Kenny Palazzolo tells the story how it all started three years ago. “My cousin Dom Strazzullo posted the open call for MasterChef, Season 8 in 2016 on my Facebook page and said ‘kid this is all you.’ That’s all the push it took,” said Kenny who went on the open call audition. After four months of videos, pictures and piles of paperwork, the invitation to California came.
There was a snag that year though. It was the same time as his daughter was the famous “flying angel” of the Fisherman’s Feast so that did not work out. But, from that, he was on the Hollywood chef radar and received an invite to try out for the FWord, the family reality cookoff show. The Palazzolo / Strazzullo clan was one of 20 families selected out of 2700. And that story, went pretty well when they won the initial rounds.
The FWord experience kept the passion alive. Kenny went back to the open call for Master Chef, Season 10, doing all the videos, pictures and paperwork again. Good news! They invite him back to California, one of 80 out of 13,000 that auditioned.
Here we are in the middle of Season 10 where 36 went on to compete and 20 took home a white apron. All told, there are only about 230 white aprons in America and Kenny is one of them.
Filming for MasterChef, Season 10, is now over and the series premiered on May 29th on Fox TV. “It was a very difficult journey,” adds Kenny. “I spent a month in California away from my family essentially sequestered in a hotel, and had to leave my job as a carpenter hoping it would be there when I came back. One of the best parts of the whole experience was the friends I made, my MC10 family and I now have great friends all across the country.”
Fortunately, Kenny had strong support. His wife Robin, Cousin Dom Strazz and Meg Rodrigues came out to stand beside him while he cooked for the apron.
“I’m very proud,” says Palazzolo. “This year it was every (wo)man for themself and you needed all three judges to say yes for you to get an apron.” This years judges are Gordon Ramasy, Aarón Sanchez and Joe Bastianich.
For the white apron, Kenny cooked New York strip braciole with vegetable risotto. The crowd went wild for Kenny. After he presented a visually stunning steak dish (though, the judges thought his risotto was a tad undercooked), Joe, Gordon, and Aarón delivered the good news: the self-proclaimed “Italian Stallion” made the top 20.
So, what’s in store for the rest of the season? Kenny can’t say much, but shares “you will definitely see sparks fly from my episodes. I have a very strong personality and sometimes don’t play well with others ..HAHAHA.”
There is an Italian expression, ‘food is love’ that Kenny lives by. He loves to cook for family and friends and even has a fork, spoon and knife painted on the back of his boat that says VIVA Per Mangia (we love to eat). “I certainly have great passion for food and cooking. MasterChef was definitely a life changing experience for me,” he says.
Big news! Kenny has signed a contract with NORCAM (North Reading Public Access TV) to record and air his own cooking show called “Live, Laugh and Cook Italian with Kenny Palazzolo.” It will start to air by the end of the summer on NORCAM and surrounding cities and on YouTube. Keep an eye out for Kenny’s social media pages in the next few weeks. Kenny says, “My own cooking show has been my dream for a long time!!”