Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It's as American as apple pie...the search for the next Master Chef continues.

     It is another week and another episode of Master Chef.  The competition truly begins!!! The top 22 home chefs continue the Master Chef Journey.  They are beginning with the season’s very  first Mystery Box Challenge, this one is a bit different than any that we have seen before.

     The ingredients are different in each box.  Each person received a box including staples from their own kitchen at home.  They have one hour to create their dish.
     For those of you that have ever read my recaps you know that I always say what I would fix if it were me.  So I looked inside of my fridge…sadly I have been grocery shopping in a few days.  I have lots and lots of produce, but not one protein to be found.  So I guess I would be doing a vegetarian dish.   I have all of the ingredients to do an amazing ratatouille, so that would probably be the direction I would go.

     The judges state that they are only going to judge the top 3 dishes, but they will be tasting every dish at the station along the way.  Hetal is creating a vegetarian dish.  Derrick is doing a pan seared black cod.  Dan is going to do a savory éclair, also for the record Dan is from Texas and the youngest contestant, luckily we get to know a few more things about some of the contestants.  Katrina is doing a pork tenderloin schnitzel with braised red cabbage and Christmas peas.

     I have to say that I hate that I am super disappointed that the format is officially going to be one hour long.  It was nice that last week was 2 hours, but it appears that that the format for the rest of the season we will have one hour episodes.

     As the said they are only going to judge the top 3 dishes, first up is Katrina with pork schnitzel with peas and braised cabbage and Christmas Peas. Gordon loves it, Christina loves the braised red cabbage. Graham loves it as well,  It looked like she stayed true to her roots and it paid off for her.  The dish looked delicious.  Next up is Dan with a savory éclair, all three rave about this dish, one thing that I have noticed about his cooking is that he does an excellent job on his plating.  Hetal is the final one that they choose to be in the top three.  Hetal made a coconut curry soup, Graham declares that the flavor balance is perfect. Gordon says her husband is a lucky man to have her cooking.  The winner of the challenge is....Dan with his savory éclairs.

     Dan goes to the pantry to learn about his advantage.  He doesn't have to compete in the elimination challenge, the pantry has lots of pastries in it that are beautiful.  All of which have been made by Christina Tosi.  They have to make apple pie!  Christina picked this challenge because it is all about technique.  You can’t fake a good apple pie, you either have the technique or do not.  The judges give Dan an empty bag that he gets to fill up with apples. Whoever does not get an apple from Dan has to cook the pie. If he gives them an apple they are safe from the challenge.  Interesting twist, that decision requires a lot of strategic planning.

     After the apples are passed out there are nine left to cook. Two will go home after this elimination, surprising that there will already be a double elimination.  Veronica is excited to make the pie and says her grandkids love her apple pie.  Olivia is debating between using a crust or not and wants to include goat cheese in her pie.  Just a hint Olivia, its apple pie, include the crust.  Mateo the school teacher is including ginger in his flavor profile.  They show a few others working on their pies, but not a lot of focus on any one contestant.

     The tasting begins, Veronica is first with a caramel walnut apple pie. Gordon declares that it looks a mess but is delicious. Christina says that it is delicious as well. Graham says that he likes the cook on the apples and that it tastes 10 times better than it looks.  It did look super messy, but I would have still dug into it for sure.

     Christopher is next. This is the first time he has ever made an apple pie with maple syrup and bourbon. He used 5 tablespoons of cornstarch. For the record 5 tablespoons is approximately ½ a cup of cornstarch, that is an awful lot of cornstarch. Christopher apparently thinks he has been picked on. Gordon says it is good and gives it a seal of approval.  Olivia is next with her Apple pie with goat cheese and blueberries. Graham says the goat cheese is a huge miss. Christina says that the goat cheese was a mistake as well.  She did make a crust though, so at least she had that going for her.

     Derrick is next with his apple pie with orange zest and brown sugar. Gordon declares it delicious.  Steven follows with an apple pie with mascarpone and caramel. Christina loves the flavors.  Charlie has a super traditional pie, which Graham says the technique is not there.  Sarah is next with a Carmel pecan apple pie. It is declared delicious by Graham.  Brianna made a pie that has beautiful lattice work, but the pie is soupy because it did not cook enough.  Christina says that it has a lack of depth of flavors and is soupy.  Two will be going home. The winner of the challenge was Christopher.  He declares himself the pie king.

     The bottom 3 are Olivia, Brianna and Mateo.  Two of them will be going home.  Mateo is sent home, he is eliminated. The other person who is sent home is Brianna. Olivia barely survives this elimination challenge.  This was a particularly fast paced episode,  I am very curious to see how the season plays out.   So far I have not picked my favorites for the season to root for, hopefully I do this upcoming week.  Any favorites that you have?  I would love to hear what you thought about this episode.  Stay tuned for next week!

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