Max’s Chopped JR Recap “Fry Fans”

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Ted Allen introduces 4 new kid chefs to compete in the special fry edition.

12 year old Zach Baer is a sixth grader from Fort Leavenworth, KS. He calls his food down home Midwestern Southern Cuisine. He also really likes to act in plays.

11 year old Angelica Iannacchino is a sixth grader from Glen Cove, NY. She cooks Italian food from her family heritage. She also is an animal lover and wants to be a pet nutritionist when she is older.

10 year old Kaylee Roope is a fifth grader from Hays, NC. She comes from a long line of Southern Cooks and makes her grandmother’s secret southern food recipes. She wants to open a restaurant one day that will feature her grandmother’s recipes.

And 13 year old Fuller Goldsmith is a seventh grader from Tuscaloosa, AL. Fuller likes to make Southern Comfort Food. He had childhood cancer and  says watching Chopped and Chopped Jr. helped him get through tough times in the hospital. Cooking became his passion and helped him heal.

In the Chopped Kitchen there are three rounds with mandatory mystery ingredients for every course. Ted says, “If your dish doesn’t cut it, you will be chopped!” In this special edition of Chopped Junior the home cooks must be sure to fry something in each round.

To begin, Ted says, “Open your baskets kids!”

The Appetizer Basket ingredients are Okra, Sour Cream, Catfish Filets and Sweet Tea. The Chopped Junior Judges this episode are Chopped Regular, Chef Alex Guarnascelli, Food Writer and Cooking Instructor, Rebecca Lang and Actor Zachary Quinto, AKA “Mr. Spock” who says he absolutely hates okra after being forced to eat it as a child!

The kids cook like crazy until Ted calls, “5, 4, 3, 2 ,1 Time is up! Step back.”

Kaylee made Fried Catfish Crostini with Roasted Okra & Sour Cream Sauce. 10 minutes in, Kaylee realized she burned her okra and her sliced bread! Luckily, she was able to make it again. Rebecca loves the breading on the fish, it is nice and crispy, but the piece of toast is too big and over powers the flavor of the fish. Zachery likes how she folded the dreaded okra into the dish. Alex said, “Great job.”

Fuller is very comfortable working with fryer. He says that if he can feed 100 people at a tailgate, he can handle the pressure of the Chopped Kitchen. He made Beer Battered Catfish & Okra with Greens and Sour Cream Sauce. Alex & Rebecca both love the sauce a lot and Mr. Spock actually likes the full sized fried okra for the first time in his life.

Angelica says she wouldn’t give her pets fried foods, because they are not very healthy, but she knows that they taste so good. She made Catfish & Okra Tempura with Sriracha-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce. Rebecca says the frying is done well, but the dish needs more salt. Both Alex and Zachery think the sauce needs more heat.

Zach, who has sometimes lived in the south, loves fried foods. He made Double-Fried Catfish & Okra with Spicy Sour Cream Sauce. The fish is cooked really well. The second fry left it crispy and nicely browned, but by comparison, the single fry okra felt underdone. Zachery says he really likes the heat in the sauce.

 

Ted lifts the cloche to show that the first young home cook on the chopping block is … Angelica. The judges said her dish needed more salt and spice.

For the Entrée Round the Southern-style cooks, Fuller, Zach and Kaylee must make a golden fried main course with Chicken Tenders, Cauliflower, Hushpuppy Batter and Pimento Cheese.

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Fuller made ‘Corn Chick’ with Cauliflower & Pimento Cheese Purée. Chicken tenders is something he is used to making and Alex is amazed that the chicken is cooked so perfectly. Zachery loves the purée. Rebecca wanted more chicken because it was so good. Fuller shares that he wants to own a restaurant one day, Fuller’s Kitchen. The sign will read, “Why be full, when you can be fuller?” 😊

Zach made Linguine Alfredo with Fried Chicken and Hushpuppy Fritters. Rebecca says the hushpuppies are cooked well. But Zachery and Alex agree the sauce is too grainy from the cauliflower added at the end. Zach says he thinks acting and cooking are similar because you are always trying to do your best and to stand out from your competitors. Mr. Spock agrees. 🙂

Kaylee made Hushpuppy Chicken Tenders with Cauliflower, Pimento Cheese Penne. Alex says, “Fantastic.” The chicken is golden brown and very crispy, and the sauce is delicious, but the cauliflower bits don’t really fit in the dish. Kaylee says she works at a soup kitchen at home and if she wins she will be donating some of the money there!

Ted lifts the cloche to show that the next young home cook on the chopping block is … Zach. Mr. Spock explains how the raw cauliflower ruined the texture of his sauce in an otherwise good dish. Zach heads homes pledging to keep cooking and acting!

For the 30 minute Dessert Round, Fuller and Kaylee must use Fried Ice Cream, Beignet Mix, Walnuts and Raspberries. Ted explains, beignets are a classic New Orleans dessert, basically a fritter or a doughnut, just fried dough and sugar. Yum!

Kaylee made Jelly Doughnuts with Walnuts & Cereal. Alex likes the mix of cereal and nuts, and the raspberry filling too, but unfortunately, the beignet is a little dense.

Fuller made Beignet with Walnut & Raspberry Ice Cream Purée. All three judges love the purée. Alex says it tastes something like an Italian Cheesecake! But the Beignet is a little undercooked on the inside.

Before the judges make their final decision Kaylee tells them that beside her grandmother, Dolly Parton is one of heroes because she gives a lot of money to charities. Mr. Spock tells Kaylee “No matter where the competition goes, you did an incredible job today. Dolly would be proud!” And then Ted tells Fuller, “Well, I want to thank you for sharing your story with us, because I think that’s brave, and I think there are a lot of other kids fighting, too. They need to hear from you. That’s really cool.” Ted lifts the cloche to show that the last young home cook on the chopping block is … Kaylee. Even though she is a very talented cook she had too much bread with the fish in the appetizer round and her cauliflower didn’t fit well in her entrée.

That means FULLER GOLDSMITH is today’s Chopped Champion and wins the $10,000 and a Chopped Jr Chef’s Coat!!! He says, “I always thought I would be healthy enough to be a Chopped Junior Champion one day. I’m so pumped I could run a million miles right now!”

 

My Fantasy MasterChef Jr Season 4

Episode 1

The top 24 cook the best “Sausage in a Bun” they can for the first Mystery Box Challenge. The top 3 are: Ian with his Beef Sausage, Zac with his Pork and Chicken Sausage and Addison with her Chicken Sausage. The winner of the Mystery Box is … ZAC! Gordon loves how he cooked with 2 different meats. Zac is safe and gets to save 12 more kids because the home cooks will be making a sweet dish in the Elimination Challenge and the judges don’t want to taste 23 different baked goods. Zac saves Kyndall, Kade, Sam, Tae-Ho, Amaya, Chad, Adam, Alexander, Kamilly, Jaeclyn, Avery and Annabelle.

The Top 4 in the Sweet Tooth Elimination Test are Addison with her Red Velvet Cupcake, JJ with his Steak Shaped Brownie, Nate with his Chocolate Tart and Kaitlyn with her Spiced Rum Cake. Ian, Derek, Jesse and Kya do well enough to stay in the game. Mia, Corey and Vivian’s dishes are in the Bottom 3. Mia’s Blueberry Pie has a soggy crust, Corey’s Profiteroles are wet, and Vivian’s Chocolate Lava Cake is undercooked. Corey is saved and the last cook safe is … Mia. Vivian is the 1st to go home. She says, “I’m sad I’m going home, but I made it to the top 24 and I am proud of myself. I made new friends and even though it sent me home, I am happy I took the risk with the lava cake!”

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Episode 2

Kaitlyn, Nate, JJ and Addison had the best dishes in the last episode, so they start this episode with a mini challenge. They will see who can make the most pancakes in 15 minutes. And this time there is not 1, but 2 winners! JJ and Kaitlyn each make 20 perfect pancakes, so they are safe. Everyone else will make a restaurant quality pork dish in the Elimination Test.

Nate makes the 2nd best dish with his Grilled Pork Chop and ZAC wins with his Barbeque Pork Ribs. Avery, Ian, Corey, Addison, Jesse and Kya also do well. Mia, Sam and Kamilly had the worst dishes. Sam burned his pork and both Mia and Kamilly dangerously undercooked theirs. Sam is safe, and the last cook safe is … Kamilly, who had a part cooked well enough for the judges to taste. Mia is going home. She says, “I am happy to have been here. Thousands of kids tried out and I made it to the top 24. I am going back to Texas to keep cooking!”

Mia toon

 

Episode 3

The top 22 will cook for 101 guests at a minor league baseball game. Zac is the Captain of the Blue Team and he picks Addison, Chad, Amaya, Kade, JJ, Kailyn, Kya, Sam, Kamily and Avery. Nate is the Red Team Captain and he picks Corey, Ian Annabelle, Jaeclyn, Alexander, Adam, Tae-Ho, Kyndall, Jesse and Derek. On Zac’s team Addison is having trouble with the beef, but JJ helps her get the cook right. On the Red Team, Nate is having a hard time leading because he is so stressed. He needs to take a rest and get some water. In the end, the BLUE TEAM wins by only three votes. Nate feels so guilty his team lost. He says, “It’s because of me, one of you is going home.” Along with his own team, the Blue Team comforts him. Zac and JJ both tell him he is a great chef and should not feel bad about the loss.

Back in the MasterChef Kitchen, Nate gets to save 5 kids. He saves Adam, Tae-Ho, Jaeclyn, Corey and for the last pick he could save himself, but chooses to save Annabelle. The remaining 6 cooks will bake a Mini-Cheesecake. Cheesecake is a dessert made with fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar with a cookie crust and topped with sweeten fruit. It may be baked or unbaked. The best Mini-Cheesecake belongs to NATE! His crust is nice and flaky and the cheese cake tastes deeply delicious. Jesse, Kyndall and Ian do well too. That leaves Derek and Alexander. Derek’s cheesecake has too much stuff on it and the cook is uneven. Alexander’s is raw and gets stuck in the mold. The cook who is safe is Derek. A teary-eyed Alexander is going home. He says,” I am so sad I’m going home, but I am mostly sad to say goodbye to my friends. Don’t worry, I am not going to stop cooking. I know I will be a pro chef one day!”

Alexander toon

Episode 4

The top 21 will be cooking a sea food dish in the next Mystery Box Challenge. The three best dishes belong to: Kya with her Smoked Salmon, Jesse with his Baked Sea Bass and Nate with his Seared Black Cod. And the winner is …. NATE! Christina loves the cook on his fish and how it melts in her mouth. He is safe and in the top 20.

The remaining home cooks have to make a venison dish in the Elimination Test. Venison is the meat of a deer, much like beef, is cut into roasts, sirloins, and ribs. The 2nd best dish is Avery’s Seared Venison. And JJ’s risky Venison Medallions is the best dish. Zac, Addison, Ian, Kaitlyn, Kya, Amaya and Tae–Ho also do well. Sadly, Annabelle, Corey and Kamilly have the bottom 3 dishes. Annabelle’s is very dry, Corey’s is soaking in too much broth and Kamilly’s is overcooked and a little dried out. The cook going home is … Annabelle. She says, “Oh well, I tried my best. I have had so much fun cooking with other kids my age. I’m excited to go back home and learn how to cook a better venison for my family.”

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Episode 5

The top 20 will cook for 51 Cowboys. JJ is the Red Team Captain and picks Nate, Zac, Amaya, Kya, Kaitlyn, Kyndall, Addison, Ian and Jesse. Avery it the Blue team Captain and picks Tae- Ho, Adam, Corey, Kamilly, Kade, Derek, Sam, Chad and Jaeclyn. On the Red Team, Ian overcooks the beef, but JJ and Zac are able to help get the grilling back on track. On the Blue Team, Derek puts too much spice rub on the steak and it overpowers the flavor of the meat. In the end, the RED TEAM wins by only two votes!

Back in the MasterChef Kitchen, the Blue Team members decide together to save Jaeclyn, Chad and Sam because they helped out a lot during the team challenge. The remaining 7 kids will make a seemingly simple but technically difficult Omelet, a dish of beaten eggs cooked in a frying pan until firm, served folded over. Avery makes the best one. Her omelet is nice and fluffy and tastes great. Adam, Kade and Tae- Ho are safe too. Sadly, Derek overcooks his eggs, Kamilly’s are too spicy and Corey’s are a little undercooked. The one going home this time is … Corey. He says, “Can’t believe I’m going home because on an egg. But, I’ve had the best time cooking in this kitchen, making friends and learning from the chefs. I’m a better cook now than when I came into the competition. I’m going to go home and practice making eggs, everyway – poached, fried, scrambled, hard boiled, soft boiled – you name it.”

Corey toon

Episode 6

The top 19 will make a chicken dish in the Mystery Box Challenge. The top 3 are: Avery with her Smoked Chicken Breast, JJ with his Chicken Oysters and Amaya with her Spiced Chicken Leg. And the winner is … JJ who took the biggest risk with one of the most difficult cuts of the chicken. He is safe and in the top 18.

The other kids will bake a box of 6 perfect éclairs in the Elimination Test. An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. The dough, which is the same as that used for profiterole, is typically piped into an oblong shape with a pastry bag and baked until it is crisp and hollow inside. Once cool, the pastry is then filled with a flavored custard or whipped cream then iced with frosting. The 2nd best box belongs to Kaitlyn. Adam makes the best box of the night. His pastries are cooked well, and the ample filling is absolutely delicious. Addison, Jesse, Nate, Ian, Avery and Zac do great too. Unfortunately Derek, Sam and Tae-Ho make the worst 3 boxes of éclairs. Derek tries to do too much and loads down his pastry with fudge and fruit frosting, Sam’s shells are cracked, and Tae-Ho’s choux dough is slightly undercooked. The judges decide the one going home tonight is Derek. He says, “I am upset I never got to show the judges what I can really do, but I’m proud to have cooked in the MasterChef Kitchen. I made lots of friends who also love to cook. Someday, I will invite them to my Gastro Pub!”

Derek toon

Episode 7

The top 18 will cook for 75 guests at a Theme Park. Adam is the Blue Team captain and picks Zac, Jesse, Kamilly, Tae-Ho, Sam, Chad, Kyndall and Kade. Kaitlyn is the Red Team Captain and picks Addison, Kya, Nate, Avery, Jaeclyn, JJ, Amaya and Ian. At first, Adam has some trouble leading his team and resorts to yelling when a raw burger is served. On the Red Team, Jaeclyn puts up raw fish, but Nate steps us and helps her cook it properly. Both teams have a strong finish and in the end, RED TEAM wins with its fresh flavors by 5 votes!

Back in the MasterChef Kitchen, Adam saves Jesse, Kamilly and Chad. The 6 remaining cooks from the losing Blue Team will make a Stromboli in the Elimination Test. A Stromboli is a type of turnover made with pizza dough and filled with various cheeses and meats or vegetables. Zac, Tae-Ho and Kyndall make the 3 best Stromboli of the night. Kade is also safe. But, Sam’s dough is undercooked, and his filling is dry because of overcooked meat. Adam’s is burned on the outside. Sadly, the next home cook going home is … Sam. He says, “I think Nate and Jesse are going to win this competition. Even though my journey ends here, I have learned how to cooks amazing things. This has been one of the best times in my life.”

Sam toon

Episode 8

In the next Mystery Box Challenge the top 17 will make an apple dessert. The top 3 desserts are Addison’s Apple Clobber, Ian’s Old Fashioned Apple Pie and Jesse’s Green Apple Tart. The judges think the best apple dessert belongs to … IAN!!! The pie crust is flaky and delicious. The apple filling is just the right combination of sweet and tart. He is safe from elimination.

The remaining home cooks will make an Artisan Pizza – handmade dough, chewy crust, crispy on the bottom, neat but not perfectly round, topped with fresh, sometimes unusual, ingredients. Kya makes the 2nd best pizza with spinach, mushrooms and sausage toppings. And Zac makes the best pie with a perfectly tender crust and delicious alligator pepperoni and cheese toppings. Nate, Kaitlyn, Jesse, Avery, Amaya also do well. Unfortunately, Kamilly’s pizza dough is raw on the bottom, Tae-Ho’s toppings are burned to a crisp and JJ’s crust is soggy because of too many toppings. The young home cook going home is … Kamilly. She says, “I’m sad to be leaving, but proud of how far I have come. I really want to be a chef when I grow up. Everything I learned in the MasterChef Kitchen will help me make my dream come true.”

Kamilly toon

Episode 9

The top 16 junior home cooks will prepare meals for a Food Art Expo. Zac is the Blue Team Captain and picks Kaitlyn, Nate, Amaya, JJ, Addison, Kyndall and Avery. Kya is the Red Team Captain and picks Jesse, Ian, Chad, Jaeclyn, Kade, Adam and Tae-Ho. Blue Team’s Nate is having trouble keeping up with the plating, but Zac is able to join him and the two work together to get the food out. At first, Red Team Captain Kya can’t find her voice to lead her team. Gordon takes her aside and reminds her that she has earned her spot as captain. This boosts her confidence and she finishes strong. In the end, the judges decide the team that has done slightly better at the expo is … BLUE TEAM! Kya can save one member of her team and she chooses to save Jesse from the Elimination Test. She thought he was their strongest team member today.

The remaining 7 kids make tortellini from scratch. Tortellini, also known as cappelletti, are ring-shaped pasta, sometimes called “belly buttons” stuffed with a mix of meat (pork loin, prosciutto, chicken) or cheese. Adam, Kya, and Tae-Ho make pretty good tortellini dishes, but Ian’s is the best. His tortellini are well formed with tasty filling. Christina says his fresh chopped tomato marinara sauce is the perfect complement to his pasta. Chad’s tortellini is good enough to keep him safe, leaving Kade and Jacelyn in the bottom 2. Kade’s pasta is gritty and Jacelyn’s tastes a bit weird. The judges think she added too much oregano to her filling. Sadly, Jaeclyn is going home. She says, “I’m so disappointed that I’m out, but it has been so exciting to cook for some of the best chefs in the world. I’ll always remember what I have learned about cooking in this kitchen. I always love the friends I have made here,” Tearful, the kids hug her before she goes.

Jaecyln toon

Episode 10

The top 15 home cooks lift their Mystery Boxes to find live crabs! They have to catch them, kill them and cook them into an elevated crab dish. There are a few squeals and screams but everyone gets the job done. The top 3 dishes are: JJ’s Texas Style Poached Crab, Avery’s Crab Cakes and Kya’s Spiced Crab Trio. The judges agree that the winner of this tough challenge is … AVERY! She is in the top 14 and heads up to the balcony.

The Elimination Test is making a box of Chocolate Truffles. A chocolate truffle is a decadent confection made with chocolate ganache coated in cocoa powder or chopped toasted nuts shaped into a ball. Tae-Ho made the 2nd best box and the best box belongs to IAN. His truffles are uniform in size and shape with the perfect glistening centers, but most importantly they taste amazing. Nate, Zac, Kya, JJ, Adam, Jesse, Amaya, Addison and Kaitlyn’s truffles keep them safe. Kade, Chad and Kyndall’s are the least successful, they are in the bottom 3. Kade’s ganache broke and the chocolate clumped, Chad’s tastes okay but the sizes are not the same and Kyndall’s are gray inside and a bit bitter tasting. The young cook going home today is … Kade L He says, “I never liked chocolate. But I have really liked cooking in the MasterChef Kitchen. I will never forget the time they dropped gallons of Banana Jell-O on Gordon Ramsay! And I will never forget my new amazing friends!”

Kade toon

Episode 11

The top 14 will cook for a college graduation party. Ian is the Red Team Captain, he picks Addison, JJ, Avery, Kaitlyn, Zac and Kya. Tae-Ho is the Blue Team Captain, he picks Chad, Kyndall, Jesse, Nate, Amaya and Adam. On the Red Team, Kya doesn’t know how to cook lamb to the perfect medium rare, but Zac and JJ help her get it right and Ian does well as the supportive Captain. But on Blue Team, Nate burns the mushrooms and Tae-Ho gets very mad, kicks him off the station and sends him to chop kale. Jesse tells Nate it’s OK and asks him to help with the sea bass. Tae-Ho steps in to take over and ruins the cook on the fish! In the end, RED TEAM wins and Kyndall is safe because the graduates especially love her parsnip purée with the fish.

The remaining 6 Blue Team members will make a Fruit Tart from scratch. The best fruit tart belongs to NATE. His tart shell is flaky and light and the vanilla cream with fresh blueberries tastes amazing. Chef Aarón says, “I can see this tart in a top notch boulangerie! That’s French for bakery.” Jesse, Amaya and Chad are also safe. Unfortunately, Tae- Ho’s tart is undercooked and a bit soggy and Adam’s fell apart when cut with a fork. Adam is safe, so Tae-Ho going home. He says, “Well, I guess today was not my lucky day. I am very disappointed. I excepted to go all the way or at least to the top 6, but I am going home with my head held high. I loved my time here. I will continue to cook, but it will be a while before I make another tart.”

TaeHo Toon

Episode 12

The top 13 are shocked to learn the next Mystery Box Challenge is to cook with Liver or Kidneys! All the kids are grossed out and some of the cooks, like Kaitlyn, have no idea how to cook with these organ meats! But everyone does their best. The top 3 dishes belong to Addison with her Liver and Onions, Adam with his Liver Pate and Kya with her Sautéed Kidneys in Red Wine Sauce. The winner is ADAM. He is safe and in the top 12.

The other young chefs must now cook Rabbit! Again, the kids are a little freaked out. Rabbits are often cute cuddly pets! Some of the younger cooks, like Kya are having trouble with how to cook it, but Zac is able to offer her help. Zac has the best dish. The cook on his meat is spot on and tastes great. Gordon is shocked a 12 year old can cook a tricky meat with such finesse. Nate, Ian, JJ, Jesse, Amaya, Avery, Addison, Kya and Chad do well enough to continue, but Kaitlyn’s is overcooked and Kyndall’s is practically raw. Gordon says, “Only a few hops away from being out in the yard eating clover, if you know what I mean.” Kyndall is going home. She says, “Even though I did not win, I kinda feel like I did win because I learned so much about cooking. I feel like I am a way better chef than when I came to MasterChef. I’m looking forward to showing my family and friends all the new things I can do in the kitchen.”

Kyndall toon

Episode 13

The top 12 will cook a classic Surf and Turf dish in teams of 2. Zac gets to pick his teammate and he chooses Nate, since he knows Nate has been doubting himself a bit. Zac knows in his heart that Nate is an amazing chef and looks forward to cooking with him, side by side. He also pairs the other chefs: JJ & Addison, Amaya & Adam, Jesse & Kaitlyn, Avery & Chad and Kya & Ian. Turns out, Nate and Zac make the best surf and turf dish of the night. Nate grills the shrimp to juicy perfection and Zac’s sear on the steak is outstanding. Gordon loves how well they work together. JJ & Addison, Avery & Chad and Jesse & Kaitlyn also do well. Ian & Kya, and Amaya & Adam are going to the Pressure Test.

They will be baking a Molten Lava Cake. Ian and Adam make the top 2 cakes, both are baked well, ooze chocolaty goodness and the taste amazing. Chef Christina is impressed, she says, “I couldn’t have made this dessert at your age. Amazing skills boys!” That leaves Kya, whose chocolate explodes out of the ramekin in the oven and Amaya, whose cake somehow sinks to the bottom of the ramekin into a fudgy nugget. A tasty nugget, but still, not right. The cook staying, to be in the top 11 is …. Amaya. So a very tearful Kya is going home. She says, “I am super sad to go home. The top ten was so close! But, I have been a Team Captain, ‘Let’s go guys you can do this!’ I have been in the top 3 a lot ‘Kya! Kya!’ ‘Come one up here Kya.’ ‘If this is how you cook at 8 years of age, I’m excited to see where you will be at 18!’ And best of all, I’ve made lots of new friends that I will have for a lifetime! ‘We love you Kya!!!’”

Kya toon

Episode 14

The top 11 cooks are asked to make a super burger made with any kind protein. The top 3 burgers belong to … Addison with her Pepper Jack Cheese Burger, Zac with his Chuck and Sirloin Burger and Adam with his New York Deli Style Burger. ZAC’s burger wins him safety and the judges say he can head up to the balcony. But Zac says, “I don’t want to be safe, I want to keep cooking!” Gordon nods his approval and Aarón says this decision shows his strong passion for cooking.

The Elimination Test is prepare and perfectly sear Sea Scallops. Everyone does their best with the technically difficult task and in the end, Zac wins again, with the best dish. Gordon says he loves how Zac took a risk by staying to cook instead of being safe. The 2nd best scallop dish belongs to Jesse. JJ, Ian, Amaya, Avery, Nate, Adam and Kaitlyn are all safe. But both Addison and Chad over cooked the scallops. The one in the top 10 is Addison which means tonight, Chad is going home L He says “I am going back to New York pretty proud of myself. And when I get home my family and friends will be amazed by what I can cook now. Mark my words, you have not seen the last of me.”

Chad toon

Episode 15

The tops 10 young home cooks remain. Now it’s getting crazy! Two teams of five will plan, prepare and cook from food trucks! Zac is the Blue Team Captain he picks JJ, Addison, Kaitlyn and Ian. They decide they will serve Mediterranean Style Chicken Kabobs. Jesse is the Captain of the Red Team. He picks Adam, Nate, Avery and Amaya. They decide to serve Classic American Hamburgers. On the Blue Team, Ian undercooks the chicken for the kabob, but JJ spots it in time and gets it properly cooked before serving. On Jesse’s team, Adam is having trouble getting the meat grilled. At first he overcooks the meat and the burgers are dry, then he overcorrects and undercooks the patties, and the Red Team serves a raw burger! In the end Zac’s BLUE TEAM wins!

Now, the Red Team must replicate a restaurant quality Fried Calamari dish. That’s squid people. When the time begins Nate starts to panic because he’s not sure about the frying technique. He says, “I’m starting to wonder if I really belong in the top 10.” But the other kids tell him he can do it, not to give up and with their support he is able to finish the job. And amazingly the most delicious dish belongs to NATE! His calamari is perfectly tender, the coating is light and crispy, and the sauce is tangy and bright. Gordon says, “Christina, Aarón and I believe in you. All the other the kids believe in you. The only one left to believe in you, is you Nate!” J Nate smiles a lot. Avery and Amaya are also safe. But Jesse overcooks his calamari and Adam’s is so undercooked it is almost raw. So sadly, this time Adam is going home L He says, “I think I have grown so much since I came here. I will never forget when Christina loved my Eclairs ‘I could serve a box like this in my Milk Bar! Amazing job!’ ‘Thank You’ And when I was the team captain, I mean that was nuts! ‘Come on guys don’t give up! Keep cooking and plate, plate, plate, plate!!!’ All and all, I had a great time and I will never forget this experience.”    

Adam toon

Episode 16

The top 9 lift the Mystery Box to find many different cuts of lamb. My personal favorite, easy to overcook, not easy to get it just right. The judges want to taste 3 dishes: Zac’s Seared Lamb Chop with Indian Spice, Kaitlyn’s Smoked Lamb Loin and Amaya’s Classic Lamb Burger. ZAC wins! Gordon continues to be impressed with his skills in the kitchen and the lamb is so delicious he finishes the entire chop during the tasting! This time Zac chooses to be safe, so the other kids have a chance to shine. He heads up to the balcony to cheer them on.

The 8 remaining kids will make Fried Chicken! The 2nd best dish is made by AMAYA. Her Spiced Fried Chicken brings the heat and wows the judges. NATE makes the best dish with his risky Double Breaded Fried Chicken. Crunchy on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside. The judges says his chicken tastes great. 😊 Avery, JJ, Jesse and Ian do well too. Since Addison and Kaitlyn put up raw chicken and the judges can’t risk tasting, they are asked to cook again! Fried Chicken Thigh and Leg on the bone! When Addison panics and can’t make the batter correctly her friend Kaitlyn helps her get it together. Kaitlyn’s chicken is cooked well this time and tastes great. Addison’s is cooked well too, but she used too much spice. Waiting for the judges’ decision the girls hold hands. The one who is safe is … Kaitlyn. So, Addison is going home. Kaitlyn is so sad she is crying, she hugs her friend and says, “I will miss you a lot Addi.” ☹ Addison says “I am so proud of myself. I did my best and I made lots of amazing things. ‘Nice job Addison. It is baked well, I could not bake like this at your age.’ For me, the best part has been making friends with Kaitlyn. I think we will be friends for life. I hope she wins the whole thing!”

Adison toon

Episode 17

The Top 8 young chefs will cook in a 3-part Baking Skills Test involving Sugar. In the first test 8 will bake and 4 will be safe. In the second test the remaining 4 will bake again and 2 more will be safe. Finally, the last two will go head-to-head for the last spot in the top 7.

In the first test everyone will make Donuts. Ian’s are very flat and a little undercooked. Kaitlyn’s are baked great and Christina loves the taste. Zac’s donuts are amazing, he was the only to add cream filling. Jesse’s taste okay but they look sloppy. Avery’s are baked well, but the frosting is too wet. Amaya’s are overbaked, and they stick together. Nate’s donuts are absolutely great. Gordon loves he is believing in himself more and more. And JJ’s look amazing, but he accidently used salt instead of sugar and they taste all wrong! The 4 who are safe are ZAC, NATE, KAITLYN and JESSE.

Now the 4 remaining cooks will make French Macarons. Ian’s cracked, and the filling is too wet, making the cookie soggy. JJ’s are baked well and Aarón is impressed with his decadent dark chocolate filling. Avery’s are baked well but clumps of fruit in the filling overpower the merengue. And Amaya’s taste good, but have too much filling, the cookie shells get lost. JJ and AMAYA are safe.

Ian and Avery will make the very technical Crème Brûlée. The judges taste both at the same time. Both did a great job caramelizing the sugary tops. It is neck and neck. The one who is safe is … AVERY! So sadly, Ian is going home. ☹ He says “I’m excited about how far I have come in this completion. I have definitely become a better chef ‘Wow Ian, I can’t believe an 8 year old can make chocolate like this!’ ‘Thanks Christina.’ I learned to cook lots of news things and made such amazing friends, who also love to cook! ‘This is the best pasta I’ve ever had!’ ‘Thank You, Chef.’ I’ve won lots of challenges. ‘Ian!’ ‘Congrats Ian!’ ‘ The winner is, Ian!’ I will never forget when I lead my team to victory. ‘Congratulations RED TEAM!’ Over all, I had lots of fun here and of course, I will never ever, ever stop cooking!”

Ian toon

Episode 18

Under the Mystery Box the top 7 find the always popular ingredient, Peanut Butter! The top 3 peanut butter treats belong to JJ with his Peanut Butter Pie, Avery with her Peanut Butter Cookies, and Kaitlyn with her Peanut Butter Tart. And the judges favorite is … JJ’s delicious pie. Christina loves he is starting to show his excellent baking skills.

JJ is safe and gets to pick the teams of two for the Picnic Platter Tag Team Challenge: Zac & Avery, Kaitlyn & Amaya, and Jesse & Nate. The platter must showcase Beef Sliders, Lobster Rolls, Scotch Eggs, Chips and Sugar Cookies. Some of the kids have never heard of the Scotch Eggs, so Aarón explains they are a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and deep-fried.

Zac & Avery have the best platter of the night. Zac’s sliders are a perfect medium rare and Avery nailed the cook and seasoning on the lobster roll. They worked together to create crispy Scotch Eggs and side of chips. Zac’s sugar cookies were super soft and sweet. Amaya & Kaitlyn do well too. Nate & Jesse are the least successful. Two of the 3 sliders are undercooked by Nate and his Scotch Eggs are runny, Jessie’s rolls lack lobster meat and his cookies are overly sweet and under baked. Gordon is very critical of the team and says the boys should have talked more about mistakes as they were happening. Christina says, “It was a tough challenge, and you both did the best you could. I’m proud of you both.” Ultimately, the one who is safe is … Nate, since he cooked the more difficult items on the platter. Jesse is going home. Now, Nate is in tears, he hugs Jesse and says, “I will miss you so much buddy.” JJ gives them both a big hug and says “I’m so sorry.” Jesse tells him, “It’s okay.” Nate is so upset he can’t even move, so Zac walks him back to his station. Jesse says “I am going home, but I made it to the top 7! I made lots to new friends and made lots of good dishes. ‘Jesse that’s is very good.’ ‘Amazing job, young man!’ I will never stop cooking and I will open my Rock‘n Roll Café one day. Everyone is invited!”

Jessie toon

Episode 19

With only 6 cooks remaining it is time for the super difficult and pressured Restaurant Take Over Challenge. Avery is the Blue Team Captain and picks Nate and JJ. Zac is the Red Team Captain and picks Amaya and Kaitlyn. As the kids start cooking in one of LA’s famous restaurants the pressure builds. The stress starts to get to Blue Team’s Nate who is sweating and feeling very faint. Christina walks Nate outside for some fresh air and water. After a quick pep talk Nate is ready to return to the kitchen. He puts in a solid performance. On Zac’s team, Kaitlyn is feeling the pressure and having trouble with the cook on the venison. Zac leaves his station to help her and together they figure out how to prevent overcooking. Amaya jumps in to help with veggies when Zac goes to meat. In the end the RED TEAM wins.

Avery, JJ and Nate head back to the MasterChef Kitchen to face the Elimination Test: Steak-frites, that’s French for steak and fries. The challenge here is to get a great sear on a medium rare steak and uniformly cut fries that are cooked crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and not too greasy. JJ makes the best steak and fries of the 3. His steak is well seasoned and juicy, and his fries are deliciously crisp. Nate’s steak has a good sear and is cooked well, but it is a bit over seasoned. And Avery’s steak is seasoned well, but a tad overcooked. She left it on the heat a minute too long according to Gordon. So, the young cook in the top 5 is … Nate. Unfortunately, that means Avery is going home. She says “I’m really disappointed. But I made it to the top 6 and that is amazing. I made dishes I’d never even heard of. I made dishes I didn’t know I could make. And I never gave up! ‘Let’s go guys we can do this!’ ‘I am shocked a 9 year old can make a dish like this.’ ‘Thanks Chef.’ ‘The winner is, AVERY!’ I plan on opening a restaurant of my own one day. People will say, remember when you were on MasterChef Junior? And I’ll say, Yes! That’s where my journey really began!”

Avery toon

Episode 20

To win the 1st spot in the MasterChef Jr Finale the top 5 have to make their Signature Dish. Amaya’s T-bone Steak has a good medium rare cook, but her sauce is way too spicy. Zac’s Paprika Chicken Medallions are juicy and finish with a nice heat. Sadly, Kaitlyn’s Flank Steak is a bit overcooked. Nate’s Baked Tilapia is slightly overcooked but still has a great taste. And JJ’s Pork Medallions are unevenly cooked because of his irregular cuts. The first one in the Finale is …. ZAC! He gets his chef coat and goes up to the balcony.

Nate, JJ, Kaitlyn, and Amaya will make cupcakes and the best 2 bakers will win their place in the finale. Kaitlyn’s Chocolate Cupcakes are baked well with a scrumptious gooey filling. JJ’s Banana Cupcakes are stuck to the paper and the banana chucks did not cook down well. Nate’s Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are amazing. They are moist and light, and Christina loves the vanilla cream filling. Amaya’s Raspberry Cupcakes end up a bit soggy because of the fresh raspberries mixed into the batter. The next 2 kids getting chef coats and joining Zac in the finale are NATE and KAITLYN!

JJ and Amaya will now battle for the last spot. They have the exceedingly hard challenge of baking three different soufflés at once – Chocolate, Raspberry and Cheese! JJ’s Chocolate Soufflé is baked well, and the chocolate flavor is great. Sadly, Amaya’s Chocolate Soufflé collapses while still in the oven. Next, JJ does not strain his raspberries and the judges taste the seeds. Amaya’s Raspberry Soufflé rises beautifully and tastes absolutely amazing. JJ does the best with the Chocolate and Amaya does the best on the Raspberry. They are neck and neck, with only the savory Cheese Soufflé left. And the young cook who made the best Cheese Soufflé and takes the last spot in the finale is … JJ! Wow, that was close. He hugs Amaya, gets his coat and joins his friends on the balcony. Amaya says, “When I came here there were so many kids I did not know how far I would go, but boy I went far! Now I am way more confident in the kitchen. ‘Amaya, great job!’ ‘That cook is amazing! You are incredible young lady!’ ‘The RED TEAM!’ I have learned to cook amazing things from 3 of the best chefs in the world. ‘Wow Amaya, this chicken is great!’ ‘Thanks Chef’ And I made so many amazing friends. And yes, if I cooked my soufflé better I’d be in the top 4, but that doesn’t matter now. All that matters is that I came here and now I know what I want to do with my life.”

Amaya toon

Episode 21

It’s the MasterChef Jr Finale! JJ, Kaitlyn, Nate and Zac will cook an Appetizer, an Entrée, and a Dessert. Chef Marc Murphy joins Gordon, Christina and Aarón to judge the top 4 young home cooks. It’s going to be a great cooking competition and all the kids and their families return to cheer on their friends.

For the Appetizer JJ makes a bowl of Texas Chili. Gordon asks JJ why he chose a simple chili for a dish in the finale. JJ answers, “I wanted to try something new and unexpected. The recipe is my own and I think it is something special.” Gordon loves the heat. Aarón says the spices are unique and wake up the palate which is a great way start to a meal. Nate makes Fried Shrimp. The batter crisps up amazingly and the shrimp is cooked perfectly inside. Marc loves the taste and says it brings him back to his childhood. Zac makes Frog Legs. Gordon is worried about the cook, but they turn out just right and taste delicious. All 4 judges are amazed a 12 year old knows how to cook frog. And Kaitlyn makes Seared Scallops. Christina and Aarón love the cook on their scallops, but Gordon thinks his are rubbery, a bit overcooked.

For the Entrée Zac makes Seared Duck Breast. It is cooked wonderfully. The skin is crispy, and the meat is tender and juicy. The judges are excited about the duck, and Gordon says he wishes he could eat more of it is so good. JJ makes a Double Cut Pork Chop. The grill marks are amazing, but did he get the cook right? Chef Ramsey slowly cuts into his pork chop to find it is cook perfectly. Gordon is impressed he took such a big risk and says it really paid off. Nate makes a whole Lobster with melted herb butter. Chef Marc digs right in to discover a glistening lobster tail. He says it tastes amazing and he is shocked a 10 year old boy can pull off a perfect lobster. Aarón agrees, he especially loves the juice in the claws. Kaitlyn makes Chicken Breast. Even though it is a simple dish it is seasoned well and cooked nicely. Chef Gordon was worried it would be undercooked, but it was not. Marc reminds everyone, just because a dish is simple, doesn’t mean it is easy. He compliments Kaitlyn for her cooking skills.

For the Dessert Nate males a Lava Cake. It is the best Christina has ever seen and tasted. Marc says even if he does not win, he should be really proud of himself. Kaitlyn makes a Lime Cake. This is unusual flavor for cake and Aarón likes it a lot, especially the lime zest on top of the frosting. But, Gordon thinks it’s a bit too much lime and the dessert needs more sweetness. JJ makes a Lychee Cheesecake. Christina says the crust is nice and flaky, the cake is rich and sweet lychee syrup on the top has a flowery fragrance. “You could sell it by the jar, JJ!” Zac makes Frozen Chocolate Cake. It is super moist, and Marc loves the technique. He says, “Wow Zac, you taught me something new!”

The judges have to spend some time discussing the four amazing meals they just tasted. They can only pick 2 winners! When they finally figure it out they invite the top 4 to take their place on the MasterChef Center Stage. Everyone did a great job, but tonight the winners are … ZAC and NATE!!!

Zac and Nate will get $100,000 each and the MasterChef Jr Trophy. Zac is super happy. zac-toon.png He says he is so happy he won, but he is even more that he made so many new friends! Nate is stunned. He says he is so proud of himself and know he knows no matter what he will be a great chef one day. And he also gets COOKING CLASSES WITH MARC!! JJ and Kaitlyn will get $50,000 each and a MasterChef Jr Medal. Kaitlyn is smiling, and JJ seems a little sad. Both are happy of how far they got and will not give up on their cooking dreams. All four kids hug together and tell each other good job.

OR

JJ toon

 

Zac and JJ win first prizes, but then Chef Marc tells Nate he also won and he also gets the Trophy and 50,000 and COOKING CLASSES WITH MARC. Kaitlyn, who also won $50,000 is invited to the master cooking classes by Nate and she says she’d love to join him!

 

OR

nate-toon1.png

 

For the first time ever ALL FOUR WIN!!! They get $100,000 each a Trophy and when Marc offers Nate free cooking classes Nate wants to invite all of his friends since he would not have won without them. 🙂  Marc agrees and it’s a big celebration!

 

Kaitlyn toon

 

So many great young cooks in the MasterChef Kitchen! All the kids should proud of their dishes and feel like winners!