MasterChef’s Shayne Wells talks about his MasterChef journey and what’s next too – Exclusive Interview

MASTERCHEF: Contestant Shayne in the “Back to Win: Southern Fusion with Guest Chef Tiffany Derry” episode airing Wednesday, July 20 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.
MASTERCHEF: Contestant Shayne in the “Back to Win: Southern Fusion with Guest Chef Tiffany Derry” episode airing Wednesday, July 20 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX. /

For fans of both MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, the Back to Win season is as much for the fans as it is the contestants. It was a chance for some fan favorites to get a second chance at that title! And it was also the first time in the show’s history that two of their Junior competitors would get a chance to compete on the OG series.

One of those two Junior chefs is Shayne Wells, also known as Shayne the Train. After cooking his way into the top 20 for the MasterChef: Back to Win season and being given his apron, Shayne told the world, “I’m so excited to be in the Top 20. I’m not a kid anymore. I’m not the same Junior that was here last time. I’m an adult now, and, man, I am back to win.” And we think he did exactly that.

While he may not have won Season 12 of MasterChef, we definitely think he proved that he is definitely an adult now, with some experience under his belt. Was it enough to get him through a very difficult southern fusion challenge? Sadly, it was not.

And we had a chance to chat with Shayne about his return to MasterChef for the OG competition and what his plans are next.

MasterChef’s Shayne Wells talks to Guilty Eats about his experiences on the Back to Win season

MASTERCHEF: Contestant Shayne. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX. /

Guilty Eats: What was it like to go from being a MasterChef Junior chef to being on the OG MasterChef?

Shayne Wells: “It was definitely a big difference. The big difference was definitely the level of competition because when you’re on juniors, we’re all kids. We’re all on the same level. We all know how to cook but we’re not professional chefs. And on OG MasterChef and Back to Win everyone I was competing against were professional chefs. And so every challenge I made it through, every day I was there I was beyond grateful for the opportunity.”

GE: What was your favorite part of being on the back to win season?

SW: “I would definitely say my favorite part of being on the Back to Win season was getting to meet all these contestants because I have built friendships that I’ll probably have forever. And just getting to meet them, and interact with them, and learn from them most importantly. And also, of course, getting to interact with the judges not once but twice and getting to grow with them and learn from them. It was awesome. It’s all an amazing experience.”

GE: We know what your favorite part was, now what was the hardest part of the show for you?

SW: “I would say the hardest part of the competition was me realizing to myself that I’m not the best one there, because I believed when I was on the juniors that I was beyond the best chef there. But I mean in this challenge I had to be humble enough to know that these people have restaurants and they’re in the culinary [world] and that’s their life. And I mean, last year, I was playing high school football. I graduated from high school a year ago. And so the fact is that I had to be humble enough to know my limits and to know my boundaries, and to just be grateful for every moment I was here.”

GE: If you could do it again, would you go back?

SW: “Oh, for sure. I would definitely go back and a lot of the contestants we’ve talked about it. They’re like ‘no, I wouldn’t go back. I wouldn’t do this to myself again.’ But at the end of the day, it’s an experience and it’s an experience not many people can experience. So the fact that I have done that and been successful doing it, I would most definitely go back and do it again.”

GE: Now that you have done MasterChef, would you do any other cooking competitions?

SW: “I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s any more on my bucket list because I’ve already been on the two biggest cooking shows you possibly can be. Any other cooking show, in my opinion would probably be a step down from what I’ve done already. But I really liked the Iron Chef, that’s always really cool to me. And there’s I wouldn’t necessarily say food competition shows I’d like to be on. I’d love to join Guy Fieri for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives because that guy sounds right up my alley. But I mean, besides that, I pretty much have the top two competitions in the culinary world on TV, under my belt.”

GE: Let’s talk last night’s episode and that Southern Fusion challenge. What do you wish you had done differently?

SW: “Honestly, there wasn’t many things I could have done differently. I was put in a predicament and I had to either rise or fall. And I hate to say it, but I did fall and I’ll be the first to tell you that dish was pretty lacking in some character. One thing I probably would do different is I probably would have cut the chicken fried steak before frying it, I had pieces way too big in order to plate and I couldn’t think of anything in my mind to make it look right. And so I wanted to cut it which probably wasn’t the best decision. At the end of the day, I’m sticking with my gut and what I did and you have to be proud of it, you know?”

GE: Which country do you wish you had gotten?

SW: “Probably Italy or Vietnam. Because I worked in a Vietnamese fusion restaurant for over a year. So I probably would have been pretty confident with that one. And I feel like it’s pretty straightforward…

But the fun part about the flag I actually drew, which was Ethiopia, for the first 20 minutes of the competition I had no idea what country I had because I didn’t know what flag it was. And no one told me. So I’m sitting here looking at this flag like what could this be…

Gordon asked me. He was like, Shayne, ‘where’s your flag from?’ I was like, honestly, chef I don’t know. He goes ‘well pick up the flag and look at the bottom,’ so I picked up the flag and it said Ethiopia.”

GE: What’s next for you in the culinary world?

SW: “I just enrolled in the fall semester at Tarleton State University in Stephenville and I’m actually going to be living and cooking with Cowboy Chef Newton from MasterChef. So I’ll be working at his restaurant and staying with him. And I’ve taken a step forward to finish my education. And I’m also going to be pursuing my culinary dreams by working in the restaurant with him. I’m very excited and very beyond grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way.”

GE: Finally, we are Guilty Eats and I have to ask, what is your guilty eat?

SW: “I would definitely say some cheese enchiladas. Down in Houston with that Tex Mex fusion food, not many people get to experience Tex Mex and it’s a whole different cuisine in my opinion. And Tex Mex cheese enchiladas hit home.”

Next. MasterChef’s Samantha Daily on returning to the show, her vegan dish, and her guilty eat – Exclusive Interview. dark