MasterChef Recap: The Red (vs. Blue) Wedding

Well, I got lazy and didn’t recap the last two episodes of MasterChef. But, I’m back at it this week! And so are the home cooks as they face the second team challenge of the competition. This week they took on catering a beach wedding. The theme for the dinner is upscale ocean fare, with a scallop appetizer and sea bass main course (yum). They luck out by not having to prepare a dessert as well.

As the winners of last week’s doughnut challenge, Leslie and Francis are the team leaders and get to take turns picking their teammates. Leslie chooses Christian first, then goes on to pick Francis B, Tyler, Daniel, Christine, Ahran, Jordan, and Jamie. As the picks are happening we hear that Ahran does not want to be on Leslie’s team, and is quite disappointed when that’s where she ends up. She gets things off to a good start by yelling at Leslie when he mispronounces her name. Go team! Francis chooses Willie first, along with Courtney, Cutter, Victoria, Elizabeth, Dan and Elise.

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Gordon, Graham, and Joe give the team challenge for the week – catering a wedding. Image from fox.com.

Francis’s Blue team gets off to a very strong start. Francis steps into the leadership role flawlessly, quickly deciding on the menu and sending his team to start preparing. They will be making seared scallops with arugula, jicama, and papaya salad; and sea bass with lemon beurre blanc, white asparagus, and purple cauliflower puree. Leslie doesn’t get his Red team off to as strong a start. He tries to get a decision by committee about what they’ll be serving. They end up deciding on seared scallops with mango and avocado-pea puree to start and sea bass with broccolini and a tomato-cucumber salad.

Leslie is not leading very well, and no one on his team seems happy. Gordon comes in and starts yelling about the stuff he always yells about. I really hope the kitchen area is a ways down the beach from the wedding ceremony and that his voice doesn’t carry that far. Not long after prep starts, a few of the cooks decide they want a new leader, and appoint Francis B to take over as he has led a team to victory before. Things start to go smoother for them.

Soon the scallops are done and Joe brings one plate from each team to the bride and groom. The bride likes the Blue team’s scallops, while the groom likes the Red team’s plate. Just married and already disagreeing about important life decisions. The guests seem to like both of the team’s plates.

Nothing too exciting happens during the entrée prep other than Tyler getting yelled at for tasting too much of the food. I guess he’s hungry, when do the contestants get to eat? The entrees are served and again the bride likes the Blue plate while the groom likes Red. Oh no, who will pick the winner? If your answer is anything but “the bride”, you clearly have never watched television before. The bride (now I’m just thinking of Kill Bill and thinking that this episode could use some katana-wielding action) throws her bouquet to the winning team – Blue!

As the Red team is cleaning up, Leslie tries to make what I think is supposed to be an apology to his team. Ahran starts yelling, and when Leslie proves she isn’t the only one with the emotional aptitude of a high-schooler, the tears start. Get over it kids, do you both need a time out? Leslie bemoans the fact that no one likes him “because he’s the old guy.” No, Leslie, no one likes you because you’re the obnoxious guy.

Back in the MasterChef kitchen the Red team lines up in front of the judges and gets chewed out for being awful, despite the bride, groom, and wedding guests having nothing but positive things to say about their food. The judges announce that only three people will be participating in the Pressure Test. Gordon asks Leslie who he would pick to participate, which is clearly a trap. Leslie shows his maturity by selecting Christian, Daniel, and (in case there was any doubt he’s a petulant child), Ahran. He’s also very vocal about why he’d make those choices, further alienating himself. Of course the decision isn’t up to Leslie, it’s up to the judges. Leslie doesn’t even have time to extract his foot from his mouth before Gordon chooses him as the first participant due to his failed leadership. Jordon will also be cooking as he spent most of the team challenge wandering in a daze and didn’t contribute much, along with Francis B since he became the de facto leader but couldn’t pull it off.

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Ingredients for the Steak Frites pressure test. Image from fox.com.

Everyone seems fairly comfortable with the challenge, though the judges are concerned that Jordan isn’t searing his steak enough. The cooks in the gallery give Francis a lot of support and the idea to make a compound butter.

The judges try Leslie’s plate first. The steak is a perfect medium-rare, but the frites are limp and under seasoned. Next is Jordan. His steak is medium, and the fat hasn’t rendered. His frites are well seasoned, but not crispy enough. Francis also has cooked a medium steak but it’s seasoned well and his frites are the best of the bunch.  The judges deliberate and quickly announce that Leslie is safe, as he’s the only one who cooked a perfect steak. Jordon will be going home. The judges have some encouraging words for him before they send him on his way.

16 are left.

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