Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x14


The “Semi Finals” episode starts with the top 4 home cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen to find out they will have to make a dish with a very special ingredient: Chocolate! Tons of Chocolate Chips fall on the kids’ heads. Shayne tries some and tells Gordon they taste good! J The judges treat the home cooks to a perfectly made Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with a berry coulis. Their challenge will be to replicate this dessert. The winner of this challenge will get a big advantage going forward.

Adam and Jasmine are very comfortable baking. Adam loves science and baking is science. He says, “Making a Molten Lava Cake is like a science experiment. You have to have the right proportions. You have to have the right temp on the oven. And you have to have it cooked for the proper amount of time. And if one of those things goes wrong, you’re going to blow up your lab!”Justise and Shayne admit it is not their favorite kind of cooking. Time gets the better of Justise and she does not get her cake out of the ramekin. Shayne has trouble pulling the plate together and gets it down to the front just in time!


35 minutes is up! Time to taste them!

Shayne’s lava cake is stunning and tastes delicious. Unfortunately he did not get the fruit on his plate.


Jasmine’s lava cake plate is the most beautiful of the four. Christina says, “It’s gooey. It’s perfectly molten lava.”


Adam’s lava cake broke and is a bit under cooked. Gordon says he should have turned up the heat at the end to help it along. His fruit and coulis are great though.


Justise’s lava cake didn’t work out and fell apart. Flavor wise it is delicious, but this challenge got to her. Christina says, “You know how to fight, and you know how to recover.”


Jasmine has the best lava cake dessert and wins a big advantage. She can assign each home cook their protein for the elimination challenge; Pork, Lamb, Beef or Goat. Jasmine chooses Lamb for herself, gives Beef to Adam, Pork to Shayne and Goat to Justise.

During the cook time Adam knows how hard it is to elevate the beef and that he will have to take some risks by picking daring cut of beef and sides and do something special with the sauce.


Shayne is confident. He says the pork chop reminds him of a relaxing Sunday dinner at home, but tonight he will be stepping it up. The judges are confused when Shayne cooks two chops but uses a thermometer to check temp on the one he is plating instead of cutting into the spare chop to see if it’s done. Will his chop be undercooked?

Jasmine is making something out of her comfort zone to show the judges that she can cook more than her signature Jamaican flare. When Gordon asks her why she doesn’t go easier on herself, she answers, “Well, because, if you want to go easy, there’s really no reason for you to be here in this competition.”


Justise is taking a big risk cooking her goat leg in a pressure cooker because she is basically cooking blind. She is counting on it to give the goat lots of juices and flavor. Gordon is not sure she will have enough time for a proper curry dish.


Time is up.

Jasmine made Mediterranean Lamb with Herb Couscous, Olive Puree and Pickled Bell Peppers. The rack of lamb has a nice even sear and is cooked perfectly. The olive and fennel flavors are great compliments to her dish. Christina thinks the peppers should have been sliced thinner and Gordon thinks the couscous is an odd choice with rack of lamb. But overall, she nailed it. Gordon says, “It’s definitely one of the best cooked proteins, ever, in this competition. Well done.”

Adam made a Grilled Rib Cap with Mushroom Sauce, Endive Two Ways, Fennel-Endive Puree and Asparagus. This cut was a bold choice, but it needed to be basted, not baked, to render the fat down. And his veggies are under seasoned, but his mushroom is delicious. Gordon says, “It breaks my heart to say this, but this is one of your weakest performances.”

Justise made Vadouvan Goat Curry with Cilantro Scented Rice and Crispy Shallots. It is amazing. The meat is incredible, fragrant, spicy, sweet and sour. She nailed it! Christina says, “You took something that is not normally elevated and you brought it to another level.”

Shayne made Grilled Pork Chop with Maple Soy Glaze, Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash and Apple Slaw. The pork chop is cooked to perfection. Gordon says, “It’s glistening, it’s juicy, I mean seriously that’s fit to go into any top restaurant in New York, let alone London or Paris.” It is seasoned and glazed so well, but the sides are a bit messy. The hero is the protein and he nailed it.

In the end, the first cook in the Finale based on these dishes is Justise! The other home cook will be … Jasmine! That means Shayne and Adam are going home. 😦 This is a hard one, all four cooks are so amazing.

Christina says, “Adam, your ability, your desire to want to take risks and challenge the rules is really impressive. I have no doubt that your dream for your test kitchen is going to come true.” And Gordon says, “Promise you won’t stop.”Gordon says, “Shayne, not only are you one of the most lovable characters, but you and I’ve got a big connect, because you put your heart and soul into everything you do. This is why we started this competition, based on boys like you. Do you know that? Good man.” And Christina says, “You are an outstanding human being.”

Both kids get hugs and cheers when they are walking out and Shayne says, “Come on Adam, we’re fine.” 🙂

Final words from Adam: I’m sad to be leaving the MasterChef Kitchen. But this is definitely going to be a time of my life that I will never forget. I’ve grown so much since I’ve first came here. I’ve gone from being twelve year old science guy from Sacramento, California, to being a bona fide chef. I’m really proud of myself, I’ve done so much more than I ever thought I could. I’ve gotten to cook with some of the greatest chefs in the world. Now I have friends all over the country.

Final words from Shayne: I’ve put my heart and soul into everything in this competition. I represented Texas as best as I can. I mean, who thought a little kid from Texas would make the best vegan burger? Even though we had our bumps in the road, I’ve had so much fun, win or lose. All in all, how many kids can say they got into the semi-finals of the biggest cooking competition in the world? Not many. God had a plan no matter what happen, so I really think that if it was my time to go… it’s my time to go.

I really liked this episode because I was happy to see Shayne and Adam cook for one last time. I was also happy for Justise and Jasmine when they got in the finale. I think all the kids showed a lot of heart and support for each other.


And finally, to Shayne: (I hope you are reading) I just want to say thank you so, so, so much for reading my blog and saying such amazing things about it. When you gave me a shoutout on your Facebook page it made me so happy. You are a great friend. I have been rooting for you since day one. I really wanted you to win the whole thing and I was sad when you left. However, no matter what, you are a winner in my heart based on your amazing attitude. You were nice to all the kids on the show. You always had such a great time. I wish you the best of luck. I know you will get your Food Truck one day and go on to do amazing things.


Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x13




The “Pop Up Restaurant” episode starts with the top 6 home cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen to find out they will cook in a team challenge in a pop up restaurant set on a Californian beach. The judges choose the team captains, Cydney & Justise. The Red Team members are Cydney, Adam & Evan. The Blue Team members are Justise, Jasmine & Shayne. The wining team gets a place in the semi-finals!

The VIP guests are Los Angeles food industry professionals and they think the meal will be created by adult chefs. Christina tells them to prove “That in the culinary world, age means nothing!”

They will making pretty refined dishes. Pan Roasted Scallop with Polenta Cakes and Fried Quail eggs for an appetizer. And Pan Seared Red Snapper with Purple Potato Gnocchi and Chorizo-Saffron Lemon Broth for the entrée. The young home cooks watch Gordon’s demonstration carefully, take notes and get a little freaked out about all the steps involved.

During the cook time Cydney is having a little bit of a problem talking to her team. She has major difficulty flipping the polentas. Adam worries about whether his friend Cydney will be able to handle the stress.


Justise uses too much oil on the scallops and is in danger of overcooking the seafood. Jasmine steps up to help her Blue Team get their appetizers plated successfully.


Evan and Shayne are working of the quail eggs for their teams. This is not an easy job. Evan keeps breaking the tiny egg yolks or over cooking them. Shayne is also having problems with his pan being too hot. He has to start all over! Shayne says in frustration, “These quail eggs are so hard to get right! They break so easily! It’s like a little tiny pebble! How does anybody eat these?” His team ends up having to serve one table without eggs!


The teams regroup and head on to the entrée. Gordon wants them to do better.

Justise is doing great as the captain for the entrée service, but Cydney is completely frazzled. Gordon tells Adam to take over. Adam says, “I’m horrified right now because I don’t want to be the mean kid who thinks he can do better than the others. But, I also want to help out my team.” When Cydney says Adam should be the team captain he agrees to take over.

On the Blue Team the rapid pace of service pushes Shayne to serve up an undercooked fish. He is able to quickly fix it and the plates eventually go out.

Time is up. The VIP guests are impressed with the high quality of the food. But when the kids runs out to reveal they were executing the dishes, they are absolutely shocked!


Back in the MasterChef Kitchen the judges announce that although it was very close, the winning team is … THE BLUE TEAM! And that Adam is also going to the semi-finals because he did so well stepping up to captain the Red Team in the entrée service.


That means Cydney and Evan are going home. 😦 When they are walking out the kids are cheering for them from the balcony. Gordon says, “Cydney and Evan, two powerhouses.” And Christina says, “I think for both of you, I hope the thing you take is that it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about the journey. If you ask me, you both won. Evan, you blew us away week by week. You proved that you are strong student, a passionate guy, a great teammate, a great friend.” Gordon says, “Cydney, young lady, you did a phenomenal job. Stand strong. Continue baking. This is not the last we’ve heard of Cydney.”


Evan: Even though I didn’t get the MasterChef Trophy, I am proud of myself. I’ve learned so many new skills. I’ve learned a whole new level of communication and teamwork and I’m happy that I came here.

Cydney: I came into this competition a nervous wreck, but I have grown so much as a chef, but also as a person. I got to cook for my idol, Christina Tosi. This has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I am sad to leave, but I am happy that I made such amazing friends.”

I liked this episode because I especially thought Adam was a class act when he said he didn’t want to be mean and take over for Cydney as captain unless she asked him to. 🙂


Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x12


“The Muppets Take MasterChef” episode starts with the top 6 home cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen to find two huge mystery boxes. They are doing a mini Team Challenge with Adam captaining the Red Team with Justise & Cydney. And Jasmine captaining the Blue Team with Shayne & Evan.

The young home cooks will be cooking a fine dining dinner for men and women who have followed their childhood dreams. Dreams like Adam’s becoming a food scientist, Shayne’s becoming a policeman or preacher or Jasmine’s becoming a plastic surgeon.

Their guests are ballet dancers, NASA scientists, cowboys, pilots, doctors, Olympians, fire fighters, construction workers, soldiers and chefs.

The Blue Team decides they will make monk fish and the Red Team will make lamb. And both teams struggle with their protein. Adam almost burns the lamb chops and cuts them too soon. Evan worries the monk fish is on the verge of being overcooked, but his team catches it in time.

Time is up! And the winning team with 55% of the vote is … the BLUE TEAM!

They will get 5 extra minutes to cook in the Elimination Challenge!


Next, the judges reveal 2 surprise guests: Miss Piggy and The Swedish Chef!!!!! They top 6 chefs will have to make Miss Piggy’s all-time favorite, Steak Frites (that’s steak and fries). And Miss Piggy will be cooking too, so she gets her own MasterChef Apron.

During the cook time the judge’s remind everyone some ONE is going home! 😮

Gordon tells Miss Piggy she can’t be on the phone and helps her cook her dish. Jasmine is comfortable making New York strip and homemade fries. The judge’s say Shayne is doing amazing with his steak. Cydney needs help with her potatoes. And Adam is a little worried about his fries. Time is up.

Justise’s New York strip is cooked perfectly and has a great taste. Christina says, ‘Strong showing, beautiful job.” The Swedish Chef plays with the meat, making it talk to itself, “Okeydokey!” Justise can’t help but laugh.

Shayne’s Steak and Fries looks amazing. It has a really good color and sear to it and tastes delicious. Gordon says, “Keep cooking like this and you are going to be around for a long time.” The Swedish Chef tells Shayne to taste the “moo-moo.” Shayne ties his New York strip and makes the universal sign for okaydokey! 🙂

Jasmine’s New York strip is a little closer to medium but is seasoned well and tastes delicious. Christina says, “That steak, you nailed. Nice job.”

Adam’s Steak and Fries are visually stunning but his New York strip is a little over cooked. His fries and sauce are delicious and Gordon says he hopes Adam doesn’t go home for a steak two minutes over, because everything else, he nailed.

Evan’s Steak Frites taste amazing. Christina says, “You are starting to become a real contender.” The Swedish Chef starts pounding the steak on the counter. It’s weird. But “Okeydokey.” Evan laughs al the way back to his station.

And even though Cydney is unsure about her steak, it turns out it is cooked well and her fries are amazing. The judges say it is “really beautiful,” “stunning,” & “perfect.” Cydney is so emotional the Swedish Chef calls her around the table to give her a hug. He says, “It’s okeydokey.” awwwwww

Miss Piggy’s Steak Frites dish is visually perfect. Christina says, “It’s almost too perfect.” But the Swedish Chef starts yelling and throwing the food at Miss Piggy because he knows Gordon actually cooked the dish.

Three super dishes belong to Justise, Evan and Jasmine! Shayne is safe, Adam is safe, & Cydney is safe too!

The one going home is … dun..dun..dun.. MISS PIGGY!

All 6 young home cooks are still in the game. 🙂

I liked this episode because I liked to see the kids cooking steak and frites and I thought the Swedish Chef and Miss Piggy were funny. I liked how Miss Piggy got Gordon’s name wrong every time (Godfrey, Gerald, Gary, Garland, Gerard, Gandalf, Gunther, Gabel, Goober, Gomer) and made the kids laugh. I love that none of the contestants had to leave tonight! 🙂

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x11



The “Tag Team” episode starts with the top 8 home cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen. They meet the next guest judge, Southern food specialist Chef Edward Lee.

And there is a GIANT Mystery Box that reveals the young home cooks’ families. There are happy reunions and hugs from Peyton’s Mom & Dad, Adam’s Mom, Dad & Big Brother, Jasmine’s Mom, Dad & Big Brother, Afnan’s Mom & Dad, Shayne’s Mom, Dad & Brother, Justise’s Mom, Dad & Little Sister Journey, and Cydney’s Mom, Dad and Twin Sister. The families head up to the balcony to watch their kids cook.

The next Mystery Box Challenge reveals a Blue Apron Food Delivery Box inside. This on contains chicken breast, wild caught Alaskan Salmon, carrots, red onion, baby bok choy, butternut squash, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and rainbow chard. But no recipe. The kids have 45 minutes to use the ingredients to make a dinner a whole family can enjoy. And the home cook that makes the best dish gets a hug advantage in the next challenge, plus their recipe will be published on the Blue Apron Website!


The judges check in with the cooks while they cook and choose three dishes they want to taste.

The first best dish belongs to Afnan. He made a Pan Seared Salmon with Curried Rice Pilaf, Braised Bok Choy and Swiss chard that looks stunning. Everything was inspired by his Mom & Dad. Gordon it has amazing flavor and he is cooking like a pro. Chef Edward loves the spice but notices the fish is a bit over cooked on the ends.

The next best dish belongs to Justise. She made Pan Seared Salmon with Bok Choy, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Purée. Her sister loves textures, her mother loves fish, and her father loves everything, so she made it with them in mind. The cauliflower has a great acidity that Christina says she will be talking about for a very long time. The salmon is a hair over cooked, but it is a near perfect dish.

Adam has the last best dish. He made Crispy Salmon with Brown Rice, Rainbow Chard, Bok Choy and Apple Cider Vinaigrette. His mom grew up in Istanbul and his rice has a lot of Mediterranean roots in it. Chef Edward Lee says the balance between the creamy and crunchy textures in the rice is amazing. The fish cooked perfectly and the vinaigrette tastes good. Christina says the veggies and rice are so good they almost out shine the fish.

And the winner is … Justise! She gets her recipe on Blue Apron and she gets to pick the teams for the upcoming Sushi Tag Team Challenge.


Justise picks Shayne as her partner to bring a flare to the kitchen and good listening skills. Then she pairs two very strong cooks: Jasmine & Adam, the youngest cooks: Cydney & Evan and the remaining cooks: Afnan & Peyton.

During the sixty minute cooking time recreating the Sushi Platter proves really stressful for all the teams. Communication and working together is key. Afnan doesn’t seem to be listening to Peyton.

Adam & Jasmine are both head strong leaders and have a hard time agreeing on technique.

Shayne & Justise are doing amazing because they are talking about who will do what before they switch.

And Evan & Cydney are getting behind and starting to panic. Time is up!!!

Adam & Jasmine’s platter is visually stunning. The shrimp tastes great and the tempura has a good crunch to it. Overall, good job.

Afnan & Peyton sadly did not do well on their platter. Gordon says that the biggest mistake was they started jobs but didn’t finish them. The sushi roll cuts are too thin and the nigiri rolls are missing the wasabi. The tempura is nice and crispy, but the batter is a little thick. And the shrimp is just okay.

Shayne & Justise’s platter looks great. Chef Edward Lee says their California roll captures the essence of sushi. Can’t really get better than that. He is impressed that kids their age could cook so well. Shayne says, “Honestly, in this kitchen, age does not matter.”

Cydney & Evan platter looks sloppy. Gordon says there is uneven slicing and the rolls are too big. But the shrimp is cooked beautifully. Cydney starts to cry but Gordon comforts her by telling her to push through and be strong. He says they have both done better, but today the food was a mess.

In the end, Adam & Jasmine had the best sushi platter of the day. Shayne & Justice also did very well and made it to the top six.

And Evan & Cydney are safe. That means Afnan & Payton are going home. L Gordon says, “Oh dear, Peyton, Afnan, two of the strongest, two of the most talented. You’ve done well, both of you remember what you’ve achieved in this kitchen. Keep your heads up high, and promise me you are going to keep cooking.”

When they are walking out all the kids are cheering for them from the balcony.

Afnan: I’m really sad about going home, but I made it into the top 8. And I know I made my family proud. … I’ve had so much fun here and I’ve made amazing friends. … Just because I’m leaving here to today doesn’t I’m going to stop cooking. I’m going to open a modern bistro.

Peyton: Before this competition I did not have as much confidence, but now I can cook anything. … I got iced by the gingerbread man. And I also loved cooking for famous guest judges. … I’m going to go back to New Jersey, I’m wear my apron and cherish this experience for the rest of my life.

I like this episode because I really like to see how the kids work together on the tag team challenge. I think Shayne & Justise did amazingly together and Adam & Jasmine were impressive. It’s always fun to see the families show up. Happy the kids got to see them.

6 home cooks left!

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x10


The “Winter Wonderland” episode in April (?) starts with the top 10 home cooks walking into a MasterChef Kitchen snow storm! Shayne is super excited because he has never seen snow before since it hardly ever snows in Texas. Christina and Gordon, dressed something like Buddy the Elf, come out of a giant gingerbread house and pass out presents! The young bakers find out they will be in teams of two decorating a gingerbread house to look like the one stage. The team that does the best will be free from the Elimination Round.


The teams are: Adam & Jasmine, Mark & Afnan, Shayne & Avani, Peyton & Cydney and Evan & Justise. The kids frantically work together for twenty minutes on this technical challenge. It’s not as easy as it looks and all the teams have their ups and downs with their decorating. In the end the winning gingerbread house belongs to Peyton & Cydney!

Then a kind of creepy looking gingerbread man comes into the kitchen and sprays the young cooks with frosting! Christina and Gordon add sprinkles! Shayne says he wants to make the best of it and starts eating it off himself!

When Gordon pulls off the mask of the phony gingerbread man it’s World Renowned Chef Aarón Sánchez!! He makes a Scooby Doo joke that makes the kids laugh! 🙂 (I think it would have been even funnier if when Gordon pulled off the mask all the kids shouted AARON SANCHEZ!?! in unison.) “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you pesky kids!”

For the next holiday themed challenge the remaining cooks have to replicate Gordon Ramsay’s signature dish, Beef Wellington. “A beautiful seared beef, surrounded by a thin layer of that decadent mushroom duxelle, wrapped in Parma ham, bound together with savory crêpe, and then, finally, wrapped in the most delicious, flakiest, decadent puff pastry. This is exactly what you are aiming for tonight.” All the kids freak out because this is a very hard dish to create.


During the cook time Avani is having trouble with the Wellington. She says it is not going as she planned. 😦 Gordon worries she is focusing too much on the side dishes.


Adam, Shayne and Justice are doing well and feeling confident in themselves. The trick is to do it one step at a time.

Mark is doing his best to nail the Wellington. He tells Gordon he cooks rib eye and venison back at home for his family. Gordon says “Good Luck!”


Time is up.

Mark’s Beef Wellington with Carrot Purée, Potatoes and Asparagus is a little rustic looking for Gordon’s taste. When he cuts into the meat he finds it is a little over seared and undercooked. The pastry is too thick in parts and undercooked and although the purée tastes great it is not a sauce. But still, the dish tastes really good.

Jasmine’s Beef Wellington with Sautéed Chard and Peas is a success. She nailed the cook on the beef and all the components worked well. Christina would have like a root vegetable, but says she is nit picking because the dish is amazing.

Shayne’s Beef Wellington with Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus looks amazing. His beef filet is perfectly cooked and Aarón Sánchez says it is a dish he would like to eat again.

Evan’s Beef Wellington with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta tastes amazing but Gordon is miffed the puff pastry part is not glazed properly. The beef is seasoned well and cooked nicely. The cranberry side doesn’t really fit with the dish, but overall a pretty good job.

Justise’s Beef Wellington with Brussels Sprouts and Apples is cooked spot-on, great sear, great seasoning. And Aarón Sánchez loves her side dishes, but wrap on the Wellington is not tight enough and her duxelle is all over the place.

Adam’s Beef Wellington with Glazed Asparagus and Mushroom-Pearl Onion Sauté looks beautiful. He nailed the temperature and Gordon shows everyone a single slice, “That’s perfection on a knife!” A near-perfect Wellington.

Avani’s Beef Wellington with Cauliflower Mash and Carrots is cooked well and tastes good but the pastry is wrapped too loosely, so the duxelle is only on half the meat. She says she is hoping for a Christmas Miracle.

Afnan nails his Beef Wellington with Asparagus, Carrots and Potato Purée. The filet is seared wonderfully and the duxelle hugs it perfectly, meaning it was properly wrapped. Chef Aarón loves the sauce and tells Afnan, “Well done!”

In the end, Afnan and Adam’s dishes are the top 2.

Sadly, Evan, Mark and Avani’s dishes are on the bottom. All three had technical difficulties with their Wellingtons. Evan is safe, and Avani and Mark are going home. 😦  Gordon says, “Mark and Avani, that was a tough, tough challenge. But, heads up high … wear those aprons with pride.”

When they are walking out all the kids are hugging goodbye. Shayne gives Avani a big hug and says, “Avani, it was a pleasure meeting you!” 🙂 And Avani answers, “It was a pleasure meeting you, too.”

Mark says, “I came to the MasterChef Kitchen because I wanted to prove to the world I can cook. Being in the MasterChef Kitchen I learned that I’m a really good leader and I am serious about cooking. This is what I want to do with my life.”

Avani says, “I came to the MasterChef Kitchen to show Gordon and Christina I might be 8 but I can cook some really great dishes. I’m never going to forget all the friends I’ve made. It has been the best experience in all my 8 years of living. The fact I’ve made it into the top 10 proves that age doesn’t matter. This is just the beginning of my culinary journey.”

Now only 8 young cooks remain.

I liked this episode because I liked to see how the kids would handle the Beef Wellington. I really want to try this dish at home. I thought there were so many sweet moments between the kids, that’s my favorite part of the show.

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x9


The “Scouts Honor” episode starts with the top 12 home cooks out on a hike in the wilderness with Gordon and Christina. They find their way to a campground and learn they will be cooking pork and two sides for the Boy and Girl Scouts. Peyton and Evan are chosen as team captains.

Peyton’s Blue Teammates are Justise, Jasmine, Shayne, Gonzalo & Lila.

Evan’s Red Teammates are Mark, Adam, Cydney, Afnan & Avani.

The cook will have 75 minutes to cook a meal for hungry campers. The winning team goes directly to top ten. Losing team will have to face the dreaded pressure test.


The Blue Team decides on making a gravy for their mash potatoes and Gordon absolutely hates the idea. No gravy outside on a sunny 90 degree day! When they change to vinaigrette, Shayne says he can’t do it, but a little friendly screaming back and forth with Gordon helps him feel sure he actually can do it. When the team messes up with the pork chops Gordon asks if they have given up. Shayne says, “No, they are not going to give up!” The Blue Team serves Grilled Pork Chop with Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Corn.

The Red Team decides they will make potato pancakes out of tiny little potatoes even though Cydney strongly disagrees. When Gordon finds out he says, NO WAY! Roasting is the answer. Getting the pork chops done right is a struggle for Mark. Adam tries to help. They get it together and bounce back after a rough start. The Red Team serves Korean BBQ Pork Chop with roasted Potatoes and Coleslaw.

In the end the Boy & Girls Scouts the preferred the Red Team’s flavors, so the winning team is THE RED TEAM!

That means the Blue Team is in the Pressure Test. They have to make a box of my favorite cookies, French Macarons. Christina says they are “delicious almond meringue cookies… That smooth, hollow top, that ruffled bottom edge, that rich thin center layer of buttercream or ganache. These little cookies might be small, but they require a huge amount of technical skill to get just right. This chic little cookie could save you from going home.”


During the baking time Shayne tells a bewildered Gordon that he adding bacon to his macarons because as he says, “bacon makes everything better.”


When Lila is knocking the air out of her macarons she drops a whole batch onto the floor!!! She has to redo them with very little time remaining.


Gonzalo is really stressed by the challenge because he has never eaten or baked a macaron before! Gordon encourages him to do his best and reminds him every cook has weak areas.


60 minutes is up super-fast and the macarons have to be boxed and up on the front counter. The bakers just make it!

Peyton’s Blackberry Macarons with Blackberry Buttercream and Black Cherry Jam look good and they have amazing flavor. She has smooth top and ruffled feet, but a tip on top.

Shayne’s Maple Macrons with Bacon Buttercream look technically consistent but have a weird buttery taste with the bacon. Gordon says classics are to be respected.

Justise’s PB & J Macarons with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese and Blueberry Jam look absolutely stunning. Good color and feet and taste amazing.

Lila’s Pink Lemonade Macarons with Raspberry Coulis and Lemon Zest are not visually perfect. The color is good, but the cookie is rough and has a tip. Unfortunately, they are a little overcooked.


Gonzalo’s Raspberry Macarons with Buttercream are under mixed and could have used more time in the oven. They are cracked all over but still have a nice flavors.

Jasmine’s Pina Colada Macrons with Pineapple Puree and Lime Zest are beautiful. Technically perfect and delicious, Gordon says she raised the bar for the whole competition.

Peyton, Justise and Jasmine’s macarons earned them a spot in the top ten! Shayne is also safe and heads up to the balcony. That means Lila and Gonzalo are going home 😦  Lila is sobbing and Shayne gives her and Gonzalo a supportive hug.

Gonzalo and Lila give the judges a hug goodbye. When they are walking out all the kids are cheering for them and they get an exit montage.

Lila says, “I’m sad to be leaving Masterchef Junior. But I will never forget my journey here. This is probably one of the best things that has happened to me in my whole entire life. I learned so being in the MasterChef Kitchen. Not many people can say they have cooked for Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. I’ve meet so many amazing friends here and I will never forget all the fun times. I’m gonna keep cooking and I still want to have a restaurant run by kids someday”

Gonzalo says “When I first came into this kitchen I said this has got to be a dream. I have represented my culture. This opportunity have changed my life forever and I’m definitely grateful. I really do want to be a chef and I don’t think I would have found that if I hadn’t come into the MasterChef Kitchen.”

I liked this episode because I liked to see how the kid baked flavors into their macarons. They did some interesting flavors. I was relived Shayne didn’t go home, but also sad for Lila and Gonzalo!

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S5x08




The “Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner” episode starts with the top 10 home cooks coming into the MasterChef Kitchen to find out Chef Richard Blais is back AND hat they will NOT be cooking. Afnan is in shock, “Who’s cooking? What’s happening? What are we doing?”

6 incredibly talented home cooks are back! And those cooks are JASMINE! GONZALO! MASHU! SYD! DONOVAN AND CHARLIE!


When they enter the kitchen the top 10 look very happy and are cheering. They are very excited to see their friends again. Avani says she is very happy to see Donovan because he is kind of cute. She blows him a kiss hello! 🙂



The 6 eliminated home cooks are back to compete for two aprons and win their way back into the competition. They will have two Chicken challenges.

First a skills test: they need to break down an entire chicken in ten minutes. Gordon shows them how it is done. He cuts the chicken into two wings, two drums, two thighs, two breasts and two chicken oysters. All the kids are impressed by how easy he makes the job look. The returning home cook who does the best job butchering their chicken will win a big advantage in the next challenge.It is tougher than it looks for some of the kids. Charlie is having trouble finding the joints and hits the bone. When he starts to tear up in frustration Gordon comes to help and coaches him to tilt the knife for a clean cut


Syd and Gonzalo are having a lot of trouble finding the elusive oysters. But they keep trying and find them in the end.

When time is up the judges inspect the results. All the kids had their own ups and downs, but the one who does the very best is Jasmine. She wins the advantage!


Now for the elimination challenge Chef Richard Blais rolls out a table with platters of different cuts of chicken. Jasmine will get to decide who has to cook the breasts, the drums, the thighs, the oysters, the wings and the giblets. This last platter really grosses out the kids, mostly Charlie who hopes he doesn’t have to cook the neck and feet! 😮


Jasmine gives the chicken breast to Donovan, the drumsticks to Charlie, the thigh to Gonzalo, the giblets to Syd and the wings to Mashu. Jasmine saves the oysters for herself to cook.

During the cook time Syd is doing BBQ chicken feet. She says, “Back in Wisconsin I make barbeque ribs and stuff, so why not barbeque chicken feet?”


Donovan is happy he got the easiest cut and wants to show the judges who he really is. Avani cheers from the balcony, “Let’s watch Donovan flambé!” He says no flambéing tonight, but then says well, maybe a little!


Thirty minutes in Mashu realizes he forgot his corn starch in the pantry. He needs this to get a crisp on his chicken. No one has any corn starch to share, but Gonzalo gives him his flour. He says, “Mashu’s my friend, and even though this is a competition and the six of us got eliminated and we’re fighting for a spot, that doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna help.” 🙂


Gonzalo is making an Asian cuisine dish for the first time. It’s a bit risky, but he says he’s always been called nerdy. Chef Richard Blais says “Nerds win at the end of the day. Nerd Power!” 🙂


Jasmine is feeling great about her dish she wants to do her best. She loves being in this competition, loves the friends she has made and wants to get back in.


When Gordon visits Charlie and tells him he has missed him, Charlie says the Master Chef Kitchen is like his second home.


Mashu is making a Risotto & Japanese style wings. Gordon has never seen these two together in the same dish. Mashu is all about the fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisines. When the other kids on the balcony question the dish, Shayne says, “Mashu can do it!”


Time is up.

Jasmine’s Chicken Oysters with Honey-Blood Orange Glaze and Spicy Peanut Asparagus are amazing. The chicken oysters are cooked great, the rice is lovely and the caramelization on the vegetables is done beautifully. Gordon says she did a really good job.

Donovan’s Chicken Teriyaki with Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad and Furikake Rice is so good. Richard gets him to taste it too, and Donovan loves it, but sadly the chicken is a little overcooked.

Gonzalo’s Fried Chicken Thigh with Caramelized Peppers, Onions and Sweet-Spicy Sauce is a smart dish. Christina loves the crispy and soft textures and the spicy and sweet flavors. The rice is fragrant but a little overcooked. Overall a well-balanced dish.

Mashu’s Chicken Wing Karaage with Mushroom Risitto, Boy Choy and Spicy Sauce has some problems. The risotto has great depth of flavor but the wings get a little soggy sitting on top. Gordon wishes he had focused more on the wings and forgotten the risotto because the challenge was about the chicken


Charlie’s Fried Drumsticks with Vegetables, Bamboo Rice and Yuzu Glaze is a nice dish. The chicken is cooked well but the veggies and rice are overcooked.

Syd’s BBQ Chicken Feet with Garlic Bread and Corn “looks scary” but Gordon says chicken feet aren’t meant to look pretty. He wants Syd to try them too! The sauce is really good but the feet need a little more time cooking. Gordon was impressed that she dove in and made a dish of the feet.

The first home cook to win their way back is … JASMINE! When she goes up to the balcony Shayne tells her “Great Job”:)

The second home cook to win their way back is …

GONZALO!! He runs up to the balcony and he and Adam give each other a big hug! 🙂

Sadly Syd, Mashu, Donovan and Charlie have to go home again. The remaining contestants look a little sad to see their friends leave. Gordon tells them to keep their heads up high and to remember, “All four of you are part of the MasterChef Junior Family forever.” :)All the kids are cheering for them as they go out. Mashu is so happy he got a second chance. Charlie is super proud of himself. Donovan is going to keep cooking. And Syd is just happy she got to cook with her friends one last time.

I liked this episode because I was happy to see the kids come back and it was nice to see everyone’s happy reactions to seeing each other again. It really is like family.

Now there are twelve, again.