Masterchef US Season 6, Episode 13: Fire In The Kitchen

A dish covered with an alcoholic spirit and set alight before serving.
(Oxford English Dictionary)

*The Mystery Box contained just alcohol and matches! All the cheftestants had to do was prepare a meal that was flambéed for the judges to eat. They demonstrated the technique but sadly no one go to taste them!

*Safety experts recommend you never pour directly from the bottle when you are igniting the alcohol. Otherwise the flames might follow the alcohol back to its source and that will lead to serious injury or worse.

*The top three were Tommy, Hetal, and Stephen. All three produced Masterchef worthy dishes making it a tough call but Stephen got the win. Back in the pantry he decides between three Southern favorites the judges like. He goes with Graham’s Waffles and Fried Chicken. Excellent! Now that is a tough one. Easy if you have a professional kitchen to assist but if you are doing it yourself, that means a lot of work. You have chicken to fry and waffles to make. And both plus whatever sides have to be on the plate and done for the judges to taste. No room for error here.

*Stephen not only gets a place in the top eight, but also can decide who has only thirty minutes to do the dish. That could be a death gong and he chooses Derrick. So Derrick has to wait until only thirty minutes are left to start cooking. Yikes. And Stephen conducts his own version of psy-ops as he starts badgering him as he cooks.

*Christina points out using non-stick spray is a mistake to use on waffle irons. The reason is that it does not help your waffles cook faster or better or even easier to remove. Better to apply vegetable oil with a baster brush or paper towel. Also if you use such sprays on nonstick surfaces like most waffle irons, it leaves a residue that makes it harder to for the coating to work properly. It wears them our faster as well.

Tommy's duck fat fried chicken with pecan-quinoa-corn waffles.  Photo: Fox
Tommy’s duck fat fried chicken with pecan-quinoa-corn waffles.
Photo: Fox

*Both Tommy and Hetal excelled with their dishes and won elimination round becoming team captains in the next episode. Sadly two unexpected people ended up on the bottom. While there were some boring dishes, Claudia and Shelly ended up on the bottom. Claudia was a surprise since she has shown steady and consistent good skills for the most part. Her dish was panned as looking as it came out of a diner. And her chicken was underdone. Shelly was bad too with bland waffles and dry chicken. Shelly got the chop and bade farewell to the kitchen. I hope she continues her dream because she has the ability to be really good.

Quips, Quotes, and Comments
*Christina: Hey most people know you use alcoholic spirits for a flambé.
*Fashion Tommy showed skills in both Mystery Box and Elimination. Unless he does a major stumble, I predict he is in the top four.
*Hetal also once again showed she might be in the top four. Her chicken and waffles with an Indian twist showed her creativity.
*Stephen really is quite the character. And Derrick showed how tough he is as well.
*It sometimes happens that the pressure just crushes you and I suspect that is what happened to Claudia. It got to her and her dish sucked. Lucky for her Shelly did worse. She will have to step up her game if she wants to stay longer in the competition.

Next week: Team competition will demonstrate Tommy’s leadership skills and the elimination challenge has animal heads on the menu.