Max’s MasterChef Recap S8x07


MasterChef Season 8 Episode 7 is called “Breakfast, Lunch & Winner.” It starts with the top 16 home cooks walking into the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. They will work in teams making breakfast in the Belvedere for the hotel guests. Cate and Yachecia were the best home cooks during the previous lamb challenge, so they will be captains.

Cate’s Red Team is Eboni, Brien, Newton, Gabriel, Necco, Daniel & Adam. Yachecia’s Blue Team is Jason, Jeff, Jenny, Dino, Jennifer, Reba & Catlin.

The teams will need to work together to create 5 different breakfast dishes, served to order: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Potato Waffles & Lobster, Classic American Breakfast, Three Egg Omelet.

During the cook time Cate has trouble leading the Red Team. Adam serves raw lobster, Cate ruins an omelet and their plates are not coming out fast enough. Gordon fires Cate as a captain and everyone agrees that Eboni should take over. She gets everyone working together and the plates look great and are getting out to the tables.

Over on the Blue Team Jennifer is slow on frying the eggs and the food that is ready to go gets cold and has to be thrown out. Jeff tries to serve a dish with uncooked eggs and gets into a shouting match with Gordon! They never really recover no matter how many chances they get. Red Teams wins. Blue Team loses they are going to the dreaded Pressure Test.

Yachecia has to choose between saving herself or six members of her team. She says “the captain goes down with the ship” and decides to save six home cooks: Jason, Caitlin, Jenny, Reba, Dino & Jeff. That means Yachecia and Jennifer will battle to stay. They will make a MasterChef-Quality Fish & Chips.

During the 45 minute cook time Jennifer realizes she forgot to bring lemon from the pantry. She asks Yachecia for help and Yachecia gives Jennifer her extra lemon. Time is up


Yachecia’s fish ‘n chips look nice and crispy. The fish is cooked well and has a good flavor but her fries are too thick and a little greasy. Jennifer’s fish is cut too thick, but tastes okay. Her fries are cut and cooked perfectly. But the fish needed to shine.

In the end, Yachecia is safe. Gordon says, “Oh Jennifer, honestly, you’re going home way too early, in our eyes.” Aarón says, “If you ever need some time to get better at your skills, my doors are always open.”She says, “This Louisiana girl, who made it to the top 16 of MasterChef — if I can do it, anybody can do it. So if you ever have any question in your mind that you’re not good enough or you’re not doing something and your unhappy, change your life. No more debt collecting. I’m not gonna be knocking on doors. I’m gonna go back to New Orleans and I’m gonna go to Aarón’s restaurant. I’m gonna take him up on that offer and hopefully one day I’ll have a restaurant and it will be right down the street from him.”


Max’s MasterChef Recap S8x06


MasterChef Season Eight Episode Six is called “Silenced By The Lambs!” It starts with the top 17 cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen to find out their next challenge will be an extreme technical skill test. They have to French Trim a rack of lamb like a butcher! Gordon shows them how it is done.

During the 20 minutes Eboni says she loves lamb and cooks it every Sunday, but she has never cleaned a rack before. Reba looks like she is doing well, but she is worried because she has never butchered lamb before. Deer, rabbit, squirrel, yes. Lamb, nope. Jennifer is having trouble. Gordon says she is all over the place, messy board and messy knife.

Time is up. The judges check to see whose French Trim makes them safe, and whose does not:

Jason YUP Jennifer NOPE Sam NOPE Cate* YUP Eboni NOPE Jeff YUP Brien YUP Gabriel YUP Caitlin NOPE Daniel YUP Jenny NOPE Yachecia* YUP Adam YUP Dino YUP Necco YUP Reba YUP Newton NOPE

The 6 cooks going to elimination are Jennifer, Sam, Eboni, Caitlin, Jenny & Newton. They will have 60 minutes to cook Gordon’s signature herbed crusted lamb dish and at the end at least one home cook will go home. Again, Gordon demonstrates how to replicate this dish.


During the cook time Jennifer is struggling remembering all the steps. Christina gives her a pep talk and it seems to help a lot. When Aarón checks in with Sam, he says he is organized and ready to pull it off, but Aarón is not sure his crust is going to work.

Time is up.

Eboni’s lamb dish looks beautiful. It is cooked perfectly and tastes delicious. She made a great replication of Gordon’s dish.

Sam’s lamb dish is not as good as he thinks it is. His sauce is congealed, the crust has too much breadcrumb and the meat is undercooked. Gordon asks him if he would eat blue lamb and Sam says that he would eat it! 😮

Jennifer’s lamb dish is cooked well and tastes good but Gordon tells her she needs to stay confident and stop panicking. She says she will.

Caitlin’s lamb dish looks great. The lamb is a perfect medium rare and has great flavor. Gordon says the dish has great finesse.

Jenny’s lamb dish has a great cook and the sauce is amazing. The lamb bones could have been cleaner, but she made a strong comeback from the butchering challenge.


And, Newton’s lamb dish is underwhelming. The lamb is undercooked, the crust is not balanced  and there is too much mustard.

Eboni & Catlin did the best job, they are safe. Jennifer & Jenny did well enough, they are safe. Newton & Sam are on the bottom.

Gordon says, “Gentlemen, one of you knows it’s the end of the road. If that’s you, please go ahead and untie your apron, gracefully.” Sam unties his apron. So, Newton is safe. The judges agree it is time for Sam to go home.

When Gordon tells Sam he is not ready to be the next MasterChef Champion, Sam says, “You know, cooking, it’s something I love. I’m happy because I think the criticism that I got from you guys made me stronger and I feel privileged.” A classy goodbye.

Max’s MasterChef Recap S8x05


The fifth episode of MasterChef Season 8, “Shell Shocked and Scrambled” starts with the top 18 cooks walking into the MasterChef Kitchen for their next Mystery Box Challenge. They find the finest shell fish the world has to offer: Pacific sea urchin, soft-shell crab, clams, green-lipped mussels, geoduck & Santa Barbara spot prawns. Gordon tells them they have 60 minutes to make the absolute best shell fish dish of their life.New Englander, Jason is so excited to cook with shell fish he is bouncing off the walls. He feels like the challenge is tailor made for him.The judges keep a close eye on the home cooks as they create their dishes. They choose the top three dishes to call forward for the win.

FIRST dish is Jeff’s Sautéed Mussels with Chorizo, Prawns and Garlic. Aáron likes the broth and Gordon says he lets the sea food speak for itself.

SECOND dish is Necco’s (Who?) Uni Tagliatelle with Roasted Spot Prawns and Southern Mussels Casino. Christina likes how he went back to his Southern roots and made smart choices. Aáron loves the pasta in the dish and says everybody should be taking notice of his cooking.

And THIRD dish is Jason’s Tempura Spot Prawns with Uni-Yuzu Mayonnaise and Clams in Shellfish Broth. Gordon loves it and says he would not change anything on the dish. It is a work of art!

And the winner is Jason! He is safe from the Elimination Challenge.Screenshot_20170711-141530

The home cooks have to make Gordon’s signature Scrambled Eggs. Gordon takes them back to basics with a Master Class in making scrambled eggs his way.Screenshot_20170711-141558

During the cook time Gabriel is doing very well. He has made Gordon’s scrambled eggs at home many times. Dino’s pan is too hot and Daniel burns his toast.

Time is up and the judges give a quick taste to each dish to see which cooks are safe.

Gabriel – Yes! Great job. He goes to the balcony.Jeff – No. He knows they are undercooked Newton – Yes! Gordon says they are delicious.Sam – No. His eggs are not fully cooked. Jenny – Yes! Aáron thinks they are spot on.Brien – Yes! Gordon says they are delicious.Heather – No. No mushrooms and eggs are not good enoughYachecia – No. Look terrible, not good enough Dino – No. Christina says eggs are severely overcooked.Caitlin – No. Eggs are under seasoned and look flat.Necco – Yes! Tasty eggs, he is safe.Eboni – Yes! Textbook eggs. She nailed it.Daniel – Yes! Eggs were great, even though his toast wasn’t done well.Reba, Cate, Adam, Jennifer, also – Yes!

The 6 cooks who are not safe have 10 minutes to cook the dish again!

On the second try –

Jeff’s eggs have a silky texture and taste good.


Yachecia’s eggs look excellent & are cooked well.

Caitlin’s eggs look good and taste better than last time.

Sam’s eggs are messy and runny and taste bad.

Dino’s eggs are creamy and have a great flavor.

And Heather’s eggs are gray and way too peppery. Christina starts coughing like crazy. 😮

Dino, Jeff, Catlin and Yachecia are safe.Sam and Heather’s egg dishes are on the bottom. Sam is still safe, that means Heather is going home. She says, “Leaving the Masterchef Kitchen, I’m proud of myself. Getting to the top 18 is not easy so this is definitely a step forward. Being a nurse, it’s really important for me to show people I care for them, and I was able to do that with my cooking. And I’ve learned a lot more skill from being here, to be able to do that even more.”


Max’s MasterChef Recap S8x04



The fourth episode of MasterChef Season 8, “Feeding the Lifeguards” starts with the top 19 cooks walking onto Huntington Beach in California for their first Team Challenge. As winner of first Mystery Box Challenge in the last episode, Brien is named Captain. The rest of the contestants split themselves into two teams. Brien picks the Red Team: Yachecia, Newton, Necco, Eboni, Sam, Jason, Adam, Cate and Heather. Jennifer is picked as Captain for the Blue Team: Reba, Catlin, Daniel, Jeff, Gabriel, Dino, Jenny and Paige.

They will be cooking Rock Fish and Striped Sea Bass, two difficult fish dishes to cook. Brien chooses the Striped Sea Bass for his team.

Brien starts off strong leading the Red Team, but Jennifer has difficulty pulling her the Blue Team’s together. Jeff steps in to take over.


The Red Team cooks their fish too soon and ruin the eggplant by cooking it in cold oil. On the Blue Team Paige drastically over seasons the fish with cayenne pepper!

The Blue Team serves a Cajun Rockfish with Broccoli Rabe, Green Beans, Potatoes and Beurre Blanc. The Red Team serves a Crispy Skin Sea Bass with Bamboo Rice, Eggplant, Corn Salad and Sweet Chili Sauce.

In the end Red Team wins. On the Blue Team Jeff, Reba and Daniel are safe from the Pressure Test.

They remaining 6 chefs have to make Aáron’s Pork Chop with Cactus. He shows them how to get all the prickers off and make his special salsa.

During the cook time Jennifer struggles with the cactus and emotionally buckles under the pressure. Paige feels confident because she has grown up cooking with these flavors. Gabriel is worried about the dish even though he works in Mexican fast food restaurant. Fresh ingredients are more challenging.

Time is up.

Jennifer’s Pork Chop is undercooked, however the cactus is good.

Gabriel’s Pork Chop is cooked well and has a great taste and the cactus is done well.

Caitlin’s Pork Chop is undercooked but it has good spice.

Dino’s Pork Chop is cooked well and is seasoned great.

Jenny’s Pork Chop is cooked well and seasoned well, the sauce is okay.

And Paige’s Pork Chop is practically raw. It just tastes bad.

Dino had the best replication dish! Gabriel, Jenny and Catlin have done well, they are safe. Jennifer and Paige are the bottom two cooks.

The judges poll the home cooks on the balcony, asking who they think should stay in the competition. Everyone agrees, Jennifer should stay. Tough moments for the youngest contestant, Paige, who is going home. She takes it well though, and says “Wow, this was has been an amazing experience. I’m sad to go, but I’m happy to go home. I’m excited to get back to my own kitchen, along with the Hawaiian beach and hear the waves as I cook my heart out for my family and continue growing as a person.”