MASTERCHEF airs a new episode tonight on FOX called the “Top 11 Compete.” On tonight’s show the Top 11 chefs choose between two mystery boxes, one containing ordinary ingredients and the other holding high-end items. The winner receives immunity and gets to pick which stuffed pasta the remaining cooks will use in the elimination challenge.
On the last episode, in the last team challenge, the remaining home cooks prepared romantic dinners for couples celebrating their anniversaries in the MASTERCHEF restaurant. While preparing for the main course, Gordon Ramsay introduced a special guest for the evening, his wife, who will be dining in with Ramsay that evening. The team that received the most number of votes from the couples were safe from elimination, while the losing team had to face the next pressure test and create their own truffle recipes for a box of chocolates. Find out whose victory was sweet and who was sent home. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it we have a full and detailed recap, right here for you.
On tonight’s episode, in the next mystery box challenge, the remaining home cooks will be faced with a challenge unlike any other. For the first time in MASTERCHEF history, the home cooks will get to choose between two mystery boxes. One box is filled with everyday ingredients, while the second contains high-end ingredients. The winner of the mystery box challenge will not only win immunity and advance to the Top 10, but will also choose which type of stuffed pasta the remaining home cooks will create in the elimination challenge. Find out who rises to the top and who gets sent home in the all-new “Top 11 Compete” episode of MASTERCHEF.
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.
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The chefs come into the MasterChef kitchen for the next mystery box challenge. We’re down to 11 home cooks vying for the top prize. It’s time for the #MCMysteryBox and tonight they actually have two boxes in front of them. They are told to lift the box on their right first and find ingredients that are in most homes – ground beef, bacon, cheese dip and more. The left box has gourmet items – the luxury versions of the stuff in the right box – Kobe beef, caviar, black truffles and more.
Gordon says the task is to decide which box you cook with and says there is no right or wrong choice. Victoria thinks the luxury box is a trap that can sink you. Gordon instructs them to cover up the ingredients they don’t want to use. They have 60 minutes. Leslie is cooking with the fancy stuff, Daniel goes for the cheap box, Elizabeth goes gourmet and Victoria goes with the every day food.
Joe says this is the first time they’ve had two and they wonder which people will choose – will they show off with the gourmet or try to elevate the cheaper every day stuff. Courtney has chosen the fancy stuff and is making a pan seared pork chop. Victoria tells Graham and Joe she’s making tilapia with salad. Joe says she’s perfect for the every day box and she thanks him, although it sounds like an insult.
Elizabeth is making seared Berkshire pork chops. Leslie is making a trio of proteins and Joe samples his truffles after commenting that he probably didn’t even consider the every day box. He says he needs to season his food properly and says there is no salt in there. Leslie argues with him and Joe shuts him down. Leslie says he doesn’t want to put too much salt in.
Francis is cooking with the luxury and making a surf and turf chessboard. Gordon tells them all to get a move on and tells the other judges there are some good dishes out there. They talk up Victoria, Elizabeth and Francis’ dishes. There are just two minutes left and the cooks are putting finishing touches on their plates. Gordon counts them down from ten and it’s hands off.
The judges walk through the kitchen for a last look to pick out the three dishes they want to taste. The winner will get an advantage. The first dish is a high end box and prepared by Elizabeth. She brings up her pan roasted Berkshire porkchop over herbed biscuits. Gordon says the sear on the pork is beautiful. He tastes and says it’s sophisticated and seasoned beautifully. He calls her a contender.
Graham looks at the cook on the pork and comments that it’s cooked through but not dry and says it couldn’t be better seasoned, is plated elegantly and her best dish so far. Joe is impressed as well and says it’s a great dish. Next up is from an every day box and is a restaurant quality plate prepared by Victoria. She’s thrilled.
Victoria has made tilapia and ham steak. She used some nacho cheese sauce on it and Graham is floored with the use of this ingredient in a MasterChef dish. He says it’s simple but hip and says tonight may be her night. Joe says tilapia has to be aggressively seasoned and she did it well. He says she had a solid strategy and nailed the dish.
The third dish is from the luxury box. They call up Leslie. He’s made pork, beef and ahi tuna, all seared on a griddle. Gordon says he has balls to go for all three meats. Gordon cuts into the meats when he asks about the seasoning. He went with simple seasoning. Gordon says it’s a brilliant dish and the best Leslie has made in the competition.
Joe asks about the pea puree and says it’s good and tastes fresh and green. He compliments the dish and asks about the truffles he fussed about before. He says he was wrong and the dish is seasoned perfectly. He tells Leslie not to say anything back and he manages to hold his tongue. Gordon tells them that tonight’s winner will get a huge advantage in the next challenge.
Gordon says they chose the most creative dish. And the winner is… Leslie. He’s thrilled that he’s finally won and is ready to get his game changing advantage. Elizabeth is annoyed and terrified that Leslie has the challenge in his hands. Joe says he gets to choose from three types of a food. It’s stuffed pasta. The choice is stuffed tortellini, stuffed caramelle and stuffed raviolocci. Leslie decides.
The judges come out and send Leslie upstairs. Gordon tells the other cooks that Leslie is the first cook to be in the top 10 and doesn’t have to cook in tonight’s challenge. Joe says he chose from three types of stuffed pasta. Joe says it must be homemade, fresh pasta good enough to serve in a restaurant. He served caramelle. Willie has no clue what this is – to be fair, Leslie didn’t either.
They have one hour to make caramelle in tomato sauce. Gordon says it’s the most difficult pasta and asks if they’re nervous – they all say yes. The cooks run to the pasta. Cutter looks at it to see how it’s twisted and studies it quickly. Francis, of course, plans to dye his to make it stand out like candy. Graham stops them all and asks if they know how to use the pasta machines. They all say yes.
Gordon calls Leslie back down and tells him that he has a rolling pin and he gets to give it to one cook who will lose their pasta machine. Leslie is overjoyed. He comes over and pretends to hand it to Elizabeth and then Cutter but then bypasses them. He teases them all, hugs Ahran and then finally hands it to Daniel and takes his pasta machine.
[9:00:05 PM] Rachel Rowan: Daniel says Leslie is a petty man that bears grudges and this is the type of behavior he expects from him. Graham tells them they have one hour and at least one person will be going home. The home cooks start trying to make their #PerfectPasta. Joe says you have to manage the water content of the mozzarella so it doesn’t burst the pasta and says it’s very technical.
Leslie says Daniel has been nasty to him from day one and that’s why he picked him. He laughs as he watches him struggle with it. Daniel actively curses him as he works and vows to hit this one out of the park. Joe and Graham discuss their intense rivalry and Leslie says he likes to see Daniel frazzled and he certainly is.
Courtney is confident because she’s third generation Italian and is accustomed to making pasta. Gordon looks at Francis’ colored pasta and asks if he’s always this adventurous. He says Francis is absolutely nuts. Big Willie is making dessert caramelle. Graham says it’s crazy and Willie says go big or go home. Willie says he has to shine as Graham reminds him they asked it to be like what they showed.
Cutter is excited and thinks he’s doing well. All the home cooks are hard at work. Joe asks Daniel what’s up and he says he expects it from Leslie. He says he’s making a short rib to go with the pasta. Joe says he thinks he’s in pretty good shape. Jaimee has made her first one and Gordon says it looks good as he plucks it out of the water. She’s confident.
Gordon tells the others that Jaimee is doing well but Francis has gone crazy. Joe says he doesn’t understand the risks some are taking when final 10 is on the line. Gordon counts them down from 10 and it’s hands off. Graham calls up Daniel first since he was at the biggest disadvantage. Daniel is confident about what he’s done and doesn’t think he was hurt.
He made a red wine caramalle. Graham says the color isn’t great but looks well cooked. Graham tastes it and says the flavor combination doesn’t make sense and it’s nothing like what they asked for. Joe asks why he strayed off and Francis says he’s going out blazing. Joe reminds him they asked for something else and says it tastes like a steamed dumpling from a Chinese restaurant then chokes on the spices.
Joe says the pasta is too thick and says you should never put red wine into pasta. He tells Daniel it wasn’t the loss of the pasta machine, it was his bad judgment. Gordon wipes out his mouth after he tastes it. He says it’s too spice and he may stand out but it could be standing outside the door. Daniel defends his dish but Gordon dumps the dish. Leslie is thrilled as Gordon calls it disgusting.
Daniel is upset with himself and says he needs to reign it in. Jaimee is up next and made a dish like what they requested. She says it’s a take on her dad’s recipe. Joe asks what her dad does and she says he’s a sanitation worker. He tastes the dish and says it’s great and a perfect interpretation of delivering what they asked for but making it her own.
He asks what her dad would think and she says he would be proud. She says she cooks for her dad all the time and Joe thanks her and says he would feature it in one of his restaurants. Next up is Francis. He brings down his dish and Graham isn’t sure of the beet juice additive. He asks about the sauce and he says it’s cauliflower puree. Graham tastes and complains there is no seasoning. He says it doesn’t taste good and Francis regrets overcomplicating it.
Cutter is up next with short rib stuffed caramelle with garlic. Gordon tastes and says the filling is delicious and there’s a nice amount of heat at the end. He tells Cutter he cooks like an angel and says it’s a good dish. Courtney is up next with hers and it also looks like what they asked for. Joe says its’ very dry and firm with a good sauce balance. He says it’s a super sexy, simple dish.
Big Willie is up next. He delivers a squash and apple caramelle. Gordon asks why a dessert and Willie says it just came to him. Gordon says it’s like an abuse of what they requested. He says he’s so unimpressed and is dreading tasting it. He says it looks like vomit and then gives it a taste. He spits it back out after a nibble. He says it’s too sweet and saturated in cinnamon. He tells Willie it was lazy and disgusting.
It’s time for the judges to recognize the best and worst. Graham says there were two stand out dishes. He calls out Courtney first but says it’s not the winning dish. Gordon says the dish that won goes to Jaimee. He says it was amazing and she’s over the moon. They will be captains in the upcoming team challenge. The bottom three are next.
Joe says the first overthought and underperformed and calls down Daniel. Gordon says the next dish didn’t understand the assignment and calls down Francis. Graham lastly calls down Willie for going way too far out of the box. He comes down as well. Joe says all three were so desperate to stand out that they failed. Gordon calls Daniel and Willie forward.
He says they both performed badly but both dodged a bullet. He says Francis is going home. They hug him and go back to their stations. They aren’t even allowed to go upstairs. Joe tells him their business is not an art but a craft. Gordon says he needs to get his foundation solid first and calls him up to say goodbye to them. Francis says being on MasterChef has changed his life. He heads out with a wave and a smile.