite go-to dish to bring to a potluck?

Green chile and cheese tamales. They are delicious, vegetarian, and easy to serve. You can even eat them in the husk, no plate needed.

What is your favorite/least favorite type of cuisine and why?

My favorite cuisine is definitely Mexican, I can eat it every day it's my comfort food. More specifically, I love to focus on my specialty: Mexican vegetarian. I feel like a pioneer in the sense that there are no chefs out there focusing on Mexican food that is vegetarian. Surprisingly, I still haven't found a cuisine I don't like. I may be vegetarian but I'm not picky on taste. Every cuisine is full of inspiration.

What travel destinations have you either been to or want to travel to for food inspiration?

I haven't been fortunate to leave this continent to explore new food. However, Japan is at the top of my list to visit. Their cuisine and culture inspires me already and I'm ready for the real thing.

What are your top 3 songs to cook to?

I become tired of things easily, that's why there is no way I could only play 3 songs while I cook. However, it is easy to pick three of my favorite artist to play. Any song by Shakira, especially her songs in Spanish. Bonobo's DJ set is amazing and I love that it's mainly instrumental. Lastly, anything Kanye West.

Why did you want to be a contestant?

My fiancé and I watched every episode from all seasons religiously. During every episode he would say "you can do that, you would be great." At the end of season 3, he asked me every day when I was auditioning to be the next "MasterChef." His confidence in my food gave me the push I needed to audition. We both thought this would be the best way to make a career change into my real passion: food.

What is your favorite comfort food and why?

A warm bowl of Caldo de Xoconostle (soup) is my favorite comfort food. Xoconostles are acidic cactus fruits similar to prickly pears. When made into a soup they create a light warm bittersweet flavor that's refreshing at the same time. It's what I grew up with and it always brings me back to the images of living in my village in Mexico.

Pick 3 words that define what meals with friends and family mean to you.

Love, peace, healing.

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Where does Adriana Guillen live? Find out here.

Age: ∼29 years old
Current Residence: New York, NY

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