Chef Michael Silverstein Details The Reason He Lost On MasterChef - Exclusive

If you became a fan of chef Michael Silverstein when he competed on Season 10 of "MasterChef," then you'll be happy to see him return to the show for Season 12, "MasterChef: Back to Win." This time around, chef Silverstein says he's ready to win, telling Mashed, "I felt this was my chance for redemption. This was my shot to prove that I am much better than 15th place ... So I'm going to set out and do that." After winning his apron in finale-worthy fashion, the chef says he's "ready to show that I am one of the toughest competitors in that kitchen," adding, "I'm one of the best chefs that's walked in through those double doors, and I'm going to show it this season.

In order to succeed the second time, chef Silverstein had to reckon with what went wrong the first time he was in the "MasterChef" kitchen. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, the chef did just that. Silverstein shared what he thinks caused him to lose on his season of "MasterChef" and explained what he's doing differently now that he's back to win.

The secret to MasterChef is mastering the pressure

After processing the whole experience, chef Michael Silverstein knows it's not his food that cost him his apron on the show. "I'm confident in my culinary skills," he says, but that's not all it takes to succeed at this kind of competition.

According to Silverstein, "'MasterChef' is not just about who's the best cook, but who's the best cook under pressure that far surpasses anything that you find in any other environment ... You can be an amazing chef and not survive the 'MasterChef' kitchen, because of the pressure, because of Gordon Ramsay screaming in your face." Silverstein says this is exactly what got to him when he competed: "I attribute my failure ... to an inability to handle the pressure ... we've got these extremely tough judges, not to mention cameras, some of the best competitors in the country fighting around you, and time limits that are insane."

Now that Silverstein's been given a second chance in the "MasterChef" kitchen, he knows what to do to succeed. "I came back even more honed in on my culinary school skills after the last three years of cooking," he explains, "but also ready to ignore the noise around me and cook — not worry about the pressure, not worry about the stress, not worry about the noise, the cameras, the lights." The chef says he's learned "to manage my emotion, take control of that stress and turn it into power, turn it into strength, instead of fear or nerves." With that new mindset, he says he can "come in there and do what I do best, which is cook."

Catch new episodes of "MasterChef" Season 12 every Wednesday on FOX.