Welcome to BenStarr.com!

Welcome, fans, friends, and family!  Whether you discovered me by watching MasterChef USA, HGTV, or The Rachael Ray Show, or if you’ve been a follower of my site across much of its 15-year existence, or stumbled across me more recently, you are very welcome here.  I am humbled to have inherited an amazing fan community from around the world, and it’s a joy to share my unique life with you.

I am so grateful for the joy you’ve all brought into my life, and for sharing your stories and creativity with me!  Cooking is, perhaps, the most human of all experiences, and regardless of your heritage, nationality, religion, or socioeconomic background, when it comes time to celebrate life with those you love…you get in the kitchen to cook.  I think that’s a miracle, and gives food the power to bring people together, break down barriers, and connect in ways we might otherwise not find.

I must thank Ozzie Bock, my wonderful fan in Arkansas, for coming to my rescue when I was at my wit’s end in getting this site live.  And also to one of my dearest friends, Monty Taylor, who basically makes the internet work for all of us, and who also hosts my site.  I must also recognize the free software community, who took the WordPress format and made it such that a blundering boob like me could (with help from Ozzie and Monty, of course) put up a website that can bring people together to celebrate life and food, without having to mortgage my house.  Software is art, just like a perfect recipe, or a timeless painting.  And those who work so hard to give it away for free are heroes in my book.

231 Responses to Welcome to BenStarr.com!

  1. woha! what happened! haha Looking forward t see how it pans out… at the moment checking out ur blog on the Master Chef… I see the episode but still like to read it… dunno why… Kind of to see if my thoughts match lol… I am not a good cook.. In fact I ain’t a cook at all :P But would like to begin some day! Salam from Dubai!

    • Hello Ben :D !
      I love you and i love the way you talk with the food! Like a freaking dexter! Hahaha;P
      I love your kindness. You have a huge passion! Much respect to you!
      I’ll hope i meet some day!:-)
      -Kristian from norway.

  2. Your website is so beautiful, I want to eat it.

  3. Loving the new site, can’t wait for all the things to come!

  4. Nice website! Particularly enjoying your blogs and recipes! :)

  5. Yes, I’m Ben-Starr-struck. :)

  6. and this is why i have dubbed you the gangSTARR

    • Ha ha ha… Kris, you are charming and magnetic EXACTLY because of the way you express yourself. It comes across loud and clear to me, and I know it will to other people, too. *hugs*

  7. Loving the new website. The photos of all your travels are amazing!

  8. Ben! Your new website is Awesome :)

    Why don’t you give credit to the designer..hint hint. I’m very curious.

    • Ravenous, I designed the site myself. It’s based on the Coraline theme on WordPress, with very little redesign by me. My superfan Ozzie Bock helped with some PHP blocks, I also got some CSS help from John, the husband of Christine Ha (the blind contestant on MasterChef). Ozzie doesn’t have a website…I asked. But if you need help with WordPress, I’ll get you in touch with him.

  9. I guess I should say, we want links to your designers!

  10. U deserved to win master chef. you have so the right attitude and are a great individual indeed. i have just watched you get evicted and are really annoyed (at you too lol) now ime going to watch the rest and hope that mr attitude (the unshaven one) does NOT take home the 250k, All the best mate.

  11. You really were a highlight on MasterChef, I just watched the episode where you had to go home and even Christian looked sad.

    • Awwww…thanks Harald! Christian was one of my best friends on the show, and is one of my best friends now, a year after. He was very misrepresented on the show. He’s one of the nicest, funniest guys I’ve ever met!

      • Me too: I was so surprised by the disappointement of Christian!! It means you’re really amazing!

      • Gregory Wright

        I never understood the hate that Christian got. I always liked him on the show, felt he was just really honest and could back up anything he said. Despite how he got edited, I really thought he came off well.

      • Misunderestimated Hero of Losers

        You, Adrien, Christian were the big 3 for me (not to say I didn’t like others). I just finished watching the season.

        Christian was just very confident and competitive, with reason to be. Most of the time he said “I’m great’. Just talking about himself. He constantly acknowledge other people’s strengths and used phrases “I think” or “no disrespect but”. In reality the winner to me seemed more childish, foul-mouthed, less talented, petty, and irrational. With the way she spoke about Christian and how Gordon Ramsey was coming down so hard on Christian–I was with Joe on the eating while she presented thing, but i understand.–, how everybody villainized him…I think maybe that got to him a bit. A lot of extra psychological opposition for a guy who has had to prove himself his whole life. I related to him. Sad to see him go.

        And you were the most entertaining, heartwarming, easily relatable guy! I also think you had a ton of talent and creativity.

        What’s done is done. I’m not saying Jen was a straight up bad cook any means. Just saying I would’ve one of you three have won, she didn’t deserve to win, and that Christian told the truth about Gordon Ramsey when they hugged–pretty sure Ramsey proved that in the season.

        Regardless, thank you for being on my TV. Wish you the best of luck.

        • Well, thanks so much! Your insight is really interesting. It’s been 2 years since my season aired, and lots of new drama has arisen with the show of late, so I don’t think much about my season any more. Thanks for bringing back memories!!

  12. Good luck Ben! You ere my favorite character on Masterchef, and I was really rooting for you! I’ll still continue to root for you.

  13. Hello Ben! I’m currently watching MS2. I’m a bit after, but it’s because I live in Sweden. They don’t really broadcast MS here. But I just watched the episode where you were eliminated. I got so disappointed and sad at that very moment. Because in such a short time, you became my biggest inspiration and favorite contestant! You had the brightest energy and the greatest potential out of everyone. I’m not really talented with cooking, but I love baking. One day I’ll recreate the Pumpkin Carrot Cake that you made. You made MS so enjoyable to watch. You inspired me as an individual to thrive forward and not be afraid of whatever is ahead. I wish you the best out of the best in the near future. I hope one day I’ll get to see you and your unforgettable bubbly personality. Best of luck!

    • Jenny, thank you SO MUCH for your kind words! I’ve been getting lots of love from Swedish fans recently. Some day I hope to visit your country!!!

  14. Hey Ben,icing the new site so far. Can’t wait till you head out here to New England so that we can do an episode of CITGO with you & Christian! Keep up the good work & injecting positive energy into the culinary community.

  15. Ugh “icing” should be “loving”. Foiled by autocorrect yet again!

  16. Hello Ben! I just finished the second season of Masterchef and I really wanted to thank-you for contributing to the show with your awesome enthusiasm and positivity. Your passion and excitement really brought the show up to a new level of entertainment. After reading previous comments, I thought that it was interesting that Christian was portrayed in such a negative way while you describe him as really nice. This insight actually elevated my interest further into Masterchef because it paints a much more complex picture of the relationship between the production and reality. In many ways, my (simplistic) early interpretation of the show was almost a dichotomy, you were the good guy and Christian (and earlier Max) was… well… ya. Thank-you very much and I really hope to see you on TV some day!

  17. Andrea (from Argentina)

    Ben Starr, you are THE man. You and your website are as amazing as your food.

  18. I have been such a fan of you from Masterchef and cheering you on from the start! I love your enthusiasm, your love and passion for food, your incredible humility, and I cannot wait to see you shinning as the star you are up there doing exactly what you’re meant to do! Keep it up!

  19. OK Ben…I am a fan of yours as well AND a homebrewer, winemaker, and I teach a breadmaking class uses spent grains from my beer. WHERE are your beer recipes? Especially the pumpkin ale? LOL. Get with it friend!

    • Thanks, Ezraella! I’ve had quite a few requests for a beer recipes page, so I’ll be putting that up this fall. You can find my pumpkin ale recipe on Homebrewtalk if you search for my name there!

  20. Hi Ben. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed watching you on MasterChef. I really feel like the Season 2 cooks were the best of all the contestants. That said, I was wondering if you know what became of Adrien? Also, do you really believe he was a better cook than Jennifer?

    • Carla, Adrien and I are VERY good friends. He and Derrick are currently opening a restaurant in Ventura called Hollywood Beach Wine. Check them out!

      • Misunderestimated Hero of Losers

        Amusing, Derrick was the other one I wouldn’t have minded to see winning. Didn’t think Max would win but that would’ve been HILARIOUS. Talk about under dog rising, would’ve been a nice contrast to last season’s winner. One of the more amusing ones that kid, just his accent alone was funny. And not in a “I’m laughing at you” way. More like, if you cursed me out and “served” me in public, I’d be one of the ones applauding you. Should totally do movies.

  21. I had to google you after watching season 2 of masterchef. I must say for me you were the winner. Your sense of humor,good heart and your dishes were the reason why I watch. Good luck on your website, I like it!!

  22. Hey Uncle Ben ready for thanksgiving? I know I am!! Just wondering can you make the stuffing to besides the turkey? Haha

  23. Ben, I watched Season Two several times now and each time I am amazed at your your performance. You were an inspiration to watch and I hope you found success after the show.


    PS: that shepherd’s pie looked amazing.

  24. You were awesome on the show :D
    My brother, sister and I were rooting for you and can’t wait to see you back on TV.
    Have you considered doing a web series on your own on the side as you wait patiently for otherthings to fall through?

    • Hi, Sandy! I have definitely considered this. My schedule is currently too busy to permit that, but I’m hoping that in late fall I can produce a web series. *hugs*

  25. Hello Ben! My husband and I have definitely Ben Starr-Struck!! We just watched the episode where you you eliminated… I literally got all teary eyed! I have recently started cooking, and would like to try my hand at your amazing sounding pumpkin carrot cake (carrot cake is my absolute fav!!!)! I will definitely be following you on the web, and would LOVE to see you with your own show!!

    Great call on adding the beer to the sausages for the biker challenge, by the way!! That is how it supposed to be done!!

    xoxo, Crystal

  26. Hi Ben! I just finished watching Masterchef season 2 (yes, a little late I know!) and I just wanted to let you know how incredibly inspiring you were to watch. Your passion for cooking just shines through and I truly believe that you have the ability to change so many lives. As a college student who has very little cooking experience, you give me the faith to believe that I could follow my passion for cooking regardless of my inability to go to culinary school. I hope all the best for you and if you ever come out with a cookbook, I will be first in line to buy it! You are truly incredible!

    • Elyssa, you are SO sweet, thanks so much for leaving me this message. I wish you the best of luck in your future! You DON’T need to go to culinary school to have a future in food. (In fact, staging or “interning” in restaurants is a FAR better way to get into the industry and learn, and you don’t have to go into debt to do it.) I actually did publish a cookbook back in 2007…you can learn about it by clicking COOKBOOKS at the top of the screen. Have an awesome week!

  27. hello Ben..

    I’m your biggest fan here in the Philippines.

    You such a lively person Ben.. I have watched the whole episodes of master chef season two.

    You’re the STARr of the show..
    Looking forward for more updates from you.. CHEER!

  28. Hi, Ben! I am currently entralled by MC3, but I certainly remember you from last year. The episode where you won the challenge with your cake was absolutely one of the best. I hope that you are able to bring your new dreams to fruition! Best of luck to you!

  29. Hi, Ben. Just finished watching Masterchef Season 2 and I must say you stole the show. Your enthusiasm, excitement, and passion for food is inspiring. I really enjoyed watching you on the show and I believe you should have definitely been in the final three if not the final two. Good luck with your future plans and I hope we will see you on tv again in the near future.

  30. last year I tried your gingerbread recipe. Om Nom Nom!!! Best tasting gingerbread recipe I’ve ever tried. You’re awesome Ben.

  31. you are the best…smilling ,positive,,,,you should win

  32. Good luck, dude. i’m glad to help you in any small way i can. i love your recipes and your personality. keep it real.

  33. Dud ! You rock :D i wish that one day to see u cook live in egypt ! to see that u are in the same level like masterchef or better :D wish the best for you :)

  34. me encantaria verte en otro programa me quede con mas ganas de ver a benn!!! y que te veamos aca por mexico tambien………….I would love to see you in another program.. left me with..” i want more ben” and also in mexico tv

  35. i watched Master chef season two in france with my husband. When you had to leave the show, we almost cried. You are a beautiful human being who shows us integrity, humility and love. Bon courage and we thank you for ur good energy on tv.

    • What an honor for someone in the center of the culinary universe to give me such compliments! France is such a magical place. I visit Bretagne often. Merci!!!

  36. Ben

    Ever since I saw you come into the MasterChef kitchen with your pumpkin print apron and hat, I was rooting for you. You gave the series a nice dose of humor and cheerfulness that it pretty much needed due to the evergoing drama. People like you are a rare treasure, and I hope you continue being that way. You now have a fan in Colombia (who’ll move to TX soon). I’ll check your recipes from now on!

    A hug from Colombia,


  37. Hello Big Ben,
    Your exit from Masterchef was aired yesterday here in Portugal and it was so devastating, my family was all rooting for you! Of course, I had to Google you to see what you had been up to since then, and I’m very glad to see your quest to your very own tv show! I have no doubt that it will all work out, the “tv world” would be crazy not to have you. Boa sorte and never stop cooking!

  38. Hello Ben,

    I got to your site after i watched the episode 17 of Master Chef season 2….
    Your attitude throughout the competition is really a good example for others.
    Not to mention your passion, spirit and positiveness are so inspiring……….
    Really love you :) Hope your dream will come true soon and flourish
    in the most colourful way.

    From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  39. Hi Ben my name is Soraia And i´m Portuguese ,and i´d like to make you a question do you have a book of recipes?so i can buy it?or do you speak a little portuguese ? so i can talk to you ?:-)
    lots of hugs :-)

    • Bom dia, Soraia! I only speak a little Portuguese. My partner is from Brasil. I do have a cookbook. You can click MY COOKBOOKS from any page on my site to see it! *beijos*

  40. Loved watching you on masterchef. My question for you is there going to be a general masterchef season 2 cookbook. I have found the cookbooks for 1 and 3 but I have not seen anything for your season. And I thought your group mades some awesome foods.

    • Hi, there! There was a cookbook for Season 1, but for Season 2 we issued a special MasterChef Magazine from Taste of Home. You may be able to find it used on Amazon, I’m not sure. There is no Season 3 cookbook…the cookbook just released covers recipes from ALL 3 seasons!

  41. LittleLadyLearning2Cook

    Hi ben,
    My name is Wanda and i just want to share my interest in your page. I’m currently learning to cook and I use your recipes as inspiration. Love your honest & warm persona and of course your recipes. I watched MasterChef 2, you won in my eyes. Keep up the good work and best of luck on your journey. Sincerely, Little Lady Learning 2 Cook.
    P.s. I just made your pumpkin pie recipe and I LOVE IT. Thanks:)

  42. Nobels Jennifer

    Hello Ben.
    I’m from Belgium and really je vous adore!!
    My boyfriend and I really luuuuuuuved you on Masterchef! You’re original, one of a kind and really admire you. I also LOVE hawaii (I really want to go there, haven’t been there yet:( ). I wish you good luck and thank you for being an inspire to me. To never give up on life and keep on holding on ^^

    Big kisses from Belgium

  43. Hey well I think you had to win Masterchef 2 … you were the BEST … Of course you’re even now: D

  44. Ben, I hope you get back on TV soon. You were very exciting and entertaining to watch. Good luck and hope to see more of ya!

  45. I just saw your video about How to Make a Sparkle Ball. Love it! I’d love to see more of your homemade Christmas decorations. And, of course, more how-to videos.

  46. hi from Moldova (not Maldives!) ! i saw MasterChef {all 3 season} like a million times, last night went to bed around 2 in the morning caught up in reading you entries about the show. still have some more to go. yuhuuuuuuuuuu

  47. Hey Ben…I will be the first to admit never watched you or Master Chef as I do not have time for t.v. much. Anyhow, found you on youtube and was looking for a pie dough recipe and found yours first and saw that it was linked with the pumkin/p’can pie recipe. I have done many pie shells thanks to you, and will be doing the pie recipe in a couple of days for Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, you Rock big time and look forward to following you!!! Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2013 New Year Ben Starr!!!!

  48. Hello Ben. I’m from Portugal and I’m watching Masterchef season 2 episode 17 on internet. Until now I don´t know who won the competition but you are my favorite chef. I love your recipes, the way you cook it, and you because you are so happy and crazy! I will look (on your site) for the recipe of this wonderfull pie you just cook. Now, back to episode 17. Best wishes for 2013. Hugs from Portugal. Ofélia

  49. Hi Ben. I’m from Manila, Philippines. I’ve have CDs MasterChef , I’ve watched season 3 before then I’ve watched this Season 2 with u in it…of all contestants u are my fav!! Your zest in Life is an inspiration…and i was sad when u had to leave but overjoyed when u came back at the finalle to watch Jenny , Christian & Adrian… thanks to Internet , nowadays u can send a note or greetings to someone at the other side of the globe!! Am happy to see ur video in Puna, Hawaii wc is so beautiful place on earth and i like to see you happy!!! Take care Ben !!! God Bless U and love-ones!!!

  50. Ben , you are soooo Sweeet guy!! Thanks so much… i don’t feel just as a fan but a friend to u Ben !!

  51. Our names are Azierena and James and we’ve been watching season two of Masterchef. We just saw the episode where you got eliminated and we both cried like babies because you were our favorite! You are wacky, wild, and moderately insane, and we can’t wait to come and eat at your restaurant one day (seriously, get on that). Good luck with your career.
    Two fans

  52. Hi Ben, watching the episodes in the Netherlands at the moment, bit late, but never late then….
    I used to be a chef myself for 20 years and I do recognize myself in you, just a crazy man in the good sense of the word.It’s an eye opener to me to see you in the way I was inspired by food. Shame my life turned out a bit different.I just wanted to tell you that I so enjoyed watching you and I know for sure that you must be an incredible nice man.
    All the best form a wintery Amsterdam

    • Pepijn, thank you so much for your wonderful message! I love Amsterdam, and had one of the best meals of my life there in the home of a chef who has a tiny restaurant in her garage. Her name is Hannah. Such wonderful memories. All the best!!!

  53. Dear Ben Starr. I really admire Your cooking style. Thanks You I really understood what is cooking and how to cook with love and passion. And I think its really important.. Best wishes, Karo

  54. Dear Ben,
    I just finished watching Masterchef and I was so so disappointed to see you eliminated :( Your positivity, excitement and energy have inspired me throughout the season, you are an absolutely wonderful person. I am an aspiring chef, only 19, but studying hospitality management, and I wish to be as positive as you are in life. I hope you have had only the best after Masterchef, I saw you have a restaurant – that is wonderful. Good luck and take care. I hope you still have that amazing pumpkin chef hat :) ))

  55. Hi Ben Starr,

    I am watching the masterchef season 2 episode 16 these days, and really love you and Christian. I can’t believe that you are eliminated and Christian is not the champion (I read the result from internet)!!! So I decided to stop watching it…T_T….By the way, I am from China…Lots of my friends think you are so cute and Christian should be the champion!!! so sad and disappointed……….
    Your positivity and lovely laughing really inspire me a lot!!! Thanks!!
    and Wish you have a happy and prospective new year and future!!

    BTW….I don’t think Christian is arrogant as what he presented in the show, because at the beginning he is nice and he is applauding everytime for others…

    Haha, wish you could travel to China one day~~maybe you will fall in love with Chinese food~~~

  56. Hello!

    I was just watching the season 2 of Master Chef. I wanted to say that you are such a pure soul and genius in kicken. I wish there were more people like you!

  57. Hey Ben! You were awesome in Season 2 and I enjoyed every minute of it! One question: do you remember what episode it was where you finally cooked Gordon that shepherd’s pie?! I’m having trouble finding it :(

    • Hi, Alex! That was the episode where I was eliminated, so it’s the episode where there are 5 of us left. It should be the third-to-last episode.

  58. hello! i love the way you cook. I desperately cried when you left! i love you!!!! pleas cook for me!!! ;)

  59. Hi! I think you should have a youtube channel only for the Ben Starr cook :) , because I wanted to see if you made any video on your own but then it’s all mixed up with your traveling.
    I hope you get the recognition you deserve :) Improve this website!

  60. Hi Ben! I’m from Poland, today I watched the episode of Masterchef in which you lost. I felt really sad when it happened, ’cause I’ve been rooting for you from the very beginning of the show You’re adorable and I simply love watching you cook. You should visit Poland someday and try our food. You wouldn’t be dissapointed, that’s for sure! I wish you best of luck and a lot of success!

  61. Cześć Ben oglądłem i kibicowałem tobie w masterchef, od tamtej pory oglądam ciebie na youtube, jestem z polski też kocham gotować i jeść pozdrawiam Ben Starr

  62. Hi Ben :) well i saw you on fb does’t matter i want to say hi here too lol this is a really cool page….. i love this and is good to know about you hope you to come Ecuador soon :) od bless you Ben :D

  63. Hi Ben! Suzy is arrogant, don’t you agree?

    • Yanis, Suzy is actually really delightful. We all adored her. I’ve been to visit her in Chicago twice. Just remember that HUNDREDS of hours of footage are shot for 1 hour of an episode. The editors pick and choose exactly what they want the audience to see. They could have edited me to sound arrogant, too.

      • Thanks for the reply! Yes, it’s the editors pick which make the show interesting… But, nice to know she is delightful! You deserved to win it! Christian is hilarious, he’s cute when he’s arrogant! You’re so humble as always, you never let anyone down! I’m from Hong Kong and I am a boy… I’m your biggest fan!

  64. I think it’s impossible that you seem arrogant! you are my favourite of masterchef. I wanted that you won! kisses from Italy (did you visit Italy?).

  65. Matthew Herrington

    Do u have a resturant someone opened a resturant in Houston, TX

    • Matthew, my restaurant is in Dallas. The winner of MasterChef 3, Christine HA, lives in Houston and plans on opening a restaurant, but it won’t be for another year or two.

  66. Hi Ben, I love you from the heart, and I wish him success in all areas of your life, watch masterchef just to see you and never get tired of looking at you, that God is always with you … sorry for my horrible english, haha, I’m a Brazilian girl, kisses!

  67. Ben? :( i like it

  68. Ben, my husband and I never watch TV, only Netflix, and somehow we ended up watching the whole season of MasterChef when you were on! Wishing you the best of luck in your endeavors. Oh, and this is random, but… would you just tell me something I could bring to my next vegetarian pot luck for my book club please!

    • HI, Jayme! You’re so sweet, thank you. A vegetarian potluck? For something complex and impressive, try my Smoked Mozzarrella, Eggplant, and Mushroom Fritters. If you want something a bit easier, you can try my Mao Farms Vegetarian Curry which uses either green payapa or green mango, and will be a sure hit. (Check ethnic markets for unripe papaya or mango. They won’t be sold as such, though many Asian markets DO sell unripe green papaya for Thai papaya salad, but just feel them and if they’re hard, they’re still unripe and will work perfectly for the recipe.)

  69. I am watching season 2 all over again, you captured our hearts, I certainly hope you will be back with your own show!!! Good luck!!

  70. Ben, I’m amazed how You can still find time to answer people, to their comments. I personally did not watch the show… to see you all, how you make those incredible dishes :) I watched it because it was hell of a fun to watch You and Your friends as you overcome problems in kitchen that has been given to you. I was very entertained to watch You, because You spread joy and happyness everywhere You are. You are not just only inspiring as a chef, but as a wonderfull, full of laugh, guy, that makes everybody smile. Thank You for that, and i wish You luck on Your journey with cooking. Sorry for my English. Adrian. :)

  71. hi ben, i really admire your passion, the emotion in every dish! so positive, so proactive, so intense, you are a great inspiration of every one, no matter what we do, we discover with your attitude that every work , must be done with perfection, you are blessed, use your talents to make the people happy, i really admire you, regards! Gabriela from mexico.

  72. Joshua Smith

    Ben, thanks for being so hilarious on Masterchef. My wife and I just finished watching season 2 and seeing you back at the end made the entire epsiode for us. I know you hear it a lot, but you were our favorite contestant and the show just wasn’t as good without you there. Good luck with the Australian Tastemaster job!

  73. I totally agree w the Smith¨s of yesterday! Crossed my fingers for you from the very start, and since your elimination I’ve been wondering where your life-path led you. Just finding your page now, I’m happy to know a little more.. Wishing you ALL THE BEST in your future wanderings!!! And Thank you for excellent TV-entertainement!!
    Kind Regards from Norway, where we just finished ‘your’ MasterChef-season! / BN

  74. Hey Ben! me and my girlfriend just finished watching the MS season. So wanted you to win but what an amazing journey you had / having!
    Felt compelled to google what you are up to now!
    My favourite moment was the pride you had in the amazing layered cake you made!!! got a bit watery eyed myself!!!
    So glad to see you are doing so well! FRANK looks intriguing!
    Take care! much love!

    • Awww…thanks so much John! I’m so glad you sought me out. Stick around! This is an amazing community of people who love food and life!

  75. Ben, I have made your site the homepage on my iPad. I always check here first for yummy new recipes. NOTHING I have made from from your site has ever come out bad. You inspire me to new heights in my cooking endeavors!

  76. g’day. I have a special photo (one only) to send you, but with me being an oldie (IT immigrant, defnitely not an IT native) i have no idea how to send it to you. please advise. thanks heaps. (ps if you dont want to post details on your site, please feel free to email me instead). cheers

  77. hi,ben…..l love you very much….

  78. Hello Ben! My name is Lisa, Im a home cook, and want to go to culinary school, ive been watching master chef and all the food network shows and learned a LOT. id like to get better and better, i hope someday to meet you and maybe you can teach me a few things :) im a good listener and love to learn new things. how hard was it on master chef? are the judges (particularly Gordon Ramsey and Joe Bastianich ) are they really as scary in person as they seem on tv? Do you keep in touch with them at all either?

    • Hi, Lisa! Gordon and Joe are actually very nice in person…their “meanness” is just an act for the camera! We contestants occasionally interact with the judges online, mostly on Twitter. But we don’t “talk” like friends…all 3 guys are VERY busy!

  79. benedito_flavio@yahoo.de

    Hi Ben, I am also brazilian, living in Germany. I was cheering for you during masterchef!!! You are my favorite and still a winner for me! Please if you and your partner come to Germany (close to Frankfurt) I would love to invite you to come to the 3 Michelin star Amador restaurant. Abracos e lembrancas da Alemanha, Flavio.

  80. lam from Vietnammes,I love you and i love the way you talk with the food! Like a freaking dexter!
    I love your kindness. You have a huge passion! Much respect to you!

  81. Reina Martinez

    Hi Ben! My name is Reina & i was one of the top 100 contestants on MC4 this year! it was an experience to say the least! Obviously i didn’t get any airtime except a few snippets here & there & hugging Bime when he got his apron LOL! My interview was hysterical in a good way but kinda pornographic bcuz i’m a Brazilian Bikini waxer by trade and Joe, Graham & Gordon had a field day with questions for me! they were crying they were laughing so hard! Anyways i really enjoyed watching u on MC2, u were definitely my favorite! Who would’ve thought i’d be talking to u about this! Even last year at this time i would’ve never thought i’d try out for a TV show! Good luck on your venture, it looks like your’e having a blast!!!!!!! XO

    • Hi, Reina! Congrats for being bold and taking a chance on being on MasterChef! I wish we had gotten to see more of you. I hope the experience was largely positive for you and that you made some amazing new friends! *big hugs*

  82. I know that I’m overwhelming you with my comments in these days, but I’d also like to know if you have ever watched Masterchef Italia and what do you think about it. (I also wanted to ask if somebody could eat Masterchef’s food, but I read the answer in another post…I’m happy that the food wasn’t wasted!) Baci

    • Hi, Bea! I have never watched MasterChef Italia. My partner’s sister lives in Palermo and she watches every episode and tells me about it. She also said that when they aired MasterChef USA in Italia, all our voices were dubbed into Italian and that the guy who did my voice sounded very funny!

  83. Oh my God. I’m messaging Ben Starr. Oh my God. Haha…

    Well, hi, it’s me, your biggest fan. =^^= And I’m here to tell you that I admire your passion, your talent, your selfless love for people. Seriously. Everyone I know who watched last season would say: “Omg, Ben Starr’s amazing, I want him to win!” You’re just a wonderful person. We were all sad to see you go.

    I wanted to tell you that watching on the show inspired me to apply to the Culinary Institute of America. Basically, you motivated me to begin my life over again. Thank you so much for that. Never lose that passion you have. Best of luck with your career; you’ve made it so far, and God knows you’ll make it farther.

    Much hugs,

  84. Oh! And by the way, you’re adorable.

  85. William Tornato

    Hi Ben,
    I’ve just watched season 2 of Masterchef USA up to the episode where you left the race to the finale.
    It was heartbreaking to see you go. I know nothing of us beside what i’ve seen on the screen, but you radiated so much joy, so much enthusiasm, and so much optimism. My heart goes to you Ben, and whatever you’re doing right now, i hope you’re enjoying it. I also hope you can follow your dream and continue cooking amazing dishes!

    - From France :)
    (please, forgive any mistake i have made. Still learning English)

  86. your fan since your signature dish (audition of course) !! you were the real winner of masterchef but you know what. you’re won us all!!

    a food lover from mauritius :)

    • Awwww..thank you so much Akhilesh! You are the first fan I have heard from Mauritius. I have ALWAYS wanted to visit your island!

      • lets hope one day you’ll decide to give us some of your footprints on our island. will be an enormous pleasure to welcome you. besides you’ll be surprised how diversified our island is regarding the culinary style. :)

  87. Ben, do you do appearances, say – to groups or clubs? Would love to discuss via email if you’re open to that.

  88. I think you’re probably one of the kindest, most humble chefs i’ve seen on Masterchef. You’re definitely one of my favorite chef :) One of the best qualities about you in my opinion is the passion and excitement when it comes to cooking. You’re an inspiration!! I’m absolutely a big fan!

  89. Ben. who do you want to win masterchef season 4? :D D

  90. Just discovered masterchef and watched you bake a pumpkin layer cake. You are kind and goofy — the kind of human being who makes the world around him a better place. Love the way you keep humour and decency under pressure. Kudos!

  91. Hi Ben, I’m from Brazil and Masterchef season 2 is reprising here. I have already watched that on youtube, in television, and now I’m watching again just to see you! I love your sense of humor, your skills and humility. Cheers from south america and I’m sorry for the bad english.

  92. Hi Ben! I just did a Masterchef binge, and I absolutely LOVED you! Thanks for getting out there- I now have to sample some of your recipes and force my family to develop their palettes!

  93. Hi! My name is Christine! I’m a really big fan of yours, Christine Ha, Whitney Miller, and the Christine from your season. And u are super AWESOME!!! Nice to see Christian isn’t as bad as the tv made him seem. I cried when u left the competition, I thought u would win the whole thing! I aspire to be a chef too! But I’m still learning how to cook.

    And did u watch Junior Masterchef Australia?

    -From Singapore(did u visit Singapore before?)

    • Christine, I haven’t watched MC Jr Australia, but MC Jr USA will air its first season this fall, and I’m VERY excited! I have never been to Singapore before, but I’ve been to both countries to your north! Maybe some day! (If it gets cheaper…)

  94. Ben, I first want to say that you are “absolutely sublime” -Gordon Ramsay. I wanted to ask you a couple questions; is there a chance for previous contestants like you to come onto masterchef again like on season 5? How do you feel about season 4 compared to your season?

    • Shrey, there is no practical chance for someone who landed in the top 18 to come back for a future season, unless it’s a reunion or “all star” show. Of course, as soon as I say that, it will happen for someone to build excitement and suspense. Regarding the comparison between Season 4 and my season…there’s a lot more psychological manipulation this year in a specific attempt to pit the contestants against each other to encourage fierce, fight-to-the-death competition. There was only a little of that during my season. This season it’s out of control.

  95. You’re quite inspirational Ben..I’m a big fan…where can I read about your travel writtings???? Do you hav an online blog for that as well or are you just focusing on food these days??

  96. I discovered that one of the judges of Junior MasterChef Italia will be Lidia Bastianich! I look forward to watching it

  97. Hi Ben, I’m watching MasterChef here in Finland and I have to say that you are funny and cute!

  98. Truth to be told I was not a fan of you while watching your season of MC. :) I hope that doesn’t Change your attitude towards me. BUT I am a fan of you now. I like the many skills you have, the insights you give, the knowledge you share. All in all I like the attitude here! :)
    I am from the south of Austria, living near the Italian border. My cooking is influenced a bit by my grandma and the stuff we learned at catering school but mostly by travelling the south of Europe, cook books and maybe even cooking Shows (not really the MC-series…more Jamie Oliver and German Shows). Unfortunately the world seems to be obsessed by Asian Food, Italian Food, Spanish Food and French Food. While there are many good reasons to adore these regional cuisines, it is sad that one rarely sees food from the region of the old Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (Austria, Hungary, Slovene, Croatia, Check Republic and many more….)

    • Well better late than never, Tom! And you’re certainly not the first person to say that. A lot of now-fans disliked me greatly on the show. “He’s not really crying, he’s faking it to get airtime.” “He’s not really that loud or crazy, he’s just hogging airtime.” “His mom really doesn’t make those stupid hats, he’s just wearing them to get noticed.” I actually got on a LOT of people’s nerves. For those of you who gave me a second chance outside of MasterChef…I am grateful.

  99. Hi Ben! I have only started watching Masterchef Season 2 recently and I am a huge fan of you. Really love your passion, enthusiasm and personality! Keep cooking and inspiring! Love from Singapore. :3

  100. Ben, could you add a Search box in your blog? :) for, e.g. sometimes I wonder if you’ve written about blackberries somewhere because I’ve just harvested a chunk from the garden, et cetra… :) Your blog is like an electronic cooking guide (among other great purposes) for me, and I’d like to be able to “search” it.

  101. Was sad to see you not make it further in Masterchef, but #5 is still really great. You were my favorite personality on the show, although I have to admit not being able to see Jennie’s beautiful face was sad too! :) Good to see you and Jennie having a food business together. Good luck!

  102. Hi Ben currently we watching master chef in Iraq and I would like to say you are very beloved all my family like your character and today was the episode when you left the show which made us really sad :( we wish you better chances in your life and be the best cooker ever

    • Mas Salaama, Salam! Thank you so much for your comment, and I am very honored that you took the time to send me this message. I don’t have the space to convey all my feelings about what our country has done to your country, both good and bad. I can only hope that in time, the Iraqi people will have a government that they love, and the horrors of the past decades will have taught everyone in the world to be more human to each other!

  103. Watching your MC for the Second time and i hope you win it this time. If you have your way to Sweden me, my wife and kids would love for you to stay here at our place. We are Ben Fans.
    /Luis from Sweden

  104. You are definitely my favourite contestant of MasterChef season 2.

  105. ben will you marry me…?

  106. Hi again! It’s me! Christine! I was wondering what to bake for an After-Exam-Celebration…. What do u recommend?

    Btw, Gordon Ramsey came to Singapore a few months ago and challenged three hawkers! The Laksa Challenge, the Chicken Rice Challenge and the Chilli Crab Challenge…

    WE WON THE LAKSA AND CHICKEN RICE CHALLENGE! WOOO!!!! sadly, we lost the Chilli crab one…

  107. Hi Ben! You are awesome, my whole family loves you. I’m from Sweden and I love to make desserts and I love to bake! I was just wondering if you know any good way to make chocolate mousse, mine splits, when I stir the chocolate into the cream the chocolate sets again and it becomes lumpy, have you got any tip? I love you!

    • Hi, Lydia! It’s best to warm your cream base slightly so that the chocolate doesn’t set the instant it hits the base. I would have to see your whole recipe in order to explain exactly what to do.

  108. Violeta Villanueva

    I am watching masterchef as it arrived to Spain now, and I find it incredible how you did it in there :) I do not know who was winning the competition, but I decided to google you and this was the first page that came in my laptop. Congratulations Ben, for me you are the winner! Greetings from Spain

  109. no matter how many times i watch season 2 of master chef I always cry on the part where you got eliminated. I am an avid fan of master chef and so far you are still one of the best chefs there. you are a great cook and your attitude and cheerful spirit can make anyone smile. you are a great inspiration to all of us! for me (and for many others) you deserve the title of master chef. there are lots of great cooks out there but only a few have the true passion and love for the food they make. you are one of the few :)

    my birthday is coming and a reply from you is my one and only wish! I am a BIG fan! greetings from the Philippines :)

  110. I don’t know if you’ll have the time to respond or notice a post here, but even a small reply would be awesome!
    I’m a gigantic Gordon Ramsay fan and I just got done watching Season 2 of Masterchef and as I do with Hells Kitchen and Masterchef I do a bit of following up on seeing how everyone is doing post-competition, and I stumbled upon your site which was probably the most personal of active of any competitor. The character your brought was electric and genuine and warmed the heart of the judges as much as it did the viewers.
    But after browsing your reactions to each Masterchef round you were a part of (which helped add a level of depth to rewatching those episodes, ha), I eventually found your MasterChef: A Farewell Perspective. A little preachy, maybe, but there’s a lot to learn from such a post. I did have a question or two about what you meant by “MasterChef is entertainment. First and foremost. It is not real. It is not a competition. It is a highly engineered fiction…like EVERY reality TV show…designed to keep you watching from episode to episode,” as when you described your experience it sounded like the competition aspect was very much real. Were you making a point about how the experience of the competition itself was marred by the elaborately constructed drama and false characterization, or were does experiences scripted and rigged to some extent?
    Another thing was I felt like kind of a bad and sort of lazy person after reading it, because (confession time) I might have been roped into disdain towards Christian/Suzy. And I begin to reconsider how to go along conducting myself internally and externally. I don’t know, but it seems a fair conclusion to me that it’s never right to judge someone without intimate impressions of them, but I also simultaneously think that no one is perfect, and if I had flaws, a fair bit of direct criticism isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Would that be judgmental? I’m not sure.
    I do enjoy cooking but it’s not an extraordinary driving force of passion so my time here may be scarce but I am truly refreshed by having the opportunity of this window into your soul: you appear genuine, empathetic and an absolute force for good in this world. A lot of people who claim to have the same qualities drone endlessly on their twitters, tumblrs and so forth with an air of pretentiousness and ego without doing much for the world at all outside of ranting about insignificant things in their personal microcosms. Promise me that you’ll stay the way you are, because that’s how we love you.
    I will however try your cookie recipes because that’s like a thing I’m kinda into. Friday afternoon cookies. Yum.

    • Fakir, you are WAY too kind…thank you so much for this wonderful comment! If you ever have time, go back through my MasterChef posts and you’ll get all sorts of insight into how the show is crafted. The stress and competition are VERY real. We sweat it out through each challenge. What you ultimately view, though, is elaborately constructed, so that YOU feel similar to the way WE feel when we’re in the heat of competition.

  111. Hi ben I was just watching masterchef your episode now on tv in spain they play all repeats of stuff I so wanted you to win read up that you didnt win which was a shame your such a funny guy to watch I know uou said Christian is yr best friend but I didn’t like his attiude to other contedtents in the challanges other people desereved the right to use one of there ideas aswell as just his just wihed you stuck to replicating gordon dush instead of changing meat these judges are hard to cook for they say what they think whichbisvhard if yr sensitive joe is very hard on some people but thenbif you cant take that shit you should be a chef you been a great contestant on herd
    Emma. Spain madrid

  112. Dear Ben,

    I’m Mr. Ruos from Cambodia, a small country in Southeast Asia. I’m most interested in your Kangaroo recipe, kindly response with recipe for Brine as I can’t find it here and am not good at surfing. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Have a great day,

    Phnom Penh

    • Hello, Ruos! A brine is simply a salty liquid. 10 ounces of salt to 1 gallon of liquid is the ratio. That is typically about 1 1/2 cups of course salt or 3/4 cup of fine salt to a gallon of liquid. You can use ANY liquid. Juice, wine, broth, tea, water…anything.

  113. Hi Ben! How are you? I read somewhere in your blog that on the set of Masterchef USA there were psychologists. But what did they do exactly? Were they useful for the contestants? (I’m curious to know it because I’m studying psychology). Hugs!

    • Bea, there are psychologist on the set of virtually every major reality TV show. Because I don’t personally know any reality TV psychologists, I can’t tell you what the full extend of their jobs are. But in theory, they are there to protect the contestants, assist in emotional crises, and provide counseling when contestants are eliminated.

  114. i Just wanted to wish u and Love ones a very Blessed Christmas & Great New Year …quite early?? Time flies..these Holiday Season is just around the corner…God Bless u Ben !!! Mwuuaaah !!

  115. Dear, Ben naturally I love your sight. I saw your burning man videos. I was very impressed. I would like to offer you free music for any of your videos or productions. Some of what I have done is at this sight http://www.myspace.com/silenceofdescent Enjoy the listening. I hope to be hearing more from you in the future. Again thank you for all your entertaining hrs of information and entertainment. Blaine Jones

  116. Happy Christmas! May all your dreams come true! And keep providing us with your insight, your ideas and some brilliant recipes!

  117. Ben Starr!
    MY gosh. I just finished watching MasterChef Season 2 and you were absolutely amazing–you stole my heart, Ben! It was clear that I was watching the show just to see you in action and be bubbly and fun and down to earth. I was so sad when you left, and the rest of the season became lack lustre… Anyway, I am so stoked to have found your website, and you are doing the most amazing things (as I alway knew you would) in a very self-less, kind and caring way (so rare to find a person like you in such a cut throat world). Your personality shines above all and I am definitely in love with you! You’re phenomenal and keep on being the wonderful you! I look forward to reading about your adventures to come.
    Lots of love from Canada,
    Angela :)

  118. Hey Ben,
    Your kindness is transcendent, and it was your kindness, along with your talent, which the best, most magical ingredient of the MasterChef. Best of everything to you!

  119. I’m so excited to have come across this blog. Happy 2014, Ben and fellow fans! May it be full of new happiness and growth.

  120. Hi ben starr I still see your episode on tv here its back on again here in spain everytime I see it I so wished you had won you could of hands down you are what makes the show worth watching you perzonality ,sense of humour, character Im not keen on people taking things too seriously as you say we only see cool carm people behind the cameras you proberley stressing bad , your a great cook and will be looking at your recipes later , whete abouts in brazil is you partner mine is from brasil ,paranaiba ms hope one day to meet you here in spain or in brasil looking forwRd to ypur reply

  121. Hi ben, I enjoyed watching you compete in Masterchef;in fact, i keep watching reruns of your season because you are just so passionate and adorable!! I have been cooking from the age of 8 and your enthusiasm and knowledge of food inspires me! I have been recovering from a serious eating disorder for the past year and watching what you do with food helps me to give it the respect it deserves. Thank you for helping me change my attitude towards it;its a step in the right direction!

    • Monique, I am SO honored by your comment. And I’m so happy for you that you’ve been able to change your relationship with food by the joy that cooking brings you! You are an inspiration, please share your story as often so you can! *big hugs*

  122. armando sierralaya

    hi ben!, I’m from Spain, I have 16, I’m watching season 4, and I just found your website. for me, in general “masterchef” was and is a great inspiration, but more people like you who always have a smile on your face haha. this made ​​me push myself to learn to cook and also in the End of school trip I have done with my class, I have volunteered to be the chef of the trip, we’ll london, and also today I made my first cupcakes chocolate, my friends liked it haha, I’m not very good with English, even hate the English, jajajaj, but I would be very happy to have an answer from you. Greetings :)

    • Hello, Armando! Thank you so much for your kind message. And congratulations on being the chef for your class trip! I hope it goes very well for you. And congratulation on your chocolate cupcakes!!

  123. Hi Sir Ben just dropped by to say a few words! I recently watched Season 1 and 2 of Masterchef and one of my favourites is you! hihihi You’re so fun! A good listener, friend, chef, and a person with a sense of humor. So fun! I really like you as a person! I’m only 18 years old and a college student and watching/ seeing people who loves everything about life and nature that much is an honour! I just can’t say anything else, but you one fun chef/writer/traveller and more! I love life, and seeing other loving life more, makes me even more happy, and develops me as a person as well. People like you are an inspiration and I believe one of the professions that will come naturally to you as an individual is becoming a teacher to kids! at their age, they will learn how to become good citizens in the future or as they grow up. im just happy, really happy! You inspire me, us Sir Ben! thank you for the inspiration! More blessings and luck to you Sir Ben, keep on inspiring as you really inspired me! thank you!

  124. Love you in the show. Your expressions made my day and the camera loves you. You’re a natural starr! ;)

  125. Dr Minahil Tariq

    Hey ! Here’s ur fan from Pakistan ! I just finished watching the sec season of masterchef n have been “Starr struck” :
    Hoping great things await you in future.

  126. Hey Ben – I have to say you were my favorite chef by far on the show, and I was rooting for you all the way :) . I’m glad to see you’re doing well for yourself now. I loved your personality and energy and I want to wish you luck in the future!

  127. Next weekend, The Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida! I really hope to see you there. Better yet, I hope you have an entry.

  128. You are a wonderful human being! Loved your positive energy on the MasterChef…a big thank you!

  129. Hi Ben! I just finished Masterchef Season 2 and I just had to search you up to see what you were doing now and to get a glimpse on how things progress with each individual after Masterchef. Im an avid fan of the entire Masterchef show and I’ve watched the entire Australian, British and Norwegian shows – but I only recently started enjoying the US version of it. And I have to commend you for being a bright light and a true passionate cook that shined through my monitor each time you were on the screen. Your emotional and passionate way of cooking and looking at food as a whole really made me smile and happy, and sometimes even brought me to tears. Food is all about sharing and caring, and I think you personified those qualities in the show. Just a huge thank you for being who you are and for showing so much passion and feelings. I want to wish you all the best for the future and I hope you will continue to enjoy your summer with your loved ones and a lot of great food ;) ! Much love from Norway

  130. Hello, Ben! I recently discovered the MasterChef series. I’m wierd about wanting to start from the beginning and experience it as if it were live/current television. Today, I saw the elimination that ended your time on the show. You were my pick since the start of the show. You ooze so much excitement and enthusiasm, you take your licks and keep kicking. There was nothing on that show that ever managed to pierce your joy for life and food. I think you are amazing and look forward to delving into what you have to offer outside of the show!

    Thank you for taking me along with you on a great experience!

    Much love, from Utah USA

  131. ahhhh Ben! How great to see you again! You answered my response about the BEST blueberry muffin recipe with your usual insight and humor, but I never got the notice! Then I was reading through old comments to you and read one that sounded familiar and it was MINE with your response. hahahaha. Anyway, a year later and I am a determined and loyal vegan for deep personal reasons of my own. I bake vegan cupcakes and muffins and sell at small markets and festivals. I love it! You can bet I will send you a blueberry recipe after I get one perfected enough for the likes of you! Hope that you are well and happy and cooking up a storm as always. Masterchef is so bad it is almost good. No. That is not true. Masterchef is cruel and harsh as ever. I wish you would write about it still so that somewhere, out there, a voice of reason could stand up to those bullies-but I am glad that for your own sanity, you no longer do. Love always! You are a superstar. ALWAYS love reading your blog!! xoxoxo Lise

  132. Ben Starr I love you
    You are a generous and wonderful person. You really brought it in master chef. I really cried when you left. I wish you all the success in the world. I would most definitely watch any show you produce.

  133. I just finished watching the sec season of master chef n have been “Starr struck” Thanks for share.

  134. Ben, you’re a sore loser. And you’re a cheater. It’s too bad someone didn’t say something about you being gay while your own uncle was pivotal in denying gay people their rights in California. Seriously.

    • Hi, Ralph! Ha ha ha… You’re certainly entitled to your opinion about be being a sore loser and a cheater, though I’ve continually and emphatically stated how happy I was with my MasterChef experience THREE YEARS AGO. (Why are people still talking about that?) And for the record, I was out in California doing interviews and marching in protests during the ENTIRE Prop 8 era. I was being as public as I could possibly be about my own sexuality and my opinion of the legislation. Just as you have no control over what your family members do, neither do I.

      • Ben's newest fan

        Life is truly a rich tapestry; one minute you’re googling jalapeno/honey brine recipes, next thing you know you learn how to blog-jitsu a hater trying to slag someone’s positive energy. Ben, thank you for the life lesson. Seriously.

  135. Hi Ben! I recently discovered Masterchef and though this is a bit belated, I just wanted to say that your passion, enthusiasm, and most importantly your infectious zest for life really shined through. You are a person I want to emulate, not only in the kitchen as a chef but in attitude and character, as a person. You are unabashedly yourself, and I hope that you are happy and healthy.

    Much love from NY!


  136. Ben's newest fan

    Life is truly a rich tapestry; one minute you’re googling jalapeno/honey brine recipes, next thing you know you learn how to blog-jitsu a hater trying to slag someone’s positive energy. Ben, thank you for the life lesson. Seriously.

  137. Ben you are star

  138. Aloha Ben, I watched one of your videos and was impressed by your positive outlook on life.i am coming to Hawaii to relocate and would like a to know someone who could show me the town…

  139. hello, Ben Starr!!! I live in greece and just saw Master Chef 2. You are a really nice guy. You really love food. I was really upset when you were eliminated from the competition!!! Anyway, i saw your blog and really liked it. :) Have you ever visited Greece? You should defintely try to cook traditional greek dishes!!!!

    • Hi, Dimosthenis! Thanks so much for your message. I do love Greek food, and I have been to Athens and a few of your islands!