When I was invited to the Cocoa Beach Uncorked VIP media cooking event with MasterChef Season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale I was definitely excited. First time visit to a Publix Apron Cooking school, cooking demo, yummy food, hanging out with my blogger friends, and some chef named Shaun O’Neale. Anyone who knows me knows that I haven’t had cable in 7 years and I don’t watch reality TV. So even though I knew winning MasterChef was a super huge deal, I had no idea who Shaun was. But there is a first time for everything right?
Shaun O’Neale was one of the guest chef’s for Cocoa Beach Uncorked this past weekend so they partnered with Duda Farms to bring him to Orlando for a special media cooking event. We had the opportunity to hear his story, watch him cook, and try out some of his amazing recipes. Did you know that he was a DJ for YEARS before finally becoming a chef?
Shaun has been orchestrating dance floors from the DJ booth for almost 20 years and refining his culinary skills in home kitchens for just as long. In the late 90s O’Neale found his love for electronic music and quickly climbed the DJ ranks in the underground rave scene, performing regularly with some of the pioneers of the dance music industry. Spending years developing and fine tuning his culinary skills O’Neale came out of the home kitchen and in to the spotlight in 2016 on season 7 of the hit FOX show MasterChef.
One of my favorite parts of the night was being able to chat with him about his favorite comfort food – steak with foie gras. Seriously? Yup, when he needs a meal to lift his spirits this is what he goes for. I got a little flustered when he shot back with “Well what is your comfort food?” I wasn’t prepared and blurted out about my obsession with tacos. Really Meghan? Thankfully I was able to redeem myself a little the next day on Twitter when I shared that shrimp and grits were really my go-to comfort food. He seemed to be a little bit more okay with that answer.
At the end of the night we got a copy of his new cookbook, My Modern America Table: Recipes for Inspired Home Cooks, and were able to have him autograph it. I’m excited to add this second autographed cookbook to my collection. Now that I cook a bit more it always makes me excited when I get a new book to explore.
After meeting Chef Shaun it was really cool when I saw him at Cocoa Beach Uncorked over the weekend and he remembered me. I guess making a stupid comment about tacos makes you memorable. Lol.
*Disclosure: I was invited to this special media VIP hosted by Uncorked and Duda Fresh Farms. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.