Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

Meet Elizabeth! You probably already know her because she’s kicking butt on MasterChef Season 5 right now. The girl just made top 3! Hashtag awesome.

How we met is kind of crazy. She had been following offbeat + inspired for about a year prior to the airing of MC5. I found this out because fellow Lexingtonian and early MC5 competitor, Dan Wu, told me that when Elizabeth found out he and I lived in the same city, she flipped! Well I flipped too. We all flipped. Before I even knew she was a fan of the blog, I had picked her as my fantasy BFF from the show. Naturally, Dan and I lured her to Lexington with the idea that the three of us should host a MC5 dinner together. [I posted all about the dinner here!]

We started planning via text/e-mail and quickly realized that we were, in fact, sisters. Clearly we couldn’t wait a whole month to meet at the dinner, so we decided to connect during a NYC trip I was on. We hung out in Brooklyn, had subway chats about life, inspiration, blogging, photography, cooking, more life — it felt like I had known her forever!

The NYC adventure was way too short, so when she finally made it out to Kentucky, we already had a style shoot on the books. The dinner monopolized the first half of her trip, but before she headed home, we spent a day shopping, styling, wandering and photographing. It was magnificent!

First we went to Anthropologie for some new goodies, because that’s what you do the morning after hosting a rooftop dinner for 25 people. Then we snacked on hard boiled eggs and coconut water outside Whole Foods, which we both felt was 100% normal. After that, we visited a few of my favorite local spots including Wine + Market and Windy Corner Market & Cafe, where most of these shots were taken.

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

A Q&A sesh…

You’re killing it on MasterChef right now! How has being on MC5 influenced daily life?
Thanks! Surprisingly, daily life is mostly the same–I still go to work at my job in advertising, I hang out with my husband and my friends, the usual stuff. The main difference is that I just feel so much more creatively inspired now; I feel like I’m going through a personal creative renaissance. I constantly think about what I’m going to cook, and how I’m going to share it–whether that be through a simple Instagram photo or a more in-depth blog post. I’ve always been passionate about cooking, but MasterChef really reignited my passion for sharing what I cook with other people.

If you could have changed one thing about your wardrobe on the show, what would it be?
Ha, well there are two things, and I honestly can’t pick between them: I wish I could have worn flats (they made me wear heels the whole time, even when we were walking through deserts and beaches, and running around with knives in our hands), and I also wish I could have worn pants! They put me in pencil skirts every single episode, and I do like skirts, but I’m much more comfortable in pants, especially when sharp objects and fire are involved.

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

What’s the craziest fan moment that’s happened since MC5 started airing?
The other day I saw a guy on the train recognize me–I could just tell from the look on his face, and by the way he kept staring at me. Then I caught him trying to secretly take a photo of me on his phone! I didn’t say anything, I just let him do it, but it was really awkward. I wish he would have just said hello! We could’ve taken a selfie together!

What was your favorite pair of shoes to wear during competition?
I bought a pair of Sam Edelman kitten heels while I was out in LA. They go with just about everything, and the heel was low enough that I still felt sturdy while I was cooking and running around. The shows take a long time to film, so there were times where I was standing in heels for hours on end; comfort was paramount.

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

What are your top 3 wardrobe staples for fall?
My most important fall staple is definitely a good pair of tall boots–I need them to be comfy enough to trek around NYC in but chic enough that I can wear them out at night. After that would be a great pair of dark denim skinny jeans (I’m currently on the hunt for my new perfect pair), and I love a big, oversized, cozy sweater to wear on those days when you don’t quite need a coat.

What are your favorite brands?
I absolutely love Free People and Anthropologie; I think the bohemian look is here to stay, and it’s what I’ve always gravitated toward. Even back in high school I used to wear flowy hippie skirts and Birkenstocks! I also love Zara–they’re just so on-trend, and they have really sharp separates that I like to mix in with more offbeat pieces to create unique looks. And I’m super into Sam Edelman, because they fit really well for narrow feet, and they’re well-made; in New York, a shoe that lasts is priceless.

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

Elizabeth Cauvel-24

When you walk into a favorite store, what’s the first thing you go for?
I pretty much instantly gravitate toward the most dramatic pieces. A long, flowy dress; a statement hat; a coat with really sharp lines. I love to wear things that bring a bit of drama to everyday life. Clothes should be fun! I don’t take fashion seriously; for me, it’s just about walking out of the house feeling like you’re playing dress up, even as a grow-up. Why not push the limits? In New York, you know there will always be someone dressed crazier than you are!

You’re in advertising, so I’m sure everyone assumes your Manhattan office is straight from the set of Mad Men. Has that show influenced your work attire? What fashion era inspires you most?
Haha, you’re right. People sometimes assume that advertising is a buttoned-up business, but that really couldn’t be further from the truth. I work on the creative side, so it’s all about being comfortable and expressing your personality through what you wear. I definitely have days where I’ll play with looks that are Peggy Olsen-esque: a sleek skirt and patterned blouse can be the perfect look for a client meeting. On days where I don’t have client presentations, I tend to wear things that are 90s-inspired (I AM a 90s kid, after all): skinny jeans, low boots, billowy blouses, slouchy beanie hats, and the occasional plaid flannel shirt. And I have a fringe-y Free People sweater with me at all times because my office is like the Arctic!

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

What’s a typical work day like for you?
I get to work around 10 AM, catch up on email, and check my calendar. I spend the bulk of my day making sure all our projects are running smoothly–I check in on the work my teams are doing, and make sure my boss (and his boss) are happy with the creative. If it needs fixing, I help fix it. Sometimes I’ll work alone on a project and come up with ideas for social media campaigns and web videos. My afternoons usually involve a few meetings with my teams, and I’m usually out the door by 6.30 (although I’m always working from my phone, because advertising never sleeps!).

What would you be doing for a living if you decided to leave the advertising world?
I would go full steam ahead into content creation in the world of food. Whether working at a food magazine or blog, doing food photography, or creating social media content for food brands (or for myself), I know that creating delicious food and sharing it with the world via photos and words is my true calling.

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

What’s next for you after MC5 comes to a close?
When I got back from MasterChef, I got a tattoo on my arm: it’s a chef’s knife with the word “Excelsior” on the blade. Excelsior means “ever upward,” and my goal is to harness the creative energy and inspiration that MasterChef catalyzed for me. Right now, I’m focusing on honing my food photography skills, and I’m trying to learn as much as possible about making a living in blogging and social media (outside the ad agency world). I don’t have a crystal clear plan, but trust me when I say a cookbook is on the way (whether it be MasterChef-endorsed or otherwise). I will never, never, never stop sharing my passion with the world, and my mission in life is to share the simple joy of cooking at home with anyone who’ll listen. As long as I know my mission, my plan will come into focus in its own time.


Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

By the end of the trip, it was official — I had a new sister. Elizabeth’s cooking skills are off the charts, but her contagious vibrance, honesty and sweet spirit make her a true gem. I cannot wait to see what she does next!

Follow the rest of her MC5 journey and beyond!!

Web: elizabethcauvelcooks.com
Instagram: @elizabethcauvel
Twitter: @MC5Elizabeth

Outfitted In…

Look 1

Sweater - Anthropologie / “Nysa Shawl” in Taupe
Dress - Anthropologie / “Matepe Dress” in Moss (on sale!)
Shoes - Kelsi Dagger / “Sky Platform Sandals” in Tan (on sale!)
Bag - American Apparel / “Small Leather Carry-All Pouch” in Ballet Pink
Hat - Anthropologie / “Plantage Floppy Hat” in Navy
Necklace - Anthropologie / “Ursa Pendant Necklace”

Look 2

Sweater - Anthropologie / “Nysa Shawl” in Taupe
Dress - Free People / “Heart of Gold Mini Dress” in Tea Combo
Shoes - Kelsi Dagger / “Sky Platform Sandals” in Tan (on sale!)
Bag - Zara / “Coloured Leather Shopper” in Mustard (sold out)
Hat - Anthropologie / “Plantage Floppy Hat” in Navy
Necklace - Anthropologie / “Ursa Pendant Necklace”

Look 3

Sweater - Anthropologie / “Jacquard Circle Cardi”
Shirt - Anthropologie / “Blushed Plaid Buttondown”
Jeans - Zara
Shoes - Kelsi Dagger / “Sky Platform Sandals” in Tan (on sale!)
Hat - Anthropologie / “Plantage Floppy Hat” in Navy
Necklace - Anthropologie / “Ursa Pendant Necklace”

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  1. I haven’t caught the show, but I do love the look - and why does snacking on hard boiled eggs and coconut water sound incredible?

  2. So happy to have stumbled upon your beautiful blog. Your recipes sound amazing and your photography is lovely.

  3. Hi eliza,My self praful, iam form indian…
    Iam countinous watch this show….
    &i like ur dish …ur presentation…& ur smil….
    Ur fresh face…
    & u….
    God allways with u…take care
    By..by eli…
    Ur friend Praful m f..

  4. Great article :)

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