MasterChef

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MON 8/7c MAY 26

MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 7 Compete (1 Returnee)

Aired: 8/14/13

The remaining seven home cooks must face their next Mystery Box Challenge. This week their crates hold a 16-ounce choice premium T-bone steak. They have 45 minutes to prepare a dish featuring that protein as the star.

Judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot walk around the room to check in with the contestants. They think Jordan's dish might be a leading contender but worry about Luca's approach. They are also concerned for vegetarian Bri, who is out of her element.

When time is up, the judges choose the top three dishes. They ask Jordan to bring up his plate for closer inspection. His strip steak with celery root and parsley puree is deliciously seasoned. Gordon says it is spot-on.

Luca is called up next to present his filet mignon and sirloin with potatoes and haricots verts. The judges wonder why it has taken Luca until now to shine.

Krissi is the third cook in the top three. Her pan-seared steak with pommes du Krissi gets rave reviews from the judges. Graham says she's "found her voice" as a cook.

While all three dishes are excellent, in the end Krissi is chosen as the winner. The judges take her into the MasterChef pantry, where they inform her that she doesn't need to take part in the next Elimination Test - a Fresh Food challenge. They then present her with six live ingredients - a quail, a pigeon, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck and a turkey. She needs to assign each bird to one home cook for the challenge.

The contestants have five minutes in the pantry to catch their protein sources, which are running lose. Each bird has a tag around its neck that shows the face of the competitor assigned to it.

Krissi hopes Natasha will struggle with the pheasant, the most difficult bird. She gives Luca the turkey because they don't have Thanksgiving in Italy. Jordan must work with quail because it's a complicated bird and he's a complicated cook. Bri ends up with the pigeon, Jessie gets the chicken, and James must prepare duck.

Holding the live fowl in their hands, the players fear they will have to slaughter the birds. But Gordon assures them their feathered friends are safe. The contestants have 60 minutes to create a dish using the already-butchered protein waiting at their stations.

When time is up, the home cooks present their birds to the judges. Jessie brings her chicken breast with mashed potatoes and succotash forward. The judges don't think the dish is sophisticated enough.

Natasha's pheasant breast with mushroom risotto and white asparagus is well-seasoned and cooked perfectly. The judges are impressed that she got past Krissi's attempted roadblock.

James has prepared a togarashi-rubbed duck with mushrooms and kimchi. Graham enjoys the flavors. Joe says Luca's pancetta-wrapped turkey with sweet potato puree and mushrooms is a restaurant-level dish.

Bri's presentation of stuffed pigeon with vegetable couscous wows the judges. She has perfectly cooked the bird, which is difficult for a vegetarian.

The judges are not as impressed by Jordan's pan-seared quail with root vegetable stew. The bird is undercooked, and the chicken stock he's used in the sauce masks the flavor of the quail.

After tasting all of the dishes, the judges select Bri as the runner-up for the challenge and Natasha as the winner. These two will be captains in the next Team Challenge. Jessie and Jordan end up in the bottom two and, in a shocking elimination, front-runner Jordan is sent home from the MasterChef kitchen. But before he leaves, Graham asks Jordan to come cook in his restaurant in Chicago.

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Season/
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