Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x011

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The exciting episode starts with the 10 remaining cooks walking across a huge green pasture. Then the judges arrive in a pick-up truck dressed in cowboy suits. For the next team challenge they will have to cook for hungry cowboys. Hetal and Katrina will be the team captains. The Red Team is Hetal, Shelly, Christopher, Olivia and Stephen. The Blue Team is Katrina, Nick, Tommy, Derrick and Claudia. Both teams will be cooking with a  different cut of beef, NY Strip or Hanger Steak. Hetal picks the Hanger which means Katrina’s team will cook the NY Strip.

During prep both teams agree on what to cook but Gordon disagrees with the choices. He says the Red Team’s grilled vegetable and the Blue Team’s steak sauce are not something cowboys want to eat. He says cowboys don’t want to eat bland and fancy food. Red Team’s Stephen is being rude to Christopher saying that he talks too much and tells him to just go wash dishes. 😦 Blue Team’s Nick and Derrick are having lots of trouble with the smoking grill. When the guest cowboys arrive for dinner the Blue Team is ready to go but the Red Team is not done with the new zucchini side. Any plate without a vegetable can’t be served and so the Red Team is automatically losing lots of votes. Blue Team’s Derrick tries to boss mc610raKatrina, but she doesn’t take it. She says, “Dude back off! When it’s your show let me know, but today’s my day.” Wahoo Katrina !!! Red Team is doing well by the end of service but they are not sure it will be enough to win. The cowboys’ votes are tallied and the winning team, by an incredible 50 votes is … the Blue Team! That means the Red Team is going to the pressure test.

Back in the Masterchef Kitchen the Red Team cooks find out that only 4 out of the 5 will have to be in Pressure Test and that the Blue Team will decide who will be safe from elimination. After a two minute talk they pick Olivia because they all agree she is a good team player. For the Pressure Test they need to cook a Fruit mc611cdTart. During the cooking time Stephen starts saying to Gordon that he will not go home, nor will he take a free pass to be safe. But then his tart crust starts to crack and fall apart. Stephen screams at the top of his lungs in frustration. When time is up Stephen is first to bring his dessert forward. His tart has lots of cracks and the cream is oozing out, but it still tastes good. Shelly’s tart looks beautiful, the crust is decent and it tastes delicious. Christopher’s tart is messy and the pastry cream is runny, but it has a nice flavor. Last is Hetal. Her tart looks very good and it tastes great. The 2 best tarts belong to Shelly and Hetal. Stephen and Christopher are the bottom two. The judges say it is hard but they know what to do. And the home cook going home is …. No One! Gordon says it was too close to call because both tarts had good and bad elements! That means there are still 10 cooks left! Until next week …

I liked this episode because I knew it was inevitable that they would do an episode when no one goes home since they sent 2 cooks home in episodes 3, 6, 7 and 8.

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S1x06

maxresdefaultThe semi-final episode starts with the top 4 junior cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen. All 4 of the kids talk about how they are shocked by how far they have come and some of their best dishes are shown. Their next challenge is cook oneJack Praying perfect soft boiled egg. The person who cooks the best egg will get a big advantage in the next round. However they don’t have a timer so they have to  time it in their heads. In the end Jack’s egg is a little overcooked. Dara’s egg is hard boiled. Alexander’s egg is also hard boiled. Troy’s egg is the best of the 4.

Troy’s advantage is he gets to give one different cut of chicken to each of the top 4 cooks. They are chicken breast, thigh, wing and liver. Troy picks the chicken thigh for himself. He gives the liver to Alexander. He gives the wing to Dara. Leaving Jack with the breast. During the cooking time Alexander is having trouble because he can’t decide what to make with the liver, but he comes up with a pâté. Jack keeps running in and out of the pantry to get more ingredients. And Dara’s big bow keeps falling on her face. 🙂  Joe warns Troy to cook two thighs just in case it’s raw but Troy doesn’t do it. Time is up and the junior cooks raise their hands in the air.

First up is Troy who made a Chicken Thigh with Romesco Sauce. It looks good and the sauce tastes good, but the chicken is undercooked. Alexander looks very worried for Troy which is the exact opposite of what Troy did in EPISODE 4 when he smirked at Alexander’s trouble with his layer cake. 😦  Troy goes back to his station crying and Alexander looks very sad for his buddy. 🙂 Dara is up next, she made Soy & Ginger Wings that look good. The wings taste very yummy and the veggies taste good too. Alexander is next. He made Chicken Liver over Garlic Crostini. It’s very delicious. Gordon asks if Alexander tasted it and Alexander says, “Yes” and that he really likes it. Gordon wants to give Alexander a job as the Junior Sous Chef at the Savoy Grill! Joe really loves it too. He takes the rest of the dish with him! Last up is Jack who made a Chicken Breast Roulade with Goat Cheese. His dish looks nice and it tastes very yummy. It all works.

As the judges are talking about who will go home and who will compete for the championship all the kids comfort Troy who is still upset about his raw chicken thigh. I really love how Alexander shows what a nice kid he is because even though Troy laughed when Alexander was sad he still acted nice when the tables were 001turned. 🙂 The first cook chosen for the Finale is… Alexander! Gordon says he talks like a chef, he cooks like a chef, and he looks like Julia Child’s lost grandson! As Alexander is going up to the catwalk he gives all he friends a high-five. 🙂 The next cook in the Finale is … Dara! The judges say her cooking is delicious and their decision came down to her exceptional presentation. That means Troy and Jack are going home. As they are walking out of the Masterchef Kitchen Alexander and Dara are clapping for their friends and waving goodbye. 🙂

I liked this episode because I liked how the kids were worried about each other when they were sad.

Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x10

ClaudiaThe episode starts with the 11 remaining cooks walking into the Masterchef Kitchen. It’s time for the next Mystery Box and both Tommy and Derrick want to win. The cooks lift their Mystery Boxes and a lot of rice pours out on the floor! Hetal is very happy to be working with rice because she cooks with it a lot. The judges say the winning dish will be featured in the September issue of Family Circle Magazine. This is a big prize!

During the cooking time Derrick is making a kind of Shushi roll with Bacon and Sticky Rice 😮 He is proud of his dish but when time is up the judges don’t think it is one of the top three. The first best dish belongs to Hetal. She made Khichdi, an Indian soup. Gordon likes it. He says it’s “Hetal on a plate!” All the spices are good and the rice is good, but it needs a little more acid. The next best dish belongs to Tommy. He made a Jambalaya and it tastes very good. Gordon says he is mc610itbecoming a good cook. And the last best dish belongs to Claudia. She made an Arroz Con Leche Molotes, a Mexican dessert. It is very delicious. Graham loves it so much he starts dancing with Claudia. Everyone starts smiling and laughing, except Derrick who is acting like a poor sport because his dish wasn’t picked. 😦 And the one with the best dish is … Tommy!

Next it’s time for the Elimination Test. Tommy is safe from elimination and he gets to pick between 3 famous pairs of foods; Peanut Butter & Jelly, Ham & Pineapple, and Tomato & Basil. Tommy decides the cooks will have to use Peanut Butter & Jelly. Tommy also gets to save 2 cooks one before the cooking time and one after. He picks Claudia but she graciously doesn’t take the save because she wants to cook her way into the top. 🙂

When the cooking starts we meet Sara, a 29 year old Mobile Home Park Manger from Baileys Harbor, WI. We have not heard from her in 10 episodes … Uh Oh! During the cooking time Shelly realizes she forgot to grab Peanut Butter & Jelly from the pantry and she can’t go back! So she goes over to “her boy” Nick for it, but he doesn’t give it to her. He says Shelly should take her apron off now for forgetting the two main foods. 😦  But fortunately Hetal and Oliva are feeling more generous and help out Shelly. 🙂 When time is up the 2nd person Tommy saves is Nick and he quickly takes the save. :/

First up is Claudia, she made Peanut Crusted Pork Chop. The pork is cooked beautifully and the judges say it’s delicious. Christopher made a PB&J Tart and it mc610dstastes and looks very awesome. Shelly is next, she made a PB&J Spring Roll. It looks horrible, it tastes awful! Gordon says that ground beef and peanut butter never go together. Hetal made PB&J Cookies Two Ways. They are very flaky and they taste great. Katrina is next, she made Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls. They are yummy. Christina likes to see her getting better each week. Last up is Sara. She made Strawberry Tart. It is bad. Gordon says he can’t taste the Peanut Butter and it is undercooked. He is very upset with Sara because baking is supposed to be her specialty. The top 2 are Hetal and Katrina. The bottom 2 are Shelly and Sara. The one going home is … Sara, which means Shelly is saved from elimination again.

I liked the peanut butter and jelly challenge because it is one of my favorite foods. I’m thinking of trying to make Hetal’s peanut butter cookies. 🙂

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S1x05

The episode starts with the top 6 junior cooks walking into the Masterchef Kitchen. Alexander is very excited to be in the top 6. He says he never thought he would make it this far. The judges say the challenge will be happening outside of the Masterchef Kitchen. The junior cooks will be competing in a Restaurant Takeover Challenge just like in the adult show! All the kids are shocked. 😮 Dara gasps and covers her mouth with her hand. They arrive at Drago Centro, a famous Italian restaurant in LA. Alexander thinks that the judges are out of their minds because they are just kids and he wonders if they can really pull it off.

Gordon explains there will be 2 teams of 3 junior cooks. Each team will be feeding one side of the restaurant of real customers that do not know the chefs are kids. Gavin and Dara will be the Team Captains. The Red Team is Dara, Alexander and Jack. The Blue Team is Gavin, Troy and Sarah. Troy says that he doesn’t like his team members because of their age. 😦 He thinks they are too young to be in the professional kitchen. The team that loses will be facing elimination.

The Head Chef of Drago Centro demonstrates how to cook the 4 meals before  dinner service. For the appetizers they will be cooking Burrata Salad and Seared Albacore Tuna. For the entrées, a Short Rib Ravioli and a Pan Seared Branzino.  Gordon watches over the cooks during prep time and expedites service to the front of the house.

At first both the Blue and Red Teams are doing well but then Blue Team’s Troy starts being mean to Sarah 😦 by screaming at her to help more. The Red Team is also having trouble communicating, but Gordon helps them do better at working JRMC_105-FieldChal_0371.jpgtogether. When service starts Jack is still having a lot of difficulty making his pasta but Dara helps him do it correctly. 🙂 Then Alexander and Dara try cooking the tuna at the same time and start to argue with each other. Again, Gordon helps them work together. For the last appetizer order the dishes go to the Head Chef’s table. Troy is yet again rude to Sarah because she keeps messing up the ravioli. Meanwhile the Red Team is doing great. The Head Chef likes both team’s dishes.

During the entrée round the Red Team’s Dara and Alexander are now working very well together. But the Blue Team captain, Gavin is having trouble leading because Troy is almost taking over. They are really struggling with the fish and Troy starts being very mean to Sarah, so much so she starts crying! 😦 I’m sure Alexander would not let that happen on his team. He looks kind of mad at Troy when he stares from his side of the kitchen. The Red Team starts the entrées well, has some trouble, then finishes service great. On the Blue Team, Gavin is having lots of trouble with the pasta dish but his team comes together and also finishes well. When Chef Ramsay invites the junior cooks to come out into the dining room to meet the guests they are shocked that the kids were actually doing all the cooking. 🙂

Ultimately, the Head Chef decides he likes the Red Team’s dishes better. Back in the Masterchef Kitchen the winning team is announced, and it is … the Red Team! The whole team hugs each other. 🙂 The judges decide that the one person who is still safe on the Blue Team is … Troy, which means Gavin and Sarah are going home. The top 4 junior cooks look very sad that their friends are leaving and they are all waving goodbye to their friends as they leave the kitchen. 🙂

I liked this episode. I thought the kids did better getting along and not sending out raw food in the restaurant challenge then the adults.

Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x09

The ninth episode starts with the 12 remaining cooks walking through the Masterchef Kitchen and being invited to sit down to a meal. The cooks pair off randomly and get to eat Gordon’s signature dish, Beef Wellington. Here we meet Kerry again. We have not seen him since EPISODE 4 Uh Oh! 😮 Kerry is talking about how he wants to get a food truck after the show is over. Gordon tells the cooks that after tasting his Beef Wellington they will be making their own. The cooks will make their Wellingtons next to the person they sat down and ate with. The cooking pairs are Shelly & Olivia, Stephen & Sara, Nick & Kerry, Derrick & Katrina, Tommy & Claudia and Hetal & Christopher. Hetal (who is a vegetarian and does not eat meat) picks Christopher to taste the dish for her because he works in a restaurant.

Beef WellingtonDuring the cooking time Katrina ruins her puff pastry by rolling it wrong and she doesn’t have time to fix it! 😮 When time is up Gordon pulls a rabbit out of his hat by saying it is a team challenge! The cooking pairs are actually teammates. They now have to decide which Wellington the judges will taste. The worst 2 teams will be the 4 cooks to go to the Pressure Test to see who gets eliminated.

First up are Stephen & Sara. They picked Stephen’s Wellington. It looks very good and it is also cooked perfectly. Gordon says it tastes delicious. Next are Christopher & Hetal who decided they would choose Hetal’s Wellington because Christopher forgot his potatoes. But Christopher is kind of a jerk about it, saying that his is really the better one and Gordon tells him to go get it. Turns out Christopher’s Beef Wellington is way too big and the pastry is raw. Hetal’s, on the other hand, looks good, is cooked perfectly and tastes great! The judges are mad at Christopher for bragging about his too big Wellington, but admit it still tastes good. Derrick & Katrina pick Derrick’s Wellington but it is overcooked and he forgot the mustard! Next Nick & Kerry pick Nick’s dish for judging. It is too thick. He also has no mustard. Shelly & Olivia are next. They pick Olivia’s but it is not cooked well. Tommy & Claudia choose Claudia’s Wellington and it’s cooked perfectly and it tastes very good. The 3 best dishes belong to Sara & Stephen, Hetal & Christopher, and Tommy & Claudia. The last safe team is Shelly & Oliva which means Nick, Kerry, Katrina and Derrick are in the dreaded pressure test.

They have to cook three Pan Seared Scallops with Quail Egg and lots of other ingredients. They only have pan seared scallopsone of everything so they can’t mess up. During the cooking time Katrina breaks an egg yolk and she can’t fix it! This really stresses her out. :/ And then time is up. First cook to have his dish judged is Derrick. Gordon says his scallops are cooked well but the dish looks messy and the scallops are not rinsed enough so they taste gritty. Katrina is next and her dish has problems. She forgets a few things and what is on her plate does not taste good. Kerry’s dish is missing even more on his plate but his scallops have a good sear and they taste great. Last up is Nick and his dish looks great everything is cooked perfectly. In the end Nick’s dish is the best leaving Kerry, Katrina and Derrick in the bottom three and the cook going home is … Kerry, for failing to put all the components on his plate. That means Katrina and Derrick are safe for now and will be cooking in next week’s show.

I liked this episode. The Beef Wellington looked really delicious. I would like to try and make one someday. 🙂

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S1x04

The episode starts with the top 8 junior cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen. Sofia is happy to be in the top 8. It’s time for the next Mystery Box and inside are a lot of odd foods. Gavin has the best reaction, he makes an eww face and sticks his tongue out! Jack and Alexander have funny reactions too. The food under the box is liver, kidneys, snails, Brussel sprouts, sardines, olives, dates, fennel, artichokes and blue cheese.

After 60 minutes of cooking the first best dish belongs to Troy. He made Snail Chowder with Baked Eggplant Peels. It looks good and is seasoned well and has a nice flavor to it. The next best dish belongs to Alexander who made a Sticky Toffee Pudding with Candied Fennel and Fig Puree. His dessert tastes delicious and Gordon really likes the presentation. The last best dish belongs to Sarah. She made Fried Sardines and they are cooked perfectly. Joe really likes this dish and the best of the best dishes belongs to … Sarah! Both Alexander and Troy are happy for her. 🙂

Next is the Elimination Test. Sarah gets to choose what the junior chefs will be making. He choice is between 3 baking treats; cupcakes, layer cake or fruit tarts. Sarah is also safe from elimination. After thinking it over Sarah picks the cake because she believes it is the hardest dessert to pull off. Alexander is very worried because he thinks layered cakes are very difficult and during the cooking time he does end up having trouble. He put flour inside the mixer instead of sugar! Sarah just smiles at Alexander’s mistake. 😮 Then Sofia begins crying and Gordon comes over to see what happened and finds that she put the ingredients in the mixer backwards. Gordon helps her fix it by helping her to start all over. 🙂

When the cooking time is done Alexander is up first. He made a Lemon Layer Cake and the lemon filling is oozing out. The cake is undercooked, but fortunately the structure of the cake is perfect and it has a fine taste. Next is Dara. She made a Chocolate Cake. It looks good and tastes great. All the flavors work well together. Kaylen made a Vanilla Cake with many problems. The judges say it has an odd shape and it is too dense and it looks messy and it doesn’t have a lot of sugar in it and it’s also undercooked. Gavin is next. He also made a Chocolate Cake. It tastes so great Joe even has Gavin try it. Joe asks Gavin one word to describe his cake and Gavin says it is “Stupendous!” Troy is up next. Like Alexander he made a Lemon Cake. Although it looks good it’s just too sweet. Like Kaylen, Jack made a Vanilla Cake. The judges say his cake looks good and tastes great. Last up is Sofia. Like Dara & Gavin she made a Chocolate Cake. Her cake doesn’t have many layers, it’s too buttery and it’s kind of burnt on the sides.

untitledAs the judges are making their decisions Kaylen gives Alexander a big hug. Then Gavin and Jack also are comforting Alexander who is crying. They are telling him he only made one mistake. Jack says he did amazing and when Alexander says there was nothing good about his cake all 3 of the kids say ”Yes there was!” 🙂 But Troy is at his station smirking and laughing because he believes Alexander is the best cook and is hoping Alexander’s oozing cake will get him sent home and out of the competition. 😦

The judges decide the 2 best cakes belong to Gavin and Dara. Alexander is starting to cry again because he is worried about being eliminated. Kaylen kindly gives him another hug. The judges say Jack is also safe so he can head up the stairs. Four cooks remain. The last two cooks who are safe are … Troy and Alexander which means Sofia and Kaylen are going home. Before Alexander goes to the balcony he gives Kaylen a big hug, just like she did for him. He hugs Sofia too! 🙂  As the two girls are leaving the MasterChef Kitchen together the top 6 cooks are all waving and saying goodbye. 🙂

Max’s Recap MasterChef S6x08

100th EPISODE!

The episode starts with the 14 remaining cooks coming into a field and Gordon says they’re there for the 100th episode of Masterchef! Hetal is  very excited the cooks will be cooking for 100 guests including some past Masterchef contestants. Arhan, Daniel and Leslie from Season 5 are looking happy to be there and Leslie says he is expecting a lot from the home cooks. Felix and Becky from Season 3 are reunited at the table and Howard is the lone Season 4 contestant there to taste and judge the meals.

The foods they will be cooking are oysters, caviar and duck breast. Nick and Olivia, the T.V. Dinner Challenge Winners from last week are the team captains. Nick’s Blue Team is Sara, Amanda, Charlie, Claudia, Stephen and Shelly. Olivia’s Red Team is Hetal, Kerry, Tommy, Derrick, Christopher, and Katrina. The first thing the teams have to do is decide on a menu. The Blue Team quickly decides to make Butter Poached Oysters on Salsa and Moroccan Spiced Duck Breast. But the Red Team can’t decide on how to cook the oysters. Olivia wants to use too many ingredients and the other cooks on her team are worried there won’t be enough time. They finally decide to make Smoked Oysters and Butter-Braised Duck.

On the Red Team they are overcooking the oysters. Gordon is very upset because there are not enough oysters to make a complete plate. Their appetizer is way too small and Gordon makes them start over. Meanwhile, the Blue Team is doing well, their appetizers look good. Nick is confident his team is going to win the challenge. The Red Team is late in getting their appetizer out but comes up with a new dish, it is Smoked Oyster and Caviar with Fennel and Grapefruit Salad. The guests like it.

Before the Red Team gets started on their entrée Gordon talks to Olivia about how she can do better as the team captain. (This is a lot like when Gordon coached Logan on how to be a better team member in Season 2 of Master Chef Junior.) He tells her that she has to put Derrick in his place because she is in charge. She says she will try. On the Blue Team someone smells something burning and Gordon realizes they burnt the candied carrots! Again, Gordon is very angry. They have to throw them all out and find a new vegetable to cook with. They decide on Roasted Fennel over Forbidden Rice.

Over on the Red Team’s side everything is going well. Graham says their plates look great and he’d be happy to be on their team. At the same time, the Blue Team’s duck is cold and they burnt their sauce. Yet again, Gordon is irritated with the cooks. Nick is frustrated with his team. But eventually everything gets done and the meal service comes to an end.

The winning team is decided back in the Master Chef Kitchen after the judges review the guest comment cards. They decide the winning team is … The Red Team! That means the Blue team is in the pressure test but only 6 out of the 7 will have to compete. The Blue Team only has 5 minutes to pick who is safe from elimination. In the end they pick … Stephen because he did not mess up anything during the service. The remaining 6 cooks have to bake a cake and this time 2 people will be going home. During the cooking time Amanda’s cake is raw because she took it out of the oven too early. When the time is up Nick is first to have his cake tasted. It looks good inside, it tastes pretty good, but it is just a little too sweet. Amanda’s cake is raw on the inside, but it still looks and tastes good. Shelly’s cake is undercooked and it doesn’t taste good. Sara’s cake is good inside and it tastes good. Claudia’s cake is great on the inside and it tastes very good. Charlie cake looks horrible, but it tastes ok. The best cake belongs to … Claudia! Nick and Sara are also safe. Leaving Amanda, Shelly and Charlie in the bottom. Charlie is the first to go home due to his cake looking like someone sat on it, and the next one to go is … Amanda due to her cake being raw. That means Shelly is safe.

As Amanda is leaving the upbeat background music I talked about in my LAST IMG_1947-e1435793943357-660x440RECAP is playing. Also the flashbacks have begun (when they show clips of the best moments of the contestant who is leaving). Amanda had many good dishes. She was liked by everyone. 🙂 When the show aired Amanda said, “For this episode, I baked five birthday cakes, each different and unique and took them to the West Seattle Food Bank. It was my way of celebrating Master Chef’s 100th Birthday and of putting this all behind me (It’s been hard keeping this to myself!!).”