Chef wannabes, are you ready for your closeup?
The show that TV industry insiders are touting as a culinary "American Idol" will aim to help home cooks "develop their cooking skills while being encouraged, mentored and celebrated by the industry's best."
The show is open only to amateurs; no professional chefs allowed. The casting call is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sur La Table, 55 S. Main, Naperville. For details, go to fox.com/casting or e-mail MasterChefChicago@gmail.com.
Not up for putting your ego on full display? Try your hand at one of these national cooking contests:
-- Take a picture of yourself somewhere in the world with a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup for the aptly-named "Where in the World is Mrs. Butterworth?" contest. The grand prize: $1,000 plus one year's supply of syrup. Enter by Feb. 28 at mrsbutterworthsyrup.com.
-- Duncan Hines is asking bakers to share their best birthday cake recipe (bonus if you attach a photo of your frosted masterpiece) for a chance to win a Wii system, four cake mixes, four tubs of frosting and $250 to spend on party decorations. Enter by Jan. 30 at duncanhines.com.
-- And the big one: Pillsbury's Easy Frost No-Fuss Frosting challenge. Send a photo of a homemade baked good you've dressed up using Pillsbury's frosting-in-an aerosol-can. The niftiest entry wins $10,000 and, of course, a year's worth of frosting. Enter by Feb. 5 at pillsburybaking.com.