Several residents of La Jolla are showcasing their talent in the culinary, photography and history fields, with spots on TV and in the literary world.
MasterChef ... almost
La Jolla resident Natasha Crnjac made it to the top two of FOX’s primetime cooking competition show, “MasterChef,” hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. However, she fell short of the big prize.
In the season finale, which aired Sept. 11, Crnjac and eventual winner Luca Manfe had to create a three- course meal to impress the judges in front of a live audience, including previously eliminated contestants and the competitor’s friends and family.
Ramsay jokingly questioned whether, for the first time, two winners could be named. In the end, judge and celebrity chef Graham Elliot said one chef had just the slightest edge, and named Manfe the winner.
Crnjac said during the finale, “I’ve learned so much and I’ve grown, and it’s not the end. This is just going to catapult me in the direction I want to be.”
Top Chef ... maybe
As one La Jolla chef’s time on TV temporarily wraps, another’s is just getting fired up. Ramon Bojorquez, sous chef at NINE-TEN restaurant at the Grande Colonial, will compete on Bravo’s Emmy- winning cooking competition show, “Top Chef,” which premiered 10 p.m. Oct. 2. Bojorquez previously worked at the Marine Room in La Jolla and was educated in the Le Cordon Bleu program
, “He grew up watching his grandfather cook, and carries a considerable amount of Mexican, Spanish and Thai influence in his cuisine.” Bojorquez said he believes the combination of peppers, cilantro and lime can be used in almost any dish.
Hosted by Padma Lakshmi and judged by celebrity chefs Tom Cholicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons and Hugh Acheson, “Top Chef” is entering its 11th season and will be filmed in New Orleans.
Update: Chef Bojorquez was eliminated in the premiere episode and will not be continuing on the show.
Faces of Widowhood
Judith Fox’s latest photo book, “One Foot Forward: Stories and Faces of Widows and Widowers,” was published in September. La Jollans make up three of the 20 people photographed for the book, which Fox said contains “beautiful portraits to document bereavement, acceptance and perseverance in the face of the life-altering death of a spouse.”
It’s the follow up to her 2009 photo book, “I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s,” about Fox’s husband.
and Fox said 100 percent of the sales from the book will be donated to National Hospice Foundation.
A History of Salk
Suzanne Bourgeois, professor emeritus and founding director of the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, wrote “Genesis of The Salk Institute,” which was published Sept. 7.
Bourgeois said over the years, she read many books that ended with Jonas Salk’s invention of the Polio vaccine in 1955, which she feels is just the beginning of the story. Having been involved with the Salk Institute for 50 years, she has seen the importance of the founders of the Institute to the scientific community at large.