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Christine Corley from "MasterChef" is one of the top 18 contestants in Season 2 of the FOX reality cooking competition series. She is a 27-year-old single mom from Sopchoppy, Florida. Her signature dish is Pan-Seared Soft Shell Crabs with Creamy Horseradish Sauce and Herb Polenta.

Q&A with Christine Corley ("MasterChef"):

Who was your first cooking inspiration?

To be honest I don't have just one cooking inspiration. Growing up I didn't have very much at all. I lived in a super small town,

grew up eating fried chicken or toasted white bread topped with ground beef and white gravy. We were very poor and I was lucky to eat even that because my mom could burn boiling water! It wasn't until I moved to South Beach right after high school and found an amazing job. In Miami, I was able to experience what the flavors of food could to your palate and what the sensations of eating food could do to your soul. I have never looked back! Watching Julia Child on PBS and Giada de Laurentiis and Ina Garten played a large role in becoming involved in cooking as well.

What is the first dish you ever mastered?

A simple grilled chicken, tomato, garlic, shallot and parmesan cheese pasta dish that I make all in one pan. After making it so many times, I've started adding different ingredients like artichokes, eggplant and spinach—it's delicious!

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I love making dishes with seasonal, organic, fresh ingredients. I like to cook pasta, Mexican, Italian, and Irish. I love hosting parties, cooking brunch for friends, and grilling! I love making dishes for my son. I use to make, puree and freeze all of my son's baby food. I also enjoy making souffles, truffles, brittle, and cookies for the holidays! I can't really decide on my absolute favorite thing to cook because I love all food! Remember, I am a foodie!

What did you learn as a contestant on "MasterChef"?

I learned that to become a great chef not only must you have the passion, drive, determination, and love for food, but you must possess self confidence! You cannot doubt yourself as a cook. You continue to learn from your mistakes and you keep on truckin'. I know I screwed up a few times, but I can honestly look back and know what I could have done to improve my dishes. I believe in myself as a cook and a future chef. I have a lot to bring to the table and I am so proud of myself that I made it as far as I did. I know that one day my son will be proud of his mama and for that I am grateful.

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Age: ∼32 years old
Hometown: Sopchoppy, FL

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