September 5, 2013 | Posted in EPISODE RECAPS, REALITY TV | By

The Top 3 Compete

It’s time for the final three home cooks to face another Mystery Box. Under the first box is 250,000. Under the second box is their cookbook. Under the third box is the MasterChef trophy. But those aren’t the Mystery Boxes they’ll be cooking from…when they open those boxes they find that they each have different ingredients. They are going to be remaking the dish that started their culinary journey on MasterChef: their audition dish which got them into the competition. It has to be “elevated” to show how far each has progressed since then.

Natasha made empanadas and skirt steak. Luca made broccoli rabe ravioli. Jessie made sea bass en croute. Joe had given Jessie a no based on originally so it’s going to be interesting to him to see what she can do now. Luca has a lot to prove as well. He knows his pasta has to be perfect.

Jessie is trying a thinner pastry for her sea bass. When asked, Natasha doesn’t want to compete against Luca in the final two if she makes it. She might not have to: Luca’s sauce is not tasting good. He has to make it over from scratch. He’s worried that every time he makes an Italian dish he screws something up.

Natasha is first for tasting and Gordon says she’s done a great job. Graham says the steak is incredible. The dough might have been a little thinner but Graham says it’s definitely an improvement over her original version. Joe says it’s smart and a fun dish.

Luca is next. Graham says wow, there’s so much flavor. Way better. The sauce is the only thing that’s an issue. Gordon says the cheese sauce is a problem as well…does it really need a cheese sauce? He would have done better with a simple butter and sage sauce and Luca is kicking himself for not going that route.

Jessie is last. Joe says it’s spectacular. Gordon says the bowl she served it in didn’t do it justice. But it is restaurant quality.

The judges then rank the dishes in order of success. Luca comes in third, Natasha second, Jessie first. So she will get the best advantage in the upcoming elimination challenge.

In the pantry, the judges have three different covered ingredients in front of them. Jessie gets first pick, Natasha second, and Luca gets whatever is left.

Sounds like a challenge for sure, but all three ingredients are amazing! Joe has Grana Padano cheese. Graham has kobe beef. Gordon has alaskan king crab. The ingredient has to be the “star” of the dish, and Jessie picks the kobe beef even though she’s never worked with it. Luca wants the cheese but he doesn’t want to say as much. Natasha picks the crab, making Luca happy. They have minutes to pick the ingredients they need in the pantry and 60 minutes to cook.

Gordon is worried about Jessie taking the kobe beef when she’s never cooked with it before. It’s a lot trickier to cook because of the fatty marbling than most chefs are prepared for. Joe is worried about Natasha and the crab. Luca has the most versatile ingredient, but Graham thinks it’ll be difficult to make it the star, and it is salty so that can be dangerous.

Jessie is doing sauteed bok choy, eggplant, mushrooms, and glass noodles as a side dish for her beef. She is also doing a papaya slaw but not sure if she’ll plate it.

Natash is steaming the crab and is serving it as part of a cold yaki soba salad. It might be risky to do a cold dish, the judges think, but she’s confident.

Luca is doing veal cutlet stuffed with grana padano and sage, served with an Italian potato tart with cheese and onions. It looks good if he can pull off all the elements.

Jessie is doing a Ponzu butter to finish her steak…but she needs more butter. She goes to Natasha who has plenty of butter sticks left over but will she give any to Jessie? Nope. Meanwhile, Luca says yes. He doesn’t think it would be fair to win by keeping the ingredient from Jessie.

Time is up and the judges are ready to taste their three plates.

Luca has made pancetta-wrapped veal cutlet filled with sage and Grana Padano, served over radicchio and with his potato-cheese tart. The veal is perfectly good and the tart is very good. Although the dish tastes very good, it might be a little rich. Gordon loves the attention to detail. It’s a very earnest and humble effort, he thinks. Graham says the seasoning is perfect. A lot of technique, visually it isn’t beautiful but flavor-wise it tastes great.

Natasha is next with her King Crab Yakisoba Salad. Gordon says it’s phenomenal. Joe doesn’t personally love all the raw peppers in it, but it has a really good balance. It’s smart. Graham loves the serrano chilies she’s used and thinks it’s one of her best efforts to date.

Jessie is last for tasting. She’s made seared kobe beef with ponzu better and Asian vegetables. The meat is excellent and Joe likes the eggplant. It’s a good dish. Graham says it’s got great flavor. The beef stands out. He doesn’t think it needed the ponzu butter, however. Gordon likes it. The beef is delicious. The noodles slightly too greasy. He wants to taste the green papaya salad which she ended up not plating. He thinks she left the best thing off the plate and the other judges agree.

It’s time to decide who will make it to the final stage of the competition. The first chef who is safe? Natasha. She’s going to the finals. That leaves Luca and Jessie…and it turns out that Jessie will be going home. Luca and Natasha will go head to head in the final battle for the title of 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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