Trailblazer in the Kitchen - Whitney Miller
Greenville, SC - At the age of 22, she was the youngest chef to win the coveted, Master Chef title on Fox TV’s season one. The diminutive Southern girl might appear to be a soft touch at first glance but Whitney Miller is tougher than she looks. And, determined.
The cooking bug bit early. By age 12, the young chef from Poplarville, Mississippi had cooked through an entire French cookbook. She mastered eclairs, tarts and other culinary treats that most are terrified to try, let alone alter, which she did. Soon, she was cooking for school functions, and even catered her own graduation party.
At 19, she was asked to cater her first wedding reception. Instead of being terrified she jumped at the challenge. “You have to be a risk taker, you can’t be afraid,” said Miller. The no holds barred chef has a special love for recreating vegetables using nontraditional methods. Creamed collard greens, carrot soufflé, cauliflower Mac’ n cheese are just some of her new twists on old favorites.
The wheels of destiny started turning during her senor year of college at Southern Mississippi when she saw auditions listed for Master Chef on a web site. With the clock ticking, Whitney went to work in the kitchen and turned out a roast celery root and cauliflower souffle topped by a roast with pan gravy and horseradish cream sauce. Within the month, a film crew was at her door. It was show time and Whitney proved fearless. With 50 other contestants she held her own in Los Angeles and endured the long days filled with auditions and cooking classes from 7 a.m. until often midnight. Until Master Chef, the young kitchen wizard had never fried an egg or cooked a breaded pork chop. She conquered both challenges.