Kidz Bop Kitchen
The top 12 young home cooks are shocked to see the Kidz Bop Kids are in the MasterChef Kitchen! Aaron says, “Oh, my God! The Kidz Bop Kids are here. I never thought that I was gonna meet them in person. I love how they take normal songs and they sing them without the bad words in it so I can listen to songs that I like in front of my grandma.” The Kidz Bop Kids decided the contents for the next Mystery Box Challenge: kale, apple, Oreo, potato chips, broccoli, elbow macaroni, red cabbage, yams, fruit, cheese, meat and many more things. The top 12 will make a MasterChef Quality dish from their choice of the ingredients.
When time is up the judges choose three dishes that they feel elevate the ingredients and celebrate the box. The first belongs to Jaala. She made a No Bake Cheesecake with Cookie Sandwich Crust and Strawberry-Raspberry Jam representing her dream to open a bakery called Sugar Sugar back home in Rhode Island. Chef Aarón says the piping is masterful and the cake is so delicious. “It’s wonderful. You hit on three elements that I think all great dishes should have — texture, a certain savoriness to it and then a fresh element… Overall, it’s fun, it’s inventive, and most importantly, it’s tasty.”
The next belongs to Reid. He made Cookies & Cream Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis to prove to the judges he is not just a grill boy. The judges love he went out of his cooking comfort zone with the dish and Chef Christina loves the texture, the creaminess and the sweetness. She says, “Wow! I could just eat that for days. …Reid, you have exceeded my wildest expectations. You just need to keep destroying any box that we put you in. Incredible job.”
And the final dish belongs to Che. He made Chicken Parmesan with Tomato Sauce, Kale and Fried Mozzarella in honor of his dad who introduced him to cooking and has since passed away. Gordon loves how the cheese inside the breast helps keep the chicken moist and potato chips used as the coating. “You have chef’s mind. You are super creative. I hope dad is watching because that is exceptional. I think that is one of the best dishes you’ve cooked so far. Well done.”
And the winner is … REID. He is safe from the Elimination Challenge and gets to pick a cook to bring in the top 10 with him. He picks his buddy Aaron and they also get to pick the ingredient for the next challenge. Something the judges ate as kids cheese (Chef Aarón), Cereal (Chef Christina) or Canned Tuna (Chef Gordon).
They pick tuna, which some of the kids, like Kyle who absolutely hates tuna, are not super happy about.
Times up and time to taste!
Malia made Tuna Roll with Vegetables, Fried Tuna and Fried Avocado. The presentation looks incredible. She nailed the cook and cut the roll well. Chef Gordon says, “It’s like it’s just come out of a Japanese Restaurant. You are really seriously multifaceted. What I can guarantee with this dish: A. You’re not going home. & B. Congratulations, because you are the first in the Top Ten.”
Kyle made Tagliatelle with Puttanesca Sauce, Tuna and Ricotta Cheese. Chef Christina says the sauce is very spicy, so it overtakes the tuna. In addition the capers, lemon zest and dry herbs, also hide the star of the dish. “But I really appreciate the effort. Thank you.”
Che made Niçoise Salad with a Tuna Cake. It’s wonderful. It has great acidity, the mustard is in check and not over spicy. Chef Aarón also loves the texture of the cake. He says, “All the elements of the salad make sense. It’s hitting really high notes on so many different levels. Great job young man.”
Sadie made Tuna Croquettes with Aioli, Frisée Salad and Fried Vegetables. The tuna is flaky and the flavors are on point and well balanced. Chef Christina says, “I think this is most elegant dish I ever seen made from a can of tuna. Very nice job.”
Matthew made Pan-Seared Tuna Cake with Southwest Salsa. Chef Gordon likes the taste of the cakes but wants more color on the outside and feels like the salsa is a touch heavy on the seasoning. Overall, a good job.
Jaala made Tuna Cakes with Bean-Corn Salad, Salsa and Chipotle Aioli. It has a nice Tex-Mex spice level and the tuna is nice and moist, but Chef Christina wants more aioli. “Otherwise, nice job.”
Ben made Thali Tuna Curry with Coconut Jasmine Rice. Chef Aarón does not find the presentation appealing and the curry a bit muddled. Fresher ingredients would have helped. But the rice is very good. “I love the fact that you went for a curry … but I don’t know if this is enough yet. Thank you, though, Ben.”
And Brielle made a Tuna Pot Pie. Sadly, the pie crust looks ripped since she had to pull it apart to put the tuna in at the end. Chef Gordon tastes it and says, “Oh dear, oh dear … Unfortunately, the rue is not there … And unfortunately, the pastry is raw there … but, what I do like is the freshness of the peas … peas and fish go well together … I don’t think this has been your strongest performance.”
MALIA made the best dish and Ben, Kyle and Brielle’s dishes are in the bottom. And the one who is safe is … Ben. That means Kyle & Brielle are going home. ☹
Gordon says, “Now, Kyle, Brielle, you two have got nothing to be upset about. You made the top twelve. Think how much stronger you’ve become. You’ve got some great friends for life, and you’ve been in the most famous kitchen in America. Just think of the bragging rights when you step into that classroom. Everyone wants to be your best mate now, well done.” They get lots of loving from the judges and the other young cooks before they walk out. 😊
Brielle says, “I’m really sad I’m going home, but I learned a real lot in this competition. Even though I’m not in the MasterChef Jr Kitchen, I’m still going to keep cooking at home in Atlanta.”
Kyle says, “It’s really heartbreaking to be eliminated, but out of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of kids that have tried out, I’ve made it to the top 12. I feel like I made lifelong friends that I’m never gonna forget, including three of the best chef in the world. My MasterChef JR journey might be over, but I still plan to become a travel food blogger or open my own restaurant.”
After this post I will be taking a short break since my birthday is coming up and I will be going on a special vacation to San Francisco. I will be doing the 2 top 10 shows at the same time. See you then!