Thousands of home cooks from all walks of life have traveled from around the country for the chance to become America's next MasterChef. They are bartenders, pilots, doctors, stay-at-home moms, students, stockbrokers, and more, all coming together because they share a passion for food. Only a few will be chosen to work with three of the best chefs in the business - Chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich. Those who make it will face the toughest challenges in the series' history. In the end, only one will be crowned America's next MasterChef.
In the first round, 100 home cooks get the chance to present their best dish - one that could change their lives forever. Just a few will win an apron and earn a spot in the next round. The crowd goes wild when Gordon Ramsay, Graham, and Joe enter the room. Chef Ramsay encourages the contestants to feel very proud that they have successfully made it to the finals, when thousands of others have tried and failed. Then he asks them, "Do you have what it takes to make it to the top?"
Joe announces that someone standing in this room will earn $250,000. Graham warns them that although cooking is not the quickest way to fame and fortune, the winner will be awarded his or her own cookbook featuring their own personal recipes. Then Gordon unlocks the box containing the "MasterChef" trophy saying, "This is the key to the reality of your dreams."
With that, the 100 cooks begin to prepare the food they hope will start them on the journey to becoming the next MasterChef. They have one hour to create a signature dish worthy of an apron and a spot in Round 2 of the competition.
First up is 19-year-old Michael, a college freshmen from Austin, Texas, who believes that his appetite to win makes him a real contender. His parents are not supportive of his pursuit of being a chef, so he's trying to prove them wrong. He presents Chinese dumplings with scallion salad. Gordon says, "They're phenomenal." Joe and Graham agree, and Michael gets the first "MasterChef" apron of the season and one of Gordon's "most confidant yeses ever." Joe tells him that if the rest of his cooking and technique is as good, he'll win the whole thing.
While Michael's food is first-class, the next group of chefs have dishes in a class all of their own. These five cooks are sent home without aprons, after failing to impress the judges.
Next up to the judges' table is Monte Carlo, an unemployed, single mom from Los Angeles with a son named Danger; she's hoping for an opportunity to start over. She makes them a Puerto Rican shepherd's pie and twice-fried green plantains. Although she runs out of time and does not complete the sauce she wanted to serve with the dish, Graham tells her, "It's a little sweet, but pretty delicious." The judges are divided, but she gets through on a two-to-one vote.
New Jersey high school student Samantha has been cooking since she was ten years old. Now at age 18 she hopes to impress the judges with her mini quadruple-layered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The judges love her dessert but are unsure if a young woman can handle the stiff competition. Ultimately, Gordon tells her to come back next year because he doesn't think she's ready. While Samantha's dreams are put on hold, the three chefs following her walk away with "MasterChef" aprons.
Next up is 26-year-old Ryan, who learned about food while living in Manhattan and dining at fancy restaurants, only to realize he could do it better at home. He now presents his red wine pressure-cooked short ribs. Gordon says no. Grahams says yes. Joe breaks the tie, putting his trust in Ryan and giving him an apron.
A group of unique home cooks follow. One has a fake accent, the second is a former cheerleader, another interviews serial killers, and the last does impressions. All of them are sent packing.
Josh, a 24-year-old basketball player from Mississippi, has moved from shooting hoops to cooking. He hopes to win at the judges' table with his shrimp etouffee. Gordon tells him, "You cook like a pro." Graham calls his dish a "slam dunk," and Josh moves on to the next round.
Shami comes to "MasterChef" from Seattle, but her cooking is grounded in her African roots. She prepares a traditional dish from Zimbabwe called sadza. Despite the passion they sense in her cooking, the judges decide she is not "MasterChef" material.
With several more chefs earning aprons, the total of cooks moving forward reaches 11. The next contestant up hopes to make it an even dozen. Audrey from Texas serves cake with fondant caricatures of each of the judges as toppers. Though the desserts collapse, Joe says, "It's the best thing we've eaten today," and she moves on.
Christine, a graduate student from Houston is the last chef to present her dish on Day 1 - and the first-ever blind contestant to audition for the show. She serves Vietnamese catfish, but she does not plate her rice because she was not satisfied with it. She brings the judges to tears with her heart and resilience. Joe tells her, "Your eyes beam with pride and happiness, and you have a lot to be proud if." Christine is awarded the last apron of the day.
Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the top home cooks who were flown to Los Angeles to compete on MASTERCHEF:
Fall River, MA - Mechanical Engineer
Boston, MA - Director of Sales
Levittown, NY - Teaching Assistant
Chicago, IL - Student
Long Beach, NY - Sales Manager
Savannah, GA - Homemaker
Woodbury, CT - Pilot
Bethesda, MD - President of Life Insurance Company
West Palm Beach, FL - Plastic Surgeon
Mesa, AZ - Server
Boston, MA - Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Frisco, TX - Homemaker
Westminster, CO - Software Sales Executive
Stillwell, KS - Food Photographer
Rowell, GA - Primate Therapy for Special Needs Children
Royal Oak, MI - Business Student
Blackshear, GA - Singer
Hidden Hills, CA - Senior Real Estate Account Executive
Miami, FL - Interior Designer
Cranston, RI - Admissions Representative
Houston, TX - Graduate Student
Harlem, NY - Professional Opera Singer
Santa Monica, CA - Call Center Assistant
Davie, FL - Caviar Sales Director
Glencoe, IL - Educational Administrator
Sun Prairie, WI - Medical Device Sales Representative
Miami, FL - Real Estate Investor
Page, AZ - Reposession Agent
Chicago, IL - Administrative Assistant
Baltimore, MD - Real Estate Agent
Hollywood, CA - Food Runner
Holtsville, NY - Stockbroker
Earlville, NY - Journalism Student
Chicago, IL - Field Service Engineer
Bakersfield, CA - IT Manager
New Orleans, LA - Music Teacher
Baldwin, MD - Health Coach
Page, AZ - Convenience Store Owner
Seattle, WA - Hair Stylist
Ada, MI - Retired Police Officer
Scottsdale, AZ - Contractor
Monroe, CT - Attorney
Brooklyn, NY - Children's Wear Assistant
Laguna Niguel, CA - Wealth Manager
Portland, OR - Book Publicist
Manahawkin, NJ - Nutrition Sales
Arlington, VA - Political Consultant
Miramar, FL - U.S. Army Station Commander
Miami, FL - Credit Services Director
Jackson, MS - Contract Specialist for U.S. Army
Josue del Castillo-Rios
Clackamas, OR - On-Air Radio Personality
Cohasset, MA - Emergency Physician
Brentwood, CA - Business Analyst
Silver Spring, MD - Director of IT Training
Palm Beach Gardens, FL - Bartender
Studio City, CA - Professional Speaker
Katonah, NY - Homemaker
Cincinnati, OH - Food Sales Representative
Aventura, FL - Restaurant Co-Owner
San Francisco, CA - Lawyer
Page, AZ - Retired Teacher
Marietta, GA - Non-Profit Co-Founder
Astoria, NY - Restaurant Manager
Arlington, VA - IT Manager
Encino, CA - Account Executive
Austin, TX - Meteorology Student
Woodside, NY - School Aide
Biloxi, MS - Food Services Sales Consultant
Powder Springs, GA - Contractor
Los Angeles, CA - Homemaker
West Orange, NJ - Homemaker
New York, NY - Dancer
Page, AZ - Marine Mechanic
Los Angeles, CA - Witch
Deerfield Beach, FL - Firefighter and Paramedic
Nantucket, MA - Carpenter
Phoenix, AZ - Family Physician and Attorney
Brooklyn, NY - Artist
Dallas, TX - Used Car Salesman
Northridge, CA - Ventriloquist
Page, AZ - Office Manager
New York, NY - Unemployed
Samantha de Silva
Miami, FL - Design Consultant
Florham Park, NJ - High School Student
Annandale, VA - Interactive Producer
Kirkland, WA - Recruiter
Windsor Mill, MD - Benefits Counselor
Jacksonville, FL - Administrative Assistant
Apple Valley, CA - Farmer's Market Manager
Chicago, IL - Musician
Austin, TX - Student
Corona, CA - Sales Associate
Boynton Beach, FL - Criminal Lawyer
Newwark, DE - Inventory Control Specialist
Los Angeles, CA - Composer
Cluco, CA - Hair Stylist
Studio City, CA - Author
Chicago, IL - Assistant Manager
Miami, FL - Design Consultant
Episodes appear online 1 day after airdate. Learn more
|Episode Title||Description||Air Date||Expires|
|4/25||Winner Chosen (41:42)||
The judges reveal America's next "MasterChef."
|4/24||Top 3 Compete (41:22)||
The home cooks must demonstrate how far they've come.
|4/23||Top 4 Compete (41:52)||
The final four will prepare a 3-course meal using ingredients from all over the U.S.
|4/22||Top 5 Compete, Part... (42:02)||
The home cooks prepare a Southern luncheon.
|4/21||Top 5 Compete, Part... (42:02)||
The judges' kids visit.
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Episodes unlock 8 days after airdate.