MasterChef: Sausage For All and Fungi Strategy

No two-parter this week, just one episode where our valiant cheftestants try to prove themselves worthy of that trophy and a lot of cash.

Hidden under those mystery boxes is a meat grinder, which means either making ground meat for hamburgers or sausages. Just as the long mystery box at the front is unloaded, I flashed back to a line in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by the maitre’d to Ferris: “You’re the sausage king of Chicago?” Underneath it is all kinds of meat and even some vegetarian items thrown in as well. It is sausage heaven and they must create an entrée out of it. Sounds easy but we are talking gourmet here. Making breakfast sausage is not going to cut it. Well in the case of Natasha it does since she makes an upscale sausage with breakfast. Krissi, clearly in her comfort zone, nails it as well. But it is Eddie that outshines them all and gets the win. And back to the pantry he goes.

We saw something like this last season. They offer up three foods but you choose who gets the fresh or canned version. And Eddie chooses mushrooms knowing it would throw some people off. Canned varieties are not very good and require finesse to use them right. Fresh seems easy but Eddie knows that some out there will overcomplicate and end up on the bottom. I can tell Eddie would have been a great NFL player. He observes his opponents to determine their strengths and weaknesses. And then plans accordingly. So he gives Bri, Bethy, James and Jordan fresh mushrooms believing some of them will over think resulting in a bad dish. Everyone else gets the canned mushrooms. Yuck.

The interesting twist is that the canned mushroom group did better as a whole against the fresh fungi group. Luca, Jessi, Krissi and Natasha all passed muster with best being Jessi, Krissi and Natasha. Not one of them faced elimination and Natasha was one of two who won. On the fresh fungi side, only Bri made a dish that excelled and also was winner. That left Bethy, James, and Jordan on the bottom facing elimination. Eddie’s strategy worked. Each one of them failed to make mushrooms the star. Bethy used too much sesame oil so it dominated her dish. James had too much sauce and Jordan’s attempt at pasta was a bridge too far.

In the end, Bethy was sent home. Not a surprise since she had started to fade before this. And she forgot to get sugar forcing her to beg it from other cheftestants. And now we have eight left. One of those eight will be the next MasterChef. Who will it be? Next week, they go camping. You can view a clip of next week’s episode on YouTube.

We are at the point now where rankings are more relevant. Who is up, down, or just heading out the door?

Top Tier
Jessi has shown remarkable skill in the competition. And surprised many in the process. She is a serious contender to be one of the top four.

When he first auditioned, I was not sure about him. But over time he has shown a lot of creativity in his dishes and wowed the judges. He will have to really screw up to not make it into the top four.

She started out great, then seemed to muddle, and now has come back with a lot of really well thought out dishes. She aced the Walmart basket with limited time last week. Her dismissive comments about her fellow contestants at times are grating (or refusing to clap when Bri is announced as being in the top ten). She does not accept criticism from those beneath her station. Despite those negatives, her strengths as cook put her in the top tier.

A creative chef but took a serious hit this week and tumbles from the top tier. He has obvious strengths but is prone to overdo things.

James has finesse but like Jordan was humbled by the fungi. So he drops out of the top tier as well. Too bad because he is quite talented.

Krissi cooks well when the food is in her comfort zone. Outside of that, she has difficulty. However as this show goes on and the demand for high refined cooking really kicks in, she will likely be outside her comfort zone. Her attitude stinks, she is nasty to most everyone there, and is a bully. I do not see her in the top four but could happen if something dramatic happens to those ahead of her.

Bri being the only vegetarian in the group is at a disadvantage. Yet she has shown capability of handling meat but is not always consistent owing to lack of experience. She is a wildcard because of the ability to confound expectations and win challenges.

Luca is a nice guy but his food just gets by. He has shown great finesse at times. And I loved it when he took Jordan’s stand mixer in the cupcake challenge. That being said, his time is up. He does not have the chops to go head to head with some of the top tier people. So Luca, I like you but time for you to go.