Garth and daughter withstand the heat on ‘MasterChef Celebrity Family Showdown’

‘Broken Bread’ – And how to fix it

Jennie Garth

Cooking has always been a family affair for Jennie Garth.

Growing up on a farm in Illinois, the “Beverly Hills, 90210” actress raised vegetables with her family and was an avid baker, a love she maintains to this day and has passed on to her three daughters. And of course, like any good mom she cooks for her clan.

So it is fitting that Garth and her youngest daughter, 12-year-old Fiona, would put their culinary chops to the test for the discriminating palates of Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Aaron Sanchez as the two-part “MasterChef Celebrity Family Showdown” concludes Wednesday, May 22, on Fox.

The experience, Garth says, was a lot of fun but also a bit nerve-wracking.

“I mean, you don’t think about having your food tasted by culinary experts when you’re just cooking at home,” the actress says with a laugh. “You just want to make all the kids happy and get the meal on the table, so in doing it for these guys there was just a lot more like, you know, we knew we were being scrutinized and judged and was something we had to really focus on doing it very well.”

For their challenge, Garth and Fiona were tasked with the “home fridge swap,” in which they had prepare a meal using contents from the refrigerator of their competitors, Garth’s friend and “90210” co-star Tori Spelling and her daughter Stella, and they had to do the same with ingredients from the Garth fridge. The twist was that Garth and her daughter had to cook a steak, an alien comestible for two vegetarians, while the carnivorous Team Spelling made a vegan dish, thus taking both tandems out of their comfort zones.

“I think that was the most fun part of this show,” Garth says, “was to be challenged in a way you wouldn’t normally, like I didn’t go home and make a steak that night. Like it’s something that I don’t normally do so I think we were both like, ‘Hey, look what we accomplished. We’re pretty cool.’ ”

And in her first TV appearance, Fiona did pretty well too, says Mom, despite being nervous about the prospect of being critiqued by the often-blunt Ramsay.

“Fiona was so scared,” Garth says. “She was very nervous going in that he was going to yell at her, and I said, ‘No, he’s nice to kids. He’s not going to do that to you.’ And he was actually really great with her.

“And he was a little shocked when I almost lit the kitchen on fire,” she continues, laughing, “but he took it in stride.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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