MasterChef RECAP 5/26/14: Season 5 Premiere “Top 30 Compete”

MasterChef RECAP 5/26/14: Season 5 Premiere “Top 30 Compete”

MASTERCHEF airs a 2-hour episode tonight on FOX with top “Top 30 Compete.” On tonight’s show thirty chefs present their signature dishes to the judges for a chance to compete for a cookbook deal and a $250,000 grand prize in the Season 5 premiere.

Master Chef is about amateur chefs who are initially selected through nationwide auditions, selecting a total of one hundred competitors to the start of the televised competition. In the preliminary rounds, each of these has an opportunity to prepare a signature dish for the trio of judges. They are given a limited amount of time to prep their dish, and then given five minutes before the judges to complete the cooking and assembly of the dish, during which the judges will ask about their background. The three judges will taste the dish, and vote “yes” or “no” to keeping the chef in the competition; two “yes” votes are required for the chef to move on and receive a MasterChef apron, while those that fail to do so leave the competition. This process weans the field to about one-third of the original size.

On tonight’s MASTERCHEF returns for an exciting fifth season, giving talented home cooks from all walks of life the chance to showcase their skills, knowledge and passion in front of the show’s esteemed judging panel: Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. After a nationwide search, 30 of the best home cooks in America present their signature dish to the judges, but only the Top Finalists will earn a coveted white apron and compete for a chance to win the MASTERCHEF title, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

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 how excited you are for this fifth season of MasterChef.

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page for Updates

Graham, Joe and Gordon are back for Season Five of MasterChef to put the best home cooks to the test in the MasterChef competition. Tonight we get to meet the 30 top home chefs that will start off the season and soon be eliminated one by one. Gordon welcomes them to the MasterChef kitchen and Graham (newly skinny) tells them one of them will be the MC chef. Joe tells them one will win $250k. The winner also gets a cookbook deal and a trophy.

First they have to win an apron to continue on the show. Gordon asks if they’re ready to face the challenge to get their apron and they cheer. Gordon says they have an hour to create one stunning dish. They turn over their chopping boards and see a mirror there. Gordon says they need to put themselves on the plate and Graham says it should be their life story on the plate with a signature dish.

Tyler plans on venision and Astrid on a fish plate. Graham tells them to go into the best pantry in the world to pick their ingredients and says there’s one more thing. He says some will be eliminated during the hour. The judges will come through and kick some of them out while they’re cooking if they don’t like what they see. The home cooks are horrified.

The one hour starts and they all run for the pantry. Willie is going to do apricot chicken. Francis is all about molecular gastronomy. Joe says they know they can all cook, but can they performin the MC kitchen. They start talking about who they should eliminate first. Elise is making blueberry goat cheese pies. She’s tired of life in her cubicle doing clerical work and wants to cook for a living.

The judges head in and start sampling dishes. Joe checks Tyler’s sauce and they aren’t pleased. Gordon thinks Gavin has too many things going on. Gordon looks at the chicken livers and says they need salt. The gastronomy guy has broken his syringe and is panicking. Gordon calls for a stop and says some of them will be going home.

Gordon says one of them will be leaving right now. There are 25 minutes to go, so they’ve had a little more than half an hour in the kitchen when he calls a time out. Gavin is kicked out for not sampling his food and having bland liver on the stove. He’s stunned. He says it was a lot more difficult than he thought it would be. WOW! Brutal start to the season.

One of the girls talks about how she had to take a job as a stripper to pay for college but would rather be a chef. Joe and Graham go around tasting and criticizing. Graham tells Elizabeth she needs to redo something and she rushes to do so. They talk about Willie and Dan. They tell everyone to stop and Joe calls out LaTonya for her broken sauce and sends her packing. The rest have eight minutes to go to stay in and earn their apron.

They warn them to taste everything and plate beautifully. They have less than a minute to go. Gordon counts down the last 10 seconds then calls for hands off. The judges go around to take a final taste to decide who gets an apron. They offer criticism to some and praise to others. Gordon tells Elizabeth it’s not Junior MasterChef and it was bold to go with dessert.

Courtney the stripper gets the first one and she heads upstairs. Next is Big Willie – everyone cheers. Dan, Jamie, Tyler follow. Victoria, Christine, Kiera are next. Christian, Georgia, Daniel, Whitney and it’s the last apron. Gordon says this was tough. The last one goes to Elizabeth. She is understandably thrilled.

There are nine left that didn’t get aprons and they are all devastated. Elise is crying and it was really hard because she heard “Elizabeth” and thought her name was being called. She tells Gordon she put her whole life on hold for this and doesn’t know what to do now. Gordon tells her that they are not giving up on them just yet.

Gordon says they have one last chance to earn an apron. They are relieved. Joe says they had a full pantry for the first challenge, but this time, they all get the same ingredients. Graham tells them to go find these identical refrigerators with classic ingredients – chicken, veg plus a box of MC staples. They have to make a chicken dish and Graham says one of the judges will be cooking alongside them. Astrid asks for Gordon and he says he will cook with them.

Graham says they get one hour to cook their chicken dish and that Gordon will show what they can aspire to be one day. The hours starts. Francis is in a panic already. Joe says anyone in American can cook along because we all have potatoes, chicken and bacon. Gordon gives them a head start then pulls his coat off. The other aproned chefs cheer as he begins his cook.

One asks what he’s cooking and he says – wait and find out. Corey is making potato and parmesan souffle with fried chicken. Joe asks why he would do a dish he’s never made before and he says he’s evolving. Elise is cooking a chicken pot pie. He thinks it’s dangerous to do another pie. Leslie, a stay at home dad, is cooking stuffed chicken breasts. He cooks for his kids all the time.

Astrid’s station is filthy. She has food all over the floor that she’s stomping on. Joe ccomes over and says that it’s disgusting and won’t be tolerated. He says it’s dangerous and unsanitary. He says he won’t tolerate it. Joe tells her this is a warning and she will be out if she doesn’t shape up. She says she thought they had people that cleaned.

Joe and Graham watch Gordon use a French coffee press to infuse some liquid into is dish and discuss that’s what makes him a MasterChef. Chandis talks about how she grew up learning about sustainability and fresh ingredients. The chefs are down to five minutes. A couple of hecklers bust Leslie’s chops and he shouts back at them. There is one minute left.

The home cooks all start plating. They’re down to 10 seconds and then done. Gordon runs off to grab one last thing. Joe tells Gordon to bring his dish up. It’s minted shrimp dumpling. The upstairs chefs are floored – he did caramelized garlic and Graham tells them that’s the standard to shoot for. He calls up Corey, Leslie and little Gordon.

Little Gordon comes up first with pan seared chicken breast with soft boiled egg and potato puree. Graham tries it and says it has great flavor and says it’s tasty and makes you want more. Leslie is up next with spinach and bacon stuffed chicken breasts. Joe says it has nice seasoning and is delicious but is an absurdly large portion. Corey brings up fried chicken with a potato souffle.

Gordon slices around the edges of the ramiken that holds the souffle then upends it to knock the souffle out. It doesn’t let loose. He taps it against the plate again and again and finally the plate shatters, but no souffle! Uh-oh. Gordon moves on to the chicken and says he should be able to fry chicken with his eyes closed. He sends him away. Corey is bummed.

The judges converse about the three dishes they tried and Graham says not everyone made the second chance work. He tells Little Gordon that he earned an apron and he’s thrilled. He thanks them and heads upstairs. Corey is told that his future is not in the MC kitchen. They send him packing. They ask Leslie if he really needs the competition and he says he does. They also give him and apron and they say he won’t regret it.

Astrid, Amy and Michael bring their dishes up. Astrid made pan seared breast with potato hash. Gordon says it’s flavorful but not stunning. Amy brings up shrimp and chicken tacos. Graham tries and says the chicken is dry. Michael made roasted chicken with a poached egg on top. Joe tries it and then feeds Michael a bite – he says it’s too salty.

This group will only get one apron and it goes to Astrid the station slob. Joe tells her to clean it up in the kitchen from now on. Final three is Elise, Francis and Candice. Francis made spinach pasta with shrimp. He plated it to look like the srimp were running from seaweed. Graham tries it and says the pasta is good and shrimp is good but the sauce is iffy.

Candice made a potato rosti stack – potato pancakes basically. Joe tries it and says the potatoes are raw and feeds her a bite. He asks if it’s raw and she agrees that it is. He says that’s a major sin in the MC kitchen. Elise brings up chicken pot pie and Gordon criticizes her for making a second pie in one night but says it tastes really good. Gordon wanted her out of her comfort zone and says it looks a mess but there’s something there.

Elise says she may be an underdog, but it scrappy and begs her to keep him. The judges go talk. Gordon tells Candice that she had 60 minutes to show her potential. He says her journey started and will end tonight and says it’s not good enough for an apron. She leaves. Candice says she’s proud of being there and says she did her best and is leaving stronger.

Gordon tells Francis that he wanted to see what basic skills he had and made a bold move with homemade pasta. He tells him that his journey will continue and congratulates him. Elise is the last one standing. Gordon says he knows how much it means to her but his frustration is her pie. She breaks down into tears. Elise says she wants the privilege to be there and prove her worth.

Gordon tells her that he’s sorry that she’s not going upstairs and says they are coming down to congratulate her. She’s floored that she gets to say. He hands her the apron and says well done. She promises no more pies. He congratulates the top 22 to end the evening.