This week begins with thirteen contestants and a Mystery Box Challenge. What’s in the box, what’s in the box, what’s in the box…pig’s head! Eyeballs! Ears! Snout! Ahh! But the pig’s heads in the boxes were just for horrifying, gruesome show, because the real porky ingredients have already been neatly broken down. Each cook will have ninety minutes to make a delicious dish out of various parts of the pig’s face.
The judges taste the dishes as they go along, and decide that they want to taste more from Lynn. He prepared braised tongue and cheek with parsnip puree. It is perfectly seasoned and greatly pleases Joe. The next dish is from Jessie, who cooked braised cheek and ear with black eyed peas and roasted corn. Graham said the dish “explodes with flavor.” Jonny’s dish also impressed the judges. He made tongue and cheek tacos with roasted corn, and Graham’s just pleased that he didn’t turn it into a maple glazed mess. Gordon called it delicious and said it is Jonny’s best dish so far in this competition.
The MasterChef judges with last season’s winner, Christine Ha
The winning dish is from Lynn, who gets a “unique” advantage in the Elimination Test. To announce the theme, the judges bring out last year’s Master Chef winner, Christine Ha, who is plugging her cookbook and will judge this test. Oh, and she’s blind. Lynn gets to choose between chicken, catfish, and dungeness crab. Lynn is safe from elimination, and can assign one ingredient to one cook, and another for the rest of the competitors. He decides that Krissi will cook with catfish, and everybody else will use the crab.
Krissi’s not happy about the catfish, and Bri, a vegetarian, is squeamish about killing a live animal. The cooks have sixty minutes to prepare a dish, but there’s a twist—they must cook blindfolded. Like Christine. There’s groping, there’s squeezing, there’s reaching, the crabs are pinching…and Gordon announces that JUST KIDDING TAKE YOUR BLINDFOLDS OFF!
The judges taste Krissi’s dish first. She made fried catfish with bacon cheddar mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus. Gordon said it looks like a teevee dinner. Christine says it takes too earthy and fatty, and Joe thinks it tastes like mud. Krissi thinks he didn’t like it because he got into a fight with Joe while she was cooking which displayed a complete lack of respect and an unwillingness to learn.
Next up is Natasha who made ginger crab cakes with beet salad. Joe calls it “really, really good.” Bri prepared a summer crab stack with pea and avocado mash with corn. Graham likes it a lot. James cooked spicy crab creole with rice and seafood broth. Christine enjoyed the heat at the end, and Gordon calls it “phenomenal.” Beth made mascarpone crab cake with grilled peach and avocado salsa. Joe spits it out because it’s raw. Luca prepared a watery crab risotto with asparagus and lemon. Christine finds it way too salty, and Joe picks a bit of something out of his mouth. He asked Luca to bring him the sauce he used in his dish, and it’s fish sauce. Which is a revolting thing to add to a risotto.
The judges select the top two dishes. The first is Natasha and her crab cakes, and the second is James’s spicy crab creole. They are both safe from elimination and team captains in the next challenge. The three worst dishes are from Beth, Luca, and Krissi. Luca gets a dressing down before he is sent back to his station. The judges send Beth home and implore Krissi to “get it together.”
Gordon introduces the contestants to a flavor scientist and his foodie fiancé. The cooks will be preparing the food for their wedding reception. The bride has a long list of “no” ingredients, including peanuts, beets, Indian food, radishes, bell peppers, dill, cilantro, olives, air, water, and marshmallow fluff. Graham is preparing the appetizer, Gordon is baking a dessert, and the contestants are in charge of the entrée. There are one hundred guests, fifteen of which are vegetarians.
James is leading the Blue Team and selects Lynn, Jessie, Jonny, Brie and Luca. Natasha chooses Eddie, Jordan, Bethy, Savannah, and Krissi for the Red Team. Then, each team captain has to choose one member of their team who will not be cooking in the challenge, and will not have to cook in a Pressure Test if that team loses. Natasha selects Krissi, and James chooses Bri.
The Blue Team decides to cook lamb medallion with parsnip puree, and grilled mushrooms over goat cheese crème fraiche for the vegetarians. The Red Team settles on halibut with baby roasted carrots and a salad with pancetta vinaigrette, and eggplant for the vegetarians. Natasha’s Red Team gets off to a scattered start, and Gordon commands her to get her act together and control her station. The Blue Team is equally disorganized, with Lynn sweating all over the plates. The Blue Team falls so far behind that Graham has to take over and expedite so that the wedding guests get their food before the cake is cut.
The happy couple chooses the Red Team as the winners.
The bride and groom announce the winners. It’s the Red Team’s halibut. That means the Blue Team goes into a Pressure Test. But, the judges each choose one cook to save from the Pressure Test. Joe selects Jessie, Graham saves Luca, and Gordon picks James. That leaves Lynn battling Jonny. So what’s the challenge? Macarons. The cooks have sixty minutes to bake twelve macarons with at least two different flavors. All twelve macarons must fit inside of one long, skinny box.
Lynn’s macarons are too big, and he puts fresh raspberries in the middle, which will make the pastries soggy. Jonny’s too thick to fit twelve in a box. For some reason, Jonny decides to jam the macarons in the box and slam it shut, leaving a mess of crumbs and filling. Lynn, on the other hand, presented two of his macarons on top of the box.
Lynn made raspberry and vanilla bean with salted caramel. Gordon found his vanilla bean too sweet, and criticized the fresh fruit inside of the macaron. But overall it was good. Jonny made a chocolate macaron with peanut butter mouse and mascarpone with raspberry filling. They are an ugly, broken mess that is described as “a war zone.” But, they are baked well and taste delicious. The judges convene and decide to send Jonny home. You just can’t smash a macaron.
Next week, it’s C-list star Eva Longoria and “one of the most shocking eliminations of the season.”