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'Masterchef' recap: A romantic team challenge

Season 5 | Episode 10 | “Top 12 Compete” | Aired July 28, 2014

Last week, we saw the home cooks go head to head against Chef Ramsay in a knife fight that any Le Cordon Bleu student would dread: skinning and filleting an Alaskan king salmon. Chef Ramsay owned that kitchen as he prepped that fish like a kitchen ninja.

We also saw our first medical emergency, when Elise almost passed out during the challenge. She was able to come back and finish her dish, but it wasn’t enough to keep her in the competition. Elise was sent home, and only 12 chefs remained.

Tonight we take a journey into the “love kitchen” as the remaining chefs team up to cook a romantic dinner for couples celebrating engagements and anniversaries. Read on to see who pops the question—and who drops the ball during a difficult pressure test.

Team Ahran Week 10Team Elizabeth Week 10

Team Challenge

Love is in the air and in the kitchen in this special, romantically themed team challenge. Since Elizabeth and Ahran cooked the best two dishes in last week’s elimination challenge, they are tonight’s team captains. Ahran is the captain of the Red Team and Elizabeth is the captain of the Blue Team. Ahran picks Leslie, Willie, Christine, Christian and Cutter. Elizabeth picks Francis, Jaimee, Victoria, Courtney and Daniel.

Each team has two hours to cook an entrée and a dessert for 17 couples. After the meal is over, the diners will choose whose dishes they liked the best. Spoiler alert: One team takes home 75 percent of the votes. In a MasterChef twist, the chefs are not only cooking for 17 couples, but also for a very special VIP: Chef Ramsay’s wife, Tana. She flew 6,000 miles to be served a romantic anniversary dinner with her husband. No pressure, right?

Both Elizabeth and Ahran select classically romantic entrées: Lobster and filet mignon. Ahran chooses the lobster for a lobster risotto, and Elizabeth picks the filet to do a filet mignon and beet mash. Both dishes sound delicious, but can they be executed properly? All three judges point out that both dishes are difficult to cook because they are delicate meats.

The Dining Experience

The MasterChef restaurant opens its doors and the couples are seated. Each couple is celebrating an important occasion, from first-date anniversaries to wedding anniversaries. One couple is celebrating 65 years of marriage! The chefs are searing and tasting and salting everything, making sure their dishes are perfect. The clock winds down and everyone quickly finishes plating.

Gordon and Tana Ramsay are served first. Both dishes look visually stunning and professional. While they both enjoy the Red Team’s lobster, they agree that the risotto doesn’t have a strong enough lobster taste. For the Blue Team, Tana really enjoys the beet mash, but the steak is cooked too rare for her taste.

Joe visits the couple celebrating 65 years of marriage and asks how they are enjoying their meal. According to the husband, this is the “best steak he has ever had.” Elizabeth’s Blue Team sure cooks an exceptional filet mignon! Also in the dinning room, a guest gets down on one knee and proposes to his girlfriend! Woohoo! She says yes!

Time for desserts! Gordon and Tana enjoy the light texture of the Red Team’s tiramisu, but think it looks a bit clumsy. They also enjoy the Blue Team’s strawberry–and–salted caramel cake, but feel it has too much cream.

Now that the diners have tasted all the dishes, they cast their vote on which team prepared the best overall dishes. In a 75 percent landslide the Blue Team wins! That means Ahran’s Red Team will have to cook in the pressure test.

Pressure Test

Tonight is all about romance: stunning entrées, bubbly champagne and sweet desserts. But what other dishes inspire romance? Well, truffles, of course! Tonight, these six Red Team chefs must prepare nine stunning chocolate truffles. How the heck do you make a truffle? And a good-looking one at that? Usually these cooking competitions shy away from desserts, but this season has had more dessert pressure tests than I have ever seen. I wonder why …


According to the judges, truffles are all about getting precise ratios of chocolate, butter and cream. The judges are looking for a variety of flavors, the right size and a perfect coating.

Cutter: Mint, orange and coconut. Visually a 10/10. Perfectly balanced.

Christian: Eggnog/brandy, bacon and pretzel. Beautiful ganache.

Willie: Togarashi, habanero and coconut. Good heat but too many sprinkles.

Ahran: Hazelnut, peanut butter pretzel and coffee mocha. Very rich and dense.

Leslie: Dark chocolate, coconut and white chocolate. Visually unappealing.

Christine: Sea salt, coffee cinnamon and almond crunch. Too bitter.

Cutter Week 10Cutter ends up making the best truffles of the night and goes up to the balcony, safe. Christian, Ahran and Willie are also safe, leaving Leslie and Christine in the bottom two. I often wonder how the judges decide who goes home. Leslie and Cutter have been in the bottom more than anyone up there tonight, but in this specific challenge, Christine’s truffles lacked shape and flavor.

Eliminated Tonight: Christine

Christine was a top contender, yet this one missed step sends her home. Does that mean anyone could go home next week? What do you think? Should Christine have gone home this week?

Next week, the top 11 compete for a place in the coveted Top 10! The evening will start out with a “double-down” Mystery Box.

On a show when anyone can go home at any time, who do you think will be in the Top 10? Better yet, who do you want in the Top 10?

MasterChef airs Monday nights at 8/9C on Fox.


TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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