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Christian Collins from "MasterChef" is one of the top 18 contestants in Season 2 of the FOX reality cooking competition series. He is a 31-year-old stay-at-home dad from Gloucester, Massachusetts. His signature dish is Shipwreck Sea Stew.

Q&A with Christian Collins ("MasterChef"):

Who was your first cooking inspiration?

As a boy, I would chop olives for my grandmother. I would take my time and get them all diced into perfect little squares and she would say, "You chop the olives better than I do! You could be a chef someday." I guess Nanny's intuition was right!

What is the first dish you ever mastered?

Braised short ribs. They are a two-day process, but taking this lesser cut of meat and working it into satisfying, savory goodness is gastronomic gratification.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I don't have one favorite thing. Food is constantly evolving for me. I love cooking fresh veggies from the garden or a fresh fish that I caught. Having a connection to the food I make and eat is important. It's hard to do it every meal of every day but when you do, those are the food memories that last a lifetime.

What did you learn as a contestant on "MasterChef"?

I learned to be myself, and follow my dreams no matter what. I'm constantly learning in the kitchen, and when you stop learning you stop being passionate. This is my purpose in life and I look forward to being a professional chef.

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Age: ∼36 years old
Hometown: Gloucester, MA

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