MasterChef

FRI 8/7c AUG 29

MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 6 Compete, Part 3 of 3

Top 6 Compete, Part 3 of 3

Aired: 8/14/12

The remaining six home cooks have been summoned to one of the top restaurants in Los Angeles for a team challenge that will test their culinary skills and palettes more than ever before. Tonight the six contestants will run the kitchen at Michelin star restaurant Hatfield's, with the winners from the last challenge, Becky and Frank, serving as team captains. Becky, who had the most outstanding dish, gets to pick her team first. She chooses Christine and Monti, while Frank will work with David and Josh.

Chef Ramsay tells the cooks that he will be running the pass and expediting in the kitchen. The teams will each be preparing two of the restaurant's signature appetizers and two entrees, with each team serving 22 guests. The cooks are reminded that they must match the standards of a Michelin star restaurant.

The team members meet Karen and Quinn Hatfield, owners and head chefs of the restaurant. The Hatfields teach them how to create four complex dishes: the appetizers croque madame and handmade agnolotti, and the entrees braised venison and baked branzino.

Diners will have the choice between the two appetizers and the two entrees. The judges will determine the winning team based on feedback from the diners and performance in the kitchen, leaving the losing team to face the Pressure Test, after which one home cook will be eliminated from the competition. The cooks will have just one hour to prep before the doors open.

While Frank's Blue Team is focused on the task at hand, Becky's Red Team immediately runs into some communication problems due to Monti's difficulty hearing and Christine's blindness. The judges question whether Christine will be able to keep up after being unable to physically see the demonstration, with Joe declaring that he would put her in the coat check room because she is a liability in a live kitchen.

Under Frank's direction, the Blue Team has almost finished prepping their agnolotti pasta. With 30 minutes left, Monti has made only six portions to Frank's 15, causing Chef Ramsay to urge her to work faster.

Chef Ramsay begins to call out orders to both teams, but he is frustrated by the Red Team's lack of acknowledgment for his orders at the pass. Despite the communication issues, captain Becky rallies the Red Team, and they quickly get their appetizers out to the diners.

Over on the Blue Team, Josh is struggling with the croque madame. They still have not sent out a single order 20 minutes into service, so Graham comes over to coach him on making the battered bread. As their diners grow impatient, Franks steps in to help Josh with the appetizers, and they finally manage to get some food out of the kitchen.

An order comes in from the restaurant's owners. They want to try both teams' dishes at the same time, so Becky and Frank must coordinate the timing. The Hatfields prefer the Red Team's pasta but choose the Blue Team's croquet as superior. They also like the Blue Team's entrees best. Though the restaurant owners vote for the Blue Team's dishes, not all the diners agree.

When time runs out on the grueling dinner service, both teams have successfully completed 44 orders. The judges inform them that all the diners have filled out customer comment cards, which they will take into consideration. They will also deliberate on each group's performance in the kitchen to determine which team will face the Pressure Test.

The next day, back at the MasterChef kitchen, Chef Ramsay declares the Red Team victorious. Joe congratulates them and apologizes to Christine for thinking she could not handle cooking in a professional kitchen. The women head up to the galley to watch the men compete in the Pressure Test.

The judges reprimand the men for not working as a team, with Joe admonishing: "Rule number one: Don't make them wait." Frank takes responsibility for not delegating properly.

Chef Ramsay poses a theoretical question to the competitors, asking, "If we gave you an opportunity to save a member from your team based on last night's performance, including yourself, who would you save?" Frank chooses Josh, declaring he wouldn't pick himself because he does not deserve to be in the final five after his performance. But when the question turns from theoretical to real, Frank saves himself and leaves Josh and David to battle it out in the Pressure Test. He joins the women in the galley.

Josh and David must compete in preparing three stunning USDA choice filet mignons in three different ways: rare, medium-rare and well-done. They have 30 minutes to prepare all three steaks to perfection, and the winner will move on to the Top 5.

When time runs out, both home cooks bring their three steaks to the judges' table. David's rare is a little overcooked and too aggressively seasoned. Josh's rare is perfectly pink and tastes as good as it looks. David's medium-rare is lacking sear, but the flavor is good. Josh's medium is seared beautifully all the way around, but slightly more medium than medium-rare. Finally, Gordon touches both well-done steaks and, without even slicing them open, can tell they are nowhere near the correct temperature. David's cut is pink in the middle, while Josh's is also not cooked enough.

The judges have a difficult decision to make, since both contestants produced about the same results. It comes down to the flavor and seasonings. David is ultimately deemed to have used too much garlic on his steaks and is sent home - but before he leaves, Graham offers him a job in his restaurant on Chicago.

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