Tonight on FOX Masterchef returns with an all new Wednesday, September 13, Season 8 episode 18 & 19 called, “Something Fishy/The Semi-Finals,” and we’ve got your MasterChef recap down below! On tonight’s MasterChef Season 8 episode 18 & 19 as per the FOX synopsis, “The family members of the Top 6 join them in the kitchen. The contestants will then have to cook a dish inspired by their families before competing in an elimination test. Then, the remaining home cooks face a series of skills tests that will determine who makes it to the finale.”
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MasterChef S8 Ep 17 begins with the Top 6 – Jeff, Dino, Eboni, Cate, Yachecia and Jason. They are greeted by Chef Gordon Ramsay, Chef Aaron Sanchez and Chef Christina Tosi in the Masterchef kitchen. Tonight is time for their final Mystery Box Challenge, when they lift the boxes they see envelopes with their loved ones handwriting on them. Christina tells there there is no ingredients under the boxes but there is a little taste of home; everyone gets overly emotional as they read the letters.
Chef Ramsay says the judges want to see them create an extraordinary dish inspired by the people who wrote those letters; they are given 5 minutes to shop in the pantry and the winner of this challenge gets a game changing advantage. As the emerge from the pantry they are greeted by the ones who wrote the letter; there isn’t a dry eye in the house. Their loved ones head upstairs and they are given 60 minutes to make their dish.
The chefs visit each station and are impressed with their personal growth. Chef Aaron says there are a couple dishes they would like to take a closer look at; he calls Eboni to step forward.
Eboni made herb crusted lamb with gruyere, sweet potato fondant, swiss chard and red wine reduction. He says the lamb is medium rare and says this is the real deal that should be their Thanksgiving dinner and says it was a great job. She smiles brightly at her daughter on the balcony.
Chef Ramsay asks Yachecia to step forward. He says the dish is beautiful, she made white grape gazpacho with spicy grilled shrimp. He says its delicious but says it tastes expensive, he says maybe he would make it a touch more acidity; he loves that she jumped over his bar tonight and created something so beautiful.
Chef Christina asks Cate to step forward, who is pumped for her dad to see her be called forward. Her dish is a Venison loin with chestnut puree, butternut squash, and smoked cherry compote. The cook on the venison is gorgeous and she is blown away by the perfect balance of flavors. Her dad admits she cooks venison at home but not all the other stuff; he says she has changed and is not the girl he saw a few months ago.
The judges talk and decide that the person who made the best dish of the evening is Cate. Chef Ramsay asks the family members to come down and say goodbye to their loved ones. Cate is safe from elimination and told to head up to the balcony. The rest face the next elimination challenge right away. Tonight they have to create a salmon dish that is so stunning and elegant and delicious that it gets them one step closer to the finale.
Chef Ramsay says they will each have one thing that is different – the amount of time they have to cook with. Cate has to shout out the name at 60 minutes the name of the cook she wants to start right then; then again at 50 minutes, same as 40 minutes, 30 and finally 20 minutes. The five homecooks are told to head back to their stations as Cate says she is going to target the best homecooks or the poorest attitude; they are told that as soon as they hear their name they are to rush to the pantry to collect their ingredients.
Cate immediately calls Jason to start at 60 minutes, he worries that too much time will make the judges to expect more from him, although the judges feel that the ones who start later have more time to think about what they are making.
Cate shouts out for Eboni to start shopping. She feels she has this because she used to cook salmon with her husband’s grandmother and she has 50 minutes to create her dish.
Cate yells for Yachecia to start shopping at 40 minutes, leaving Dino and Jeff standing to see which time they will get. Chef Ramsay reminds them to make sure these dishes are MasterChef worthy.
At 30 minutes, Cate calls for Dino, who says if he can’t cook a MasterChef worthy dish in 30 minutes he truly doesn’t deserve to be there. He is told to focus by Chef Aaron; they feel Cate has dealt quite a blow to Jeff leaving him only 20 minutes. She says she did this to him because he has a poor attitude and she wants to send him home. He feels he is one of the top chefs there and he cane make a dish like no other there.
He has 15 minutes to cook and Ramsay has no idea how he is going to pull this off. Jeff is clearly flustered and Christina worries he won’t even make it as he has just put his salmon in with only 90 seconds to go. Chef Ramsay reminds them to taste everything.
Jason brings his dish forward, he created Vietnamese salmon, with daikon and crab slaw. Chef Christina cuts into the salmon and says the salmon is cooked pretty beautifully. She says every single bit of knife work is perfect on the dish; she says its a very nice job.
Eboni’s dish was crispy skin salmon with bamboo rice, spinach and avocado remoulade. Chef Aaron cuts the salmon saying the seasoning is great and the cook is spot on. He is impressed with the perfect cook on the rice; all the elements she presented are done flawlessly.
Yachecia comes up with her dish sweet and hot salmon with braised swiss chard, tuscan white beans and citrus cream sauce. She prays her dream sequence continues, Chef Ramsay says she had twice as long as Jeff had and her dish looks disgusting. Her smile fades as he says he expects a dish like that from someone who had 10 minutes to cook. He cuts the salmon and says he serves better fish to his cat, when he takes a bite he spits it out and says she screwed that dish 100% and needs to hope someone behind her made a worse dish and this is the worst dish he has seen at this stage of the competition’s history.
Dino presents his dish, a squash wrapped salmon with fregula and crab stuffed pepper. Chef Christina cuts into the salmon, she says he did a nice job and she takes a bite. She feels it tastes great and adding the fregula was smart as it brings great texture to the dish. Its a smart elegant dish and to see he did it in 30 minutes is quite impressive.
Jeff brings up the dish he created in 20 minutes. He doesn’t think any one could have done better than him. He made Mediterranean salmon with cheese-tomato relish and fruit-cucumber gratin. Chef Ramsay cuts into the salmon, he says its exactly what he wanted and Chef tells him it is rare asking him if he wants to poison him? Jeff says no, Chef Ramsay eats a piece with the some fruit and says it tastes weird. Jeff says he wanted it on the rarer side, with rubber skin topped with feta cheese. Ramsay says he felt for him, given he only had 20 minutes but he isn’t going to let him lecture him that this is what he wanted.
Cate is happy that she hit the bull’s eye and he bs’ed his way through it and hopefully headed back to Miami where he belongs. Dino turns and asked if they were allowed to make sushi, mocking Jeff. Jeff tells Dino to make another spaghetti and meatballs; Dino says he will be making spaghetti and meatballs for his lady tonight.
Yachecia tells them to settle down but Jeff asks if they should write the $250,000 to his therapist or to him. Dino jokes saying he is insured and his therapist is already paid for. Jason tells Dino to stop and says he makes jokes about him because he loves him; Dino says he loves Jeff too.
The judges return and Chef Aaron calls forward Yachecia and Jeff to the front; Ramsay says Yachecia cooked like she was out of her depth while Jeff cooked as if he didn’t care. The person leaving tonight is Yachecia AND Jeff!
MasterChef Season 8 Episode 18 ‘Semi-Finals’ Recap Part 1
The Top 4 – Eboni, Cate, Dino and Jason are greeted at the MasterChef kitchen. Chef Ramsay announces they are raising the stakes tonight, one will go home tonight and three of them will be headed to the MasterChef finale. Chef Aaron tells them they are going to face a series of skills tests and their aim is to get themselves safe and into the finale as quickly as possible.
Chef Christina says in order to survive tonight they are going to have to conquer one of the world’s most versatile ingredients: the all star, all purpose flour. In order to make it to the finale, tonight they have to show the judges they can create masterchef worthy masterpieces using flour.
Chef Christina says the first battle of survival will involve all 4 homecooks, where one will be made safe and the other 3 facing the firing line, facing another challenge, then from the 3 one of them will be victorious and find their place in the finale but the final 2 will have everything on the line, head to head in a straight all or nothing fight; one going to the finale while the other goes home.
The first flour challenge is a dessert – 3 profiteroles identical to the ones she presented them. She tells them to head to their stations where they have everything to make them. They have 45 minutes to create them. Initially they worried about Jason, but Cate is the one who is delayed. They tell Cate to get them in the over but she tells them to hush; everyone is having problems with their ganache and now it looks like Jason is the only one who is making it work as Eboni is on her third try of making ganache.
The homecooks present their platters of 3 profiteroles. Chef Christina visits Jason’s first, they are nicely baked on every side, he impresses her with the fill inside saying it had nice flavor. Chef Gordon sees Eboni’s plate and says she has an issue with the white chocolate, he says it looks grainy and runny and not pleasant but it tastes amazing; but visually it looks awful.
Chef Aaron comes to see Dino’s plate, the dark chocolate seized and looks grainy. When he cuts it open it is beautifully filled, he gives a thumbs up and tastes delicious but the ganache should be smoother. Cate is happy with hers but they are a bit small, saying she filled it from the side, admitting she didn’t know. Chef Christina checks and its beautifully filled and the flavor is disjointed. She is upset she did a bad job, Christina reminds her she isn’t going straight to the finale from this battle but she has proven from her fight in last season that she is tough enough and a fighter.
It was an intense challenge and one of them did them good enough to book their place in the finale while the other 3 will be in the next battle. Jason is safe and in the finale, he tears up as Ramsay says he did a near flawless execution. He screams with glee and heads to the balcony.
Chef Ramsay brings the 3 remaining home cooks to the front where Chef Sanchez says this next challenge is the holy grail of flour based dishes. A beautiful Latin spin on one of the most beautiful dishes in the culinary world; they are to create a Latin lava cake (Dulce de Leche). If they get it right they will secure their spot in the finale with Jason; Chef Ramsay gives them 25 minutes to complete this challenge of making 1 MasterChef finale worthy molten lava cake. Dino worries if he even had an hour he couldn’t do this and they weren’t joking when they said it would be more difficult than the last challenge.
They need to be in the oven for at last 14 minutes to cook and at 13 minutes Dino’s are not even in the oven yet. They think Eboni will be the one to join Jason on the balcony feeling Cate is cracking under pressure but Christina says she has never been in the bottom this whole season. She tells Dino he is driving her crazy right now as they count down the seconds.
They bring their dishes forward and Jason tells Dino to stay strong as his collapses on the plate and he starts to cry. Eboni thinks she baked her cake long enough, Chef Christina cuts into the cake and Eboni feels she has a seat in the finale as she looks at the others dishes. Aaron tastes Dino’s and says the flavors are there but it fell apart. Ramsay tells Cate hers looks like a volcano erupted, but he tells her its delicious. Chef Aaron says the homecook joining Jason is Eboni.
The final battle is revealed as it all comes down to the challenge of creating a MasterChef classic, a savory version of one of the world’s toughest desserts, an incredible and temperamental dish – cheese souffle! Dino and Cate are given 30 minutes to perfect the dish and they are told they have to make 3 of them.
With 15 ½ minutes to go, Dino puts 5 in the oven as Cate doesn’t have any in the oven yet. She has only made 3, so its all or nothing for her at this point. Chef Ramsay takes time sitting with each of them talking about what they have just done, wishing them both luck with 5 minutes to go. He says he is more nervous for Dino because his are on the left side of the oven instead of the center, while Cate’s are cooking in the center!
Chef Ramsay tells them to carefully bring their dishes down to the front. They come to Dino’s dishes first, he feels he cooked them right and its all down to the texture and taste. They judges look at each other without a word and move on to Cate’s souffles. They deliberate in the front where Chef Christina tells them they both had extraordinary performance and a lot is on the line, a lot of details for them to discuss.
The are debating minute details, Chef Ramsay says it came down to the tiny details and the third spot for the MasterChef Season 8 finale is Dino!! Cate congratulates him as Gordon says its amazing how close they were. Dino says everything he worked for has paid off and everything he has been through has paid off, saying his mother had him at 19 and this is not just his dream come true, but hers too. She gave up her entire life for him and now her baby boy made it to the finale.
Cate thanks them and acknowledges how much she has grown as a chef and person through this journey. She says her dream is over in MasterChef but she is still going to open her cafe and still do everything she wants in life. Chef Ramsay says she will excel as a cook and this is just the foundation. Cate thinks Eboni will be the next MasterChef and leaves her apron on her station and leaves.