Who is Alejandro Valdivia from MasterChef Season 12? Atlanta native is a professional animal trainer

Alejandro Valdivia returning on MasterChef Season 12 airing on May 25 (Image via @awildchef/Instagram)
Alejandro Valdivia returning on MasterChef Season 12 airing on May 25 (Image via @awildchef/Instagram)
Parul Singh

Season 11 contestant Alejandro Valdivia will return to MasterChef Season 12 kitchen on May 25, 2022, at 8 pm ET. The Primetime Emmy-winning show will feature 20 MasterChef alums competing to reach the final round to win the title and prize money of $250,000.

The Atlanta native, who is a professional animal trainer, was the first contestant in season 11 to be saved after being at the bottom more than twice. He was ranked 4th on the show’s previous season.

All about MasterChef Season 12 Alejandro Valdivia

Alejandro Valdivia came to the United States after growing up in a poor family in Cuba. Valdivia moved to the United States from Cuba with his family in 1994 after his mother won a visa lottery from the U.S. government. After all the paperwork, which took almost a year and a half to complete, the family moved to the new country.

Valdivia's food affair started when he shifted to Miami and started experimenting with various dishes. He said to Reporter Newspapers & Atlanta Intown:

“I was home most of the time by myself, and I would just watch cooking shows. And I tried to put dishes together with whatever we had in the refrigerator.”

He later decided to move to Sandy Springs after running the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta around 11 years ago. He simply “fell in love with the food and the people” and decided to shift his base along with his personal animal trainer company, AV Dog Training.

Alejandro Valdivia’s MasterChef journey

Valdivia’s affair with food led him to participate in season 11 of the show, where he impressed the judges with his culinary skills.

In the initial round, Valdivia cooked fresh herb-crusted lamb chops for judges Aaron Sanchez, Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay, and Joe Bastianich. The judges were highly impressed with his flavourful dish and immediately handed him the apron. He was the first contestant of the season to win an apron. He said:

“Here I come from Cuba, never been around this much food in my life. The colors, the smells. It’s unreal. It’s like you have this one chance and want to grab as much as you can.”

The chef is “a big meat guy” and loves preparing wild games, be it duck, octopus, or venison.

After his MasterChef stint, he returned to his job as a professional animal trainer and continued his culinary journey. He regularly uploads pictures of lip-smacking dishes on his Instagram account for his 8,737 followers, as of writing. The chef has also appeared in Ultimate Beastmaster (2017) and Power (2014).

Tune in on Wednesday on Fox to watch Valdivia getting back in action again in the MasterChef kitchen alongside other contestants. The show can also be viewed on the network’s website after it premieres on the channel.

Season 12 can also be viewed on live streaming services like Sling, DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, Philo, and YouTube TV.

Edited by Somava


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