Season 2 Episode 5

Top 16 Revealed

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jun 20, 2011 on FOX

Episode Recap

The top 18 amateur cooks enter the MasterChef kitchen for the first time, and they are all impressed and awed by their spacious surroundings. The panel of judges, Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Bowles, welcome them to their first challenge of the day: the Mystery Box challenge. They move to their designated stations, and on the count of three are told to lift up their boxes. The ingredients inside consist of: salmon, strawberries, fennel, white asparagus, ricotta cheese, fingerling potatoes, pistachios, balsamic vinegar, fresh dill, and puff pastry.
The contestants are given one hour to prepare a creative dish to impress the judges. The judges will only pick 3 of the top dishes, with only one being the winner. The cooks rush off into the pantry, scurrying to find their ingredients, and their equipment.
The worst dish chosen by the judges is Ben's dish, they remark that the salmon is way overcooked, and the pistachio cake looks embarassing. The top 3 dishes: Suzy, she prepared a trio of salmon, pickled, grilled, and smoked, Christian, he prepared a pistachio crusted salmon with strawberry balsamic reduction, and Jennie, who prepared a savory salmon tart with carmelized fennel, and shaved asparagus. The winner is Christian.
As the winner, he followed the judges into the MasterChef pantry. Inside, he is presented with the theme of their elimination challenge: European cuisine. He is given three choices: Spain, France, or British cuisine. The judges advise him on whether he wants to play to his advantage, and to the other contestants' disadvantages. Christian picks France as the cuisine for their elimination challenge.
Before they begin cooking, Christian is called up, and is presented with his advantage, besides being the one to pick the cooking theme, he is also exempt from participating in the elimination challenge. Joe hands him a glass of Champagne, he's safe from elimination, and he can watch from the gallery. The amateur cooks have one hour to prepare French cuisine. The judges will taste everyone's dishes, and the three worst dishes will be chosen. At least one person will be eliminated.
Max: poached cod in cream sauce with sage potatoes, and mussels, Giuseppe: profiteroles with lemon vanilla curd, Alejandra: seared cod with steamed clams, Jennie: trio of soups: cream of mushroom, French onion, and zucchini, Mark: peppercorn crusted filet with garlic mashed potatoes, Derrick: gougere, a cheese puff with a poached egg, Angel: fruit tart with custard, Christine: pork chops with creamy Dijon mustard sauce, and Erryn: beef carpaccio with zucchini soup and sweet potato fries.
Not all the dishes were shown. The two people who had standout dishes: Derrick and Max. Gordon also informed them that they will be the team captains during their next challenge. They are both safe from elimination. The worst dishes belonged to Angel, Mark, and Erryn. Angel and Mark are eliminated from MasterChef. Angel's food wasn't ready for the judges to taste, and Mark committed a cardinal sin by putting raw flour in his mashed potatoes.