Earlier this week, the six finalists for the Master Chef title learned that an eliminated contestant was coming back into the competition. Last night, a new chef got eliminated; turning seven back into six once again.
Mystery Box Challenge
The would be chefs got tasked with making a dish from prawns. The catch was they had to catch and kill them first. Some of the chefs found that aspect unappetizing while others sailed through with no problems.
Monti struggled with killing a living thing. Christine squealed as she tried to do the same. The antics gave the three judges a few giggles. But once the cooks got down to the business of cooking, it was anything but a laughing matter.
As usual, the judges watched and taste-tested the cook's dishes. Then, they settled on the three top dishes.
The first was Becky's, making her the cook with the most trips to the top of the Mystery Box Challenge. She prepared grilled prawns with salsa verde. Gordon Ramsay called the dish "smart" and "clever". Graham Elliot referred to it as "top-notch". Joe Bastianich said Becky's preparation respected the Spanish tradition while offering a "modern touch".
Up next was Christine with her pineapple prawn broth. Graham Elliot called it "wildly flavorful" and a "home run". Gordon Ramsay called it "delicious" and admitted he loved it.
The last cook in the top three was David. He made a ceviche that Joe Bastianich appreciated for its "balance". Gordon Ramsay called the dish "unbelievably refreshing".
The winner of the challenge was David. He received a reward in the next challenge
David got to choose the food with which he and his competition would cook a dessert. The options were bacon, beets and corn. He opted for corn.
Next, each judge offered him an idea for a corn-based dessert. One was panna cotta. Another was a cornbread shortcake. The last one was rice pudding. David settled on the third option and headed to the pantry to shop for supplies. Unfortunately, he forgot the most important part -- the rice. That left him wondering what dessert he would prepare.
After the other chefs heard the challenge, they shopped the pantry too. David hoped one of them would choose rice and might be willing to share some with him. He was right. Becky unselfishly turned her rice over to him after settling on another dessert choice.
As the cooks prepared their dishes, the judges watched. They seemed amazed at the level of sophistication some of the contestant's dishes showed.
When time was up, David got called forward with his rice pudding. Joe Bastianich called the dish "inedible" and "disgusting." Graham Elliot concurred and added that it was also "weird". Gordon Ramsay expressed his disappointment given the advantages David received.
Becky was up next with her caramel popcorn and corn panna cotta. Joe Bastianich called the dish "beautiful, thoughtful and creative".
Christine came forward with corn and coconut pudding. Joe Bastianich called it "complex" and "smart".
Monti's corn soufflé also pleased. Chef Ramsay declared it "absolutely delicious".
Felix fared poorly with ugly-looking profiteroles stuffed with popcorn. Graham Elliot said the dish looked like "cat poop" and called it "dense". He declared beneath Felix's talent. Gordon Ramsay agreed, noting the dish's lack of texture. He called it Felix's worst dish. Joe Bastianich said it looked bad and pronounced it "raw" and "not the least bit sweet".
Frank's corn budino with chocolate sauce surprised the judges. Gordon Ramsay called it "delicious" and Graham Elliot called it a "solid dish".
Josh, the Master Chef contestant who cooked his way back into the kitchen this week, went last. His corn crème brûlée was a huge disappointment. Joe Bastianich said it looked gross and "unappetizing". He also declared it "too sweet". Graham Elliot agreed.
Two chefs, however, cooked their way to the top -- Becky and Frank. They'll serve as team captains for the next team challenge.
The bottom three chefs were David, Felix and Josh. Josh received immediate safety while David and Felix squirmed under the judges' watchful eyes. In the end, they sent Felix home for a hopelessly dreadful dessert.