The Top 16 Compete
It looks we’ll be getting double-episodes of MasterChef all season long – which is going to definitely put the pressure on me with these recaps! With 16 contestants left, it’s time for a group challenge which will take place at City Hall in Pasadena. The contestants face a long white table and I’m already having nightmares about one of those pretentious “Diner en Blanc” events.
But no, it turns out that the two teams are going to have to cook a banquet for 101 firefighters. How many times can “Wal-Mart” be plugged by the judges and contestants in the next few minutes? We’ll find out because each team has to cook a WAL-MART New York Strip Steak, two side dishes of WAL-MART vegetables and a sauce.
Bethy and Bime won last episode’s cupcake challenge so they are team leaders. Bethy has advantage with first pick and chooses Lynn. Bime then goes for Jordan. The picks continue and as it ends up, Bethy’s Blue Team will consist of Lynn, Jessie, James, Howard, Jonny, Savannah and Krissi, picked in that order. Bime’s Red Team is Jordan, Eddie, Luca, Natasha, Bri, Beth and Kathy. That’s two team challenges that Kathy is picked last for in a row. What does that tell us in the audience about her skills and/or personality? Hmm. Bethy gets a second advantage and gets to swap out one person from her team for someone from Bime’s, so she chooses to “steal” Eddie and send over Krissi to the Red Team.
The teams need to choose their dishes and while it seems like a group effort on Red Team, Bethy seems to be making all of the choices for Blue Team. Only she can’t seem to decide what sauce to go with on her steak so she’s having James make two of them: a reduction sauce and a chimichurri. Gordon is not happy with this and tells her she’s been told to make ONE stunning sauce, not two.
Red team has decided on doing a cauliflower puree that Graham thinks might be heavy. Gordon challenges their decision not to do a rub on their steaks. “Use your brain,” he tells them. They have 45 minutes left and Bime is not leading his team; they seem to be falling apart. The difficult part of this challenge is they have to serve banquet and not buffet style – all the plates have to be ready at the same time. With 30 minutes left, Blue Team hasn’t even started his steaks and nothing is ready to go. Pressure is getting to the chefs; Beth and Krissi are coming to blows and Bethy finally has decided to just go with the chimichurri sauce.
It’s time to serve the firefighters, who will have a plate ready? Blue Team’s plate consists of the NY Strip with Chimichurri sauce, grilled asparagus and potatoes. Red Team has NY Strip with a reduction sauce, mushrooms and cauliflower puree. Comments start coming in as the plates go out: the seasoning on Blue Team’s steak is good, but one person got a plate with no sauce. Joe is not happy with the Blue Team and their consistency problems. People are going for the Red Team for more flavor on the steak but they’re having problems with service. Bime and Krissi are having trouble getting it together until halfway through service.
Now the firefighters must might line up and vote. Who won? With 68 of 101 votes, it’s Blue Team. Of course, since we were being told stories about Bethy’s dad being a firefighter throughout, this seemed like a given. But the decision turns things nasty between the Red Team members. Beth says the cauliflower puree was disgusting and Natasha throws a fit – because that was her contribution to the plate. Beth is now in tears; “breakdown much?” Krissi says as she tells everyone to calm the bleep down and waves good-bye to the fire fighters.
So the Red Team is up for elimination and Gordon wants to know what went wrong. Everyone is blaming Bime for his leadership problems. But it turns out Bime is safe from elimination, which doesn’t sit well with his team members. Bime can choose one other person to be safe and he unsurprisingly goes for his buddy Jordan. That leaves the women (of course) and Luca to face elimination. Their challenge? To make the perfect plate of Eggs Benedict in 30 minutes.
Bri says she has never successfully poached an egg. Graham isn’t sure if Krissi has the technical skills to pull this off. Natasha is confident, but the judges question her decision to make her hollandaise sauce at the end instead of first thing. With eleven minutes to go, Luca’s water isn’t even boiling. Krissi’s first hollandaise broke and she has to start over with one egg left and you really need two or three to make hollandaise. Who’s plate is going to be a disaster?
Five minutes to go and Kathy drops her egg while the judges are hovering over her. Beth’s sauce breaks on plating. Natasha has a broken egg and “what looks like mayonnaise”, not hollandaise on her plate. All told, it seems those who were the most confident at the start have disasters to show the judges.
Kathy is first for tasting and while she broke an egg, Gordon says the eggs are cooked perfectly. But he’s missing the sauce. There’s not enough of it when the eggs should be coated, not drizzled with hollandaise. Luca is next, and Graham says it’s an undercooked egg…his plate is “kind of all over the place”.
Natasha is up and Krissi thinks hers looks the worst. Joe is tasting and says, “You thought you had this nailed. And this… is mayo or hollandaise? Do you know the difference between mayo and hollandaise?” She says she was careless. Beth is next. Gordon knows the sauce is broken…”eggs vomit” he calls it. “Wow. It’s like a cold scrambled egg.” She feels embarrassed.
Bri, then, says she has never made it Eggs Benedict before. Graham is tasting and says it’s “pretty…pretty perfect. Rich and buttery.” Krissi managed to make her hollandaise with a yolk and a half saved from her first attempt, but it worked. Her muffin is crunchy and it’s all seasoned well. Joe says it’s perfect.
Who will be on the bottom and up for elimination? Four chefs didn’t make the dish well, according to the judges. Two stood out though, and those were Krissi number one, Bri second. All four of the remaining are up for judgement. “Too close to call,” Gordon says. The judges can’t decide and there’s a moment of panic (from this viewer at least) when he says all four with therefore be leaving the MasterChef kitchen…
What the heck?!
But it turns out they’ll be leaving to face another challenge: in Vegas. But that’s for Part Two…
Looking for more on MasterChef Season 4? Then check out my season Hub Page:
MasterChef US 2013: Season 4
Who will be the next MasterChef? Find out in Season 4 of the intense cooking competition where talented “home cooks” compete for the ultimate title – and prize! Learn more about the contestants in my hub for the season, share your opinions in weekly polls, and check out video highlights as well.
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sockii is just your typical Jane-of-All-Trades who never has enough time in her day for all of her projects. She has written for many websites online including Squidoo, Zujava, Yahoo! Contributors Network, HubPages and Wizzley. She has been attending and vending at science fiction and media conventions for over 15 years, and for several years ran an art gallery and jewelry store in Philadelphia. Today she is happy to be living in South Jersey with her partner David and their 6 cats. Sockii is a member of several affiliate sales programs including Amazon Associates and Viglink. Products from these services may be advertised on her posts and pages to generate sales commissions.