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.
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!
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.”
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.
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. ☹
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.
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.
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!”
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.”
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.”
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.”