The day has finally come! Master Chef is back on TV! So exciting! First off super excited it is a 2 hour premier, that makes me very happy. I hope it is 2 hour shows for the whole season. I love the format of a two hour show.
The top 20 are gathered together and and meet Graham and Gordon and also they introduce Christina Tosi as the newest judge. So Ms. Tosi is scary accomplished. A James Beard Award winner, an owner of seven amazing bakeries...and she is younger than me. Guess I need to work harder don't I?
Boba and I have our feet (and paws) up and are ready to enjoy the show. This is Boba's first Master Chef experience in case you are wondering. He seems adequately interested I guess, well not really. He just wants to snuggle on my lap, right smack dab where my laptop needs to be to write my recap. Always have to love a fur baby!
Looks like there are some interesting characters here. We have already heard some interesting snippets of the life history of some of the contestants, I definitely want to hear more about several of them. Especially the Lebanese woman wanting to live the “American Dream”, I definitely want to hear her story.
Oh there is a twist, there is a second group of 20 that they are going to have to go head to head against. The judges will be judging signature dish against signature dish. If you win your one on one battle you get an apron, you lose you go home. Sounds simple right?
Claudia vs. Andrew for the first round. Latin shrimp. vs. shrimp and grits. Interesting combo here, both dishes sound delicious and both contestants appear to be super driven and motivated. I would have loved to try either dish. Both did a great job at plating as well.
Gordon liked Claudia's shrimp dish and said he could feel the love in it. Christina liked the flavor profile, but thought the presentation left something to be desired. Andrews shrimp were rubbery, or at least Gordon and Graham say so. All of the judges love the flavor profile. Christina says Andrew should get the apron, Gordon says Claudia and Graham says Claudia gets the apron. I liked both of them actually, but I am glad Claudia won, I hope that she does well and that she is the example that she wants to be for her daughter. I always love to see people who compete for the love of cooking and family. Its what food is all about after all...love.
Steven versus Tommy, for the next round. I am excited for this match up! Steven is an urban gardener, Tommy is a very energetic fashion designer from Chicago. This could be quite the match up. I am sure that the plating on both of these dishes will be phenomeonal. The both want to win for sure, Tommy even more so than Haute Couture Chanel. Can I just say that I am blown away that Tommy is 53...seriously? How is that even possible. Tommy please let me know what skin care you use. I am starting to get crows feet and could use the advice.
They are both cooking pork for their signature dish. Tommy's tenderloin is looking raw, but he quickly rushes to remedy the situation. Tommy made Pork Ballotine, that Gordon declares is cooked perfectly. Graham likes the plating, but says to dial it back a titch. Christina likes the fennel fronds. Steven made stuffed pork loin. Graham loves it, Gordon would have liked it to be stuffed a little less. Christina says that the vegetables are too hard and causing issues. Tommy won the apron, and Steven was such a class act about losing, I love to see great sportsmanship. Steven, thank you for being so gracious and a class act about that. Most of reality TV has lots to learn from that.
Next Round has 4 people, Moniza, Derrick, Nate, Amanda cooking. The four of them are competing for 2 aprons. They will be cooking lamb for their signature dish. Moniza is Middle Eastern, and Amanda is Lebanese, I am willing to bet that both of them know a thing or two about preparing lamb. Seriously Nate and Derrick if I were you I would be scared of those girls! I LOVE that Derrick is a proud mama's boy and wants to make his mama proud, and doesn't even know that he is on the show!. They didn't show much of Nate, so we don't know much about him. I have to say so far of the people we have seen so far I like this season quite a bit. People seem to be pretty classy so far. Love that! Don't disappoint me Season 6!
Man, those dishes look amazing! Nate is judged first with a rack of lamb. It is a bit on the rare side. Gordon says that it is a bit tough because it is so rare. Amanda has lamb kofta, which is a recipe from her Grandma. Christina says the potatoes are bit too soft. Derrick has a rack of lamb as well, Graham says that he nailed everything. Moniza has a beef and lamb kabob which is raw, poor girl looks so defeated looking at her dish. Derrick gets the first apron, his dish was declared perfectly executed. Time to call your mom Derrick, she will be so proud! The second apron goes to Amanda! Yay! I am so excited for her! I really want to hear more of her life story! Honestly this wasn't the outcome that I was expecting. Goes to show you can't judge just off of backgrounds.
Now they show a montage of six more people getting their aprons, we don't see their dishes or hear their commentary, so I guess I will have to pay attention next week to learn more about them. Sorry that I don't know more about them.
The next round will have Katrina and Taylor, both of which are from Milwaukee. They are both cooking salmon for their signature dish. Taylor played college football and we have another mama's boy that wants to give back to his mom. Taylor has dreams of being an executive chef. Taylor is making blackened salmon and pineapple salsa in a cast iron pan. Katrina is going to make curried salmon. I have never had curried salmon. I might have to try that, it sounds intriguing.
Both dishes look delicious. Taylor's dish looks so good right now. I am a sucker for blackened anything. Graham and Gordon say that the salmon is perfectly done. Christina says it is a clear dish, and she can clearly see Taylor's potential. It appears that Katrina might be overwhelmed on her dish, she can't quite remember if she included 2 certain ingredients or not. Katrina, don't feel bad, if it was me I would probably forget my name as soon as any of the judges tried my food. I can tell she is flustered and my heart goes out to her. Gordon says that her dish tastes good, as do Graham and Christina. Graham says that Taylor should get the apron, Christina picks Katrina and Gordon picks Katrina! She gets the apron. Taylor was another great sport about losing. So pleased at how classy people are behaving so far.
Next round is Jill verus Hetal, they are both fixing fruit desserts. Hetal is from India, her parents. She is making almost an apple pie with an Indian twist. This is something that Christina will be the best judge on. I love that there is more baking now. Hetal has an apple puff pastry cup with cardamon whipped cream. Gordon says it is safe. Graham says that he likes the spice element, . Christina finds the dish soothing. Jill made ableskievers that Christina declared awesome, Graham says it is a bit too sweet for him. Gordon declares it delicious. Gordon pick Jill, Graham picks Hetal and Christina picks Hetal to get the apron. Hetal gets the apron! Christina wants Julie to know that her dish was amazing.
We see another montage of seven more people getting their aprons. As before I will have to learn more about them, I don't know much at this point.
Next round is Shelly against Christopher. Shelly is a Jamaican single mom who says she does third world fusion cooking to stretch a dollar. Her daughter is super cute too! Christopher is a restaurant manager who is rubbing me the wrong way. He is coming off extremely arrogant, I don't like that they are doing a chicken dish for their signature dish. Shelley has Escovitch chicken, Gordon says it is her on a plate. Graham says it has a good spice, but could have a better sear. Christina says it is a little underwhelming. Christopher has Chicken Scallopini, Gordon says it is delicious, but the greens is over kill. Christina likes that there is a focal point of inspiration. Christina picks Christopher for the apron, Gordon picks Shelly, Gordon tells Graham to give her the apron, Graham gives the apron to Christopher... Gordon thinks that they made a drastic mistake.
It appears as though two more chefs will get aprons. Some of the eliminated contestants get to compete again for the two remaining aprons. I would love to see Shelly and Taylor or Steven to make it through. Six of the eliminated chefs get to compete again. Each chef gets to pick two eliminated contestants, Graham picks Taylor and Steven. Christina picks Andrew and Demetria. Gordon picks Jill and Shelly. Shelly goes straight to Gordon to give him a hug. I really like her.
For this final challenge they are cooking Christina's favorite staples. Chicken, chocolate, bacon, blueberries, tomatoes on the vine, heirloom carrots, and more. It looks like they have great ingredients to work with. If it were me I think I would do either stuffed chicken breast, or an amazing chicken piccata.
Steven is making quite the complex dish, he does have a bit of a potty mouth. Even Gordon thinks so, and that is saying something. Everyone is busy working hard on their redemption dishes. I have no idea at this point who will get the aprons. Everyone does seem to be very competent in the kitchen.
Andrew is judged first, he has a stuffed chicken thigh. Christina says it is delicious, but maybe has too many elements. Gordon says the chicken is delicious, but has too many purees on his plate. Andrew seems to disagree about how many purees are on the plate. Just a hint Andrew, the judges will always be right, no reason to even argue. They are right, you are wrong. Case settled.
Taylor is next with a pan seared chicken with mash mash. Graham says it has great flavor. Jill is next with blueberry barbecue chicken. Christina says it is delicious. Steven is next with grilled chicken with homemade pasta. It is one HUGE portion. Gordon says it is cooked nicely, and energetic. Shelly is next with mushroom and kale fritters. Christina says that it is delicious. Demetria is the final dish with a chicken roulade. Graham hates the plating, but says it has good flavor. Christina says that the mole sauce was a mistake.
The judges are collaborating to decide which two are getting the aprons. I am hoping Taylor and Shelly, but we will see. The judges have made their decision the first apron goes to Shelly, Demetria and Taylor have already been eliminated for a second time. The final apron goes to Steven. Andrew and Jill are eliminated again.
What a first episode! I am excited to see how this season plays out. I have to say I am very disappointed that Taylor didn't make it. He seemed so genuine, I would have loved to see him compete. Also, was it just me or is there not a Texan on the show this season? Maybe one of the ones I don't know much about is from Texas. I would love to see Texas represented!
Any thoughts on who you think the front runners are and who your predictions are for who will win? Tune in every week for Master Chef and also be sure to read my recaps. It will be a great season!