I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Gordan Ramsay shows; from “Hell’s Kitchen” to “Masterchef”, I’m an avid watcher. I also always keep an eye out for New Jersey contestants (it gives me somebody to root for).

In the current (11th) season there is indeed a representative from the Garden State: Michael Newman, a muscular, tattooed lifestyle coach from Asbury Park. He even said “Jersey in the house!” on this week’s episode. He was the last of the hopefuls to earn the apron and become one of the 15 finalists.

Michael is an interesting guy; he’s a vegan on a cooking competition that requires cooking meats and fish and in his real life, he is a self described lifestyle coach and “sexpert” in relationship coaching. He and his wife started out with fitness consulting but have branched out through their “Jersey Style” company.

The show is hosted by celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Aron Sanchez along with restauranteur Joe Bastianich. Every week the home cooks face a culinary challenge and the person with the worst dish is sent home. Michael has survived two challenges thus far this season. The winner will receive $250,000.

The competition started filming pre-COVID and then had to be shut down for months before resuming. Michael told the Asbury Park Press, "It's the biggest emotional roller coaster I'd ever been on,' he said. "It truly was, from every challenge to you just didn't know where you were or what (the judges) were thinking and you're just at the mercy of your cooking and of the judges."

“Masterchef: Legends” airs on Wednesdays at 8 on Fox. I’ll keep watching and let you know if he wins!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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