Masterchef (2010) s09e11 Episode Script

The Kids are Alright

1 Or: Tonight, the MasterChef restaurant opens its doors to the world's toughest food critics.
- Oh! - Oh, my God.
We have invited some of the toughest, most revered palates Let's go! Let's go! Put these back in.
- I need steaks over here.
- in all of the land.
- And - ( cheers and applause ) - a special guest - Christina Tosi, the queen of cakes.
with the ultimate challenge.
I don't know if I made the right decision investing my apron in you.
- Whoo! - Come on down.
Let's go.
Top 14! Mark: Top 14 cooks in America, and I feel like I deserve it more than anybody.
Nice.
I might be, on the surface, a 19-year-old who looks like he needs babysitting, but I will tell you what.
Coming from such a strong culinary background, you know, my parents being chefs, being mentored by a restaurateur like Joe Bastianich, I know what I'm doing, and I couldn't feel more confident with what's happening.
Welcome back to the MasterChef kitchen, everybody.
Looks a little bit different in here, right? All: Yes.
Well, that is because tonight we have guests.
Our world-class restaurant is running a full service this evening.
- Okay.
- Guys, trust me.
Tonight's diners are guests that you really want to impress.
You'll be working in two teams of seven.
Julia and S.
J.
, because you won that five ingredients challenge, tonight you both are the captains.
- Please come and join us.
- Whoo! Julia: How exciting is this? I had a great experience last time I was team captain, and now, having another challenge, this is one more opportunity to make my mentor proud, let him know I'm gonna be here till the end.
Okay, so first team pick goes to S.
J.
So, this person, I've seen what he can do in the kitchen.
His technical skills and abilities are out of this world.
He's the youngest in the competition.
- My first pick is Mark.
- Nice.
S.
J.
: Team challenges, I'm honestly a little bit scared of them.
So my strategy is to pick people who can be like little mini captains, where everyone checks and balances each other.
That's a great key for victory.
Okay, Julia, now we go to you.
This person is amazing to work with.
- My first pick is Ralph.
- Thank you, Julia.
All right, S.
J.
- Gerron.
- All right.
- Thank you, brother.
- Joe: Julia.
- Farhan.
- Joe: Farhan.
When I'm picking people, I'm looking for the full package.
- Cesar.
- Joe: Cesar.
I don't want somebody who can just cook, but then can't talk to other team members.
Taylor.
I want people who are gonna work together, communicate - Sam.
- And not feel like they're know-it-alls.
I don't want any drama in the kitchen.
- Chelsea.
- Joe: Chelsea.
- Thank you.
- S.
J.
, back to you.
- Emily.
- Joe: Emily.
- Emily, you're happy, huh? - Little bit.
- Ashley.
- Joe: Ashley.
S.
J.
, with this last decision, you will complete Julia's team for her.
I am going to go with Bowen.
Joe: Wow! Shanika, welcome to the red team.
Looking at my final team, I'm a little bit nervous working with Shanika.
She tends to think that all of her ideas are right, and she's very strong-willed, and I really hope that she'll know that she's gotta help everybody else and work as a team.
Right.
Now that you know your teams, you should know there's even more on the line, because tonight's winning dish will be featured in "Family Circle" magazine in October's issue! - Oh, my God.
- Yes! "Family Circle" is America's best-selling food and family magazine, reaching 15 million readers each month.
- Wow.
- To be in "Family Circle" magazine would be such a pivotal moment for all of us as home cooks.
For other people to read our recipe and recreate our food would be a dream come true.
So, your challenge will be to make an entrée worthy of a fine dining restaurant.
And you'll be making those entrées for some of the toughest, some of the most refined, experienced, revered palates in all of the land.
Tonight, both teams will have to cook using the incredible ingredients in those crates.
Red team, blue team, please, wheel your crates to your stations.
- Got it.
- Whatever is in that box, we have to execute at the highest level possible, because not only are we creating a fine dining dish for our guests, but we're also cooking in order to get that recipe in the magazine.
This team challenge definitely raises the bar just a bit.
Each team will be making entrées for a full restaurant, and you'll have just 90 minutes.
Each guest will be served one entrée from each team, and vote on which dish they prefer.
Tonight's winning team will be safe from elimination, and the losing team, of course, will face the dreaded pressure test.
- Everybody ready? - All: Yes, Chef.
Your 90 minutes starts now! Let's go, let's go, let's go.
Open it up.
- Oh! - Yes! - S.
J.
: Strip filet, cod, tuna.
- It's on, y'all.
Oh, my-- - Come on, bro.
- Those mushrooms are awesome.
Got some quinoa, couscous.
- Oh, my gosh, there's truffles.
- Wow.
What's that? Bottarga.
Oh, look at how gorgeous.
All right, let's plan, let's plan.
What do we think about the protein? - I'm thinking the tuna.
- The tuna.
Tuna looks nice.
- Don't you like steak? - I like-- - Aren't you a steak girl? - I like the filet.
What are you thinking, S.
J.
? So I'm definitely thinking the New York strip.
You know the fat right here, we can render it off.
Get the marbling on there, too.
Get a nice hard sear.
We're gonna do filet.
Who has experience in cooking meat? - And don't lie about it.
- I could do it, if you-- - We're doing medium rare, right? - We could do, like, a roasted asparagus, roasted peewees, - and a New York strip with a béarnaise.
- Yeah? I mean, I'm very safe with egg sauces.
- I love that.
- Okay, yeah, perfect.
- Break! - Ralph, Farhan, steaks.
Taylor, Shanika, broccolini.
Ashley and Chelsea, you guys are gonna do purées.
- Oh.
Okay.
- Yeah, let's go.
- Ready? - All: Red team! Come on.
All of you, speed up, guys.
Shanika: We're speeding.
Get organized.
Check in with me every, like, five minutes, okay? - We need to check everything, okay? - Yeah, I'm checking everything.
- Emily: Everyone.
- Gordon: Wow.
The MasterChef restaurant is sold out.
The people who are coming are of the most demanding kind, and they have every ingredient available to satiate those demands.
These are thick-ass steaks.
We need to figure out a game plan for cooking them.
Do we wanna start seasoning the steaks? - I think so.
- Yeah, start seasoning.
- Salt and pepper, simple.
- I'm thinking start it off in the pan, and then close in the oven to a medium rare.
'Cause we have to get 40 portions out at the same time.
That's the tricky part with this filet.
Julia was a team captain in the last team challenge and won, so she has that kind of confidence and that experience behind her.
How's the broccolini? - Good.
- Coming up.
- Okay.
- She has a strong personality, and I think unlike the blue team, she wants to be that single voice.
Blue team, much more democratic.
Hey, S.
J.
, what do you think about getting a little bit of truffle shave under the melted leeks? - Is it gonna go well? - I think right on top, one slice of truffle to mimic the mushrooms that we have.
Heard that.
That's a good idea, yeah.
Gordon: S.
J.
's in the middle of the pack.
- Can he lead? - He's young.
They have a lot of talented people, a lot of opinions, maybe too many opinions on the blue team.
That's what worries me.
Gordon: Tonight is his time to shine.
When they see who's judging their food, their jaws are going to drop.
All right, guys.
Work quick, guys, work quick.
Red team, blue team, listen up.
Our guests are arriving now.
Please welcome very special guests ( cheers and applause ) Hey! Oh, my God.
They're kids! - Hi, guys! - Boys and girls, welcome.
( Gasps ) What's up, guys? How you doing? How you doing? I'm looking at these kids, and it's good to see somebody else a little bit closer to my age.
Look at you guys.
High-five, high-five.
- Hey, guys! - Welcome, welcome.
Your table is waiting.
Woman: Hi, beautiful! Come here, bud.
Come here, princess.
- Are you two hungry? - Both: Yes.
- What are hoping for? - Pizza.
Pizza.
Pizza? Both: Yeah.
All right, so then that means this really has to be kid-friendly.
Good to see you both.
Enjoy dinner.
I can't wait to hear your feedback.
Your table for two awaits you.
Don't get flustered.
Shanika: Julia, what the hell are we gonna do now? Six-year-olds are not gonna eat bloody steak.
40 minutes to go.
Farhan: Julia, should we rethink the steak for the kids? It's all right.
We'll work it out.
This is a disaster.
Julia: I need steaks over here! Gordon: In 20 minutes from now, we have to start plating.
Speed up, guys.
Let's go.
Joe: They're hungry, these kids-- Between six and nine years old with big appetites.
Julia, should we rethink how we cook the steak for the kids? - What do you want, medium or well done? - Medium, medium well.
- Heard.
- And listen, Chelsea, that purée-- These are kids, they don't like to eat vegetables, so I want a little bit sweeter so they don't think it's a vegetable.
- Okay? - I got you, girl.
- Right, Captain Julia.
- Yes.
Give me an insight into the menu.
- What are you doing? - We have a pan-seared filet with a leek and bacon cream sauce, butternut squash purée, - and sautéed broccolini.
- Okay.
- You've seen our guests.
- I do.
Are we adapting? We're gonna make the purée a little bit sweeter for them.
The sauce, I'm not gonna put too much of it.
And then I'm doing some Parmesan tuiles that we're gonna put on top of the filet.
- Be careful, it's Parmesan cheese.
- Yes, Chef.
It's not every six-year-old's choice of cheese.
- I understand.
- If it was cheddar, I'd get it.
- So just be smart.
- Okay.
And you, you need to wake up.
- See this one here? - This one, yes.
Yeah, and look at the furthest one away.
One's got no color on, one's got lots of color on.
They're a different cookness.
I'll get it consistent, Chef.
- All the same, yes? - All the same, yes, Chef.
- I heard.
- Let's go.
- Where are the thick ones? - These need to cook a little longer.
Julia: Keep it going, guys.
I got béarnaise done in 15, 20 minutes.
Perfect, perfect.
If you guys need anything, keep talking to me.
Just let me know.
S.
J.
S.
J.
! - What's going on? What's the dish? - Yes, Joe.
So, we'll be-- ( stammers ) We are doing a pan-seared New York strip - Okay.
- With a, uh-- Wait, Emily, what was the-- Uh, the fennel? - Or the leeks? Oh, yeah, leeks.
- Emily: Leeks.
You don't know what your dish is.
- You're the captain.
You have to know.
- Oh, no-- yeah, sorry.
- Mark.
What's the dish? - Yes, sir.
Maybe Mark knows what the dish is.
We're doing a seared New York strip with a béarnaise sauce, roasted mushroom, smashed and fried potatoes with a few things of asparagus, frizzled leeks, and a shave of truffle.
Okay, S.
J.
, that's how you do it.
- You gotta call it out.
- Got you.
Have you adapted your dish for the young palates? They're gonna be voting.
They're gonna decide between the two dishes.
You know, we're gonna generally follow along the same route that we've been following.
We do have other elements that we think, you know, kids would really like, like the fried potatoes with the fried leeks as well.
Just be mindful of a kid's palate.
How about the seasoning, the truffles? - Eighty-six the truffles.
Yes.
- Okay.
Mark.
You think it's a good idea to cook your béarnaise like that? That aggressively over that? - Absolutely.
I've made it better over this way.
- How about a double boiler? It's faster.
A double boiler takes too long.
You have plenty of time.
Do you wanna make it right - or do you wanna make it wrong? - I gotta make it right this way.
This is the way my father taught me and I'll continue to do it forever.
- But, Mark, seriously, you come from a restaurant.
- Yes, sir.
- You know you do things the right way.
- Right.
This shouldn't be a time for you to take risks or shortcuts.
Any brunch service I've been a part of, with all due respect to the true technique, this is how I've done it.
There's a right and a wrong way to do it.
- Absolutely.
- And you're telling me at 19, - you're gonna reinvent béarnaise? - I'm not saying anybody's wrong or one right technique is better than the other, - just that this is my own.
- All right.
All right, guys.
The béarnaise, I really don't think is a good idea to serve anymore.
Mark: What kind of sauce do you need? Emily: There's no time to reconstruct it.
Just make it creamy, make it delicious, less acidic.
Okay, fine, we're sticking with the béarnaise.
We're gonna make it a little more creamy, though.
- Mark, can you handle-- okay.
- Yes.
I believe in you, I believe in you.
- Thank you.
- Yeah.
Aarón: Get this, Gordon.
Mark's cooking the béarnaise with the bowl in direct contact to the flame.
Gordon: Raw egg yolks? Don't do that to us, especially for tonight's clients.
- Oh, my gosh.
- We need 40, so Julia: Ralph, are you almost done? Chef, I'm worried about these thick ones.
- Are we plating, red team? - Yes.
- All right, guys.
- Julia: This is how it's gonna look, guys.
- A happy face? Why the smiley face? - Yes! Why is the sky blue? If your dish goes into the magazine, do you want it to have a smiley face, captain? If it's for a six-year-old, yes.
Are you a six-year-old? - But it also has an opportunity-- - Are you a six-year-old? Have you ever been on a winning team, Shanika? - Ooh! Ooh, okay.
- 'Cause I've been on two.
Just saying.
Ashley: This isn't, like, a happy meal.
- Listen, they're not babies.
- Yes? - Shanika: I told ya.
- That's just a little bit amateurish.
We don't need ridiculous smiley faces three times.
- Be smart, guys.
Okay? - Okay.
Get 'em off, get 'em off.
Fine.
I have an idea.
- One circle like that.
- Beautiful.
- Steak on.
Done.
- Heard.
- Like that? - Yeah, perfect, perfect.
- Captain of the blue team, S.
J.
, are we plating? - Yes, we are, Chef.
- I got béarnaise done.
- Let's go, let's go.
- Blue team.
Stop.
- Yes, Chef.
- Come on, Mark.
Have you tasted that? - I have tasted that.
- S.
J.
, have you seen how runny this is? - Yes, Chef.
Making a béarnaise sauce is difficult.
The reason why we put up a double boiler is we cook the eggs into a sabayon, which then takes on the clarified butter, which gives a bit of body to the béarnaise.
- Yes, yes.
- But I'm gonna stop you now.
Ten years at doing this competition, I'm not gonna be responsible for sending undercooked egg yolks.
- I apologize.
- Understood? I think we're scrapping the sauce.
- Can you help slice, Mark, please? - Yep.
And as a captain, you've just gone silent.
How many times have I told you, don't work with a mistake? - Yes, Chef.
- And you just shut down like a six-year-old.
We gotta work with what we got.
Gordon: We still have 10 minutes to go.
Julia: I need a steak over here, guys.
Aarón: Make sure you're checking those temperatures, guys.
- Yes, Chef.
- Gordon: Come on, Farhan! That's rare.
I thought you said medium.
- Look.
- They're rare.
It's bloody! No kid's gonna eat that.
No kids do that, no.
Hey.
It's not ( bleep ) Halloween.
Come on.
Farhan, you can't serve rare meat to kids.
They're gonna open it up, they're gonna say, "Ew, it's gross.
" You have to get it well done for these kids.
- We need the votes.
- Seven and a half minutes to go.
- I need these steaks now, guys.
- Yes, heard.
- Put 'em back in the oven.
- We can't leave it in the oven - and just plate these in seven minutes.
- Farhan, come on! Julia: We need the steaks out now.
Farhan, come on! - Julia: We need the steaks out now.
- No, they need to be-- Okay, we have five minutes.
Farhan: This is like a steak knife through my heart.
I've put every steak we have back in the oven, crank it up to 450, and I'm gonna let 'em sit there until the last minute.
That's the Hail Mary that I'm gonna throw, and pray that these kids do not get a raw steak tonight.
These right here need to cook longer.
- I got you, I got you.
- I'm gonna get these plated, all right? When you put down plates, you put the M at the top and you plate every plate the exact same, 'cause these all look out of order now.
- Yeah.
- Two minutes.
Let's go, guys, come on! Each plate should be identical.
We're gonna serve three thick slices.
Oh, no, that one has so much fat on it.
Emily: If they're too rare, do not put 'em on.
- Let's pull the steaks.
- Hurry up.
Guys, move out of the way.
I gotta get the steaks.
- Go ahead.
- Here you go.
Come on, Julia, rally round.
Finish 'em off.
Come on.
Get 'em on.
Get 'em on, Farhan.
You don't have to look at me.
Just put 'em on high.
Go, let's go, guys.
Slice and give, slice and give.
Coming in, more portions.
Bowen, do leeks.
Bowen, I need leeks.
Gordon: Come on, guys.
Please, finish strong.
Judges: Ten, nine, eight, - seven, six - Here you go.
- Five, four - Here you go.
Here you go.
- three, two, one.
- And stop.
Service, please.
Let's go.
These kids are hungry.
Plates nice and flat, please, thank you.
- Let's go.
- I feel like I could have been more decisive when it came to the judges' advice, especially Gordon, my mentor.
You know, if we eliminated the béarnaise earlier, we could've gotten some kind of simple sauce out.
I just really hope that it doesn't make or break the quality of the overall dish.
- Thank you.
- Here we go, ladies.
- Girl: Thank you.
- Waiter: Of course.
Julia: I really hope that I made my mentor Chef Aarón proud of me today.
We adapted our dish to make 'em more kid-friendly.
Thank you.
If the steak is cooked properly, I think we have a really good chance at pulling this out.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming into the MasterChef restaurant tonight to be our very special guests.
So, the red team has served a beautiful filet mignon served over creamed leeks, crispy Parmesan, butternut squash purée, and broccolini.
And the blue team has served some beautiful New York strip, crispy potatoes, wild mushrooms, and some asparagus.
It's up to you to decide which dish you like the best.
- Does everybody understand? - All: Yes! Enjoy your two dishes.
As we say in France, bon appétit.
- Girl: Eat it.
- Mmm! I think this is gonna be a hard decision to make.
- Yeah.
- I would vote for the blue team, because the meat easy to cut.
- True.
- Comparatively, I mean, there's pluses and minuses for both dishes.
I mean, they have like a full filet on their plate that I think is probably underdone.
Bowen: I feel, like, really confident about we sliced the beef for the children.
Right.
The red team gave you the filet mignon.
- How is that? - I love the mignon, but I would not prefer the sauce.
- It's like too sweet.
Yep.
- So the purée's too sweet.
I think the red team's steak was a little overcooked - a little bit.
The blue is better.
- Wow.
- Like, more juicy.
- I think maybe they should've had, like, another little thing.
- Like, maybe a little sauce? - That's interesting.
And what would you prefer? Red or blue? - Um, blue.
- Blue.
Interesting.
- And? - Blue.
- Blue.
So, this is a blue table.
- Yeah.
So, tell me about the red team.
What do you think? It was good.
Undercooked, but not undercooked like the blue team's dish.
- Undercooked.
You can see how red that is.
- Yeah.
Oh, dear.
That's so rare, it can go back in the field.
( Girl chuckles ) Julia: I think that we adjusted the hell out of this menu after we saw those kids.
I feel really good about everything that we put on the plate.
I think that we did the best that we could.
We did not fall apart.
We adapted.
We win as a team, we lose as a team.
- Yeah.
Absolutely.
- All right, guys.
Yeah.
Which one do you like better, Gigi? I like the steak on the blue plate.
The dish looks prettier.
I like the red team.
The red team's? Why? ( Mumbling ) Girl: Wait, did you take one? So, are you ready to meet the teams - All: Yeah! - That cooked this wonderful dinner for you guys? All: Yeah! Well, here they are! - The red team! - ( cheers and applause ) Hey! - And the blue team! - ( cheers and applause ) Hi, guys! Now for the moment of truth.
All of you kids have eaten both dishes and voted on the one that you preferred.
With 66% of the votes this evening, the winning team congratulations - the red team! - ( cheers and applause ) Gordon: Well done, the red team.
Not only are you safe from elimination, your dish will be featured in October's issue of "Family Circle" magazine.
Winning team, head up to the balcony.
- Thank you, guys! - Joe: Losing team, please follow us, and put on your black aprons.
Gerron: Mark had one job, to make this sauce to perfection.
It just sucks that one kid, his know-it-all attitude, got us all sent to the pressure test.
Same thing I tell my students, if you're not prepared to learn, you're in for disaster.
90 minutes to cook for 40 six-year-olds.
Shocking performance.
What happened? Mark, he thinks he knows everything.
He's done learning.
And, you know, your parents have a diner, doesn't mean you know everything.
This is wrong.
It was my own arrogance to not listen to three of you-- Mark, arrogance? Are you kidding me? You remember that we made a deal.
You were gonna listen to me, and together we were gonna take you to the finale.
Well, you just decided to take your own road.
You're in "MasterChef.
" If you're directed to do something properly and you choose not to do it, then I don't know if I made the right decision investing my apron in you.
Tonight you started as a team, but now you're about to face the dreaded pressure test.
This pressure test is so daunting that we needed to invite another judge to join us.
A two-time James Beard award-winner, author of three best-selling cook books.
All of you, turn around.
Please welcome back a member of our family, the amazing, talented - Christina Tosi! - ( cheers and applause ) Yay! Oh, my God! I love baking and pastries, and I really look up to Christina Tosi so much.
You know, the culinary school she went to is the one that I would like to go to, and I wanna go there because I wanna be as successful as the queen of cakes.
I really hope I can impress her.
Hi, home cooks.
- Hey, Christina.
- Hi, Chef.
Gordon, Aarón, and Joe told me you were making kids their dinner tonight.
So, I brought dessert.
- Oh! - Wow! Cupcakes.
Oh, my gosh.
As you can see, these cupcakes, they're not child's play.
They're modern culinary masterpieces.
There's color, there's personality, and slicing through a cupcake, they're light and spongy in the center.
Cupcakes, they were one of the first things I ever made in my own kitchen back in Virginia.
And if you get it wrong tonight, they might be the last thing you make in the MasterChef kitchen.
Tonight, we are leaving this decision completely in Christina Tosi's hands.
You are not gonna get anything less than perfection past Christina tonight.
Home cooks, head to your stations.
In that last challenge, I definitely had a rough time.
But I have plenty of experience baking, and I will tell you what.
It's a good thing that the only person deciding my fate is Christina.
Gordon: You all have the exact same ingredients to perfect your cupcakes.
Aarón: In the equipment room, you'll find an endless amount of extra twists.
You can decorate any way you want, but whatever choices you guys make, all of you will have just 75 minutes to make us a box of 12 beautiful cupcakes.
Christina: All right, home cooks, your 75 minutes starts now.
- Let's go, guys.
- Let's go, y'all.
- Let's go, guys.
- Whoo! Let's go, girl! Tonight I'm making three different flavors.
Green tea flavor, vanilla flavor, and tiramisu flavor.
I never had any cupcake in China, so my strategy is more chance to be safe with more flavors.
I'm going to be doing a vanilla cupcake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, with the honey butter drizzle, brûlée banana slices, and candied hazelnuts.
Keep it up, S.
J.
Baking for Christina Tosi is kinda like trying to show Roger Federer your serve.
It's a little bit daunting, but it's a great chance to cook for a great chef.
I'm gonna be making ginger and spice cupcakes, similar to Mexican candy, where it's spicy, tangy on the outside, but it's sweet on the inside.
I grew up with it, and while baking's not my strong suit, I think I've practiced enough to keep me in the competition today.
All right, so, Chef Christina, talk to us about the A to "zed" of a perfect cupcake.
What do we need to be looking for? Christina: Timing is key here.
First things first, you need to start making that cupcake batter.
Cream, butter, sugar.
You start to add your eggs, maybe your flavoring, your dry ingredients with your salt, your baking powder, your baking soda-- And in the right increments is key.
Christina, Aarón has four home cooks wearing his pin, Gordon has five home cooks wearing his pin, and I have just five home cooks wearing my pin.
Tonight, who stays and who goes is all in your hands.
Not only their fate, our fate as well.
Mentor, no mentor, for me, it's either great or it's not.
A cupcake doesn't lie.
Come on, Gerron, you got this.
Nice even portions.
Right, Samantha, what are you making? So, I've done a lemon cupcake, and then I'm gonna fill it with a lemon curd and have the raspberry butter cream.
This cupcake is something I've done with my sorority sisters.
We actually entered it in a cupcake contest and we won.
- So-- yes, we won.
- Did-- you won.
- Give that box some beauty.
Good luck.
- Yes, Chef.
Thank you, Chef.
Gordon: 45 minutes remaining.
You've got to get that batter in the oven.
Come on.
Let's go.
Cupcakes in the oven.
A cupcake takes about 25 minutes to bake.
If you've managed your time properly, by now you should be focusing on the fillings, - the frosting, the decor.
- Joe: Got it.
- ( Humming ) - Emily, my star apron.
Introduce yourself to my friend Christina Tosi.
Hello! I would shake your hand, - but I've got lemon juice all over me.
- What are you making tonight? So, I'm aiming for two different cupcakes.
Chocolate, salted caramel cream-filled cupcake with a chai buttercream frosting.
And then the second one will be a lemon meringue cupcake.
I'm from Neenah, Wisconsin.
Very small town.
I'm a baker at heart.
So, honestly, when you walked through the door, I was pretty excited and I was hoping that you were gonna give us a baking challenge, 'cause I've been waiting for it.
- Good luck, Emily.
- Thank you.
That's what we're looking for.
- All right, Gerron, I see ya.
- Go, Gerron.
Right, young man, describe your cupcakes.
So, I'm from Louisville, Kentucky, and it's The Bourbon State, so I'm gonna do a bourbon buttercream.
But I've also decided to do a banana walnut cupcake because it was my mom's favorite flavor.
She loved banana walnut bread, so I just wanna incorporate the two.
- Sounds amazing.
Good luck.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Keep going.
Let's go.
- Thank you.
20 minutes to go.
Your cupcakes should be out.
Perfect.
Gordon: And chilled.
- Oh, God! - Oh, sorry, sorry.
And you should start to think about those finishing touches.
- Joe: Okay, Mark.
- Yes, Chef.
Young Mark, wearing my apron, is a dishwasher from Maine.
He works in his parents' family restaurant.
Christina: That's fantastic.
What's going on over here? I am making a strawberry, lemongrass, and mint cupcake based on a very popular cocktail at my mother's restaurant.
I'm macerating some strawberries right now for a filling, and then it's gonna be just a very simple mint buttercream for the topping.
- Make it happen.
- Thank you.
Guys, we're down to five minutes now.
Farhan: What's he trying to do? - He has no time for this right now.
- He doesn't.
I think that Mark is in real trouble today.
Aarón: Mark is filling his cupcakes with strawberries right now.
- And he's making a jam-- - Strawberries are full of water, right? It could start to leech out water all over your cupcake.
( Groans ) It's not what it needs to be.
They didn't rise.
Minutes from now, it's somebody's last time - in the MasterChef kitchen.
- ( sighs ) Okay.
It is so thick in here, you can cut it with knife.
Two minutes remaining.
Remember, we're looking for a box of immaculate cupcakes.
Joe: What's Emily doing? Is she blasting the meringue? Christina: That, for me, is incredibly impressive.
- 60 seconds.
Mark! Let's go.
- What is Mark doing? Christina: Start thinking about walking down here, home cooks.
Gordon: 30 seconds to go.
Close the box.
What's Mark doing? He's just started piping.
Whatever you've got, put some in the box.
- Come on, Mark.
- Mark's just starting to put them in.
- Gordon: Come on, S.
J.
- Joe: Come on! - Gordon: 15 seconds to go.
- S.
J.
, do not let this be what takes you down.
Come on, Mark.
Aarón: Ten seconds! - Oh, my God.
- Judges: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
That was pretty intense.
We call it a pressure test for a reason.
Now let's begin the tasting.
All right, Emily, let's take a look.
Well, Emily, you talk a good game, but I gotta tell you they're gorgeous.
- Tell me about the flavors.
- So, the chocolate cupcake is stuffed with salted caramel, a chai buttercream frosting, and a little bit of gold luster dust.
The other is just a lemon cupcake with a meringue frosting.
Your meringue's incredibly impressive.
How long did you whip the egg whites for? I whipped them over the double boiler until the sugar dissolved, and then I just whipped them until they were cool and held a soft peak.
The flavor's balanced, and visually, these cupcakes are perfect.
But from a technique standpoint, you gotta be careful with that bake time, 'cause I've got a lot of that cake behind and that's not ideal.
You did a really impressive job tonight.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Congratulations.
- I'm gonna go with the chocolate one.
- Yes.
Salted caramel is kinda soaked into the cake.
Mmm! Well-spiced, creamy.
It tastes like chai mixed in with the best molten chocolate cake you've ever had.
- Great job.
- Thank you, Chef.
So, Bowen, what did you make tonight? Bowen: Three different kinds.
Tiramisu, green tea, vanilla flavor.
- What flavor is this one? - Green tea flavor.
Bowen, visually, you still have a ways to go, but the cupcake is well mixed, it's well baked, and the frosting's flavorful.
I'd say you did a pretty good job.
- Thank you so much.
- Yeah.
Joe: Wow! - So, which one should I taste? - Tiramisu.
The cake itself is good.
Very rich, fluffy.
You can taste the butter.
Tiramisu components, I'd love to have it a little bit smoother, but altogether, Bowen, Gordon certainly has himself an excellent student in you.
- Thank you.
- Good job.
Nice.
- Samantha.
- Chef.
Let's take a look, okay? - Wow! - Thank you.
This is consistent.
It's vibrant in color.
This is like Willy Wonka stuff, man.
So what are some of the flavors that I'm gonna taste? Samantha: It is filled with a lemon curd, and it's a raspberry buttercream on top.
Aarón: You said this cupcake is inspired - by a competition you entered - Mm-hmm.
- And that you won.
- That is correct.
Mmm! This is unreal.
Nice and fluffy, all the specks of that beautiful raspberry, an aerated beautiful center.
Your sorority sisters must be jumping for joy when they're seeing this.
Really over the top.
- Samantha.
- Chef.
Your lemon curd is bull's-eye center.
( Whispers ) Oh, beautiful.
- Perfectionist? - Yes, definitely.
I spun the lemon zest with the sugar to really get that flavor even throughout, and it worked out.
Um, Samantha, it has been a very long time since I have tasted a cupcake, that from a flavor standpoint is so incredibly well-balanced.
- Thank you, Chef.
Thank you.
- Congratulations.
Nice.
Gerron, wearing Joe's apron.
- What's up, Chef? - Let's check in there.
So I have a banana walnut cupcake with vanilla bourbon icing.
I'm from Kentucky, and it's the Bourbon State.
Oh, dear.
Looks like the old cupcakes have had too much to drink and sunken into bed.
- They don't look great, do they? - No, they don't.
Height, it's not there.
- Did you weigh out the ingredients properly? - I mean, honestly, when I poured in some walnuts, I didn't really weigh those out.
So you can see through there, insufficient aeration, looks like the inside of a brownie.
The bourbon's delicious, but if we don't start off with a perfect batter, we're screwed.
I'm sorry, Gerron, but that's been one of your weakest performances.
Damn it.
All right, Gerron, what happened? It just ended up a lot denser than I wanted it to.
See the walnuts there? It really weighed your mixture down.
Really and truly.
I think they're very starchy and underbaked.
So, I'm gonna be honest.
I'm not impressed.
Cesar.
Let's check in there.
Cesar: The cupcake itself is ginger, cinnamon clove, and then cream cheese cardamom icing with spicy pistachios-- Something that represents Houston, where I'm from, and the immigrant culture that thrives there.
Fresh ginger cupcake I haven't come across.
- I like the vibrant taste of fresh ginger.
- Mmm.
Here's the thing.
A little bit too much spice, but I love the fragrance.
- Overall, good job.
- Thank you.
Mmm.
I gotta say, Cesar, it's light, it's flavorful, and has a perspective.
- Really nice effort.
- Thank you.
All right, S.
J.
Let's see what you got in the box.
S.
J.
: So, you have a standard vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting, honey butter drizzle, brûléed banana, and candied hazelnuts.
Here, I'll just go with a whole bite.
Yeah, sure.
Moist, good consistency.
I don't think you're leaving here tonight.
Christina: I like what you did with the frosting.
I would've loved it even more if you were uniform.
If one cupcake gets five dots of frosting, every cupcake gets five dots of frosting.
But all in all, your cake is light and delicious.
- Great box of cupcakes.
- Thank you, Chef.
Mark, in the box, what's the theme? Uh, so it's a strawberry, lemongrass, and mint cupcake.
Let's get in there, shall we? But, uh, they're not all there.
Excuse me? I don't have all my cupcakes in the box.
- Wow.
- That's right.
( Chuckles ) - Yeah, I'm not laughing.
- ( chuckles ) Let's get in there, shall we? But, uh, they're not all there.
Excuse me? I don't have all my cupcakes in the box.
- Wow.
- ( chuckles ) - Yeah, I'm not laughing.
- ( chuckles ) Uh, so it's a strawberry, lemongrass, and mint.
It's a play on a cocktail that's at my mother's restaurant.
Based on the piping, it looks sloppy.
- Right? - Um, all in all, it's whipped to where it needs to be.
- We're missing five.
- That's right.
I was very rushed.
What is that in there? That's the strawberry-- Strawberry jelly and diced strawberries.
- Strawberries are 25% water.
- Yes.
And so what does water do to a sponge? Uh, it, uh-- Makes it soggy.
But here's the big issue for me.
Whilst we try to help you, you reject our help.
You know, I'm not mentoring you, but you're becoming unteachable.
Of course not.
You know, having an edge above people as young as myself, it definitely translates into my arrogance.
But, Mark, you're not prepared to listen and grasp what people are teaching you.
That's not a recipe for success.
Strawberry, lemon, mint-- Makes perfect sense.
What I don't like is the presentation, technique, and then that frosting, you can tell it's too wet.
Too much sugar there.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Gerron: I messed up pretty badly, but Mark also messed up pretty badly.
Please, come around to the front.
And while his cupcakes look a lot better than mine, I learn from my mistakes, and I will continue to grow in this competition.
All right, ready? The judges, they know things like that, but I know that they can't save me right now.
We invited Christina here because she truly is beyond an expert in her field.
And we're leaving this decision completely in Christina Tosi's hands.
Now, I don't know you like the judges know you.
All I can do is make my decisions based on the box of cupcakes.
I am sending at least one of you home.
But I was really impressed by a number of you tonight.
So, if I say your name, please step forward.
Emily, Bowen, and I gotta say, the cupcake that I will dream about Wow.
- Samantha.
- Whoo! Yes.
Congratulations, you three.
Up to the balcony.
You're safe.
- Thank you.
- ( cheers and applause ) I don't know that this is real.
It honestly just feels like a dream.
Let's go, girl! I mean, Christina freaking Tosi told me my cupcakes were good, right in front of my mentor Chef Gordon Ramsay.
There is no going any higher than right now.
So, S.
J Cesar you both have shown me talent, you've shown me passion.
So, you're both safe.
Please head up to the balcony.
So, Mark, Gerron, you were both brought into this kitchen by the same mentor.
But I am sending one of you home.
The home cook leaving this kitchen is Mark.
( Exhales ) Christina: Gerron, up to the balcony, please.
Mark, unfortunately, tonight you had the worst cupcakes in the MasterChef kitchen, so we have to say good-bye.
Understood.
Mark, being headstrong can be destructive.
It can also be an attribute, used in the proper way.
My advice for you would be to open your mind up to the right people.
You're young, the road is long.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
Please, place your apron on your bench.
- Thank you.
- Good night.
Thank you.
- ( Applause ) - Love you, Mark.
Mark: I'm definitely disappointed, and it's very humbling.
I learned from this, I really don't know it all.
- ( Applause ) - Ralph: Let's go, Mark.
From the beginning, Joe told me he's making an investment in me, and I still need to prove that I'm worth what he put into me.
I'm 19, I'm working in my parents' restaurants now.
The judges will be sitting down in my restaurant at 25, and I'll see to that happening.
- Bye, Mark.
- Can't wait to serve you, Chefs.
- Narrator: Next time - Ooh! - This is going to be fun.
- the judges Rocking and rolling, baby.
I love it.
Join the hottest challenge - Whoo-wee! - of the season.
Fried squash blossom, caviar-- I have to top that.
- And - Savory or sweet? - A divided kitchen - This is it.
Let's go! - That is not pretty.
- produces - ( bleep ) man.
- shocking results.
Gordon: O-M-G.
What is that?