Mississippi’s own Josh Marks has been faring well on MasterChef on FOX this season. After an elimination, John Marks experienced a MasterChef first when he was given the chance to compete and ultimately WIN a slot to return to the show!
During the show’s Olympic hiatus, we caught up with John to get the scoop on MasterChef, local Jackson food… and more. You can watch Josh Marks’ mad cooking skills weekly on MasterChef on FOX when it returns on Tuesday, August 14.
Eat Jackson: Tell us about the first time that you remember cooking something that really caught people’s attention.
Josh Marks: The first time I cooked something amazing that caught all my friends attention is when I made one of the best pots of chili I ever made. I made it for my friends DC, Keith, Lateia, and Jerry. It was a spicy/smoky turkey chili with red beans. It was the first dish I made from scratch (not out of a box) when I started to cook on my own. After I made it and tasted it, I said to myself “I’m kinda good at this cooking stuff!”
EJ: What local chef/restaurant in the Jackson area impresses you the most with their skill and creativity?
JM: I am really impressed with Parlor Market. This restaurant has a really great menu and the level of skill and attention that they put into their plates is outstanding.
EJ: If you had to describe your perfect meal using fare from local restaurants here in Jackson, what would this meal look like?
JM: My perfect meal in Jackson would have to come from four restaurants: two appetizers, one entrée, and one dessert.
My first app would have to be one of my favorite things to eat: Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Ruchi India on County Line. These little lettuce “tacos” are amazing! My second app would have to be the Shrimp and Grits from Table 100. Their Shrimp and Grits are a great well-balanced app or small meal for any palate. For dinner I would have the Honey Glazed Fried Chicken from Julep. That’s one meal that I eat almost every crumb off the plate. Lastly, for dessert I would run across the parking lot to CHAR for the Pecan Caramel Butter Crunch Cake.
EJ: Do you have a secret food addiction? If so, what is it?
JM: Offal. [Here’s the offal definition if you need it!] After cooking with the odd bits of the animal on MasterChef, I secretly fell in love with it. There’s nothing like an amazing foie gras appetizer or crispy sweet breads
EJ: What’s something you’ve learned about yourself during your time on MasterChef Season 3?
JM: I learned how to cook and prep like a real chef and not just a home cook. I gained amazing restaurant experience that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten considering my full time job is with the Army Corp of Engineers.
EJ: Let’s move away from food for a moment. On a typical lazy Saturday afternoon where could we find you relaxing?
JM: You can find me at the Spillway by the [Ross Barnett] Reservoir fishing for catfish.
EJ: What is one thing no one knows about you that we’d be surprised to learn?
JM: I am of Panamanian decent, and I speak a little Spanglish.
Eat Out and Tune In
Who’s ready for a progressive dinner around Jackson to enjoy Josh Marks’ favorite meal at local Jackson restaurants? Eat Jackson just might put it together!
Be sure to tune in to MasterChef Season 3 when it returns to FOX on Tuesday, August 14th at 9 PM ET/PT and cheer Josh on to victory! (That would be 8 PM Central Time!)