Picture Credit: MasterChef/Fox
MEMO: For a complete recap of each episode, follow MasterChef Junior Season 2 contestant, Logan, on his wonderful blog. His talent and work ethic are truly inspiring.
The show was fantastic last week. I am loving the creativity that the producers invest in this program. No wonder the ratings are so high!
The Top 8 young home chefs were first asked to make sunny side up eggs for their Pressure Test . They could make as many as possible within the time frame of 10 minutes.
What was pretty neat about this particular challenge is that the number of successful eggs created by each young cook impacted the Mystery Box Challenge to follow. The number of ingredients available to them in the next test had to equal the number of successful egg dishes.
As it turned out, 8.5 year old Abby only had two successful sunny side up eggs, so she chose salmon and asparagus for her second culinary entry. She made broiled salmon and asparagus sauté and asparagus soup. Very well done. Her salmon was “glistening and perfect” according to Chef Gordon Ramsay.
12-year-old Sean had the most ingredients to work with and chose to create a Ribeye Steak with a Paprika Crema and Roasted Potatoes. He didn’t fare as well as Abby because he overcooked the steak.
Levi made a Pan Seared Salmon and Broccolini and, like Sean, overcooked his salmon.
Adriah made Lamb Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Orange Sauce. She could only use 4 ingredients and her dish was a success.
Up to this point, it seems that the contestants with the fewer ingredients fared better. Keeping it simple sometimes is key.
Oona made Scallops two ways but, unfortunately, overcooked the scallops.
Blonde -haired, 11-year-old Logan made a Flat Iron Steak with Bamboo Rice. The steak was perfect in every way but the rice was overcooked. Rice is such a tricky ingredient to handle, so I am not surprised. He had 7 ingredients to cook with and Gordon Ramsay said it was as if he had only 3 ingredients to work with. The poor little angel started crying. It broke my heart. I love him. But Gordon managed to encourage him to “up his game”, giving him a hug and pep talk to boost his confidence. Nice to see.
Josh created a Curried Duck L’Orange with Orange Sauce. Once again, overcooking ruined his presentation.
It seems like this was a running theme with these mini chefs. The timing of the cooking process becomes more refined with experience I would think.
Samuel was worried when he brought up his dish – Five Spiced Seared Duck with Broccolini Purée. However, he worried needlessly because it was a perfect dish according to Chef Gordon Ramsay who said he “cooked duck like an angel”.
The two outstanding dishes of the night were created by Abby and Samuel, and Samuel was declared the winner of the night.
Josh, Levi, Oona and Sean were Bottom 4. The two saved from elimination were Oona and Sean and, unfortunately Josh and Levi were eliminated. Woah – I did not see that coming. I thought they would advance further but Top 8 is pretty amazing.
This week, here is what to expect, as culled from Fox.Com:
“The remaining six junior home cooks split into teams and compete in the first-ever “Junior Edition” restaurant. The team that wins the challenge will advance into the semi-finals, while the remaining home cooks will have to face elimination. Find out which four junior home cooks advance to the next round in the all-new “Junior Edition: Pop-Up Restaurant” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Tuesday, Dec. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (JRM-205) (TV-PG; L) CC-AD-HDTV 720p-Dolby Digital 5.1”
And, if you live in the USA, you can watch the entire Season 2 series on iTunes –and relive the magic of Season 1 via iTunes – .
Finally, if you love downloading books, I highly recommend MasterChef – The Contestants and Judges of MasterChef and My Italian Kitchen – Luca Manfé. As you recall, Luca won Season 4 through his unique approach to Italian cuisine. Bravo Luca!
MASTERCHEF JUNIOR is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on the format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. “Like” MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on Facebook at facebook.com/MasterChefJuniorFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefJrFOX and join the discussion using #masterchefjunior. See photos and video on Instagram @masterchefjunior.