MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 12 Compete

Top 12 Compete

Aired: 6/26/13

The judges - Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich - introduce the remaining 12 home cooks to flavor scientist Aaron and his foodie fiancee Anya. The contestants will be preparing the meal for their wedding reception.

Gordon tells the players that they will be getting some help. Graham Elliot will be cooking an appetizer, and Gordon himself will be making dessert. The home cooks will be in charge of the entree. They will serve over 100 guests, including 15 vegetarians.

James and Natasha won the last Elimination Challenge and are the team captains. James' Blue Team is made up of Lynn, Jessie, Jonny, Bri and Luca. Natasha's Red Team comprises Eddie, Jordan, Bethy, Savannah and Krissi.

Joe gives them a twist, though. Both Natasha and James have to pick one member of their team who will not be cooking today. The person they "leave at the altar" will not compete in this challenge or the subsequent Pressure Test. Natasha selects Krissi, and James chooses Bri to sit this out.

In the kitchen, Graham unveils his appetizer of spring pea essence with whipped creme fraiche. Gordon presents his sticky toffee pudding with brown bread ice cream. They instruct the contestants to strive to match the standard of their dishes.

The competitors have just two hours to conceive, prep and cook an entree for the wedding guests. The Blue Team decides on lamb with parsnip puree for their main dish and grilled mushrooms with goat cheese creme fraiche for their vegetarian diners. The Red Team struggles to come up with a menu, but Natasha settles on halibut with baby carrots as the main entree and eggplant and tomato for the non-meat eaters.

With 20 minutes left to prepare, Graham's appetizer is served to the guests. Their expectations are now extremely high. Both teams struggle to get their plates out on time. The Red Team's halibut dish is on its way to the bride and groom, but the Blue Kitchen must replate their lamb when Gordon notices dirty dishes.

The Blue Team continues to struggle and ends up behind by five tables when Gordon points out that Lynn is sweating on the plates and using the same cloth to wipe a plate that he used to mop his brow. Graham steps in to help expedite for the Blue Team, and they catch up immediately. The final plates leave the kitchen at last, and Gordon begins to serve his dessert.

While the diners didn't enjoy the wait, they all agree that the food was exceptional and are almost split down the middle between the two groups. In the end, Anya announces that Red is the winning team.

The Blue Team must now face a Pressure Test. The three judges each pick a chef who will be safe from the challenge. Joe selects Jessie, Graham chooses Luca, and Gordon names James. This means Lynn and Jonny will go head-to-head in a battle of the macaron.

They have 60 minutes to bake 12 delicate confections that fit perfectly inside the provided box. But neither Jonny nor Lynn can manage to squeeze the whole dozen into the container.

Lynn presents five raspberry and five vanilla bean cookies, with the two extras on the outside of the box. The judges don't like the fact he used whole raspberry in the filling, but they agree that his cookies are good.

Jonny presents six chocolate cookies with peanut butter and six vanilla with raspberry filling. Unfortunately, they were too big and broke when he crammed them all in the box. Despite the fact the macarons are delicious, the presentation does him in, and Jonny is asked to leave the MasterChef kitchen.

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