This takes place after my season 7 that I made up, so technically it is my season 8. 😊
In this season there are 24 kids competing and the judges are chefs Gordon, Aarón and Christina. Each judge will pick 8 cooks be on their team and each judge will mentor their young home cooks throughout the competition.
Team Gordon: Sadie, Kyle, Malia, Ben, Reid, Kate, Miguel & Ashely.
Team Christina: Aaron, Jaala, Che, Evie, Shannen, Mateo, Tal & Brielle.
Team Aarón: Rhashad, Thomas, Neko, Ivy, Nayeli, Jayden, Matthew & Talulah.
For the first Mystery Box the top 24 cook a Signature Dish and the judges pick the best dish on each team. The first dish belongs to Reid. He made a grilled Pork Chop. The cook is amazing and the sear gives it a nice crunch. Gordon says, “This is an amazing start young man. I am so happy I gave you an apron.” The next best dish belongs to Jaala. She made Honey Cake. The cake is nice and fluffy and you can really see the layers. Christina says, “Jaala with this slice of cake you can go all way! Great job!” And finally, Jayden’s Fried Hawaiian Shrimp is chosen. It is seasoned well and the shrimp is just amazing. Aarón loves the spiced Panko crumbs. He says, “I am in shock. If this is how you cook at age 12, I can’t wait to see what other dishes you have up your sleeve. Amazing job buddy.”
And the winner is … ALL 3 KIDS!!! They are safe. Now the judges will pick the weakest dishes of the night. Mateo from Christina’s team made very dry sea bass. Thomas from Aarón’s team served raw beef. And Ashley from Gordon’s team baked a mess of a cake. All the other kids are safe and join the three winning cooks on the balcony. The bottom 3 can make their signature dish again or make a whole new dish. And tonight, 2 will go home!!!!
Mateo makes Sea Bass again and it is slightly over cooked, plus the seasoning is bland. It’s a good dish, but nothing special. Second time around Thomas’s steak is perfectly cooked and tastes all right, but Gordon thinks it is over seasoned. Ashley bakes cupcakes this time, but they sink and the insides are underbaked.
And the one who is safe from elimination is ….. Thomas.
Sadly, that means Ashley and Mateo are going home. All the kids come downstairs to hug them goodbye. Christina gives them gift certificates for free cupcakes at Milk Bar in NYC. Cool. 😊
Now 22 cooks remain.
Team Aarón – 8, Team Christina – 7 & Team Gordon -7
The top 22 break down a whole salmon in 20 minutes! Then, the judges inspect the work and decide who is safe for the night and who is not.
Ivy Yes, Ben Yes, Shannen No, Reid No, Jayden Yes, Matthew Yes, Neko Yes, Kyle No, Nayeli No, Thomas No, Jaala Yes, Talulah No, Kate Yes, Che Yes, Miguel No, Sadie Yes, Rhashad Yes, Evie No, Tal Yes, Aaron No, Brielle Yes and Malia yes. The judges praise JAYDEN & SADIE for doing the very best of the 12.
Next, the remaining 9 kids are asked to make a salmon & rice dish. Again, 2 kids will be going home.
Thomas’s salmon is cooked right and the skin is crisp, however the rice has no seasoning and tastes bland. Aarón says, “Overall, a good job.”
Aaron’s salmon is super dry and Gordon can’t even sallow it. He says, “The only one who would like this dish is my cat!” However he nailed the cook on the rice.
Evie’s salmon is a hair overcooked, but Christina loves the way she put the rice between the fish and the skin. “It tastes great and has a bit of pizzazz.”
Reid nailed the cook on the fish and rice and the crispy skin is one of the best Gordon has ever tasted. He says, “If you keep cooking like this, I mean forget the top 20, you will be in the top 4!”
Talulah’s cook is spot on and her plating is professional. Aarón loves how she is putting her French background into all her dishes.
Miguel made a big mistake when he plated his salmon skin-side down. It not only made the fish soggy but his rice as well!
Despite Nayeli’s sloppy plating and over cooked rice, her fish tastes amazing
Kyle’s salmon is glistening pink and the skin is crisp. Christina says, “Your dish is mind-blowing!”
Shannen’s dish looks great, but sadly, her fish is raw and the rice is like bullets. Christina says, “I am very disappointed, I know you can do better than this.”
REID, KYLE & TALULAH are the top 3 . Thomas, Evie and Nayeli are also safe. That leaves Miguel, Shannen and Aaron. In the end, Aaron is safe. So unfortunately, Miguel and Shannen are going home. The young home cooks gather for a big group hug. These kids will be friends for life. Aarón steps forward to give Shannen & Miquel signed aprons from his New Orleans restaurant Johnny Sánchez! They love them. 😊
Now 20 remain.
Team Aarón – 8. Team Christina – 6. Team Gordon -6.
The top 20 arrive at a beach for the first exciting Team Challenge. They will be cooking Fish & Chips for 101 guests. Jayden and Sadie are the Captains and need to pick their teams. Jayden picks Jaala, Aaron, Rhashad, Brielle, Reid, Thomas, Ivy, Nayeli &Talulah for the Blue Team. Sadie picks Tal, Malia, Evie, Kate, Kyle, Che, Ben, Neko & Matthew for Red Team.
Right off the bat Nayeli from the Blue Team gets stressed with the fast paced service and begins to cry. Jayden takes her aside and offers a hug. He kindly assures her, “I would not have picked you for my team if I did not think you could do it. I know you can!” Nayeli smiles and wants to try again. 😊 Meanwhile, the Red Team puts up raw fish and Gordon blows his top. Tal steps in and helps fix it, but they do get behind with plates going out. The votes are tallied and the wining team is the … BLUE TEAM!!!!!
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen Sadie gets to save 3 members of her team from the dreaded Pressure Test. She gives it some serious thought and decides Tal, Neko and Matthew are most deserving. They are thankful and rush to join the Blue Team on the balcony. The remaining kids have make a perfect Cheesecake.
Sadie’s cheesecake looks wonderful. It cuts well and tastes delicious. Gordon says, “Let’s get one thing right, the flavors and texture are spot on. I just wish you had done a better job with the topping. It’s a bit messy. But, overall, amazing job.”
Evie put too much butter in her crust and it is too thick. Aarón can’t even cut through it. But Christina says, “Still, the taste is amazing.”
Che’s cheesecake is absolutely incredible. He nailed the crust and the cheese has just the right creamy flavoring. Christina says, “This dessert is so good I want to have in Milk Bar.”
Malia’s cheesecake has a nice taste, but she burned the bottom.
Kyle’s crust is well baked but the cheesecake is very bitter. Gordon wonders if he mixed up the ingredients.
Kate’s cheesecake lacks filling so it is much too thin. Aarón says, “Your flavors are here and I love them. You just need to get your proportions sorted out.
And finally Ben’s cheesecake is so underbaked it’s leaking cheese and it does not taste good at all.
CHE had the best cheesecake of the night. Sadie, Kate and Malia also did well enough to stay. That leaves Kyle , Evie and Ben. And the one going home is … Ben.☹ He’s pretty sad but he gets lots of hugs from his friends. Before he leaves the kitchen Gordon gifts him with a large John Boos Cutting Board. Ben is all smiles and has to ask Che to help him carry it out! 😊
Now there are 19.
Team Aarón – 8. Team Christina – 6. Team Gordon – 5.
The top 19 run into the MasterChef Kitchen ready for the next Mystery Box Challenge. They lift the boxes to find fresh picked apples. They must make a sweet or savory dish highlighting this simple fruit.
The judges will taste the three best dishes. The first belongs to Che. He made an usual Apple Crusted Steak. The meat is nice and pink and apple crumble crust is fantastic. Christina says, “I’m thrilled to see you took a risk here. Desserts are expected, but you created the unexpected. Nice job!”
The next dish belongs to Ivy. She made an Apple Tartlet. Gordon said, “Your crust and cream are perfection. But the apple slices are a bit too big for such a small dessert.”
And the third dish belongs to Aaron. He made a Mini Apple Pie that had lots of potential, but sadly does not come through. Aarón says, “This mini pie has amazing flavors, the cinnamon bursts in my mouth. But unfortunately there are just not enough apples in your dessert. Dude, it’s an apple pie, I want it bursting apples!”
And the winner is … CHE! He is safe from elimination and he gets to save 10 other kids as well. He chooses Thomas, Tal, Kyle, Sadie, Ivy, Brielle, Rhashad, Aaron, Evie & Malia. They all rush to the balcony to enjoy Apple Pie A la Mode prepared by Christina! 😊
The remain 8 kids must make Churros. A churro is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux— dusted with sugar or cinnamon. Reid’s Churros are super burnt and the Chocolate Sauce is loose. Gordon says, “You’ve got one foot out the door. Unless these taste really good you will back hunting in Newnan.” They do taste pretty good, but Gordon doesn’t know if it is enough to keep him in the competition.
Nayeli’s Churros are the bomb. They have the right amount sugar dusting and Aarón loves the Chocolate Sauce .
Jayden’s Churros are very good. They are nice and crisp and have the best cook on them and the Chocolate Sauce is amazing. Aarón says, “These are the best I have ever had. And I have eaten A LOT of churros in my lifetime!”
Matthew’s Churros are very small, but they are packed with flavor. Gordon says, “They are small but amazing, just like you.” 😊
Jaala had success with both the pastry and the dipping sauce. Christina says, “They are amazing Jaala! I really think if you keep cooking like this you have a chance to win the whole thing.”
Neko made a big mistake with her Churros. She dusted them in salt in place of sugar, so they taste very bad. And her Chocolate Sauce is just ok.
Talulah nailed the taste and texture of her Churros, but her Chocolate Sauce is gloppy. And sadly, Kate’s Churros are underbaked and floppy. Gordon asks if she has given up
and Kate says she has not. Luckily, her Chocolate Sauce is die to for. It is so good Gordon licks it from his fingers 😊.
JAYDEN, JAALA and NAYELI are the top 3. So, sadly, Neko, Reid and Kate are the bottom 3. Kate is the first saved. And the next kid who is safe is … Reid. This means Neko is the next to go home☹. All the kids give her a hug and tell her they will miss her. Aarón gives her a MasterChef Baking Tool Set and tells her to keep on baking! Neko promises she will 😊
Now, 18 are left.
Team Aarón-7. Team Christina-6. Team Gordon-5.
Christina friends are getting married and the top 18 will be cooking lamb and salmon for the guests! Che is the Red Team Captain and he picks Ivy, Kyle, Reid, Matthew, Malia, Jaala , Kate & Tal. Thomas is the Blue Team Captain and he picks Jayden, Rhashad, Sadie, Nayeli, Evie, Brielle, Talulah & Aaron.
On the Blue Team eager Thomas is moving way too fast and drops an entire tray of COOKED LAMB!!!! Panic happens, but Jayden and Sadie remain calm and quickly save the team by getting more lamb in the oven. On the Red Team Kyle mistakenly puts up raw salmon, but Che catches it before it goes out to the dining room. Reid and Jaala fire it again.
The guests at the wedding place their votes and the winning team is the … RED TEAM!!!
Back in the MasterChef Kitchen Thomas gets to save either just himself or 5 of his teammates. It doesn’t take a second for him to decide he wants to save 5 of his friends. He chooses Sadie, Rhashad, Nayeli, Aaron & Evie. The remaining 4 have to make authentic Fried Chicken. And one of the four cooks will be going home.
During the cook time Talulah discovers her chicken is still raw near the bone, but she gets it back in the oven in time. All four home cooks are careful with their deep fryers and careful not to get burned by the splatters of oil.
Thomas’s drumsticks are overcooked and dry, ultimately they have no flavor. He tears up and Jayden gives him a nice hug, telling him it’ll be okay.
The cook of Jayden’s chicken is spot on. The outside is golden brown crispy and the inside is juicy and tender.
Talulah’s wings are a tad overcooked, however she seasoned the breading well.
And sadly Brielle’s chicken is raw and not safe for the judges to taste.
JAYDEN made the best chicken of the night. Not surprising, Brielle is the cook going home. Uncooked poultry is always a serious problem. The other home cooks gather around her to say good bye and Christina brings her a brand new deep fryer. “Maybe you’ll want to practice fried chicken at home with your family!” Brielle laughs and says her parents are going to be thrilled. 😊
Now there are 17 .
Team Aarón – 7. Team Christina – 5. Team Gordon – 5.
The top 17 return to the MasterChef Kitchen to find it is a Mystery Box Challenge. They find scallops and are asked to make a restaurant quality scallop dish. The judges also announce that one of the three weakest will be going home before the Elimination Round.
The first weakest dish belongs to Talulah. Her Pan Seared Scallops are rubbery and dry and the don’t have any seasoning.
Matthew’s Baked Scallops are undercooked and fall apart when Gordon cuts into them.
And Aaron fried his scallops too long and they are overdone. And the one going home is … Matthew. He is shocked and very sad, wiping tears from his eyes. But all the kids hug him and tell him how much they are going to miss him. Gordon brings a Matthew a special invitation to bring his family and friends to dine at Gordon Ramsay Steak in NYC! This cheers him up a bit! 😊
Next, the judges each pick the top two dishes from their mentor teams. Aarón chooses THOMAS & IVY, Christina chooses CHE & TAL, and Gordon chooses REID & SADIE. They are all safe, but the best dish belongs to THOMAS. He will get a BIG advantage in the next stage.
The remaining 10 kids have to make Fried Mac & Cheese. During the cook time Jaala burns her breading but she fixes it just in time. TIME IS UP Jaala’s dish looks amazing, it has the right amount of mac and cheese and perfect Panko crust. Christina says, “Seeing how you did not give up when things were going wrong shows me that you belong here. Amazing job!”
Aaron nailed the cook on the mac and cheese, but the panko is a bit over browned.
Rhashad’s mac and cheese is gloopy but the taste of everything together saves it.
Kyle’s crust fell off and he overcooked the mac and cheese, but the seasoning and flavors just sang.
Sadly, Nayeli’s fried mac and cheese is very soggy and falling apart☹.
Kate’s mac and cheese balls taste very good inside but they are too hard on the outside.
Jayden’s fried dish is amazing, the mac and cheese is super creamy and the fried crust is nice and crunchy. Aarón says, “You continue and continue to amaze me! Great job!”
Evie’s plate is perfect, the homemade taste is divine.
Talulah’s mac and cheese is delicious, but her coating is overcooked and carries a bitter aftertaste.
And finally, Malia’s dish is actually burned on the outside. Gordon says, “Unfortunately, young lady, this is unappetizing. It’s a shame.”
JAALA, JAYDEN and EVIE are the top 3 and Kyle, Nayeli and Malia are on the bottom. And the next one going home tonight is … Nayeli.
She is so disappointed. She gets a big hug from Jayden before all the other kids surround her with cheers and well wishes. Jayden even picks her up so she can see the Aarón is on his way over to bring her a huge wheel of aged cheddar cheese. Nayeli is stunned, but thrilled too. She says, “Cheeeeesssee un Crackers!” Jayden helps her turn it on its side and roll it out of the MasterChef Kitchen.
15 Left .
Team Aarón – 5. Team Christina – 5. Team Gordon – 5.
Today we start with a Chicken Dish Team Challenge. Since Thomas made the best dish last time he is safe from elimination and goes straight to the balcony after dividing the remaining 14 into teams of two. He pairs up Jayden & Ivy, Kate & Reid, Malia & Sadie, Che & Kyle, Aaron & Jaala, Tal & Talulah and Evie & Rhashad.
Jayden & Ivy make Pan Seared Buttermilk Chicken Breast. The chicken is cooked spectacularly and it tastes divine. Aarón loves how they kept it juicy using flavorful buttermilk. “This is a great dish made by 2 great members of my team!” 😊
Kate & Reid make Fried Chicken. Unfortunately, it is overcooked inside and out. The meat is dry and the Panko is over browned. Gordon says, “I really expected more from you two. I am very disappointed.” ☹
Together, Che & Kyle make NYC Style Fried Chicken and it is cooked beautifully. The batter fried coating has a really nice crunch and the seasoning is amazing. Christina says, “Overall the taste here is nothing short of delicious!” 😊
Aaron & Jaala’s Fancy Chicken Breast is not too fancy. Chef Aarón doesn’t want a second bite. “I’m sorry to tell you that this breast is way overcooked. I wouldn’t be able to serve this in my restaurants. It’s just not MasterChef quality here.” ☹
Tal & Talulah’s Spicy Chicken Wings are very good. They are cooked well and have the just the right amount of spice. When Gordon asks who mixed the spices for the rub, the team says they worked together to decide how much pepper was needed. “Well, let’s get one thing straight, you nailed that spice mix. I’d like to get copy of that recipe.” 😊
Rhashad & Evie’s Smoked Chicken Thighs are a simple but effective dish. Christina is impressed with the execution. “The meat is tender, the skin is crisp, and that hint of smoke is genius. Super good you two. Be proud.” 😊
And last but not least, Sadie & Malia. This team struggled to get the chicken cooked and only ended up getting one chicken leg on the plate. And that was undercooked! Gordon says, “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What happened here ladies? This will not do. Are you ready to go home?” ☹ They say “NO!” They say, “We know we can do better!”
The judges decide the best chicken dish of the evening belongs to … JAYDEN & IVY! Che & Kyle, Tal & Talulah and Evie & Rhashad have also made good dishes, and they are all safe.
The remaining 6 kids will have 60 minutes to make a Cheese Soufflé. Gordon explains they can bring their dish up to be tasted when it is ready. They get to it and eventually all six soufflés are completed and tasted by the judges.
REID’s is the best. It is light and airy and creamy and perfectly risen. Sadie, Jaala & Malia also make good soufflés and are safe from elimination. Unfortunately, Aaron’s soufflé has a bit of eggshells inside and Kate’s is undercooked and kind of soupy. Aaron is safe, and sadly Kate is going home. ☹ She gets lots of hugs from her friends and Gordon gives her a new ramekin set so she can practice at home. She is pretty thrilled about that. 😊
Now there are 14.
Team Aarón – 5. Team Christina – 4. Team Gordon – 4.
The top 14 will be cooking either filet mignon or sea bass for Firefighters, Doctors, Nurses & EMTS. Jayden and Ivy are Team Captains. They play Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who gets the first pick! Ivy wins first pick!
Ivy’s Blue Team: Malia, Kyle, Tal, Talulah, Reid & Evie . Jayden’s Red Team: Jaala, Thomas, Rhashad, Sadie, Aaron & Che.
On the Blue Team Reid loses track of time and leaves the expertly seared filet in the oven way too long. They dry out and are practically burnt. Ivy tells her team they will have to switch their menu to the sea bass. Malia steps up and cooks them at lightning speed.
Meanwhile, over on the Red Team, Aaron struggles at the grill and puts up steak so raw Gordon says, “Come on! It is moo-moo blue!” Luckily, Jayden catches it too and gets it back in the oven. For some reason, plates are going out from this side at a slower pace than the Blue side.
The Life Saving Guests vote and decide the winning team is the … RED TEAM! On the Blue Team, Malia is saved from the Pressure Test because of her amazing job cooking the sea bass under pressure.
The remaining 6 face the dreaded Pressure Test: One Dozen Cupcakes.
At the beginning of the pressure test Reid is still a bit flustered and has to redo his cupcakes because he forgot the sugar! He rushes at the end and has to serve them in the tins. Unfortunately, his cupcakes are underbaked. Gordon says, “This is just not your day young man. I can’t get the cupcake out of the tin. I’m just going to use my fork!” And then, “Well, that tastes amazing! 5 more minutes in the oven and you would have a winner here. Good for you for not giving up.”
Ivy’s vanilla cupcakes are pretty in the box, but when Aarón bites into one he says, “ They taste okay, but they need more flavor, more frosting, more everything a cupcake is supposed to be!” ☹
The bake on Kyle’s double chocolate cupcakes is spot on. Christina says, “I love the velvety frosting, Kyle. And the cake is moist and perfectly balanced. I want to send this batch to my family!” 😊
Evie’s cupcakes are a tad overbaked but they still taste amazing. Aarón says, “It’s unfortunate, because the flavors are here. I love the pineapple and coconut in the creamy frosting. But the cupcakes were in the oven about 3 minutes too long.” ☹
Tal had issues with technique. His pumpkin spice cupcakes were underbaked and stuck to the paper liners. Gordon says, “It was a nice idea young man, but they look a mess, and no amount of cream cheese frosting is going to fix the bake on these little orange puddings.” ☹
Tallulah’s matcha tea cupcakes taste amazing, but they are just too big. Christina says, “You were on your way to a perfect cupcake here Tallulah, but you put too much batter into the tins. The cupcakes have muffin tops, and they barely fit in the box. And you needed so much more frosting to cover them. But the cake, is very, very good.”
KYLE made the best cupcakes of the night. Ivy, Evie and Talulah are safe. That leaves Tal and Reid. And the young home cook going home is … Tal.
Tal receives many nice hugs and goodbyes from his friends. Before he leaves the MasterChef Kitchen Christiana gives him a Cupcake Kit so he can perfect his cupcake game. He promises he will post his progress on his Instagram account and Christina promises she will follow him ❤
Now there are 13.
Team Aarón – 5. Team Christina – 4 Team Gordon – 4.
The top 13 lift their Mystery Boxes to find Eggs! They are asked to make a restaurant quality dish that stars the incredible edible egg. Gordon, Christina and Aarón watch closely as the cooks create their dishes and choose three they want to taste.
The first dish is Evie’s Fried Egg Supreme. The cook is spot on and Aarón loves how the yolk is nice and runny. He says, “I’ve seen line cooks that can’t nail the cook on fried eggs. You did something special here, young lady. Nice job.”
The second dish the judges want to try belongs to Sadie. Her Goat Cheese Egg Cups are seasoned well and taste amazing. Gordon says, “I think this is your best dish so far. The goat cheese is surprisingly pleasing and your egg is light and fluffy. A delicious bite. Well done.”
And the third dish the judges choose is Kyle’s Poached Egg. The whites are a bit sloppy but the yolk runs like a dream. Christina says, “The look of your dish has let down Kyle, because this egg is so yummy. A lot of chefs struggle with the perfectly poached egg, and I admire you for trying this difficult technique.”
The Mystery Box Challenge Winner is … SADIE!
Sadie is safe from the Elimination Challenge – a chocolate dessert. During the bake time Kyle burns his tart and starts to panic. Che helps him focus and quickly make a new one. The judges are impressed with the young cooks willingness to help each other even though it is a competition. Sixty minutes end and it is time to taste.
Creative Thomas made a dessert imposter – a Brownie that looks like a piece of steak. Sadly, it is very underdone and has way too much chocolate inside. Aarón says, “I like your idea better than the dish itself.” ☹
Talulah’s Chocolate Macarons have nice feet and taste nice and chewy. Gordon is impressed. He says, “The chocolate flavor really comes through in the macaron and the filling. Outstanding. “ 😊
Aaron’s German Chocolate Cake is overbaked and the frosting is too sweet. Christina says, “This is not an easy cake to pull off in just an hour. And the coconut is delicious. But the cake is dry and the frosting is unbalanced. I want to remind you to taste as you go along. Taste is everything.” ☹
Che’s Dark Chocolate Mousse is just perfect. Aarón loves the texture and rich taste. “Mousse can be tricky to pull off, but you took the risk and this is a big success. Nice job, my man!” 😊
Ivy’s Chocolate Cream Puff tastes amazing, but is underfilled with chocolate cream. Gordon says, “Ivy, this is a very tasty dessert, but I want more more more chocolate inside! Give me more!” ☹
Rhashad’s Chocolate Filled Madeleines are buttery and light. Aarón and Christina disagree on the filling. Aarón can’t taste enough chocolate, but Christina thinks it is perfect for the delicate butter cookie. 😊 ☹
Jaala nailed her Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta. Christina says, “Jaala, your dessert has just the right amount of milk chocolate and the taste is divine. You can bake, girl!” 😊
Jayden’s Layered Chocolate Cake has nice clean layers and a yummy taste. Chef Aarón detects a bit of spice in the chocolate and loves it. “You took a big risk timewise, but you made it happen. The cake is perfectly baked and the frosting is rich and creamy. I think you can go all the way in this competition!”
Kyle’s Chocolate Tart has some problems. It is overbaked and cracked on top. Gordon says, “I’m sorry lad, but this dessert is not top 12 worthy. It tastes better than it looks, but still, is it good enough to keep you in the competition?”
Reid, Evie & Malia all happened to make chocolate coconut cookies. They are surprisingly similar and the judges are not too impressed either way. The cookies are just okay.
CHE, JAALA and JAYDEN are the top 3 chocolate bakers. Kyle, Aaron and Thomas are the bottom 3. And the one going home is … Thomas.☹His friends surround him with hugs and well wishes. They tell him they will miss him so much. And he predicts Jayden will be one of the joint MasterChef Jr Champions. Aarón hands him a beautiful wooden Molinillo, a Mexican kitchen tool for mixing chocolate. Thomas says he will be making hot chocolate for his family as soon as he gets home. 😊
Now there are 12.
Team Aarón – 4. Team Christina – 4 Team Gordon – 4.
The top 12 have to break apart a rack of ribs for the Skills Test. The judges announce that only the top 4 will be safe in this test. The young home cooks work carefully with their sharp knives and do the best they can. Everyone does very well and the Gordon says they had a hard time picking the best work. But in the end, EVIE & CHE are the top 2, and Talulah and Kyle are the next best two. They are also safe.
The remaining 8 face a Replication Challenge and have to make Gordon’s Ribs & Rice. They watch carefully as he demonstrates the necessary techniques and then it’s game on.
During the cook time Ivy drops her entire plate of ribs!!! Uncharacteristically flustered, she starts to cry (Commercial Break)but Jayden has extra ribs and gives them to her. 😊(Gordon thinks Jayden may have just given Ivy a $100,000 prize, but Christina and Aarón think it was kind and good sportsmanship to help his friend.)
Alas, Ivy’s second batch of pork has problems too. Christina says “Oh, Ivy! Your pork is burned on the outside and dry inside. I know this has been a rough challenge for you. I want you to know that your rice is delightful. Sadly, this has been the weakest dish I have seen from you. I’m sorry young lady.” ☹
The cook on Rhashad’s ribs is cooked spot on and he nailed the exotic spices. Chef Aarón says, “This shows that you are an amazing chef and I was 100% correct handing you an apron.” 😊
Reid nailed the cook on his meat, but the taste is just ok. Gordon says, “It lacks seasoning! I’m disappointed, because you are the meat guy. On the other hand, you seasoned the rice perfectly. It’s extra spicy and terrific.”
Jaala’s meat tastes amazing, but the rice is sticky. Christina says, “If the rice was cooked just a bit more it might have been THE dish of the night.”
Malia’s ribs are way overcooked. Gordon says, “Oh, Malia, the ribs are so overcooked they have lost all their juicy flavor. Not even not even your amazing spice rub or tasty rice can save it!” ☹
The plating on Sadie’s dish is rushed but she nailed the taste of everything. Gordon says, “Let’s get one thing right, the pork is beautifully cooked. Tastes Amazing. And your rice is to die for. But the look of this dish is atrocious. You need to work on your presentation. As everyone gets better, poor plating is something that can send you home my dear.”
Jayden’s pork ribs are cooked beautifully. They are juicy and delicious. And his rice is the best of the night. Chef Aarón says, “Jayden! Wow! Just wow! Are you sure you are 12 years old? This dish looks and tastes like a pro chef made it! Amazing job, mijo!”
And sadly, Aaron’s pork is very undercooked. This means the judges can only taste a bit of the side. And that does not taste too good. Christina says, “Aaron, I am trying to find something nice to say here but the pork is almost raw and rice is very underdone. I’m sorry buddy. Tonight was not your night.”
Chef Aarón is happy to announce that JAYDEN & RHASHAD are the top 2. Aaron, Malia, & Ivy’s dishes have left them at the bottom. And the next young home cook going home is … Malia! ☹
She gets lots of loving hugs walking out. Gordon calls her back to give her a free table in any of his restaurants in California and she is overjoyed. 😊
Then the judges shock everyone by saying they are going to send one more cook home!!!!! And that cook is Aaron! ☹ He tears up and all the kids give him a big group hug. Knowing how much he loves to bake, Christina gives Aaron a new stand mixer before he quickly exits with a smile. 😊
Now the Top 10 remain.
Team Aarón – 4. Team Christina – 3. Team Gordon – 3.
The top 10 arrive at Venice Beach for the Food Truck Challenge. They will make a Classic Burger and Fish & Chips. Evie is the Blue Team Captain. She picks Rhashad, Talulah, Sadie & Reid. Che is the Red Team Captain. He picks Jayden, Ivy, Kyle & Jaala.
On the Red Team Kyle’s fries are coming out very soggy, but Che realizes the oil needs to be hotter and the fries crisp up. Jaala forgets to sear the fish before putting it on the grill and it falls through. Che encourages her to start over and in the end the team works together to end well.
On the Blue Team Sadie puts up raw burgers three times in a row!!! And Gordon flips out, “Have you all given up?!” Evie assures him they have not. He says, “Step it up please. I don’t one guest spending the night in hospital!” Reid quickly cooks 3 new burgers and Rhashad and Talulah help with fast plating.
When all is said and done the judges reveal the winning team is … RED TEAM!!! Back in the MasterChef Kitchen the judges save Talulah, Reid and Rhashad, leaving Evie and Sadie to cook a Coconut Cake in a one on one Elimination Challenge.
During the bake time Sadie’s cake falls apart when she removes it from the cake tin. She remains calm and hastily puts it back toghter with frosting. “Fingers crossed!” she says. Time is up .
Sadie’s Coconut Cake is a bit of a mess. Christina says, “This is not your best work Sadie, but you and I know it is all about the taste.” Sadie nods in agreement. “Sadie … It’s delicious! The sponge is nice and fluffy and the layers of coconut cream are so smart. You added just the right amount of coconut. I hope it is enough to save you? We will see.”
Evie’s Coconut Cake is tall and even and looks amazing. But, when Gordon takes a bite he looks perplexed. He gives a bite to Evie and asks her what she thinks. Evie is surprised by the crunch in her cake. Too much toasted coconut over takes the delicate sponge. Gordon says “Oh Evie, when you bake with sweetened coconut you have to be very careful not to overdo it. It has overwhelmed your dessert adding too much texture and too much sweet. It’s a shame really.”
And the one who is going home is … Evie ☹
Sadie is safe and even though she is happy to be staying she is so sad to see Evie go. Evie says congratulations to Sadie and Sadie gives her a whopping tearful hug. Evie gets hugs from the judges and all her friends. Christina gives her an autographed Milk Bar Cookbook, a gift certificate for a life time supply of Corn Cookies and asks her to promise she will continue baking. Evie says, “Of course. It is my favorite thing to do! Thanks so much everybody! This has been a real blast!” 😊
Now there are only 9 left.
Team Aarón – 4. Team Christina – 2. Team Gordon – 3.
For the next Mystery Box Challenge the home cooks find something very familiar under the boxes. Peanut Butter and Jelly! The top 9 have to make a PB & J Dish that is not a sandwich. Gordon says, “Let your imaginations go wild!”
The first best dish belongs to Jaala. Her turnovers are nicely baked and are extremely flaky, but they do lack jelly. Christina says, “If your turnovers had a bit more grape jelly inside this would be an A+ dish.”
The next dish belongs to Kyle. He made a PB&J Tart. “I know it’s risky, but I want to redeem myself from my last disaster!” And he nailed it. The crust is golden brown and flakey and the peanut butter and jelly flavors are the star of the dessert. Gordon says, “Let’s get one thing right young man, this dish proves you are a great student because you have learned from your mistakes. Nicely done.” High five!
And the last dish belongs to Sadie. She made her grandmother’s favorite Peanut Butter and Apricot Jelly Cookies. Aarón says, “I’ve never seen this cookie before, it looks classic but tastes so modern. The cookie is well baked, but I think there is a bit too much peanut butter, it overpowers the apricot. But, overall, nice job.”
And the winner is … KYLE!! He is safe from elimination and gets to pick the teams for the Mexican Food Platter Tag Team Challenge. In this pressure cooker of a challenge the young home cooks will have to create homemade Chips & Salsa, Spot Prawns, Lamb Taquitos, Red Snapper Tacos, Chicken Lollipops and Churros. Woah!
Kyle sets the teams in pairs that he thinks will be able to work well together: Jayden & Ivy, Sadie & Rhashad, Che & Jaala, and Reid & Talulah.
But things don’t always go as planned. During the cook time Reid and Talulah struggle as a team and argue over just about everything. Christina says, “I worry about food coming out of that angry station.” Over at another station, Jaala gets flustered by the rush of preparing so many different foods, but Che keeps motivating her with calm support. Jayden and Ivy work well together and switch back and forth with ease. And though Rhashad and Sadie have a very rocky start, they eventually pull it together and get everything on the platter. Time is up! Hands in the air!
Ivy & Jayden’s platter looks amazing! The chips are cooked well and Jayden’s Texas Style Salsa is excellent. He also nailed the cook on the chicken and lamb items. Ivy did well on the prawns and the snapper and the homemade taco shells. They both did amazing with the churros. Aarón says, “You two worked like a dream together. This platter is something very special. Not a single miss. This kind of cooking tells me you are both prepared to go all they way!” 😊
Reid and Talulah’s platter is a mess. The chicken is undercooked and lamb is all but raw. Reid’s chips are soggy and his salsa is watery. And the prawns are way overcooked. But Talulah did well on the tacos and the churros actually taste okay. Gordon says, “Oh dear, Oh dear. This is far below my expectations for you at this stage in the competition. You two never got on the same page with this challenge and this platter shows it. Someone is going home tonight. I’m worried for you.”
Che and Jaala’s platter is great. Jaala nailed the tacos and lamb taquitos and Che’s churros are restaurant quality. The chicken is nicely seasoned and cooked beautifully, the skin is especially crispy. Christina says, “I love the salsa you created together, the flavors are popping! You two showed that when you work together and support each other good things can happen!” She also praises Che for helping Jaala through her moments of doubt, that’s what a being a true friend is all about.
And finally, Rhashad and Sadie’s platter is adequate. The chicken lollipop is a tad overcooked but Rhashad’s spices save it. He also made the best lamb of the night. Sadie exceled on the churros, her pastry was light and fluffy and her chocolate dipping sauce was just as Aarón likes it. “I get that hit of red pepper in the background and it adds just the hint of heat I like in my desserts. I guess overall your platter proves it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. Nice job you two.”
JAYDEN & IVY, CHE & JAALA AND RHASHAD & SADIE all did so well they all won the Team Challenge! That leaves Reid & Talulah’s platter on the bottom. Since Talulah’s items were a bit better the judges decide she is will be saved, which sadly means Reid is going home. ☹
Reid hugs Talulah and says he is sorry for yelling at her. “I guess today was just not my day.” Talulah says she is sorry too. Everyone give him a group hug and Gordon brings him a special grill set. “You have done an amazing job here Reid. I have never seen an eight year old who can work the grill as well as you. You have a truly bright future!” Reid says, “I’ll be sure to use this with my grilling when I get home!” 😊
Now there are 8.
Team Aarón – 4. Team Christina – 2. Team Gordon – 2.
The final 8 home cooks arrive in the MasterChef Kitchen to find a great big surprise. Previous Master Jr winners Evan & Ariana from My Season 6 and Mason & Devlyn from My Season 7 have come to announce the next Team Challenge. Two teams of four will go head to head to make the winners’ favorite dishes: Mason’s Spicy Street Taco; Ariana’s Goat Chop; Evan’s Double Cut Pork Chop; and Devlyn’s Blackened Salmon.
The kids are randomly put into two teams. On the Blue Team Jayden, Talulah, Che & Ivy will go up against Red Team’s Kyle, Sadie, Jaala & Rhashad. Jayden and Kyle will cook Mason’s Taco, Talulah and Sadie will cook Ariana’s Goat, Che and Jaala will cook Evan’s Double Pork Chop, and Ivy and Rhashad will make Devlyn’s Salmon. The former winners coach the young home cooks throughout the cooking time and help them come up with the best possible dishes. In the end they help the judges pick the winning dishes.
First up Evan’s Pork Chop. Che’s pork has nice grill marks and the cook is spot on. Evan loves that the chop is nice and juicy, but Gordon says the chop lacks seasoning. Evan disagrees with the Chef and argues the seasoning is just the right on the white meat.
Jaala’s pork dish is also cooked nicely and tastes good, but the top is too crisp. Evan says, “If the top was not overcooked it might have been my favorite of the night.” The judges agree the best pork chop belongs to … CHE! One point for the Blue Team!
Next up the Ariana’s Goat Chops. Talulah’s goat is a tad under done but Ariana was excited about the use of spices.
The cook on Sadie’s goat is a bit over, but the taste is great. Ariana says her sauce is one of the best she ever tasted. She is thrilled when the judges announce the best goat chop belongs to … SADIE! One point for the Red Team!
Next Up is Mason’s Taco. Jayden’s taco looks amazing. The wagyu beef is perfectly cooked and the coleslaw and crema seasoned well. Mason is impressed, “Wow! Jayden, just wow! You nailed the cook on the wagyu and your spicing is spectacular. You really lifted an already amazing beef. Honestly, this taco is just as good as my tacos, if not better!
On the other hand, Kyle’s taco is a bit of a disaster. The tortilla is soggy, the beef is overcooked and the topping is everywhere. Kyle starts to cry and Mason says, “It’s okay buddy. You just had a bad day and what I have learned is that it is the bad days that make you into a better chef.” Today the best taco was made by … JAYDEN! Now Blue Team has 2 points!
Last up is Devlyn’s Blackened Salmon. Ivy’s salmon skin is beautifully crispy and the cook on the fish is a dream. The fish tastes wonderful but the coating is a bit too spicy. Devlyn says, “You know Ivy, the fish is amazing and I love the taste, but when you over spice something like fish it overpowers the palate. All and all, though, great job.”
Rhashad nailed the skin and fish but it’s not blackened enough and that’s what makes the dish stand out. Devlyn says, “ Oh Rhashad, you nailed everything on this plate, but without that amazing blackening on the salmon it’s just not completely right. I’m sorry buddy.” The best salmon dish belongs to … IVY. 3 Points Blue Team!
BLUE TEAM WINS!
After saying goodbye to the amazing guest chefs the Red Team goes directly into a Pressure Test. They have to make Profiteroles.
Kyle’s pastry is light and fluffy. His vanilla cream filling and the chocolate frosting on top is delicious. Christina says, “Kyle, they are amazing. I knew you can cook and know I know you can bake!”
Sadie’s puffs look great, but they are undercooked inside. The cream filling was too loose and the chocolate frosting on top too thin. Christina says, “It’s sad, because they look so good. I’m sorry to say your profiteroles are a big letdown.”
Rhashad ‘s cream puffs are not uniform and they look a little bit lopsided, however they taste great. Aarón says, “The cream inside utterly scrumptious. I need to have another one!”
And finally, Jaala’s profiteroles are problematic. The pastry is very flat and the cream is gloppy inside. Although the taste is of the pastry and cream is okay, the milk chocolate glaze is too thick and too sweet. Gordon says, “These little desserts might be okay for extras at home, but they are not good enough for MasterChef Kitchen. But you knew that. Next time you will do better.”
The best profiteroles belong to … KYLE!! Rhashad and Jaala are also safe and that means Sadie is going home. ☹
Tearful Sadie gets lots of hugs when she gets the bad news. Gordon says, “Young lady, head held high please. You are an amazing young cook. I have no doubt we will be seeing more from you in the coming years. I want you to take these professional knives home with you and keep working on your cooking skills!” Sadie wipes her eyes, thanks all the judges and says this has been the best thing she has ever done.
Now, only 7 remain.
Team Aarón – 4. Team Christina – 2. Team Gordon – just 1 left!!!!
The top 7 young home cooks enter the Master Chef Kitchen to find whole tuna under the Mystery Box. They have to break it down and make a restaurant quality dish that shines a light on this beautiful protein. Kyle is immediately flustered because tuna is not his favorite food. In fact, he hates it. He struggles so mightily with the prep and cook he gets absolutely nothing on his plate!!! A Master Chef Jr first that baffles the judges. Gordon wrings his hands in worry, “Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.” No one will be tasting Kyle’s plate in this round.
The first best dish belongs to Che. He made Tuna Filet. The fish is nicely seasoned and cooked well. Christina goes for a second bite and says, “This tuna is melt in mouth good, Che! You are an inventive chef and I believe you are going places.”
The next best dish is Ivy’s Tuna Tacos. The fish is nicely cooked and the tacos are utterly amazing. The grilled tortilla, the hand smashed avocado, the spicy Pico de Gallo are all spot on. But Aarón says, “Ivy, these are such good tacos. I could eat them all day. But it’s a tuna challenge not a taco challenge and at the end of the day I’m not sure you made tuna the star here.”
And the third best dish belongs to Jaala. Her Tuna & Rice dish is a pleasant surprise for the judges. Gordon says, “You nailed the cook on this fish young lady, and your seasoning is spot on. Unfortunately, the rice is a bit under done. It’s too sticky for my taste. Overall though, good job.”
The winner of the Mystery Box Challenge is … CHE!!! He is safe and gets to pick one kid to go in the top 6 with him. He chooses Kyle. “I know he had a rough time with tuna challenge and is a bit shaken up. I’ll bring him to the top 6 with me because I know he is a good cook and I don’t want one bad day to ruin everything for him. And, he’s my friend.”
The 5 remaining cooks are sent straight to the pantry to gather anything they like. Christina says, “This Elimination Challenge will only be limited by your imagination. Make whatever you want to make. And make it taste good. You’ve got 60 minutes, starting … NOW!”
Jayden’s Kalbi Short Ribs with Rice is nice and juicy inside. His spices are expert and his creative friend rice is to die for. Chef Aarón says, “I can tell you one thing young man, you are not going home tonight.”
Talulah’s Fancy Pork Loin is cooked well and tastes fine, but it lacks seasoning. And unfortunately, her apple puree is broken! Aarón is very disappointed with such a lack luster dish for top 7. He says, “This kind of dish is okay for top 24, but at this point in the competition I don’t know if it’s good enough to keep you in the kitchen.”
Jaala’s Halibut is perfectly perfect. The flavor is amazing and this time she nailed the rice. Gordon says, “Redemption Jaala. You have proven you can cook a fish & rice dish to perfection. I have to admit that your cook on this fish is one of the best I’ve ever seen or tasted. How can a 10 year old do it? I don’t know.”
Ivy’s Hanger Steak is cooked nicely. It is pink inside and oh so tender. Christina is impressed by the bold steak sauce and Aarón says, “Mouthwatering meal. This dish is Masterchef Jr Finale worthy!
And lastly, Rhashad’s Sea Bass. His fish has a lovely cook, but lemon sauce is too loose and runny. The overall taste is still amazing but Gordon wonders if it is good enough to compete with the other dishes. “I wish you left the sauce off because the rest of the dish is amazing. It would be a shame if you left now.”
JAYDEN, JAALA and IVY have the top 3 dishes this time, which leaves Rhashad and Talulah’s dishes at the bottom. The judges have to have another talk to figure out which cook will stay and which cook will go home. Eventually they decided that the cook making it to the top 6 is RHASHAD.
Chef Aarón says, “Sadly, Talulah, that means you are going home. But, I have loved having you on my team! I hope you know what an amazing cook you are becoming. We have been so impressed with your calm, confident cooking style in this kitchen. Before you go, I would like to give you one of my favorite French Cookbooks to take home with you as you continue on your cooking journey.”
Talulah accepts the book and hugs with a smile. She promises she will keep on cooking and learning new techniques. Rhashad tells her he will miss her very much.
The Top 6 remain.
Teams Aarón – 3. Team Christina – 2. Team Gordon – 1.
The top 6 arrive at a high class restaurant for the Classic Restaurant Takeover. The teams selected by the judges are Kyle, Rhashad & Jaala on the Blue Team and Jayden, Ivy & Che on the Red Team. Gordon explains to them that during this stressful challenge they will all take turns as the team captain! He demonstrates the prep and cooking of Scallops & Spot Prawns for the Appetizer and Steak & Pork Chop for the Entrée. The six home cooks take lots of notes hoping they will be able to remember everything needed to make the dishes great.
On the Red Team Rhashad is having trouble with the Spot Prawns but Kyle helps him with the grilling technique. Then Jaala burns a whole pan of scallops. Kyle rushes to the refrigerator to get more and helps Jaala get them going again. This time they come out perfectly.
On The Blue Team Che overcooks the scallops but Ivy steps in to help and the second round come out perfectly seared and tender. Ivy also nailed the cook on the spot prawns and Gordon is impressed. Jayden works hard to get the appetizers plated well and the first half of the challenge seems like a success.
For the Entrée round Jaala burns a lot of the pork on the Red Team. Both Kyle & Rhashad jump in and cook new portions in time. Christina is worried they will neglect the beef dishes, but they stay focused and do amazing well serving up medium rare steaks that taste top of the line. On the Blue Team Ivy is having a bit of trouble with undercooked pork and Jayden steps in and helps her get them back in the pan and appropriately cooked. Jayden also does extremely well with the prep and cook of the beef. Pressed for time he manages to cook 4 filets at once, each cooked perfectly to order!
On the Red Team Jaala excels as the Team Captain. She is calm and pays close attention to the plating during the appetizer round, catching plates that have too few spot prawns and undercooked scallops. On the Red Team both Jayden & Che do super amazing jobs as captain, while Ivy gets a little flustered by the fast paced kitchen and needs a little extra support from her friends.
Both teams end well and all the guests love the dishes. The judges agree this will a tough call. All the young cooks worked hard and did their best. All six had high points and low points. The judges read the diners comments and talk over the taste and presentation of the dishes, the ability to work together in the kitchen, the leadership and willingness to keep going even when things were going wrong. They make their choice.
And the winning team is … THE BLUE TEAM! Jayden, Ivy & Che are safe. Kyle, Jaala &Rhashad are going to the dreaded Pressure Test.
What? They have to make a perfect box of White Chocolate Eclairs. Christina explains they must be uniform in size. He pastry must be light and airy. The cream must be rich and delicious. The glaze must be smooth as silk. The decoration creative. And they only have 60 minutes to get it done. And the baking begins right … NOW!
The eggs are cracking and the flour is flying as the young bakers rush to create the perfect Pâte à Choux. The pastry cream is whipped up and stuffed in piping bags and pumped into almost cool pastry. Before you know it the young bakers are running to the front with boxes filled with eclairs and the final judging begins.
Kyle’s box in simply amazing. He nailed the bake on the dough and filled them with the right amount of white chocolate pastry cream. The finishing glaze is as shiny as glass. And they taste divine. Christina says, “My, my, my. You can bake with the best of them young man. Stupendous eclairs. Awesome!”
Jaala’s eclairs look wonderful. Her finishing glaze has beautiful dark and white chocolate lines as if they just came from a professional pastry shop. The choux puffed up well and has lots of room inside for her delicious pastry cream, but they just aren’t filled enough. Gordon asks, “What happened my dear? Did you run out
of cream? Because these eclairs are perfect in every way but one, not enough filling. It’s a shame.”
And sadly for Rhashad his eclairs just didn’t work. When Aarón cut into the pastry the dough was still raw. The white chocolate did not fully melt into the pastry cream and it tasted unfinished as well. And the eclairs themselves were different shapes and sizes.
And the one going home is … Rhashad. Aarón says, “I’m glad to see you are still smiling my friend. Eclairs may not be your favorite thing to bake, but you have made some amazing dishes during this competition. Your attitude and your creativity inspire me. I love watching you cook and I want to invite you to come cook with me in one of my restaurants when you get a break from school. We can teach each other!” Rhashad says he would love to do that. He has learned so much in the MasterChef Kitchen and looks forward to learning even more. He wishes the rest of the kids best of luck and everyone shares one big group hug. There are some tears, but mostly smiles.
FIVE cooks remain.
Teams Aarón – 2. Team Christina – 2. Team Gordon – 1.
For the First Technical Challenge in the Semi Finals the top 5 will make as many perfectly seared scallops as they can in ten minutes. The young home cook who makes the most wins the first of four spots in the Finale! Gordon demonstrates how to cook the seafood properly. “DO NOT, I repeat, Do Not put the scallops in the pan unless it is piping hot! Season one side and as they go in the pan, season the second side in the round! The first scallop goes in at 12 o’clock, then 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock and so on. And you should hear it sizzle! By the time you get back up to 12 o’clock time to flip them over. And then their done. Out of the pan and on a plate.”
Jaala gets 6 cooked properly, Kyle gets 8, Ivy gets 9, Jayden gets 11 and Che gets all 12. With the most perfectly cooked scallops CHE wins the first spot in the finale.
The remaining 4 home cooks will continue cooking with either beef, lamb, chicken or pork. Che gets to choose which protein will go to each cook. He gives lamb to Jayden, steak to Kyle, chicken to Jaala and pork to Ivy. The pressure is on these four to get their meat cooked just right and they don’t hesitate to get started. 30 minutes later it is time for the judges to taste and choose the best 3 dishes.
Jayden’s Crusted Lamb Lollipops look freaking amazing and the lamb is cooked beautifully. The taste is so good and the mustard and Panko makes it taste even better. The meat melts in your mouth. Aarón says, “Based on how great this bite of lamb is, you have one foot firmly in the finale.”
Kyle’s Filet Mignon is cooked very nicely. He nailed the seasoning and the taste is nice and juicy, but unfortunately his sauce is too spicy. Gordon says, “This is a good job young man, but I’m asking myself whether it is good enough to get you into the finale?
Ivy’s Pan Fried Pork Chop is text book. The sear and the seasoning are as good as any professional chef could manage and the pork is tender and juicy inside. Christina is shaking her head in amazement and Gordon says, “It is so good. I think it is even better than I can do. Brava.”
And Jaala’s Tarragon Chicken Breast is boldly flavored, but a tad undercooked. Christina says, “I love the addition of the herb. It is a classic combo with chicken and really elevates your dish. Unfortunately, the breast is still pink in the middle, but the part on the edge I can test tastes wonderful. I commend you for that and I wish the chicken had stayed in the pan a few minutes more.”
The 2nd young home cook in the Finale is JAYDEN!!
The next one in the Finale is … IVY!!
And the last one in the Finale is ……….. KYLE!!
That’s means Jaala is going home. ☹ She is sad to be leaving the competition. Christina says, “I know it has to be hard to have gotten this close to the finale and be going home, but you hold your head high girl. You can cook so much better than I ever dreamed of cooking at your age. You have an amazing future in the culinary world if you want it. Before you go I would like to give you 3 things I hope will keep you cooking and baking. My first Milk Bar apron, this Chef Hat autographed by Aaron & Gordon, and my mom’s secret recipe for Snicker Doodles. They always cheer me up!” Jaala accepts her gifts and laughs a little. Everyone gives her a hug goodbye and all 4 remaining friends walk with her to MasterChef Kitchen doors. It’s a long good bye and a nice one.
FOUR home cooks remain.
Teams Aarón – 2 (Ivy & Jayden). Team Christina – 1 (Che). Team Gordon – 1 (Kyle).
It’s the Masterchef Jr Finale! Che, Ivy, Jayden & Kyle will create their own 3 course meal with an Appetizer, an Entrée and a Dessert. They will cook them in 3 rounds, a round for each course. In each round they will make 4 identical Plates! In the end 2 fantastic home cooks will win the grand prize.
The past contestants and the Finalists’ friends and families are there to cheer them on. Gordon, Christina & Aarón will be joined with guest judge Gerron, MasterChef 9 Winner. Here we go!
Jayden made Hawaiian Style Calamari. Aarón loves the fried coating and cook on the calamari. “It tastes amazing, so tender, not rubbery at all, and the seasoned Panko is genius. Well done my friend.” Gerron loves the sweet and sour dipping sauce. He wants the recipe. Gordon says, “First of all, the taste is here. I love it. But don’t you think this is just a little ‘Plain Jane’ for a finale?” Aarón disagrees. “Come on, Gordon! It might be a little rustic, but this is elevated seafood at its best!” They go back and forth the few more times before moving on.
Kyle made Tuna Steak. He wants to redeem himself after his Mystery Box fail in Episode 14. And he did. Kyle nails the cook on the steak. Gordon says, “It is so hard to get it right, but you did. What you didn’t do was stay in control of your seasoning. There is not enough black pepper young man.” Kyle says he only had one large steak for four plates so he did not risk a bite to taste. Gordon shares a chef secret. “If you really don’t want to take a bite of the protein, just press the back of a spoon on it and lift it up to look. If you see salt and pepper then you are fine.” Gerron likes the tip, but disagrees with Gordon about the seasoning. He thinks the tuna has just the right amount of pepper and he loves it.
Che made Pan-Seared Scallops. They are … Cooked … Beautifully. The outside is golden brown and the inside are like velvet. And the taste is amazing. Gordon says he knows pro chefs who can’t cook scallops this well. In fact, he has seen many chefs completely kill the scallops. Everyone laughs, everyone has seen Hell’s Kitchen. Aarón says, “Wow! Just wow, young man. I don’t even know if I can get 12 Scallops cooked this perfectly and plated so beautifully, in 30 minutes no less.”
And Ivy made Pan-Seared Sea Bass. Unfortunately, Gordon’s fish is a tad underdone. However, the taste and seasoning are there. Christina got a good piece of fish and she says, “It melts-in-your-mouth delicious.” And Chef Aarón loves the crispy skin. “Crispy skin is a hard thing to get right. And I love that you plated your sea bass skin side up so the skin would remain crispy. I have to remind myself that you are 11 years old. You have the technique of a seasoned chef!”
Jayden made Tomahawk Steak & Lobster. When Gordon asks why he cooked 2 proteins, Jayden says, “This is the Finale, go big or go home.” The steak is perfectly charred on the outside and ruby red on the inside. It’s unbelievably good. Gerron says, “It’s juicy! It’s tender! It’s flavorful! My mind is blown. I could never had cooked this at your age!” And the lobster? Jayden nailed it. It is seasoned well and cooked to perfection. Christina loves the lobster so much and she praises him for caring for both proteins like a pro. None of the judges care there are no sides since they would have taken away from these amazing stars.
Kyle made Fried Chicken & Waffles. Sadly, the both the breading and the meat is overcooked. It tastes a bit burnt and too dry. Gordon says, “When you cook something this simple, you really need to get it right. And I’m sorry buddy, you did not get the chicken right.” Christina agrees the chicken didn’t work but she has positive things to say about the waffles. “You Maple Sauce is delicious Kyle. And your Buttermilk Waffles are light and airy. They are perfectly formed and toasty brown on the outside. They remind me of the waffles my mom would make and she made killer waffles!”
Che made Chicken Parmesan. All of the judges agree he nailed the cook on the chicken and the cheese inside is nice and gooey. His Potato Croquetas are crunchy and delicious and everything on the dish has great flavor. Christina says, “This dish really proves your talent in the kitchen. I think it is the best I have seen from you.” Gerron says he admires the dish and how Che is keeping his dad’s memory alive with a craft he loves to do. Che thanks him.
And Ivy made Multi-Spice Duck Breast. She got the cook on the duck right, but the poultry is over spiced. The judges have to scrape some off to taste the duck. Gerron says, “When you spice stuff like duck you have to be very careful, just one spice too many can overpower the whole dish.” Chef Aarón says, “Ivy, I really love your creativity and willingness to take a risk. Chefs have to be willing to try new things, and sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. This dish inspires me. And it shows me how much you have grown as a chef since day one.”
Jayden made a Macaron Trio: Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate and Green Tea Macha. All 3 are baked well. Christina says she loves the deeply rich chocolate. “I could eat these all day!” And Aarón loves the Green Tea Macha Macaron. “I’ve never tasted anything quite like this before. I’m excited about the possibilities.” All 4 of the judges love the Vanilla Bean Macaron. It has nice feet, the cookie is nice and chewy and the vanilla cream filling is delectable. Aarón says, “This dessert proves you have all the right techniques to be a well-rounded chef.”
Kyle made a Passion Fruit Cheesecake. The no bake cheesecake is rich and creamy and everything Gordon would want in a cheesecake, but he can barely taste any passion fruit. Christina says, “I agree with Gordon, if you call it a Passion Fruit Cheesecake, I want to taste the fruit.” But Gerron can forgive the lack of passion fruit flavor because he is in love with the amazing White Chocolate Dome Kyle managed to lay on top of the cake. “It is so unexpected. And truthfully, it is one of the MOST interesting presentations and bite tonight.”
Che made a Mini Tart Duo: Chocolate & Vanilla. Both simple tarts have expert crusts. They are nicely browned, flaky and hold their shape – no soggy bottoms. And the cream fillings are extraordinarily good. Gordon & Christina like the chocolate best and Aarón & Gerron love the vanilla. Christina invites Che up to the table to taste a bite from both tarts and asks him what he thinks. He thinks they taste good. She says, “Good? Good? Che, these are literally THE BEST tarts I have ever tasted.
And last, but not least, Ivy made Chocolate Mousse Parfait. Her dish looks amazing, the layers are a work of art. From the bottom layer to the top, the flavors are there, the textures, the creaminess, it’s dessert heaven. But Gordon thinks it’s too sweet. Christina exclaims, “Too sweet?!? No! It’s perfectly sweet! I’m a baker, I know these things!” Gerron & Aarón finish their entire dessert and agree, it tastes good. Christina says, “The mousse is nice and smooth and dreamy. I’m amazed you would try something this challenging in the finale. So many things could go wrong, I’m not sure I would have attempted it. But I’m sure glad you did! My taste buds thank you!”
The judges confab in the dining room. They return to the kitchen and start by thanking the young chefs for 3 delicious meals. They remind them they are all very talented cooks and invite them to switch places on the big stage.
And the winners are …
JAYDEN!!! & CHE!!!
They are shocked and thrilled they won. All four friends hug one another as confetti and balloons rain down. The judges offer congratulations and present the awards. Both Che & Jayden win $100,000 and a MasterChef Jr Trophy. Runners Up Ivy & Kyle win $50,000 and MasterChef Jr Medals. Families, friends, and MasterChef Jr contestants rush the stage and everyone is happy.
In the end all the kids celebrate with each other and Jayden and Che look into the camera and say together:
WE ARE THE NEXT MASTERCHEF JR CHAMPIONS!!!