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Tony Scruggs from "MasterChef" is one of the top 18 contestants in Season 2 of the FOX reality cooking competition series. He is a 51-year-old truck driver from Grant Park, Illinois. His signature dish is Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa and Paella.

Q&A with Tony Scruggs ("MasterChef"):

Who was your first cooking inspiration?

I remember watching Julia Child when I was in kindergarten, but my grandma's kitchen is where it all started.

What is the first dish you ever mastered?


My mom always let me cook when I was young, and they were a cheap way to keep me both busy and fed.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I don't have a favorite thing to cook, but I have a preferred method. I love to cook outdoors and have mastered the art, whether it be the grill, smoker, BBQ pit or open fire. I like the primal feel of meat and fire and the rich, smoky flavor of cooking over wood.

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

I learned that I knew more than I thought I did, but I never want to stop learning.

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Age: ∼56 years old
Hometown: Grant Park, IL

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