Episode 10 The top 17 are ready for their first Skills Test. They will have to break down a whole chicken! The kids who do the best are safe and the kids who don’t will go into a Pressure Test. After thirty minutes of mad knife skills the judges look at the kids work to see who is safe. Ben-Yes; Sophia-Yes; Maria-Yes; Beni-No; Cade-Yes; Sammy-No; Ariana-Yes; Mikey-Yes; Emily-Yes; Juelz-Yes; Gracie-Yes; Avery-No; Zia-No; Quani-Yes; Anthony-No; Grayson-No; & Evan-Yes. The young cook who was best of the best is …. SOPHIA!!
The 6 remaining kids have to make Gordon’s Chicken Breast & Yukon Gold Potatoes dish. During the cook time Zia burns her hand and when the medic is looking at it Sammy keeps an eye on her chicken for her. 😊 Time is up. Sammy’s chicken is nice and juicy and he cut the potatoes nicely. Gordon says, “If you keep cooking like this you could win the whole thing!” Zia’s chicken breast is also cooked to the right temp, however her potatoes are cut too big and don’t cook all the way through. But overall, Christina tells her, great job. Anthony slightly overcooked his chicken but he hit the nail on the head with the potatoes. They are perfection. Grayson hammered his chicken. All the juices are gone and his potatoes are somewhat charred. Not his day in the kitchen. Beni did a really good job with the chicken breast and the potatoes. Christina says, “If you are this good at nine, I can’t wait to see where you will be at my age.” Avery’s dish looks amazing. The skin is nice and crispy, but inside, the chicken is too pink.☹ On the plus side, her potatoes are tender and flavored nicely.
Sammy and Beni did the best and Anthony and Zia also did well enough to stay
That leaves Grayson and Avery. Gordon can’t even say who is going home. He asks the young home cook who knows their time in the kitchen is done to step forward. Avery steps forward, she knows undercooked chicken is a culinary disaster. She says, “I’m disappointed, but I’ve had the time of my life here. I’m so grateful to the judges for helping me learn to be a better cook.” She tells the 16 kids still in the competition to keep their dreams alive. There is a gigantic group hug surrounding Avery before they all walk her out together. 😊
Episode 11 The top 16 home cooks arrive at an airfield where they will cook for 101 veterans. Since Sophia did the best breaking down the chicken she is Captain of the Blue Team and he gets to pick her WHOLE TEAM at once! She picks Ariana, Ben, Beni, Emily, Evan, Gracie & Maria.
That leaves Anthony, Cade, Grayson, Juelz, Mikey, Quani & Zia on the Red Team. They have to decide together who will be their Captain and they choose Quani. They will be cooking and serving steak with two sides.
On the Blue Team Maria is panicking at the grill and she starts to cry. Evan gives her a big hug and reminds her she is in the top 16 and she can do it. They finish cooking the meat together. On the Red Team 4 plates get sent back due to undercooked beef. These are not rare, they are practically raw. Quani quickly refires them but it is doubtful they will be finished in time for the vote. The votes are tallied and the winning team by 13 votes is … BLUE TEAM!!!
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen the Blue Team is given a further advantage. They can choose two members of the Red Team to save from the Pressure Test. They save Cade and Anthony. The remaining 6 will cook a Signature Pizza that reflects them as a chef. Quani’s Stuffed Crust Pizza is terrific. The crust is crispy and the melted cheese is divine. Sadly, Mikey burnt his crust and his toppings are very chucky. Gordon explains they were too large blend flavors. Grayson’s Naked Pizza has no cheese, but the anchovies on the pizza make it very tasty. Zia’s Pepperoni Pizza looks amazing. She nailed the crust and her use of fresh tomatoes was unexpected and delicious. Sammy’s Sausage Pizza is a meat lover’s dream. He cooked the sausage perfectly and seasoned it like it was made in Italy. And Juelz’s Three Cheese Pizza has problems. It is not fully cooked and sags when Gordon tries to bring it to his mouth.
Quani, Zia & Sammy are the top 3. Grayson is safe as well.
That leaves Mikey and Juelz. The next young cook leaving the MasterChef Kitchen is … Juelz. ☹ He is teary eyed but he is happy when he gets a hug goodbye from all of his new friends😊.
Episode 12 The top 15 enter the MasterChef Kitchen to find Mystery Boxes waiting at their stations. They lift them to find a wonderful protein – Shrimp! They must be properly cleaned for a shrimp dish of their choice. The first best dish belongs to Ariana. She made Fried Shrimp with Horseradish Dipping Sauce. She coated them beautifully and got nice color on the outside. When Christina cut into the shrimp is was glistening. “If this shrimp tastes as good as it looks, Ariana, you are going to be tough to beat.” The next best dish belongs to Cade. He made Cajun Seasoned Shrimp with Melted Butter. The butter is amazing and Chef Aarón loves how the spice wakes up the palate. Gordon says, “It’s a good dish Cade, but I want to see you transform your dishes a bit more. Shows us what you have in you.” The last best dish belongs to Emily. She made Grilled Shrimp with Lime Marinade. Christina loves the grill marks and the acidity. The shrimp are sweet and delicious and Gordon loves them so much he takes two.
And the winner is … ARIANA!
She gets to choose 6 kids to her on the balcony and avoid the Elimination Test. She picks Anthony, Cade, Emily, Mikey, Quani & Sophia. Gordon’s daughter Mattila arrives in the MasterChef Kitchen to demonstrate how to make her famous “Tilly Burger.” The kids pay careful attention and do their best with the replication challenge. Here’s how it turned out.
Grayson’s burger is nice and pink, the cheese is melty and the mushroom is cooked well. Unfortunately his fries are cut unevenly and some of them are under done. Maria’s burger is a little on the rare side, but it still tastes amazing. Gordon says, “I love how you bounced back when you realized the burger needed more cook time. You didn’t give up! Well done.” Sammy’s burger is very undercooked and the mushroom is soggy, but his fries are seasoned well and taste good. Ben’s burger is overcooked and very chewy. He nailed the cook on the mushroom which helps add moisture and his fries are awesome. Evan’s burger is spot on. He nailed the melt on the cheese and the mushroom is amazing. His fries are uniform, twice fried and perfectly seasoned. Evan hit a homerun with Tilly’s Burger Challenge! Gracie’s burger is a bit overcooked, but she cooked the mushroom nicely and the fries are crispy. Beni cooked her beef nicely and nailed the fries, but she overcooked the mushroom and it lost its juices. And sadly Zia’s burger is almost raw! The cheese disappeared and the mushroom and fries are soggy.
The second best dish belongs to GRAYSON!! And the best dish of the night belongs to EVAN!!!!
Ben, Zia and Sammy are in the bottom 3.
Ben and Sammy are safe, so the next one going home is … Zia. ☹ Zia is bawling but all the kids come down to comfort her. Even Christina comes over for the group hug. Evan tells her, “Hold your head up high. You are amazing in the kitchen and never stop cooking Zia!”