MASTERCHEF airs a new episode tonight on FOX called the “Top 20 Compete.” On tonight’s show the remaining 20 chefs compete to provide meals for 500 service members on an Army base.
On the last episode of MASTERCHEF in the first mystery box challenge, the Top Finalists had 90 minutes to prep and cook a unique and impressive dish, using mainly dessert ingredients. The winner of the mystery box had a significant advantage in the next round, deciding which classic American dish the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. Astrid and Whitney lost their dream of becoming America’s next MASTERCHEF and were sent home. 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 it’s the ultimate culinary war when the remaining 20 home cooks compete 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 will split into two teams – the red team and the blue team – to create a hearty meal including one protein and two side dishes. Tempers flare as both teams struggle with consistency, and every dish counts as the troops will vote for their favorite dish and determine the winning team. Later, the losing team will face an intense pressure test featuring the all-American classic, blueberry pie. Find out whose dessert will prove to be a victory and who will be sent home.
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 #MasterChef! The contestants – 20 left – are dropped off in the Mojavi Desert for a team field challenge. Big Willie is feeling the heat right away. There are helicopters and trucks heading for them creating a major sandstorm. This reminds Cutter of when he was in the military and jumped out of helicopters. The judges are there and tell Francis B he’ll be a captain of one team. He selects nine people – Cutter, Tyler, Victoria, Francis L, Willie, Christine, Elizabeth, Ahran and Kira. They all hop into a truck.
The rest are the blue team. Christian thinks they are doomed and have a lot of weak links. Joe yells at them to choose a captain and they call for Daniel. He takes the helm. They get into the other truck and both trucks head out. Joe introduces Colonel Whatron to the red team and Colonel Braga to the blue team. He tells them they are the tactical training center and engage in live fire exercises. They are told they’ll be feeding 500 soldiers in a field kitchen.
Cutter is stunned. Joe tells them this is more people than they’ve ever had served. One grill meat, sauce and a side and they have two hours to prep and two to serve it. Victoria’s brother and dad are veterans so this is a big deal to her. Leslie also says he owes the military respect and wants to do a good job for them. They get to the field kitchen.
They can pick beef, chicken or pork and Willie suggests a pork chop with mac and cheese for the red team. They get to work. The blue team is in disagreement. Daniel wants chicken and Leslie wants beef because he says chicken is tricky. Daniel pushes back and they go with BBQ chicken. They also decide to do potato salad. Gordon asks whose idea it was and Leslie says he thinks soldiers would prefer beef but that’s his opinion.
The red team times a pork chop to test cook time since they are so thick. Joe says this is double the size they’ve ever made. The judges think the mac and cheese may be insurmountable. Joe thinks the blue team’s menu is All American, but think the chicken will be dry. The initiative to #FeedOurTroops has begun and they have already used 45 minutes when they start grilling their meats. Joe questions Cutter’s decision to cook the thick chops on this low flame.
Cutter says they can make it work. Graham compliments their rub. Leslie is panicking about undercooked chicken on the red team. He tells Stephanie that the chicken looks and feels soft. Gordon watches this with concern. Leslie says it can make people sick if it’s undercooked. Gordon goes to check the chicken that’s in the hotbox and calls the blue team over.
He asks for a knife and shows them that it’s raw on the inside. Christian is horrified and Gordon says the chicken is more dangerous than the enemy. He throws one away in disgust and tells them to get it together. The live fire exercises continue in the distance. Gordon tells them they should be embarrassed. Leslie says he told her so. Gordon tells Daniel that if she can’t cook chicken, someone else should be on the grill. They are floundering.
Graham tells them the soldiers will be there in 45. The mac and cheese on the red team is trouble. Francis B admits his side is not coming together. Gordon tries it and spits it out. Gordon says that Francis B is a headless chicken as captain. Graham asks what they will do. Joe says the rub is good, but they haven’t tried a chop yet because there’s not one done yet.
They discuss that Daniel is level headed and they discuss #WhosGotIt and Graham says blue team. The red team tell them they had to ditch the mac and cheese and they are scrambling to make slaw. Joe says they will not get done in time. The soldiers are beginning to gather and the judges warn them their time is ticking down. Choppers, tanks and trucks descend on the field kitchen.
They march in and the home cooks are terrified. Gordon yells at them to speed up and Francis L says they may be buggered. Joe is worried. Gordon counts down from 10. Graham says they are open for business. The teams greet the soldiers and begin handing out food. The red team has chutney on pork chops with slaw. Blue has BBQ chicken and potato salad. Victoria says it’s chaos once service begins.
They are behind on chops and slaw and the thick chops are slow to cook. The blue team is pleased with the red team’s delay. Graham goes to talk to the soldiers. They tell them the red team’s chop was kind of tough and they like the red team. The red team’s chop is raw and one soldier says it’s horrible. Gordon calls the red team over and shows them a raw pork chop. It’s clearly pink in the center. Gordon asks how he can serve raw pork to the troops. He tells them to get their shit together.
Gordon stops the red team and orders them to butterfly it. Tyler wonders why they weren’t already doing that. The blue team entices soldiers to come on over to them. This sends the red team into a panic because they are missing votes. Gordon says every time a soldier doesn’t pick up a red plate it’s a vote lost. Once the pork starts coming off cooked, the soldiers love it.
Joe says the blue team did a less ambitious menu, but then made sure it didn’t go out raw. One soldier says the chicken was just like something you could get at the store. Another said the chop was delicious and the slaw was like nothing he had before. The last soldier comes through. Francis B is in a panic over how many plates they lost when their food wasn’t done.
The challenge is done and Joe heads out to check in with the commanders. It’s a tie for red vs blue at the leadership table. It’s time for the vote. The soldiers will line up in front of the team whose food they liked most. Gordon thanks them all for their service and they cheer to #ThankOurTroops. He counts to three and the soldiers scramble. The teams chant their colors as the troops line up.
Francis B says it looks really close. Daniel is confident as well. Gordon says the winning team had 329 votes and congratulates the red team. They go wild. They run out to interact with the troops. Gordon tells the blue team that they will be facing a pressure test. Stephani says she doesn’t know how they won since they missed so many plates.
Leslie is pissed and says the chicken was a bad choice. He says if they had listened and done the beef, they could have won. Back in the MasterChef kitchen the next day, the blue team files in. Gordon says both teams fought valiantly, but there is only one winner. The red team stands upstairs and Gordon congratulates them. Joe says it’s time for a pressure challenge and says at least one will go home.
Graham says three of the blue team will not have to cook. Gordon asks Daniel, the captain, who will get to go upstairs and skip the pressure test. Daniel says Christian worked hard and deserves to be upstairs. He next says that little Gordon was on the spot and where he should be and sends him up. Gordon reminds Daniel that he can exempt himself but he declines and says he was captain of the ship and should go down with it.
He also sends Dan up because he says he doesn’t want to cook against him. Leslie is infuriated and says Daniel is now his target. They have to cook a blueberry pie. Elise is thrilled. Gordon cuts it open and shows them what a perfect slice of pie should look like. Stephanie says she’s not big on pastry. Gordon shows everyone Jaimee’s blueberry pie tattoo on her neck.
They all have the exact same ingredients plus a limited pantry and have 75 minutes to cook. It’s time for #PiePressure. Joe says he thinks Jaimee will shine and they worry about Stephani adding too much from the pantry. They talk about how important pastry is. Graham thinks mint is good and Gordon says lime and lemon zest.
Elise is worried since she already made blueberry pie once they didn’t like. Stephani is adding pecans to the crust and Gordon thinks she won’t have it in the oven in time. Joe goes to see Jaimee and he and Graham sample her filling. She says she sure as hell hopes hers is good. Daniel is in a panic. He’s thrown out one pastry and had to start over.
Joe tells them their pies should be in by now. Elise is the only one that hasn’t done a lattice top and they are worried about Stephani’s pecans. Daniel doesn’t even have his in the oven yet. He’s freaking out. Gordon hangs his head and shakes it.
Gordon and Joe discuss Daniel’s tardiness on getting his pastry in the oven. They shout this out to him as do voices from upstairs. Daniel is the last one to get his in and he kneels to watch his pie and hope for the best.
Leslie thinks Daniel is going home because he got his in last. Elise is worried about her pastry. The chefs start pulling their pies out and Daniel waits until the last minute to pull his. Graham calls Jaimee down first. She says she did an orange liqueur and blood orange juice infusion. Graham cuts into her pie and says the latticework is beautiful.
He says the flavor is awesome and the crust is nice and flaky. He says she lived up to her tattoo. Joe tells her it’s impressive and the crust is perfect. Gordon is next and says it’s delicious and says she’s now the most famous blueberry tart in New Jersey. Elise is up next. She brings hers up and there is no lattice work. She did marscapone and lavender.
Gordon looks under and shows her a raw spot on her pastry. He tastes it and says there is too much flour and it’s like eating a mouthful of sand. Graham shows her that it didn’t really cook. He says it’s either right or wrong in a pressure test and it’s wrong. He tells her to hope that someone else’s is worse. Jordan is up next and Joe shows him raw flour and says the whole thing is sloppy.
Courtney is up next. Gordon tastes it and says it’s delicious. Leslie is up and he says he made cinnamon and ginger in a basic pie. Graham says it’s awesome and tastes like an apple pie and blueberry pie crashed. Stephani is next and she did pecans at the top. Gordon asks why so many pecans. Her pastry is crumbling and he tastes it.
He says the pastry is undercooked and it is so sweet he wouldn’t take a second bite. Joe tastes it and asks if she thinks it’s better than Elise’s. Daniel is up last. Leslie is excited because he wants him out of there. Daniel says he went for a classic pie. Gordon says it looks bad and the pastry is falling apart. There is a huge crack you can see underneath. Gordon says he’s got one foot out the door.
He slices into Daniel’s pie and pulls out a slice. He says it came out better than he thought and says the pastry is right but the filling is somewhat delicious. Gordon says it must be a fluke. Joe tastes next and tells him his honor is better than his pie. Gordon says for at least one, the journey ends tonight.
Graham calls them all down front then calls Jaimee, Courtney and Leslie out and says they are top of the class with amazing pies. He says they are all safe and sends them up to the balcony. Daniel and Jordan are called out next. Joe tells them they are way off from being the best but there were worse than them and sends them to safety as well.
That leaves Elise and Stephani. Gordon says they were both clearly the worst. Gordon says her passion for baking didn’t come through tonight and Elise says she’s horribly embarrassed. Gordon tells Stephani her pie just didn’t work. Gordon tells Elise to step forward. He says they were expecting more but Stephani’s was worse. He sends Elise off to safety.
Gordon tells Stephani her journey is done. He sends her home. Elise cries and says she’s sad to see Stephani sent home and says this is one of the hardest days for her.