Lauren Arboleda came, she saw and she conquered season two of Telemundo’s hit cooking competition MasterChef Latino. The Colombian native made it through the 13 rigorous weeks of culinary curveballs to come out on top not only as the crowned winner, but also maintaining the female chef winning streak (woot woot!) set off by season one winner Los Angeles-based Venezuelan chef, actress and author, Sindy Lazo.
Lauren made it to the final round of competition with fellow contestants Venezuelan chef John Prado and Mexican chef Javier Seañez. In the final challenge, Lauren had to cook three dishes: an entrée (or appetizer), a main course and a dessert.
Lauren celebrated her win with host Gabby Espino and fellow contestants who were brought back to watch the last three chefs take on their final challenge
The Miami resident kicked off her winning final three-course meal with a Degranado Colombiano (corn kernels removed with the husk) with foie gras and toasted jalapeños. It was topped with radishes cooked in a style that Chef Claudia Sandoval (also one of the judges) taught participants weeks earlier. The only critique that judges Chef Ennio Carota and Chef Benito Molina had about this dish was that they would of liked more foie gras (and we don’t blame them!).
She followed this killer app with an elegant dish of pan seared scallops delicately plated with yuca gnocchi, a chontaduro (fruit native in her country) sauce and kale chips. All the judges agreed that this dish was beautifully plated and had a great mix of textures. She closed off this culinary journey (and we mean that literally because hers was the very last dish of the night) with a pudín de pan that was soaked in café and rum on a base of arroz con leche sauce and topped with strawberries and caramelized cinnamon and cardamom.
The chef had much more to celebrate on the night of her win, as she announced that she was also expecting her second child with her husband, Pedro Camargo! Chef Lauren shared, “I can’t believe I accomplished my dream of winning MasterChef Latino. It was such a unique and unforgettable experience, from where I now take new friends, memories and everything I learned from chefs Ennio, Claudia and Benito. This makes me feel like an entrepreneurial mom, wife, housewife and, above all, a MasterChef.” Lauren also has a blog called Food from the Heart, where she shares her love for all things food and shares extra delicioso recipes for everyone to be able to make at home. She is also launching her book Pregnancy from the Heart, which she got inspired to write during the pregnancy of her three-year-old son.