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MasterChef Season 2: Episode 4 Recap

Posted on 06/14/2011 by Gina in MasterChef

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MasterChef Season 2

by Todd Betzold


We are down to the top 38 on MasterChef and tonight, we have two culinary stress tests to see who makes the top 16 and into the MasterChef kitchen.


The first test: after a dump truck backs into the kitchen and drops thousands of apples, the contestants are tested on their precision with their knife skills. Judge Joe Bastianich said, "Precision, accuracy and focus is what we're looking for." They are also looking for consistency of slicing and minimal waste.


The test has many of the contestants cutting themselves in their attempts to cut the perfect slices, but medics are on-hand and called over many times. The contestants must continue cutting until the judges tell them to stop, so after an hour of slicing 15 still remain on the chopping block. Some have moved on and some have been sent home, including Joseph who learned to cook after his wife was hurt in a bad construction accident.


After two hours of this stress test, we are down to two contestants: Tracy and Dustin. Chef Ramsay decides on Tracy to stay and Dustin to go home, since his slicing didn't even compare to Tracy's. The first culinary stress test saw 14 contestants eliminated, which leaves us with 24.


Second culinary stress test: they have one hour to prepare an amazing chicken dish using one chicken and a pantry full of spices and ingredients for them to choose. This test will judge their ingenuity, creativity and ability to think on their feet.


During the hour, the judges go around and get a look at all the dishes they are making and to see some of the screw-ups the contestants make that could come back and haunt them, including Tracy who started the chicken skins of her chicken pot pie on fire and Ben who made biscuits without baking powder.


After the hour is up, the judges call them up, six at a time, to taste the dish they have come up with. Seems like mixed messages from the judges on every dish they taste, so you never know who will make it and who won't.


From the first six, Max (the cocky, spoiled rich kid from NYC), Alvin (science in the kitchen guy), Alejandra, Tony (the truck driver) and Angel move on. Kyle, who beat out his mother in the auditions, didn't beat out any of the contestants today and is sent home.


The next six are called up and we see Suzy (the engineer), Christian (the stay-at-home dad), Jenny (former Miss Delaware), Christine (the single mom) and Ben (the travel writer and organic farmer and no baking powder biscuits) move on the top 16. Aaron, who judge Graham Elliot said was given a two-pound chicken and used only an ounce of it, was told to turn over his apron and head home.


Next six make their way up and we see Mark, Erryn and Adrien (the server with the Mexican heritage) all move forward. After making two different chicken salads for her dish, Rhonda was sent home and Joey and Albert (truck driver who cooked alligator for his audition plate) didn't make the cut as well.


The final six are called up and we see Esther (attorney that quit her job to pursue cooking) and Jennie make not-so-well cooked dishes, but the chicken was the hero of the dish and both moved on. Tracy (even with her burnt chicken skins), Derrick and Giuseppe (the Italian cook) all were good enough to move on as well, but Seby, the 18-year-old student, was not but Chef Ramsay told him to tell his parents he had a future in cooking.



We enter the MasterChef kitchen next week with the top 16 on Monday at 9/8c on Fox.


(Image courtesy of Fox)



Follow Todd @tbetzold


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