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Dearborn-Native Is First Muslim American In TV Cooking Competition

DEARBORN (WWJ) - A Michigan native becomes the first Muslim American to compete on a popular cooking show, which premieres Wednesday night.

She's a social worker by day and cook by night, and her love for the latter helped her become a contestant on "MasterChef" season six. Amanda Saab, who now lives in Seattle, says the hardest thing for her "was not in the kitchen, it was not cooking, it was not competing. The hardest thing for me was being away from my family, and not being able to connect with my support."

Saab stands out from the crowd — she wears the headscarf and is a practicing Muslim.

"I put it upon myself to be a good representative of Islam, and show that you can be American and Muslim, and we are not fitting all the stereotypes that the media feeds you," Saab told WWJ's Zahra Huber.

Saab said for her personally, it's an accomplishment.

"I hope that I'm just paving the way for all other Muslims in America to do what they love and to follow their passions and pursue whatever it is that they want to do. So I might be the first, but I hope that I'm not the last. I hope we see many more Muslims doing great things," Saab said.

"MasterChef" is hosted by Gordon Ramsay, who is known for his harsh critiques of the contestants. So was Saab worried about working with Ramsay?

"I, personally, don't respond well to negative energy and comments, but I think it's coming from a really good place and he just wants everyone to be the best that they can be in the kitchen," said Saab.

You can catch "MasterChef" on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

[Check out Saab's webpage here].

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