MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 4 Compete

Top 4 Compete

Aired: 9/4/13

The final four enter the MasterChef kitchen to find just two Mystery Boxes. Judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot inform them that they will take on this challenge in two teams of two. And they won't be making just one dish, but a restaurant-quality three-course meal.

The members of the winning team will go on to compete in the Top 3, while the losing team will face each other in the dreaded Pressure Test. In the end, one of them will be eliminated.

Because Luca has won the most Mystery Box Challenges in the game so far, he gets to pick his teammate. He chooses Natasha, leaving Jessie paired with Krissi.

The teams uncover the contents of their crates: Colorado lamb, Maine lobster, trout from the Catskills, Montana parsnips, Oregon beets, Napa Valley wine, Washington apples, Florida mangos and Hawaiian macadamia nuts. In all, they have 50 ingredients - one from each state. They will have 90 minutes to prepare three outstanding dishes with food from around the country.

The Blue Team, Luca and Natasha, will be preparing a seafood salad, a rack of lamb and a strawberry tart. The Red Team, Krissi and Jessie, are making a cold lobster salad, rack of lamb and an apple tart. Gordon is very disturbed that the two women are barely talking to each other. When their dessert plans fall apart, Krissi storms out of the kitchen fearing she will physically hurt her teammate.

When time runs out, the Blue Team presents their three dishes first. For their appetizer, they serve a seafood trio with avocado puree. Joe calls it unusually weird but is surprised at the pleasant taste. Their entrée is a rack of lamb with parsnip puree. Gordon says the lamb is delicious. For dessert, they make a strawberry tart with vanilla pastry cream, which also gets good reviews.

Krissi and Jessie bring up the Red Team's dishes. For their appetizer, they present a lobster salad with citrus vinaigrette. Joe is just as surprised as Krissi to learn that Jessie remade the vinaigrette before plating the dish, although he is impressed by the flavors. Gordon thinks their entrée, a rack of lamb with Swiss chard, looks bad but tastes very nice. Graham samples their apple tart with Chantilly cream and says it is a good effort but not restaurant-quality.

The judges award the win to the Blue Team - meaning Luca and Natasha are included in the Top 3. Krissi and Jessie must now face each other in the Pressure Test. After the judges leave the kitchen, Krissi overhears the other three home cooks talking trash about her, and she throws down the gauntlet for tomorrow's battle.

The following day, the two cooks arrive in the MasterChef kitchen. They will need to perfect three world-class chocolate desserts - mousse, molten lava cake and soufflé. They will have 75 minutes to prepare these three delectable treats, delivered at exactly the same time.

With 15 minutes to go, Krissi doesn't have her soufflé in the oven. The judges say this pretty much ensures it will not cook in time. But with just two minutes on the clock, she takes it out of the oven to everyone's surprise.

When time is up, both cooks present their three dishes to the judges. Gordon tastes both soufflés and awards the point to Jessie. Graham steps up to judge the chocolate mousse round and selects Krissi's dish as the better of the two. Finally Joe tries both molten chocolate cakes, the deciding factor. Both dishes have fallen, meaning this could be anybody's game.

The judges step into the pantry for one final discussion. Joe chooses Jessie's cake as his favorite, and she becomes the third home cook to enter the semifinal round of the MasterChef competition. A tearful Krissi is asked to turn in her apron.

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