MasterChef Episode Recaps

Auditions #1

Auditions #1

Aired: 5/22/13

Months ago, the search began for the best home cooks to take part in the world's biggest cooking competition. The contestants came from all corners of America - everywhere from Los Angeles to New York City to Chicago. Only a handful will get the chance to prove themselves to three of the biggest names in the culinary world: Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. And only one will win $250,000, author their own cookbook and be crowned America's next MasterChef.

From the thousands of entrants who applied, just 100 home cooks have been invited to Los Angeles for the chance to win an apron signifying a spot in the next round of competition. The contenders have just one hour to create a dish they believe will impress, and five minutes to plate it in front of the judges. If two of the judges think the dish is worthy, they will receive an apron and move on to the next stage.

First up is Natasha, a 26-year-old stay-at-home mom from San Diego, California. She presents empanadas with chimichurri skirt steak. Gordon tells her she nailed it. The other judges agree, and she gets a coveted apron.

The next hopeful, 19-year-old bakery assistant Christine, is also from San Diego. Her Korean duck with kalbi marinade doesn't impress Gordon and Graham. Even though Joe likes her flavors, she does not get a spot in the next round.

After some unusual presentations - including a whole rabbit (with skin still on) and a live ostrich in the studio - 28-year-old stay-at-home dad Brian, from Terrell, Texas, hopes his beaver tail dish will catch the judges' attention. Gordon and Joe are once again split. Graham sides with Gordon, and Brian gets an apron.

Next up is Jordan, a 29-year-old delivery driver from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who wants to deliver the culinary goods. He is wearing the apron he gave to his mom when he was a teenager. After she was diagnosed with brain cancer five years ago, he began cooking in her honor. Graham says he's disappointed that there is not a plate of his ancho chile tostadas for each of them. Joe tells him his mom would be proud, because it's one of the best dishes he's ever tasted on the show. Jordan moves on to the next round.

After a string of disgusting dishes, Adriana from New York hopes to turn things around. The 26-year-old college admin rep, originally from Mexico, prepares cactus soup with dried shrimp croutons. Graham gives her a thumbs up, but Gordon disagrees. Joe sides with Gordon, and Adriana is presented with a MasterChef apron.

This begins a run of successes that results in four more aprons flying out the door. Thirty-three-year-old George from Ohio hopes to continue the streak. His Greek wedding soup represents the engagement ring he has been carrying in his pocket for months. Before passing down judgment on the dish, Gordon calls in George's girlfriend, Maria. Gordon tells them both he's not going to give George an apron but says there's a bigger prize at stake. George gets down on one knee and proposes to Maria.

As the first day of auditions comes to a close, 24-year-old single mom Krissi from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the last cook to present a dish. Her young son Mike, who encouraged her to try out for the show, is by her side. After the judges taste her stuffed meatloaf Florentine, they invite Mike to join them. He tells the judges that Gordon is his idol and he wants to be a chef when he grows up. The judges tell Mike they see Krissi's potential, and she is awarded the last apron of the day.

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