Master Chef came down to two people with a fierce determination to become the show’s third winner. Who took the title and who went home disappointed?
Both Christine and Joshua entered the finale hoping to take the title, the money, the trophy, the prizes and a cookbook deal. Christine relied on her amazing palette and produced food that often stunned the judges. Joshua used his unique sense of flavors to consistently offer restaurant quality dishes. The contestants relied on their skills one last time as they prepared a three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.
Joshua’s menu was a bit more ambitious. He chose lobster with grits for his appetizer, rack of lamb for his main dish, and bacon pecan pie with cinnamon ice cream for dessert. Christine stayed with what she knows best, settling on a Thai vegetable salad, braised pork belly and coconut lime sorbet with a ginger tuille.
Judge Joe Bastianich immediately favored Josh’s menu, saying Christine’s was too simple. Graham Elliot liked the bold flavors Christine planned on using. Gordon Ramsay looked torn between the two.
Josh shocked the judges when he ground the lobster shell into his stock. Joe Bastianich said the decision could have cost him the competition. On the other hand, all the judges seemed impressed with Josh’s upscale entrée in comparison to Christine’s simple pork belly.
With the dishes complete, Christine and Josh prepared themselves for judging. Appetizers went first. Josh’s beautiful plating for his lobster appetizer was stunning. It earned him rave reviews for the visual aspect of the food. The judges were also stunned by Josh’s lobster stock, shell and all. It worked beautifully. However, the lobster itself fell short with everyone agreeing it was only half-cooked.
Gordon Ramsay wasn’t pleased with Christine’s simple cold salad appetizer. He said it wasn’t worthy of the competition’s finale. However, he changed his mind somewhat after tasting the dish. He called it “refreshing” and “delicious”, but he still wished it were more “luxurious”. Joe Bastainich declared the dressing as the star of the appetizer. He also liked her treatment of the vegetable noodles. Graham Elliot agreed, saying the appetizer had “a nice flavor”.
Josh’s rack of lamb with spring peas, summer carrots and winter parsnip purée impressed all the judges. Gordon Ramsay said the dish had great flavor, but claimed confusion over the different season vegetables. Graham Elliot called the dish “delicious”. Joe Bastianich called Joshua a “maestro of food”.
Christine’s pork belly also impressed. Gordon Ramsay said it was “rustic” and “delicious”. It melted in his mouth. Gordon Elliot said “what it lacks in appearance, it more than makes up for in flavor”. Joe Bastianich said the dish was too sweet and needed acidity to balance it.
Josh’s bacon pecan pie drew mixed reviews. Graham Elliot said the crust was oily, but he loved the cinnamon ice cream. Joe Bastian loved the ice cream as well. Gordon Ramsay made it a clean sweep on the ice cream but questioned the cook’s use of bacon in the pecan pie.
Christine’s ginger tuille impressed with its crispness and flavor. Graham Elliot loved it. Joe Bastianich called the ice cream “light with good texture”. Gordon Ramsay said the dish was “fragrant”, “cooling” and “really good”.
After taking all the dishes into consideration, the judges named the new Master Chef. It was Christine, who wowed them with her abilities in the kitchen despite her blindness; her incredible palette and her fierce determination.