After 10 years in radio, Tony Carbone just wasn’t happy. Something was missing in the 32-year-old’s life. Carbone decided to leave his job and all the financial security that comes with the communications industry to follow his dream about becoming a chef. After quitting his job, he enrolled into culinary school.
That’s when opportunity came knocking.
Four days after entering culinary school, Carbone found out about auditions for a new food show called "MasterChef" with Gordon Ramsey and auditioned for the reality show. Carbone was chosen out of thousands to be a contestant on the new show. The only catch was he had to drop out of culinary school. Carbone decided to take the risk and enter the show.
"School would always be there," Carbone said. "I live life without being complacent."
Carbone has always had a passion for cooking. "It’s like therapy for me," he said.
Another thing Carbone loved about cooking was the sense of family that came along with it. Coming from an Italian family, food was always there in celebration.
"We always had food," Carbone said. "It brought the family together."
While on the show, Carbone had to pretend he was still at culinary school.
"People would always ask my wife â€˜How is Tony doing?’" said Carbone. "We had an arsenal of lies ready for them." One of the lies was that Carbone was in Montreal learning about French cuisine when really he was in Los Angeles filming the show.
Carbone auditioned for the show in Newton Highlands. "It was a nerve racking experience," he said.
The first day Carbone had to bring a dish prepared and had to "sell himself" on camera. Following the first initial audition was about two months worth of auditioning. After a few painful days of waiting, "I would keep checking my email to find out anything," he said. Eventually he got the good news.
Once on the show, Carbone thrived in the new environment. "It was awesome. It was totally new to me."
One thing that Carbone enjoyed the most was the spontaneity of it all. "You never knew what was coming next," he said. "Once you are on set it hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s like â€˜wow we are really here.’"
Another perk to being on the show was being able to meet Gordon Ramsey. Ramsey’s on air persona is a lot like how he is in real life. "He is very intense," said Carbone. "He just loves food so much that he doesn’t want anyone messing with it."
Since the show Carbone has opened up his own chef business called “The Urban Epicurean” which will be serving residents in the Greater Boston area. Living in Boston has affected Carbone’s cooking for the better. "They have such great fresh sea food and great restaurants here," he said.
Carbone grew up in Long Island and has also lived in Chicago. He says that Boston has some of the best restaurants the country has to offer.
"When my wife and I go out to eat we have to make sure we know where we are going," he said. "Or we spend the whole night walking around looking at all the great options."
Opening his own cooking business has been a rewarding experience for Carbone, who also hopes to open up his own restaurant in the city with "good wine and beer and of course good food."