MasterChef Jr 06×11

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The “A Can Do Attitude” Episode starts with the top 9 kid home cooks lifting their Mystery Boxes to find unlabeled canned foods. Another mystery! To find out what they have to work with they will have to open them up and have a taste of what is inside.

They will have 60 minutes to make a MasterChef Kitchen worthy meal using at least one of the canned foods at their station. The judges will select three dishes to judge and the winner of that will receive one massive advantage.

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During the cook time Mikey says he is making Mexican Shrimp Tacos to prove he can make more than Italian food. Cade is making a Salmon Cake, one of his favorite seafood dishes. Joe makes him taste a canned sardine, and Cade doesn’t seem to like it! Evan is making raviolis again to honor his Italian heritage and show that he can make the perfect ravioli. 😊

Time is up! Hands in the air!!!

The first best dish belongs to 11 year old Quani. He made Vanilla Bean Cupcake with Peach Cherry Buttercream Frosting. Gordon says they look stunning. The sponge is delicious, fragrant and sweet. Christina loves the ratio of cupcake and frosting and the way he injected the caramelized pineapple. “If we sold cupcakes at Milk Bar, I would absolutely put them in our display case!

The next best dish belongs to 11 year old Evan. He made Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Ravioli with Black Truffle Cream Sauce. Joe says the pasta is rolled perfectly and it looks so authentic that it makes him homesick for Italy. Joe loves the complex taste. Gordon likes how Evan came back stronger with these raviolis. “I’m blown away. Good job.”

And the last best dish belongs to 8 year old Avery. She made Pineapple Upside-down Cake with Lychee and Coconut. It looks beautiful, but Christina asks why it is served right-side up. When she cuts into the cake she is impressed. “I can see some of the tunneling … it’s airy, it’s light, it’s fluffy.” She says the coconut milk sponge “is to die for!” And the sauce pushes it over the edge of yummy.

The winner of the Canned Food Mystery Box is … AVERY! Up to the balcony!

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The remaining 8 kids will make a dish highlighting Chocolate. Two kids will go home, but the winner will receive the first ever MasterChef Golden Apron which will ensure their place in the MasterChef Junior Semi-finals! Avery can choose safety on the balcony or compete in the Elimination Challenge and go for the Golden Apron. She says, “ Well, I don’t work with chocolate a lot and my motto is basically, better safe than sorry, so I’m going to stay up here.”

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During the one hour cook time Oliva overcooks her beef and she has to start all over again! Her second attempt is much better than her first. Cade runs out of time and not able to fill his pastry. So many of the kids worked done to the wire.

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9 year old Beni made Cocoa Rubbed Filet Mignon with Parsnip Purée, Crispy Parsnips and Chocolate Port Sauce. Gordon says that it looks like a piece of art. She nailed the cook on the beef and it has an great taste. Christina says she did great on the parsnip chips and she just may get the Golden Apron.


10 year old Anthony made Cream Puffs with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Melted Dark Chocolate. They look really good, but sadly they filling is the wrong consistency. Joe says the pastry is nice and although it tastes good, it is not a cream puff because of the filling


10 year old Mikey made Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecake with Chocolate-Nutella Sauce and Toasted Hazelnuts. He baked it wonderfully with a creamy filling, cocoa nibs for texture and the hazelnut meal running up the side. Christina says, “It’s divine. It’s arguably the best dessert I’ve had in this competition to date.” She wants Mikey to ditch school and come hang out at Milk Bar with her. 🙂


10 year old Oliva made Cocoa Rubbed Steak with Yogurt Coleslaw, Red Quinoa and Chipotle-Chocolate Sauce. She got she cook right on the New York Strip and the quinoa is fragrant, but Gordon says he wouldn’t serve coleslaw with this dish.


11 year old Evan made German Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Filing and Pecan- Coconut Frosting. The filling is very tasty but unfortunately Joe thinks the cake is a bit dry, the pecans are waxy and the coconut tastes raw. ☹

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12 year old Remy made Coco Braised Short Ribs with Spinach-Parmesan Pinwheels and Sweet Potato-Nutmeg Purée. Christina is not happy with the meat. It is tough, not tender and she cannot taste the chocolate at all. The other elements are good, but the star of the dish is not shining.

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11 year old Quani made Chocolate Flourless Cake with White Chocolate Ganache, Raspberry Coulis and Almond Brittle. Gordon says, “Temperature-wise you’ve absolutely nailed it. It’s really gooey and unctuous and rich in the middle, delicious.” Gordon says he has proved he can bake with his eyes closed, now he has to show them he can cook meat and fish as well.


11 year old Cade made Deconstructed Beignets with Chocolate Cream Filling and Raspberry Coulis. His time crunch shows on the plate. The beignet is not light and fluffy. Joe asks him to taste the dish and Cade admits it does not taste right.


And the Golden Apron and place in the Semi-finals goes to … MIKEY!!! He is so happy and runs up to the balcony. Quani, Oliva and Beni are also safe.

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Gordon says the decisions get harder and harder. The last 2 saved are Remy and Evan. That means Anthony and Cade are going home☹ When Gordon sends Remy and Evan up to the balcony, Evan gives Anthony and Cade a hug and says “I’m going to miss you guys. You guys are amazing. I love you guys.” What a great friend and a great sport.
Gordon says, “Anthony, Cade, you are talented. You’ve been a joy to work with. Tonight you tried to pull off something super technical that most pastry chefs spend 90 minutes to two hours to get it right. And unfortunately tonight, it didn’t work. Promise me you are going to continue cooking. Safe trip home. Keep those aprons and wear them with pride!”

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When Cade and Anthony are leaving the kitchen most of the kids are cheering for them. “Bye, guys!” “Good job, guys!” “Keep your head up high!” “Never stop cooking!” But Mikey is holding onto the balcony rail fighting back tears. Even though he just won the Golden Apron he had to watch his best friend Cade go home. 😊☹ Like Evan said on my Instagram post @maxpanke, “It’s such a rollercoaster of emotions.”

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10 year old Anthony from Old Bridge, NJ says, “ I had a lot of fun in the MasterChef kitchen. And now I’m going back to Jersey, feeling very accomplished and I’m going to keep my head up, and I’m going to keep on cooking.”

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11 year old Cade from Hattiesburg, MS says “I loved this journey so much. It has been the greatest experience of my whole entire life. I mean, I cooked for Gordon Ramsey, Christina Tosi and Joe Bastianich. The biggest thing I’m going to take away from this is to always try your best even if you think you can’t do it, because you can do anything.”

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MasterChef Jr 06×10

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The “Cracking Under Pressure” Episode starts with the top 12 home cooks running into the MasterChef Kitchen to find a giant golden egg! Christina puts out a dozen eggs and asks the home cooks to come up and select an egg. This is when they learn their will be three teams of four. To find out if they are on the Red Team, the Blue Team, or the Green Team they have to smash the color filled egg on their head to find out what team they are on. The Red Team is Mikey, Henry, Anthony & Olivia. The Green Team is Sammy, Avery, Ariana & Evan. And the Red team is Remy, Quani, Beni & Cade.

The teams will be working together to make as many perfect Eggs Benedict as they can in fifteen minutes. Eggs Benedict is one of Gordon’s favorites and something I have always wanted to try. “An amazing toasted muffin, crispy ham, immaculate Hollandaise sauce, hand-chopped chives and of course, a beautifully poached egg.” Joe says that the at the end of this challenge somebody is going to be covered with egg, and it is not going to be him!

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In the end the Red Team that had problems throughout the challenge and only got 5 Eggs Benedict right. The Green Team got 8 and the Blue Team wins with 9 perfect Eggs Benedict. They are safe in in the top 10 and get to crack a huge egg over the other kids!!!! Yuck.

For the next challenge the 8 remaining kids have to make Joe’s favorite Egg Yolk Ravioli. “To get this right your pasta must be paper thin. The egg yolk has to be placed so delicately into a little nest of the most perfect soft ricotta then sealed to perfection and then poached lightly so the pasta gets cooked, but the yolk remains runny.” They will not know how the yolk is cooked until the judge cuts into it! :O

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During the 30 minute cook time Henry is falling behind with his pasta and is starting to get very upset. ☹ Christina tries to help him reroll his dough and Joes tells him to calm down and remember that he is a good cook. Then Joe tells Gordon, “Henry is angry, he’s cooking angry, he can’t really control his emotions.” Henry is able to calm down and get everything on the plate.

Olivia’s Egg Yolk Ravioli looks good and the yolk runs out nicely. Joes says everything is cooked well, 5 stars. It is as good as any Joe has ever had.

Henry’s Egg Yolk Ravioli is missing butter and the pasta looks a little ragged. Gordon cuts in to find too much cheese but the egg yolk is cooked perfectly. Unfortunately the ricotta is too bland.

Anthony’s Egg Yolk Ravioli looks like it was fried in the butter sauce too long. And when Christina cuts into it she finds the yolk is overcooked. The pasta is thin and sealed nicely but this may not be enough to make it to the top ten.

Avery’s Egg Yolk Ravioli looks good, there is just the right amount of cheese and the yolk is runny. Joe says, “You’re crowned culinary royalty with a perfect ravioli.”

Evan’s Egg Yolk Ravioli has a nice shape and looks very good. When Gordon cuts into it the yolk is runny. Gordon says, “The ravioli is cooked beautifully, the brown butter is delicious, egg cooked beautifully, pasta a slight too thick. It’s a good ravioli, but I know you can do better.”

Mikey’s Egg Yolk Ravioli’s egg yolk center is perfection. Christina says the seasoning is on point and it’s on the top of her list flavor wise. “A tad too much ricotta, but everything else for me is spot on.

Ariana’s Egg Yolk Ravioli’s egg yolk is nice and runny but it has too much cheese. The pasta is too thick and a bit undercooked. It is too hard and chewy.

Sammy’s Egg Yolk Ravioli looks odd. Gordon says it looks like a pirogue or pie or turnover. When he cuts into it, it is tough and undercooked. The egg yolk was cooked well, but the ravioli just didn’t work.

Olivia and Avery made the two best Egg Yolk Ravioli and make it to the top ten. Next, Mikey and Evan are sent to the balcony for their very good raviolis.

Anthony, Henry, Sammy and Ariana are in the bottom 4. And then Gordon blows everyone away when he says that tonight 3 chefs will go home. 😮 The last remaining chef is … Anthony.

That means Ariana, Henry and Sammy are going home. Joe says, “Henry, Ariana and Sammy, you guys should be incredibly proud of what you have achieved. I consider it a great privilege to see young people like you, not only cooking, but the comradery of the kitchen, the way you are respectful of ingredients, the maturity at which you behave and comport yourself at. Aside from being excellent cooks you are incredible human beings and I consider it an honor and privilege to have spent this time with you.”

All the kids are cheering for them from the balcony as they are walking out. “We love you!” “Never stop cooking guys!” “We’ll miss you!”

Twelve year old Sammy from Huntington Woods, MI says, “Even though I didn’t win, I won a Mystery Box, that’s been a dream of mine since Season . This is the best thing that happened to me in my life, if a could I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

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Twelve year old Ariana from Excelsior, MN says, “I’ve grown so much since I got here. I’ve got to be mentored by the best restauranteur in the world and the 2 best chefs in the world. I mean it’s crazy! I couldn’t have dreamed of this. As soon as I get back to Minnesota I’m going to start planning out my restaurant.”

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And nine year old Henry from Katy, TX says, “I am pretty proud of myself that I actually made it to the top 12 kids, in America and that is just, like, a huge accomplishment for me. I’m not the best with pasta, but I want to challenge Gordon Ramsay to go to Texas and try to beat me in cooking brisket, and let’s see who wins.”

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MasterChef Jr 06×09

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The “Tag Team” Episode starts with the top 12 home cooks running into the MasterChef Kitchen to find their Mystery Boxes waiting at their stations. When they lift them up they find empty Blue Apron Boxes! Their challenge is to fill the box with fresh ingredients and create a family friendly MasterChef quality dish that can be prepared in 45 minutes. The winner’s recipe will be published by Blue Apron and sent to families at home! The judges carefully watch the cooks create their dishes. They are looking for tasty creative meals that can be replicated in everyday kitchens. They choose three dishes they want to have a closer look at.

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The 1st best dish belongs to 12 year old Sammy. He made Pan Seared Steak with Parmesan Polenta, Fried Brussels Sprouts & Compound Butter. Gordon says it is visually beautiful and the steak has a perfect sear. “I think the dish is delicious. … Young man, you’re plating like a chef, continue cooking like this and you’re gonna be one to watch. Great job.”

The 2nd best dish belongs to 12 year old Ariana. She made Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon-Herb Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts. Christina says that visually the dish is a ten and the cook on the fish is amazing. “I think the real show stopper tonight for me is this quinoa. It’s fluffy, it’s light, it’s vibrant. It has that herb profile, and it really complements the salmon. … I think you knocked it out of the park tonight, young lady, nice job.”

And the 3rd best dish belongs to 9 year old Beni. She made Pan Seared Pork Chop with Brussels Sprouts, Polenta and Lemon Herb Sauce. Joe says it is gorgeous plating and there is an impeccable cook on the pork chop. Nice and juicy with tasty sauce. “The polenta is creamy and seasoned quite well. This is an impressive dish. It’s conceptually very, very well thought out. You are a fierce contender.”


The winner of the Blue Apron Box Challenge is … SAMMY!

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He is safe from elimination and gets to pick the teams for the next Tag Team Challenge and one home cook to join him on the balcony. He chooses to save Henry and pairs Evan & Ariana, Remy & Anthony, Oliva & Quani, Beni & Avery, and Mikey & Cade. The teams will have to make a Asian-inspired platter: Bao Buns with Braised Duck, Hoisin Sauce, Pickled Cucumber and Ginger; Shrimp Potstickers with Ponzu & Scallion Dipping Sauce; Pork Shu Mai; Vegetable Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Garlic Dipping Sauce; Beef Setae Christina explains the tag team challenge. “Only one of you can cook at a time. When we call “switch,” you’ll tag out your partner and swap places. But this challenge has so much strategy involved because the teammate you starts making the platter won’t be the same person finishing it. So, you need to decide who will start strong for your team, and who will bring it home.” Joes says, “At the end of this challenge, we will unfortunately have to say goodbye, to not one, but both members of the losing team.

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During the cook time all teams have their ups and downs, there is a lot of shouting, a lot of hurry, hurry, hurry. It’s kind of a head ache to watch but everyone gets there platters together. Remy & Anthony’s platter looks well put together. Gordon likes the color. Anthony’s duck buns are delicious, his potstickers are amazing and his spring rolls are a little flat. Remy’s cooked the beef well but needed to get a more rounded bottom on Pork Shu Mai. Overall, they did a good job.


Beni & Avery’s platter looks really good. The Shu Mai are plump and delicious, the cook on the duck makes the Bao Buns, the springs rolls are perfectly nailed, the potstickers are terrific and the beef is tender and tasty. Joe is amazed by the youngest members team work and skills. “It’s kind of mind-blowing!”

Cade & Mikey’s platter is visually impressive. The Bao Buns are beautiful, the spring rolls have good size and shape, the Shu Mai had great flavor but could have a little more stuffing, the potstickers are crimped perfectly and 100% on point, and the beef is well seasoned and tender. Christina says she’d be surprised if they went home because of their platter.

Ariana & Evan’s platter looks good, but the spring rolls are underfilled and the crimping on the potstickers is uneven. Evan steps up and acknowledges his mistakes. If his mistakes caused Ariana to go home he says, “I would feel really sorry.” The potstickers tasted great and they nailed the duck buns and the rest of the platter is very good. They have received the toughest review so far.

Quani & Olivia’s platter is visually pleasing and they nailed four out the five elements. The duck, the beef, the potstickers and the Shu Mai all tasted great. Unfortunately, the spring rolls were a bit greasy. Gordon warns attention to details is important and small mistakes can get somebody sent home tonight.

Avery & Beni excelled and made the best platter! They are in the top ten. Cade & Mikey, Anthony & Remy also made great platters. They are safe as well and heading to the top ten.

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The last four standing wait anxiously while the judges talk more to each other about the decision. Arm in arm, Evan says to Ariana, “Think positive. Think positive. Don’t worry.” What an amazing friend he is.😊

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Gordon announces, “You four, tonight we couldn’t separate the weakest platters. All four of you, well done, head on up to the balcony!” NO ONE GOES HOME!
So the top 12 is still the top 12!!!

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Evan says, “Thank you! Ariana and I feel like the luckiest team in the world. We have a second chance to the judges what we’ve got. I have to, like, bring my A game to every single challenge, and I’m not going to let the judges down.”

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Olivia says, “My prayers have been answered. No one is going home tonight! Quani and I did not put our best effort out here tonight, so I am going to have to work so much harder the next time I cook to prove that I deserve to be here.”

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MasterChef Jr 06×08

Screenshot_20180417-100221_YouTubeThe “Room Service” Episode starts with the top 14 home cooks being woken up before dawn and split into two teams in the MasterChef Kitchen. Evan and Mikey are the Team Captains. On Evan’s Blue Team: Sammy, Ariana, Henry, Remy, Olivia & Avery. On Mikey’s Red Team: Anthony, Cade, Beni, Emily, Quani & Pierce. Then they are taken to a busy Hilton Hotel in Las Angeles and find out they will be making room service breakfasts for the hotel guests.

The room service menu offers five breakfast choices. 1. The American Breakfast: Two Eggs Sunny Side Up Crispy Bacon and Roasted Mushrooms 2. Buttermilk Pancakes 3. Waffles with Fresh Berry Compote 4. Three Cheese Omelet with Roasted Cherry Tomato on the Vine 5. Breakfast Sandwich with Pork Patty and Scrambled Egg. (I notice they don’t have my all time favorite room service Meat Lover’s Breakfast – Sirloin Steak, Sausage, Bacon and Eggs with Fresh Sliced Tomato. 🙂 )

When the orders start coming in, the Red Team is off to great start, but the Blue Team gets backed up because Henry is having trouble get a good cook on the waffles. The team is starting to getting stressed out, but they pull it together and eventually get the plates out.

Over on the Red Team Pierce puts up holey pancakes and Gordon has to go and help him clean the griddle! They he notices Cade is going to cook eggs in a dirty pan! Not acceptable. Mikey has Emily switch stations with Pierce and the team seems to get back on track.

Meanwhile, Evan is doing amazing as the Blue Team Captain. He is leading his team, but also being a good friend and not yelling at them.😊 They may have started out bumpy, but they are smoothing it out and starting to work together as a team.

Up in the hotel rooms, the guests are eating their breakfasts and deciding which team is doing a better job. Many guests say they like the Blue Team’s waffles. One room has a raw and gloopy omelet from the Red Team. Beni says, “If I got room service and there was raw eggs on the plate, I would be like ‘Who are the chefs in this kitchen?’ And I would send it back without further to-do. I would send it back!” Red Team continues to struggle when Emily burns the pancakes and doesn’t get them up on time. They have to forfeit a vote!

Fortunately, both teams end strong. When the guests’ votes are tallied the winning team is ….. BLUE TEAM!!!

That means the Red Team will cook in the first ever MasterChef Jr Black Apron Pressure Test! As they walk out of the Hilton Kitchen all the Blue Team members give high fives and tell their friends on the tearful Red Team they did amazing. Gordon says, “Mikey, please don’t be upset.” And Christina says, “Mikey, I thought you were a dynamite captain. I have to be honest. You were incredibly communicative. I mean your ten years old. You did a really good job. Trust me, you all did.” Before the disappointed Red Team starts to clean the kitchen Mikey talks to his team. “Guys, bring it in here. Great job today, all right. Communication-wise, we lacked on, just a little. I think we could’ve cooked our meals first try. But, we did really good for our team overall, and I’m really proud of us. Okay?” Everyone joined hands, “One, two, three, RED TEAM!” Nice 😊

So the Red Team has to cook risotto for the dreaded Pressure Test. The young home cooks are asked to remove their red aprons and put on the black aprons for the test. Emily says, “These black aprons are really depressing. I don’t know what we are cooking, and I’m not good under pressure. I’m really nervous.” Joe demonstrates the difficult technique involved in making the classic Italian risotto in 30 minutes.

During the cook time Christina says she thinks Quani will do well because he is a baker and he is used to being precise with time and measurements. He says, “I’ve never eaten or made risotto in my life. But I’m feeling pretty good because Joe gave us a demo and after I see something once I can usually figure out how to make it.” Joe is worried that the younger cooks might not have the attention span needed to make this dish, and then he goes over to Emily and distracts her with questions about whether it is too hard for her, ice skating and driving a Ferrari while she is trying to cook. 😮 In the last minutes Mikey gets extremely frustrated when he can’t grate the cheese like he wants to. The judges encourage him and he gets the risotto on the plate in time.

Time is up. Stop! Hands in the air!

Mikey’s risotto looks good, has a good consistency and a nice aroma. Joe says the rice is cooked al dente, the way he likes it and the seasoning is perfect. “It is something to be proud of.”

Pierce’s risotto looks very good but Gordon says it is under seasoned and the rice is a bit undercooked. “So, not your best performance Pierce.”

Quani’s risotto is nice and creamy from the butter and cheese. Christina says, “Seasoning wise, incredibly impressive.” Up on the balcony Evan looks very happy for him 🙂

Beni’s risotto is a very good. Gordon says it needs a bit more butter and that she needs to shake the dish out more so it doesn’t sit and steam. Evan is happy and cheering for her and says “Good Job Beni” since he is her friend and respects her. 🙂

Cade’s risotto looks right. Joe says it is a bit skinny, meaning it needs a little more butter and a little more cheese, but aside from that “spot on Cade.”

Emily’s risotto doesn’t look creamy enough. Christina says the rice is undercooked, “It’s crunchy.” And although the dish was close it needed more butter, more broth, more cheese, more time. “More everything.”

And lastly, Anthony’s risotto looks right, but Joe gives Anthony a bite and asks what he thinks. It’s undercooked. The rest of the elements on the plate are very good, but without fully cooked rice it could not be served in a restaurant.

Mikey, Cade, Quani & Beni followed Joe’s demo very well and sent up to the balcony. The kids up on the balcony look worried for their pals. Evan has his hand to his chin and Mikey shuts his eyes tight.

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Anthony is also safe, so that means Emily and Pierce are going home.☹ Lots of tears.  Christina and Joe comfort them with hugs. Gordon says, “Oh dear, Pierce and Emily, this is really tough. You two have been brilliant. Pierce, you know you’ve been a leader of the pack for the boys. Fun. Witty. Promise me you’ll keep cooking. … Emily, you know you bounce into this kitchen with this energy. I’ve loved watching you grow across this competition.”

All the kids on the balcony are very sad to see their friends go and are cheering for them when they walk out. “Good job, guys!” “Keep those heads up high!” “Good bye!”


10 year old Pierce from Oak Park, IL says, “ I came to MasterChef to share my passion with the world. I mean, I won’t like brag, but everyone loves Gordon Ramsay and I cooked for him. So, it’s like, pretty amazing. Not lots of ten-year-olds do that.”

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Nine year old Emily from Sylmar, CA says, “I’m not a giver-upper, I don’t give up! Well, once I gave up because I fell on my face and I knocked out my two front teeth and they didn’t grow back for a year. But this doesn’t matter. I’m still going to continue following my dream of opening a restaurant and becoming a famous chef.”

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MasterChef Jr 06×07

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The “Donut Sweat It” Episode starts with the top 16 being treated to Christina’s favorite breakfast treat – donuts! The kids that picked up a donut with green, yellow or pink frosting will compete in the next challenge. Each team of two will frost and decorate as many donuts as possible in ten minutes. The two winning teams will be safe from elimination and ensured a place in the top 14. Each team will be matched with a judge, and losing team’s judge will be covered in frosting and sprinkles. Big mess.

Joes’ Green Team is Mikey & Pierce. Christina’s Yellow Team is Beni & Quani. And Gordon’s Green Team is Olivia & Emily Green team is Mikey and Pierce and yellow team is. The teams of two teams will also be tied together! Literally. So teamwork is very important. Joe says, “This is a three-legged doughnut decorating race!”Ten frantic minutes and the Red Team wins with 29 donuts. Yellow team comes in second place with 28 and Green Team comes in a close third with 26 perfect donuts. So, Joe is in for a dunking.

But since Teamwork is the theme, he says Christina and Gordon should join him in the donut under the giant pastry bag. Joe, Christina and Gordon all get frosting dumped all over them!!! Followed by buckets of colored sprinkles!

After the magical clean up Gordon’s daughter, Matilda Ramsay joins the MasterChef Jr Kitchen for the Elimination Challenge. Both Ariana and Evan are very excited because she has her own cooking show and cookbook at age 15. They both want to do the same when they are 15.

Matilda tells the young chefs, “To save yourself from elimination, you’re going to be making burgers my way. I’m going to show you how to make … my delicious Tilly Burger with perfect Fries.” The kids must replicate her gourmet burger to-a-T. They must season the ground beef with salt and pepper, shape it into a patty, stuff it with mozzarella cheese and get a good sear on a hot grill before finishing it in the oven with a pesto mushroom. Cut potatoes uniformly, make an aioli for the toasted bun and a nice arugula salad.

During the 45 minute cook time Remy says she has not grilled a burger before.

Even though she is only 8 years old, Maria thinks she can win MasterChef Jr.

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Evan is doing very good on the burger, but Christina tells him to keep an eye on the fries.

Anthony forgets to put cheese in his burger and needs to start over again!! Time is up.

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10 year old Mikey’s burger looks amazing. It is nice and pink inside, the cheese is oozing out and it tastes amazing. Matilda says there is a little too much aioli but the flavors are nailed. Joe says the fries are evenly cooked and the cook is spot on. Gordon says it’s the best he has cooked in the competition so far.

13 year old Camson’s burger has some issues. Gordon says it “looks a bit weird” because the patty is too big for the bun. Unfortunately, the beef is undercooked, as are the fries. Matilda says the aioli is nice though.

12 year old Ariana’s burger looks good, it is cooked well and seasoned well, but Joe says the fries are a bit soggy. Christina says, “Nice replication.”

8 year old Avery’s burger looks good on the outside, but Joe says it is hammered, meaning it is very overcooked. But, everything else on the plate is made well. Unfortunately the star of the dish, the burger has lost all its flavor.

10 year old Anthony’s burger looks good but it is a little overcooked and doesn’t have a lot of cheese. It is seasoned it well but could have used more fries. Christina says, “It’s not the best burger in the house, not the worst.”

8 year old Maria’s burger is way overcooked. The cheese is gone from the inside leaving a hole that Gordon says could house a family of bats! Matilda says, “I do like your sauce and your fries, but the burger is a bit of a letdown, Maria.”

11 year old Evan’s burger is nice and juicy. Gordon says he nailed the cook on the meat and the mushroom, the bun is toasted well and the filling is amazing. The fries are cut evenly as well. Gordon says, “The thing about you Evan, is you’re a smart cook so you listen. And tonight objective was to copy exactly what Tilly’s done. You did a really good job.” And Christina says he nailed the flavor.

And Remy’s burger is overcooked and the mushroom is undercooked and there is a little too much sauce on top. But the cheese is good, it’s seasoned well and Matilda likes the aioli. Gordon explains that the undercooked mushroom makes the burger watery, so that is a big mistake.

The judges decide the 2nd best burger belongs to MIKEY and the best burger belongs to EVAN! That means Evan and Mikey will be Team Captains in the next Team Challenge.

Avery, Camson, Maria and Remy’s burgers are on the bottom. Sadly, two young chefs will go home. Remy and Avery are saved. Which means a tearful Camson and Maria are going home. ☹ Christina says, “We know how talented you both are. We are going to miss you both a ton. But, we know we are going to see great things from both of you. Keep cooking. Keep those heads up high. And be incredibly proud how far you’ve made it.”

When they are walking out of the MasterChef Kitchen their friends wish them well. Evan leans over to give Maria a high five before she leaves waving goodbye with both hands held high.

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13 year old Camson from Fleming Island, Florida and super soccer fan says, “Leaving the competition, I’m a bit disappointed, but I think this whole experience has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve just really gained so much from being here.”

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8 year old Maria from Northridge, CA says, “Even though I’m going home tonight, one of my dreams already came true, meeting Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi and Joe Bastianich. I have many more dreams stacked up, and I think I can accomplish those too. You can do whatever you put your mind to.”

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After the show I tried my own replication challenge with Tilly’s Burger. Delicious! 🙂

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MasterChef Jr 06×05

Screenshot_20180403-101257_YouTubeThe “No Sugar, Sugar” Episode starts with the top 18 kid chefs getting tons of white sugar dumped on their heads!! In a cloud of white powder Maria cries, “Stop!!!!” and Evan jokes, “I got dandruff!” and Avery says, “I got sugar in my boots!” They have to brush off the sugar and look under their Mystery Boxes for ingredients to make a MasterChef-worthy dessert.

The crazy twist – the dessert cannot have any processed sugar! They must use only all natural sweeteners and find raw honey, agave, molasses, maple syrup, dates, bananas, shredded coconut, pumpkin, sweet potato and apricots under their box. The recipe of the winning dish will be featured in Family Circle Magazine in May!

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When time is up Gordon says, “Well done. Across the last sixty minutes we watched everything you do. We miss nothing. And now we want to take a much closer look at three amazing dishes.”

Joe says, “The first dish is a beautiful take on a very high-level Italian dessert. Please step forward, Pierce! 10 year old Pierce he made Vanilla Panna Cotta with Guava-Raspberry Purée and Brûléed Blood Oranges. He used honey to sweeten the dish. Joe says it tastes good, the honey works and it has just the right amount of gelatin. “You cook like an old Italian lady!” Christina also likes it, but she would have liked some buttermilk to enhance the flavor beyond just vanilla.


Gordon says, “Now the second dish that we are dying to take a much closer look at, it’s by one of the youngest, please step forward, Maria.” 8 year old Maria made Puff Pastry Plum Tart with Coconut Fruit Drink. Joe says, “This is a classic, simple, rustic, country-style dessert where the sweetness just naturally comes from the fruit. In a way you are a head of your class.” Gordon says the drink is lovely. And the tart is delicious. He loves the caramelized plums but might use a touch less salt. has the right amount of spice and sweetness.


Christina says, “The third and final dish that we want to taste is from one of the older home cooks in the kitchen. Please step forward, Remy.” 12 year old Remy she made Baked Doughnuts with Matcha Glaze and Chocolate Ganache. She used honey to sweeten the baked doughnuts. Christina loves the presentation and impressed they are baked and made without sugar. “I think you nail it. I think you knocked it out of the park.”


All three did an amazing job. The winner who will be featured in Family Circle is … REMY! She along with Maria and Pierce are safe from elimination and are in the top 16.

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Elimination Challenge: Christina is the Statue of Liberty! She is celebrating American foods: delicious steaks, crispy fried chicken & apple pie! Gordon is playing Bagpipes! He is celebrating Scottish foods: Arbroath smokies, fish & chips & haggis! Joe is a slice of Pepperoni Pizza! He is celebrating Italian foods: tortellini, ravioli and pizza! The 15 remaining cooks have 60 minutes to make a dish that celebrates their family’s cultural heritage.


During the cook time Mikey is rushing and drops his sausage ravioli filling on the floor. He has to make more quickly. He says, “Being Italian means never give up and we always have pride in ourselves. I need to get it together, get one sausage in the pan, turn it on the highest heat it can go and pray to the ravioli gods.” 🙂

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As time winds down the judges provide an international count down, “Ten! Nueve! Otto! Huh? Mu! Cinq! Arbo! Tre! Zwie! One! Hands in the air!
Polish-American Beni made a Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit and Gravy. The Polish twist is using beets and leeks. Gordon says it is delicious. The sauce is amazing, beautifully seasoned, and blending of the peas and the leaks is amazing. Good job!


All American Southern Boy Cade made Blacked Shrimp with Buttermilk Biscuit, Okra and Praline Sauce. Sadly, Christina says the sauce is too sweet for a savory dish and the biscuit is way too big for the three little shrimp. The okra is a nice touch and nod to his southern roots, but needed more flavor.


Italian-American Anthony made Linguine & Clams. Joe is impressed. The clams are moist and seasoned well with garlic. Joe says, “This dish is the perfect balance of technique and flavor. You had three ingredients, you put them together quite perfectly. And quite frankly, I don’t think that I could criticize this dish at all. It’s really very, very good.” 😮


Italian Mikey made Sausage & Ricotta Ravioli with Pesto. Gordon says the pasta is a little too thick, but the flavor is amazing. “I’m just impressed that you got that done, that you bounced back and you didn’t give up. That’s the most important. It’s a very good dish.”

Evan looks very happy and proud of his friend.

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All American Quani made Honey BBQ Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce and Coleslaw. Christina says the star of the dish is the barbeque sauce, it has great depth of flavor and the peaches really shine. But the chicken tenders and coleslaw are a bit boring. She wished he pushed himself further.


Belarus-American Ariana made Apple Stuffed Pork Chop with Potato Purée and Mushroom Au Jus. Joe says, “For a sixth grader to be able to put together a stuffed pork chopped that’s so flavorful, so ethnically specific, is kind of amazing. Thank you so much, Arianna. Really good.”


Japanese-Korean-American Mackenzie made California Roll with Cucumber, Crab Meat and Avocado. Christina says the sushi is too big and needs to be rolled tighter. And unfortunately the sugar in the sauce is a bit burned leaving a bitter taste. “I love that you made sushi. I think that that shows a lot of courage, a lot of technique, and that you were really going to pay homage to that Japanese background, but definitely, some mistakes there in terms of technique tonight. Thank you.”


All American Sophia made Jerk Chicken Quesadilla with Cold Mango Soup. Sadly, the tortillas are burned and not very appetizing looking. The seasoning inside is very good but the burned outside ruins the taste. The soup is very creative, but might not have been the best representation of Hawaiian cuisine.


Arianna made the third best dish, Anthony made the second best dish and Beni made the best dish of the night.


Sadly, Quani, Cade, Mackenzie & Sophia’s dishes are in the bottom 4. Cade and Quani are still safe so that’s means Sophia and Mackenzie are going home ☹☹☹☹.

Gordon tells them to keep cooking, keep hold of their aprons, and keep their heads up high. When Sophia and Mackenzie are walking out all the kids are hugging them goodbye and telling them how good they are. I love how they are such good friends to one another. 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊


12 year old Sophia from Honolulu, HI says, “I feel like I definitely brought my aloha spirit. I didn’t win MasterChef Junior, but I got to meet people from all over the country. So I’m super honored to be able to represent Hawaii in the MasterChef kitchen.”

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9 year old Mackenzie from Newhall, CA says, “I’m only nine years old and I made it to the top 18. I’m going to go home and practice more cooking and maybe I’ll come back as a MasterChef.”

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