Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x07

Graham s6X07The episode starts and we meet Nick from San Diego who used to sell dishwashers but really loves cooking. The home cooks lift the boxes in the next Mystery Box Challenge and find a bunch of breakfast items. They have to cook alongside Graham who will cook not one, but 3 breakfast dishes. During the cooking time Tommy is making a Banana Stuffed French Toast 😮 ! After the cooking time Graham cooked 3 great dishes, one for each judge. The contestants had a lot to live up to.

The first of the top 3 dishes belongs to Nick. He made Breakfast-3-Ways. Gordon likes it. He says the French toast is the best but the egg is a little too sweet. The next dish belongs to Katrina. She made a Blood Sausage Frittata and it tastes great! Gordon loves it. The last best dish belongs to Derrick, the 28 year old Drummer from Fort Myers, FL. He made a Breakfast Trio. The toast is good and the salmon is great. And the winner is … Derrick!

Next up the Elimination Test. Derrick is safe from elimination and gets to decide what “Elevated TV Dinner” the cooks will have to make. The choices are steak with broccoli and mac and cheese, meatloaf with veggies and potatoes or turkey with carrots and potatoes. In the end Derrick picks … Salisbury Steak. Hetal is worried because she has never cooked meat before. Derrick gets one last big advantage. He gets to pick one cook who will only get 45 minutes to cook instead of 60. He picks Christopher who is very angry to lose 15 minutes cooking time.

But Christopher is finished when time is up. He made Salisbury Sliders. They are very good and Gordon says he wants to take 15 minutes away from him every time so he can always cook great. 😉 Next up is Hetal. She says she wants to drop her dish on the ground so the judges can’t eat it. She made Tandoori Salisbury Steak. Her Mac ‘n Cheese is watery and Gordon is very angry because she didn’t nail any part of the dish and he thinks she might be giving up. Hetal says, ‘No Chef, I’m not giving up!” Olivia is next. She made Salisbury Meat Balls. They are very good and Judge Christina says her dish is going to be hard to beat it. Next is Shelly, who made Jamaican Salisbury Steak. Graham says it has great seasoning. Veronica is next. She made Salisbury Steak just like in a real TV dinner 😮 ! Nothing special and the portion size is so big Gordon says it’s fit for a King Kong Kitchen! Plus, her broccoli is watery. Next up is Nick’s Italian Salisbury Meatballs. All of his dish is very good. And last up is Jesse. He made Venison Salisbury Steak. Gordon tells him it is very dry and Jesse begins arguing that’s it not dry. Jesse even asks Gordon if he has ever cooked venison. Bad move. :/

The top 2 dishes belong to Nick and Olivia. The 3 worst dishes belong to Hetal, Veronica and Jesse. The judges send home … Veronica for not doing the challenge they asked her to do. And then Gordon shocks everyone by saying they are going to send one more person home and that person is … Jesse. Maybe because he mouthed off to Chef Ramsay or maybe because his meatballs were just too dry to eat.

I liked this episode. The breakfast challenge was cool because I like to see all the different breakfast ingredients and ideas for what to cook. And I was shocked that they sent two cooks home. At this point they are going to have to have an episode when no one leaves or an episode when someone comes back to fill out the season. Can’t wait to see what happens in the 100th Episode of Master Chef on Wednesday, July 1 at 8:00 pm. Stay tuned!

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S1x02


After the tryouts the top 12 Jr cooks are Jack, Molly, Troy, Kaylen, Sofia, Alexander, Gavin, Roen, Dara, Sarah, Jewels and Tommy.  At the start of the episode the 12 Jr cooks go into the Masterchef Kitchen.  The youngest cooks, Sarah and Jack, are very excited.  Gordon tells the kids that if they win not only will they get the Masterchef Trophy but they will also get $100,000! Gavin, a 10 year old boy from San Francisco, CA is shocked.  Then it’s time for their first ever Mystery Box Challenge.  Alexander, a 13 year old boy from New York, NY is really excited to use the Mystery Box items.  Gordon tells the kids that there is one special ingredient that they have never used before.  Troy, a 12 year old boy from Thousand Oaks, CA thinks it is Duck or Chicken or HORSE! Inside the box is Filet Mignon, Tiger Shrimp, Puff Pastry, Mixed Berries, Butter Potatoes, and Blue Cheese.  Sarah, a 9 year old Girl from Pacific Palisades, CA says that Blue Cheese tastes “feety-ish” and the Special Ingredient is an electronic tablet so they can talk to their friends or families about what to make.  As the cooking time starts Gordon finds out that Alexander cooks FIVE TO SIX TIMES A WEEK FOR HIS FAMILY!

After the cooking time is up the judges pick out the 3 best dishes.  The first one belongs to Alexander.  He made a Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Yum!  It looks great, the carrots and mashed Potatoes are cooked perfectly.  And most importantly the steak tastes very good.  The 2nd best dish belongs to Jack, a 10 year old boy from East Rockaway, NY.  He made Surf and Turf with Potato Puffs on the side.  Sounds good!  The steak is cooked perfectly and the shrimp is great.  And the last best dish belongs to Troy.  Gavin who wanted to be in the top 3 is still happy for Troy 🙂 Troy made a Filet Mignon with Root Vegetable Hash. It looks and tastes good. Gordon really likes it.  In the end the first best dish belongs to … Jack! Both Alexander and Troy look happy for Jack. They each give him a hi-five 🙂 (unlike some of the adults who just mope).

Next is the Elimination Test where at least 2 cooks will go home. (In every MasterChef Jr. episode they send two cooks home at a time so no one has to leave alone, I like that.)  Because Jack won the Mystery Box Challenge, Jack is safe from elimination.  He also gets to choose the meal his friends will have to make.  The three choices are dishes that the judges liked when they were kids – Chicken Wings, Burger or Fish Fingers. And Jack picks … Hamburger.  During the cooking time Alexander tells Joe he may want to stand back because the pan pops when he puts kale in it.  Joe is shocked about how quickly it pops. After the cooking time Alexander is up first.  He made Beef Sliders with Black Garlic Aioli. The Burger is cooked just how Alexander wanted it to be.  He says that he has made Sliders before at home.  The burger tastes great, Gordon loves it.  He says that Alexander is a natural at cooking. (The music playing in the background was also playing when Gordon was tasting Christine’s Apple Pie in season three of MasterChef – inspirational!!!)  Next up is Tommy, an 11 year old boy from Palos Verdes Estates, CA. He made a Breakfast Burger with Sweet Potato Tots but the cheese is too thick and the burger is too dry.  Gavin is next.  He made an Italian Burger with Cucumber Tomato Salad.  His dish tastes very good.  Joe loves the sausage on it. Sarah is next.  She made an All American Burger.  It is a little overcooked but still tastes good.  Jewels made a Lamb Burger but it is way too dry.  Up next is Kaylen with a Beef and Pork Burger.  Joe loves it!  It tastes very good.  Last up is Molly, a 12 year old girl from Pasadena, CA.  She made a Korean BBQ Burger.  Unfortunately, it was way too dry and the seasoning was out of balance.

The 3 best burgers belong to Gavin, Alexander and Kaylen.  The bottom 3 burgers are Jewels, Tommy and Molly.  The one who is safe is … Jewels.  That means Tommy and Molly are going home.  All the kids look very sad and as Tommy and Molly are leaving they give them hugs 🙂 and they all wave goodbye.  All of them are great kids 🙂 !!!

Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x06

Claudia comforts Christopher after a harrowing double pressure test!
Claudia comforts Christopher after a harrowing double pressure test!

The sixth episode starts with the home cooks arriving in Vegas for their Second Team Challenge. Gordon tells the cooks that Dan had to leave the competition and he will not be returning. 😮 That means there are now 15 cooks left. The cooks have to cook for 101 Las Vegas Entertainers! Stephen and Shelly will be the team captains because they had the best corn dishes last week. Stephen either gets to pick his dream team or the protein they will cook. The choice is between lobster and chicken. Stephens picks his team. Which means Shelly’s team is the remaining cooks and she chooses the chicken. Stephen is happy to get the lobster and he picks Amanda, Charlie, Jesse, Sara, Oliva, Tommy, Kerry and Nick for his Red Team. Leaving Claudia, Christopher, Hetal, Alisa, Veronica, Katrina and Derrick on Shelley’s Blue Team.

As the sixty minute cooking time starts the Blue Team is having trouble on deciding how to cook the chicken. Derrick is a jerk about it. 😦 He is blaming Shelley for leading them to failure. On the Red Team Stephen is telling the cooks what to do to prep for dinner. Nick thinks he is a good leader. On the Blue Team they don’t like Shelley’s idea of pounding the chicken because there is not enough time. Gordon says the dish may be too difficult for prepare for 101 people in sixty minutes. When the guests arrive the Red Team is doing well but the Blue Team’s food looks horrid and they are not ready to serve anything! But then on the Red Team Tommy is just tossing the food on the plates! And Gordon is very mad. Stephen kicks Tommy off the plating station and moves him to the potatoes. The Las Vegas Entertainers say the Red Team’s food tastes good. Unfortunately the Blue Team’s food STILL HAS NOT BEEN SERVED! Then Derrick takes control but again, he is a jerk about it. (He could learn some manners from the MasterChef Junior Cooks!) On the Red Team Tommy is yet again messing up. HE BURNS THE POTATOES. Again, Gordon is very mad. Tommy is sent to do dishes. The Blue Team is finally picking up the pace and getting food out of the kitchen. The crowd seems to like the Chicken Roulade. When the service is done the Blue Team didn’t serve 8 plates! That means 8 votes automatically went to the Red Team. In the end the RED TEAM wins by three votes, so those 8 plates mattered a lot.

The Blue Team has to go into the dreaded Pressure Test at Gordon Ramsay Steak. Shelley is saved because she is Team Captain and she can save three more cooks from her team. Shelly saves Hetal, Veronica, and Katrina. The remaining cooks, Claudia, Derrick, Ailsa, and Christopher have to cook a NY strip medium rare steak. The 2 who have the best steak are safe and the 2 worst steaks have go head-to-head in another PT! The first steak Gordon tastes is Derrick’s. It is cooked perfect! It tastes great. Next steak belongs to Christopher. It has no sear on it and it’s too rare – undercooked. Ailsa’s steak is next. It has no seasoning and it’s raw on the inside! And last up is Claudia. Her steak is almost cooked perfectly and it tastes good. So the best two steaks belong to Derrick and Claudia, leaving Christopher and Ailsa to cook one more steak. Gordon wants a Filet Mignon (my personal favorite cut of beef!) cooked rare. Here we finally see Ailsa, a 28 year old Assistant Railroad Manger from Norfolk VA, talking to the cameras in the “Apple Room” (uh oh 😉 ). During cooking Christopher BURNS HIS STEAK! But Ailsa’s filet in undercooked and cold in the middle. Turns out Christopher’s filet is good on the inside and tastes delicious. In the end the worst steak belongs to … Ailsa! Saving a very stressed out Christopher from elimination. Shelly is unhappy with this decision because she wanted Christopher to go.  :/

I liked this episode because I really liked the steak challenges. My father and I have learned a lot about cooking a filet mignon to perfection watching MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen. I’m looking forward for tomorrow night’s episode! Don’t miss it! But if you do, you can catch up here with my next recap. 🙂

Max’s Recap MasterChef S1x05

Team Captains
Episode 5 Team Captains Sharone & Mike

The remaining 12 cooks are taken to the desert somewhere near San Diego for their first Field Challenge. The judges arrive in a tank and they introduce the cooks to a Marine Colonel. He says that the cooks will be cooking for 400 soldiers and their families! Sheetal, a 37 year old Teacher from IL is in awe. But before things get started Gordon comments on David’s silly prom shirt and how impractical it is for working in the kitchen. 😮

Since Mike had the best dish in the last episode he gets to pick the members of his Blue Team. He chooses Jake, Lee, Tracy, Tony, and Sheetal. Leaving Faruq, Sharone, Whitney, David, Jenna and Slim as the Red Team. Self-nominated Red Team Captain Sharone, a 28 year old Financial Advisor from CA thinks they’re in trouble because they have never cooked for that many people before. He decides his team will make Grilled Skirt Steak, Potato and Bacon Au Gratin, and Roasted Vegetables. The Blue Team is making a Pork Loin, Roasted Corn Salad, Creamy Garlic Scalloped Potatoes and Red, White and Blue Napoleon for dessert.

On the Blue Team Mike is having trouble being the team captain and Jake is getting annoyed. Mike thinks that Jake’s pork is going to be dry due to him cutting off all the fat. On the Red Team everything is going well until David knocks all the bacon on the floor that was cooked perfectly. Now it has about 78,457,836,790 germs on it! 😉 Back on the Blue Team side the pork is raw. But the Red Team doesn’t have enough veggies and they run out during the service! Joe is very angry now and Faruq has to apologize to the soldiers for running out. Meanwhile the Blue Team has finished cooking the pork and is doing well.

In the end the soldiers vote on which meal was best and the wining team is … THE BLUE TEAM! That means the Red Team has to go into the Pressure Test which is a difficult taste test. The Red Team members have to taste Graham’s chili back at the MasterChef Kitchen. The cooks have to guess the ingredients and the one who gets the least right is going home. Whitney is first to taste and he gets 12 out of 20. Faruq is next, he only gets 9, saving Whitney. But Jenna only gets 7. Slim gets 8 leaving Jenna in the bottom. David also gets 8. Sharone is last up and he ties with Jenna at 7 ingredients but then he guesses Cumin and … He is Right! This sends Jenna home but she says she is happy to go back and see her kids.

I liked this episode, but what I didn’t like was the taste test. I thought it was very tedious to watch the cooks tasting. I like when they have to cook something in the Pressure Test better because it is more exciting.

Max’s Recap Masterchef S6x05

season six episode 5

The episode starts and we meet Justin, an 18 year old student from New Caney, TX. The 18 renaming cooks face their next Mystery Box Challenge and inside is LIVE a CRAB!!! 😮 Olivia hates it and she doesn’t know what to do with it. After 60 minutes the first of the three best dishes belongs to Amanda, a 25 year old Social Worker from Seattle, WA. She made Crab Cakes and they are very delicious. The next best dish belongs to Olivia, a 25 year old Fashion Stylist from Thousand Oaks, CA. She made a Crab Cake Benedict and it was also very good. And the last best dish belongs to Jesse. HE EXISTS! (He has not been shown on screen before this moment) Jesse made a Crab Dumpling Soup and it tastes awesome! And the winner is … Jesse, a 29 year old Petroleum Landman from Baton Rouge, LA.

For winning the Mystery Box Jesse’s first advantage is that he doesn’t have to cook and can’t be eliminated this round. All the other chefs have to cook with some form of corn. Jesse’s 2nd advantage is that he gets to choose whether the cooks have to cook a sweet or savory dish. He decides he will give the sweet dishes to the cooks he believes are weakest.

After the 60 minutes of cooking time the first cook to bring his dish up is Stephen. He made a Corn Tamale and the judges say it is his best dish so far. Next is Veronica, she made a Corn Crème Brûlée. It has a good crack on top but it is not well done inside and has too much fat. Shelly, a 32 year old Kitchen Assistant from Brooklyn, NY is next. She made Shrimp Tacos and Gordon really likes them because the shrimp is cooked perfectly. Claudia is next up, she made a Sweet Corm Tamale and it is also very good. Justin is next (Unfortunately he was rude to the judge Christina when she said he needed more salt during the cooking time). He made Profiteroles but they are undercooked and too sweet. And he used canned corn and candy corn even when there was fresh corn available. :/ Next comes Tommy who made a Corn Panna Cotta and it was beautiful. The last cook up was Charlie. He made Yellow Corn Grits. THEY WHERE HORRIBLE! 😦  The judges say they are undercooked and the corn is not the star of the dish. The two best dishes belong to Shelly and Stephen (who ironically were the only ones to get their aprons in the 2nd Chance Challenge way at the beginning of season six). The 3 worst dishes belong to Veronica, Justin and Charlie. Charlie is safe only because the other 2 dishes were even worse than his. The judges decide that the one going home is … Justin because he used canned corn and his pastry didn’t taste good. As he is leaving Kerry from NC gives him a hug goodbye. 🙂  This means that Veronica is safe for tonight.

popcornI liked this episode because I thought the Corn Challenge was creative. It made the home cooks who had to make a sweet dish be extra imaginative. Master Chef did something similar in Season 3 when everyone had to make a dessert with fresh corn. My favorite corn dessert is Popcorn with lots of melted butter. How about you?

Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x04

roller-coaster 2 (2)The exciting fourth episode starts with the remaining 20 cooks walking into Americas First Theme Park, Knott’s Berry Farm in California. Darah is excited because she works at a theme park. The Team Challenge is to feed ALL the guests at the park! The cooks split up into 2 teams of 10. Most of the girls run to Dan, the model and Amanda is shocked by this craziness. In the end the Red Team is Jesse, Charlie, Veronica, Amanda, Shelley, Nick, Stephen, Christopher, Kerry, and Justin. The Blue Team is Katarina, Ailsa, Olivia, Claudia, Hetal, Sara, Tommy, Derrick, Dan, and Darah. The judges decide the captain of the Red Team is Kerry, a 37 year Old Human Resource Rep from Greensboro, NC. 🙂 They choose Darah, the 29 year old amusement park guide as the captain of the Blue Team. The teams have to cook burgers and fish and chips. In the prep Kerry is putting team members on stations they are good at while Darah is asking people what they want to do. She said that it doesn’t matter what the food tastes like as long as you serve it with a smile :/ On her team Darah isn’t doing anything but smiling 😮 Katrina is having trouble with the beer batter for the onion rings and Tommy is bossing her around 😦  On the Red Team Kerry wants to do 3 types of sauces for the burgers but Gordon doesn’t approve and tells them to pick one. Back on the Blue Team no fish are cooked and the people are coming to eat! Claudia tries to take over the fish station as the service starts but they are far behind. Then the Red Team has too many customers and Kerry is having troubles as a team leader. Nick, a 31 year old Dishwasher Sales Rep from San Diego is getting annoyed that Kerry is not leading the team well. Meanwhile on the Blue Team the fish is RAW!!! Gordon is very angry. When they run out of cooked fish the points automatically got to the Red Team, which is now doing great. To announce the winning team Graham leads a marching band into view 😮  And the winners are …. THE RED TEAM! That means the Blue Team is in the “Dreaded Pressure Test.” Darah gets to choose 5 cooks from her team to be safe from possible elimination. She picks her friends – Ailsa, Claudia, Sara, Dan and Hetal. But Hetal, the 27 year old Start-Up Developer from Bloomfield, NJ graciously doesn’t take the save because she doesn’t think she deserves it. Hetal picks Derrick who hugs her but is kind of rude when he says, “The only thing that Darah did right was to keep herself in the Pressure Test.” The 5 remaining have to cook Cinnamon Rolls. Tommy, the 53 year old Fashioner Designer from Chicago is upset because he doesn’t know how to bake. He acts rude and cranky about it, picking on Katrina 😦 After 45 minutes to bake the first person up is Darah. The dough on top of her rolls is raw and all the flavors are bad. Hetal’s rolls don’t look too good but they taste great. Katrina is next and her rolls are good enough to keep her in the competition. Olivia’s are ok, although she didn’t roll them well. Last up is Tommy and he is nervous. Gordon is flabbergasted when he opens the box to see the rolls and he hangs his head in disgust. Tommy’s rolls are covered with green tea mush and they don’t taste good at all. In the end, Hetal had the best Cinnamon Rolls. Katrina and Olivia are also safe, leaving Darah and Tommy in the bottom. The one going home is …. Darah because of her raw dough. That means Tommy is safe for now but he better learn how to bake soon. I thought this episode was great because the Team Challenge was interesting. It was fun to watch the contestants cooking in a different place. And it was funny to see Gordon’s reaction to Tommy’s gross cinnamon rolls. Can’t wait for next week’s episode. 🙂

Max’s Recap Masterchef S1x04

(travelling back in time to the first season…)masterchef05a

After three episodes of tryouts the top 14 cooks in Season One are Jake, Whitney, Faruq, Tracy, Sharone, Jenna, Tony, Lee, Sheetal, Mike, David, Sheena, Slim, and Avis. As the episode begins the first person we meet is Slim, a 22 year old student from LA. Next we meet Mike, a 34 year old food server from CA and Avis, a 47 year old caregiver also from LA. Whitney is a 22 year old student who lives in Mississippi.

The first ever Mystery Box Challenge begins the show. Inside the cooks find a pork chop, parsley, cabbage, bread, some fruits, cinnamon and chocolate. After the 40 minutes are up the top 3 dishes are selected. Sheena, a 26 year old Marketing Executive from CA made a Brandy Infused Chocolate Mousse that all three judges really like. Next up, Jake, a 38 year old Construction Worker from CA, made a Rustic Country Pork Chop. It is cooked perfectly. The last of the top three dish belongs to Whitney. She made a Southern Fried Pork Chop that the judges say is delicious. They love it! And the winner is… Whitney!

The theme of the Elimination Challenge is Chinese. Since she won the Mystery Box Whitney can choose what she and the other Chefs main ingredient will be. She can choose Chinese Mushrooms, Oranges or Duck. In the end Whitney chooses … Oranges! After the intense cooking hour is up the first dish the judges taste is Whitney’s. She made a Mandarin Orange Chicken dish. It doesn’t taste too good. Gordon says that it looks like a TV dinner stir-fry with bits of chicken that a dog would not eat. Ouch! Next up is Slim’s dish. She made Chinese Spiced Chicken. It is good but she forgot the broth back at her cooking station. Avis made Chinese Orange Chicken. Gordon says that it looks like it came from a gas station. Then Joe says Tony’s dish tastes like chicken nuggets in orange juice! David made a Spicy Orange Chicken dish but Joe says the presentation is cartoonish! Sheetal is next. She made Pan-fried Stuffed Chicken but it is practically empty. Jenna made Asian Orange Stir-Fry. When Joe tastes it he gets very mad and starts yelling .After so many bad dishes Joe tells the cooks that Jenna’s dish is boring and he is feeling frustrated. Tracy made Ginger Mandarin Chicken. Thankfully, it is good because the veggies were treated equal in importance to the chicken. Sharone made Crispy Sesame Chicken and the chicken is cooked perfectly. Sheena made Warm Mandarin salad but unfortunately it is way too sweet. Faruq made Stuffed Chicken which is very dry and not even a Chinese style food. Last but not least is Mike. He made Nutty Orange Chicken. Gordon has a big problem with it … HE CAN’T STOP EATING IT! The best dish belongs to … not surprisingly … Mike. The 3 worst dishes belong to Faruq, Sheena and Avis. The home cook who goes home is … Avis. The judges tell her to keep cooking because she actually can cook very well. Once she leaves the Master Chef Kitchen the judges surprise everyone by sending home one more cook … Sheena. Even though she made the amazing dessert in the Mystery Box Challenge still needs to work on her savory dishes. Faruq is safe, for now.

I liked this early episode from Season One but it is not as good as the new Masterchef episodes because the show has gotten better overtime. It’s hard to say why it’s not as good but it’s fun to look back and compare.