EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'MasterChef' recap: A tale of two mystery boxes

Season 5 | Episode 11 | “Top 11 Compete” | Aired Aug 4, 2014

This week, the top 11 battle it out for a place in the coveted top 10. While each chef has shined on and off in the last few weeks, it’s now up to a double mystery box and an elimination test to decide who makes it through to next week.

We’ve seen desserts and egg rolls show up in a few recent pressure tests, but what will be the challenge this week? Will it be live seafood again, or will it be something more traditional … Italian, perhaps? Read on to find out that is hiding beneath those mystery boxes and whose MasterChef dream is cut short this week.

Mystery Box Challenge

Tonight, in a dramatic twist, the chefs are given not one, but two mystery boxes from which to cook. Do they have to cook from both boxes? Just one box? How do they choose? The chefs are allowed to lift both lids and see what’s inside each box. Box number one contains common household ingredients like ground beef, bacon, tilapia, pickles, cheese sauce and more. Box number two contains gourmet ingredients like balsamic vinaigrette, Ahi tuna, Kobe beef, black truffles, Stilton cheese and more.

2 Mystery Box Week 11

This challenge is unique because Joe isn’t going to choose for them. Graham isn’t going to choose; neither is Gordon. Each home cook gets to pick which box they want to cook from. They will not be judged on the ingredients that they choose, but on how well they can execute a dish based on their ingredients. Both boxes present their own unique perks and challenges. Which would you choose? The gourmet box or the household box?

Sixty minutes are put on the clock and the chefs get cooking. Daniel decides to cook with the household box, as a personal challenge to himself. Elizabeth picks the luxury box because she wants to respect those ingredients. Victoria thinks the everyday box is the “wiser” choice because she can show her skills better with a challenge like this. She wants to “elevate” the everyday box, instead of using the “elevated” luxury box. As the timer winds down, Joe, Gordon and Graham pick three dishes that they want to see and taste.

Top 3 Dishes

Elizabeth: Pan-roasted pork chop with herb biscuits + pea salad: Beautiful sear on the pork chop, sophisticated, seasoned beautifully, elegantly plated.

: Tilapia and ham steak with iceberg salad: Rich, salty balance, elevated and hip dish, well seasoned.

Pork, beef and Ahi tuna with truffle puree, Stilton + pea puree: Perfectly warm Ahi, brilliant dish, fresh puree, perfectly seasoned.

Winning Dish: Leslie. This marks his first mystery box win. Go, Leslie!

Elimination Test

Leslie GifNow that Leslie has won the mystery box challenge, he gets a few advantages in the elimination test. First off, he does not have to cook, which means he is the first chef to make it into the top 10. Secondly, he gets to choose one of three dishes that the remaining chefs must cook. The theme tonight: stuffed pastas. Leslie must choose from tortellini, caramelle or ravioli. Leslie picks the caramelle. Honestly, I think the caramelle is the most challenging because most home cooks will be unfamiliar with it. I mean honestly, what is caramelle?

Leslie also gets a third advantage: He gets to take the pasta machine away from one chef, and he or she must make their pasta with a rolling pin instead. Oh no. Hand-rolling pasta dough can be done, but it is definitely more time-consuming than using the pasta maker. Today is the day everyone wishes they were never rude to Leslie. But to whom will Leslie give the rolling pin? After faking out a few people, Leslie gives the rolling pin to Daniel. Sorry, Daniel.

In tonight’s stuffed pasta challenge, the judges are looking for a perfect layer of pasta, with good filling that is wrapped like little candies. Joe wants a dish good enough to serve in one of his restaurants. The judges are also looking for something simple: fresh pasta stuffed with mozzarella and topped with a pomodoro sauce. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Despite being very unfamiliar with this dish, a lot of home chefs take major risks with their pasta. Daniel is going Asian, Francis is making a pink beet-root pasta and Willie is making a dessert. Risks are good, but will any of these pay off?


Daniel: Short rib caramelle with tamarind habanero curry. Flavor combination does not make sense. Not servable in an Italian restaurant. Too spicy.

Mozzarella stuffed caramelle with creamy tomato + pork sauce. Perfect interpretation of Joe’s dish. Clean, milky mozzarella. Joe would serve it in his restaurant. A true taste of Queens.

Short rib caramelle with cauliflower + pepper puree. Not well seasoned. Overcomplicated.

Short rib caramelle with vodka white sauce. Delicious filling. Good heat. Can cook like an angel.

Mozzarella-stuffed caramelle with fresh tomato sauce. Good sauce/pasta balance. Beautifully presented. Simple and sexy.

Squash and apple caramelle with crème anglaise. Too sweet, too much cinnamon. Not appetizing.

Best dish: Jaimee

Eliminated tonight: Francis Francis Week 11

Francis loves to take creative risks—some which paid off, some which didn’t—but his food always looks fun and inventive. Best of luck to you, Francis. I hope to one day try those amazing Guinness maple bacon doughnuts.

Next week, watch the top 10 serve up a tailgate party in a rainy, wet stadium full of flag footballers and fans! We are getting closer to the finale … who do you think will be in the top 3?

MasterChef airs Mondays 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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