Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Mid-South pit master to appear on ‘MasterChef: United Tastes of America’


COLDWATER, Miss. – As the season for “MasterChef: United Taste of America” kicks off, Mid-Southerners may see a familiar face.

Kendal Adair is competing for the chance to represent the southern region in the cooking competition. Adair lives in Coldwater, but grew up in DeSoto County.

FOX13 sat down with Adair to see how his cooking career started.

Adair told FOX13 he started cooking at the age of 12 and started competing at that age as well.

“I loved to watch Emeril Lagasse on TV Saturday mornings,” Adair said.

Adair’s first cooking competition was at the Southaven Spring Fest in 2008. He told FOX13 that he took home second place and that’s when he fell in love with cooking and competing.

“I started competition cooking all across the United States when I was about 15, 16 then moved my way to now, we have our own team and we’re competing pretty much as much as we can,” Adair said.

Adair has competed in over 200 cooking competitions including the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Competition with Memphis in May.

Competing on “MasterChef,” Adair told FOX13 was a different experience.

“The biggest difference in my opinion is you have 45 minutes in L.A. You have 24 hours in what I’m used to doing, so there’s a little difference in the time frame,” Adair said.

This season, “MasterChef: United Taste of America” will take one chef from four regions – the West, Northeast, Midwest and the South – to compete for the grand prize of $250,000.

Adair competed against 4 other chefs to see who would represent the southern region.

“We really enjoyed the camaraderie with each other. We all had the common interest and we have love for food. That was really probably my favorite part about it was meeting the people and building a Rolodex of chefs all across this great country,” Adair said.

Adair said while he made many friendships, once the camera’s turned on, it was all business.

“It’s a little cutthroat on camera, but after the fact, we’re all friends. Like I said, we like to bounce ideas and learn from each other,” Adair said.

Even with the stiff competition, Adair told FOX13 he walked away with new friendships and new lessons.

“I think that master chef really taught me that you know, we have good people all across this country and you know, deep down we’re all pretty similar,” Adair said.

You can watch “MasterChef: United Taste of America” every Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT on FOX13.

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