Masterchef (2010) s07e18 Episode Script

The Finale, Pt. 1 / The Finale, Pt. 2

Welcome to the grand finale of the world's biggest cooking competition.
Three of best home cooks in America will go head-to-head in the most intense battle of their lives.
This is the culinary event that we've all been waiting for.
The "MasterChef" finale.
( cheering ) ( chanting ) MasterChef! MasterChef! Gordon: The journey began with tens of thousands of hopeful home cooks from every corner of the country.
We searched high and low.
All in hopes of finding America's next MasterChef.
- Whoo! - You can't teach that.
It tastes delicious.
The home cooks that were good enough to win a white apron MasterChef! then began their culinary journey of a lifetime.
- Please welcome, Wolfgang Puck! - ( screams ) Gordon: This year, the home cooks had the honor of working with some of the brightest stars in the culinary world.
Waste no time.
Let's go.
They endured intense pressure.
- David - Forget it.
- His apron is off, he's leaving.
- Nathan, vocal.
Come on.
Shaun: Nathan, I need you to-- Oh! Bride and groom, where is it? Gordon: in the most difficult challenges the competition has ever seen.
These guys put their lives on the line.
Now get real or ( bleep ) off.
The caliber of talent was bigger and better than ever before.
This is MasterChef cooking at its absolute best.
Christina: Year after year, we've narrowed down the competitors.
- You have to leave the competition.
- I messed up.
Christina: But this year, for the first time ever, three home cooks will step into the ring for the grand finale.
But only one will be crowned "America's MasterChef.
" ( cheering ) Now, MasterChef always raises the bar.
And this year, for the first time ever, we sent all three contestants back to their hometowns for one week to create their final menus where their culinary dreams began.
( mooing ) Gordon: To make sure the finalists were using their time wisely, we paid them each a surprise visit, beginning with Brandi, in Irvington, Kentucky.
Christina: We're in Kentucky.
Gordon: We are in the middle of frickin' nowheres.
I've got no signal on my phone, the GPS is not working.
I've got to rely on the maps.
But at least put a good song on the radio.
There's no reception.
Is there any way we can go a bit faster? I can walk quicker with one leg.
The speed limit's 60 miles an hour.
32 is fine.
It'll be dark by the time we get there.
So finicky.
- Can I drive, please? - Christina: No.
Here's the school.
Irvington Elementary, where Ms.
Brandi Mudd teaches.
So if we have a whole number and we divide it by a mixed number Brandi: It's been so long since I've been with my family, my students, and bein' back home has really given me a breath of fresh air that I need to really motivate me to do well in the finale.
( knocks ) "Dad said--" ( Gordon whispers ) Miss Mudd.
Good morning.
So sorry to disturb the lesson.
I had no idea you guys were coming.
- Whoa.
- Brandi: I cannot believe Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi are here right now.
- You've all got the rest of the afternoon off.
- ( children cheer ) Brandi: I've been training, I've been practicing, and I can't wait to show the judges what this Kentucky girl has up her sleeve.
So we're dying to find out about this menu.
Well, I've tried to stick with my Southern roots but I wanna go upscale with all of it and I wanna show how much I've grown in the MasterChef competition.
You know, I love the play on sweet and savory.
And I've really been working on my plating, because I know that you eat with your eyes first.
Coming back and having that down time, - how are you feeling? - Um, you know, my son's really needed me while I was gone.
You know, I sacrificed a lot to come out there.
So it's been great to be able to be home and see them again.
What would winning mean for you? I did this for myself but really I did this for my students and for my kids because I wanted them to see that no matter if they come from a big city or from Irvington, Kentucky, you know, that they can really accomplish anything that they want.
Listen, make sure you give it your best shot, because this is gonna be the most demanding finale ever.
I'm super pumped and ready for this.
- I have 24 students in my whole entire town - Good luck.
counting on me to win this trophy.
I'm gonna go in there and I'm gonna bring it and I'm gonna show everybody that I have what it takes to win this competition.
Take care.
See you back in the kitchen.
Gordon: Next, we traveled to Las Vegas, the hometown of both David and Shaun.
First, we visited David to see how his menus were coming together.
( sizzling ) - Are you happy I'm making salmon? - Yeah.
David: I have an amazing five-year-old daughter, Liliana.
I've really missed her so much.
I wonder if he's cooking.
David: She truly kind of grounds me - and shows me what I'm fighting for.
- ( doorbell rings ) - ( knocking on door ) - ( doorbell rings ) - Hi! - Hello, gorgeous.
- How are you? - Liliana: Hello.
I had no idea you guys were coming.
Let's go into the kitchen.
David: I had been feeling stressed out, got a lot on my mind, so to have Gordon and Christina here with me, it's just so unbelievable, I feel like I'm dreaming.
Uh, first of all, how are you feeling? David: I feel good-- a little nervous.
I've just been spending a lot of time with Liliana and just practicing, practicing, practicing.
So why don't you give us an insight to your menu? Well, you know, I start with seafood in my appetizer, so obviously I'm not gonna have seafood in my entrée.
That left me with maybe beef or poultry.
And I want something light for my dessert.
- Nothing too crazy.
- Okay.
I just wanna make sure whatever I'm doing that it impresses you guys.
That's the thing.
It's like everything I think of, I'm like, you guys have probably already seen it before, or it's nothing special.
And I'm like, "How do you wow the judges? - Listen, you have to have a plan.
- Christina: You do.
Across each and every course.
You know, it is the finale.
You're one step away from realizing that dream.
What's gonna change if you win this? It'll kind of solidify me believing in myself.
'Cause like even still to this moment - I doubt myself and I wonder-- - Gordon: Stop.
It's true.
I'm like, "Did I get here because other people just messed up? You can cook.
Yeah, you're in there for a reason.
- Don't doubt yourself.
- Thank you, Chefs.
There have been times where I've really doubted myself in this kitchen.
And it really shook my confidence, but I really wanna prove to myself and my daughter that I am the best home cook in America.
I've gotta do everything I can to create the best menu of my life.
Gordon: Keep that head up high.
Gordon: For our final stop, it was a short drive across town to Shaun's house.
But we were curious to see how he was preparing for the biggest night of his culinary life.
( knocks ) - ( laughs ) I knew it.
- Good morning.
- How are you? Something smells good.
- How're you guys doing? - Shaun, hi.
- Chef Tosi, it's great to see you.
- How are you? - Ah! - Wow.
- ( laughs ) Right, first of all, good to see you.
- How've you been? - I've been busting my butt in this kitchen, Chef.
- Really? - I've been wearing this kitchen down nonstop.
And I'm ready to get back and take home that trophy.
What do you have planned? I've got some crazy stuff in store.
I wanted to kinda go broad Asian.
All those really super big, smoky, - bold flavors in there.
- Mm-hmm.
And I kinda wanna use some liquid nitrogen.
So I mean, you are goin' out there.
- I mean, this is - I'm going big, Chef.
I took risks the whole time.
If I'm gonna win this thing, I'm gonna win it with risks.
Chef, I've grown so much.
Like, I've been deejaying for more than half my life, but I don't feel like I've had a unique voice and I've found my passion in this competition.
I have found how much I love being in the kitchen and I'm finding a unique voice with food.
- Now, how's Mom? - Mom's amazing.
- What's the message she's sending to you? - Stay confident, and-- sorry.
You know how I am with Mom.
You're an inspired guy, your mom means a lot.
And from what I can also tell - Shaun: There's Dad.
- Dad.
Yeah, that's my dad.
He's gonna be with me.
Losing my dad was tough.
He was my inspiration as far as pushing me to follow my dreams.
So I came into this not just for me, - but for my parents.
- I miss him every day.
And I'm hopin' and prayin' that I can make them proud.
I'm gonna attack this finale like I've never attacked anything in my entire life.
- You got one final shot at this.
- Yes, Chef.
- Bring everything you've got.
- I will, Chef.
I am going to be America's next MasterChef.
Gordon: Our first finalist tonight, is David.
A 35-year-old professional poker player from Las Vegas, Nevada.
( cheering ) But victory won't come easy.
The first hurdle that stands in David's way is Brandi.
A 27-year-old fifth grade teacher from Irvington, Kentucky.
( cheering ) Completing the lineup tonight, is Shaun.
A 33-year-old DJ from Las Vegas, Nevada.
( cheering ) Whoo! It was so nice for both of us to see all three of you in your home environments and a chance to have a glimpse into your very different worlds.
But now, all three of you are back in our world.
For this grand finale, Gordon and I will not be your only judges.
Joining us tonight are two of the biggest names in the culinary world.
Right now, through those doors, we're about to welcome two culinary gods.
Whoo! It's getting real.
Please welcome ( gasps ) Oh-hh! - Oh, no way.
- ( cheering ) Christina: David, Brandi and Shaun, for this grand finale, Gordon and I will not be your only judges.
Please welcome two culinary gods.
( gasps ) Oh-hh! - Oh, no way.
- ( cheering ) - Christina: Chef Daniel Boulud - Shaun: Whoo! and Chef Wolfgang Puck.
- ( cheering continues ) - Hello.
- Whoo! - Bonsoir, Chef.
- Hello, Gordon.
- Ca va? How are you doing? - Wolfgang: Good to see you.
- Gordon: Amazing.
Daniel Boulud is considered one of America's leading culinary authorities and one of the most revered French chefs in New York.
Tonight, I'm looking for perfection on every single plate.
And each plate should tell a story.
It's gonna be your story, so I'm looking forward to taste what you are doing for us today.
Wolfgang Puck runs one of the biggest food empires of all time, encompassing nearly 100 restaurants around the world.
Wolfgang was in this kitchen at the very start of your MasterChef journey.
I want you to show me how far you have come since you first arrived in the MasterChef kitchen.
Wolfgang, Daniel, it's an absolute honor to have you both here tonight.
And your feedback is gonna be invaluable.
Now throughout this competition so far, you have all overcome every obstacle, including some of the most talented culinary opponents this country has to offer.
And tonight, they have returned to cheer you on.
( cheering ) And also to cheer you on, your amazing families.
Shaun, your mum, Karen.
Whoo! - Brandi, your mother, Jackie.
- Yay! David, your mum, Shirley and your daughter, Liliana.
( cheering ) Now, David, Brandi and Shaun, it's now time to put together the best three-course dinner of your lives.
Four plates per course.
Now you'll each have 10 minutes in the amazing MasterChef pantry to get everything you need.
You know the pressure is really on.
Your 10 minutes starts now.
( cheering ) Let's go.
Let's go, Daddy.
Let's go, David.
Let's go, baby! This is the biggest of all "MasterChef" finales ever.
Whoo! Nowhere in the history have we had three best home cooks going head-to-head and only one is comin' out.
My money is on the money man, David.
Very precise with everything he does.
So I know he can do it.
If it can't be me, I want it to be Brandi.
I'm team Brandi, 100 percent, 'cause she's got something Shaun and David do not-- and that is soul in her food.
( cheering ) Andrea: My money's on Shaun, for sure.
Because he's not afraid to think outside of the box.
And in this competition, you have to be willing to take risks.
He's gonna kill it.
Come on.
Speed up, guys.
Whoo, whoo, whoo! Let's go.
First up, it's now time to put together your stunning appetizer.
David, describe your appetizer.
My appetizer is a beet-cured salmon, topped with a soft-boiled egg, and a shredded phyllo dough served with salmon roe and caviar.
Brandi, describe your appetizer, please.
I have a bourbon-braised crispy pork belly, with an apricot barbecue sauce, over a butternut squash parsnip purée, and a raw rhubarb and Swiss chard stem salad.
Shaun, appetizer.
Describe it, please.
Tonight, I'll be serving you a miso halibut cheek, served on top of a vadouvan carrot purée, and I'm gonna top that with a molecular uni foam and then some beautiful garnishes.
My plate's gonna look amazing.
Sounds like you're all going big.
Good luck.
Christina: You'll have just one hour to make your amazing appetizers.
Your 60 minutes starts - now! - ( ticks ) - Let's go! - ( cheering ) - Go, Shaun.
- Go, David.
- Go, Brandi! - Liliana: Go, Daddy! ( cheering ) Well, so this is it.
Three incredible cooks.
We're in for a big, big, big night.
Wolfgang: This is the opening act-- the first course sets the tone for the whole meal.
Look at that multitasking right there.
It's the DJ thing.
Let's start with Shaun's halibut cheeks.
Does it spoil it-- vadouvan, miso, foam-- I mean, are we going too far? No, I think vadouvan is the lightest curry you can find with the undertone of like, toasted onion.
And I think it could be interesting.
I think it can be too far very easily because halibut cheeks, they're very delicate in flavor.
So you really have to bring it together really well.
Whoo! Brandi couldn't be more different than Shaun's.
She's chosen to cook a pork belly.
She only has 60 minutes.
How is she going to get it to be luxurious and tender in all of the ways that chefs expect? Gordon: David's appetizer-- so the dish is a beet-cured salmon with a poached egg inside a nest of phyllo pastry.
What's very important is he needs to master the simplicity of cooking an egg.
You know, it's an easy thing to mess up.
You just cook it right so you can peel it nicely.
It's hard.
Gordon: But if he can pull this off, it's gonna be a showstopper.
- Come on.
- ( whirring ) - Let's go, guys.
- ( cheering ) - Right, Shaun.
How are you feeling? - I'm feeling good, Chef.
What do you have in that jar here? Uh, this is seafood stock.
This is going in my uni foam.
and I'm gonna foam it at the very last second.
What are you cooking there? This is a vadouvan carrot purée.
- And what are you doing here? - Pickled mushroom, Chef, to give it a little bit of vinegar kick there for you.
- Very interesting.
- A lot going on there.
Why something so complicated? Chef, have you known me to not take a risk? Yeah, but there's three courses.
But this is MasterChef finale, we gotta wow you on all three courses.
I'm excited to taste your dish.
- I'm excited to see you taste it.
- I see, I see a lot of contrast of texture, flavor.
I really wanted to give you my journey here in MasterChef.
So-- and I think I'm gonna be able to pull that off for you.
Gordon: Give us an insight behind your passion.
Uh I'll show you.
This is-- this is my father.
I lost my dad a few years ago.
And this is a big moment in my life.
So I've got him here with me.
Gordon: Good man.
Good luck.
Come on, let's go.
Let's go, let's go, let's go.
Let's go! - Get it! - ( ticks ) Gordon: Halfway, guys.
30 minutes remaining.
- Come on.
- ( cheering ) - Wolfgang: Hello, Brandi.
- Hello, again.
How are you? Now you're from Kentucky.
Don't you gotta put a little bourbon in it or something? - There's bourbon in here, there's bourbon in there.
- Oh, okay.
- I got bourbon over there.
- Oh, okay.
What element of the dish for you are you the most worried about? Is it the texture of a pork belly? That's definitely what I'm most worried about is that pork belly being fork tender.
This is the finale and you know, it's go big or go home.
Brandi, stay focused.
Good luck.
Thank you, Chef.
Go, Brandi! - 20 minutes remaining.
- ( ticks ) ( cheering ) Brandi's pork belly's coming out.
- Look at that.
- Daniel: Ooh.
Doesn't look cooked properly, does it? That belly needs to be tender.
Wolfgang: There is no margin of error.
It has to be cooked perfectly, because a pork belly, if it's chewy, nobody gonna eat it.
Oh, my goodness.
Come on, come on, come on.
Brandi: Oh, my gosh.
Brandi's pork belly's coming out.
Wolfgang: There is no margin of error.
It has to be cooked perfectly, because a pork belly, if it's chewy, nobody gonna eat it.
Oh, my goodness.
Come on, come on, come on.
- Oh, it's tender.
- Whoo! Come on, guys.
Seriously? That is beautiful.
Ooh-hh! ( cheering ) - I'll save you guys some.
- ( ticks ) 15 minutes to go.
You gotta move.
( sizzling ) Right, David, the idea behind the dish was what? I'm not a big eater of salmon, but my daughter loves it, and I knew I wanted to kind of do something for her.
Are you putting something between the eggs and the phyllo? Just a traditional egg wash, - with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Daniel: Very nice.
Now you're up against tough competition.
You have Brandi's pork belly, Shaun's cheeks.
What do you think of the sound of those dishes? You know, they don't sound as good as my dish.
Doesn't sound very exciting or unique or different, but we'll see how they can bring it.
Oh! All talk.
This guy behind me is all talk.
And what are you most concerned about this dish? - Right now, the eggs.
- Do you have a hard time peeling your eggs? Yeah, I'm struggling while talking.
All right, we're gonna leave you to it.
It looks like you're falling behind.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Gordon: Let's go.
We are coming up to 10 minutes to go.
Shaun is absolutely in the moment.
The seasoning is spot on.
- Flavors are mind-blowing.
- I mean, delicious.
- Ooh, I can smell that bourbon.
- ( giggles ) Christina: Brandi.
We saw her cooking her pork belly in her pressure cooker.
She's got beef stock in there, some garlic, some whiskey.
Sounds like she's going in a good direction.
But it's really gonna come down to how well-balanced those flavors are.
Something's wrong with these eggs.
David is falling behind, guys.
He's still peeling eggs.
Can you believe that? - Wolfgang: Yeah.
- What is going on with him? - What happened? - Gordon: He is falling apart.
There's not one egg done and we need four.
So he is up against it, guys.
There we go.
There we go.
Coming off the peel.
Man: Just perfect.
All right, I can do this.
Shirley: Let's go, David! Gordon: Seven minutes remaining.
- Let's go, Brandi.
- Brandi: Crispy.
- Gordon: Let's go, David.
- Shirley: Go, David! - Gordon: Let's go, Shaun! - Whoo, that's pretty.
- Let's go.
- Man: All right, come on! - Christina: Push, guys.
- Gordon: Keep it going, guys.
Three minutes to go.
Christina: Come on, guys.
You can do this.
Push yourselves.
Come on, Shaun.
Finish strong.
Gordon: This is it.
This is where it counts.
( cheering ) Remember, four stunning plates.
We are coming down to the last minute.
60 seconds to go! Start finishing your plates.
Make sure they're the best appetizers ever! Got those, Brandi! Whoo! Come on, David! Whoo! Beautiful, Shaun! Let's go, this is it.
10 ( all shouting ) Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
- Stop! Hands in the air.
- ( cheering ) Gordon: Well done.
Good job! Whoo! Nice.
( chuckles ) An incredible 60 minutes.
Shaun, Brandi, David.
Please, very carefully, bring those stunning appetizers down to the front.
- Shaun, how are you feeling? - Over the moon, Chef.
Everything came out perfect.
I think the foams looks great and I think it's holding up really, really well.
I'm winnin' the appetizer round.
I think it's great to have confidence, but at the end, it's me who's gonna decide.
- ( audience cheering ) - Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Brandi, happy? I think I did a really good job balancing the acidity and the sweetness with the fattiness of the pork belly.
So I think you're gonna be really impressed with it.
David, what do you think? Do you have the best appetizer? Based on looks, I think they all look great.
But I do like the lightness of mine.
They look more like meals, the other plates.
- They look a little heavy.
- ( gasping ) My family'd still be hungry if they ate this.
( chuckling ) All three of you, please, very carefully, bring those stunning appetizers into the MasterChef restaurant.
- Let's go.
- ( cheering ) This is absolutely the most important tasting of my life.
I'm going up against two guys from Vegas.
They know high quality, high-end, fancy ingredients.
But I think I also have something that neither one of these boys have.
My dish shows my heart, it shows my soul.
And I'm gonna give Shaun and David a run for their money.
Gordon: Well done.
Now, for the most exciting part, the tasting of your stunning appetizers.
Brandi, please bring your appetizers forward.
Brandi: I'm very confident that my food is great.
The balance of flavors are excellent.
I have acidity, I have rich fattiness.
And I hope I can prove to the judges that you can take simple Southern ingredients and make them high end.
Brandi, please describe your appetizer.
I have for you a bourbon-braised crispy pork belly, glazed with an apricot barbecue sauce, over a butternut squash - parsnip purée, with a rhubarb - Swiss chard slaw on top.
Looks beautiful.
The colors are very stunning.
- They pop.
- Thank you, Chef.
Why did you choose to plate the pork belly the way that you did? I wanted to take a really cheap cut of Southern meat, and show how it can be elevated into something more.
Um, it's kind of like I put myself on the plate.
I came here as this small-town, Southern cook, and you guys took me and molded me and elevated me into something more.
I'd say that's a pretty tender pork belly.
Christina: I was worried that it would be luxurious and rich in a way that would weigh me down.
But the acidity, the sweetness and the savory nature of that very tender pork belly are executed very well.
Thank you, Chef.
Why parsnips and butternut squash at the same time? Completely two different vegetables.
But they taste so good together.
Just ask Daniel Boulud.
After having tasted my purée, what would you do? I think it's hard to tell if there is butternut squash as much as it is hard to tell if there is parsnips.
But the two together give a flavor-- ( speaking French ) The acidity-- why are you against parsnip and butternut squash? ( speaking French ) Hey, hey, hey.
I wanna understand what you're sayin'.
( French continues ) Okay, Brandi, they said they really love it.
You know, they speak it in French, they don't wanna tell you.
( French continues ) They said, "J'aime, j'aime, j'aime.
" Which means, "I love it, I love it, I love it.
" Oui, oui.
Brandi, I love your dish.
It was very refreshing for a piece of pork to be braised at the end, glazed like that.
Wolfgang: You know, I tell you, no matter what Gordon thinks, to me, it's a very well-executed dish.
I think the purée is really perfect.
Why? Because the parsnips give it consistency.
They have starch in it.
And also sweetness.
So to go it together it made it actually creamier than just the butternut squash.
And I really thought, I don't gonna like the raw rhubarb.
And I actually like it a lot now.
Because it gives the dish some freshness.
Thank you, Chef.
Brandi, first off.
Pork belly, delicious.
Let's get that right.
Nailed beautifully.
Glaze, sweet, unctuous, sticky, really beautiful.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Purée? It's a no-go.
I can't identify what it is.
And that's the issue.
So it looks beautiful but it doesn't give anything to the pork belly.
But you nailed the protein.
100 percent.
And rhubarb.
I'm gonna use that.
I will put pork belly and rhubarb on my next menu.
You just created something seriously, seriously exciting.
- Well done.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Good job, Brandi.
- Good job.
David, please present your appetizers.
Let's go.
David: My entire dish hinges on one simple, single ingredient.
The basic egg.
The egg is what gives it the look.
It shows the technique in the cook.
If this egg is not cooked to perfection - for these judges - Thank you.
my MasterChef dreams could be over in the first round.
David, please describe the dish.
Chefs, for you today, I have beet-cured salmon topped with a soft-boiled egg, and a shredded phyllo dough topped with salmon roe and served with a little dollop of caviar.
David, I looked at the dish, and I thought, "Damn, caviar three ways.
" This screams a quail egg.
why a big egg? And why so in-your-face? Once you cut into the egg, the yolk kind of gives it a little bit of moisture, it runs over it like a sauce almost and I just really felt that the dish would go well with it.
You served four eggs to us and you never tested one.
How do you know they're cooked beautifully? This is the finale, it's no time to play it safe.
When we cut into those egg yolks, and they're not runny, it's game over.
David, when we cut into those egg yolks and they're not runny, it's game over.
You've nailed it, young man.
You've got balls the size of ostrich eggs.
Four for four.
Thank you, Chef.
It's a very interesting choice of an appetizer, for sure.
You really wowed me with the risk that you took tonight.
I love the idea of the egg.
And the poppy seed vinaigrette is really refreshing 'cause it brings that acidity.
But visually, it's not the most beautiful dish you've ever cooked in the kitchen.
Yeah, I disagree.
I think it looks great.
It's just intriguing.
Salmon needs more seasoning, then you put the caviar on there and all of a sudden, this thing starts popping.
The flavors-- the beet root, the caviar, the egg-- really beautiful.
- Thank you, Chef.
- The biggest shot I've got is the phyllo paste, 'cause it's an obtrusion.
Slightly greasy, doesn't have much flavor.
Looks good.
But never delivers the punch.
You know, Gordon, I like the idea.
You like the phyllo paste? - Come on.
- I think it's good.
- I would've used potato.
- It would be too traditional.
I disagree with Wolfgang because there's way too much phyllo.
- Absolutely.
And I think, David-- - Don't agree with him.
No, no, but to me, I will say that flat is a little bit what I felt in term of seasoning.
There's not enough flavor to really nourish these eggs and the phyllo and the salmon.
I love the idea.
It's like cutting into a bird's nest.
I love people who take risks.
I really think you gambled, it paid off.
But there is also some of the things which are not just the way they should be, like the black caviar on the side.
You know, it's like an afterthought.
You almost forget to eat it.
But all in all, it's really a well thought out dish and I think not an easy dish to execute.
So, congratulations, I like it.
- Thank you very much.
- Wolfgang: Thank you, David.
Shaun, please bring your dishes up.
- Shaun: I'm so proud of this dish.
- There you go, Chefs.
I've put my heart and soul on that plate.
This is really my crowning achievement, and I think the judges are gonna love it.
I think I'm gonna blow 'em away with this one.
- Please describe the dish.
- Tonight, I'm servin' you a miso halibut cheek with a vadouvan carrot purée, pickled mushrooms and uni foam.
So I really wanted to give you somethin' that is not seen all the time.
I like to work with ingredients that are not your everyday, run-of-the-mill ingredients.
I like to go a little off the wall.
But I also, at the same time, wanted to show you my journey here in MasterChef.
I know it's jumping around cultures, but you know, here in America, there's no rules with food.
we put the most delicious stuff on the plate.
It's not like the French cuisine where it's very, very strict rules.
Visually, stunning.
However, tastes nowhere near as good as it looks.
Halibut is cooked beautifully.
I mean, really beautifully.
You know, it melts, and it's sort of glazed to give a sweetness.
But then comes the-- ( claps ) the crash, because I've got this strong pickled mushrooms.
And one thing you never, ever do is pickle a morel mushroom.
- Fair enough.
- Daniel: We were talking about how American cuisine has no rule.
But really, to me, French cuisine has foundation - Okay.
- French cuisine has also a respect for ingredients, an understanding of ingredients.
And that morel, to me, threw me off.
When you buy a gorgeous ingredient - Okay.
- we can say whatever we want about the French, - but one thing for sure-- - I respect the French.
No, no, no, it's okay.
I really liked the dish.
For me, I think the beauty is in the halibut cheek.
it's a beautiful cut.
It's sweet, it's delicate.
- Thank you.
- 25% less on this dish, and you easily have the best appetizer in the room.
- I disagree.
- Wolfgang: You know, Gordon, there is not much wrong with it, because the ideas are great.
You did a great job on the halibut, but the uni has no flavor, because it's air.
It didn't add anything to the dish.
I think if you would have put all the uni and made a vinaigrette or some kind of a sauce, I think it would be really a perfect cohesive dish.
Now, you tried very hard, and I love people who are adventurous.
No, you guys told me to put myself on a plate, - and that's what I did.
- Wolfgang: I know-- Win some, you lose some, you know? - We're trying to help you.
- Oh, I know, absolutely.
I'm taking it all in-- So, I'm not interested in your arrogant attitude.
I'm not tryin' to be arrogant, Chef.
No, but you gotta listen, because this is to help-- I am, but Chef, if I came off as arrogant, I'd like to apologize.
It's not arrogance, it's passion.
Thank you.
Shaun, Brandi, David-- please, go back into the kitchen and get ready to start cooking your entrées.
( applause, cheering ) Wow.
Let's get one thing right.
I mean, three stunning, MasterChef-worthy finale dishes.
- David's appetizer.
- David's eggs was perfect, and sort of the runniness of the yolk nourished very well the Phyllo this technique of chef - and found it very impressive.
- Yeah.
Yeah, for me, it could have been a showstopper had he had less phyllo pastry and just thought a little bit more about the caviar overlay.
I thought it was beautiful the way it looked like a red carpet.
I felt like I'm going to the Oscars.
I loved the idea of the egg, but I thought there was a lot more he could have done to make the dish elegant.
Brandi's appetizer-- I think the pork belly was light, - it was tart.
- I would have loved the pork in smaller portions because it is an appetizer.
Brandi Mudd tonight came up with a combination that every chef in this country is now going to cook 'cause it was absolutely delicious.
Daniel: I definitely like what she did.
Gordon: Shaun's halibut cheeks.
Honestly, it was like something out of both of your restaurants.
I mean, a beautiful masterpiece.
I think Shaun was daring in what he did, and he was trying to woo us with his creativity.
I think that the issue with Shaun's dish was he lost his focus.
He was so intent on doing so much over 60 minutes.
I don't know what went into Shaun's head to pickle the morel and the mushroom because they tasted like vinegar.
And it made no sense.
I still think it's anyone's game.
But I'll have the disadvantage 'cause of my frickin' appetizer.
I'm on the bottom as far as appetizer goes.
The-- if this entrée doesn't blow them out of the water, I'm done, game over.
Well, guys, appetizer's only the first of three courses.
Let's get in there an fire up the entrées.
- Wolfgang: All right.
- ( cheering ) Man: Whoo-whoo! David, Brandi and Shaun, it's now time to get started on those incredible entrées.
Your 60 minutes starts - now.
- ( ticks ) ( cheering, applause ) Keep it going, guys.
The best thing you've ever done.
Come on! Wow.
This is it-- round two.
This is the course that will really solidify their position in this competition.
Go, David! My entrée is Savoy cabbage-wrapped guinea hen and foie gras with a yellow wine and morel cream sauce served with sautéed fresh morels and Thumbelina carrots.
- Whoo! - Jackie: You got this, Brandi! I'm making a cast iron skillet-seared duck breast over mixed greens cooked in andouille sausage with a blackberry demi-sauce and ramp hush puppies.
- ( sizzles ) - Come on, Shaun! Shaun: I'm making a beautiful ancho-coffee rubbed venison loin with a plum truffle demi-sauce, roasted balsamic Cipollini onions, - and roasted fiddleheads.
- ( ticks ) - 45 minutes remaining.
Come on.
- Christina: Come on, guys! - Shirley: Go, David! - ( sizzles ) Man: Go, Shaun! Let's go! - I keep thinkin' I'm burnin' somethin.
' - ( laughs ) - Gordon: Right.
- It's good.
- Shaun, how are you feeling? - Good.
I'm gettin' my head back in the game.
- What we doin' there? - I'm smoking some plums.
Kinda go give it a smokiness to go with my plum demi.
I sounds amazing, but I can't quite believe the extent you're going.
Are you pulling it back a bit? Are you reining in or are you going all out again? I took in every piece of advice you guys gave me.
Like, that's why I'm pulling things out and changin' some things around on this dish.
I want a dish who really works together as a whole.
Yeah, this one's gonna come together.
It's gonna be woodsy, it's gonna be natural, it's gonna be smoky.
- ( sizzles ) - Wolfgang: Remember the venison.
- Cook it just right.
- Yes, sir.
'Cause that will take you down.
If you overcook the venison, - it's over.
Game over.
- Gordon: Game over.
- Right, young man.
Good luck.
- Wolfgang: Good luck.
- Gordon: Smells delicious.
- Thank you, Chef.
- ( ticks ) - Gordon: Halfway, guys.
30 minutes gone, 30 minutes remaining.
- Daniel: Hello, Brandi.
- Hey, how are you guys? - Daniel: Oh, hush puppies.
- Yes.
- I love that.
- Christina: Now, what inspired you to sort of bring those very, very traditional hush puppies high end with these ramps? I'm tryin' to show how you can take simple Southern ingredients and you can really elevate 'em and turn them into so much more.
What do you think your biggest challenge is in the dish? Definitely the duck.
it's gotta be beautiful, It's gotta be juicy and tender and cooked exactly the way you want it.
And if that's messed up, my dish is messed up.
Christina: All right, Brandi.
Good luck.
- Brandi: Thank you, Chef.
- Daniel: Thank you.
- ( ticks ) - 23 minutes to go.
Come on.
Go, David! Beautiful, David! - Good job, David! - Good job, David! - Wolfgang: Hello, David.
How are you? - Good, Chefs.
Now, this is where it all counts-- the entrée.
How is this one gonna nail it? How are you gonna have the advantage over those two behind you? Well, I went with a play on a traditional amazing French dish that I think you guys will love.
Now how will you check your foie gras in there? - How is it dethawing? - I've got a timer.
I've got about two minutes.
I made an extra one so I can kinda pull it out - and test one.
- A technical guinea hen.
You've got the foie there, you've got the cabbage.
Difficult to nail.
So gotta be very careful.
It's all gonna come down to your execution, - your timing.
Good luck.
- David: Thank you, Chef.
- Wolfgang: Good luck, David.
- ( ticks ) Gordon 15 minutes remaining.
Come on, guys.
- Andrea: Beauty, Shaun.
- Shirley: David! Lookin' good! Jackie: Yay, Brandi! Looking golden, baby! Shaun, venison-- I mean, there's a lot going on there.
Again, I think maybe some flavors when you think why you have ancho-chile and truffles mixed together.
Here's the bottom line-- Shaun, right now, with his entrée needs to blow us away, otherwise his chance to become America's next MasterChef is gone.
Now, Brandi's entrée-- duck is hard to nail.
You want to have the skin crispy, you want to have the meat tender and pink.
She's got her work cut out, because duck is very unforgiving.
30 seconds over, and it's dry.
- David: Close.
- Gordon: David's entrée-- the preparation of that guinea hen, very technical.
I can't see them cooking in that short period of time.
He has to nail the cooking of the guinea hen.
- You know, guinea hen gets dry - Gordon: Yeah.
- if it's overcooked.
- Gordon: This is a tough one to pull off.
- Whoo! - ( ticks ) Four and a half minutes to go, guys.
Come on.
Got to start plating, guys.
- Man: Beautiful: - Look at Shaun, the way he's plating there now.
Look at the artistry on Shaun's plate.
David: Come on.
Oh, Lord.
Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord.
Manny: All right, David, let's go.
Let's get it on the plate, baby.
Woof, woof, woof, woof.
( David sighs ) Oh, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord.
That one's no good.
What happened? Wow.
Brandi's in front with her plating.
David is the one falling behind.
- He's got nothing on the plates.
- He's gotta go, guys.
- Wolfgang: Yeah.
- Christina: Gotta go, David! - ( ticks ) - Gordon: This is it.
Two minutes to go, guys! Nail this, and you may just be America's next MasterChef.
- ( cheering, applause ) - Gordon: Keep it going, guys.
Jackie: Yay, Brandi! Whoo! Man: Use every second, Shaun! David! Come on! Down to the wire! Gordon: Come on, guys, keep it going.
Great job.
Come on.
- Speed up, guys! - Shirley: David! Gordon: Come on, guys, please! Finishing touches, now! Ooh! - ( applause ) - He almost dropped that whole plate.
He's lost stuff.
Look, he's all over the place.
Here we are-- 60 seconds to go! - Whoo! - Gordon: Let's go, come on! Christina: What's he doing? Christina: He's falling apart.
I don't think he gonna finish on time.
Oh, David.
Announcer: Coming up the world's biggest cooking competition continues - ( cheering ) - Announcer: as the three best home cooks in America - Whoo! - Yay, Brandi! - Announcer: battle it out - Yeah, David! - Announcer: over the final two courses.
- Come on, Shaun! - Announcer: All ending - Superb.
- This is stunning.
- I'm blown away.
- This might be it.
- Announcer: in the closest result - Who's your choice? - Whew Announcer: in MasterChef history.
- Gordon: Wolfgang? - I don't know.
Gordon: The winner of MasterChef is - ( audience cheering ) - Gordon: This is it! Nail this, and you may just be America's next MasterChef.
- ( cheering, applause ) - Jackie: Yay, Brandi! Whoo! Man: Use every second, Shaun! David is the one falling behind.
- He's got nothing on the plates.
- He's gotta go, guys.
- Wolfgang: Yeah.
- Christina: Gotta go, David! Gordon: Come on, guys, please! Finishing touches, now! Ooh! - ( applause ) - He almost dropped that whole plate.
He's lost stuff.
Look, he's all over the place.
Here we are-- 60 seconds to go! - Christina: Come on, guys.
- Gordon: Let's go, come on! Christina: What's he doing? - He's falling apart.
- Oh, David.
- Da-vid! Da-vid! - ( ticks ) - 45 seconds to go! - Shirley: Keep workin'.
David has now started to plate.
David: I got this.
- ( ticks ) - 15 seconds to go! Come on! Come on, Shaun! There you go! Come on, Brandi! Whoo-hoo! - Gordon: Speed up.
- Christina: Push it to the end.
- ( ticks ) - Gordon: Ten, nine Judges: Eight, seven, six, five, four - three, two, one! - ( ticks ) - ( cheering ) - Christina: Hands in the air! - Well done.
- ( cheering ) - Whew.
- Uh-hh! Wow! What an incredible 60 minutes.
All right, you three.
The moment of truth has arrived.
It's time to taste those entrées.
- Wolfgang: Yeah.
- Christina: Please, let's head to the restaurant.
( cheering ) Gordon: Right, you three.
Well done.
Shaun, please present your entrées, thank you.
Shaun: The judges didn't care for my appetizer, so this entrée has to be my comeback.
- Here, Chefs.
- Everything's on the line on this dish.
Like, if I don't knock this out of the park, there's no reason for me to cook dessert.
Gordon: Wow.
Visually, it's breathtaking.
- Thank you.
- Describe it, please.
Shaun: Coffee-ancho spice-rubbed venison loin with a plum-venison demi, garnished with some balsamic Cipollinis some smoked plums, garlic-shallot cream, some truffle, and some nice, beautiful fiddleheads.
I can smell the truffle, I can smell spice.
I can smell light smokiness.
- What's smoked on here? - Shaun: I smoked the plums.
I didn't wanna overpower you with the smoke, so I just gave you the smoked plums so you'd have that tartness but you also, at the back of your palate, you should get that smoky essence.
- Daniel: Mmm.
- Whew.
I mean it's delicious.
( faintly ) Whew.
Gordon: It tastes as good as it looks, the texture is incredible.
The venison's like butter.
Gamy, spicy.
Coffee gives that bitterness, so there's hidden treasures in every little bite.
You've now reinvented how venison should be plated because it's true to itself.
- I'm blown away.
- Thank you very much, Chef.
- Great job.
- Thank you.
When you described the dish, I was worried about the chanterelle and the truffle.
But the harmony in this dish is exceptional.
Everything has its place, and everything play a nice role together.
Compared to your appetizer, I think you understood harmony and respect of ingredients.
- Well done.
- Thank you, Chef.
I needed it.
I needed a big one today.
You know, Shaun, they made a movie called "The Perfect Storm.
" - I think this is the "perfect forest.
" - ( laughs ) - Whew.
- Wolfgang: I think when you look at "forest on a plate," - this might be it.
- Thank you, Chef.
I love the onion.
I think the onion with the caramelized, with the balsamic vinegar, a little sugar, and I really love the color of the fiddlehead ferns because it really brightens up the whole dish.
But if I would say one thing, I saw you smoking the plums.
- Mm-hmm? - I don't think it does that much to it, really, - to the dish.
- Did you taste them individually? Well, for sure.
If not, I wouldn't talk about it.
- Daniel: I love it.
- I love it.
No, I don't think it does that much to the dish - Okay.
- But at the end, it's really the venison.
Wolfgang: The rub is not overpowering, so it came out really, really as outstanding dish.
Thank you, Chef.
I love the restraint that you showed with that black truffle.
That black truffle almost mimics the shape of the plate.
I think it's elegant, I think it's very thoughtful, it's very dreamlike in a beautiful way.
The venison is cooked beautifully, and it's great to see you change direction like that so quickly from course to course and really prove time and time again that you are a great student.
- I'll never give up, Chefs.
- Christina: Thank you, Shaun.
- Gordon: Thank you.
- Thank you, Chefs.
- David: Nice job, Shaun.
- Whew, thanks, guys.
Oh, I needed that.
Brandi, please, present your entrées, thank you.
Brandi: I put myself into this entrée.
I've taken simple Southern ingredients, I've elevated them.
Who would think that you could put a hush puppy in a MasterChef finale? But I've made it beautiful on this plate.
Brandi, please, describe the entrée, thank you.
Brandi: I have a cast iron-seared duck breast over andouille mixed greens, with a blackberry demi, ramp hush puppies, and pickled white strawberries.
Brandi, the hush puppy looks like a falafel to me, but I can't wait to taste it.
( chuckles ) "Falafel.
" Seriously? - Put your glasses on, Granddad.
- ( chuckles ) So, Brandi, are you happy with the look of this entrée? Brandi: I am happy with this.
I think that the elements of my dish were hard to make beautiful, but I think that I put a lot of finesse on the plate today.
I think it's one of the best plates you've ever plated.
I mean, duck's beautiful.
Let's get that right.
That's seasoned incredibly.
Love the blackberries.
I mean, there's no greater combination.
This is better than the appetizer.
What it needs, Brandi, is a touch of lightness.
I'd drop the hush puppies, 'cause it's just rich and rich and rich.
Put a little bit of weight on me but don't put me into cardiac arrest.
- Yes, Chef.
- I mean, keep me alive for dessert.
- Well done.
- Thank you.
It's very tasty.
the greens-- it has a nice finish of acidity behind.
The andouille brings this strength to it.
And the "falafel," as Wolfgang call it-- Now, what does it look like? You want my glasses, Gordon? Here, give this.
Give Gordon my glasses over there.
- ( chuckles ) - Look with the glasses.
- ( bleep ) - You look very handsome with the glasses, you know? Chef, I didn't realize your eyesight was that bad.
- ( chuckles ) - What I really love about your dish is I want to eat it all.
And I think that's the secret - of a beautiful dish.
- Thank you, Chef.
I love the flavor of the hush puppies.
But I actually preferred the pork belly to the duck.
Yet, you cooked the duck perfectly.
But I think, all in all, I expected a little more from you.
Brandi, I thought some of the flavors on your duck entrée were delicious and worked really well together, but I disagree with Gordon a hundred percent.
It's by no means your most beautiful entrée, and to be quite honest, it's not a strong visual presentation at all.
I disagree with Christina, 'cause that's ( bleep ).
Gordon: I think this is beautiful, and I think this is you to a T.
Christina needs to get her eyes tested quickly.
- That is-- - I think it's ( bleep ) what you're saying.
- Thank you, Wolfgang.
- What, you're saying this looks ugly? It doesn't look terrible, but it doesn't look beautiful.
- It doesn't look good.
- I'd rather a plate that looks less elaborate - and tastes phenomenal.
Thank you.
- No, but it can't look gray - and brown-- - "Gray"? - And listen, Brandi-- - I love you guys, all of you.
- All right, okay.
- "Gray.
" Gray, it's not.
Delicious, it is.
- Thank you.
- Wolfgang: Christina has the last word.
Needless to say, we're all very passionate - Honest.
- about what you put forth before us tonight.
- Thank you very much.
- Brandi: Thank you.
Taking a drink.
( chuckles ) David, please, present your entrée.
Thank you.
David: My entrée course is disappointing.
I wasn't able to roll my cabbage rolls tightly enough and it took me so long that I couldn't get them in the water bath with enough time.
So, I'm a little worried that my hen is not cooked to the correct temperature.
Describe the dish, please.
David: For you.
I have Savoy cabbage-wrapped guinea hen and a foie gras served with a morel and yellow wine cream sauce with sautéed fresh morels and Thumbelina carrots.
You're not happy with this.
You got the right to be pissed off.
Come here.
Take a look at that and tell me what you can see.
- Gordon: David.
- Yes, Chef.
Come here.
Take a look at that and tell me what you can see.
David: Uh, it's maybe a little bit pinker than I intended.
That is not a "little bit" pink.
- Daniel: This is rare.
- That's rare.
Thank you.
Sauce is incredible.
The combination-- that wine, that dryness, the sweetness, the earthiness of the morels.
But, wrapping any protein in cabbage and then tempering it and then cooking it twice and rolling it, your work is cut out.
And you need to have made 200 of these to nail it, because it's unforgiving.
Understand why you put your neck in a noose, that's you.
Unfortunately, your hand's not strong enough 'cause it's such a technical dish to pull off.
- Really technical.
- Thank you, Chef.
The seasoning is perfect.
The sauce is superb.
And Gordon will agree with me-- in French cuisine, sauce can count for 75% of the success of a dish.
And I think here, you really proven that you were a very, very good cook and you could make a fantastic sauce also.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Wolfgang: You're like an artist who walks on the high wire.
So, if you walk on the high wire, you better be good.
If you fall, it's the end.
I don't think you fell here.
My guinea hen is actually cooked really perfectly.
Would I have loved a little more foie gras? For sure.
But the dish looks beautiful, and I really believe it was delicious.
Thank you, Chef.
David, I think the flavor of the dish is delicious.
But there are a few shortcomings that are pretty blatant here.
It's clear that you still remain a technician in terms of flavor, but you fell a little short in terms of technique with the preparation of that protein.
- Thank you, David.
- Thank you, Chefs.
David, Brandi, Shaun, it is time for dessert.
Why don't the three of you head on into the kitchen - and get ready for that dessert course? - David: Thank you, Chefs.
Thank you.
( cheers, applause ) - Wow.
- Christina: I mean, some pretty impressive entrées.
We obviously have a lot to talk about.
- Brandi: How's everybody feelin'? - David: Eh, they weren't as hard on me as I thought they could've been.
David's entrée.
I think there were high points of his dish-- the sauce-- and low points of his dish-- the actual cookery of the protein, which was meant to be the star of the dish.
David's biggest problem this evening with his entrée was him.
The actual technical ability of assembling that dish was way more difficult than cooking it, - and he shot himself in the foot.
- Yeah.
I needed that so bad.
If I wouldn't have nailed that one, there wouldn't have been a reason for me to even cook dessert.
Shaun delivered in the entrée.
Wolfgang: I never saw venison presented this way.
The onions were cooked nicely and give it sweetness, a little acidity from the balsamic vinegar mushrooms, and he executed the venison perfectly.
Honestly, tonight's the first time where I felt I could lift a finale's dish and transport it to my flagship restaurant.
And Shaun's was just that.
- It was that good.
- Yeah.
We still got one more round.
Gordon: Brandi came in with a pan-seared duck breast that was just beautiful.
She played to her strengths.
When I see Brandi, I smile, and it make me happy to see how far she has gone into the competition, and stay so true to her roots.
It was a wonderful, wonderful dish.
- Wolfgang: I was not impressed with it.
- Daniel: Yeah.
- ( Gordon groans ) - Visually, she did not bring the thunder.
60 minutes left in the MasterChef kitchen.
Better make it count, my man.
I think it's fair to say at this point, through the appetizer and the entrée, there's a three-way tie.
But there's still what I would argue is the most important course to come.
I think whoever nails this one - Yeah.
- might rise to the top.
I agree.
Let's go.
( cheering ) - Man: Yeah! - Woman: Whoo! Gordon: David, Brandi and Shaun, two courses in, one to go.
Right now, if you had to ask me, - it's wide open, ladies and gentlemen.
- ( cheering ) The pressure is really on to nail your desserts.
- Are you ready? - Cooks: Yes, Chef.
Your 60 minutes - starts - ( squeals ) - now! - ( ticks ) - ( audience cheering ) - Go! Get it, Shaun! Go, Shaun! Wow.
This is it.
60 minutes away from one of these three talented amateur cooks becoming America's next MasterChef.
Yay, Mommy! Yay! Brandi: For my dessert, I'm making cornbread madeleines, a white chocolate mousse, bourbon caramel, candied pecans, and bourbon-glazed peaches.
The judges are gonna look at this plate and they're gonna be completely floored.
They're not gonna believe that it came from an Irvington elementary school teacher.
You got this, Brandi.
Just focus.
You got it.
- Jackie: Come on, girl.
- Whoo! - All: Whoo! - Woman: There we go! - Yeah! - Go, Daddy! David: For dessert, I'm making a glazed and stuffed fresh cherry served with a chocolate crémeux, a Kirsch-Chantilly whipped cream cherry purée garnished with a cookie crumble and popping rocks.
My dessert is very complex.
There's lots of technical aspects in it.
If executed properly, there's no beating my dessert.
( chanting ) Da-vid, Da-vid, Da-vid! Oh, yeah.
That's perfect.
Shaun: For my dessert, I'm making a salted caramel chocolate tart with a raspberry coulis.
I needed to nail the entrée after the stumble with the appetizer, - and I'm back.
- There it is.
Brandi and David better bring everything they know to take me down, 'cause I'm motivated.
- I'm ready for this.
- ( cheering ) The MasterChef trophy is coming down to dessert.
Man: Get it, Shaun! Man #2: Come on, Shaun! Woman: You can do it! - ( cheering ) - Gordon: Wow.
60 minutes away from one of these three talented amateur cooks becoming America's next MasterChef.
Woman: Let's go, guys! A killer dessert from any of the three home cooks could nail the win.
- Yeah, David! - You got this, Brandi! You can do it! - Come on, Shaun! - Man #2: Come on, Shaun! - Shaun.
- Chef Tosi.
Dessert, come on! This is your dough? Yes, ma'am.
It's a chocolate almond dough.
- Wolfgang: Uh-huh.
- Christina: Okay.
I'm actually reining it in a little bit on my dessert.
I'm doin' a classic salted caramel chocolate tart with a raspberry coulis.
Now why decide to play it safe in the dessert course? Well, I said "simplify," I didn't say "safe," 'cause this thing might not set, so my timing's gotta be right.
Christina: And how long do they need in the oven-- They need probably about 10 to 15 minutes.
And then you gotta chill 'em down and fill 'em? - Like I said, simplified, not easy.
- Christina: Okay.
You know, sometimes the simple things are more difficult.
- Absolutely.
- Christina: That is true.
- 'Cause the flaws shine even brighter.
- Wolfgang: Yeah.
Now, Shaun, your last 40 minutes cooking in this kitchen.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
- ( applause ) - Man: Go, Shaun! - Man: Get it! - Man #2: All right! Woman: Whoo! Right, Brandi, how you feeling? - I'm feelin' really good.
- Tell me about the dish.
I am making cornbread madeleines.
- Gordon: Right.
- And they'll be dusted in powdered sugar.
I don't know if you know, but Daniel - is an expert at madeleine.
- Oh, is he? - Gordon: An expert.
- Daniel: I serve millions of madeleines.
Gordon: How are we dressing this? What's the garnish? I have the peach purée, I'm makin' a bourbon caramel sauce, I've got spiced candy pecans, I've got my white chocolate mousse over here.
I'm sticking true to my Southern flavors, but I am gonna give you an upscale-looking dessert.
Now, the peaches-- you caramelized them? Roasted them? - How we cookin' them? - in my cast iron skillet.
- I'm gonna caramelize those - That's a golden skillet.
in butter and brown sugar and flambé 'em - with the bourbon.
- Just 34 minutes to go.
- Good luck.
- Dan: Hell, yeah, Brandi! Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo! - Hello, Chef.
- David.
- Give it to me.
What are you workin' on? - Right here, I've got - cherry purée.
- Okay.
In that bowl, I've got a cherry compote That's gonna go piped inside of a pitted fresh cherry.
And I'm gonna glaze it in my red glaze over here.
So it's a cherry stuffed with cherry glazed with cherry? But the glaze is a milk chocolate glaze.
- Oh, so this is chocolate, but also colored with red? - Yes.
Christina: Look how shiny and stunning it is.
Why, yeah.
I think it's gonna be beautiful.
And is that some gold decor I see over there? - Yes.
- So you're bringing us Vegas - in this last course as well? - David: Exactly.
- Whoo! - You only have half an hour left, - so you better speed up.
- Christina: All right.
Good luck, David.
- Thank you, Chefs.
- Women: Whoo! David! So, David is doing this symphony of cherries.
Sounds elegant, it's focused, but David is again focusing so much on the technique - on these ingredients.
- Too complicated, Christina? I mean, is he doing to dessert what Shaun did to his appetizer? Christina: 30 ingredients? You don't need that much.
It's about what you put into it thoughtfully.
- David: Beautiful.
- Gordon: So, Brandi's doing these corn madeleines.
Playing to her strengths, but will that make the madeleine-- this sweet, delicate beautiful sponge-- taste like cornbread? Maybe the cornmeal in there will give the madeleine a little crunch.
Daniel: You don't need crunch in a madeleine.
It will be a different version.
Dan: Yeah, Brandi, Finish strong, girl.
Christina: Shaun is keeping it simple.
A chocolate salted caramel tart.
I worry that Shaun's playing a little too safe.
Simplicity in dessert could be a winner.
Gordon: I think that's where he's going.
"I've overcomplicated my appetizer, I reined it in on the entrée, and now I'm just gonna give you the best chocolate tart ever.
- Whoo! - Way to go, Shaun! There you go! Man #2: Lookin' good, lookin' good! - Last five minutes! Come on! - ( ticks ) Christina: Come on, guys! - Gordon: This is it! - Whoo! - Woman: Yeah, David! - Woman #2: Go, guys! Dan: Oh, she's opening the bourbon.
Brandi's about to flambé.
- Take a shot! - Whoo! - ( Jackie yelling ) Go, Miss Brand! - ( flame roars ) All right! Go, Brandi! - Whoo! - Gordon: Two minutes remaining, please.
- Let's go! - Come on, guys! Whew, I'm gonna be cutting this ( bleep ) close.
You got this, Shaun! Oh, I squeaked like a girl there.
Agh! Jackie: Go, Brandi! This is right, look at David's.
Come on, guys, seriously? David's dessert.
Look at this.
Looks like beautiful presentation, huh? - Yeah, David! Whoo! - Looks so good! - Gordon: That is beautiful.
- Yeah.
that is definitely artistic, all the way.
- Good job, Brandi Mudd.
- Thank you, Shaun.
- Oh, my God.
- Look at Brandi's.
- Gorgeous.
- Look at the plating on that.
- That looks amazing.
- Whoo! Whoo! - Nathan: Looks beautiful, Shaun.
- Come on, Shaun! - Looking good.
- Gordon: Come on, Shaun.
Come on, Brandi.
You can do it! Come on, David! This is where it counts.
Ten Judges: Nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
- Stop! - ( cheering ) - Gordon: Well done.
- Man: Wow! Yeah, baby! Good job.
Bring it in, buddy.
( sighs ) Oh, man.
- You did good, guys.
- I love you guys.
Terry: Way to go, guys.
Way to go! - Dan: Yeah, Brandi.
- Yeah, girl.
- That didn't come from Kentucky.
- Oh, yeah, it did.
- David: Come on! - ( cheering ) - Bravo, bravo.
- Gordon: Absolutely amazing.
Now, for the most important part.
Based on this last tasting, one of you three talented individuals will become America's next MasterChef.
Please, very carefully, lift those desserts into the restaurant.
Let's go.
- Shirley: Go, David! - Nathan: Good job, Shaun.
- Come on, Shaun.
- Let's do it! Jackie: You got this, Brandi.
( audience cheering ) Ooh.
What a journey.
Brandi, please bring your desserts forward.
Brandi: I'm super excited about this dessert.
Even though I've got these simple Southern ingredients, it doesn't look like it came from a Kentucky chef.
It looks like it came from a MasterChef.
Brandi, please describe the dish.
Brandi: I have for you a white cornmeal madeleine, with a bourbon caramel sauce, a white chocolate mousse, spiced candied pecans and bourbon-glazed peaches.
Brandi, my one worry is cornmeal inside that mixture.
Why make that mixture dense, gritty, heavy, when madeleines don't taste like that? You always tell us to put ourselves on the plate and a French madeleine wouldn't be Brandi Mudd on the plate.
So I wanted to put my spin on it.
So what would be the difference between you with your madeleines to you with your cornbread? Cornbread is a lot thicker, a lot denser.
These are gonna be light and fluffy.
So you said, "light and fluffy" in the center, - and not heavy? - Mm-hmm.
Brandi, let's get one thing clear.
They are definitely definitely So you said, "light and fluffy" in the center, - and not heavy? - Mm-hmm.
Brandi, let's get one thing clear.
They are definitely, definitely not light.
It's heavy.
The actual peaches, the chocolate mousse, and those caramelized pecans are mind-blowing.
But the madeleines, unfortunately, are nowhere near as light as they should be.
You set your heart on putting your spin on the dessert with the corn.
It just doesn't work.
I think, you know, not every madeleine is equal, because there is many recipe for madeleine.
And for you to put cornmeal, I think it's wonderful.
And this is a comforting and yet sophisticated dessert.
The chocolate mousse, is light, it goes very well with it.
I love your dessert.
I just don't want to compare what I know with what it is.
- Yes, Chef.
- That's all.
Brandi, to me, if you want to call something a "madeleine," it should be something close to it.
But I like the peaches, I like the chocolate mousse, the caramel with the pecans.
I thought, this is enough-- the flavor of the South where you come from.
- Thank you.
- Christina: Listen, Brandi, when those 60 minutes were up out there, these two had the look of fear in their eyes because this dessert is stunning.
I think your whiskey caramel sauce is so delicious that you should jar it and sell it.
I would buy it from you.
Your white chocolate mousse pairs really well with the acidity of the whiskey.
I think you have a lot of winning elements on the dish.
You pushed yourself and I commend you for it.
I'm incredibly proud of you.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Thank you.
Good job, Brandi.
David, please bring your desserts up.
David: My plates are beautiful, there's nothing I would change.
I gave it my all.
I put my heart and soul in that plate.
I focused like I never have in the MasterChef kitchen and I produced the results.
David, please explain in detail your dessert.
David: For you today, I have a fresh cherry, pitted and stuffed with a cherry compote, then glazed with a white chocolate red glaze, a chocolate crémeux, a Kirsch-Chantilly cream, garnished with a cookie crumble and some gold popping candy.
So there's nine different elements on this dish.
Why? I think they all complement each other well.
I mean, the textures-- there's so many different textures on the plate.
The popping candy gives it the crackle, the cookie crumble gives it some substance, the airiness of the Chantilly cream, the smoothness of the mousse, and then the bite of the cherry with the tart taste.
I tried it without certain elements and it always needed something more.
Once I put them all together, it really felt like it was complete.
- Christina: Looks beautiful.
- Thank you, Chef.
Wolfgang: David, visually, a stunning dish.
And once you eat everything together, the crémeux, the whipped cream, the cherry compote, and the cherry with the sour cherry filling in it, I think it's a great marriage of different textures and flavors together.
So to me, that's what a dessert should be like.
Full of flavor, not too sweet, and just enough so that you want a little bit more.
Visually, you really hit the nail on the head.
I love the classic cherry and chocolate combination.
I think that your chocolate crumbs brought a nice surprise texture that I thought was very welcoming.
It's certainly thought-evoking.
And that in and of itself is definitely an accomplishment.
Thank you, Chef.
David, the menu you did was a little bit heavy front, and the middle you kind of catch up pretty well, and you want to finish with just lightness.
And I think you succeed on that.
Taste-wise, very interesting.
Very intense in cherry.
I would have loved a little bit more whipped cream and chocolate, but everything tastes very good and you want to go back and scrape the plate.
- I like it very much.
- Thank you, Chef.
Ah, David, there's good and bad parts to this.
And I'm gonna start off with the positives.
Love the chocolate.
Love the mousse.
It's you on a plate, definitely.
It's so nice to see you back with that kind of attitude, 'cause that's what it's got.
Now for the bad news.
Don't glaze, dip, stuff a cherry unless you can make that cherry taste better that it did naturally just in there.
So it's out there, it is good, but it just needs a spine-- that foundation that you build out on.
'Cause there's little bits of everything.
You're scared to be simple, 'cause you think it looks inadequate.
But I think out of the three courses tonight, this is you, without a shadow of a doubt.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Wolfgang: Thank you, David.
Daniel: Thank you.
Finally, Shaun.
Please, bring your desserts forward.
Shaun: I'm really likin' my dessert.
It's a pretty simple dish, but the flavor is amazing.
That caramel came out perfect.
The ganache came out perfect.
The tart crust came out perfect.
I think I nailed it.
Shaun, please describe the dish.
Shaun: A salted caramel dark chocolate tart with a raspberry coulis.
Shaun, it looks simple, it looks elegant.
My big worry is that this is the kind of tart that you take one mouthful and then push it away, because it could be so sweet, so sickly.
Shaun: That's the risk I knew I was taking because it is such a rich dish.
But I'm hoping the raspberry kinda comes in and cleans out-- cleans out the palate.
Now, Shaun, let's get real.
When I slice into it, it should be a beautiful, clean slice.
Yes, Chef.
And that bite better not be my only bite.
I'm hopin' it's not, Chef.
This slice of tart is worth - a quarter of a million dollars.
- Oh, man.
Here we go.
Shaun, this slice of tart is worth a quarter of a million dollars.
Here we go.
That tart, look at it.
It just hugs the contour in an even layer through.
Looks like a tiny slice of pie.
Let's see how it tastes.
Oh, man.
Are you speechless? It's it's ( bleep ) delicious.
Absolute delicious.
Love the texture of the salted caramel.
The ganache ratio is spot on.
I'm dying to get a second, third, fourth bite.
It's not too sweet.
But you baked that beautiful chocolate tart brilliantly, and then screwed it up by sitting it on a damp bed of raspberry coulis.
That's the bit I don't get.
You know, Shaun, I thought that the dough in the bottom is a little undercooked.
It's not crispy as I want it to be.
But the salted caramel with the bittersweet chocolate actually works so well together and I don't think I really need the raspberries with it.
The dough, the dough is good, considering you had 60 minutes to make this dessert.
To make the dough, to rest the dough, to bake the dough-- I mean, it was definitely up to a challenge.
- Yes, Chef.
- And I think you really succeeded in that challenge.
- Thank you, Chef.
- The caramel, it was perfect.
It's something you go back to it, because it's addictive.
( chuckles ) Shaun, for me you couldn't ask for a more beautiful, delicious salted caramel filling.
The chocolate ganache on top is luxurious.
I think playing it simple, yet keeping it deep and complex was the smartest move you could've made tonight.
Thank you very much, Chef.
Thank you.
Nice job, Shaun.
David, Brandi and Shaun, whatever the result, I have never felt any prouder.
Shaun: Thank you, Chef.
It was an honor to be here.
We have a lot to discuss.
The next time we see you, we will be telling you which one of you three is America's next MasterChef.
Off you go.
( cheering, applause ) Now, after all these amazing tastings we have to pick one.
We're talking about the complete three-course menu-- that meal that each home cook served us this evening.
Let's start with David's.
He started off with that amazing beet-cured salmon with that soft egg wrapped in the phyllo paste.
Daniel: David's eggs was perfect.
And the connection-- horseradish, beet, poppy seeds.
A pinch of salt over would have helped for sure, but I found it very impressive.
Gordon: Then we have the guinea hen wrapped in Savoy cabbage with foie gras, morel cream sauce, glazed Thumbelina carrots.
Talk about ups and downs.
The sauce was amazing.
The execution of the dish was dreadful.
I think he tried to show us that he's a very good technician.
I loved the sauce, the sauce is important in the dish.
Yes, but in that case, the sauce didn't save the dish.
If the main ingredient is not really right, - I'm-- you are in the ( bleep ).
- Christina: Yeah.
Gordon: And then dessert-- that incredible-looking symphony of cherries.
To the eyes, it definitely had that appeal.
It just wasn't cohesive.
I do not agree with you at all.
The cream, the cherry, the chocolate mousse, - the chocolate-- - Daniel: There was not enough chocolate mousse.
- There was not enough cream.
- But I tasted-- - There was not enough crumble.
- Maybe for you.
But I really loved to have just one spoonful - and say, "I'm dreaming.
" - ( Christina chuckles ) David: I am so proud, and I hope the judges see the thought that went into my menu, and the technique in all my courses.
I didn't hold anything back.
I took a risk, I tried to be creative.
I'm not settling for second place.
Brandi-- for her appetizer, she gave us the cubes of braised pork belly, tossed in that apricot barbecue sauce.
The pork belly, she nailed.
The flavor was incredible.
Christina: I loved that apricot barbecue glaze.
It was light, it was beautiful.
And I think that gastrique was really the dish.
- It was delicious.
- Christina: The entrée from Brandi-- that seared duck breast, wilted greens, ramp hush puppies.
The cooking on the duck was brilliant.
The flavor profile, we never need to worry about Brandi's flavor.
It's there instantly.
The pork belly and then the duck.
They were too similar for me to have it on the menu.
- ( groans ) - Christina: And then, of course, Brandi's dessert.
Cornmeal madeleines, white chocolate mousse, caramelized bourbon peaches and the spiced candied pecans.
By far, the most stunning dish that Brandi brought us.
I thought her whiskey caramel was delicious.
I thought her white chocolate mousse was delicious.
Corn, though.
Corn? I hated the idea of making madeleine with the cornmeal, but at the end, I like what she did.
Brandi: I've grown into something so much more than what I was when I came here.
I'm not just a small-town Southern cook anymore.
My plates look like they came out of a Michelin restaurant but at the same time, I've stayed true to my roots and I believe that I deserve to win this.
Shaun-- now, those amazing halibut cheeks marinated in miso and then those pickled mushrooms, and the uni and the foam.
The hero was nailed beautifully but he went way off-piece and he got too excited, like a kid in a candy store.
It was confused.
He got so caught up in the emotion of the story, that he wasn't then thinking enough like a chef.
Gordon: And then following that was this incredible venison loin.
The venison worked.
He had every note on that beautiful wooden board - that harmonized.
- Wolfgang: This one had color, texture-- it had the whole thing.
- "The whole shebang," as we say.
- ( chuckles ) Gordon: And then dessert, that salted caramel tart with that raspberry purée.
He had a great balance of flavor in that salted caramel filling.
He had a nice, rich, smooth chocolate ganache.
And the raspberry coulis brought the acidity that was needed.
- Daniel: Pure simplicity - Gordon: Yeah.
is the harder thing to do, something simple and restrained like that.
Pretty impressive.
Shaun: I think I deserve to win because we've all had our flaws, but I was definitely the only one who adapted and who took the critiques and changed their path.
Now it's all in the judges' hands and I'll respect their decision, but I think I did enough.
Daniel: MasterChef, it's about someone who show passion, technique, creativity and something where we haven't seen.
Whose three-course meal do we want to eat again? Nobody nailed all three courses, - let's get that right.
- Agreed, agreed.
So who had the best two courses? Wolfgang, you saw them all from the beginning.
Who's your choice? ( sighs ) I don't know.
( mutters ) Damn.
I think we have a decision.
Let's go tell them.
( cheering ) Whoo! Whoo! I'm just Brandi.
I'm just a teacher from Irvington.
That's all I am.
There's no bells and whistles.
I want everyone to see that you really can do anything that you set your mind to.
David: I don't want to let my daughter Liliana down.
I'm sure she'll be proud no matter how it goes, but I really want to be able to take that trophy home and let it sit in her room, and let her be proud and tell all her friends that her daddy is the next MasterChef.
Shaun: Winning this competition, I'm gonna make everybody that was cheering for me proud-- from my mom to past contestants.
I'm gonna make Vegas proud.
And I'm gonna make my dad proud.
Shaun, Brandi, David, let's get one thing straight.
All three of you have grown so much across this competition.
Tonight, you three proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are definitely the three best home cooks anywhere in the country.
That's why we'd like David, Brandi and Shaun to switch places with us, 'cause that's where you belong.
Please, come over.
( cheering ) Whoo! Wow.
One of you is about to win a life-changing quarter of a million dollars.
Christina: One of you is about to win the opportunity to publish your very own cookbook and to sail the Caribbean on the MasterChef cruise.
And one of you is about to win this.
The most sought-after honor in the culinary world, the title of "MasterChef.
" The winner of "MasterChef" is congratulations - Shaun! - ( screaming ) ( cheering, applause ) I really did it! Shaun: I just won "MasterChef"! I just won a quarter of a million dollars.
Oh! This is the greatest day of my life.
- ( pops ) - Bring it on, baby! Whoo! Yeah! I think I'm done with deejaying.
My heart is in food.
My heart is representing "MasterChef.
" I feel like this is what I was put on this planet for.
My father is pushing me on.
( sobs ) He'd be so proud.
I wish my dad was here, big time.
But he is.
- Awesome! - I love you.
David: Shaun was a great chef from day one, and he executed and performed in the finale and he deserved to win.
I gave it everything I had, it just wasn't good enough to win.
I'm happy for my Vegas brother.
You know how much I love you.
You are so amazing.
Don't you ever stop what you're doin'.
I'm proud that I've shown my students and my kids that they can reach for their dreams and they can get out there and they can do whatever they want.
You know, I'm glad that I put myself out there.
I'm glad that I took the risk.
( cheering ) Whoo-hoo! Shaun: This changes my life.
This changes everything.
All of my dreams came true today.
- All of 'em.
- I am MasterChef! ( cheering ) Whoo!