Master Chef eliminated another contestant last night. The evening started off on the wrong foot with another mystery box challenge. This time the box included cauliflower, crème fraîche, egg, fava beans, feta cheese, peaches, pie crust, rack of lamb and tarragon.
Most chefs cut the lamb rack into chops. One even removed the meat and ground it up. Only a couple of chefs chose to leave the rack in tact. One, Jennifer, made a last-minute decision to do that. Unfortunately, she had insufficient time left to cook the lamb properly. She plated it raw, which drew the ire of all the judges. Joe Bastianich said he wished he could send the Master Chef contestant home then and there. Rightfully so since serving raw lamb isn’t healthy.
Despite many misfires, three dishes intrigued the judges. The first was Alejandra’s curried rack of lamb with cauliflower steak, fava bean rice pilaf and peach chutney. She nailed all four dishes. Adrien presented a restaurant quality dish with a farmer’s market lamb in port reduction. One judge said the flavor was like “fireworks in the mouth.” Tracy’s sweet and salty lamb with feta was also a hit. Chef Ramsay called it a “well thought out” and “intelligent”.
Adrien was the challenge winner. That gave him the right to pick ingredients for an elimination challenge with a dessert theme. Among the choices of coffee, nuts and pineapple, Adrien opted to use nuts himself. He opted to give coffee to his Master Chef competitors.
Once again, some chefs appeared lost while others knew exactly what they wanted to prepare. The judges watched with shock and horror as some dishes went very wrong. Adrien’s chocolate nut torte seemed more about chocolate than the nuts. Chef Ramsay called it a waste of a good ingredient. Max’s coffee crepes had a horrible texture and a “rancid” taste. Alejandra’s tart left the judges mystified. They wondered how she’d spent 90 minutes developing such a poor quality desert. Jennie Kelly’s tart also failed to please. Alvin’s molecular gastronomy techniques served him poorly with a bitter coffee filling and a poorly developed dish.
Master Chef contestant Christine, who discarded her intended dish with just five minutes to spare, managed to pull off a delicious chocolate mousse. Chef Ramsay called it a “wonderful surprise.” She started a string of positive dishes. Esther’s coffee cheesecake seemed creamy and, according to the judges, “tasted delicious.” The judges found Suzy’s chocolate coffee brownie and chocolate truffle “deliciously decadent.” Jennifer’s coffee crème brûlée hit the spot. Tracy’s espresso chocolate cake, minus the flower, had what Chef Ramsay called “the wow factor”.
In the end, the top two dishes belonged to Esther and Tracy. They will captain a team challenge on tonight’s Master Chef. The bottom three dishes belonged to Alvin, Jennie and Max. It was Alvin who went home for not understanding basic kitchen skills. Some fans likely wished the choice had swung in Max’s favor. The college student’s arrogance clearly has no bounds and it’s getting hard to manage.