Lizzie Hartman (‘MasterChef 13’) on how cooking pulled her out of depression and ‘changed the entire trajectory of my life’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“We do have stadiums, but they aren’t necessarily serving elevated food by any means,” says “MasterChef” contestant Lizzie Hartman following her elimination on Wednesday night’s episode. “I just got in my head a little bit. There were so many times I should have just changed gears, but I didn’t and it sent me home.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

In this “United Tastes of America” episode, judges Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich introduced the top 10 home chefs to season 11 winner Kelsey Murphy, who challenged them to take traditional stadium food to new heights. Lizzie’s King Crab Hushpuppies with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Sweet Potato Chips landed her in the bottom three with Kolby and Grant.

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“I knew that was going to be a bottom three dish,” she admits. “I just knew what strong cooks they were. I was like, ‘This is probably my night. It’s probably my time.’ My dish was definitely worse than theirs.” She continues, “I just never imagined being that far in the show. By the time I was there I felt a little out of my zone.”

Lizzie reveals that cooking helped pull her out of depression when she was a teenager. “When I was 15 we moved to Alaska from Pennsylvania,” she explains. “It’s a hard age for a teenager to move, but especially to Fairbanks. Fairbanks can be a dark and dreary place. It’s a very extreme place in the winters. I became very depressed. Cooking became a way for me to get outside of myself, get outside of myself and serve others. I was able to use cooking as a teenager to serve my community. I brought little girls into my own kitchen and taught them how to make cupcakes and cakes. I used it as a way to do something outside of just sitting in my depression. It changed the entire trajectory of my life.”

Fans hoping to keep up with Lizzie’s food journey can follow her Instagram @alaska.lizzie.

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