Tag Archives: MasterChef (U.S.)

MasterChef: Of Firefighters, Eggs Benedict, Burgers and Lobster

I will not recap this two hour episode, plenty of that at other sites around the web. Once cooked lobsteragain we had a two parter which means normally one person leaves at the end of each segment. Not this time. It took two episodes to finally determine who would leave. It opened with all our cheftestants cooking for 101 firefighters served banquet style and ended with Luca and Kathy competing to cook the best boiled lobster in butter sauce. Now here are some issues I had with these two episodes:

1. They gave Bime immunity despite the fact he poorly led his team. Actually both teams were poorly led. Gordon was totally frustrated at how each team were making very bad choices. Bime choose not to season the steaks and depend on the sauce. Bethy could not decide which sauce to serve and only at the end made up her mind. Lots of other problems materialized as well during service: components missing, undercooked food etc. So when Blue Team lost leaving Bimi, Jordan, Luca, Natasha, Bri, Krissi, Kathy, Beth to face the pressure test, I expected Bimi to have to wow them with his cooking skills.

Nope, they spared him and allowed him to choose one other (he choose Jordan). This inexplicable decision is probably because they feared he would be sent home. Considering the pressure test, I would sense he would not do well. Luca, Natasha, Bri, Krissi, Kathy and Beth had to cook the highly technical Eggs Benedict. It is not just slapping poached eggs on toast! The eggs must be poached perfectly, the muffin properly toasted and buttered, tasty and cooked properly Canadian bacon, and finally the hollandaise sauce must be perfection. Done right, it is heaven on a plate. Krissi and Bri got it right leaving the others with pretty awful dishes for the judges. Which leads to….

2. They could not agree who was the worst to be sent home. They have never had a problem in the past with figuring it out. The vote had to be split three ways for this to happen. All three judges have exceptional palates and I cannot believe they could not settle on one person. But it is possible that each one had only one person they believed ought to go and the other two had their own. So lack of at least two people means deadlock. When means another cooking challenge will be needed. With great dramatic flourish, Gordon leads the four out the MasterChef kitchen with the other cheftestants wondering what the heck was going on.

3. Next Stop, Las Vegas
Gordon Ramsay has a gourmet burger place in Las Vegas. These burgers are not your ordinary ones. These use the finest of beef with expensive toppings. I have no idea what Ramsay charges for his burgers, but such burgers are pricey. There is one famous one that costs several thousand dollars served on brioche and comes with champagne. Aside from free advertising for his place, the two teams must cook up burgers in a real kitchen with no one else to help them. A select group of people are coming in plus some VIP’s (which turn out to be the other cheftestants). Once again neither team seems to have what it takes to pull a win. Luca/Kathy struggle as does Natasha/Beth. Gordon acts as expediter which means he gets to be like his persona on Hell’s Kitchen in yelling at them to get the burgers done and sent out properly. One strangely comes back as underdone. Did Gordon notice it (he can certainly tell by squeezing it) or allow it purposefully to go out bad so he could shame the chefs?

In the end Natasha/Beth are safe leaving Luca/Kathy to face the final pressure test. Which then leads to…

4. Up on the Roof
I do not know who thought this one out. Did anyone find it odd they would need to cook their final meal on the roof? Where there no other places at all to film indoors? Then again when they pull out at the end to see the loser standing there all alone, I suppose that is what they were looking for, that long shot. It came across more staged and I got the feeling we have all been led down a path. That what happened back in MasterChef kitchen was more planned than we thought.

5. And now for Mr. Lobster
So they are tasked with cooking a very expensive lobster meal: poached lobster in butter and a salad. A classic Las Vegas meal for winners and those who aspire to be. Both Luca and Kathy put a lot of work preparing but Luca got his lobster first. After dispatching it, he began taking it apart. The judges were aghast when he left a major portion of the lobster behind which had a lot of meat in it. Kathy was running out of time but managed to get her lobster poached and into the butter in time to be presented. Kathy had a nicely colored lobster, excellent flavor, but to acidic on the salad. Luca’s lobster looked pale but tasted delicious as was his salad. Now remember he left a lot of meat behind? He served less lobster than Kathy and his was pale looking. Kathy’s only fault was that her salad was too acidic. Luca gets the win, and Kathy goes home. Gordon offers to mentor her in New York and I hope she takes it. Yet one cannot help thinking Luca did not quite deserve this win. Perhaps he won on the technical point of having his salad better than hers, but he is not destined to get that trophy.

Some other points:
1)Natasha is really a nasty person, probably an elite snob, who cannot handle criticism well. Despite her high opinion of herself, she really took a nosedive on the Eggs Benedict. She also was going to throw Beth under the bus if they lost the burger match.

2)Bri was the surprise here. She had never cooked Eggs Benedict before but really came through. She is someone to watch.

Next week: Lidia Bastianich is in the house and puts Joe in his place!