Twitter users who love having Gordon Ramsay virtually yell at them don’t know what Miami’s Heather Dombrosky found out first hand.
“You feel like the smallest person in the world when Gordon Ramsay is yelling at you,” she laughed. “You feel like you’re a little child.”
The Kendall native should know. She is a contestant on the upcoming season of “MasterChef,” hosted by the British fire-breathing celebrity chef, Ramsay. The new season begins May 31 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Dombrosky, a Miami Killian Senior High and University of Miami nursing school graduate, grew up with South Florida cuisine in her blood — and in her home. Her father, a Pennsylvania transplant, loved spear fishing red snapper in the mangroves off Miami beaches and bringing it home to her Peruvian mother to make into stellar ceviche.
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Dombrosky remembers she and her sister picking herbs such as culantro (the secret to her mom’s ceviche) from the backyard to help make dinner. It was that dish she submitted in an audition for “MasterChef” that landed her a spot on the show.
What she learned about cooking at home she has developed as she travels the world, from South Korea and China to Israel, Russia and Europe to South America, training medical staff for a medical technology company. Along the way, she collects spices that she uses to develop new dishes for family and friends who weren’t surprised she wound up on a cooking show competition.
She also hunts and fishes when she’s not working at New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.
Her brief break from nursing life put her up against 40 other home cooks competing for a $250,000 prize, a cookbook deal and the title of Season 8 “MasterChef.” But to get there, they had to earn the respect of the judges, James Beard award-winning chef Aarón Sánchez, renowned pastry chef Christina Tosi — and, of course, Ramsay.
It is Ramsay who has gained international fame for his unfiltered and creative pairing of four-letter words to scorch the earth beneath cooking contestants, first on Hell’s Kitchen and now on “MasterChef.”
He recently has taken to Twitter to roast users who send him pictures of their home-cooked dishes. He is unrepentant in his criticism, from telling one user his scrambled eggs on toast “looks like the inside of my grand dad’s colostomy bag,” to suggesting another should “roast the chicken not take it to the crematorium.”
He caught some flack online for telling one masochist that his Indian dish looked like prison food. But he proved to be sweet at times, such as when a woman sent him a picture of her fiance’s roasted pork loin and he simply responded, “Marry him....”
Dombrosky has finished taping but is not allowed to reveal how she did. She did say she hears echoes of Ramsay’s voice whenever she cooks a meal.
“I always hear his voice in the back of my mind,” she said. “It just inspires me to keep elevating my food.”