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'Masterchef:' Home cook prevails despite challenge

Judge on Masterchef, chef Joe Bastianich
Photo by Anna Webber

Last night on “Masterchef” the top six home cooks were met at the Rock n’ Roll Sunset Marquis restaurant in Los Angeles by chef Ramsay and chef Elliot and, they were told that the challenge consisted of them taking over the restaurant for a dinner service. They were divided into two teams of three and Jaimee who prepared the best dish last week and Leslie her teammate would therefore now be team captains and pick their teams. Jaimee chose Christian and Courtney, and Leslie had Elizabeth and Cutter.

The Red Team got to a rocky start with Leslie and Cutter not seeing eye to eye, and it has been the case throughout the season that when Cutter is questioned, he takes on the defensive and talks down or argues with the other, he has even done it with chef Bastianich at one point, so it was not a surprise when he went off on Leslie. Their exchange was so heated that chef Ramsay had to pull them aside and warned them that another outburst would send them home and he, chef Ramsay, would go ahead and serve their side of the kitchen.

The Blue Team with Jaimee at the helm could not finish their appetizers and finally Jaimee gave Courtney the reigns of the team, but this was also unable to grab a hold of the team so she handed the reigns over to Christian and finally they were able to cook up to par and finish dinner service. Then it was judgment time and the Red Team managed to win the challenge and that meant that the Blue Team would face the dreaded Pressure Test.

The Pressure Test consisted of baking a croquembouche, or as chef Elliot calls it –cream puff tower- whose filling needs to be perfect, the puffs just crispy enough, the sugar decoration with the right consistency and making sure that the tower does not collapse. Jaimee who had a position of assistant baker felt sure of her ability to be on top, Courtney was also sure of herself, and Christian who was not sure what a croquembouche is feared that his end in the competition was near.

And then it was critique time, and first was Courtney who was praised on all aspects of the croquembouche, and without doubt was at the top, Christian was criticized for appearance, Jaimee’s though was not tasty and there was too much sugar holding the profiteroles, so for that Jaimee was sent home and now only five home cooks remain. But one home cook is worth mentioning as being at the top of her game and that is Courtney, who despite her inexperience has managed, week after week to rise up to the challenge and produce beautiful looking dishes and based on the chef’s critiques full of flavor and worthy of being placed on the menu of a high end restaurant. Recaps and episodes can be watched online at www.fox.com/mastechef

“Masterchef” runs on Monday at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox.