Monika Kokyová on MasterChef: I want to show my ideas
Monika Kokyová of Nosislav is a competitor on the MasterChef Czech Republic program. She is a trained chef who has not yet managed to find a permanent job in gastronomy here because she is of Romani origin.
Kokyová succeeded during the MasterChef casting call, but she had to promise to cook something from her own cuisine in the rounds to come. For the time being she's still in the running and has one successful round behind her; news server Romea.cz conducted the following interview with her.
Q: Why did you apply to the MasterChef contest? What was your motivation?
A: I saw the trailer on TV and applied that evening. I applied out of curiosity. I asked myself: What am I capable of? The motivation was because I frequently think about the fact that I do want to cook, but not just in a factory cafeteria. I want to expand my own horizons when it comes to cooking.
Q: What did your family say when you announced you would be competing?
A: First they wondered what had gotten into me. They asked what made me want to do it from one moment to the next. They believed the people running the competition would not be able to choose me for it. Now they admire me and want me to cook nothing but special dishes, it's making my head spin!
Q: What does cooking mean to you? What about Romani cuisine?
A: Cooking, for me, means the warmth of home, but it also means new flavors and room to learn and improve. If I serve somebody my food, that person must go away satisfied and want to eat it again and again. I love to make the Romani dish pišota. At home I prefer to make a special dish of pasta with shrimp.
Q: What are your aims in the field of gastronomy?
A: My aim is to convey to others what I know how to do in the kitchen, my recipes, flavors and ideas. At the same time I want to continue my education and learn new things. For that reason I'm planning to do cooking courses in Brno.
Q: Has anything surprised you during the competition so far? How much has your participation in MasterChef affected the rest of your life?
A: It surprised me how stressful it is. Until I began competing I didn't know what proper stress is. My life has decidedly improved. Mainly my private life has. My partner appreciates me more now, my children are suddenly helping me at home with the cleaning and cooking. We have discovered how much we need each other and we aren't taking each other for granted. We always really look forward to seeing each other.
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