Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S4x11

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The 11th episode starts with the final top 4 cooks running into the MasterChef Kitchen. Representing their home states of New Jersey, Louisiana, Florida and Illinois – Amaya, Avery, Zac and Addison are ready to compete. The young cooks are flabbergasted (Avery screams her own head off!) to find their parents’ heads on platters, serving up some extra inspiration. Their families have come to give them support and give each of their children a box with food in it. Amaya gets Dark Chocolate, Avery gets Strawberries, Zac gets Milk Chocolate and Addison gets Blackberries. They have to make a Soufflé flavored with the ingredient their parent selected for them. The one who has the best Soufflé gets a big advantage in the last Elimination Test.

While the desserts are cooking the judges come around to look inside the ovens to see if the soufflés are rising. After seeing Zac’s soufflés popping up, Gordon asks Zac, “Is there anything you can’t cook?” Graham and Amaya switch glasses to look at her soufflés and he tells her, “You don’t want to let them know you are looking at them or else they get so upset.” And Gordon asks Avery if she has said a prayer, and she says, “Yes, Chef. Just to bake, bake, bake, bake!” Christina says Addison’s soufflés are “defying gravity!” The desserts come out of the ovens and onto the plates. Everyone’s tastes delicious, but in the end the winner is  … Addison.mj411gg

For the Elimination Test Addison gets to gives out 4 different pig parts to herself and the other kids, they are Pork Belly, Pork Loin, Ribs and Pigs Ears! She gives the Pigs Ears to Zac, the Pork Belly to Avery, the Pork Loin to Amaya, and keep the Ribs for herself.

When the kids run to the pantry to find out what part of the pig they will be cooking Zac is not happy to find the pig ears. Avery says that back in Louisiana they don’t cook Pork Belly, they cook Alligator Belly! And Amaya says she has a big idea about how to cook the Pork Loin.

mj411ddDuring the cooking time Zac tells Gordon that “pressure is a privilege” and he is up for the challenge of cooking the hardest protein.

Avery tells Christina, girl to girl, that a girl is going to win MasterChef Junior this year and she is the girl who will win. 🙂 When Amaya’s cuts into her pork she is upset to see it is still raw! She sticks it back in the oven hoping to finish the cook.12407337_897922873660955_2112971110_n (2)

Time is up.

Addison brings her dish up first, she made Soda-Braised Pork Ribs with Strawberry Salad and Potato Salad. It looks a bit messy on the plate, but the ribs are seasoned right and taste very delectable. Christina said the pork is impossibly tender. Next up, Zac made Braised Pig’s Ear with Frisée Salad and Quail Egg. His looks like the most elevated pig’s 20160126_120831ear salad Gordon has ever seen. Sadly the pig’s ear is undercooked. Graham says it’s like a dog toy! However Gordon still loves the salad.

Avery made Braised Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Mash and Beetroot Chips and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts. Christina says, “It looks Beautiful!” and “This is one, if not the most delicious dish I’ve tasted in this kitchen.” The pork belly is nice and tender, the mash tastes delicious and the chips are nice and crunchy.

Finally, Amaya made Pork Loin with Mushroom Farro and Apple Marmalade. Her dish looks a little too simple and pork is slightly undercooked. Flavor wise the spices are amazing, but might not be enough to get her into the finale.

In the end, the first young home cook in the Finale is …. the nine year girl from the Bayou, Avery! And the second one is the aspiring Batter-up Baker… Addison!

That means Zac and Amaya are going home. 😦 Gordon tells Zac he knows he is going to see him again. Zac says he is sad he didn’t get to the final, but he is very proud with how far he got. Gordon tells Amaya she is a joy and has a great attitude. Amaya says she is proud because this is something she had never dreamed she could do.

When they are walking out the two girls give them both a hug goodbye. Zac says he was shy when he arrived but really grew as a person and a cook. Amaya says she is one in thirteen million kids that made it and she is really, really proud to be in the top four!

I liked this episode because I liked to see all the kids cook so well and even though I was happy to see Avery and Addison in the top 2, I was very sad to see Amaya and Zac go.  Only 2 young chefs left!

 

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S4x10

 

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The 10th episode starts with the top 6 cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen to find out that the Team Challenge will take place at Gordon’s house. The Red Team is Amaya, Zac & Avery. The Blue Team is Addison, JJ & Kya. They have to cook two 3 Star Michelin dishes, Pan Seared Snapper and Venison Loin. These are tough dishes to create, they have many ingredients and many steps. Christina wonders if they may be too difficult for the young cooks. Gordon says they are up to it. The hungry guests are chefs and foodies, and they don’t know kids are cooking for them!

 

The Blue Team is off to a slow start. Kya burns her fish! Some of their venison is raw. JJ doesn’t know what to do and at one point drops a hot pan on Gordon’s leg!

Addison is not sure how to get her team to get all the plates completed but Gordon coaches her and she doesn’t give up.

Screenshot_2016-01-16-14-45-27-1 Both JJ and Kya come through in the end.

 

The Red Team needs help getting organized. Amaya sets the oven too high to cook the venison. Zac tries to warn her, but she dismisses him

Screenshot_2016-01-22-10-37-53 and her meat portions end up overcooked. Then they realize a piece of fish is missing! Gordon calls over Zac and tells him he has to help his team, almost like a Co-Captain. Zac steps up and does great job helping Amaya cut the meat. They finish the service well.

 

When time is up all the guests are in awe when they find out kids were cooking their meals. They stand up to applaud the young cooks for doing such an amazing job!

Back in the Masterchef Kitchen the wining team is … The Red Team!

And the one kid safe on the Blue Team is… Addison. That means JJ & Kya are going home. 😦  As they are walking out of the MasterChef Kitchen, all the kids are hugging and saying goodbye. Even though they look sad for their friends, they are cheering for them for making it this far in the competition.

Only 4 left.

I liked this episode because I liked how good all the kids did and how Zac saved his team.

 

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S4x09

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The 9th episode starts with the top 8 cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen. For the Mystery Box, Christina invites her best friend, her mom, to pick foods she used to eat as a kid. Inside the box the young chefs find chicken breast, candies, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate chips and not surprisingly, all kinds of sweet cereal! Before the kids get cooking they each get to talk with their best friend from home on tablets at their cooking station. Zac talks to his cousin Shaheen who is cheering for him from home! 🙂

During the cooking time, Sam burns his cereal in the oven! There is a ton of smoke, but he pulls it together and finishes his dish. Addison is making another dessert to try and redeem herself after her troubled Apple Danish in the last episode. And Kamilly is making a soup that she often makes at home for her family.

Time is up.

The judges have been watching closely and tasting everyone’s dishes as they are cooking. They choose three of the best to come forward. The first best dish belongs to Addison who made a Strawberry Tart with Chocolate. It looks nice and fancy and it tastes yummy. The next best dish belongs to Zac. He made Pan Seared Chicken. The dish looks stunning, all the components are cooked perfectly and it tastes delicious. And the last best dish belongs to Sam. He made a Chocolate Mousse dessert that looks very messy but tastes awesome. The judges declare the winner of the Mystery Box Challenge is … Zac! 🙂

 

Zac wins the advantage of getting to pick the teams for the upcoming Tag Team Challenge. Zac chooses Kya as his teammate and puts together Sam & Kamilly, Avery & JJ, and Addison & Amaya. They must to cook five technically challenging international street foods: spring rolls, arancini with marinara sauce, samosa, beef bao with hoisin sauce, and lamb kofta skewers.

During the cooking time Gordon is worried JJ & Avery have not started preparing their meats. Gordon asks JJ, “Have your turned all vegetarian on me?” 😮

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Zac & Kya start out good and seem to be communicating very well but then they have trouble getting the food on the platter at the end. Addison & Amaya do the opposite, they have trouble working together at the beginning but they pull it all together at the end. And although they are trying their best, Kamilly & Sam just can’t seem to work together as a team.

Once again, time is up

Addison & Amaya’s platter looks awesome! They got all the food on the platter, their spring rolls are made perfectly and the lamb looks and tastes amazing. Zac & Kya’s platter is missing some of the items, their steak is a little burned and although their lamb is cooked perfectly, it lacks seasoning. However, their pickles are nice and the samosa, which Zac cooked, is great. Graham says he doesn’t think Zac & Kya are frontrunners anymore.

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JJ & Avery are also missing items, but their bao is steamed well and the meat is spot on. Their lamb is also delicious and their samosas look and taste great. Sam & Kamilly’s platter is very messy and both their lamb and steak are raw. Zac looks very worried about that. 😦 But their spring rolls are wrapped very well and taste great.

The judges decide Addison & Amaya have the best International Street Food Platter of the night. Sam & Kamilly and Zac & Kya’s platters are on the bottom. And the team going home is … Sam & Kamilly. That means Zac & Kya are safe from elimination. 😦   🙂

Gordon gives Kamilly a big hug goodbye and tells her, “Well done.” When Christina is saying goodbye to Sam she reminds him there is always a place for him at the Milk Bar! 🙂  As the kids are saying their goodbyes, Zac gives Sam a big hug. He looks very sad that his friend is going home and he says, “I’m sorry.”

Now there are only 6 cooks left!

I like this episode because I like to see all the kids talk to their friends at home and even though I am sad to see Sam go, I am so happy Zac is safe.

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S4x08

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The eighth episode starts with the top 10 cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen. They notice Graham is missing, and all of a sudden he comes in dressed up like a chicken! 😮  They find out they have to crack eggs on his head to see what team they are on for the next challenge. If they see red or blue dye inside they have to cook deviled eggs. In the end, Zac & Kamily are on the Red Team and Amaya & Kya are on the Blue Team. The cooks with no colored die in their eggs go to the balcony to watch the challenge. The team that gets the most perfectly deviled eggs on the platter in 15 minutes wins. Plus, they have to compete against Gordon & Graham who will also be making eggs in a shortened time period. Christina is the judge. She says Gordon & Graham only get 3 good eggs. The Blue Team got 6 and the Red Team wins with 10 perfectly deviled eggs! This win for Zac and Kamily means they have earned a spot in the top 8.

For the Elimination Test the remaining cooks have to make their signature dish, one that would be in their own cookbook someday. During the cooking time, Zac is cheering from above, telling his friends they are doing a good job and complimenting them on their dishes. 🙂 Unfortunately, Addison over whips her cream and has to throw it out, but luckily, Katlyn gives her some more. 🙂 Gordon questions whether Katlyn’s single cupcake is enough to compete with the other chef’s dishes since Amaya and Avery are making impressive dishes that represent their heritages.

Time is up.

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Avery made Crawfish Etouffee. Although at first Christina looks like it is not pleasant in her mouth when she covers it with a napkin, she actually loves it. She says, it has great seasoning and the taste is amazing. Kya made Duck a l’Orange. It looks stunning, is cooked spot on, and the taste is amazing. Kaitlyn made a Black Forest Cupcake with Raspberry Filling. Gordon says it’d not a dish and Christina the Pastry Chef, looks shocked by his words.

20160111_200501 The cupcake itself is too light and the frosting is very buttery. Amaya made Shrimp Asopao. It looks beautiful, the shrimp is cooked to perfection, and the taste is luscious. JJ cooked up homemade Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken. Gordon likes the taste but says he expected JJ to cook a meat dish, Texas style.

I think Graham looks a little mad at Gordon’s comment. Sam made Bacon Wrapped Chicken. The judges say it has great flavor to it and they like the dish. Addison made Apple Danish from scratch. It tastes yummy but the judges agree it looks too one dimensional on the plate. And finally, Corey made Jerk Chicken. Sadly, it is completely undercooked and not edible. When Zac sees the raw chicken he looks very sad, he knows this is it for his buddy.

No one comes back from serving raw chicken. In the end, Avery and Amaya had the best dishes and the bottom dishes belong to Katlyn, Addison, and Corey. The judges decide that the chef who is safe is … Addison.

So, Katlyn and Corey are going home. 😦 Gordon invites them to come forward to say goodbye to the judges and tells them to hold their heads high. As they are leaving the MasterChef Kitchen all the kids are hugging them goodbye and telling them they did great. Now there are only 8 young cooks left.20160111_200714

I liked this episode because I enjoyed seeing what the kids like to cook, how nice they are and how they really care about each other. It’s what makes MasterChef Junior a special show.

 

Max’s Recap MasterChef JR S4x07

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The seventh episode starts with the top 12 cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen. Zac says he is at the top of his game and he hopes he gets in the top 10. Oh no! 😮

For the next challenge they have to taste a dish blindfolded and then have to try to recreate it. It is a chicken dish, but not everyone figures this out. In the end top 4 closest to making the mystery dish were Kaitlyn, Kya, Ian & Corey. Kya’s dish is stunning. Everything tastes right, but she missed the turnips. Corey’s dish has a lot of the right ingredients. His chicken is delicious but he missed the asparagus and getting the sauce right. Ian’s dish has a lot of components missing but everything on his plate is very good. Finally, Kaitlyn’s dish is cooked perfectly and it tastes delectable. The judges decide the 2 best dishes belong to Kya and Kaitlyn! So they are team captains for the next Team Challenge.

Kaitlyn chooses JJ, Zac, Addison, Amaya & Kamilly for her Blue Team. Kya chooses Corey, Jesse, Ian, Sam & Avery for her Red Team. Since Kaitlyn got first pick for teams, Kya gets first pick for a box of regional food. She picks food from New England for the Red Team. That means the Blue Team is cooking with foods from New Mexico. Both teams will be cooking for one hundred random grandmas (which they don’t know yet 🙂 ).

Before the cooking begins the Red Team decides to make a Clam Bake and the Blue Team settles on a Pork Dish. Sam is being very vocal on the Red Team and it is helpful. JJ and Zac stay calm on the Blue Team, cooking everything perfectly. The Red Team struggles. Ian does not wash his celery and Gordon finds dirt on it! Kya is starting to have trouble keeping up as the captain and in all the confusion, Jesse has trouble stepping up and finding something to do.

Time is up.

The Grandmas like both dishes so much they have a hard time voting on which dinner is better. But they eventually choose, and the wining team is … THE BLUE TEAM! Phew! Even though Zac spoke first at the beginning of the show, he’s still in the competition. Sometimes speaking first on the show means you are on your way out!

Sam and Avery from the Red Team are safe based on how well they did cooking for their team during the challenge. That leaves Kya, Jesse Ian and Corey in the bottom and the judges decide the two who are safe are Kya & Corey. That means Jesse and Ian are going home! 😦  When they are walking out of the Master Chef Kitchen for the final time all the young cooks look very sad, but they are all clapping for their friends, especially Zac.

 

Now only 10 left!

I like this episode because I liked how good some of the kids did in the Team Challenge. I was most impressed with Sam’s leadership skills based on the fact he is just 10 years old!