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Giuseppe Morisco from "MasterChef" is one of the top 18 contestants in Season 2 of the FOX reality cooking competition series. He is a 38-year-old granite salesman from Chicago, Illinois. His signature dish is Cozze Ripiene, which is stuffed black mussels.

Q&A with Giuseppe Morisco ("MasterChef):

Who was your first cooking inspiration?

Definitely my mom, as well as my entire family. I grew up in Bari, in the Puglia region of southern Italy, where everyone loves food. Who can blame them?!

If you haven't been there, you should go as soon as possible! Almost everyone knows how to cook. I remember during all the holidays, the entire family would get together, the aunts would bring their specialty dish, the uncles would bring their homemade wine and we had a competition to see whose was better.

What is the first dish you ever mastered?

Risotto alla pescatora. My hometown is right on the Adriatic Sea, so every kind of seafood you can imagine was a huge part of the cuisine. For me, there is nothing better than a dish that reminds me of the place where I have so many beautiful memories.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

Pasta, pasta, pasta! In any shape or form! My food processor is always busy making the pasta dough, and I'm constantly on a hunt for new attachments for my pasta maker!

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

I learned so much about cooking and food in general. New techniques, ingredients, and presentation. The process opened my eyes to how amazing and exciting the culinary world can be, and this is mostly because of all the incredible people I met along the way. This experience made me realize that this is what I want to do with my life. Oh, and one more thing! I learned how to pronounce the word raspberry correctly!

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Age: ∼43 years old
Hometown: Chicago, IL

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