MasterChef 07 x 12&13 Recaps


Season Seven is speeding up with two episodes airing every week. The 12th episode starts with the remaining 9 home cooks arriving in the Masterchef Kitchen to meet the newest celebrity guest judge, Chef Kevin Sbraga. He gives them a Mystery Box full of the kind of high-end foods he likes to cook with and as with every episode with a new judge he cooks alongside the home cooks. Nothing really happens when they are cooking. The judges observe and taste as they go and select three dishes they want to try at the end.

The first best dish belongs to David. He made a Tandoori Black Cod that is very moist and packed with flavor.

The next best dish belongs to Shaun who made Lamb Belly and Black Cod. It is cooked nicely and melt-in-the-mouth good. Gordon says its one of the best dishes ever cooked on the show. 😮

And the last best dish belongs to Brandi. She also made Tandoori Black Cod. Gordon loves the plating and says it is very juicy and tastes fantastic.

The winner of the Mystery Box Challenge and of a big advantage is … Shaun. He is now safe from elimination and he gets to choose which cooks will cook with fresh salmon and which cooks will cook with canned salmon in the Elimination Test. Shaun decides that Brandi, Katie, Nathan & Eric get fresh fish and Terry, Tanorria, Dan & David get the canned stuff.

The cooks with fresh whole salmon have to start by filleting their fish. Brandi and Nathan have never done it before. Eric is making such a mess of his fish Gordon says it looks like a bear got at it! 😮

The cooks with the canned salmon have their own challenges elevating the processed food to MasterChef quality. Terry, Dan & Tanorria are making some form of fish cake while David is taking a crazy big risk making risotto in a pressure cooker. None of the judges have ever seen this done before, they think it is going to fail


With 10 minutes left Gordon says “Stop the Clock!” He tells Shaun he can now save one home cook. Shaun chooses to save Eric who doesn’t hesitate to leave his ruined salmon and head up to the balcony.

Time is up!

Brandi made Seared Salmon. It is cooked perfectly. The fish is tender and the skin is nice and crispy. Gordon says she is becoming a very good competitor.

Terry made Salmon Cakes. They are dreadful. He used thyme which didn’t work and over baked them. The judges are disappointed and Gordon says he thinks Terry has gone backwards with this dish.

David made Salmon Risotto. To everyone’s surprise the canned salmon tastes almost fresh and the risotto came out beautifully. A creative and elevated dish.

Katie made Seared Salmon. It is cooked well and tastes yummy but the lentils she added to the plate don’t work.

Dan made Salmon Croquettes with Hushpuppies. His food tastes great. Guest Chef Kevin says his plate has “good heat.”

Nathan also made Seared Salmon. His fish is well-seasoned but a little overcooked. Christina says there are too many different ideas on the plate.

And finally, Tanorria made Salmon Two Ways. She took a risk changing her cooking style but it didn’t work. The plating looked poor, the food was under seasoned and undercooked.

Brandi and David had the best dishes,

and Tanorria and Terry had the worst. Tonight, the one going home is Terry.

People are crying. He gets an exit montage. Now 8 chefs left.

In the next episode we see something new in the MasterChef Kitchen. The top 8 cooks learn they will be in a 3 Part Potato Pressure Test. All 8 cooks will compete for 4 safe spots on the balcony; then the remaining 4 cooks will compete for 2 safe spots on the balcony; then the last 2 cooks will compete for the remaining safe spot on the balcony. In each progressive test they will be cooking with potatoes. Looks like this is going to be exciting!

#1 First they have to make French Fries.


During the cook time Brandi is doing well since she always makes them fresh for her kids. Eric is using the wrong knife to cut his potatoes and the judges notice he is lacking in knife skills. Dan’s fries appear to be too thin. Nathan is carelessly tossing his in the fryer and Gordon tells his to use the spider but he doesn’t know what that is. Katie is waiting too long to cook hers and might not get them done. Time is up.

Gordon is very critical of Eric’s French Fries because his uneven cuts made them cook differently, some were under and some were over. When Nathan tries to be nice to him Eric says “Don’t touch me!” 😦

Nathan’s Fries are not perfect rectangles but they are cut even enough to fry up well.

Katie’s French Fries are raw, no one wants to eat them.

David’s Fries are nice and fluffy and cooked all the way through.

Some of Tanorria’s French Fries look good but a few are too limp.

On the other hand, Dan’s Fries are too crispy. He used Sweet Potato which didn’t please the judges and added way too much pepper.

Brandi’s Fries look amazing and taste great.

And lastly, Shaun’s French Fries look good and they are cooked perfectly.

The 4 home cooks safe are Brandi, David, Shaun & Nathan.

#2 For the next Potato Challenge Dan, Eric, Katie & Tanorria have to make perfectly smooth and delicious Mashed Potatoes. They all struggle to do their best and when time is up…

Eric’s Mashed Potatoes look good but Gordon finds them quite lumpy. It’s a bumpy interchange.

Tanorria’s Mashed Potatoes are seasoned well and very tasty. Christina likes them.

Katie’s Mashed Potatoes are gritty and not well seasoned. Chef Kevin says they look better than they taste.

And Dan’s Mashed Potatoes look nice and taste creamy but, again, Gordon finds them a little lumpy.

Tanorria and Dan did the best so they are safe and head up to the balcony.

#3 Now Katie and Eric have to battle it out for the last spot. They will make Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage from scratch. During the cook time both cooks have trouble creating this dish. Unexplainably, Katie puts raw sage on her plate and Eric may not have let his pasta cook long enough.


In the end, Katie’s Gnocchi are well seasoned and taste good but she is missing the butter sauce and the raw sage does not belong on the dish.

Eric’s dish has a lot of butter sauce but his Gnocchi have not browned on the outside or cooked on the inside.

The judges decide that the last cook to be saved is …  Katie!


That means the 26 year fire fighter from New York City, Eric, is going home.

The judges heap praise on him and he gets a nice exit montage. Eric says he thinks Brandi will be the final winner.

7 home cooks left. I like these two episodes because Salmon and French Fries are two of my favorite foods. I liked to see how the cooks handled them! 🙂 Also, I really liked the new guest judge, Chef Kevin Sbraga. I think he would be a great judge on MasterChef Jr. because I think he would be really nice to the kids.

Next up: Tag Team Challenge & Pop Up Restaurant Challenge.

2016-08-29 17.54.40


MasterChef 07×11 Recap


It’s the 11th episode of Season 7 and the top ten home cooks remain. This is when things really start to heat up in the MasterChef Kitchen. Tonight’s Mystery Box challenge is everybody’s favorite hazelnut spread … Nutella! The cooks find out they will have to make an elevated breakfast dish using Nutella. For the first time in MasterChef Kitchen Christina will be cooking alongside the home cooks to show what she can do and inspire their creativity.

During the cook time Christina makes three dishes using Nutella in different ways. Brandi is making a fancy espresso and Nutella crêpe. Tanorria is making a Cream Cheese and Nutella Stuffed French Toast. Dan is doing both sweet and savory Turnovers.


Eric says he thinks Shaun is the biggest threat in the game. Shaun say he thinks Eric is great cook. Neither of them are worried about Dan making a better dish then them. Meanwhile, Terry is taking the greatest risk using Nutella in four different ways!

Time is up.

The first best dish actually belongs to Dan! His Nutella Turnovers are creative, look beautiful and taste delicious. The judges are happy that his strawberry filling is not soggy.

The next dish belongs to Tanorria who made a hearty Stuffed French Toast. The Toast is cooked perfectly and tastes delicious. Her Nutella covered bacon strips are sweet and salty and the judges love it.


And the last dish belongs to Terry who used Nutella to make French Toast, Beignets, Crêpes and Truffles. All four breakfast treats look and taste amazing. Gordon & Christina both especially love the Nutella Truffles.

And the winner of the Mystery Box Challenge and a massive advantage is … Terry!

Terry is safe from the Elimination Test and gets to choose between 3 rice dishes: Paella, Bibimbap and Risotto. He picks Bibimbap, a Korean mixed rice dish.

During the cook time Brandi is extra nervous because she has never even heard of the dish and feels unprepared. But Nathan is actually freaking out because he has never even made rice before! No one in the kitchen can believe you can be in the top ten and not know how to cook rice. Ultimately though, he figures it out.

Time is up.

Brandi’s Shrimp and Pineapple Bibimbap is nice and crispy. Gordon says she may be a teacher back at home, but she is becoming a good student in the MasterChef Kitchen.

David’s Ratatouille Bibimbap just looks horrendous. Chef Edward says even though the rice is cooked well, the flavors are all mixed up.

Dan’s Duck Curry Bibimbap has nice color and the taste is great.

Nathan’s “African Style” Bibimbap has a spice blend that Chef Edward calls addictive. His rice is cooked well, although not crisp, and his chicken is a little over done.

Katie’s Thai Bibimbap is visually unappealing. Christina says the flavor is clunky, the texture is clunky and the peanut sauce is too thick.

Shaun’s Strip Steak Bibimbap has vibrant colors and looks amazing. The rice is crispy and everything in it tastes great.

And finally, Diamond’s Thanksgiving Bibimbap looks horrid. Gordon says it looks like it’s already been eaten and these are the leftovers! 😮 The potatoes and gravy on rice just didn’t taste right.

In the end, Shaun had the best Bibimbap.

David, Diamond & Katie had the worst Bibimbap dishes. David & Katie get lucky and are allowed to stay in the competition, which means Miss San Diego Diamond is going home! 😦  Now we are down to the top 9 home cooks.  Who will be sent home next? (I think I know 😉 )

I liked this episode because it was interesting to see what the cooks did with Nutella. We make Nutella Soufflés and Lava Cakes desserts at my house, but now we can think about what kind of breakfasts we can whip up.

2016-08-17 13.27.08





MasterChef 07×10 Recap


The 10th episode of Seventh Season of MasterChef starts with the remaining 11 home cooks arriving at giant vegetable farm. They find out they will have to cook a restaurant quality pork dish with farm fresh produce for 101 local farmers. For the first time in MasterChef history the cooks will be picking the produce themselves! This is the kind of farm-to-table-food cuisine guest judge Chef Edward Lee is famous for.


In yet another team challenge the judges decide the team captains will be Dan and Diamond. Diamond selects Andrea, Eric, Nathan, Shaun & Terry for the Red Team. Dan chooses Brandi, David, Katie & Tanorria for the Blue Team.

The clock starts and the home cooks head into the gardens to pick their own veggies. Diamond’s team picks enormous amounts of kale and Dan’s team picks red cabbage for coleslaw.

Dan is having trouble as the captain of the Blue Team. He is not sure how to cook the rice or how much cabbage is needed. Then he starts the grill on fire and Gordon comes to help him calm down. Even so the pork chops end up burned.

Over on the Red Team, Diamond thinks they have everything under control. But Andrea has trouble making the reduction sauce and needs Shaun to take over. Then Nathan doesn’t cook enough kale for service!

The local farmers try both dishes and vote on the one they like best. The Blue Team gets 81 votes and the Red Team gets only 20 votes. BLUE TEAM WINS!

The Red Team is in the pressure test, however the Blue Team gets to save one cook from elimination. They decide to save Nathan because they believe he is the weakest cook on the Red Team and will be easy to knock out later.

The 5 remaining home cooks will have 60 minutes to make their own sausage and serve it in a bun at the front station. MUST BE BROUGHT TO FRONT BEFORE TIME IS UP!


The most dramatic and unfortunate thing happens when cooking time is up. Andrea is so focused on perfecting her dish she forgets that she needs to get her sausage to the front by the end of time. The judges are yelling at her to remind her, but it doesn’t help. She finally runs up with her plate with only seconds left, but does not make it in time! No one knows if this means she will be going home. It’s never happened before. 😮


Eric’s Veal & Pork Sausage is juicy and flavorful but Christina thinks it lacks creativity.

Terry’s Fennel & Pork Sausage is good. Guest judge Edward Lee says the marinara sauce works well but overall it needs more salt.

Andrea’s Pork & Veal Bratwurst Sausage is great. Gordon says it is “incredibly moist,” has good texture and seasoning. Gordon shares it with the 3 other meat eating cooks, who agree it is delicious.

Shaun’s Venison Sausage is disappointing to Christina. The cheese sauce is too grainy and the meat is dry.

And Diamond’s Chicken & Asiago Sausage is visually appealing but when Gordon cuts it in half he discovers it is raw. He can’t even eat it.

In the end the one going home made the best sausage, not the worst. Since Andrea was 3 seconds late in bringing her dish to the front she is going home!

Gordon says, “It breaks my heart that one of the most talented, one of the youngest, one of the most inspirational amateur chefs we’ve ever had in this competition, sadly, is going home and not going in to the top ten. I’m so sorry. Rules are rules and we have to abide by them on a daily basis. That means my darling, you have to leave the competition. I’m so sorry. … But young lady, you have been incredible. You shouldn’t be this good at 21!”

Gordon asks her to come up and say goodbye. There are hugs and tears and Andrea gets an exit montage. 😦 🙂

Now Only 10 left.

I liked this episode because the pressure test was interesting. But I was shocked that Andrea went so soon.

z.jpgI think it’s important to remember that Nathan and Andrea were great friends. She didn’t deserve the negative comments she got on social media.

2016-08-17 13.15.20





MasterChef 07×09 Recap


MasterChef Seventh Season 9th episode starts with the remaining 12 home cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen to find out they will cook for a special Sweet 16 Party! On the Red Team is Captain Eric with Shaun, Tanorria, Terry, Alejandro & Dan. On the Blue Team is Captain Katie with Brandi, Andrea, David, Diamond & Nathan.

During the cook time Katie puts Nathan on the vegetables because she says she doesn’t trust him with the shrimp. Nathan is upset about having to roast corn but does his best. Gordon says their dish has too many flavors, so they drop the corn and go with all Asian flavors. That means Nathan has to dice tomatoes instead, but he says he doesn’t know how. Andrea tries to help him. More arguing and upset!

The Red Team’s dish seems to be coming together well, but then Gordon finds out the chicken being plated is raw! He flips out and says he doesn’t want to be sending a teenager to the hospital. Eric focuses on getting the chicken right and the dishes go out quickly.


Just before time runs out, the Blue Team is having trouble finishing their plates. Andrea curses, Nathan shushes and bumps her, Andrea slaps him on the arm and Nathan calls foul! Christina wonders what the heck is going on over there. 😮


The sixteen year olds vote on their favorite dish and the Blue Team wins by a landslide!


The Red Team is going to the Pressure Test! They have to make a perfectly balanced 3 layer Birthday Cake in just 90 minutes.

During the cook time Tanorria is the last to put her cake in the oven, but her final product comes together well. Alejandro leaves his cakes in the oven too long and they end up over baked. Shaun tries to frost his cakes when they are still warm and the results are disastrous. Gordon says it looks like he is wiping someone’s backside! 😮

Time is up.

Eric’s cake looks sloppy and the frosting is too thin, but it tastes okay.

Shaun’s cake looks professional and tastes great. Gordon likes how he bounced back from the melting mess to create a beautiful cake.

Terry’s cake looks amazing. It is baked well and tastes absolutely delicious.

Tanorria’s sponge layers came out well, but her lavender blue frosting is two different shades and just too sweet.

Alejandro’s cake looks very messy. He melted the frosting and Christina says the flavors are uneven. She is not a fan of this vanilla sponge.

And finally, Dan’s Oreo ringed cake has an anchor decoration made out of pretzels on top. Gordon is upset about this presentation and asks Dan if he is capable of taking the competition seriously. Luckily for Dan his cake tastes better than it looks.

The judges decide that in the end Shaun made the best Birthday Cake.


Terry and Dan are safe, but Eric, Tanorria and Alejandro’s cakes are at the bottom.


And the one going home is Alejandro 😦 , which means Eric and Tanorria are still safe.

Now only 11 home cooks are left!

2016-07-30 09.08.20

I liked this episode very much because I liked to see the home cooks try to bake a layered cake. The episode inspired me to try and make my own Three Layered Vanilla Buttercream Cake. It took me a lot longer than ninety minutes (how do they do it???) but it ended up looking and tasting delicious.