MasterChef Episode Recaps

Top 17 Compete

Top 17 Compete

Aired: 6/5/13

The remaining home cooks join two of the judges - Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich - back in the MasterChef kitchen for their next Mystery Box Challenge. They will need to prepare, cook and present one incredible dish using the ingredients in the crate.

Today Gordon will be cooking in the challenge alongside the competitors to give them a benchmark. They all have 60 minutes to prepare a dish using black cod, sesame seeds, shitake mushroom, baby beets, cauliflower, rice wine vinegar and miso paste.

Gordon immediately makes up his mind about what he'll cook and walks away from his station. He goes upstairs to the galley and takes a tea break as the clock ticks down. With 30 minutes left, he returns to the kitchen.

When time is up, Gordon brings his dish forward. The rest of the players gather around to view his black cod with sesame seed crust and caramelized cauliflower. No one is surprised that his creation is excellent.

All three judges take one final look around the kitchen to identify three standout dishes. Before they announce the top contestants, they call out Howard for plating raw fish.

The first entree they choose belongs to James. Graham says his black cod with shitake mushroom salad is "one of the best dishes they've had in a long time."

Bethy brings up black cod with sesame crust and caramelized beets. Gordon, who has just cooked a similar dish, says she should be proud.

Luca's black cod with shitake mushrooms and snap peas has an amazing sauce. Joe tells him he "understood the protein better than any other cook." And with that, the judges award the advantage to Luca.

In the MasterChef pantry, the Italian competitor gets to select the item to be made in the next Elimination Test. The challenge this week is dessert. He must choose between making cookies, cupcakes or a layer cake. As a second advantage, he is safe from elimination and does not need to compete in the Test.

The players learn that Lucca has chosen cupcakes for their challenge. As a third advantage, Lucca gets to take a mixer away from one player. He forces Jordan to mix his cupcakes by hand.

The home cooks have 90 minutes to impress the judges with their baking skills. When time is up, the judges call Howard up first. He redeems himself with vanilla bean cupcakes with white chocolate cream frosting.

Next up is Malcolm, whose buttermilk cupcakes with mascarpone frosting are very dense. Gordon calls them gross. However, the judges like Bime's vanilla and chocolate whipped-cream frosting.

Kathy takes a risk and prepares different kinds of cupcakes - one that is plain vanilla, one that is peanut butter and one that combines chocolate and peanut butter. The risk does not pay off.

Bethy also makes a variety of cupcakes - bananas foster, raspberry lime and almond chocolate. Gordon says they are visually stunning. But Jessie's two flavors - vanilla bean and chocolate coffee liqueur - are a letdown.

Last up is Jordan, who has made vanilla bean cupcakes with mascarpone frosting. Before the judges taste them, they invite Luca to try his creations. Luca admits his competitor has baked delicious cupcakes. The judges concur.

After discussing all of the cupcakes, the judges decide that the two players to produce the best cupcakes are Bime and Bethy. They will be the captains in the next Team Challenge.

Malcolm, Kathy and Jessie are deemed to be the three worst cupcake bakers. Although Jessie, who has been a frontrunner, missed the mark, Malcolm's dessert has more fundamental flaws, and he is ultimately the one to be sent home.

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