July 25, 2013 | Posted in EPISODE RECAPS, REALITY TV | By

In the “wilderness” with the Top 8

Last week Bethy went home in “Battle Mushroom” and so we’re left with the last eight competitors on MasterChef. There will be an “epic” team challenge ahead out in the “wilderness”, and we see the chefs emerge in the “absolute middle of nowhere” according to Gordon. Graham says they need to prove that they can cook anywhere and with anything – after spending the night camping outdoors right here! Both teams will have to create a “world class” dish the next day using only the ingredients and tools in their survival crates: one camping knife, a flint, a cast iron skillet and a wooden spoon, along with some very basic staple ingredients.

Bri and Natasha are team captains. Bri gets first pick and goes for someone she thinks will be comfortable in the wilderness…James. Natasha picks Jordan. Bri goes for Eddie. Natasha picks Jessie. Bri then chooses Luca after Krissi flat out says she “hates” Bri. So Krissi is on Natasha’s team. But…Gordon wants the teams to be able to work with everybody just like they would have to in a professional kitchen, so the two team captains have to switch teams. That means Bri has Krissi, Jessie and Jordan on the Blue Team; Natasha has Eddie, James and Luca on the Red. Each survival has a different animal protein: three rabbits or six pigeons. Bri gets the pick and she chooses the rabbits, leaving Natasha the pigeons.

It’s time to scheme up their dishes. Bri has an idea that since they have flour and quail eggs in their crate, perhaps they could make pasta with a rabbit ragu? Krissi agrees it’s a good idea; they can use the wine bottles they have to roll out the dough. The Red Team is debating whether or not to do a dry rub on their pigeons, and if they need a sauce of some kind or not.

At night, the Blue Team is butchering the rabbits and prepping vegetables. Gordon visits and says it sounds ambitious to make pasta, but if they pull it off they could really win it. Red Team still doesn’t quite know what their dish is going to be when Graham and Joe visit which Natasha says is embarrassing, but they are test-cooking a pigeon at least to see what they can come up with.

The next day, we find out that the Red Team is doing a slow-roasted pigeon, farro with wild mushrooms, and baby carrots – they seem pretty much in control with Eddie watching over the pigeons. Blue Team is shown having problems. Jordan wanted to start the rabbit braise earlier but with only one pan it’s hard to get things going. With two hours until service, the rabbit has to cook down and Krissi says she can’t start the pasta until the last 45 minutes because of the timing with the noodles.

Gordon checks in with the Red Team and they are pressing ahead. Joe and Graham are concerned that the Blue Team’s rabbit won’t braise down in an hour. They probably should have cooked it the night before, Joe says, which would have been smart as braised meats really do improve in flavor the next day. Gordon thinks it’s neck and neck which team is going to pull it off. The rabbit may not be done in time, Bri is worried, so she has the meat pulled off the bone and shredded for the pasta ragu.

With only 30 seconds left to finish plating, Bri makes a huge blunder – she drops one of the three plates for the judges! So they have to divide up their two good portions onto three plates and get it together in a hurry. Red Team seems confident with their dish, while the Blue Team is in a panic.

It’s time to see what the judges think of the Blue Team’s braised rabbit ragu, pan seared mushrooms and quail egg pasta. Joe thinks the pasta is impressive for being made in the wilderness. The rabbit is tender and the mushrooms cooked well. Just a touch more seasoning, he thinks, but it’s not far from a Tuscan hillside rabbit dish in his opinion.

Red Team is up with their slow-roasted pigeon, farro risotto and baby carrots in a honey glaze. Eddie cooked the pigeon and Gordon says it’s perfect. The carrots could have used a bit more cooking, but otherwise both teams have gotten great praise for their work.

The teams go back to their camps to wait for a color of smoke to announce the winner: Red or Blue. Each team has a dish from the other team to taste and see “what they’re up against.”

Joe is leaning toward the pigeon. But Gordon thinks it’s a great effort on the Blue team to have made that pasta. So Graham has the deciding vote…and it ends up being Red Team (which anyone who watched the opening clips/teaser for this episode would have known!)

So it’s time for the pressure test, and the Red Team gets to pick once person from the Blue Team to keep safe from elimination! James is worried about Jordan and Jessie as the strongest competition left…but some of the others are worried about Bri. Luca thinks they should save Krissi because they can beat her later on, and that’s who ends up being saved from the pressure test. Jordan, Bri and Jessie will have to cook a “mouthgasm of epic proportions” according to Graham: a chocolate eclair.

Eddie thinks Bri could fail here because she has time management problems. Luca thinks Jessie will be safe – and it is her first time having to cook in a pressure test. Joe throws in a twist at the last minute and announces they each to make six eclairs, not just one, in 60 minutes’ time.

Krissi wants Bri to go home, and Bri does seem behind the others in getting her pastries done in time. The judges are worried Jordan is dipping his in chocolate before filling them. Jessie is working hard and seems to have things mostly under control.

Bri is first up for judging. Gordon says hers visually look flat…and where’s the cream? She didn’t fill them as well as intended due to time. Also, the pastry is undercooked and the cream is kind of melted because she filled them too soon out of the oven. Graham comments on her eclairs not looking the same as well and the one he picks up falls apart. Joe picks up one that falls limp, is definitely underdone and “soggy”…”completely raw”. It doesn’t look very good for Bri.

Next up is Jordan. Graham says they do look consistently the same and they are holding more than Bri’s. The filling is a little sweet but given the “huge task” he had, he pulled it off. Gordan comments on the sweetness of them as well but that seems to be his only real blunder.

Jessie is last for tasting. Joe examines her eclairs and says they are kind of flat. The filling didn’t reach the middle but the pastry is cooked through. The chocolate is bitter as well. Gordon notices how they are all cracked down the middle and there’s nothing inside the middle on any of them. Could Jessie be going home because of the eclairs? It will be down to her or Bri as Jordan is declared safe for doing the best of the three.

After a classic fake-out by Gordon it turns out that Jessie will be safe as well, as Bri’s eclairs were “slightly worse”. So it looks like Krissi got her wish to get rid of Bri…how I wish Krissi had gone home first as I’m so sick of her at this point! But all told, I thought this was another good episode…as we’ve gotten down to the better, remaining chefs the show is finally getting back to being more about cooking than drama, which is what I wanted to see on MasterChef.

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.

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.

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