MasterChef originated as a cooking competition show in America. Photo courtesy of O'live tv.

Jina Yoo of Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro in Columbia was selected to be on the Korean version of MasterChef. The show pits amateur chefs against each other to test their skills under pressure.

Yoo was picked from 5,000 applicants, and she will leave March 3 for the show. She will arrive in Korea on March 4 start shopping immediately for ingredients for her first challenge, which is to make a dish they prepare themselves, Yoo says. She will have the 12-hour jet lag working against her, but she is excited for the challenge.

“Running a restaurant itself is a nonstop challenge,” Yoo says. “We can be quiet, and no one is here, and then 20 people walk in.”

She’s not worried about mystery baskets or surprise boxes because Yoo says her best strength is finding one ingredient and working around it to make a dish. Her biggest challenge in the competition? Baking. She has never had to bake before, and she anticipates she will need to for the show.

The first two weeks is the first round of the competition. Yoo will come back to Columbia for about a month, and then return if she makes it to round two of MasterChef.

The show will air in Korea in July, and Yoo will link to YouTube videos of the show through the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Korean MasterChef is modeled after the American MasterChef, which features Gordon Ramsay from Hell’s Kitchen who is also known for screaming at contestants and throwing them out of the kitchen. Unless he makes a guest appearance, Yoo won’t encounter Chef Ramsay and his biting comments while filming MasterChef.

Last month, Yoo was recognized as a 2012 Rising Star of Innovation and Entrepreneurship by the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center. Yoo has had some exciting events in the last month; maybe MasterChef will be added to that list soon.

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