Season 5 | Episode 14 | “Top Seven Compete” | Aired Aug 25, 2014
Only seven remain: Willie, Courtney, Cutter, Jaimee, Christian, Leslie and Elizabeth. Tonight on MasterChef these top seven team up for a chance to make it into the top six. While every chef is excited to still be cooking, some chefs are feeling bittersweet because they miss their families. Thankfully, they each receive letters from home that boost their spirits. But will the letters be enough to help them get through a tough mystery box and a frightening elimination test?
Read more to find out who tears up when reading her mom’s letter and who tears up when they have to leave the kitchen…
Tonight is another Mystery Box Challenge, but first, these homesick chefs get to read letters from home. Elizabeth opens a letter from her husband and Courtney tears up while reading a letter from her mom. Cutter laughs with joy as he reads a letter from his dad. Leslie’s wife and daughters send him a letter of encouragement telling he can shine! Christian receives a letter from his fiance, and Willie’s grandma imparts to him some touching words of wisdom “You’re attitude determines your altitude.”
Mystery Boxes Unveiled
Anyone familiar with American favorites should be comfortable with this mystery box challenge. What can be more American than apple pie and baseball? These chefs are about to find out. As each chef lifts his and her mystery boxes, dozens of apples come pouring out! Gorgeous, glossy, red, yellow and green apples cover the MasterChef cooking stations and floors. It looks like autumn has exploded in the kitchen! Apples should be easy right? Apple pie. Apple sauce. Apple crumble. Unfortunately, these chefs are not allowed to make dessert! That’s right. No dessert. A savory apple dish must be cooked. There goes everyone’s apple pie dreams!
Courtney: Apple-stuffed pork loin, w/ apple pancetta + celeriac salad
– Smart dish, raising the stakes, great technique, good acidity
Leslie: Apple-stuffed pork tenderloin w/ bacon + Gruyere cheese
– Great balance, perfectly seasoned, great technique
Christian: Apple-stuffed pork chop w/ bacon + Brussels sprouts
– Restaurant quality, cooked beautifully, consistently impressive
Mystery Box Winner: Courtney
Because Courtney wins the Mystery Box challenge, she gets some major advantages: Not only is she safe from cooking in the elimination test, but she gets to choose the pairs for the challenge. Courtney pairs up Elizabeth with Cutter, Willie with Christian, and Jaimee with Leslie. Courtney is planning to weed out her competition, but each chef remaining is in it to win it. I don’t think anyone will be easy to get rid of.
The food challenge tonight? Dim sum. Dim sum is very difficult to make. It’s intricate and highly technical. Each pair must cook a variety of buns, rolls and dumplings in one hour. They also have to switch up who’s cooking every 15 minutes. That’s right, they have to cook small, delicate and flavorful Dim sum in a under an hour.
Communication is the key to winning this tag team challenge. Each chef cooking has to say what he or she is doing. Each chef instructing must be clear about what he or she needs when it’s his or her time to cook. I fully believe in Jaimee and Leslie’s ability to cook individually, but I don’t think they will do well as a team. They both had difficulties leading in team challenges, and they might run into the same issues here.
As the hour ticks down Leslie and Jaimee seem to be having the hardest time communicating. Elizabeth and Cutter seem to have an easy time, prepping for one another and moving quickly. Willie has a hard time with Christian yelling, but he bounces back fast.
As each pair puts the finishing touches on their dish both Christian and Elizabeth slip. Everyone is yelling, even Gordon, Graham and Joe. It looks like chaos. All I can hear is Graham yelling “GET THOSE LIDS ON! GET THOSE LIDS ON!” Wow. What a crazy finish!
Jaimee + Leslie: Ribs shredded beautifully. Nice potstickers. Near perfect tray.
Christian + Willie: Lack of finesse. Didn’t steam everything well. Lack of flavors.
Cutter + Elizabeth: Doesn’t look appetizing. Oversized. Lack of filling.
Best Dish: Jaimee + Leslie
Wow! Based on the team communication, I would have thought Elizabeth and Cutter would have been in the top tonight. But in an interesting twist, Jaimee and Leslie take home the best dim sum! So, where does that leave the remaining four competitors? Will Willie, Christian, Elizabeth or Cutter go home? Chef Ramsay declares that Elizabeth and Cutter are both safe, but only by a margin. That means we will be saying goodbye to either Christian or Willie.
Sent Home: Willie
Willie is such a kindhearted soul. It has been an absolute joy watching him cook every week. I will miss him a lot.
And then there were six. Who will stick it out to the end, and who will go home next week? It’s another fierce team restaurant challenge. These challenges always seem to bring out the worst in everyone, and judging from next week’s trailer, I think Cutter and Leslie bring out the worst in each other. Gordon looked like he was going to be doing some yelling next week. Stay tuned for next week’s top six results!
MasterChef airs Mondays at 8/9C on Fox.