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MasterChef James Nelson

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James Nelson of Bravado Spice tells Sugar Land Magazine about his experience making it to the top five on Fox’s MasterChef and where you can get a taste of this young entrepreneur’s zest for cooking

Written by Kennan Buckner

Sugar Land, TX  News – How would you describe your experience on MasterChef?
It was quite the life-changing experience. I learned a lot about what I’m capable of, and it reinforced my passion for food. What cooking challenge were you most proud about the outcome? I loved the crab-catfish elimination challenge. It felt great to win, obviously – but I loved that my flavors finally impressed everyone.

James Nelson, a top five finalist on Fox’s MasterChef, often sells his Bravado Spice products at Sugar Land Imperial Farmers Market, but fans can also get a taste of his pineapple and habanero hot sauce or San Patricio hot sauce by visiting bravadospice.com Photo by Greg Gayne

James Nelson, a top five finalist on
Fox’s MasterChef, often sells his
Bravado Spice products at Sugar
Land Imperial Farmers Market,
but fans can also get a taste of
his pineapple and habanero hot
sauce or San Patricio hot sauce by
visiting bravadospice.com
Photo by Greg Gayne

How competitive were the other chefs off camera?
For the most part, we all bonded well. I hung out with Jordan, Jonny B., Bri, and Eddie the most. Some were a little overcompetitive, but I just disregard that kind of stuff.

What will you take from your experiences on the show to your future endeavors?
My passion for amazing food has been reinforced. I plan on moving forward full-speed with my hot sauce company, Bravado Spice, and opening my own place next year. Tell us how Bravado Spice started. It began when the co-owner, Jeremiah Tallerine, and I started making our own hot sauces for barbecues, dinners, etc. We realized that our friends and family loved it. One thing led to another and – boom – we own Houston’s fastest growing brand.

Has cooking always been your passion?
I learned a lot from my mother. Growing up, she taught me the value of cooking with love, and that’s always stuck with me.

James Nelson with MasterChef’s Joe Bastianich and actress Eva Longoria Photo by Greg Gayne

James Nelson with
MasterChef’s Joe Bastianich
and actress Eva Longoria
Photo by Greg Gayne

What was the first dish you ever cooked?
Grilling steaks with my dad. It was awesome. He taught me everything about the grill.

How would you describe your “cooking style at home”?
I’m an improviser all the way. I love being creative and trying new things – and encouraging others to try new things.

What has been the response of shoppers who see you at the Imperial Farmer’s Market?
People are generally interested when they see some longhaired dudes selling hot sauce. Bravado Spice is currently available at Texas Pepper Palace, Ruggles Green, Revival Market, and A Moveable Feast with more to come!

Tell us a little about the Brave Kitchen Project.
It’s a popup/takeover model. We partner with other establishments, make our menu, and invite hundreds of people to try our wild food.

What are the staple items that you think every pantry should have?
Sea salt, good olive oil, lots of garlic, parsley, cilantro, chilies, and lime.

KENNAN BUCKNER and her mom were cheering for James Nelson this season on MasterChef.

 

 

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