About Josh MarksEdit

Joshua Marks was a self-taught culinary artist who, upon deciding to perfect his passion for food, studied recipes, watched YouTube videos and absorbed the techniques of his idols, such as Chefs Graham Elliot, Emeril Lagasse and Gordon Ramsay, as well as restaurateur Joe Bastianich, by watching them on cooking shows. Marks had not only turned his attention full-time to cooking, he beat out more than 30,000 contestants, some of them highly trained, to land a spot on the 3rd season of “MasterChef,” Fox TV’s fierce cook-off competition.

Although he had never taken cooking classes, Marks grew up in the kitchens of family members who exposed him early on to a range of culinary styles that influenced his cooking. His Panamanian father, introduced Marks to the wonders of curry and coconut—ingredients that were trademarks of Marks’ cuisine. Marks’ mother uses healthy, organic ingredients in her dishes and had taught her son to use healthier alternatives when preparing traditional dishes. From his grandmother, Marks gained an appreciation for what he called “homestyle” cooking, which for her means Southern comfort food, while an aunt who knows her way around the kitchen, provided the budding chef knowledge of Creole and Cajun cooking. Marks, who prided himself on adeptly manipulating spices and flavors, had carved out his list of specialties, which included étouffée,
all types of curry, and ice creams
and sorbets.

A native Chicagoan and a product of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School on the city’s South Side, Marks was a 7-footer who played basketball and excelled academically at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, where he earned an economics degree cum laude in 2009. As one of the tallest centers in the school’s history, Marks helped Tougaloo win its first conference championship in 2007. If his passion for cooking had not taken hold, Marks probably would have pursued a professional basketball career. Instead, he spended most of his time preparing succulent dishes for friends and family at his home in Jackson and sharing recipes on his blog and Facebook page.

On October 11, 2013 (Age 26,) Joshua Marks was found dead to a gun shot wound to the head. Before his demise, he has captured people's hearts nation wide in MasterChef and till this day. Josh Marks will always be remembered and celebrated as a wonderful cook, a friend, a brother, and a beloved son.

His death has been ruled as a suicide by the Cook County, Illinois medical examiner, just months after his final appearance in MasterChef.