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Mark Raffaelli from "MasterChef" is one of the top 18 contestants in Season 2 of the FOX reality cooking competition series. He is a 35-year-old real estate broker from Chicago, Illinois. His signature dish is Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Sherry Cream Sauce.

Q&A with Mark Raffaelli ("MasterChef"):

Who was your first cooking inspiration?

My mom and sister were my biggest and first inspirations in cooking. While everyone was waiting for dinner to be served, I was in the

kitchen watching and learning how it was being made.

What is the first dish you ever mastered?

A boneless chicken breast stuffed with ricotta, spinach, pancetta and shallots topped with a mushroom barolo sauce. It's to die for.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

Seafood is the best and one of my favorite things to cook. There are so many different ways to prepare it. I also enjoy being creative by making different sauces to complement my seafood.

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

Being a contestant on "MasterChef" has not only been an honor, but an amazing experience. It's not every day you get the privilege to cook and be judged by the best of the best! I was fortunate to learn endless techniques, starting with choosing the proper ingredients for every dish to proper presentation. I think one of the most important techniques was timing. Your creations cannot be a success if not timed properly.

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Where does Mark Raffaelli live? Find out here.

Age: ∼40 years old
Current Residence: Chicago, IL

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