Katrina, who has shown some good cooking skills but seemed to have a lot of self doubt about her abilities, finally went home. Judging from the comments on other Internet sites, many are not unhappy. I had my doubts that Katrina would get into the final four. While she certainly has the cooking skills, she lacks confidence in her abilities and is easily distracted by overthinking her cooking. Now they all faced a stern mystery box challenge of cooking with one ingredient and a limited pantry box. Nothing tests the creativity of a chef like this challenge. And they all rose to the challenge. Claudia won with her unique idea of a Tomato Napoleon and got the win.
Claudia was automatically put into the top four and filled a basket with twenty of her favorite things to cook with. To fill it out, three former Masterchef winners stopped by with baskets of their own. Christina naturally had Asian ingredients, Luca an Italian one, and Courtney (who still irks me and comes across as too mercenary) dessert ingredients. With Claudia selecting who gets baskets, she could really throw someone a huge disadvantage. Nick got what he did not want-the Mexican basket (Claudia’s). Derrick got the difficult dessert basket and Stephen the Asian. And Katrina got perhaps the easiest of all, the Italian basket. It ought to have been a slam dunk for her but instead sent her home.
Both her and Derrick ended up in the bottom. He did an underwhelming pot a crème that was too dense and the mascarpone not mixed in it. Not one of the judges thought it was Masterchef worthy but not bad either(except too dense). Katrina did a veal scaloppine but while her pasta was excellent, the veal was still mooing. Gordon was visibly disappointed as were the other judges. This is not someone usually careless but obviously the challenge got to her. She lost focus and allowed the still mooing veal on the plate. Had she left the veal off the plate, Derrick would have likely gone home. Derrick though did do just enough in their minds to go forward. It is a general rule of thumb on shows like this that if you serve raw meat that is supposed to be cooked, you go home unless someone did worse. Derrick’s dish was underwhelming but just enough (barely) from sending him home.
So the Final Four are Claudia, Derrick, Nick and Stephen. The semifinals are next and two will be chopped for the final two to meet for the head-to-head showdown in the grand finale. I still think Nick and Stephen could be the top two but if Stephen royally screws up, I expect Claudia to get the nod. Derrick is good but I think he might have reached his limit.
Katrina, as a consolation, was invited to spend time in Ramsay’s restaurants in France so she can start to get some training, She did show a lot of creativity and Gordon thinks she has a future in the business. While Hetal will make a great baker (and I would go to her bakery for a great pie!), Katrina with the right mentoring could well become a very good chef with her own restaurant.