MasterChef Recap 7/14/14: Season 5 Episode 8 “Top 14 Compete”

MasterChef Recap 7/14/14: Season 5 Episode 8 “Top 14 Compete”

MASTERCHEF airs a new episode tonight on FOX called the “Top 14 Compete.” On tonight’s show in the next challenge, the remaining 14 home cooks will split into two teams and take command of the kitchen at Dinah’s, one of the busiest and most iconic diners in Los Angeles.

On the last episode, in the challenge, the remaining contestants had to put aside their differences and work in pairs to create a restaurant quality surf and turf dish. The teams who impressed the judges were safe from elimination, while the teams who fell short faced an intense pressure test featuring classic spring rolls. Frances B’s dish ultimately sank and 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 challenge, the remaining 14 home cooks will split into two teams and take command of the kitchen at Dinah’s, one of the busiest and most iconic diners in Los Angeles. The stakes are high as the contestants will prepare classic American fare for the restaurant’s regular diners. The team that receives the most customer tips will be safe from elimination, while the losing team members will face an intense pressure test, during which they must make an elegant and delicious three-layer red velvet cake. Find out which contestant will rise to the challenge and whose efforts will fall flat.

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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There are 14 home cooks left. They head into Culver City for a new team challenge. They head to Dinah’s a popular diner. Cutter says it feels like he’s back in Texas. It’s a busy, iconic California restaurant that serves up 1,000 plates of food per day. Graham says they’ll be in two teams and will cover the busiest shift of the day. Gordon says they will choose the captains. He says there are some they need to see in a leadership role.

Gordon chooses Christine as the red team captain. The blue team captain is Big Willie. He’s really excited to prove to them that he can lead. Joe says the team pick will be different – it’s going to boys versus girls. They clap over this. Courtney is excited and says girls rule and boys drool. Leslie thinks they’ll kick the girls’ butts.

They are ready and raring to go. Gordon says boys and girls are too old-fashioned and tells each team to select one team member to steal. They congregate and discuss. Christine steals Christian for the #DinerChallenge. He’s excited to swap. Big Willie steals Victoria from the girls. She’s happy but says it’s the judges she needs to win over.

Willie and Christine are told they will be expediting and their teams will cook. Each diner gets a blue or red dollar and if they like the dish, they leave a tip. The losing team heads into a dreaded pressure test. They are making diner classics. Eggs, toast, fried chicken, pancakes, breakfast meats. Willie assigns roles as does Christine and they all get to work.

The judges discuss that it will be about speed and technique. Christine tells her team not to talk unless they need to talk to her. They open up and the diners come in. Willie calls out orders. More customers are streaming in. Courtney thinks Christine is ruling with an iron fist but thinks it’s effective. The red team is doing well. Willie is struggling to keep track of orders.

Francis L is frustrated with Willie losing track. Victoria thinks he’s overwhelmed and Gordon yells at them that food is dying in the window. Joe comes up to yell for orders as well. Willie is floundering. The red team is doing well so far and the blue team is following behind. Francis L, Leslie and Victoria are struggling to know what he wants. He’s never expedited or worked in a professional kitchen.

Graham comes over and shows him how he should be calling and doing things. This seems to help. Gordon goes to talk to blue team diners. One lady has been coming there since 1959. She says the food is really good. Joe goes to talk to red team diners. He hears that the eggs are perfect. Diners are leaving tips on the way out (or not) if they’re not happy.

The red team slows down when Elise struggles with club sandwiches and food is dying in the window. Christine tells her to improve the cut. She’s not making the toast right and it’s not cut accurately. Joe tells her to pick up the pace. Elise says club sandwiches aren’t easy. Gordon comes back there and coaches her on how to do the sandwiches better.

Elise thinks if they lose, she’ll be blamed. Gordon tells the other judges that Elise can’t make a club sandwich and Elizabeth had to take over. Gordon says Big Willie is headed to victory based on this red team snafu. Then Leslie starts to crack up at the egg station and isn’t making consistent eggs. Leslie is taking it personally and screwing up.

Leslie is aggravated and ranting. He says he doesn’t need help and tells them to shut up. Several blue diners are now complaining about their eggs and Willie pulls Leslie off and puts Victoria on eggs. Victoria steps up and starts cooking eggs. Leslie says let’s see if they can do it better than him. The orders are backed up now and diners are getting annoyed.

Joe tells the diners he’ll check on orders. He tells Willie he has a table about to walk out on him. Willie yells to Victoria that he needs the eggs now. Leslie is burning toast and two tables walk out costing the blue team eight votes. Joe tells Willie that two tables walked out. Joe yanks down the tickets and says they’re dead. The blue diners waited 45 minutes then bailed.

Gordon tells Willie to step up. The red team is back on track with Elise and Elizabeth both on club sandwiches but then a customer complains about raw fried chicken. Christian asks to see it but she says it’s raw and Gordon chews him out. Joe pushes on the blue team. The last tickets are in and Joe refills coffee and talks to blue diners. They tell him the food is as good as usual, but not better.

Another blue diner says the sides were cold and the chicken was dry. A red team diner isn’t sure if she’ll tip because she didn’t like the green beans. Then they serve the last dishes and they’re all done with the challenge. Gordon says the judges will count the tips and announce the results back in the MC kitchen tomorrow.

Next day, the home cooks file into the kitchen. The red team is glad they had no tables walk out. Leslie is being quiet and one of the guys says it’s too bad he’s not quiet more often and he’s aggravated. Christine says if they head into the pressure test, she’ll take responsibility for them losing. Victoria is nervous because she’s never been in a pressure test.

The judges tell them the tip count was very close. One team made $87 and the other $82. If the blue team lost, the eight walk outs was to blame. Gordon says the winner is the red team. WOW! The walk outs made the blue team lost. They would have won by $3 if all eight would have tipped. The red team heads upstairs with shouts of triumph.

The blue team is told they will face the dreaded pressure test and at least one will be sent home. Gordon tells Big Willie that he can save three team members or just himself. If he saves himself, the rest of the team will have to cook. Gordon tells him to be smart because it’s a hard challenge. Ahran thinks he’ll be a nice guy and Courtney thinks he should save himself.

He says he’ll save three because he led the team and they lost. Gordon tells him it’s admirable. Willie says Daniel is safe because if not for him, they would have lost by more. Gordon says that’s twice he’s been saved and asks why it is. Daniel says he’s liked and respected except for Leslie because he’s a child and can’t act like an adult even though he’s older than anyone.

The next #MCSave goes to Francis L. Willie chooses Victoria for his final save. That leaves Willie, Leslie, Dan and Cutter in the pressure test. Graham says this will be the last Master Chef dish for one of them. They have to make red velvet cake – a Southern classic (and my absolute personal favorite cake).

They head to their stations – they have butter, flour, eggs, cream cheese, food coloring, vinegar and the seasonings they need. No trip to the pantry required. Dan isn’t happy about doing cake. Gordon says the key is the density of the batter. The cream cheese needs to be thick and tangy, almost like glue. Elizabeth says Willie moves slowly but always gets everything done.

Gordon asks Willie if he’s made red velvet. He says several times and the key is not to overwork it by using a mixture. Joe goes to Leslie who says it’s a walk in the park. He’s got pistachios and Joe questions that. Leslie says Daniel is all talk and no help. The other chefs are enjoying the aroma. Cutter says he’s never cooked a red velvet but has eaten plenty.

Gordon tells them they should have their cakes in the oven by now. Dan does not. Joe says if he doesn’t get it in, he won’t be done. Elise points out to the others that his batter was way too thick. Gordon says it’s important to trim the top of the cake so it’s perfectly flat. The judges say that Willie looks good but Dan and Cutter are question marks.

Cutter is taking a lot of time to decorate. The chefs are doing their last minute touches as Gordon counts down. It’s time to taste. Gordon goes to Willie first and he says visually it’s a little sloppy but looks good. He says the texture is good and says his ratio of cake to layered frosting is good and the color is nice. Gordon tastes and says the frosting is great, batter is spot on and it’s great.

Graham tastes next and says it’s pretty near perfect. Joe heads to Leslie and asks about the green stuff and is told it’s pistachio. He tastes and says it’s good and the pistachios are a nice touch that he didn’t think would be good, but actually are. Joe asks why the others don’t seem to like him and he says he doesn’t know. Cutter laughs and says he’s a one trick pony but Joe says that’s not true.

Joe tells Leslie the judges pick the winner, not the other contestants. Gordon samples Leslie’s cake and says it’s delicious. Gordon says he seems to do well under pressure. Dan is next and Joe says he seemed to be struggling. Dan says his cake is uneven and it’s overcooked. Joe struggle to cut into it. He tastes it and says it’s more like a boiled wool cake. He says it’s not velvety soft.

Joe says Dan’s looks homemade but Cutter’s looks child-made. Gordon goes to Cutter and he’s made an American flag on top. Gordon says the side of the cake looks like a hairy back and says the whole outside looks ridiculous. The frosting is way too thick on the layers. Gordon says the cake is good but it’s way too sweet. Graham tastes and Cutter says he doesn’t think it’s too sweet.

Graham also tells him it’s too sweet and Cutter interrupts and annoys Graham. Cutter then tells Joe that he’s just trying to understand. Joe says he’s too defensive and Cutter says he’s on the edge of going home and he’s nervous. He sasses Joe and Joe tells him he has no respect for them. Joe tells him he sounds ignorant and keeps interrupting.

The other cooks are in shock at the way that he’s talking to Joe. He asks Cutter who should be sent home and he says Leslie. Leslie laughs hysterically at this and asks if he’s still here. Gordon tells them at least one of them will go home and says they’re going to talk. Gordon and Joe say that Leslie’s is the best. They say Cutter had too much icing and Dan’s was like a big red cookie. They decide and come back out.

Joe tells Willie that he didn’t have to be down there but proved his integrity and ability by participating. He sends him upstairs safe and the other cooks applaud. Graham calls out Leslie and says his cake was as good or better than Willie’s and also sends him to safety albeit with less applause. Gordon says either Cutter or Dan will go home. He says despite Cutter’s disrespect, it’s about what goes on the plate.

Gordon chats with the other judges then says that Cutter is safe. Dan is devastated. Cutter gets very little applause as he heads upstairs. Gordon tells Dan that his cake was dry and more like a biscuit. Dan thanks them and Gordon tells him to keep on cooking. The others applaud him as he leaves. Dan says being there is like living a dream and it’s an affirmation that he’s as good as he thinks he is.