Lipan rancher gets cooking on hit TV show MasterChef

Autumn Owens
Lipan ranch owner Mike Newton was selected as the last competitor on FOX's MasterChef after blowing the judges away with his cupcakes.

If you watched last Wednesday’s episode of the hit television show MasterChef, then you saw Lipan ranch owner Mike Newton whip up a batch of delicious cupcakes that won him the prestigious white apron.

Newton was inspired to try out for the show by his wife and good friend.

“I made chicken fried pork chops and there were over 5,000 people that showed up in Dallas for the show,” Newton said in a telephone interview with the E-T. “I went in the room wearing a black hat and hoodie and then next thing I knew I made it to another room. It was a crazy experience.”

Since the show is pre-recorded, Newton is only allowed to discuss what has already been televised.

Newton was the 20th and last contestant selected for the competition and his audition was a nail-biter.

“I hope they give me a big ol’ steak,” Newton said on the show before his audition. “I’m a meat and potato guy.”

His wife, Melanie replied, “There’s not anything they could throw at you that you can’t handle.”

Newton and his competitor Tom from Hawaii did not get what they’d hoped for and were asked to bake cupcakes by American chef and MasterChef judge Christina Tosi.

“I baked a cake a couple of weeks before the show and I just kind of went with that recipe,” Newton told the E-T. “My competitor was a great cook too and so I wanted something a little spicy and sweet and savory. I was kind of nervous, but I just went for it.”

Newton baked chocolate cupcakes with espresso, and chocolate chips topped with chipotle-bourbon pecans.

“I wanted to kind of represent Texas. We start our day off with a strong cup of coffee and we end it with a little bit of bourbon,” Newton said to judge Tosi.

Tosi was shocked, in a good way, after cutting into Newton’s cupcakes.

“They’re beautiful, they’re glistening and definitely not dry,” Tosi said to Newton. “It’s delicious. I think the way you played with the espresso and that spice in the frosting was smart. I love the pecans on top.”

Gordon Ramsay also tasted and judged Newton’s cupcakes.

“That is (bleeping) delicious,” Ramsay said with a smile. “I mean if that’s what you can do with a cupcake, who knows what you can do with a steak. Great job.”

Newton received his white apron becoming the final competitor on MasterChef.

“My first words were son of a (gun),” Newton said with a laugh. “It was a great competition and (Tom) is a good, kind person but you know someone had to go home and I’m glad it wasn’t me.”

Tune into MasterChef and watch Newton compete Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. on FOX.