MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 9 Compete

Top 9 Compete

Aired: 7/26/22

The remaining nine competitors gather in the "MasterChef" kitchen for another Mystery Box Challenge. Chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich give them their latest task: They will each have to prepare, cook, and present one extraordinary dish, using only the ingredients hidden under the crates in front of them. The judges will taste the top three dishes, and the competitor with the best dish will get an advantage in the next challenge.

The Mystery Boxes contain hand-dived scallops, arugula, bananas, avocado, eggs, cauliflower, corn on the cob, shelled peas, a cheddar croissant, and brandy. The chefs have 60 minutes to create their dish. Jennifer, who won the last two Mystery Box Challenges, hopes for a three-peat. Meanwhile, many of the cooks struggle to even remove the scallops from their shells.

Ben decides to go out on a limb and prepare bananas and scallop. Derrick predicts that Suzy will be the next to leave "MasterChef," but Chef Ramsay is not happy to see him pounding out his scallops. The chef also seems frustrated when Christine has trouble explaining her concept to him.

As with all Mystery Box challenges, the judges choose three dishes to taste. First up is Christian's scallop succotash, which Graham compliments, saying, "The crunch really balances against the richness and sweetness that's inherent in the scallop."

They next sample Adrien's food. He presents a trio of scallops, which includes a ceviche; an egg, pancetta, and scallop dish; and a scallop on top of a cauliflower puree. Chef Ramsay calls it good but not brilliant. Graham, however, approved, saying that he feels like the presentation took him on a tour of the world.

The final dish they pick is Ben's unusual concoction of seared scallops with roasted bananas. Chef Ramsay says it's not perfect but commends Ben for taking a huge risk, while Graham applauds his "amazing cookery."

In the end, they deem Adrien's the best of the bunch, and he wins the advantage for the Elimination Test. The judges introduce him to Bob the pig and reveal the theme of the upcoming challenge: pork.

In honor of the culinary trend of nose-to-tail cooking, Adrien is presented with nine cuts of pork and told to pair up each part of the pig with a different contestant. Chef Ramsay announces that the cooks have 60 minutes to present a stunning pork dish that makes the judges "squeal with delight."

Adrien selects the pork chops for himself and assigns one of the most difficult cuts to his biggest competitor, giving Christian the cheeks. But the confident Christian refuses to be intimidated by the challenging mission. Alejandra is happy to see that she has been entrusted with the loin. Derrick remarks, "Oh, he hates me," when he sees that he gets the St. Louis style ribs. Suzy acknowledges that Adrien considers her to be stiff competition when she realizes that she'll be cooking with the pork belly.

Joe explains that the one-hour time limitation is the trickiest part of the challenge. He looks shocked when Derrick announces that he's planning on braising his ribs in an hour. Ben tries to avoid the time constraint issue by making chili, but as the clock ticks down, Ben realizes that the beans in his chili are undercooked and tries to pull them out one at a time.

Derrick presents his braised St. Louis style ribs. Chef Ramsay calls it amazing how well he cooked it under pressure, while Joe remarks that what Derrick thought to be his nemesis, "turn[ed] out to be your greatest friend."

Christine steps forward with her dry-rub baby back ribs. Graham calls the dish wonderful. Gordon says that it puts pork back on the map and tells her to consider herself a frontrunner.

Chef Ramsay is taken aback by Suzy's glazed pork belly with braised cabbage, spaetzle, and gravy. He criticizes the dish, singling out what he calls "quite possibly the worst sauce I've ever tasted in my entire [expletive] life." Joe reminds her, "This show is called 'MasterChef' not 'Delusional Chef.'" He chastises her for choosing to make a German dish when she obviously knows nothing about that type of cuisine.

Jennifer submits a Pennsylvania Dutch ground pork patty with sauerkraut for review. Chef Ramsay calls it a disgusting and dubs it one of her weakest performances in the competition before spitting it out. Joe calls it "a great example of what garbage is" and throws it in the trashcan. She turns to Ben and says, "Just promise me you won't let Christian win."

Fearing that he'll also face the judge's wrath, Ben decides to warn the judges about the potentially crunchy beans in his pork butt chili. But Joe says his beans are actually well cooked, and the judges commend him for creating something delicious with a very difficult cut of meat.

Christian also wows the judges by preparing an impressive braised pork cheeks. They let Adrien know his plan to thwart Christian in the kitchen backfired.

Graham samples Adrien's double pork chop, which he feels is overcooked. Gordon says that despite it being an easy cut to work with, it's not the best dish of the night.

When Alejandra serves the judge's raw pork loin with apricot wine sauce, they are unable to taste the meat. Graham calls it "completely unforgivable."

They select the top two chefs, Christian and Christine, who will be team captains in the next challenge. Then they name the bottom three competitors: Suzy, Alejandra. and Jennifer. In the end, they choose to eliminate Alejandra for "unforgivable" serving of raw pork.

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