Tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m a born and raised Texas girl. Graduated from Texas Tech in 2009. I spent two years in NYC city working for Google and Foursquare and learning the lay of the land in digital media and advertising. Moved to Austin in 2014 to work for a private Digital company called Q1Media. After a couple years in Austin, I found my love for indoor cycling and became an Indoor Cycling Instructor at LOVE Cycling Studio… not to your surprise; I’m sure, but I LOOOVVEE FOOD! Everything about it. The different cultures, the art, the complexity, the simplicity, the flavors. The millions of different ingredients…  but most importantly, when I cook.. its all about the escape. Its truly a therapy to me. A time to relax and just lose myself in a dish and just see what it becomes.

What made you decide to go on MasterChef?

My stepdad and I have watched every season of MasterChef and have always made jokes about who’s going to go on the show, (My stepdad is quite the chef) and in 2015 I decided to make it my goal to at least try out for myself. I had no idea I would make it as far as I did! When I was eliminated in season 7, I picked my self up, tried out again for season 8 and went back for pure redemption.

What was the experience like?

Just Wow. I feel like when you’re in the work place and 30 years old, we all tend to get in a routine and stay comfortable in the lives we made and this just went completely outside of that! Way outside my comfort zone… being sequestered with 39 people you’ve never met (which each person has quite the story) in a different city, competing on National television and cooking for who!? Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi? Aaron Sanchez? … You tell me how you’d feel! I mean whoa. ALL THE FEELS! It was an absolutely incredible experience of a lifetime.

What is your signature dish?

I’m kind of all over the place when it comes to my dishes. I have an endless list of pasta dishes! Spaghetti is my favorite food in the whole wide world. I could eat it 3 times a day.  SO! I love coming up with different sauces and flavor profiles for pasta dishes, but my roots come from Colombia. My mom was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, so I learned a lot of the basics from my mom and Grandmother, which brings a little twist to most of my dishes. I love to pull SOMETHING Colombian in my dishes, whether it’s a seasoning, or a food combination or it’s the way the food has been prepared, I love to have that Colombian flare.

What is one thing you want to learn how to cook?

As much as I love pasta, you’d think I could make it homemade, but I can’t! Something so simple right? I want to learn how to make homemade fresh pasta! .. I feel like it will just make my love for pasta.. NEXT LEVEL STATUS and I’ll REALLY be able to share why I just can’t get enough.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’ve been in 5 hot wing-eating competitions! I’ve snagged second place a couple times. Still reaching for first! I freaking love wings and I freaking love competitions.. so why not? Haha

What are you watching on TV these days?

I live for any and every food show out there. Even when I work out!

Anything else you want to tell America?

2 things:

1. If you take, the “ It seems out of reach” or “I’m not good enough, smart enough, strong enough” out of the equation, you’d be amazed how achievable anything can be. But there is one thing that is for sure, it is DEFINITELY NOT ACHEIVEABLE if you don’t try.

2. It takes a very conscious effort to not care about what people think, or get down on yourself or not be too hard on yourself. But, if you focus on the good in your life, the positive things, the amazing people who love you, the support all around you, the ambition, heart and will within your own self… you’ll do great things. I promise.

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