MasterChef Recap 6/16/14: Season 5 Episode 4 “Top 18 Compete”

MasterChef Recap 6/16/14: Season 5 Episode 4 “Top 18 Compete”

MASTERCHEF airs a new episode tonight on FOX called the “Top 18 Compete.” On tonight’s show the remaining 18 chefs compete in a seafood challenge. The winner chooses the dessert to be prepared in the next round.

On the last episode it was the ultimate culinary war when the remaining 20 home cooks competed in the biggest field challenge in MASTERCHEF history: feeding an army of 500 servicemen and women on a desert army base. In their first team challenge, the contestants split into two teams – the red team and the blue team – to create a hearty meal including one protein and two side dishes. Tempers flared as both teams struggled with consistency, and every dish counts as the troops voted for their favorite dish and determined the winning team. Later, the losing team was faced an intense pressure test featuring the all-American classic, blueberry pie. Gordon tells Stephani her journey is done. Did you watch last week’s episode?  If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.

On tonight’s episode In their second mystery box challenge this season, the competition livens up when the Top 18 contestants take on an intimidating seafood challenge. The winner of the mystery box will have a significant advantage in the next round and determine which classic dessert the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. Find out whose dessert will lead them to a sweet success and who will be sent home in the all-new “Top 18 Compete”

Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when MasterChef Season Five on Fox airs. While you wait for the recap, let us know how you like the fifth season of MasterChef so far.


The home chefs come into the MasterChef kitchen. The judges wait for them and there’s a mystery box at each of their stations. Gordon announces that Little Gordon has fallen sick and had to bow out of the competition. Gordon tells them to lift the boxes carefully because what’s under it is alive and he tells them to watch their fingers. They lift the boxes and find a net of live seafood. Crab, lobster, clams, prawns, mussels and some seaweed. Some of the chefs squeal as the food wiggles.

Jaimee is distinctly not excited. Gordon tells them they also have a limited pantry. Joe says it’s critical for a chef to know how to cook live seafood properly. Gordon promises the winner and advantage after the 60 minute mystery box challenge. Gordon says this is the most intimidating mystery box challenge ever because most have never seen some of these creatures alive and crawling. Graham says he would pick one item, like mussels, but prepare it three ways.

Francis B is making crab, clams and mussels. Graham and Joe taste and approve. Christian tells Christian he’s doing shrimp and grits. They have 30 minutes left. Kira is making scallops and shrimp over pasta. Ahran is making a spicy Asian seafood stew with scallops, crab and shrimp. She’s the youngest competitor they’ve had. She says she thinks the judges are favoring Courtney and Joe pushes back on this a little.

The judges talk and Gordon says he likes Christian’s dish and Courtney’s looks good as well. Graham likes Ahran’s and Joe mentions Francis B’s dish as his leading choice. They have two minutes left. Gordon fusses at them to plate and clean and says everything on the plate must have a reason. He counts down from 10 and calls for hands in the air.

The judges do another walk around to select three top dishes they want to sample. Gordon calls up Francis B. He’s excited and brings down his spicy seafood broth with blue crab, mussels and clam. Gordon says it looks bistro quality. Gordon says the cook on the seafood is perfect and that the dish is fusion at its finest. Joe says it’s the most “restauranty” dish in the challenge and calls Francis’ seasoning aggressive and says he hit the nail on the head. He tells the others that he’s one to watch.

Graham calls up Ahran. She’s excited and Courtney says she’s surprised. Ahran says she made a spicy seafood stew with bok choi, shrimps, scallops, clams and rice. Graham says it looks beautiful. He tastes it and says “wow” – he says it’s aromatic and has complex spicing. He calls it a seafood boy band. Gordon says she seemed like she was in her comfort zone and she says it’s a flavor profile her mom has used. Gordon says she can cook and has the base of one of the best dishes they’ve ever had in MC.

Joe calls up for the final dish – Christian. He brings up his shrimp and grits and says he used BBQ on the shrimp and creamed the grits with bell pepper. Joe says it looks very homey and is rich, yet light. He tastes and says it tells a story about where he’s from and tells him good job. Gordon says watching him watch is magical and says he works twice as fast as anyone else. He also tells him that he did a good job of plating the grits which don’t tend to look great on a dish. He tells him good job and well done.

The judges talk and then announce that the winner will join them in the pantry and get a huge advantage in the next challenge. Gordon says the winner is 18 year old Ahran. She’s in shock and thrilled and thinks she’s the wildcard in MasterChef. Courtney looks annoyed. They go with her into the pantry to show her the advantage. She’ll be in control of the elimination test that will send at least one home cook home.

They congratulate her on her win and Joe says she’s in the driver’s seat. Graham says tonight’s theme is delicious sweet treats. Joe says the first items is muffins. Graham says next is one of the most popular treats in America – cookies. Graham says few people know how to make perfect cookies. Gordon says doughnuts are hard to perfect and says they have to be perfectly cooked.

Joe says she’s safe from elimination, won’t have to cook and gets to choose. They ask who she wants to take out and she says Courtney because she’s like the fake bitches she has to deal with in high school. Ahran makes her choice for what they have to cook and goes upstairs to watch while the judges announce what she’s chosen. Gordon says Ahran chose doughnuts. The home cooks have to cook a dozen doughnuts and Victoria acknowledges this is hard.

The home cooks get ready to cook a #BoxOfDougnuts and they have just 90 minutes. They all scamper off to the pantry and start grabbing up stuff. Leslie has never made doughnuts. The judges discuss who will fail and Gordon says it will become apparent in the first 10 minutes. Courtney has to start completely over because she ruined her first batch and now has no yeast. She’s begging the others for yeast. Victoria says even if she had any, she wouldn’t give it to her.

Ahran thinks her plan is working and that Courtney could be going home. Courtney knows you can’t make donuts without yeast. She asks Francis L and he hands her some. What an idiot. He may have just sent himself home. Francis B is worried because his pastry isn’t rising. He decides to roll them and make donut balls instead. Kira added her shortening late and she worries her donuts may be too dry.

Francis L has 12 different flavors and Joe tells him they’re only going to taste one – he’s stretching himself thin. Gordon tells Francis B that the donuts look like meatballs. He tells Francis not to give up even though it’s a mess. Cutter is filling his donuts. Leslie is thrilled because his donuts look good and he’s doing some macadamia shred. Gordon says they look really good.

Gordon says he’s worried about Francis L overextending himself. He says that Leslie’s look like they just came out of a shop and are perfect. Francis B’s look bad he tells the others. They are counting down to the last few minutes and they are told to tidy up their boxes of pastry for presentation. They all close their boxes and put their hands up.

Gordon tells Ahran she has another advantage. He says she can come down, walk through, look at the donuts and do an #MCSave by pulling them up to the balcony with her. Francis B is hoping he saves her and whispers to her that he has no chance. She does save him and Gordon tells him he dodged a huge bullet. He tells her to take the box and Francis and go upstairs. Francis B says he’s relieved and knows he owes her big time.

Gordon calls Courtney down first. Ahran really wants her out. Gordon comments that she’s not wearing high heels today. She made a chai glaze and raspberry frosted. Gordon says the dough looks good then says they’re salty. He spits them out and asks if she put salt in instead of sugar. He says when she lost he heels, she lost her mojo. He says she’s sliding down fast. She apologizes. Graham says the dough itself is too firm instead of fluffy. Joe tastes the frosting and asks how the salt mistake happened and she says she was rushing. He says he doesn’t like them.

Ahran is excited that her donuts taste like shit. Leslie brings his down next and says he has a box of Malibu sunshine. They look really nice. Gordon says OMG. He says they look good and Leslie says the donuts have orange liqueur and there is also blueberry and raspberry ones. He has done three different flavors. Gordon says they are like vintage and delicious. He tells him it’s a great job. He’s floored that it was donuts that took him to the top.

Kira is next. Raspberry jelly and chocolate, plain glazed with lemon and banana. Joe cuts one open and there’s not a lot of filling in it. He says they are more like Kaiser rolls than donuts. Victoria is up next. Hers look like basic glazed donuts. Graham says they are simple and delicious. Christine is next and Gordon says hers are visually uneven. He says the dough is great and flavor is nice.

Daniel has made 16 not 12 and Graham teases him about the miscount and tells him he’s a beast with the sugar and yeast. They are yummy. Francis L brings down his 12. He’s got a bacon and beer donut and Gordon decides to try that one. He smiles and says it’s delicious. He says he wants to eat more of it and says it’s very unique and says “long live Scotland.” Francis is over the moon to hear that from his idol.

Joe calls down Cutter. Joe opens the box and he says they are dark chocolate peanut butter and white chocolate. Joe cuts it open and says there is no filling. He checks several and Cutter says he has no excuses. Joe says the flavor isn’t terrible but he made some technical errors and tells him to be worried.

Gordon says there were some disasters they didn’t expect. He says they will talk about whose leaving. They confer. Leslie and Francis L want to taste each others’. Courtney tells Daniel she thinks she’s going home. The judges finish talking and come back to make their announcements. Graham says there are two standouts. He tells Francis L well done and then they say the winning box was Leslie’s and Graham calls him a silver fox. He says Francis L and Leslie will be the captains in the next team challenge.

Joe calls down Kira for making donuts that looked better than they tasted. Graham also calls down Cutter for failing. Gordon then calls down the third person for a clumsy effort – Courtney. Gordon tells them their donuts were disappointing. Gordon tells Cutter to step forward and says he has wowed them before but tonight fell far short but says he’s safe and tells him to get a grip. Cutter says he needs to slow down and focus more for next time.

Gordon tells Kira they are struggling to see the passion in her efforts. He says there is nothing more frustrating to see something attractive that tastes poor. She tells Gordon she does have passion. Gordon tells Courtney that her performance was stupid and lackluster. He says it killed their palates with the salt that shouldn’t have been there. Gordon sends Kira home. Ahran is disappointed. She thanks the judges and goes.

Kira says she’s said because she had more to bring to the table but is proud of herself. She says this is only her beginning.