My Fantasy MasterChef Jr Season

My Fantasy MasterChef Jr Season takes place in early 2017 between the actual Seasons 6 and 7. Gordon, Christina and Aarón are my judges. It begins with 24 young home cooks from previous kids cooking shows. I had fun imagining the cooks doing the challenges and making friends. After a long break from writing due to injury it has been a great way to get back to my blogging recaps before the next season of MasterChef Jr begins on March 12th. I hope you enjoy reading my fantasy season as much as I enjoyed writing it!

The contestants (age) from Chopped Junior are: Bri 13, Charlie 13, Denali 10, Dylan 14, Daniel 14, Elizabeth 13, Hannah 13, Jada 11, Janie 13, Jimmy 14 , Joshy 13, Katia 13, Kemp 13, Lilah 13, Mason 13, Mulan 11, Peggy 12, & Talia 13. The contestants from Stove Tots are Aylanie 12, Chase 13, Devlyn 13, & Nathan 14. And the contestants from Kids BBQ Championship are Josie 13 & Tyler 13.


Episode 1

The top 24 cooks run into the MasterChef Kitchen for the first Mystery Box Challenge. They lift the boxes and find younger pictures of themselves. The challenge is to cook the first dish they remember cooking by themselves. This is going to be fun. When time is up the judges look over all the dishes to find the three best. The 1st best dish belongs to 12 year old Peggy. She made her grandmother’s famous Butter Cookies. They have nice flaky layers and are baked well. Christina loves them so much she asks if she can add these little doohickeys on the menu at Milk Bar. Peggy says they can talk about it later. The 2nd best dish belongs to 13 year old Mason. He made Cheeseburger Spaghetti. It is nice and creamy and the added pickle gives it a nice kick. Gordon says his did not think the recipe was going to work, but Mason proved him wrong. The 3rd best dish best dish belongs to 12 year old Katia . She made a surprising sophisticated grilled Lamb Chop. The meat is nice and pink and Chef Arron loves the spice mix. To everyone’s shock the winner is … ALL THREE COOKS! PEGGY and MASON and KATIA! The judges could not pick one dish, so all three will get an advantage going forward.


There were four dishes that just didn’t work. They belong to Jimmy, Nathan, Josie and Lilah. All the other kids are safe. The bottom 4 must make Steak & Fries. This Elimination Challenge will see 2, 3 all 4 cooks go home! During the cook time Josie burns her meat and has to start all over again. When Jimmy is running out of time he rips the meat with his hand and throws it on the plate. Time is up. The cook on Nathan’s steak is spot on and the seasoning is amazing, but the fries are too crispy. Lilah’s dish looks perfect, but when Gordon cuts into the steak it blue raw! Her fries are done well. Josie’s beef is a bit overcooked but it has spectacular seasoning and taste. And Jimmy’s dish is kind of a mess. Gordon says, “What happened here? It looks like it was mauled by a bear!” The meat is undercooked and has so much pepper Gordon can’t even swallow it! Jimmy’s fries are soggy! Nathan is the first saved and the next one safe is … Josie. This means Jimmy and Lilah are going home. ☹

Episode 2
The episode starts with Mason, Katia, and Peggy competing in a mini challenge. The young cook to make the most perfectly poached eggs in ten minutes will not have to compete in the next Elimination Challenge and will be allowed to save 11 others. Not an easy challenge, as even professional chefs can have trouble perfectly poaching an egg. PEGGY wins with 16 eggs! She is safe and saves Talia, Chase, Kemp, Joshy, Tyler, Josie, Denali, Aylanie, Bri, Daniel and Mulan. They happily gather on the balcony to celebrate and cheer.

 

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The 10 remaining kids must make a dish with live lobster! Hannah gets a bit freaked out and accidently cuts her finger instead of the lobster shell! When she goes with the medics Mason goes to her station to get her finished lobster on the plate. Time is quickly up. Mason made a Lobster Thermidor. He is worried it is too simple. Gordon says, “I would rather have a simple dish done well than a complicated dish that doesn’t work.” Mason’s lobster is seasoned well and cooked perfectly. Gordon likes the heat from the mustard sauce. “Great job!” Hannah’s Stuffed Lobster Tail looks messy and has almost has no meat in it. Christina says, “It almost looked like you shut down during the challenge. Have you given up?” Hannah says she absolutely has not. Luckily the meat she did get into the stuffing was tender and delicious. Janie’s lobster meat was luscious and tasty, but Aarón found a bit of shell on the plate. Devlyn nailed the cook on his Grilled Lobster but Gordon felt it lacked sufficient seasoning. Dylan’s Boiled Lobster is slightly undercooked but tastes delicious with the seasoned butter sauce. Katia’s Spiced Lobster is amazing. Aarón says, “You really nailed the spices here. I wonder if you’d would share your recipe? I’d love to put this dish on my menu!” Katia is all smiles. Charlie’s Lobster Tail looks amazing but it is so underdone the judges can’t eat it. ☹ On the other hand, Nathan’s dish looks sloppy but he nailed everything on the plate. Jada’s Lobster Casserole looked promising, but Christina is disappointed. “You did a great job developing texture and flavor, you cooked the lobster meat perfectly, but I’m sorry to tell you there is just too much pepper. It overtakes the dish.” And finally, Elizabeth’s Lobster Stir-fry misses the mark. Gordon says, “I’m not sure where you go the idea for this dish young lady, but I’m sorry to tell you that it just doesn’t work. Too many ingredients, not enough of the star, not enough lobster.” The judges decide that the 2nd best dish belongs to KATIA and the best dish belongs to MASON!

Elizabeth, Dylan, Charlie and Hannah’s dishes are least successful and the 2 who are safe are … Dylan and … Hannah. Sadly, that means Charlie and Elizabeth’s time in the MasterChef Kitchen has come to an end, they are going home.

Episode 3

For their first team challenge the top 20 will cook for 101 US Marines. Mason is the Captain of the Red Team and as winner of the last Elimination Challenge get first pick. He chooses Hannah, Aylanie, Mulan, Devlyn, Dylan, Chase, Jada, Janie & Denali. Mason says, “It is very important to me to win this challenge because my dad is a soldier.” As Captain of the Blue Team Katia chooses Kemp, Josie, Peggy, Joshy, Daniel, Tyler, Talia, Bri & Nathan. Team members decide the Red Team will cook Ribeye Steak and the Blue Team will cook Chicken Breast. The judges are worried about Blue Team’s choice because that cut dries out very quickly. On the Red Team Dylan and Chase burn some steaks but Mason saves them by cutting off the burned ends and serving two smaller steaks instead of one larger portion. Gordon says, “Now that is thinking on your feet! Good job chef!” On the Blue Team a chicken breast is sent back raw. Tyler did not cook it enough, but Bri steps up and quickly recooks it. The soldiers decide by vote that the winning team is … THE RED TEAM!!! That means the Blue Team is in the Pressure Test.

Back in the Masterchef Kitchen, Captain Katia gets to save 3 kids, including herself, from the Pressure Test. She picks Bri, Talia and Daniel. The remaining 7 kids have to make an Apple Pie. During the cook time Josie’s pies burns and she does not have time to make a new one!! Time is up. Katia’s pie looks amazing. It has a great crust and the apples cooked down well. All the judges love the flavor. Christina says, “You did an amazing job here.” Josie’s pie crust is burnt, the apples are cut way too thick to soften and the pie bottom is undercooked . Peggy’s pie looks a bit messy but all the taste is there. Nathan’s pie looks amazing and tastes great, but it has too much extra sugar sprinkled on top. Kemp apologizes that the apples are bursting up out of his pie. “I’m sorry, but I’m not really into baking.” Gordon says, “Let’s get one thing right, this pie is a disaster to look at. Whether you fancy yourself a baker or not, you need to be able to execute any dish we ask you to make, or be ready to go home.” Joshy’s pie crust is light and flaky and Christina loves the taste of cinnamon inside. Tyler’s pie looks pretty good but when Aarón cuts into it he finds the apples are undercooked and the bottom crust is almost raw. “Tough break, dude. This pie needed more time in the oven.” Katia, Joshy, Nathan and Peggy made the best 4 pies of the night! Kemp, Josie and Tyler’s pies are in the bottom. Josie is saved first, leaving Kemp and Tyler. Sadly, the young chef going home is … Tyler. ☹

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Episode 4

The top 19 will be cooking with live shrimp for the Mystery Box. The 1st best dish belongs to Bri. She nailed the cook on her Grilled Shrimp. The judges love the grill marks. The 2nd best dish belongs to Nathan. His Fried Shrimp with Panko bread crumbs are well seasoned and taste amazing. The 3rd best dish belongs to Denali. His Classic Shrimp & Gritts are plated with pizazz and all the flavors are there. And the best dish belongs to NATHAN!!

The other kids will have 60 minutes to create an elevated chicken and potato dish in the Elimination Challenge. Nathan gets to give one cook 40 minutes, one cook 35 minutes and one cook just 30 minutes to make their dish. He gives Bri the 40 minutes. He gives Devlyn 35 and Mason gets the 30 Minutes! In the end Mason’s dish does not have the best plating, however the sautéed chicken is perfectly cooked the potato gnocchi’s in brown butter are to die for. Aarón says, “I don’t know how you pulled off this dish in just 30 minutes. A little more time and I’m sure your presentation would have been more pleasing.” Kemp’s Sweet & Sour Chicken is a bit overcooked however he nailed the cook on the mashed potatoes. Jada’s dish looks amazing. Her Chicken Confit with Fondant Potatoes are restaurant quality. Gordon says, “This is the best dish we have seen from you, young lady. Keep it up.” Bri was pressed for time and just got her Grilled Chicken and Fries on the plate. The dish is okay, but Christina says, “Your dish really suffers from a lack of seasoning. And I have to tell you, grilled chicken and fries is not very high end cooking.” Dylan nailed the cook on his Chicken Divan, but the potatoes are undercooked and a bit hard. Katia’s Jerk Chicken is very spicy. Gordon says, “Some palates might think this dish too spicy hot to enjoy. You have to be careful about adding too much spice. I like it though. It tastes pretty great.” Devlyn nailed the cook on his Chicken Culet. Aarón was surprised that the crust was made from potato. “This is a really creative dish here. The meat is nice and juicy. The crust is crisp and satisfying. There is something very special happening here.” Mulan’s Chicken Cacciatore is underwhelming. Not much flavor and the potatoes get lost in the sauce. Denali nailed the Roast Chicken and Potatoes, but Gordon asks, “Maybe the dish is a bit too simple?” Talia’s dish looks good on the plate, but the Poached Chicken is pink on the inside and the potatoes are drowning in melted cheddar cheese. JADA and DEVLYN have the top 2 dishes of the night.

Mulan, Talia and Bri are in the bottom. And ultimately, the one going home is … Talia. ☹

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Episode 5

For the second Team Challenge the top 18 young cooks will make food for 101 guests at a professional baseball game. Devlyn is the Blue Team Captain and picks Janie, Katia, Bri, Joshy, Chase, Mulan, Nathan & Josie. Jada is the Red Team Captain and picks Mason, Peggy, Aylanie, Daniel, Dylan, Kemp, Hannah and Denali. On Jada’s team Aylanie puts up raw fish but Mason and Denali catch it, refire and save the team. On Devlyn’s team Josie is getting flustered under pressure and burns a whole batch of burgers! Devlyn and Chase help her calm down and focus. Josie cooks the next batch perfectly. And the winning team by 4 votes is … BLUE TEAM!!!

Back in the MasterChef Kitchen Jada gets to save 3 teammates from the Pressure Test. She picks Denali, Daniel and Mason. Mason is grateful, but gives his save to Peggy because he thinks she did really good during the challenge. Peggy is happy for the save. The remaining 6 cooks have to make Tacos. During the cook time Hannah’s shells are falling apart but Mason shares his extras with her. 😊 And Dylan panics when he drops his sliced beef on the floor, he does not know what to do! But Mason is there to help again and gives Dylan some of steak. Times is up!


Jada made good looking Fish Tacos. The white fish is cooked nicely and taste amazing. Mason made Spicy Street Tacos. They look incredible and taste delicious. The steak is tender and full of flavor. Gordon says, “This coleslaw is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Well done!” Dylan’s Pork Tacos look sloppy, but more importantly the pork is overcooked and very dry. Aarón says, “The taco sauce is good Dylan, but it’s not enough to hide the problems with the pork.” Dylan is upset his dish did not work out. Mason puts his arm around him and he tells him, “It’s OK buddy.” Hannah’s Chicken Tacos are also messy, however she nailed the cook on chicken. Christina says, “I’m happy you were able to bounce back. This is a yummy bite!” Kemp’s Shredded Beef Taco is good but there is a problem. Gordon says, “The beef is nice and spicy, but why is there so little? It’s mostly lettuce! Is this a vegetarian taco?” And Aylanie’s Chicken Taco is a flop. Christina says, “It looks good on the plate, but then I take a bite and the chicken is hammered and the shell is very soggy. I know you can do better than this.” JADA, MASON and HANNAH’s tacos keep them in the competition.

Kemp is saved, leaving Dylan and Aylanie. The last cook safe is … Dylan, sadly, that means Aylanie is going home.☹

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Episode 6

The young home cooks enter the Masterchef Kitchen to find a sad faced Gordon who says, “Before we get started, I wonder if you have all noticed someone is missing? Unfortunately Joshy has fallen ill. He is going to be fine, but he had to go home and will no longer be competing.” The kids look surprised and say they will miss Joshy very much.

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Gordon explains that the 16 remaining will cook in 8 teams of 2, working together to make a unique Surf & Turf dish. Devlyn & Chase, Nathan & Peggy, Bri & Kemp, Mason & Jada, Josie & Daniel, Katia & Mulan, Dylan & Denali, and Hannah & Janie pair up and get straight to work.

Mason & Jada make a Lamb and Shrimp dish that looks restaurant quality. They work very well together to get a perfect medium rare lamb and succulent shrimp. Aarón says, “The flavors here are remarkable. This is a combination I have never seen, but it works!” Bri & Kemp make Steak with Spot Prawns. The Ribeye has a nice cook, but the delicate shell fish are over cooked. Chase & Devlyn made Fried Chicken and Shrimp. They breaded both items nicely and cooked them beautifully. Christina is full of praise, “The delicate breading is seasoned perfectly. This takes some skills.” Nathan & Peggy make Lobster Tail and Grilled Chicken but Gordon is confused. “They look sad and alone. Where are the other components? How does this dish fit together? I don’t get it.” Dylan & Denali make Salmon and Chicken Strips. The fish is a nice pink and the chicken is juicy. They did a good job together. Katia & Mulan did a great job on their Pork and Salmon dish. Gordon says, “I love how you took a risk with 2 big dishes and made them work together. Unexpected. Keep it up!” Janie & Hannah’s Beef Tenderloin and Scallops are mediocre. Christina says, “You started with primo ingredients here, but they lack seasoning and kind of bland. If you are going to go simple, it has to be perfect.” And finally, Josie & Daniel only got the steak from their Steak and Fried Clams plan on the plate. Aarón says, “Tough break. Did you have trouble working together? You only got the meat on the plate, and it is not even cooked, it is moo raw!”
MASON & JADA and CHASE & DELVIN are the top 2 teams of the night!!

3 other teams also did well enough to continue in the competition: Mulan & Katia; Dylan & Denali; and Janie & Hannah.

The 6 remaining kids have to whip up a Chocolate Soufflé and serve it when they think they have it right! The judges taste them without comment. In the end the best soufflé belongs to …. NATHAN!!

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Kemp, Daniel and Bri are safe. That leaves Peggy and Josie, and the last one saved by their soufflé is … Peggy. Everyone is incredibly sad to see Josie go home.☹

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Episode 7

For the next Mystery Box the top 15 cook a first class burger. The 1st best dish belongs to … Katia. She made a Hot Pepper Burger it is cooked beautifully. Aarón says, “You did excellent work with the spice here. It is so good.” The 2nd best dish belongs to … Mason. He made a Double Cheese-Cheese Burger. Christina says, “The burger has the perfect temp on the inside and all this cheese is wonderful. The whole thing melts in my mouth. Just wow!” And the 3rd best dish belongs to Dylan. He made a Filled to the Brim Burger. The cook on the patty is spot on and the toppings taste amazing! Gordon says, “Pickles, cheese, peppers, potato chips! You’ve left nothing out, son! My son would love this burger!” But there can only be one winning burger, and today the win belongs to … MASON! Up to the balcony for a homemade Vanilla Shake and French Fries

Next, the judges call up Jada, Janie, Bri, Nathan, Chase and Kemp who have the weakest 6 burgers! Everyone else is safe! The 6 kids will make another burger and one of them will go home. Janie’s Mushroom and Cheese Burger is cooked very nicely. Christina says, “You nailed the cook on the mushrooms, which can be hard. I think you earned the right to stay, but we’ll see how the other burgers taste.” Unfortunately for Jada her Classic Cheese Burger is overcooked. Gordon breaks the news, “The bun is toasted perfectly. I like the bun. But I’m sorry to tell you the burger is tough, it’s too chewy. It might not be enough young lady.” Bri’s Texas Style Burger is good. Aarón says, “You got a great cook on the beef. A great bite. But I got to tell you, the dish itself is a bit sloppy. The competition is getting harder. Dishes have to look as good as they taste.” Kemp’s High Class Burger is also a bit overcooked, but he nailed the seasoning on the patty. Nathan’s Lamb Burger is just amazing. Gordon says, “Unexpected! You are the only cook who risked using a different meat. And lamb is tough, but your technique produced a nicely seasoned, surprisingly moist burger.” Chase’s Classic Style Burger looks great. Christina says, “If I were only eating with my eyes, this burger would be the winner. But it is raw on the inside. Disappointing.”☹ NATHAN and JANIE are the top 2 of this second round of burgers.

Bri and Kemp and … Jada are also safe, and sadly that means that Chase is going home. All the kid are cheering for him and Devlyn taps his chest and says “See you back in Houston, keep fighting.” 😊

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Episode 8

The top 14 will be cooking pork chops for 51 local chefs. As Captain of the Blue Team Janie picks Mason, Jada, Mulan, Hannah, Dylan and Katia. Nathan is the Red Team Captain and he picks Kemp, Denali, Daniel, Peggy, Devlyn and Bri. Cooking for chefs adds another level of nerves for the young cooks because they want to be sure to get everything right. But on the Red Team Daniel loses track of time and burns all the pork chops! Denali and Devlyn rush to refrigerators and pull out 50 new chops and start a massive refire. Meanwhile, Blue Team’s Mason and Jada are working well together again (remember the Surf & Turf challenge?) plating perfectly cooked chops like champs. The local chefs vote and the BLUE TEAM wins by a landslide. Gordon saves Red Team’s Denali because all the chefs really liked his sauce.

The remaining 6 kids will make a dozen donuts. Gordon asks who has made donuts before and everyone raises their hand but Devlyn. Gordon asks, “Do you think you are going to be the next to go home?” Devlyn answers, “Well Chef, I’ve made it this far. The answer will be in the food.” The kids on the balcony cheer and Gordon answers, “You’ve got that right. Excellent. Let’s get started.” The 6 bakers dig into the flour and sugar and before you know it, time is up.

Nathan’s Donuts are kind of flat, almost too flat to be donuts. However, the frosting is fluffy and the taste is there. Bri’s Donuts need more frosting but her chocolate donuts taste so good.😊 Daniel had trouble with time management and only got 3 donuts in his box! On top of that they are under baked and drowning with sprinkles. Devlyn’s Dozen look incredible. The donuts are light and moist and his homemade vanilla frosting is one of the best Christina has ever tasted.  Peggy’s Donuts are messy but they taste really good. Gordon says, “I don’t know young lady, I excepted a lot more from you. If you move forward I want to see you shine.” Kemp’s Dozen are a bit dense and overbaked. Luckily they still taste good. Aarón says, “They remind me of cake. I like cake. I don’t know if they are donuts, but I like them.” The Best Dozen Donuts belong to DEVLYN!!!

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Bri, Peggy and Kemp are also safe. That leaves Nathan and Daniel. The last one safe is … Nathan. That means after a particularly difficult episode, Daniel is the next to go home. Everyone waves good bye, wishing him well.

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Episode 9

The top 13 lift their Mystery Boxes to find breakfast ingredients, they will make their signature breakfast dish. The eggs were cracking. Aarón says, “Seeing all these eggs reminds me of the time Chef Graham was dressed like a chicken in the MasterChef Kitchen. Wild times!” The 1st best dish is Peggy’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Christina says, “The cakes are nicely browned, light and fluffy and you got just the right amount of melt on those chips!” The 2nd best dish is Jada’s Poached Egg. She nailed it. The egg yolk is nice and runny and seasoned well. Gordon says, “A very tasty dish. Simple, but well executed.” The 3rd best dish belongs to Denali. He made Mango Turnovers. Christina says, “For a pastry they are a bit messy, but the flaky crust is delicious and the mango is cut beautifully. Ambitious dish.” And the winner is … JADA!!! She is safe.

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The other 12 kids have to make a dish starring pungent Blue Cheese. Jada gets to pick which kids have to make a sweet dish and who will do savory. Mason, Nathan, Dylan, Janie, Bri and Katia get savory and Peggy, Kemp, Devlyn, Mulan, Hannah and Denali get sweet. Mason made a Steak with a Blue Cheese Sauce. The meat is cooked perfectly and the taste of the cheese really stands out in every bite. Katia also tried steak and sauce, but she was less successful. “I hate blue cheese, I didn’t want to ruin my sauce with it, so I finally just dropped a glob of it on top.” Gordon says, “When you come into the Masterchef Kitchen you have to be ready to cook with any ingredient, even ones you have not learned to like.” Dylan’s Mac and Blue Cheese is very simple, but at the same time, it is very good. Janie’s Cheese Burger is overcooked and the Blue Cheese is not really the star. Devlyn’s Cheesecake is so good. The crust is baked well and the overall idea of the dish itself is amazing. Aarón says, “I don’t know that I would have thought to make a cheesecake with this ingredient. It’s fantastic!” Hannah’s Blue Cheese Danish is a tad under baked but she nailed the filling. Christina says, “The blue cheese definitely stands out, and in a good way. Nice work.” Kemp’s Blue Cheese Pudding does not have enough Blue Cheese in it and the pudding is very gloppy. And Peggy’s Blue Cheese Soufflé looks incredible but when the spoon hits it, it sinks into mush. It is very under baked. The Top 2 Dishes belong to MASON AND DEVLYN.

The bottom 2 dishes belong to Peggy and Katia. The young cook who is safe is … Katia. This means that sadly, Peggy is going home. She says her goodbyes as all the kids hug before she leaves. Gordon says, “Keep your head up young lady. Let’s get one thing straight, you have a bright future ahead of you. A Blue Cheese Soufflé is an incredibly difficult dish. We have not seen the last of you, I’m sure.”

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Episode 10

The top 12 are put in 6 teams of 2. Each kid will make a Salmon en Croûte and when time is up they will decide which one the judges will taste. The teams are Mason & Dylan, Denali & Janie, Devlyn & Katia, Mulan & Nathan, Jada & Bri, and Kemp & Hannah. Even though the young cooks are each working on their own dishes, they work together for the best possible outcome for their team. First up, Mason & Dylan. They pick Mason’s salmon en croute because his looks the best on the plate. Gordon says, “Well, you have nailed the puffed pastry young man, but what am I going to find inside?” He finds perfectly pink fish and the right amount of spicy mustard. “I wish the cooks in Hell’s Kitchen could execute as well as you!” Next up, Hannah & Kemp. They pick Kemp’s dish for tasting because Hannah’s was a bit burned on the outside. Sadly, Kemp’s puff pastry is undercooked, as is the salmon. Janie & Denali pick Denali’s en croute because he is feeling very confident about the dish. It is almost perfect. Christina says, “You nailed the cook on the salmon and the pastry, but for me, the mustard is just too hot. What do you think Gordon?” Gordon takes a taste, and agrees, there is too much spice for this delicate dish. Next, Katia & Devlyn pick Devlyn’s dish for tasting. Aarón says, “The elements of this dish have really come together. The pastry is flaky, the salmon is moist and the mustard is in perfect proportion. I could have ordered this at a restaurant.” Next, Nathan & Mulan pick Mulan’s dish because Nathan is positive hers will taste better. But, it turns out the salmon is very undercooked. And finally, Bri & Jada pick Bri’s dish for the judges because Jada had trouble removing the bones from her fish. Gordon says, “You’ve done well with two out of three components. The pastry is lovely and the mustard is the best here tonight, but this salmon is overcooked. You’ve dried out the star of the dish.” The top 2 teams are MASON & DYLAN and DEVLYN & KATIA!! Denali & Janie and Bri & Jada are also safe.


The remaining 4 cooks now have to cook scallops. During the cook time Hannah who is already upset from the last challenge starts to cry. Mason hurries down from the balcony and gives her a big hug and tells her she can do this. Time is up. Most of Hannah’s scallops are overcooked, but the good news is at least one scallop is perfectly done and has a great sear on it. Kemp’s scallops are burnt and sadly he forgot to season them. Nathan nailed his dish. All the scallops are cooked and seasoned well and the taste is amazing. And Mulan’s scallops are only seared on one side, they are way overcooked and rubbery. NATHAN made the best scallops of the night and sadly the young chef going home is … Mulan. The judges shock all the kids when they say they will send one more young chef home and that cook is …… Kemp! That means Hannah is safe. Mulan and Kemp get hugs from the judges and the young cooks. This has been an emotional rollercoaster!

Episode 11

The top 10 young cooks come into the MasterChef Kitchen to find Gordon waiting. “You won’t be cooking today. I want you to go straight up to the balcony. You can cheer your friends on as they try and win a spot back into the competition.” The last 6 eliminated cooks enter the kitchen and head to their stations. Two of these young home cooks will win the chance to rejoin the competition. The first challenge is make as many perfect sunny-side-up eggs as they can in 10 minutes. JOSIE makes 14! She is the first to rejoin her friends on the balcony. Kemp made 12 and Chase made 10. They will go on to the next challenge and battle it out for the last spot. Sadly, Mulan, Peggy and Daniel do not make enough perfect eggs to qualify and they are going home again. Tough break. Peggy says, “It’s hard being eliminated again. But on the other hand, it was so much fun to come back, cook in the MasterChef Kitchen again, and see all my friends. Let’s go!” Mulan and Daniel join Peggy as they walk out together, hand in hand, in hand.
Now, for the final challenge, Kemp and Chase will make a fruit tart. The judges will taste them in a blind taste test and the best tart wins a spot back into the MasterChef Jr Fantasy Season! Tart “A” has a nice crust and beautifully cut strawberries, but too much cream. Tart “B” also has a great crust, the right amount of flavorful cream, but the fruit is cut in rather large chunks. The judges confer and make their decision. The tart they would order again in “B” and it was made by … KEMP!!! Sadly, Chase is going home but not before congratulating Kemp and waving goodbye to all his new chef friends. “I thought that might have been too much cream. Now I know. Like Chef Ramsay always says, you got to learn from your failures.”

Episode 12

The top 12 arrive at Caesars Palace is Las Vegas for the next Team Challenge. They will be in 3 teams of 4 and each team will be making a high-end dish. The top 2 dishes will stay on the menu forever!!! The losing team will go directly into a Pressure Test. This time the teams are selected randomly by pulling colored wooden spoons out of a sack. The Red Spoon Team is Bri, Kemp, Nathan & Josie. The Green Spoon Team is Mason, Hannah, Dylan & Janie. And the Blue Spoon Team is Denali, Katia, Devlyn & Jada.
The Green Spoon Team makes a Five Spice Lamb Chop with an Mandarin Glaze. The plating is amazing, they got the right temp on the lamb and the glaze is unexpected and delicious. Gordon asks, “Who came up with the glaze?” Mason raised his hand. “Mandarins? Why? How?” Mason says, “I live in Auburn, California and we have a Mandarin Festival every year. I like to use mandarin in a lot of my recipes.” Gordon says, “Amazing. I was eating jam from a jar at your age.” The Red Spoon Team makes Grilled Steak and Potatoes. Aarón says, “For a simple dish like this, I’m looking for perfection.” But he doesn’t find it. The meat is overcooked. It’s dry and tasteless. However, the seasoning on the potatoes is amazing. And the Blue Spoon Team makes Pan Seared Sea Bass. The fish is cooked and seasoned well but the sauce they made is a bit too spicy, it takes away from the fish. The winning team is GREEN SPOON TEAM!!! And the team in 2nd place is … BLUE SPOON TEAM!!!!!

Bri, Kemp, Nathan & Josie from the Red Spoon Team are off to Gordon Ramsey Steak for the dreaded Pressure Test. They will cook a Filet Mignon. Bri’s filet is seared nicely. It is medium rare and the seasoning is spot on. Kemp nailed the cook on the meat and his herb butter brings a lusciousness to every bite. Nathan’s nerves get to him and he undercooks his filet that also lacks seasoning. Josie lets her steak sit in the pan too long, she overcooks it, drying it out.

KEMP and BRI are safe. Nathan and Josie will get another chance to cook a filet mignon. This time Nathan gets a perfect sear and his seasoning is genius. Josie does a good job too, but her filet doesn’t shine. The judges decide the best steak was made by … NATHAN. This means Josie is going home again. “Well that was a fun. I wish I was staying, but I know I did my best.” Since it’s Vegas, Gordon takes everyone out for ice creams after the show, so Josie get a special goodbye.

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Episode 13

The top 11 enter the MasterChef Kitchen and see the Mystery Boxes at their stations. When Gordon tells them to lift their boxes they find big bowls of rice! The young cooks are asked to be creative and make a restaurant quality rice dish. As always, the judges walk around and taste the dishes and choose three interesting ones they want to take a closer look at. The 1st dish they call forward belongs to Kemp. He made Ginger Rice Cakes. Gordon says, “I’ve never seen rice cakes fried like this. They are wonderful, and the pop of ginger is a pleasant surprise.” Next up, Jada’s Spicy Rice Curry. The shrimp she added are nice and juicy but their flavor is lost in too much spice. Finally, Katia’s Fish and Rice is tasted. Aarón says, “Your fish is perfectly cooked, but the dish lacks seasoning.” And the winner is … KEMP!! He is safe and gets to pick the teams for the Game Day Platter Tag Team Challenge.


The teams are Mason & Hannah, Katia & Bri, Nathan & Denali, Devlyn & Jada and Janie & Dylan. During the cook time the young cooks have to race back and forth taking turns cooking at their shared station. Katia slips and falls on her knee. She needs a bandage but she doesn’t give up. She continues to coach her partner Bri through the challenge! Hannah gets flustered trying to wrap the pastry around the mini hotdogs, but her partner Mason cheers her on from the side, “I know you can do this! One thing at a time.” 😊 Time is up. Mason & Hannah’s platter looks amazing. The cook on the Sliders is spot on and the Pigs in a Blanket came out perfectly. The Jalapeño Poppers have a right amount of spice and the Homemade Chips and Guacamole is excellent. Gordon says, “Kemps’ strategy in pairing you two was a total misfire because you worked amazing well together. This is a quality performance.” 😊 Janie & Dylan struggled. Christina says, “Your platter looks unfinished. Do I see only one slider?” After taking a bite, “Oh, this is overcooked people. But I have to say, your chips are cut well and the poppers tastes pretty good. Overall though, not your best effort.” Devlyn & Jada’s platter looks complete. Aarón says, “The Pigs in a Blanket are done well. The Sliders are nice and juicy and have great seasoning. And the Jalapeño Poppers are my favorite are my favorite bite today. Good job.” He gives two high fives! Bri & Katia pulled their platter together despite Katia’s fall. Gordon says, “I’m glad you two didn’t give up. You burgers and hotdogs are good and Katia’s guacamole is one of the best today. But the poppers are just too spicy. Did you taste them?” Nathan & Denali’s Platter is a real mess! The puff pastry is raw, the chips are soggy and they forgot all about the poppers!
MASON & HANNAH had the best platter of the night!

Devlyn & Jada and Bri & Katia also presented very good platters. That leaves Janie & Dylan and Nathan & Denali. The next team safe is …. Janie & Dylan. And the last cook in the top 10 is … Nathan. Sadly, that means Denali is going home. Gordon says, “Denali, tonight just wasn’t your night. But you know, and I know, you can cook. We’ve seen you cook amazing things in the MasterChef Kitchen. Promise me you will keep learning and keep cooking. Will you do that?” Denali smiles. “I will Chef. I’ve learned so much I want to bring back home and share with my family. I can’t wait to get started.” Hugs all around. There are ten young home cooks left!

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Episode 14

The top 10 young home cooks will be cooking at a local Middle School to raise money for anti-bulling education. 😊 At least 1 in 4 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. Bullying negatively affects the youth involved, including those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who see bullying going on. This is a cause the kids can get behind!

Mason is the Blue Team Captain and picks Janie, Dylan, Devlyn & Jada. Hannah is the Red Team Captain she picks Nathan, Kemp, Bri and Katia. For the first time in MasterChef history both teams do very, very well without any big mistakes. They cook their hearts out and raise lots of money. In fact, they rise the same amount so both teams win and it’s the up the judges to pick the best of the best, and that team is … THE BLUE TEAM.

Then the judges save one outstanding cook from the Red Team. They choose Kemp.
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen the remaining kids from the Red Team have to bake Chocolate Truffles. Hannah’s chocolates are nice and round and taste rich. Katia’s chocolates are flattened in the box and there are too many nuts. Nathan’s chocolates are amazing. Christina says, “They melt in my mouth. Back at the Milk Bar this is what we call a heavenly bite.” Bri’s chocolates melted together in the box, and taste a bit bitter. Not enough sugar. ☹ Nathan & Hannah’s truffles are in the top 2. It is between Bri and Katia. Katia’s truffles are slightly better, so sadly her friend Bri is going home. She hugs her goodbye and all the kids join in.😊 Christina says, “It has been a delight watching you cook in the MasterChef Kitchen Bri. Your creativity stands out. We are going to miss you!” Bri wipes away her tears and gives a thumbs up! “This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I never knew cooking with friends could be so much fun. And I’m glad I got to help raise money to fight bullying. It’s important stuff.”

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Episode 15

When the Top 9 enter the Masterchef Kitchen they see a big box behind the judges and when they are instructed to lift their Mystery Boxes they are empty! What? Then the big box slowly rises to reveal their families including Mason’s mom Kathy, Jada’s mom Lakiesha, Dylan’s mom Tara, Devlyn’s mom Triana, Nathan’s dad Mark, Janie’s mom Julie, Kemp’s dad David, Katia’s mom and Hannah’s mom. There are lots of hugs and kisses. For the challenge the kids will cook a dish they would cook for their families. Their family member can help them plan and collect the necessary ingredients from the pantry. In addition, the young cook can call on their family to help in the kitchen for 10 minutes during their 60 minute cooking time. There are many hands in the MasterChef Kitchen today!

The 1st best dish belongs to … Mason. He made Ribeye Steak with Fresh Salad and Homemade Potato Cakes. The cook and seasoning on the meat is spot on. Gordon says, “The garlic butter really brings out the flavors of the steak. And these potato cakes are delicious. Overall you have a great dish here. Well done. “ When Gordon asks how it was cooking with his mom, Mason says, “I loved it! We had so much fun. We cook together at lots of events back home and I don’t worry about what anyone else says. All I care about is being myself.” Then he turns to other kids and looks right into the camera and says, “And that is to all of you, no matter what anyone else says about how you should act, about gender or age, always remember, no matter what, be yourself. The only one who can define you is you!” Everyone is so impressed by his wisdom they give him a big round of applause! The 2nd best dish belongs to Nathan. He made Chicken Drumsticks and Sautéed Green Beans. Christina says, “Your chicken is nicely cooked, the crispy skin is a great texture, however it lacks seasoning. The green beans are yummy, I could eat a whole bowl!” And the 3rd best dish belongs to Janie. She made Pork Chops with Wild Rice Stuffing. Aarón says, “I gotta say, the sear on your chop is impressive and the meat is perfectly tender. I’m not sure the wild rice is fully cooked in the stuffing, but the seasoning has hit the bulls eye. I’d come eat at your house if you were serving this dish!” The judges confer and Gordon announces the winner. “I just want to say that we saw a lot of great cooking in the kitchen today, and it’s never easy to pick a winner. All you family members should be very proud of your young cooks. There is one dish that shines a bit brighter here today, and tastes a bit better, and that dish belongs to … MASON! He is safe, in the top 8, and invited to go to the balcony with his mom where they can enjoy a dessert from Milk Bar and watch the Elimination Challenge.

The rest of the kids say goodbye to their family and get to work making Chicken & Waffles. Devlyn nails the challenge. His plating looks amazing, the chicken is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and the waffles are delicious. Even the maple sauce he made for dipping is excellent. Aarón is speechless. Katia’s fried chicken has a wonderful spice in the breading. Christina says, “This chicken is perfection, but the waffles are a tad overdone. It’s good, but not great.” Dylan dish has problems. Gordon says, “Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, this chicken is so overcooked it’s like jerky on a the bone. What happened? Your waffles taste great, I’ll give you that. But this chicken. Crikey!” ☹ Jada executed her chicken and waffles like a restaurant chef, but her sauce is overly sweet. Christina says, “Now you know I like sweet girl, but this sauce is too much, even for me. A glaring mistake in an otherwise perfect dish.” Nathan’s plating is a bit sloppy for the top 9 but he nailed everything on the plate. Janie’s dish looks amazing. Christina says, “You have cooked this chicken like a pro, the seasoning, the crispy breading, the juicy meat. But the best thing here is your waffle. My favorite waffle bite today!” Hannah overcooked her chicken but waffles and sauce shine. Aarón says, “I know it is a hard to get all three elements right, but if you had taken the chicken out 45 seconds earlier you would have had a complete success. Your waffles are divine and this sauce should be bottled. Makes me sad about the chicken.” And Kemp’s dish looks amazing but when Gordon cuts into the chicken he finds it is raw at the bone. Inedible. DEVLYN, KATIA & JANIE are the top 3.

 

Leaving Dylan and Kemp. Gordon takes a long time to reveal it is Kemp going home, so that means Dylan is safe. Gordon says, “I’ve been where you are standing, young man. It’s not easy. But rest assured, you are a talented young cook and you have a bright future ahead of you. Cooking is in your blood. It’s been a real pleasure working with you.” Kemp is happy to hear such kind words. “Good luck to all my friends. I’ll miss the challenge of cooking here and the fun, but I’m glad I got this far.” Hugs, fist bumps, a fear tears and lots of smiles. Now there are 8!

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Episode 16

Cheese is king in this episode. The remaining 8 home cooks will cook in 3 Pressure Tests featuring cheese. First 4 kids will safe, then 2 kids, then the last 2 will go head to head.

In Round #1 they make Mac & Cheese. Mason’s Baked Mac & Cheese Balls are cooked well and have just the right amount of cheddar cheese. Aarón says, “They taste so good!” Jada’s Mac & Cheese is dry because there is not enough cheese and doesn’t have much flavor. Dylan’s Mac & Cheese is the right consistency, but the cinnamon he added throws off the flavor. Christina is curious, “Did you mean to add cinnamon? It doesn’t make sense in the dish.” Katia’s dish is nice and creamy and the touch of cayenne pepper adds a pleasing heat. Janie’s Mac & Cheese looks great. Gordon says, “The toasted bread crumbs on top add flavor and texture and make the dish. Let’s get one thing right, you know your macaroni and cheese!” Nathan’s Mac & Cheese is gloppy because the cheddar cheese separated. It is a fail. Devlyn’s Fried Mac & Cheese is amazing and Gordon loves it. “I’d serve these at one of my restaurants. Well done.” Hannah’s dish initially looks very good, but when Aarón tastes it he says, “This the cheese is too rich. I think there is too much cream.” MASON, KATIA, JANIE and DEVLYN’s Mac & Cheese dishes earn them spots in the top 7.

In Round #2 the remaining 4 kids make a Cheese Omelet. Jada’s omelet is runny and the cheese is gritty. Dylan’s omelet is burnt and unpalatable. Nathan’s omelet looks beautiful. It is light and fluffy, nicely seasoned and has just the right amount of melted cheese. It tastes amazing. Hannah’s omelet’s is very small but also very good. NATAHN & HANNHA have earned their spot in the top 7.

In Round #3 Jada and Dylan go head to head creating a Cheese Soufflé. They whip their eggs and cheese and get them in the ovens. Both kneel in front of the glass, fingers crossed, watching them rise. Jada looks over at Dylan and says, “May the best soufflé win.” Dylan nods and gives a thumbs up. As soon as they come out of the ovens the judges taste and decide the best Soufflé belongs to …. Dylan. Sadly, Jada is the next to go home. Aarón says, “You have been on a wild ride and I’m sorry it’s time to get off, but remember this – you are a great cook! We’ve watched you grow over these last weeks, and I have no doubt in my mind that if you continue to work and try new things you will just keep getting better. You are just getting started.” Jada says, “Thanks Chef Sánchez, that means a lot to me. I want to get home and make cheese omelets and soufflés until I get as good as they can be. Everyone here has taught me to never give up.” All the kids gather in a big group hug. Christina wants in, she comes off the stage to help the group say goodbye to Jada. 😊 NOW THERE ARE SEVEN.

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Episode 17
For the last Mystery Box the top 7 have to make a pasta dish. The top 3 dishes called forward belong to Devlyn, Hannah, and Nathan. Devlyn made a smart and scrumptious Cheese Ravioli. Hannah made a nice and smooth Manicotti. And Nathan made fresh and perfectly put together Tortellini. And the winner is … DEVLYN!!! He is safe and gets to save one other kid from the Elimination Test. He saves Nathan. They get to bring their pasta dishes up to balcony to share. 😊

The remaining 5 kids are told they must bake a box of 12 French Macarons. Gasp! Mason’s Macarons with Mandarin Vanilla Cream are crisp and smooth on top and chewy and delicious inside. Christina says, “Look at the feet on these Macarons, amazing! And this cream is like a Creamsicle! The real vanilla bean brings it to a whole new level. I can’t believe this is the first time you made them!” Janie’s Macarons are cracked on top, have no feet and the chocolate filling is very bitter. Hannah’s Chocolate Macarons are amazing. Gordon says, “You have 12 consistent cookies here and the bite is sweet. Well done.” Katia’s Macarons are a bit flat without much feet, however the pistachio flavor in the butter cream filling is outstanding. And sadly, Dylan’s Macarons don’t come together. Aarón says, “These shells needed more time in the oven, they are under baked. And frankly, the overall bite lacks flavor. This is a tough cookie to bake and I don’t think you were up to the challenge today.” MASON, HANNAH & KATIA are the top 3!

Dylan and Janie are on the bottom 2, and the last cook safe is … Janie. That means Dylan is going home. Gordon says, “Tough break, Dylan. I too have found this delicate cookie hard to make. But I want to stress that you are a great cook and your passion has been clear on every plate. You have every right to be proud of your cooking.” Dylan replied, “Thank you, Chef. I have loved cooking for you and the other judges. This is not the first time Mason has out shined me in the kitchen, we were on Chopped Junior together. I’m betting he is going to go all the way. I wish him luck!” Mason gives him a big hug and says “I will miss you so much buddy.”

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Episode 18

The top 6 head into the Restaurant Takeover. The judges pick the teams. The Red Team Captain, Mason will work with Janie and Katia. And the Blue Team Captain Nathan will work with Hannah and Devlyn. They will cook two Appetizers: Scallops and Shrimp. And two Entrées: New York Strip Steak and Lamb Chops. Gordon demonstrates the execution of each dish and the young home cooks get to work. Restaurant Takeovers are notoriously challenging.

The Appetizers make it out to the guests without problems. But when the main dish orders start coming in Blue Team’s Nathan puts up raw lamb! Nathan asks for help and Devlyn quickly steps in to refire the lamb, the dishes go out just in time. On the Red Team Katia is having trouble plating the Entrees. She tells her team there are too many components to manage. Mason helps her calm, walks her through the next steak dish, and gets her back on track. Everything runs smoothly thanks to his guidance. The judges talk with the guests, and taking their comments into consideration choose a winning team. And the winning team is … RED TEAM!!!!

When the judges give Devlyn a chance to save himself from the Pressure Test he says, “I’d rather cook. The more I cook, the better I get at cooking. And I want to be the best cook I can possibly be.” Gotta respect that. For the last Pressure Test the Blue Team must cook Gordon’s Double Cut Pork Chop. Devlyn’s Pork has the right temp inside and the sear is great and it tastes nice and juicy. Hannah’s Pork is overcooked and the top is burnt, but the veggies are very good. Nathan’s dish looks dreadful. The sides are falling off the dish and the pork is so undercooked the judges can’t safely eat it. ☹ DELVYN is the first safe cook. Gordon says, “I admire your work ethic young man. I agree with you, the more you cook, the better you get at cooking! … Now, I would like to ask the cook who knows it is time to go home to please step forward.” A teary eyed Nathan steps forward. “I know it’s me. My raw pork means GAME OVER. But I want to thank the judges for teaching me how to love food and be a chef. And I want to thank my new friends for pushing me to be a better cook than I was before I came to the MasterChef Kitchen. This has been a dream come true! All the kids hug him and walk with him to the doors. A great sendoff. 😊 NOW THERE ARE FIVE.

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Episode 19

For the Semi Finals the last 5 will cook in 3 rounds involving Lamb. In the First Round 2 cooks win their spot in the Finale. In the Second Round one cook will win a spot in the Finale. In the Third Round the two remaining cooks will go head to head, one cook will go to the Finale and one cook will go home.

Round One: Lamb Lollipops. Mason’s lamb is nicely cooked and the mustard sauce he added is amazing. 😊 Janie’s lamb is overcooked and lacks seasoning. Devlyn forgot to season his lamb, but he got a perfect cook on the meat. Katia’s lamb, as always, has great seasoning and the cook is spot on. Unfortunately, Hannah’s lamb is undercooked. Gordon says, “If I put my ear down to the dish I think I can still hear the baaaaaa.” :0 MASON & KATIA are the first 2 cooks in the Finale. They get their chef coats and happily head up to the balcony.

Round Two: Boneless Lamb. Janie nails the cook on her lamb but she has added too much spice. The cook on Devlyn’s boneless lamb spot on and his seasoning was almost perfect. And Hannah’s well-seasoned lamb is overcooked. DEVLYN has earned his spot in the Finale! He takes his coat and runs up the balcony stairs. Mason and Katia greet him with high fives and congratulatory hugs!

Round Three: Rack of Lamb: Both Hannah and Janie do an excellent job preparing and cooking their Rack of Lamb. Gordon says, “This may be the toughest call we’ve had to make this season. There is not a clear winner, because you both did an amazing job of a very difficult cut of lamb. It comes down to the slightest of difference in the two dishes. The young cook who served a slightly more tender serving is … Janie! Come get your jacket young lady, and head up to the balcony.” Janie is in the Finale, but she doesn’t run up the stairs, because Mason, Katia and Devlyn are running down the stairs to say goodbye to Hannah, who is going home. There are tears all around, even Christina needs a tissue. When Gordon asks Hannah who she believes will win in the Finale she says, “I don’t know. Any one of them could win. They are all that good. And I don’t have a favorite, because they are all my favorite! I wish I was going to the Finale because it would mean I could cook with my friends one more time. This has been a blast!” The group hug lasts a long time and when it’s time to walk her out the judges go too. Everyone leaves with Hannah, together. 😊 NOW THERE ARE FOUR!

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Episode 20

It’s the Masterchef Jr Finale! Mason, Janie, Devlyn and Katia will each cook a 3 course meal and as always 2 will be Champions. The finalists’ families and friends, along with the past contestants are in the MasterChef Kitchen to cheer them on. Chef Richard Blais will be judging with Gordon, Christina and Aarón.

Appetizer
Mason made Shrimp Cups. The shrimp is cooked beautifully and the dollop of sour cream gives it a nice finish. Aarón says,” I love the salsa and creative use of tortilla here.” Janie made Seared Scallops. Gordon says, “The sear on these scallops is professional, but I’m sorry to tell you that my scallop is overcooked. It’s chewy. Unfortunate.” But Richard says, “Mine were cooked perfectly, but I wish there was more seasoning.” Katia made Pork Medallions. Christina says, “The plating is a bit simple for a Finale dish, but you did a great job on the cook on the pork.” Devlyn made Shrimp & Grits. He nailed the cook on the shrimp and Gordon says, “These grits are the best I’ve tasted in a long time.” Christina says, “I really love this sauce you created, I just can’t stop eating it!”

Entrée
Mason made Spicy Ribs that were cooked to perfection. Aarón says, “This marmalade glaze is a whole new level of barbeque deliciousness. I’m not kidding.” And Gordon says, “Ribs like these usually take 2 days to build this kind of flavor, but you did it in 60 minutes. You are showing us what a good chef you are.” 😊 Katia made Rosemary Lamb Chops. The presentation and seasoning is on point. But Christina says, “The lamb is well cooked but I barely taste the Rosemary. If you are going to tell me I am going to eat Rosemary Lamb, then I should taste the rosemary. I’m a little disappointed.” Devlyn made Blacked Salmon. Gordon is worried the Salmon will be overcooked, but when he looks inside it is glistening pink. Richard says, “I love how the salmon skin is nice and crispy and your sweet potato puree compliments the fish perfectly. Excellent work.” And Janie made Meatloaf. She cooked and seasoned it well but Gordon says, “Okay, this is a decent meatloaf, but it is nothing extraordinary. I expect much more for a MasterChef Finale.” Christina disagrees, “I think this is an elevated meatloaf. The way Janie has seasoned the meat and plated the dish shows sophistication beyond her years.” Aarón says, “I kind of agree with Gordon, this meatloaf feels basic.” And finally Richard says, “I’m with Christina on this one. I’ve never had a meatloaf bite that was so packed with flavor.” Moving on …

Dessert
Mason made a Mini Caramel Cheesecake. Christina says, “The cake has a nice crust and the cream is rich and delicious, but I have a bone to pick with you.” Mason says, “Okay, what is it?” Christina asks, “Where did this caramel sauce come from? You didn’t get it from the pantry did you?” And Mason answers, “No, Maam. It’s Mason Made Ooey-Gooey Good Caramel Sauce. It’s my recipe. I make jars of it at home!” Christina laughs, “Well I’ll be darned! Your caramel sauce steals the show. It is a dessert all by itself!” Janie made a Chocolate Mouse. It looks great but the chocolate is too dense. Gordon says, “Every spoonful is heavy, it’s too much chocolate.” Devlyn made a Vanilla Tart with Fresh Fruit. The crust is baked well and the perfect container for the luscious vanilla cream filling. Richard says, “This tart is a work of art. You knife skills with the strawberries is far beyond your years.” Christina added, “Geez Louise, I knew you could cook Devlyn, but now I know you can bake!” And Katia made an Apple Crumble a la Mode. Aarón says, “You took this humble dessert and raised it up. The crumble is sweet and crunchy and perfectly balanced with the homemade ice cream. My one note is that the apples are a bit undercooked. Perhaps they were now sliced thinly enough? In any case, I enjoyed your dessert.” He holds up his empty plate to show he has eaten the entire portion.

The competition is complete. The young cooks have done everything they can possible can to win. Now it is up to the judges, who talked privately for a long time before coming back to the stage. Gordon says, “Thank you! These were fantastic meals. You young home cooks should be very proud of yourselves. We have seen you grow into chefs during this season. Always wear your chef coats with pride. It has been be extremely hard picking 2 winners, but it is time to switch places with us, you have earned the right to be center stage.
And the winners are … … … MASON AND DEVLYN!!!

They are shocked and give each other a hug! Then the 4 young chefs who gone the farthest together join in a huge group hug! 😊 After all the families celebrate with hugs, they go on to hug their friends. old and new. 😊 Mason and Devlyn each win $100,000 and Masterchef Jr Trophies. Janie and Katia each win $50,000 and receive MasterChef Jr Medals. Mason says, “I can’t believe it! This is a dream!” and Devlyn laughs, “Believe it Mason! We won!”

FIN

My Fantasy MasterChef JR S6 x E25 & 26

Episode 25 The Semi Finals! To get the first spot in the Finale the top 5 must cook their Signature Dish. Ariana’s Kalbi Short Ribs are glazed nicely and have tremendous flavor. Ben’s Fried Chicken looks amazing, but it is undercooked. Beni’s Lime Chicken is nicely done but she was a little heavy handed with the salt. Evan’s Baked Chicken is cooked well and tastes amazing. And Gracie’s Scallops are very undercooked and bland. The first young home cook to make it into the Finale is … ARIANA!!! She is thrilled. She takes her MasterChef Junior Chef Coat and goes up to the balcony.

 

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The remaining 4 cooks will bake French Macarons with a randomly chosen flavor. Evan gets Vanilla, Ben gets Strawberry, Beni gets Chocolate and Gracie gets Pistachio. Evan’s macarons have smooth cheeks and fantastic feet. The meringue has a nice crunch and the vanilla filling is the perfect compliment. Ben put small chunks of actual strawberry in his cream filling and it cause the cookie shells to become soggy. Beni’s Macarons look amazing and the chocolate cream filling goes well with vanilla flavored meringue cookie. And Gracie’s Macarons are a bit small and rough on top because of the crushed pistachios. The next two home cooks going to the Finale are … EVAN and BENI!!!

 

They hug each other, get their MasterChef Junior Chef Coats and head up to the balcony to join Ariana. Ben and Gracie will now compete for the last spot in the Finale by making 3 Cheese Soufflés!!! Not an easy challenge for either cook. The judges taste them at the same time and talk about it with each other. And the last home cook to make it into the MasterChef Jr Finale is … BEN!!!

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Sadly, Gracie is going home. Christina says, “You have brought so much love into this kitchen Gracie. Your tenacity in coming back from last season has paid off. We have seen you grow as a cook and as a person. I have really enjoyed getting to know you.” Gracie says, “Before you ask me, I want to say that I think Evan will win because he keeps his head when things get crazy. Being on this show has been so much fun. I wish I could do it all over again next year 😉!” Evan, Beni and Ariana come down from the balcony to join Ben in the shrinking group hug goodbye. Saying goodbye is getting harder and harder.

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Episode 26 It’s time for the Finale! Ariana, Ben, Beni and Evan will cook a 3 course meal and 2 of them will be declared winners. The finalists’ families and all the Season 6 contestants are cheering from the balcony. MasterChef Junior Season 1 Winner Alexander is the guest judge!
For the Appetizer Evan made Grilled Chicken Tacos. Christina says, “The chicken is so succulent. It is the star of the dish!” Aarón disagrees, “This salsa is the star! It is bright and flavorful and brings a ordinary taco up to MasterChef Level.” Beni made Spot Prawns. They are a beautiful red color and the meat tastes incredible but Gordon says, “The broth is a bit too spicy hot for me. Too much cayenne?” Aarón disagrees, “I enjoy the heat, Gordon. I think it adds a depth of flavor unmatched in most seafood dishes.” Ben made Spicy Pork Sausage. Before Gordon tastes the dish he says, “It looks okay Ben, but maybe not a Finale worthy dish.” Again Aarón disagrees, “If the flavors are elevated it could be as good as any Beef Wellington!” The sausage is actually amazingly delicious and Alexander says, “I think Chef Aarón was right. You did something very special here, all on a toasted bun. Great job!” And Ariana surprises the judges with Shrimp & Grits. Both elements are spot on. Gordon says, “I wasn’t expecting a southern style dish from you, but this is amazing. You took Shrimp & Grits to another level. Did you use a Belarusian trick with your seasoning? Well done.”
For the Entrée Evan made Double Cut Pork Chop. The pork is the perfect temperature and cooked beautifully. Aarón says, “I love, love, love this Cactus Sauce! It brings me back to my childhood.” Alexander says, “I’m super amazed by your talent and creativity in this dish.” Ben made Brisket. Sadly he did not trim the fat enough and it does not taste as good as it could. Some of the judges think it is a bit overcooked, but Alexander got the best serving and says, “Mine is very good. I know it’s tough to have a dish not go the way you hope, but if I learned anything in the MasterChef Kitchen it’s that mistakes make you better. Gog job!” Ariana made Goat Chops. The chops have an amazing sear and meat is cooked perfectly. Christina says, “I’ve never had this cut of meat before Ariana and I am excited to try something so special. Your seasoning is on point and you have created an elevated dish that I won’t soon forget.” And Beni made Duck Breast. Alexander says, “You got an excellent sear, this skin is spectacular. I love it.” Aarón agrees, “And the cook on this meat is top notch. I’m always looking for chefs that cook duck as well as this for my restaurants. And you’re only nine years old!?”
The finally for Dessert Evan made Peanut & Coconut Cookies. When Christina cuts into one it is nice and moist. Aarón says, “You know, I always asked my mom to make cookies for me when I was growing up, and these remind me of the ones I used to love. You can bake, man, you can bake.” Beni’s Mini Apple Pie is beautiful. The crust and lattice work is golden and crisp and the pie cuts well, but some of the apples slices are a bit too big. Christina explains, “If you cut your apples pieces too big they don’t cook all the way through and effect the taste of the pie. This is a small knife skills mistake, but small mistakes are important when everyone is cooking at such a high level.” Ariana’s Pirozhnoe Kartoshka are amazing. Alexander says, “I didn’t know potatoes could be made into dessert, but these are delectable.” Christina says, “You went back to your roots and elevated something as simple as a potato into an elegant chocolate sponge. I’m beyond impressed, I’m jealous.” And Ben made a Chocolate Bunt Cake. The sponge is amazing and deep flavor of the chocolate is remarkable. Christina says, “You nailed this cake, Ben, but I’m not sure about the raw strawberries on top. They made the cake a bit soggy on top.” Alexander agrees, “I love the strawberries as a counter point to the deep chocolate flavors, but I think they would have been better on the side. And by the way, your hand whipped cream is THE BEST I’ve ever tasted. Can you show me how you made that after the show?”

The judges remind the finalists they are all great cooks and they have all created amazing meals. It is incredibly hard to pick the winners and that it comes down to the smallest of details. Aarón says, “No matter who wins today, you are all definitely going places in the culinary world!” The After much debate they choose 2 winners. The finalists are asked to switch places with the judges on the main stage. And the 2 winners of MasterChef Jr Season 6 are …

EVAN AND ARIANA!!!

They are in shock and hug each other. Beni is so happy for her friend Evan she almost knocks him over with a big hug. A teary eyed and overjoyed Aarón also hugs Evan and says “Amazing Job Man!” Christina wraps her arms around Ariana and says “You deserve it, Girl!” Gordon hugs both Ben and Beni and tells them, “You are amazing cooks! It’s been a pleasure working with you! I hope to see you again when you open your own restaurants someday!” Then all the kids come forward to congratulate their friends! Evan and Ariana get $100,000 each and MasterChef Jr Trophies. Ben and Beni get $50,000 each and MasterChef Jr Medals. The show ends with the biggest group hug of the season and tons of confetti covering them all! Someone is heard saying, “We’ll always be friends.”

 The End 😊

 

 

My Fantasy MasterChef JR S6 x E23 & 24

Episode 23 The Top 6 will cook for 30 MasterChef Jr Alumni. Evan is the Captain of the Red Team and Gracie is Captain of the Blue Team, but the judges pick the teams.

Ariana and Beni are on Evan’s team

and Ben and Sammy are on Gracie’s team.

During the cook time Sammy undercooks the lamb and it goes to the Winner’s Table! They send it back. Ben takes charge and completes the cook, but this is a big error.

Evan is an amazing captain for his team. He checks in with Ariana and Beni and helps as they need it.

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All the kids are happy to see other young home cooks like Adam, Avery and Jack. And the previous winners Alexander, Dara, Logan, Adaiah, Nathan, Ryan Kate, Zac, Nate, Shayne and Adam

I loving tasting the food and seeing their friends again. The votes are counted and the winning team is … RED TEAM!!! Evan gives his team a hug and says, “Great job! I love working with you two so much!”

Tomorrow Gracie, Ben and Sammy must make the technically challenging Croquembouche in the final Pressure Test. But today, they get to hang out with all the guests and talk MasterChef Junior experiences.
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen Gracie nails her Cream Puffs. And Christina says, “Your spun sugar is a work of art. It’s magical!” Sammy’s Cream Puffs are heavenly and his sugar covers the entire tower. Gordon says, “These pastries are so good, I want to eat more and more of them!” Ben’s structure is a bit crooked, but the pastry is light and Aarón says, “This vanilla cream is to die for!” And the cook going home is …. NO ONE! All 3 did so amazing they all deserve to stay and keep cooking in the MasterChef Kitchen!

Episode 24 The top 6 will cook a dish inspired by their families. The first best dish belongs to Gracie with her Pan Seared Salmon. She made this dish because her family loves fish. The cook is spot on and the glaze on top is stunning and delicious. The next dish belongs to Ben. He made Cupcakes because his family loves it when he bakes for them. They are light and fluffy and the frosting on top is one of the best Christina ever tasted! And the last dish belongs to Sammy. He made Pan Seared Chicken Thigh because this is the dish they always order when they go to restaurants. It is a bit overcooked but the skin is nice and crispy and the sauce on the side more than makes on for it.

And the winner is … GRACIE!!! She has won her way to the semifinals and a great advantage.

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The 5 remaining cooks are sent to the pantry to fill their baskets with all the ingredients they need to make an amazing dish. YES! When they return to their stations there is a twist. Gracie gets to switch the baskets!!!! NO! Evan gets Ben’s Basket, Sammy gets Ariana’s Basket, Ben gets Beni’s Basket, Ariana gets Evan’s Basket and Beni gets Sammy’s Basket.

Evan made BBQ Ribs and they are amazing. The meat is tender and juicy and the sauce is an explosion of flavor. Gordon says, “I love how you were able to quickly change directions and adapt to the new ingredients. You show signs of a great chef young man.” Ben’s Chicken Pot Pie sticks to the pot so he has to serve it in the cookery. Christina says, “I think you may have kept it in the oven a few minutes too long, because it is a little dry, but overall, the flavors are there and it tastes pretty good.” Beni’s Mac & Cheese is super creamy and Aarón says, “You surprised me with the flavors in your mac and cheese. Your choice of spice blows my mind!” Ariana’s Sea Bass is a glistening white and flakes like a dream. Gordon says, “Your miso glaze is mature and tastes like it came from a four star restaurant!” Sammy’s Steak is overcooked and the sides are not that good. Gordon says, “I think you could have done better with this challenge. This simply is not good enough.”

EVAN and ARIANA are the top 2

and Ben and Sammy are in the bottom. Because his dish was slightly better, the cook moving forward to the Semi Finals is … Ben. Sadly, a teary eyed Sammy is going home. Gordon says, “Sammy, Sammy. Today was a rough day in the kitchen for you. I’ve had days like this too. But you are a great cook and if you keep working at it, I think you can be a great chef someday. Please tell me you will keep cooking.” Sammy says, “I will Chef. Thank you.” Gordon says, “Good man. Now, tell me, who do you think will win this competition?” Sammy answers, “Evan will win.” Evan hugs him goodbye and says “I will miss you so much.” This time, all the kids walk Sammy to the back of the Kitchen and wave to him as he walks out the doors.

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My Fantasy MasterChef JR S6 x E21 & 22

Episode 21 The top 8 arrive at Big Bear Lake where they will cook fish for the three judges. Winners from the last challenge, Beni & Evan, are Team Captains and flip a coin to see who gets first pick.

Beni wins the toss and gets to choose whether she will pick her team mate or the type of fish her team will work with. Beni wants to pick her teammates and so the Red Team members are Ben, Quani & Sophia.

That means Evan’s Blue Team members are Ariana, Gracie & Sammy.

Now Evan gets to pick between Salmon or Halibut. He picks Salmon, so the Red Team will cook Halibut. During the cook time Evan helps Sammy who is having trouble frying the potatoes. On the Red Team Sophia drops the fish in the sand and Beni helps her cook a new one!!

The judges try both dishes. The Blue Team’s Salmon is nice and pink, has crispy skin and the seasoning is spot on. The fish tastes delicious and the potatoes and veggies are cooked nicely. The Red Team’s Halibut is cooked well, but it is a bit over seasoned and the grilled veggies are still raw. The winning team is … BLUE TEAM!!!
For the Pressure Test the Red Team has to make Éclairs. Beni’s Strawberry Éclairs are firm and the strawberry cream works very well as a filling. Sophia puts big chucks of pineapple in her éclairs and the dough ends up undercooked. Christina says, “It’s never a good idea to put fruit directly into the Pate a Choux dough, whole fruit is best saved for fillings or glazes. And pineapple is especially fibrous.” Next, Quani’s Chocolate Éclairs are troubled. They are super flat and kind of fall apart when Aarón tries to lift it off the plate. Luckily, the flavors are there. “They actually taste pretty good, Quani.” Ben’s White Chocolate Éclairs are amazing. The shells are baked perfectly and the white chocolate cream filling is beyond yummy. Gordon says, “OMG. These are so good. I want everyone here to try a bite!” And they do. And they agree.

Not surprisingly, the best box of Éclairs belongs to … BEN!!!

@mcjr-s6_15-Ben-Gray_1104_pBeni is also safe. That leaves Sophia and Quani. And the young home cook heading to the top 7 is … Quani! Sadly, that means Sophia is going home.☹ Christina says, “Sophia, you are an amazing cook. And an amazing person to watch in the kitchen. Let your creativity continue to guide you. It’s very special.” Group hug and promises to keep cooking. Then Sophia says, “I think Ariana will win in the end. She is one of the best cooks I have ever met! Good luck to everyone though!”

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Episode 22 The top 7 find canned food under their Mystery boxes. They must open the cans and make a dish out of at least one canned item. By the looks of it, not everyone has used a hand held can opener before, and some of them struggle getting the tops off the cans. But they do. And they cook their hearts out. And three of them get called to the front for tasting. The first best dish belongs to Sammy. He made Smoked Sardines over pickled cabbage. Gordon says, “Somehow you managed to smoke these little guys perfectly and make a fantastic dish. I love the simplicity. Well done.” The next dish belongs to Evan. He made Pumpkin Sweet Potato Ravioli. Aarón says, “No one would believe this elevated dish started in a can. It looks beautiful.” And it tastes beautiful too. Evan hit this one out of the park. And the last best dish belongs to Gracie with her Peach Cake. Christina says, “It is moist, it is light, it is peach perfect young lady. You are baking beyond your years!”

And the winner is … EVAN!!! He is not safe, but he wins an advantage for the Elimination Challenge.

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Aprons on! Everyone has to cook a cut of beef, and Evan gets to decide who gets what cut, including himself. Evan takes the Filet Mignon. He gives the Flank Steak to Beni, the Hanger to Ariana, the T-Bone to Ben, the Rib Eye to Sammy, the Flat Iron to Quani, and the New York Strip to Gracie.

During the cook time Beni’s steak appears to be burning on the grill. Evan goes to her station to warn her to turn down the heat. He says, “Yes, I want to win. But Beni is my friend and no matter what I am going to help my friend.”

Time is up so fast. Sammy’s Rib-Eye is overcooked, it has become tough and chewy. Gordon says, “This is too bad, Sammy. You had the cut everyone wanted, but you left it too long in oven. One thing though, this seasoning is very good. It’s something I would like to have again.” Beni’s Flank Dish looks a bit messy on the plate, but it tastes amazing. When she walks back to her station she stops to give Evan a hug and thank him for helping her save her dish from ruin. Ben did not adequately sear the fat off the T-Bone and it tastes too fatty. Some of the meat is cooked nicely though, and Aarón says, “There are some great bites here, for that I’m grateful.” Evan’s Filet Mignon is as good as it gets. It has an incredible sear on every side and the herb butter he melted on top makes it taste even better than it should!!! Christina says, “This is the best filet I’ve had in all the MasterChef shows. I want to keep eating.” Gracie nailed the cook and presentation of the New York Strip. Gordon says, “You have done justice to this beautiful cut of meat. This is as good as any cook in my kitchens could make. I’m serious. You have blown me away young lady.” Ariana has a nice cook on her Hanger Steak. Aarón says, “I like the way you marinated your cut. You were able to make it tender and delicious. I just wish it had more of a sear to hold in all those flavors.” And Quani’s Flank Steak is seriously undercooked. Christina says, “Quani, I’m afraid you spent too much time chopping too much garlic. Your steak needed more time on the grill, and less garlic. It overpowers my palette.”

EVAN & GRACIE cook the best steaks of the night.

Sammy & Quani are the bottom 2. And sadly, the young chef going home is … Quani. ☹ Aarón says, “Quani, I’m really sorry to see you go. I have enjoyed watching you grow as a chef in these past weeks. I hope we get to work together in the future, because you are going to become a great chef one day.” The judges and chefs take turns giving Quani individual hugs goodbye. Quani is all smiles. He says, “I had so much fun here. I wish I wasn’t going home. And before you ask Chef, I think Evan will probably be one of the winners. But it could be anyone, because everyone here is that good.”

 

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My Fantasy MasterChef JR S6 x E19 & 20

Episode 19 The Top 10 will make a Lamb dish with at least two sides. They will work in teams of 2. The wining team will have their recipe in Family Circle Magazine. The judges put Ben & Emily, Sammy & Gracie, Beni & Quani, Evan &Ariana, and Cade & Sophia together.

During the cook time Cade & Sophia struggle with communication. Cade wants to use his Southern style of cooking and Sophia wants to use her Hawaiian flare. They take so long deciding what to do, they never complete their sides and just get the lamb on the plate. Gordon cuts into the lamb to find it undercook. He says, “This is upsetting. You are both better cooks than this. And it is ridiculous you do not have any sides.” Evan & Ariana made Spiced Herb-crusted Lamb Chop. They nailed the cook on the lamb. It is seasoned well and tastes delicious. Christina likes the spring themed sides, shelled peas and glazed carrots. Sammy & Gracie make Grilled Lamb Chop. It has amazing grill marks and the meat is tender. Aarón says, “Overall, a good job.” Beni & Quani cooked their lamb well, however they overcook the side of zucchini and undercook the potatoes.
And Ben & Emily’s dish has some real problems. The lamb is undercooked and the sauce they made for it is broken. Gordon says, “I don’t know what happened today, but this is the worst performance from both of you.” The wining dish belongs to EVAN & ARIANA!!! Gracie & Sammy and Quani & Beni are also safe.


That means Ben & Emily and Sophia & Cade are going to the Elimination Test. After Gordon demonstrates the necessary techniques they have to replicate Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Cauliflower Purée and Shallot Vinaigrette. Ben’s lamb is spot on, the seasoning is perfect and all the elements are flavorful. Christina says, “ I knew you could bake. Now I know you can cook as well!” Sophia also cooked her lamb to perfection and Aarón is impressed that even though she does not cook lamb a lot she stayed focused and got it done.

Sadly, both Emily and Cade have undercooked their lamb. The judges tell them they must cook their dishes again! When they put the new dishes up, the judges taste them at the same time and then go to talk. The young home cook who is safe by the slightest of margins is … Cade, since his was seasoned better. So Emily is going home. ☹ The other cooks surround her with hugs and well wishes. On her way out Gordon asks Emily who she thinks the final winner will be. She smiles and says, “Evan. I think Evan will win.”

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Episode 20 The 9 remaining home cooks arrive at their station and lift their Mystery Boxes to find a huge jar of Nutella, that deliciously sweet hazelnut and chocolate spread from Italy! They have 60 minutes to make a restaurant quality dish with this ingredient. Everyone is excited to work up until the last moment when Aarón shouts, “Times up! Hands in the air!” The first best dish belongs to Gracie with her Nutella cookies. She baked them nicely and the Nutella shines. The next best dish belongs to Ben. He made Nutella Filled Donuts. They are super fluffy and Christina says, “They taste divine. I like how you are showing your baking skills.” The last best dish belongs to Beni with her Nutella Turnovers. The pastry is a golden crisp and they are filled nicely.

And the winner of the Mystery Box Challenge is … BEN!!!! He is in top 8 and gets to pick the teams for the Picnic Platter Tag Team Challenge. The platters with include Lobster Rolls, Sliders, Scotch Eggs, Homemade Tortilla Chips with Salsa & Baked Cookies.
Ben pairs Beni & Evan, Sammy & Cade, Quani & Gracie and Ariana & Sophia.

During the cook time Evan and Beni are doing amazing. They talk about what to do before the switch and keep cheering each other on! Sophia and Ariana are also working well together. Unfortunately, Sammy and Cade are having trouble coordinating their efforts and they are yelling at each other a lot. And Quani and Gracie are also having problems working as a team.

Time is up. Evan and Beni are up first. Evan says working with Beni was fun because she is one of his best friends. Their platter looks amazing. The lobster rolls are cooked nicely, the sliders are medium rare, and the Scotch eggs are spot on. Beni made her grandmother’s shortbread cookies and Christina says they are better than at Milk Bar. And Evan’s spiced chips are incredible. Quani and Gracie’s platter is not as good. The burgers are hammered and the lobster lacks flavor. The chips are burnt and the cookies are under baked. Gordon says, “Gracie, you did do a good job on the Scotch eggs, so lunch is not a total loss.” Sophia and Ariana’s platter is fine. Sophia did well on the lobster roll and Ariana’s burgers are nicely cooked, but their Scotch eggs are a tad overworked and taste greasy. Sammy and Cade’s platter is a disaster. They forgot the Scotch eggs, the sliders and lobster tail are undercooked, the cookies are dry and broken and the chips are soggy. Aarón says, “My oh my, this platter just never came together. I want to say something positive, but there are technical problems with every element.” The best team is … EVAN & BENI!!!

And the worst team is Sammy & Cade. The young cook the judges think did slightly better is … Sammy. So that means Cade is going home, again. ☹ Christina says, “Cade, I want you to know what a pleasure it has been to have you here in the MasterChef Kitchen. You bring so much positivity to everything you do. Don’t lose that!” All the kids hug him goodbye, and before Gordon can ask, Cade turns and says, “I think my platter partner Sammy will win. I know he’s got what it takes!”

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My Fantasy MasterChef JR S6 x E16, 17, 18

Episode 16 Redemption Challenge! The last 8 eliminated kids – Anthony, Avery, Cade, Gracie, Grayson, Henry, Juelz & Zia – come back to the MasterChef Kitchen to try and win their way back into the competition. Two will succeed. All the kids are super excited to see their friends again and there is a lot of cheering from the balcony! For the first challenge the 8 returning cooks will cook as many fried eggs as they can in thirty minutes. The top 6 will move on to the next round. GRACIE and GRAYSON both make 14 perfect sunny-side-up eggs. AVERY makes 13. HENRY makes 10, ZIA and CADE both make 9. Sadly, Anthony and Juelz make only 8 and do not advance to the next round. Everyone waves goodbye as they leave the kitchen for the second time this season.
Now the remaining 6 kids will have to remake the dish they were sent home on, but the judges will only taste 4 dishes, and choose 2 winners. Avery, Cade, Gracie & Grayson’s dishes are chosen to come forward, so sadly everyone has to say goodbye to Zia and Henry again. On her way out Zia says, “It was so much fun to come back and try again. That Tilly Burger is a tough dish for me!”

Time for the tasting. Gracie’s Homemade Sausage on a Roll is nicely cooked and the seasoning is perfect. Christina says, “You just might be the last one out and the first back with these flavors missy. Terrific job!” Grayson’s Vanilla Layered Cake is baked well and the frosting tastes good, but the sponge is a bit too sweet. Cade’s Salmon en Croûte is nice and pink on the inside and golden brown on the outside. The mustard is a bit strong for Gordon, but Aarón likes that Cade is not afraid of using spice. And Avery’s Chicken & Potatoes is better than her first attempt, the chicken is cooked well, but still, it lacks seasoning. The first young home cook coming back is … GRACIE and the second young cook is … CADE! That means Avery and Grayson are going home for a second time. ☹ Christina, Gordon & Aarón decide they will walk Avery and Grayson to the doors while Gracie and Cade run up to the balcony to rejoin their friends. It is all Goodbyes and Welcome Backs in the MasterChef Kitchen!

Episode 17 The Top 12 arrive at a local park where they will cook for a Bounce House & Fireworks Party. Quani is the Red Team Captain and picks Ariana, Ben, Emily, Mikey & Sophia.

Gracie is the Blue Team Captain and picks Beni, Cade, Evan, Maria & Sammy.

On the Red Team Ben is doing amazing grill work on the porkchops. When Sophia puts out fried fish that is practically raw, Gordon says “This is not a sushi bar!’ On the Blue Team Gracie asks Evan to help Maria grill the pork. He works fast to pull the meat from the fire and get it on the plates. The judges tell everyone the winning team will be announced tomorrow back in the MasterChef Kitchen. For now, everyone did such a great job, they should bounce and eat and enjoy the fireworks before heading back to the hotel. 😊

Back in the MasterChef Kitchen the teams line up to learn the vote was incredibly close. By only three votes, the winning team is … THE RED TEAM!!! The Blue Team is heading to the dreaded Pressure Test. They will cook Lobster Tail. Gracie’s lobster is cooked well and the broth is amazing. Gordon says, “I’m so happy you came back to show us what you can do.” Sadly, Sammy overcooked his lobster, it is tough and chewy. Aarón says, “This one got away from you buddy, but I want you to know that this broth is delicious.” Evan’s lobster tail is amazing. Christina says, “I don’t know how you learned to make broth like this at your age, but I am impressed. This lobster is sweet and tender and the best I’ve tasted in this kitchen!” Maria’s lobster is undercooked and there is little to no broth in the bowl. Beni nailed the cook on the lobster, but she added too much spice to the broth. Gordon asks, “How much pepper did you put into your broth? Too much I think.” Cade’s lobster tail was covered by broth that didn’t have much flavor. Luckily for him the lobster itself was cook well and with a little butter would have been delicious.

Gracie, Evan & Beni are the top 3. Then Sammy is saved.

And then Cade is saved. Which means the next young home cook leaving the MasterChef Kitchen is … Maria. ☹ She breaks down crying and Christina gives her a handkerchief and tells her, “You are an amazing cook. Don’t ever underestimate your talents in the kitchen. Chin up!” Maria smiles and runs to the kids who are waiting to squish her in a group hug. Someone picks her up, because we see her feet dangling in the air before she heads to the doors. 😊

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Episode 18 The Top 11 arrive for a difficult Skills Test. They have to shuck as many scallops as they can in 15 minutes. The six young cooks who successfully open and clean the most scallops will be in the Top 10! Ariana, Ben, Beni, Quani, Sammy & Sophia do the best. They are safe and head up to the balcony.

The 5 remaining young cooks have to cook the scallops they shucked. During the cook time Gracie drops her scallops on the floor. They are ruined. Before she can get too upset Evan gives her a few of his and encourages her to keep going. Christina says, “Did you see that? I hope Evan saved enough scallops for his dish.”

When time is up Evan is the first one called to bring up his dish. His scallops are seared beautifully on both sides, and cooked just the right amount. His seasoning is on point and they taste mind blowing. Gordon is shocked an 11 year old can look like this. Mikey overcooked his scallops. They are very rubbery and he did not get enough seasoning on them. Gracie over seasoned her scallops a bit, but they have an amazing sear and are very tender inside. Cade cooked and seasoned his scallops well however, he didn’t clean them properly and left a bit of the side muscle. And unfortunately for Emily, 2 out of 3 of her scallops are undercooked. But the one that is cooked well is absolutely stunning. Christina ate the whole thing.

 

Evan, Cade and Gracie are safe, they are in the top 10.

That leaves two young cooks who really struggled with this difficult challenge. Thanks to her brilliant scallop, Emily is safe, so the cook who just misses being in the top 10 is … Mikey☹. Cade looks devastated. Mikey smiles at him and says, “I think you can go all the way and win it buddy!” Everyone comes down from the balcony, and the judges come down from the stage, to hug Mikey goodbye. Gordon ruffles his hair and says, “Keep cooking. You are going to have your own Italian restaurant someday and I’m going to come and try your food!”

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My Fantasy MasterChef JR S6 x E13, 14, 15

Episode 13 The top 14 will be cooking a wedding dinner in a hotel! Evan is the Red Team Captain. He picks Anthony, Ariana, Ben, Beni, Gracie & Sammy for his team.

Grayson is the Blue Team Captain. He picks Cade, Emily, Maria, Mikey & Quani for his team

. They will be working in the hotel kitchen to making Gordon’s signature Beef Wellington & Nathan’s Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb. During the cook time Red Team’s Gracie can’t wrap the Beef Wellington correctly, but Ariana shows her how to do it. Meanwhile, Ben is getting an amazing sear on the lamb. Over on the Blue Team Cade allows undercooked lamb and raw beef to leave the kitchen. The guests send the dishes back and Gordon is not happy. Grayson sends Mikey to take over the meat, but the damage is done.

The winning team is … RED TEAM!!!!!
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen the Blue Team gets to save one kid from the dreaded Pressure Test and they save Grayson, since he was a great Captain. The remaining 6 Blue Team members will make the technically difficult Salmon en Croûte. Quani’s salmon is perfectly pink. His mustard dressing gives it a nice heat and the puff pastry is baked well. Mikey overcooked his salmon a bit and his mustard is too hot, but the pastry has good color and is crisp. Sophia’s fish is overcooked. Gordon expected her to do better, but thankfully, she nailed everything else. Emily’s fish is spot on, and pastry works, but it lacks the mustard’s flavorful punch. Cade is having a tough day. His salmon is not cooked, the pastry is wet and he forgot the mustard! Even though Maria’s salmon is small, it tastes amazing.

Quani, Emily and Maria are the top 3.

Mikey, Sophia and Cade are in the bottom.

Gordon sends Mikey and Sophia to the balcony, so the one going home is … Cade. ☹ He says, “Did you ever have one of those days where everything went wrong? That’s the kind of day I had. But I’m glad to have been here and met all these great folks. I’m going home to work on this pastry fish dish until I get it perfect!” 😊 He gets lots of hugs and compliments before he leaves.

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Episode 14 The top 13 are excited to see MasterChef Jr winner SHAYNE back in the kitchen!

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Today they will be cooking with some of his most favorite things ingredients: venison, lobster tail, rib-eye, bacon and Cajun Seasoning. The first best dish belongs to Gracie with her Pan Seared Venison. Shayne loves the cook and seasoning and he just wants to keep eating it. The next best dish belongs to Sammy with his Cajun Seasoned Rib-Eye. The sear and cook is amazing. Shayne says, “If you’re cooking at this level, I’d be terrified if you were in my season!” The last best dish belongs to Quani with his Lobster Tail. He poached it nicely in seasoned butter and Shayne loves it so much he wants to finish the whole thing. Shayne and the judges spend a great deal of time trying to choose the best of the best. They finally make their decision. And the winner is … GRACIE … and SAMMY … and QUANI!!! All 3 win!

 


The ten remaining cooks will be baking a layer cake in the Elimination Challenge. A minimum of three layers are required! Ariana’s Vanilla Cake looks good but it is under baked and the sponge has no flavor. The vanilla buttercream frosting is very good. Ariana goes back to her station tearing up but Evan gives her a warm hug and tells her to stay positive, it’s going to be okay. Evan’s Tres Leches Cake is expertly baked. The layers are moist and taste delicious. Aarón says, “My mind is blown. An eleven-year-old made a cake it took me years to perfect.” Beni’s Coconut Cake is baked well, however some of the shredded coconut pieces are too big. Christina tells her, “When it comes to baking, everything has to be precise, even the size of the toppings.” Grayson’s Strawberry & Cream Cake is very unbaked. The added strawberries threw off the balance in the recipe and ruined the sponge. Ben’s Chocolate Cake is baked perfectly and very sweet. Gordon and Aarón are put off by the sweetness, but Christina loves it. Emily’s Vanilla Cake lacks frosting between layers, but the sponge is nice and tastes pretty great. Anthony’s Chocolate Cake is covered in too much frosting which overpower the delicate sponge layers. His layers are impressive though, he had six of them.

The top 3 best cakes of the night belongs to BEN, EMILY & EVAN!!!

Anthony, Grayson & Ariana are in the bottom.

Anthony is saved because of his great layering, then Ariana is called forward. Her frosting saved the day. that means … Grayson is the next to go home. ☹ Instead of leaving the kitchen directly, Aarón suggests everyone bring out their cakes and have a small going away party for Grayson. And that’s just what they do. 😊

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Episode 15 The top 12 cooks arrive in the MasterChef Kitchen to find out they will be working in teams of two today. The judges have paired Ariana & Evan, Ben & Beni, Mikey & Emily, Quani & Sophia, Maria & Anthony, and Sammy & Gracie. Everyone will make a Beef Wellington from scratch, then the teams will have to decide who brings their dish to the judges for tasting. Evan & Ariana are up first. They pick Evan’s Wellington because Ariana’s crust did not have the golden brown color it needed. Evan nailed the cook on the beef, the crêpe is cooked well and the puff pastry is practically perfect. All 3 judges love the taste. Up next, Quani & Sophia. They show Sophia’s Wellington because Quani thinks he might have overcooked the filet. Sophia’s filet is just right and the puff pastry is buttery and crisp. Sammy & Gracie choose to bring up Sammy’s Wellington because Gracie didn’t finish hers. It was still cooking in the oven when time was called. But Sammy forgot the crêpe and the beef is hammered on the inside☹. Ben & Beni have a hard time choosing the best Wellington. They both think they nailed it. So Ben does Eeny, meeny, miny, moe and Beni wins. Her Wellington is a home run. She nailed the cook on the meat the she got the best texture on the crêpe. Emily & Mikey decide Mikey’s Wellington is visually the best, but sadly the beef ends up being overcooked. The other elements are spot on. Gordon says, “What a shame.” And Anthony & Maria pick Anthony’s Wellington because he feels like he nailed it and Maria is not so sure. Turns out, Anthony’s meat is severely undercooked and the crêpe is soggy and the pastry is raw on the inside. Evan & Ariana, Quani & Sophia, Ben & Beni did the best. It is so close the judges can’t pick a winner, but all of them are safe. Emily & Mikey did just enough for safety too.


So Sammy, Gracie, Anthony & Maria will go on to the dreaded Pressure Test, where not one, but TWO kids will go home!

They will make a Homemade Sausage on a Roll. Sammy’s uses two kinds of meat and it pays off. 😊 Christina says, “This is extremely delicious!” Anthony’s chicken sausage is pink and Gordon can’t eat it because it is dangerously undercook. Gracie’s sausage is seasoned well, but it is overcooked and dry. And Maria’s sausage is cooked well, but it lacks seasoning. Aarón says, “I’m just not detecting much flavor here.” Sammy is saved first. Next, Maria is saved because the other sausages were worse than hers. That means Gracie and Anthony are going home. Everyone is shocked. There are hugs all around, and tears. Evan says, “I will miss you guys so much!”