Tonight on FOX Masterchef returns with an all new Wednesday, September 6, Season 8 episode 16 & 17 called, “Chopsticks & Pasta/Pop-Up Restaurant,” and we’ve got your MasterChef recap down below! On tonight’s MasterChef Season 8 episode 16 & 17 as per the FOX synopsis, “The Top Seven create an Asian-inspired dish that centers around one of the most prominent utensils in culinary history, chopsticks; and take part in a pasta-themed elimination challenge. Then, the Top Six split up in teams to cook for food critics, writers and chefs at a pop-up restaurant in a Southern California vineyard.”
So make sure to tune in between 8 PM – 10 PM for our MasterChef recap. While you wait for our recap make sure to check out all our Masterchef spoilers, news, videos, pics & more, right here!
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Tonight MasterChef S8 Ep 16 begins with Chef Christina Tosi, Chef Aaron Sanchez and Chef Gordon Ramsay greeting the Top 7 home cooks. They dive right into their next Mystery Box Challenge, and the only thing under the box is a pair of chopsticks. Christina says a 3rd of the world eats with chopsticks everyday, and tonight they want them to create an Asian inspired dish with their own personal spin and the only thing holding them back is their imagination; they are given 60 minutes to create their MasterChef worthy dish.
The chefs/judges are not looking for what you get out of a take-out box, something imaginative and creative, something with big flavor but a lot of subtleties. Its is about standing out and presenting something impressive. After checking out the cooks’ dishes, they say the kitchen smells incredible. They encourage them with their presentations and count down as the cooks finish their dishes. There are 3 dishes they are intrigued by.
Christina calls the first cook forward and Dino steps forward for the first time in the Top 3 at Mystery Box Challenge. His dish is cream-cheese mint shrimp wonton with massaman curry and basmati rice. She loves his presentation but is concerned that the flavors are not supposed to really go together but when she tastes it she says it shouldn’t work but its pretty brilliant. Gordon and Aaron shake their heads in shock. Chef Ramsay says the curry is delicious and the shrimp, he laughs that its just like him that its sooo wrong that it’s right!
Aaron calls Jason up and his dish is pork and prawn dumplings with roasted shrimp broth; he feels proud of honoring his grandmother with this dish. He chokes up explaining how the dumplings was a way to feed a family during the tough times of fleeing their country. The pork is moist and flavorful and the prawn is delicious. He likes that he went with something personal to him but the broth needed a punch to it. Christina tastes it and says she loves the freshness and earthiness; she says there is nothing to really critique on the dish.
Gordon asks Jeff to bring his dish up for the Top 3, he says this is for his brother-in-law. His dish is a filet mignon pho with pork meatball and in honor of the family in Vietnam. He says the spices are beautiful and a bloody good effort, only wishes for more protein. Aaron says there is a bit too much noodles but he made his brother-in-law proud.
The winner of the Mystery Box Challenge is Dino who also wins a game changing advantage. He joins the judges up front as the rest of the cooks come down to the front. Dino does not have to compete in the elimination challenge and officially is in the Top 6. His other advantage will directly influence who will be going home tonight. Gordon leaves and returns with a table holding 6 boxes of pasta, Dino is to choose which of the incredible pastas they will have to make from scratch and create a MasterChef worthy dish.
Jason gets the Pappardelle. Eboni gets the Farfelle. Gabriel is given the Cannelloni. Cate is given the Cavatelli. Tortellini and Egg Yolk Ravioli are the final two pastas to choose from and Yachecia is given the tortellini and Jeff is left with the egg yolk ravioli. Dino says he’d like to send Jeff home because out of all the people there he would miss him the least; Jeff is not showing any weakness and loves a good challenge as Dino heads up to the balcony. Jeff says he will let Dino cut into it and Dino says he doesn’t eat crap!!
Chef Gordon Ramsay announces they have 45 minutes to create an incredible dish. The judges talk about how badly Dino wants Jeff gone as they have been after each other since day one. Jeff wants Dino to stop his yapping because his dish is going to be the winner. Aaron learns Yachecia isn’t too comfortable as she has never made it before, but she is going to make it work.
Christina sees Gabriel who says he is a little familiar with Italian cuisine but he doesn’t cook it very often. She tells him to prove to her that he is worthy of being in this kitchen. Eboni is making the “butterfly” pasta but Ramsay jokes that she stings like a bee. He wishes her good luck. Aaron meets with Jason who is making a dish that is Italian meets New England. He tells Jason they are counting on him and they will talk soon. The judges are telling the cooks to move and get everything on the plate as they count down to zero.
Jeff, the man with the biggest target is up first. He made an egg yolk ravioli with truffle oil, sage-brown butter sauce and pecorino romano. The plate looks a mess with raw sage and burnt onion; Chef Ramsay is not impressed, saying he should put one perfect on the plate, not ones that look horrible; Dino isn’t sure if Jeff nailed it as Gordon slices into it Dino realizes Jeff nailed it as the yolk oozes out. He says its rich, seasoned beautifully and tastes delicious. Chef Sanchez says there is something beautiful about the simplicity, it just needed more finesse and tells him he did a good job.
Eboni comes forward with her farfalle with sausage, mushrooms, spinach and fried basil. She admits it isn’t easy to make but Chef Christina tells her its simple and delicious, there is texture and a little heat and sweetness to it but doesn’t think she needed the mushrooms. Chef Ramsay tells her its delicious and she nailed it as its beautifully glazed and nothing is dry. The presentation needs work but one of the best dishes he has tasted all competition.
Gabriel feels his inexperience with cannelloni worked against him as he isn’t happy with the shape the structure of the pasta and hopes the flavors are there. He made cannelloni stuffed with ricotta-spinach filling and rustic tomato sauce. Chef Christina says this is not what it should look like, and its deflated; the filling is not great and wish it had more seasoning, but the real disappointment was the technique of the pasta. Ramsay says it looks dreadful, the sauce is so sweet, the filling is bland and the pasta is a disaster and his worst performing dish.
Cate comes forward with Cavatelli with peas, mint and herb ricotta. Chef Aaron tastes it and says he really likes the garnish, he wishes the pasta was done a little better as its gummy and thick but overall its a very good dish. Christina says visually its beautiful, with the rustic elegance. She says its delicious dish but wishes it would have been a brighter and lighter dish.
Jason has never made this before and created pappardelle with beef and pork bolognese sauce. Chef Aaron says the flavor is dynamite and feels it has the depth of flavor it should have but overall he did a great job.
Yachecia brings forward her tortellini dish that is chicken and pork with ricotta, chicken broth, roasted tomatoes and pesto. Chef Ramsay says it is terrible, although she says she felt it was good. He says its a ridiculous idea to put pork and chicken together and the thickness is terrible looking like canned meat and the broth looks like it was served in the water from a dishwasher. He says this is her worst performing dish she has cooked for them so far.
Chef Ramsay calls Dino down to his station, there were two extraordinary dishes tonight belonging to Jason and the winning dish is Eboni’s. Christina calls Yachecia and Gabriel to the front as Chef Ramsay says this is the toughest decision ever. The home cook that is leaving tonight is Gabriel; everyone cries as Yachecia hugs him and Gordon says the technical part is what got him tonight. He may be going home to Oklahoma tonight but he is not going back to be a fast food server; and since he has the huge potential to succeed he is told he just needs the right training so Chef Gordon Ramsay is personally sending him to culinary school, he will pay the tuition so he can go full time and he will also take care of his parents. He says at 19 years of age he potential to b e great and he gratefully accepts his offer.
Chef Aaron says once he is done with Gordon’s once in a lifetime offer, he wants him to leave Oklahoma and come to New Orleans where he is prepared to give him a job in one of his restaurants. Gabriel says breaks down saying he can’t be happier than this moment. Its a very emotional moment as Gordon tells him to take off his apron and he will see him soon. He says the MasterChef trophy is shiny but this opportunity is amazing!
MasterChef Season 8 Episode 17 ‘Pop-Up Restaurant’ Recap Part 1
The Top 6 home cooks arrive at the Triunfo Creek vineyard and are greeted by the MasterChefs and judges. Today, they are transforming the vineyard into a MasterChef pop-up restaurant. They will be cooking for the local chefs, food critics, and writers. Eboni (blue) and Jason (red) are team captains; Eboni picks Cate and Jason picks Dino. Eboni chooses Jeff which means Yachecia is on Jason’s team. Each team is responsible for serving half the guests 2 exquisite appetizers and two entrees, they will speak to the diners to see who they liked the best but the decision is ultimately up to the Chefs.
Appetizers are seared scallops with grape and frisee salad. Chef Ramsay shows them how to make this dish. The second dish is a Lobster cappellini with chardonnay beurre blanc and caviar vinaigrette; again he shows them exactly how to make it.
The Entrees are to be duck breast with truffle polenta, turnips and cherries; they all watch as Ramsay shows them every detail. The next main course is filet mignon served with wild mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and red wine sauce. Jason feels this is going to be the competition that shows who can make it in the competition and who is way out of their element. The owners of the vineyard hope the dishes can match their wines in their beautiful setting.
The orders start to come in for both teams and what Dino was afraid of happening, Jason is too quiet to run the team. Gordon calls him a doughnut, asking him if they shut down and reminds them to communicate and Dino feels he needs to start really cracking the whip. On the blue team, Jeff is already making mistakes cutting under cooked lobster; Eboni tells him to watch what he is doing as she is getting aggravated. The lamb he makes is over cooked and Eboni tells him to stop saying thank you and just freaking cook!
Gordon returns with another plate of raw lobster and he throws the two dishes. Cate reminds Eboni they are on a team together and not bash each other. Eboni says he is cursed and doesn’t communicate at all. Cate says fighting won’t solve anything as Eboni continues to snap out that its no wonder teams keep losing with Jeff on them. Eboni tells Cate to shut up and plate as she is just getting annoyed. When Jeff corrects his mistakes, Ramsay reminds her to praise him when he does something correct.
Jason says there is so much pressure on him today, this is his first and last time to show he has strong leadership skills. Chef Gordon Ramsay says he is glad he finally has a voice and tells him to get a grip while Dino is thrilled to see this new side of Jason. Eboni tells Jeff to stop apologizing and saying thank you and he says that his mama taught him manners.
The appetizers are done, and the teams begin to work on their entrees. The red team is in complete unison, and Ramsay reminds them to stay with the system they have and stay on track. Meanwhile, the blue team is not looking like they care and he sends off an incomplete table. Jeff says they are not talking at all and Eboni is their top line of defense and Jeff says without the numbers and counts they don’t know what to do.
Chef Ramsay calls the red team over after he cuts one of the steaks, he tells them to grab a pair of horns and some fur and put that thing back in the field; he says it is ice cold and cuts into the duck, saying all that is missing is its feathers and give him a river and it would swim in there. He tells Jason to either wake up or him and Christina will take over and they can remove their aprons. He orders Jason to not get frustrated but sort it out.
Chef Aaron tells Eboni to tell her team what she needs and Cate hopes with him there they will be able to get things rocking out. Christina goes around asking guests how the food is and several times she is forced to apologize that these are NOT MasterChef standards. Eboni says Jeff is a loser and that is why he is always on a losing team. The final tables are up and reputations are on the line.
Chef Ramsay takes the microphone and welcomes the red team and the blue team to the restaurant, introducing them to the guests. Christina says after much discussion, they do have a decision. She says the winning team that is officially in the Top 5 of MasterChef is the Red team; Jason, Dino and Yachecia celebrate their victory.
Cate says its not any one person’s fault but Eboni bursts out laughing, saying Jeff is bad luck and there is nothing else to say on that. When Jeff brushes her off, she says his attitude is…. And continues to say if they were not in this state, she would light his ass up on the real street. He says he is over it as she just continues to bitch at him and about him.
Back in MasterChef kitchen, Cate, Eboni and Jeff stand before the judges. Eboni says there was no communications and feels she knows why Jeff is always on the losing team because when he gets instruction he just wants to do what he wants to do and screw the team. Jeff calls bullshit, saying he did what he was told and the negativity started from the top. Eboni says she has a child that is about to turn 17, so she knows how to control a situation and diffuse a situation and Jeff is cocky. Cate stands in the middle, as they continue to bicker and both Gordon and Aaron scratch their heads. Gordon tells them all the crap Christina had to put up with in the dining room and its clear only the tough will survive as he points to Jason, Dino and Yachecia.
Their pressure test tonight is to make the technical and terrifying chocolate souffle. Chef Ramsay tastes the one in front of him and asks Jason if he would like to taste some but when he says yes, Gordon tells him to piss off as its his! Eboni and Cate are thrilled as Jeff hates desserts and admits he doesn’t like souffles; Christina tells them to show them they deserve to be there. All three bring their souffles forward and all 3 have risen and amazing looking souffles.
Jeff’s is first, as Gordon pulls out a spoonful, tastes it and doesn’t say a word. Aaron comes to taste Eboni’s souffle, observes the filling on the spoon and leaves after tasting it. Christina approaches Cate’s souffle; she tastes it, gives a funny face and then walks away. Chef Ramsay asks the other two masterchefs how they are to separate these 3 and says he disagrees after they discuss it. He says they all gave a very strong effort, it was well done and the most intense 35 minutes in this entire competition.
The first person progressing to the next stage is Jeff, saying his souffle was perfect and one to die for. It comes down to two incredible competitors who put in a valiant effort. He pauses and says he cannot believe he is saying this but tells Eboni she is staying; Cate thinks she is headed back to Chicago but he says she is wrong as they are all staying as they couldn’t separate their souffles. Eboni and Jeff even hug after that’s done; he says it has never happened that any one of their 3 souffles would be served in their restaurants. He tells all 3 of them to head upstairs.