MasterChef Episode Recaps

Auditions #2

Auditions #2

Aired: 5/22/13

The search for America's greatest home chef continues. It's day two of the auditions, and more hopefuls arrive ready to pursue their culinary dreams by winning the approval of judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. Each cook is given just one hour to prepare a signature dish and five minutes to plate it up for service. If two of the three judges think they have what it takes, the home cook will win a coveted MasterChef apron and move on to the next stage of the competition.

First up is Bime, a 35-year-old father of three, who hopes his Puerto Rican flare will give him an edge. He serves a traditional dish, mofongo de camarones, consisting of mashed-up fried plantain topped with shrimp. Joe questions whether he's inauthentic and is put off by the fact that Bime gets emotional when discussing his daughters. But Gordon and Graham decide to send him through to round two.

The next cook is Jessie, a small-town Southern belle with big dreams. Although she hasn't had access to a wide range of ingredients in her rural upbringing, she's excited for an opportunity to learn. Gordon compliments the textures of her sea bass en croute but says he expects something more modern. Although she gets a nod of approval from Graham, Joe isn't sure that she's the real deal. Chef Ramsay decides to make her prove she is. He asks her to watch while he filets a fish and then has her do the same. When she delivers six perfect portions, he gives her a yes and an apron.

The following batch of contestants proves that MasterChef hopefuls come from all walks of life. These include a tractor-driving farmer, a fire dancer, a magician, a robotics instructor and a biker. Unfortunately, only the young illusionist makes the cut.

Retail salesman James explains that he hopes to do justice to the memory of his deceased parents by doing something with his cooking ability. He prepares a crispy pork belly. Both Gordon and Joe question whether he's enough of a fighter to survive the competition, but he manages to move to the next round.

In the quest for a MasterChef apron, some home cooks think they need to serve up more than a winning dish. While several female competitors get flirty with the judges, none of them satisfy their culinary requirements. But when Sasha Fox whips up a Southern fried chicken dish using a Cornish hen, she wins over the entire panel with her saucy personality and delicious food.

The following contestant is Rudy, who suffered 75 percent burns during the 2003 San Diego fires. He hopes that he can win the MasterChef competition so he can show people that even though he's disabled, it doesn't mean he's done. Even though his story is compelling and inspirational, the buffalo meat in his fry bread taco doesn't pass muster, and Rudy does not advance.

Many more soon discover that it's harder this year to win an apron than ever before. So it's time to see if Eddie, a former NFL player, can score with the judges. Gordon finds his jerk meatloaf "intriguing," and Joe likes the heat in the dish. They each vote yes, and Eddie is in the game.

The final contestant of the day is a familiar face from last season who has been given a second chance - Italian-born restaurant manager Luca. When competing in MasterChef last season, he didn't survive the first round. Although Graham is not impressed with the sauce on Luca's broccoli rabe ravioli, Gordon and Joe vote him in, and his dreams to compete are brought to life.

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