Many area folks have been following Lipan ranch owner Mike Newton on FOX’s television series MasterChef but what some may not know is that not only does Newton make an impact in the kitchen, he is making an impact in Texas communities by raising money for area food banks and organizations.
Newton will be back in Lipan cooking up some food and helping raise funds at an event next Saturday, Aug. 12.
“I’m trying to raise money for the Lipan community food bank. We’re going to do a chicken fried steak dinner from 3-7 p.m. and we’re asking people to bring non-perishable goods, cash donations, whatever they can,” Newton said. “We have 100 families in Lipan who need assistance and they just got this started so we’re trying to use my short 15 minutes of fame to try and keep our little food bank going and our 4H program.”
The fundraiser will be held at the Lipan Baptist Church located at 214 N. Kickapoo St., and anyone is welcome to come out.
“I may charge people to take pictures with me and donate that too,” Newton said. “We’ve been able to raise several thousand dollars for charities and so I get to take my 15 minutes of fame and put it to good use. I gotta give back. I’ve been blessed coming back from a stroke and most people don’t realize I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) also, I was diagnosed last year, so I got a second chance and it’s an opportunity for me to give back. Bad things happen to good people and we want to make sure that people don’t go without.”
Newton made a trip to Hood County a couple weeks ago and raised money for its 4H club.
“I worked with the kids and taught them how to make chicken fried steak,” Newton said. “We raised $430 for them.”
On this week’s episode of MasterChef, “Holy Cannoli,” Newton was safe again but since his team lost the challenge, he found himself in the pressure test making cannolis for judges Gordon Ramsay, Aaron Sanchez and Christina Tosi.
“I was picked third to go up to the balcony. Chef Ramsey said, ‘Well they’re a little rough on the outside,’ a little bit like me, but said they were damn good. It was a good thing, I got to go upstairs.”
They had to make six cannolis and Newton had an amaretto raspberry mixture filling for three and a ricotta mascarpone with Grand Marnier with pecans for the other three.
Newton said his favorite part of being a member of the MasterChef competition so far is when he won last week’s “Whole-y Cow!” episode challenge with his porterhouse steak.
“It was bittersweet because then I had to pick out the top seven and bottom seven, and so the bottom seven hated me and then the top seven had to do the challenge so I had 14 people struck off my Christmas card list,” Newton said with a laugh. “That was really fun because that was right in my wheelhouse. I get the porterhouse, how lucky was I? And that stuff isn’t staged. I even made the comment, ‘If I don’t win I’m changing my clothes and moving the hell out of Texas.’”
Watch Newton on next week’s episode at 7 p.m. Wednesday on FOX.