The contestants enter the MasterChef kitchen for the first time this season in order to test their kitchen techniques. Gordon informs the group that they will be tested on their basic skills, starting off with apple slicing. A dump truck backs up to the group, and dumps a huge pile of green apples in front of them. They are to slice apples until one of the judges tells them to stop. They need to slice the apple a certain way so that it is not too thin, or too thick, and must remain consistent with little waste.
As the slicing begins, so do the injuries. Cries for "medic," are heard up and down the panel of contestants, and this creates more pressure and tension for the rest of the people trying to make it to the next round. Gordon taps Seby on the shoulder, and tells him to stop slicing. He picks up his sliced apples, and decides that they are consistent, and he's the first one through to the next round. Another contestant is stopped, but her apples are not consistently sliced, so she is sent home. Joseph also went home for inconsistent apple slices. Alejandra makes it through to the next round.
For ninety minutes, the contestants keep on slicing their apples. The judges tap some on the shoulders, examine their apples, and either sends them to safety, or sends them home. After the first culinary stress test, fourteen are eliminated, and twenty four remain.
Gordon Ramsey leads the remaining people to another open area, where the back of a truck opens, and out walks a chicken. Gordon tells them they have one hour to cook a dish with the chicken being the headliner of the dish. They have access to the MasterChef kitchen that is stock full of fresh vegetables, oils, spices, and other ingredients that they would ever need. The contestants scramble to get the ingredients for their dishes.
This challenge will test the contestants' ingenuity, creativity, and their ability to think on their feet. Gordon, Joe, and Graham all have a discussion on the side about what they would do if they had to cook a chicken dish. Gordon's main issue is over-complicating the chicken.
Each row will present their dish to the panel of judges. The judges start off with the first row. Max prepared a duo of Southwest Chicken with Succotash, the judges try his dish, but they do not critique it. Angel made a chicken and dumpling dish, Tony made brick chicken with mashed potatoes, Kyle made chicken salad with sauteed feta and tabouli, Alejandra made Moraccan chicken Tagine with apricots and figs, and Alvin made beer can chicken with warm potato salad.
The judges decide that Max, Alvin, Alejandra, Angel, and Tony to go through. Kyle doesn't make it because he shredded the chicken in his salad, and it isn't the hero of the dish. Graham calls forth the back two rows. Suzy made a butter chicken with onion, and tomato salad, Christian made a chicken Oscar with asparagus and risotto, Jennifer made a chicken with fruit over couscous, Ben made a butter poached chicken with a butter biscuit. Aaron made a chicken roulade with sweet creamed corn, and Christine made a roasted chicken with orange drizzle.
The judges pick Suzy, Christian, Jennifer, Christine, Aaron, and Ben to move onto the next round. The next row comes forth and presents their dishes. Mark made a chicken rollatini with ragu pasta, Erryn made a bbq chicken with roasted corn salad, Rhonda made a rosemary chicken salad and a chunky chicken salad, Albert made a chicken gumbo with mustard potato salad, Joey made a chicken piccatta with a penne and roasted garlic, Adrien made a chicken chili verde with spanish tortilla, Esther made roasted musterd chicken with spinach and pancetta, and Derrick made a chicken etouffe with dirty rice.
The judges picked Mark, Erryn, Adrien, Esther, and Derrick to move onto the next round. The rest of the contestants presented their dishes: Jennie made a prosciutto wrapped chicken with couscous, Seby made a pan-seared chicken with morel mushroom sauce, Giuseppe made a chicken cacciatore with red wine sauce, and Tracy made a chicken pot pie with ciabatta bread. The judges picked Jennie, Giuseppe, and Tracy to move on. The final 18 have been chosen, and will begin battling it out in the next round of MasterChef.