Season 2 Episode 11

Top 11 Compete

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jul 18, 2011 on FOX

Episode Recap

The contestants enter the MasterChef kitchen, and they are greeted by the panel of judges: Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Bowles. In front of their stations is another wooden crate containing ingredients for their next Mystery Box challenge, the twist, there's another Mystery Box standing in front of the judges. The chefs lift their own box first to discover some ingredients: ginger, lemongrass, coconut milk, as well as some vegetables. There is no protein inside the contestants' boxes.
The judges unveil what's inside their Mystery Box, and it's a water tank of fresh lobsters. The contestants must pick their own lobster from the tank, and proceed to prepare a lobster dish in an hour and fifteen minutes. The chefs rush off to prepare their meals, some people are seen struggling with the lobster, and creating a dish, while others breeze right through.
During the Mystery Box challenge, Christian's food processor breaks, and a piece of plastic ends up in his fennel puree, which means he has to start over, although a lot of time has already passed. While he's getting frustrated, down below his station, water starts leaking out, onto the floor, and getting into other people's stations as well. While he attempts to recuperate from his loss, time has almost run out.
The judges pick the top 3 dishes: Derrick's butter poached lobster with potato puree and tomato mango salad, Alejandra's Thai-style grilled lobster with red curry and mango salsa, and Jennifer's baked lobster with roasted fennel and mashed potatoes. The judges are impressed with all three dishes, however there can only be one winner. Gordon announces that Jennifer has won the Mystery Box challenge.
Having won the challenge, she gets an advantage in the next round. She follows the judges into the MasterChef pantry, and discovers that the theme of the elimination round is aphrodisiacs. The three ingredients to choose from: oysters, artichokes, and truffles. Jennifer picks the black truffles. Another part of her advantage is she has a choice, she can either sip a glass of champagne and go up to the gallery and watch her fellow contestants cook, while she has her spot in the Top 10, or she can choose to cook and still be considered for elimination. After deliberating, Jennifer decides to stay and cook.
The contestants are not sure how to work with truffles, although many praise their luck for being able to finally cook with them, as they are a luxury ingredient. The judges will taste everyone's dishes, however not all dishes are shown to the audience. The contestants have sixty minutes to create a dish that is both unique and romantic. Tracy created a truffle and corn soup, Christian: a pan seared filet with asparagus salad, and truffle-infused custard, Giuseppe: tagliolini with spinach, pancetta, and truffles, Adrien: seared filet on truffle mash, chili, and fig mushroom sauce, Erryn: truffle steak with yellow carrots and brussel sprouts, Alejandra: veal cutlets with truffles, leeks, and marsala sauce, and Jennifer with coddled eggs and truffles with pancetta, three cheeses, and Thai pepper.
The top two: Tracy and Giuseppe, they are now the team captains in the next challenge. The bottom three: Erryn, Adrien, and Jennifer. The judges tell Jennifer that she is safe, she can go back to her station. Out of the two that remain, Gordon says gives them the opportunity to realize that their time in the MasterChef kitchen has ended, and will give that person that chance to step up and surrender their apron without having to be called out. Erryn steps up, and takes off his apron.
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