Master Chef sent two cooks home last night after mystery box and elimination challenges. It all began with the difficult mystery box challenges. The would-be chefs cooked a dish using only the ingredients provided inside the box. Those included balsamic vinegar, dill, fennel, fingerlings, leaks, lemon, pistachios, puff pastry, ricotta cheese, salmon, strawberries and white asparagus.
With cooking complete, the judges reviewed and chose three dishes for tasting. First came Suzy's trio of salmon; pickled, smoked and grilled. The judges liked her creativity but agreed the strawberry balsamic sauce didn't work.
Next came Christian with a pistachio encrusted salmon, white asparagus and fingerlings with fennel. The judges lavishly praised both the look and taste of his dish, calling it "restaurant quality."
The third Master Chef hopeful was Jennie K. with a savory salmon tart with a mustard creamy ricotta cheese, caramelized fennel and shaved asparagus. The unique twist on a pizza wowed the judges.
The winner of the challenge was Christian. His reward was to choose the type of food cooked for the elimination challenge. The theme was "Cuisine of Europe." Choices were food from Spain, France or Britain. Christian choose French cuisine, which he did not have to prepare since he was safe from elimination.
The cooks struggled with some choosing to ignore the French aspect altogether. Others opted for simple food dishes like a fruit tart.
Max, the 18-year-old college student with the silver spoon in his mouth, pulled off a poached cod in cream sauce with mussels. The judges applauded his creativity and his execution.
Jennie K. fell from grace with a trio of French onion, zucchini and mushroom soups. Judge Joe Bastianich called the dishes puréed and said they couldn't legitimately be called soup or French.
Mark prepared peppercorn encrusted filet with garlic mashed potatoes. Bastianich uncovered that he'd used raw flour in the potatoes to thicken them. All of the judges called the mistake "unforgivable".
Derrick with a gougère pastry with white wine, cheese and egg inside. Ramsay declared it "perfection". The other judges agreed.
Angel flopped with a fruit custard tart. Part of it was because she had no tart to deliver. It didn't cook properly. Her custard was also runny. That left her with a pile of fresh-cut fruit and nothing else.
Christine prepared a pork chop in Dijon sauce. Chef Ramsay said the taste and flavor cooked out of the dish.
Erryn went with beef gazpacho, which wasn't French at all. It also lacked flavor and execution according to the judges.
The two favorite Master Chef dishes came from Max and Derrick. They were automatically put through to the next competition.
The three worst dishes came from Angel, Mark and Erryn. Angel and Mark were both sent home. Erryn received a friendly warning not to slip up again.
Master Chef continues Tuesday, June 21, at 8:00 p.m. on Fox Network.