MasterChef

FRI 8/7c AUG 29

MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 3 Compete

Top 3 Compete

Aired: 9/4/12

Three home cooks remain, hoping to get the chance to compete in the finale to win the title of MasterChef. But first they must conquer their last Mystery Box Challenge. Becky, Josh and Christine lift their crates to find their prototype MasterChef cookbooks. For two of them, the blank bound pages will be just a souvenir of their time on the show. But for one competitor, the book will eventually contain their recipes and be on sale nationwide.

Chef Ramsay asks Christine to whom she would dedicate her book, and she responds that it would be her mom, who passed away when she was 14 without ever leaving any recipes. She has been attempting to re-create those meals ever since. Becky reveals that she'd dedicate it to her parents, who inspired her to follow her dreams. Josh also says his mom would get the nod because she is an amazingly strong woman and his biggest fan.

Joe tells them that this final Mystery Box Challenge has no twists. They will go into the pantry and select ingredients to make an entrée worthy of their own cookbook. The best dish will earn that home cook a huge advantage in the final Elimination Challenge.

Becky chooses to make a pan-fried loup de mer. She tells judges Joe and Graham that she chose the dish because she wants her cooking to be associated with fresh proteins and beautiful ingredients. Christine informs Gordon she is making a noodle stir-fry with scallops, and Josh is working on an Indian-style curry.

Becky doesn't butcher her fish well, and Chef Ramsay fears she won't have enough of her protein to create an entrée. She changes plans midstream and decides to make a fish soup instead.

The judges taste all three dishes to determine the winner. Josh heads up first with his curried Cornish hen with basmati rice. Gordon says it's "beyond delicious," calling the dish "really smart." Joe compliments Josh, adding, "It shows the best of who you are as a person and your ability as a cook."

Christine gives the judges a vermicelli stir-fry with seared scallops. Joe calls it a complete taste sensation. Graham comments that the flavor of the scallops shines through, and Gordon says he wishes her mother was standing next to him tasting it.

Becky is up last. She presents her loup de mer soup with sunchoke puree. Joe feels the fish is a little overcooked. Graham doesn't think it's a cohesive dish, and Gordon fears she's fallen from her front-runner status.

After conferring, the judges rank the dishes. Becky's fish soup is ranked third, Josh is the runner-up, and Christine is declared winner of the challenge with her stir-fry. Next they all move into the pantry, where they will select the ingredients to make one final dish. Because she won the Mystery Box Challenge, Christine will be first to pick her ingredient from the three choices offered. Josh will select from the remaining two, and Becky gets the leftover. The theme for the final test is legs.

The first choice is leg of lamb, the second is chicken and the third is frog. Christine chooses chicken, and Josh selects the leg of lamb. This leaves Becky to cook the frog leg -- an ingredient she has not only never cooked before, but has actually never even eaten.

Back in the MasterChef kitchen, there is a surprise waiting for the contestants. All of their prior competitors have returned to cheer them on. The ex-players head up to the balcony to observe the last round.

The three cooks begin making their finale-worthy dishes. Christine has chosen to make Southern fried chicken, although Gordon questions if it will be refined enough to stand out. Josh is cooking carimanolas, a recipe he used to eat in Panama. The judges are concerned that he doesn't have enough time to cook the lamb thoroughly. Gordon warns Becky that frog legs cook very quickly and wishes her luck.

When time is up, the judges call Christine up to present her Southern fried chicken and creamed kale. Gordon warns her that, in order to get her into the finale, this dish had better be "bloody good." But after tasting the dish he tells her, "Only you could glamorize a drumstick." Joe calls the chicken quite good, but reprimands her for having too much cream in the kale.

Josh brings up his lamb carimanolas with three salsas -- mango, tomato and tomatillo. Joe questions why he would take such a risk by making something so unusual, but he winds up being astounded by Josh's delicious dish. Graham commends him for the visual appearance, and Gordon also compliments the food.

Next, Becky presents her garlic frog legs with potatoes, mushrooms and a bitter greens salad. Joe says the frog is good and the salad is interesting, but her potatoes are soggy. Gordon praises her for doing so well with something she's never cooked before.

The judges once again step aside to discuss the dishes. They remind themselves that they are making the determination on this challenge alone, and not on previous work in the competition. Josh is the first person to be promoted to the finale, leaving Christine and Becky standing alone together waiting to hear their fates. It is then determined that Christine will take the other spot in the final competition, while Becky is disappointed to learn she will not be the next MasterChef. As consolation, however, Chef Ramsay tells Becky that the doors to all of his restaurants are open to her and all she needs to do is tell him in which city she'd like to work.

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