Masterchef US Season 6, Episode 7: Upscale breakfasts and TV dinners


Our gallant cheftestants faced a Mystery Box that required them to make an upscale breakfast but for the elimination round have to cook a posh TV dinner. Poor execution of a dish and clueless on a concept sends not one but two home in the end.

*Breakfast Masterchef style means upscale and fit to have been served on Titanic. Graham Elliot joins the cheftestants in masterfully cooking three breakfast dishes in 30 minutes for the judges. Meanwhile the others have to whip up something pretty good to get the judges to notice. Derrick, Nick, and Katrina have the three best but Derrick beats them all and gets exemption from cooking in the elimination challenge.

*TV dinners. They are still popular despite how far we have come culinary wise. Why? Ease. You get home and do not have time or the energy to cook a full three -course meal. A tv dinner fits the bill. You can either put it in the oven or microwave. And today there are lots of choices that include ones that are low calorie and low fat. So Derrick gets to choose which of the Masterchefs favorite TV dinners they will cook: Christina’s Salisbury Steak, Graham’s Meatloaf, or Gordon’s Turkey. Derrick opts for Christina’s.

*And for the extra point Derrick gets to choose someone to sit out for 15 minutes. He chooses Christopher. Surprising since he put a target on Shelly’s back last time. But if he was hoping Christopher would crash and burn, he was wrong. He instead excelled and wowed the judges. His arrow would have been better spent on someone else. If anything making him sit out made him better.

*The Gong of Doom
Veronica’s problem is never getting the presentation or serving size right. She tells Christina she intends to present it as a TV dinner. Christina reminds her that they want something above that but Veronica seems clueless or oblivious. She cooks like that clichéd Army chef that cooks tons of food and slops it on the plate as the soldiers go by. No surprise the gong of doom is ringing loudly when Christina walks away.

*Hetal’s Challenge
Hetal had to cook with beef, a taboo food in her native India. Gordon did point out she could ask someone else to taste it. Sure, ask one of your fellow competitors to tell you if your food is good or bad. But you got to know that some would opt to deceive rather than help. If she wants to move forward in this competition, you have to handle the curves they throw at you since they do not make exemptions for vegetarians or foods banned by religion.

*Jesse tries to impress Gordon with his venison dish and fails. Gordon, who knows a thing or two about cooking venison, was displeased with it being overcooked. Jesse came off not well trying to say it was not that dry. Later when the three bottom people are called, Gordon says (without saying his name) that he ought to come up. He starts the turns back forcing Gordon to call out his name.

*Hetal and Veronica in the bottom with Jesse. Hetal got so flustered in dealing with beef that her dish suffered horribly. It could not be more disappointing for her. She could have done okay with the beef and spectacular with the sides. Instead it really was a mess but luckily both Jesse and Veronica were worse. Veronica brought up massive portions to the judges sitting in large serving dishes. It did not look good and Gordon was angry. He reminded her that they had repeatedly told her to watch those portions and presentation. When he tilts the dish with vegetables, a whole lot of water comes out. He declines to taste any of her dishes.

*Without fanfare, Veronica was sent him. No kind words and no sympathy from the judges. Just turn in your apron and leave. The top 15 applaud but quickly turns to a hush when another person will be sent home. No surprise it was Jesse leaving Hetal safe for the next round.

*The good news is that Olivia and Nick won. I am impressed with both but Olivia most of all. I was not sure she really had the motivation or cooking skills. She has both and showed it tonight. She and Nick will be team captains next week.

1. Always follow what the judges want in terms of presentation and serving.
2. They know that some people do not like certain foods (they find this out during the intake process) so they will throw challenges that contain proteins or foods you do not like or prohibited.
3. Be brave and take chances but remember to follow those rules about cooking it right. And remember to taste it. Overcooked food is about as welcome as cow chips on a plate.

Next week: Masterchef celebrates its 100th episode with an outdoor party. And catering it will be the cheftestants. The Dreaded Pressure Test will be a birthday cake but when the two candles are blown out, it will be a double elimination.