MasterChef Recap 9/2/15: Season 6 Episode 17 “Return of the Champions’

MasterChef Recap 9/2/15: Season 6 Episode 17 "Return of the Champions'

Tonight on FOX Masterchef returns with an all new Wednesday September 2, Season 6 Episode 17 called, “Return of the Champions.”  We’ve got your recap down below! On tonight’s episode the Top 5 cooks compete in a mystery-box challenge that includes pear, tomato, portobello mushroom and chocolate, and the winner.

On the last episode, in the next team challenge, the Top Six home cooks faced the wildly popular restaurant takeover. Each team had to complete two appetizer and two entree dishes for the dining guests in a downtown Los Angeles restaurant. The winning team were safe from elimination, while the losing team must face the next pressure test, in which all members of the losing team had to prep, cook and plate three different pasta dishes. Find out who couldn’t stand the heat of the restaurant kitchen and who moved on to the Top 5. 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 per the FOX synopsis “in the next mystery box challenge, the Top Five home cooks must create a dish using pear, blue cheese, tomato, portabella mushroom and chocolate. The winner of the challenge receives two advantages: first, he/she will be safe from elimination; then the challenge winner will choose which of four different baskets filled with ingredients – put together on his/her own and with three former MASTERCHEF winners – the remaining contestants must cook with. Find out who will be one step closer to joining the champions and who will be eliminated.”

Don’t forget to join us for our live recap tonight at 8:00pm when MasterChef Season Six on Fox airs. While you wait for the recap, let us know how you like the sixth season of MasterChef and who are you rooting to win tonight.

Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!

#MasterChef is down to the top five. It’s Derrick, Katrina, Nick, Claudia and Stephen. The judges head into the kitchen then the top five. Claudia is thrilled. They are sent to any station and wait. It’s a Mystery Box challenge. They lift and inside the #MCMysteryBox is one ingredient. Katrina has a pear, Claudia has a tomato, Stephen has a portobello mushroom, Nick has a piece of choclate, and Derrick has blue cheese (he hates blue cheese and says it tastes like Stephen smells).

Gordon says this is the hardest MC Box they’ve had. He says they also get a staple pantry box and that one ingredient to make one great dish. They have flour, sugar, eggs, cream, herbs, and a few other things plus one hour of time. Gordon says he thinks it’s very tough. Christina says you have to be clever with your staple ingredients. Stephen says these test separate the men from Derrick. Gordon chats up Derrick who is making soft pretzel bites with blue cheese sauce.

Stephen is making roasted mushroom with Hollandaise. Katrina is making pear carpaccio. Claudia is making a savory Napoleon. Nick is making cupcakes with chocolate speckles. Gordon says he thinks Katrina is complacent and he’s worried about her. They are down to the last seconds. They are plating and scrambling as Gordon counts down from 10. Gordon says they tasted as they cooked and they will take a closer look at three dishes as usual.

First up is Stephen. He made a mushroom sandwich with a mushroom cheese with sauteed mushrooms. It’s just all mushroom. Gordon says it’s brilliant. He says it worked but the cheese is a bit bland and calls it a contender. Graham says it’s great. Christina says it’s a bit rich but nicely balanced. Next up is Derrick. He made a thyme herbed pretzel with blue cheese dipping sauce. Graham says they are really good and very creative. He calls it a home run. Gordon says it’s bloody good and tangy.

He says it sends a message that he only put two things on the plate and did it so well. Next up is Claudia. Christina says it’s beautiful. It’s a tomato Napoleon with a tomato sauce and crisped tomato skins. She tastes and says she’s impressed and it shows her heritage with a depth of flavor. Gordon says it tastes fresh and exciting on the palate. He says she’s starting to peak at the right moment. Gordon then says the best dish is Claudia. She’s thrilled.

Claudia heads to the pantry with the judges. They tell her it’s time to talk about the Elimination Test. They show her the MasterChef cookbook and tell her to imagine seeing her face on the cover and stick a photo of her on one. Gordon says she’s safe from elimination and she now gets to fill a basket with 20 of her favorite ingredients that define her style and would be in her cookbook. One cook will have to use these in the Elimination Test.

Gordon tells the others that Claudia is in the top four and sends her upstairs. Then they tell them that other cooks will pick other baskets for them. Out comes last year’s winner Courtney with her basket and cookbook. Next is prior winner Luca with his cookbook and basket of ingredients. Last out is prior winner the blind chef Christine with her cookbook and basket. The others are thrilled to see them. The other home cooks come down front to get their baskets.

The #MCWinners each chose 20 ingredients. Courtney has dessert ingredients. Luca has Italian ingredients. Christine has a lot of Asian ingredients. Claudia’s basket has a lot of seafood and Mexican ingredients. Nick doesn’t want Claudia’s basket and says he’s clueless about it. Claudia gets to assign the baskets. She gives her basket to Nick. He’s not happy and thinks it might as well be filled with rocks. She gives Christine’s basket to Stephen.

She gives Luca’s basket to Katrina since she thinks it’s easiest and gives Courtney’s hard basket to Derrick since he’s the toughest competitor. Derrick says he can do what he does best with it and win over the judges. They get one hour and only have the ingredients in the basket. They run to their stations to get started. The past winners go upstairs with Claudia to watch. Derrick asks Courtney some questions about her ingredients. The judges think the competition is getting to Katrina.

Courtney says Stephen is amazing as he hops around his station. Derrick is making chocolate pot a crème and Gordon asks if that’s good enough. He says he’s also making edible flowers and other elegant touches. Christine asks what Nick is making then Claudia says she doesn’t know. He’s freaking out. The judges wonder what he’s doing – he’s clueless about Mexican food and cursing. Derrick says Claudia was smart and may have sent him home in a big Mexican ball of fire.

Katrina is making veal scallopini. Graham says she seems like she’s snoozing and says she needs to be happy and putting love into her food. He gets her pepped up. Stephen is hopping about and tells Christina he’s making a mixed grill and a pork loin with curry. Christine tells him to tone it down and create some negative space. He says he will check himself before he wrecks himself. Nick tells Gordon he’s making mussels with pineapples.

Luca says Katrina is going rustic. Claudia says Nick is looking frazzled but she sees good technique. Christina says she thinks Stephen is doing too much. They yell at them to get plating then count down from 10. Gordon tells them to thank the past winners for giving up their time. Claudia says it was amazing to get to hang out with them. They head out. Now it’s time to check out the dishes and send someone home.

Gordon starts with Derrick. He made a chocolate pot de crème with mascarpone and champagne. Gordon tastes and says the flavor is good but it’s so heavy. He says he would have put the mascarpone inside. He says the execution is a cop out and wants more finesse. He says it was good but it was safe. Christina tastes and says the flavor is nice and the tea leaves played well but it should be a bit lighter. She says it’s good but might not be good enough for final four.

Nick is next. He made chorizo mussels with lime cilantro rice. Gordon says it looks fantastic. Gordon says the mussels are cooked perfectly and the dish is brilliant. He says the sauce is incredible. He says he did it justice and is headed to the top four. Graham says it’s sexy in the best possible way. Graham says it’s the best dish that he’s done. Nick is thrilled that he was able to do this and come out in front of the pack and says watch out.

Stephen is next. He made deconstructed pho with pork and tofu. He says Christine was his inspiration. Christina tastes and says he did a great job with the flavors and says it shows creativity and he reined it in nicely. Graham says nicely seasoned. He says it’s smart cooking. Stephen feels confident that he’s going to stay. Last up is Katrina with Luca’s Italian basket. She thinks she did a good job. Gordon says it looks charming.

She made homemade pasta and veal scallopini. Gordon says the pasta is delicious then curses and shows her that veal is pink – it’s raw. She brought up raw meat to the judges! He tastes a little bit and says it’s chewy and can be any protein. He says it’s so near but so far and if she had just left the veal off, it would have been great. The judges talk and then call down the four that were in the test. Christina says the best dish of the night was Nick and sends him up with Claudia.

Gordon says Stephen got carried away but the strength was there and so he gets to go up to the balcony as well. It’s down to Derrick and Katrina. Gordon says Derrick’s dish was underwhelming and poorly executed. He says Katrina missed the mark. He says Derrick did just enough to edge into the top four and sends him upstairs. He hugs Katrina and goes. Gordon says Katrina cooks from the heart and has been an amazing student.

He says he’d love to see her in France and wants her to spend time in one of his restaurants and says he’ll arrange it for her. She cries and thanks him. Gordon asks who will win it and she says Nick. Katrina says she didn’t know what level of skill she had when she came there and has learned how good she is by being there. She says she has so much confidence leaving than she did coming into this. She says she found her voice and is truly humbled that Gordon believes in her enough to send her to Paris.