The starts with the introduction of Suzy, a 27 year old neural engineer from Chicago, Illinois. She is thrilled that she has the opportunity to cook for the panel of judges, and is trying to branch out from her conservative parents by pursuing her career as a chef. She prepared a Tandoori Sea Bass with Couscous over roasted tomatoes . She gets 3 yes votes, and moves onto the next round.
After Suzy, the next several amateur chefs are turned down. The next chef, Max, an 18 year old student from New York tries to impress the judges with his use of expensive ingredients. He prepared Fried Kumamoto Oysters with Steak Tataki . Joe and Gordon gave a yes, and Graham gave him a no vote. He gets an apron and moves onto the next round. The next three contestants try to impress the panel with their Italian dishes, but they don't live up to their excitement.
Giuseppe, a 38 year old granite salesman from Chicago, Illinois prepared Stuffed Mussels with Marinara Sauce . He prepared his own sauce, and used fresh ingredients. He received three yes votes, and a MasterChef apron to move onto the next round. Christin, a 27 year old teacher from Tampa, Florida decided to give the judges a different take on a traditional dish. She made Sweet Meatballs topped with shaved parmigiano reggiano and basil . She doesn't impress the judges, Joe gives her a yes, but Gordon and Graham both say no. She does not move onto the next round.
They show a montage of people receiving aprons. Edgardo, a 48 year old teacher from Burbank, California prepared Dungeness Crab with Mango and cucumber salad . Joe gave him a yes, but Graham and Gordon both said no. He does not move onto the next round. Adrien, a 28 year old server from Ventura, California likes to use a lot of Mexican flavors and techniques that he grew up with in his cooking. He prepared Achiote Tierra with Homemade Achiote . Joe and Gordon give him a yes, and Graham says no, but he does receive an apron. Joseph, a 45 year old construction foreman from Florida prepared Swiss Alligator with steamed white rice . Joe was the only one who said no, Graham and Gordon gave him a yes, and he received an apron.
Up to this point of the auditions, the judges have tasted 99 dishes, and the next contestant made 100. Ben, a 33 year old travel writer from Texas grew up on a sheep farm, and tries to impress the judges with his dish. He prepared Crispy Fish Tacos on Homemade Tortillas with Jicama Slaw. All three judges give him a yes, and he moves onto the next round. The auditions have ended, and the battle begins.