MASTERCHEF airs a new episode tonight on FOX with the top “Top 22 Compete.” On tonight’s show the finalists have 90 minutes to prepare a unique dish using dessert ingredients. Later, the winner of the challenge decides which dish the remaining contestants will prepare in the elimination round.
On the last episode of MASTERCHEF the 30 contestants immediately begin their first challenge. There were immediate eliminations; Gavin forgets the salt in his dish. He’s not tasting anything as he cooks. And Gavin is eliminated. Netanya is also eliminated because her sauce isn’t good. Courtney gets the first apron. She made gnocchi. Willie gets the second apron. Thirty began and after this episode, 22 remained. Did you watch last week’s episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for your enjoyment.
On tonight’s episode in the first mystery box challenge, the Top Finalists will have 90 minutes to prep and cook a unique and impressive dish, using mainly dessert ingredients. The winner of the mystery box will have a significant advantage in the next round, deciding which classic American dish the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. Find out who will rise to the occasion and whose dream of becoming America’s next MASTERCHEF will come to an end.
Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when MasterChef Season Five on Fox. While you wait for the recap, let us know how you like the fifth season of MasterChef so far.
It’s time for tonight’s #MasterChef. Last time, we lost several of the hopefuls. The lights come in the kitchen and Gordon, Graham and Joe come in then the contestants. The cooks talk about their dreams – from writing cookbooks to running a restaurant. Gordon congratulates them. Joe says to always bring your A game.
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It’s the first mystery box challenge. Beneath the #Mcmysterybox is bananas, chocolate, strawberries, blueberries, lady fingers, ground coffee and extracts. Joe says at least one of them will be going home by the end of the challenge. Whitney is freaking over this point. They have 90 minutes and Gordon starts the clock ticking.
Graham says many chefs like to put more on the plate but experienced chefs know you should put less on the plate. Willie says he is the only cook in his family – his mom, grandma and none of the other women cook, it’s all on him. He says he is very confident in his baking skills.
Cutter is a petroleum pro and was a search and rescue guy in the military. He’s making cappuccino pudding. They wish him look. Gordon comes to Astrid who tells him she’s never baked but is trying lemon bars. Jaimee says cooking is the only thing she’s good at. She says she was the black sheep growing up and got bullied. She says it destroyed her confidence and she’s working on it.
She says she’s there to change her life. She tells Joe she’s making a chocolate pecan brownie. Working in a bakery, she has an edge and even has a tattoo of a mixer on her thigh. Elizabeth is making a strawberry tall cake. She says Leslie will lose because he talks too much. He hears and is annoyed with her criticism.
Leslie tells Elizabeth he’s never said anything to her and doesn’t know what her problem is – she gets ugly with him about living somewhere nice because his wife works. He curses at her and Gordon asks what’s wrong. He tells Gordon that they are jealous. Gordon tells him as one of the oldest, he needs to be more mature. He says he’s sorry.
They are down to 60 seconds and they say one of them is about to go home. Gordon counts down from 10 and they are hands off. The judges go around for one last look to decide who to taste and Graham says one will win a huge advantage. Joe calls down Cutter and Astrid. Then Graham calls down Courtney and Big Willie.
Gordon says two are up for worst dish and two for best dish. Gordon says the two worst are Cutter and Astrid. He says they will taste both and send someone home. Cutter says it’s the first time he tried this and thought he did damn good. He brings his up to taste. Gordon says his mistake was putting the MC logo on his dessert and Cutter says he was trying to honor the show.
Gordon digs in and tastes it and Joe asks if he knows what biscotti is. He tells all the home cooks that there are standards they need to hit. He doesn’t even taste the dish. Cutter goes back in line. Astrid brings up her lemon tart with lavender. Gordon says it’s raw. He asks what you should do if something isn’t cooked and she says leave it in the oven.
Gordon says she doesn’t have much potential. Graham tries one corner he says looks cooked. He says pastry may not be her strength, but you have to know how to cook anything asked for and she agrees. She’s sent back to the line. The judges talk. They come to a consensus. Cutter says he thinks he’s better than Astrid who says she’s not ready to go home yet.
Gordon says it’s Cutter that will get to stay and Astrid has to go. Cutter goes back to his station and thanks them. Gordon tells him to get a grip. He tells Astrid that she may have passion, but won’t make it. She says she should have practiced baking before she came because she knows it’s her weakness. Graham says they will now taste the top two dishes of the night.
Courtney brings hers up first. It’s a honey cake with mixed berry coulis with vanilla whip. Graham says it looks like a restaurant dish. He tastes it and asks if she used salt – she said a little in everything and he says that was smart and her dish is harmonious. Gordon tries it next and says he loves the crunch and it’s well balanced. He says he could put it in his restaurant.
Willie brings up his spicy gingerbread cake with mascarpone and berry compote with cayenne pepper. Joe says it’s dainty, unlike Big Willie. He tastes it and says wow and says the flavor and presentation is great. He says the contrast between orange and coffee is a little shocking but likes it. Gordon says it’s amazing and a party in his mouth. The other chefs clap for him.
Gordon tells them that the winner of the challenge is Courtney. Will claps for her. Courtney gets to go back to the pantry to get her advantage. They tell her it was delicious. She’ll be in control of the first elimination test. She gets to choose the dish the competitors will cook. There are three domed serving dishes before her, one judge behind each.
Graham says it will be a main course. He says it will be a ground meat dish. Joe shows a platter of meatballs and says every culture has a meatball type dish. He says it is big right now. Graham shows meatloaf and Courtney is thrilled – he says meatloaf is uniquely American. Gordon reveals a hamburger and says nothing says America like a classic burger.
Joe tells her she doesn’t have to cook and she gets to choose the dish the others will make. Courtney says she thinks she can change the entire game and plant a seed and wait for a bomb to go off. She decides and they come out to announce it. Graham carries out the covered platter and sets it down. Graham tells them that she decided what they will cook.
Gordon says she gets another advantage she doesn’t know about – he says only half will have to cook tonight and she picks which 10 don’t have to cook. She uses the #MCsave first on Leslie because she thinks he’ll be easier to beat later and also saves Jaimee. They both thank her. She then saves Gordon, Elise, Cutter, Francis, Kiera and Ahran. Joe says this is interesting.
Willie thinks she should have called him first. She next saves Elizabeth. She has one more name to call and says she wants to save the person who wants to win this as much as she does and calls out Christian. Dan says he thinks the 10 down there ready to cook are the strongest 10 and that’s why she left them there to compete.
Courtney says she’s holding them in her hand like chess pieces and says it’s like checkmate. Gordon reveals that she chose meatloaf. Willie says this is no problem for him because he and ground beef go way back. Plus, he’s Southern, so I have total faith in him. They go off to the pantry then run back. Leslie says to cook like it’s their last meal.
They start the #MeatloafChallenge and Gordon talks to the other judges. Gordon says it must be modern and says he would line the dish with bacon. Graham says he would use light breadcrumbs and add mushrooms. The judges agree that not tasting the seasoning is a mistake. He says he would fry off a bit, taste it and then tweak it.
Dan tells Gordon he’s going Southern/Asian and he tells him to hurry. Joe goes to Stephani who is making couscous. She’s making lamb meatloaf. Joe asks if she’s out of her mind. She tells him she’s confident and ready to win. Francis tells Gordon he’s doing short rib and lamb with some cheese mixed in. Gordon looks dubious and he rethinks the cheese.
Whitney says it’s been her dream since she was a kid and started culinary school but couldn’t afford to finish and winning this would let her complete. She says she’s doing mango glaze for Asian style meatloaf. Willie has cinnamon in his and Gordon says it’s good and that he’s sending Courtney a message with that meatloaf.
Graham says Dan is doing Asian and is excited to try it. They talk about whose might be iffy and will fall apart. They are tasting and plating now and Joe says to be sure to plate beautifully. Gordon counts down from 10 and the home cooks are all hands off. Gordon calls Francis up first and thinks his risk worked out.
He made burrata stuffed meatloaf. Gordon tastes it and says it was a bold move that worked. He says you just want more and more of it. Graham tries it next and says it’s great and he would be screaming for more of it from his mom as a kid. Joe asks about the Romesco sauce and says it’s a MasterChef idea to cross cultures – he says he’s playing at a high level.
Next up is Stephani. She says she made lamb meatloaf with couscous and blue cheese cream sauce. Gordon digs in and tries it. He spits it out and says he can’t swallow it. He says there are dry chili flakes. She says she took a risk and he says she is going H-O-M-E. Gordon says she is so wrong that he can’t say enough. She says she feels like crap and has never heard that her cooking is bad.
Graham calls Whitney up next. Dan thinks hers looks pedestrian. She’s make Caribbean meatloaf with lemongrass and soy sauce. He tries it and says the issue that the meatloaf is bland and the glaze is all he’s getting it and it tastes more like a weird meat dessert. Gordon says he can’t think of anything worse to go in meatloaf. He says it’s bland and overcooked and he thinks it tastes like a TV dinner that’s a TV disaster. He says – me apologies to the meatloaf.
Christine is up next with veal and pork meatloaf with a fried egg on top. Graham says the flavor of the meatloaf is good but isn’t sure the egg is needed. Jordan also did pork and veal. Gordon tells him you can’t season a meatloaf after you cook it. He says he’s the youngest guy and it shows. Daniel brings up lamb and ground beef loaf with sweet potato mash. Joe likes it.
Big Willie is next and he says he made pork and beef meatloaf with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon. Gordon says the seasoning is spot on and says he’s a strong contender. He gives Courtney a look upstairs. Dan comes up next with ground veal, pork and short ribs with veg and some kimchi on the side.
Gordon tastes it and says it is absolutely disgusting. He says it’s way too wet and is one of the worst meatloaves I’ve ever eaten. Dan says he’s absolutely devastated. Joe says there were some standout dishes but just one that stood out even more. It had more than one kind of meat and a sophisticated sauce. Both Willie and Francis think it’s them. Graham says the winner is Francis. They all clap. Graham says that wins him a huge advantage in the next challenge.
Gordon says there are three worst and at least one will leave. He calls out Stephani. Graham calls down Dan and Joe calls down Whitney. The bottom three all stand before the judges. Gordon says none of them did it justice. He has Dan step forward and tells him that he’s been out of control tonight and humiliated a meatloaf and got cocky. He tells him that there were two dishes worse than his and says to get a grip and get focused then sends him back to his station.
Gordon asks Courtney who they’re about to send home and why. She says passion and love is important with food and says it was lacking and he thinks they will send home Whitney. Gordon says she called it and says that she is, indeed, the one they singled out as worst. Stephani goes back to her station in tears but relieved. Gordon tells Whitney to take off her apron and leave. She’s upset she lost out on something as simple as a meatloaf and says she’ll go back home and keep working on her dream.