Masterchef (2010) s09e12 Episode Script

Frying Tonight

1 Narrator: Previously - Please welcome back - ( cheering ) Christina Tosi.
The ultimate baking challenge Who stays and who goes is all in your hands.
Meant the end of the road You had the worst cupcakes in the MasterChef kitchen, so we have to say good-bye.
for Mark.
Tonight, 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.
What is that? - Whoo! Top 13.
- Whoo! - Hey! - 1-3, 1-3.
Being in the top 13 means everything to me.
So I really want to show myself and the judges, especially Gordon, my mentor, that there's more to me than just a 21-year-old college kid from Los Angeles.
Welcome back.
Shanika is bold and fierce and ready to fight.
I am going to show my mentor Joe that I will be the next MasterChef.
You all have survived some difficult challenges, and now it's time for another one.
The iconic mystery box challenge.
Right, on the count of three, lift your boxes.
One, two, three.
- Oh! - Ooh.
What? Oil? Right.
Tonight, you're all gonna be deep-frying.
Wow, this mystery box challenge is made for me.
I probably fry something up once a week, and today I'm gonna fry this whole competition.
We wanna see a fully composed dish where the star is deep-fried.
And you have just 45 minutes to do it.
Now, the person with the best dish in the mystery box challenge will win a huge advantage.
And, trust me, you wanna win this one.
To aid in making the best possible dish, you'll have access to the full MasterChef pantry.
And of course, you'll have the incredible Viking stoves to work with.
- Is everybody ready? - All: Yes, Chef.
Well, I'm sorry, but we're not.
Because there's a twist.
You'll also be cooking along three incredible guest chefs.
- Oh! - Us! ( Cheering ) I'm so excited to be cooking alongside my culinary heroes.
There's just so much to learn from them, and people would die for this type of opportunity.
- Right.
You guys ready? - All: Yes, Chef.
I guess it's our 45 minutes starts now! Let's go.
Keep it moving! - Cucumbers, cucumbers.
- Aarón, you'll go straight for the Sriracha and mayonnaise, right? ( Aarón laughs ) Exactly.
- Do y'all see bread crumbs anywhere? - Oh, here, here, here.
S.
J.
, you want a glass of wine? I'm okay.
Thank you, Chef.
- Emily.
- Yes, Joe.
Do they have Shiitake mushrooms? - Yes, they do.
- Gordon: Joe, seriously? - Grab a couple for me.
Thanks.
- Really? - Are you just having wine and cheese? - What are you making? I'm keeping it Italian.
So I think you'll be happy with it.
I'm not afraid of frying.
I come from Wisconsin.
If you can batter it and deep-fry it, we've probably done it.
And, obviously, this challenge is taking something that's fried and elevating it.
So I'm making a spinach and mushroom stuffed fried ravioli over a pomodoro sauce with a crispy chip of Pancetta - and a fried basil leaf.
- Farhan, can you pass me some leeks? - Yes, Chef.
- And zucchinis.
- Some snap peas.
- Joe, come on! Please? This is the difference between me and you guys.
- This is how I shop.
- Let's go, guys.
Gentlemen, I've selected a beautiful mid-80s Côte-Rtie for us - to share while we cook.
- Joe, come on, we're busy.
- Aarón, keep an eye on him in case he needs a break.
- Yes, sir.
Absolutely.
He might get winded.
I'm from the dirty South.
So, with that being said, we fry just about everything.
So, today I'm gonna make some fried salmon croquettes, and I'm going to do a sweet potato hash with red peppers.
It is definitely a dish that my mom has made for us growing up.
And so it's just something where it makes me feel at home.
You know growing up, Mexican food was one of my favorite foods to eat.
So I'm making a traditional Indian style bhajiya, but I'm kind of infusing some flavors of Mexico.
So I'm using chipotle to make a caramelized onion chipotle sauce to go along with it.
Guys, just over 35 minutes left.
35 minutes left.
I am going to be making spicy pork empanada, and also a squash blossom quesadilla.
The reason I'm making this dish is because I have an aunt in Mexico who makes her living by running a quesadilla stand.
So, this dish is really something that speaks to my family heritage, my culture, and it's also something that reminds me of home.
Chef Aarón, what are you grinding over there? I'm making a crispy oyster taco, my friend, with chile habanero and chayote and jicama slaw.
Oh, that sounds amazing.
What are you making, Joe? - I'm making Frito Misto.
- Ooh, nice! So mixed fresh bay fish, calamari, lemons, zucchini, tiger shrimp.
Joe, is this a dish that has been in your family's restaurant? This is a dish from my young years in Italy, from our house.
Fried calamari's a grand classic, and it's something that we always have.
Hey, Chef, can I ask what you're doing right now? Stuffing these wonderful squash bottoms with fresh crab, and then we're gonna deep-fry them.
And that's going to be served with a caviar and Granny Smith vinaigrette.
- Wow.
- And a light citrus fragrance inside, yes? - Tell me what you're doing.
- Yes.
This sounds amazing.
So I'm doing, like, an Asian style fish and chips with a roasted miso and garlic aioli, along with a pickle, - green onion and pear slaw.
- Love it.
Guys, we're down to 20 minutes remaining.
Oh, my God.
You can do this, Chelsea.
Ralph, talk to me.
What's the motivation over here? Filipinos and chicken adobo are synonymous with each other.
And so doing a deep-fried version of it served with rice.
- Ralph.
You've got really big pieces of chicken.
- Yes, Chef.
Yes, sir.
Normally, those chicken thighs take 20 minutes to cook.
Yes, Chef.
I think I'm gonna take this bone out, get the oven ready just in case I need to put it in there.
- I want something immaculate.
- Yes, Chef, will do.
And there we go.
Whew! - Chelsea.
What's the plan? What are you making? - Yes.
I'm doing one of my favorite things to cook at home for my boyfriend, a roasted beet salad with a fried risotto ball.
- Do we know what they're called? Arancini.
- Arancini, yes.
How did you flavor the risotto? I mean, I wanna go rich and luxurious, that's why I'm putting goat cheese and vegetable stock.
- All right, Chelsea.
Good luck.
- Thank you.
- Shanika, talk to me.
What are you making? - Yes.
I am making risotto balls that has apple and pancetta in it.
Really wanna impress my mentor Joe tonight, so I'm gonna go with classic Italian, but with just a little twist.
My aunt used to cook a lot of fried food when we were younger, but as I grew up, I knew that it was not good for you.
- Wasn't good for the figure.
- Got you.
So I cut that out and baked and broiled.
Okay, you look like you're comfortable.
Get that rice cooked - and cooled down.
Let's go.
- I am getting it cooked.
Gordon: Two minutes remaining.
Let's hope they come out right.
Oh, they look good.
They look good.
Let's go, guys, come on.
Nice and beautiful.
Check your seasoning.
Gordon: 60 seconds to go.
Come on! Start plating guys.
- This is it! - Ooh, it's good! 15 seconds to go, guys.
Aarón: Come on! Keep going, keep going, keep going.
- Gordon: Here we go.
- Judges: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
- Gordon: And stop.
Well done! - Aarón: That's it.
- Aarón: Beautiful.
- Oh, my God.
Gordon: Amazing deep-frying.
All of you, well done.
- I think we did a great job as well.
- Absolutely.
Gordon: Everybody, would you like to come down and look what we made? - Yes! - Come down.
Let's go.
Oh, that looks spectacular, Chef.
It looks so good, Chef.
So, start off with this dish here.
Squash blossom stuffed with a beautiful crab.
And then a tempura batter lightly dipped with that vadouvan spice, served on a caviar vinaigrette with Granny Smith apples.
And right here we have a beautiful crispy oyster taco with a chile habanero aioli, a beautiful shaved chayote and jicama slaw, pickled red fresnos, and, of course, a little bit of aguacate.
And tell me that is not an invitation to eat, y'all.
- There's an invitation.
- Right? I don't need to sell my dish.
It's called Frito Misto.
It's basically scampi, calamari, heads and tentacles, lemon, zucchini, salty, lemony, citrusy.
It's a perfect taste of the goods when the sea gives up the right stuff.
- Dig in.
Let's go.
- Awesome! That looks so good.
Damn! - Oh, my God.
- This is amazing! Gordon and Aarón and Joe's dishes just put us all to shame.
I mean, there's no other way to say it.
All of you, head back to your stations, please.
- Thank you.
Thank you so much, Chef.
- Well done.
Well done.
It just shows that frying food doesn't need to necessarily be heavy and dense.
It can be something that you could go out and buy at high-end fine dining restaurant.
Whilst we were cooking, we did get a chance to check in with you guys and taste everything you were doing across those 45 minutes.
And the first dish that we really enjoyed, we can't wait to taste again, incorporated a risotto.
Congratulations - Shanika.
- What? I'm shocked.
I'm shocked.
For the first time ever, I'm in the top three right now.
Did this really just happen? I mean, I gotta pinch myself.
Oh, it happened.
It's real.
Finally.
Welcome to the top three.
Shanika: Oh, my God! It feels amazing.
Gordon: Well done.
Describe the dish, please.
You have an apple pancetta risotto cake on a bed of kale that has a little bit of lemon cooked in chicken stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
How did you get the pancetta in there? What'd you do? I fried it up first, and I put it in at the last minute with the last batch of apples.
Mmm.
Wow.
I love the arancini.
And I love what you did with the apple, 'cause that makes it lighter.
So we're thinking of the fried food, and we're thinking heavy, sedated, greasy.
And all of the sudden, you got that vibrant-- What was that, Granny Smith? - Yes, it was Granny Smith.
- Yeah? And an apple, uh, crispy-- ( muttering ) I'm so nervous.
- Are you okay? - No! Oh, my God.
I've never been up here like this.
Sorry, y'all.
- ( laughs ) Sorry.
- Don't worry.
Here's the thing.
It's not the prettiest, but it's nice to see you cooking with confidence, and I can taste that.
- Good job.
Well done.
- Thank you.
Shanika, finally.
I gave you an apron.
You're making me so proud right now.
Your eyes-- They-- They're amazing now.
They look happy.
The dish is great.
It's so crispy on the outside.
The rice is perfect.
The acidity in the apples and richness of the bacon makes it a little bit more complex.
It's really, really good.
This is such an evolution for you.
- It is.
- To make a dish that has so much authentic Italian flavor, - Thank you.
- So much technique.
It's kind of perfect.
- Make me proud.
Good job.
- Thank you.
Good job, girl! The second dish that we would like to see examined further belongs to a cook who put their heritage on the plate.
The second dish belongs to Come on up here, Ralph.
- Yeah! Go, Ralph! - Let's go, baby! Whoo! The judges are taking notice of Ralph.
I don't know how the hell you miss me.
I'm, like, the biggest dude in the room.
And I'm just excited to really represent myself and the whole Filipino culture in this plate.
- Ralph, please describe the dish.
- Yes, Chef.
This is a fried chicken adobo with, like, grated ginger, garlic, onions, and soy sauce, served with an arborio coconut curry rice.
And then I used a little bit of fried vermicelli as a garnish.
All right, so I came to visit you.
I saw the chicken kind of searing there.
- I got a little concerned.
- Yep.
How did you kind of veer and get that chicken cooked to such perfection? What I decided on was I'm gonna braise this chicken with the adobo liquid and then fry it.
And when you fry it, it's just gonna add the finishing touches.
So you didn't put anything on the outside of the chicken? No.
I was thinking about doing flour, but I wanted to let the actual skin do the talking.
I'm so happy that you decided not to cover this in flour.
It was smart move.
The real adobo, that flavor from the soy, all those aromatics-- Had you put flour, I don't know if it would be so prevalent on the palate.
And then the actual rice sucked in all of that beautiful marinade.
It's rich, it's fun in a very unique Ralph way.
- And I like it.
- Thank you, Chef.
Ralph, here's the thing.
You've got the white meat cooked beautifully.
The skin and the flavor of that is delicious.
- It's a really good dish.
- Thank you, Chef.
It's a little sloppy.
So get a bigger plate and give yourself some room, and let your food breathe.
But it really is packed with flavor.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Yeah.
Good job.
- Yeah, Ralph! - Good job, Ralph! The third and final dish that really nailed it tonight belongs to our second cook from Houston in the top three.
Please bring up your dish - Chelsea! Come on up.
- Nice job, Chelsea.
I definitely think I'm climbing towards the top.
My dish shows finesse, it shows skill, and I just think that I'm gonna make Aarón so proud.
So, Chelsea, what's the dish? I did a goat cheese arancini with a beet salad and a lemon vinaigrette.
How is this dressed? It's like a pesto almost.
I did lemon juice, salt, cherry vinegar, and olive oil.
Goat cheese with beets is a classic, and super full-flavored.
And the outside crust is super crispy.
The one thing I have to say is that these beets are maybe a little undercooked.
- Okay.
- But beautiful plating.
Good job.
Thank you.
Look, this arancini is firing on all cylinders.
It's a perfect example of two different kinds of textures working at the same time.
Crispy on the outside and creamy and rich, and unctuous on the inside.
That's what you want.
- We have the perfect fried item.
- Yes.
This dish has all the elements of something you wanna keep going back in and having another bite.
I'm proud I gave you that apron.
- You work in sales, correct? - Yes.
If you were selling me this arancini at a restaurant, - I would buy a double order.
- Thank you.
- Great job.
All three of you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Good job, Chels.
- Go, Chels.
So proud of you.
Chelsea: Ralph's dish got really bold flavors.
Chicken was amazing.
Three different cuts.
And Shanika's dish looks delicious.
the flavor, without a doubt.
It's just we missed the balance But I think that mine looked absolutely beautiful.
It was composed, and it highlighted the fried ingredient.
I feel like I nailed this.
I deserve this win today.
Shanika, Ralph, Chelsea, well done, all three of you.
But, unfortunately, we can only have one mystery box winner, and know that winning this gives you a huge advantage in the next challenge.
And the winner of this challenge is Unfortunately, we can only have one mystery box winner.
And the winner of this challenge is Come on.
Shanika.
- Good job! - Good job, Shanika.
Great job.
Shanika has finally arrived.
I am getting the recognition that I deserve.
Go, Shanika.
Ralph, Chelsea, good job.
Well done.
- Thank you.
- Please head back to your stations.
Thank you.
Y'all better watch out, 'cause I told y'all I was coming.
Shanika, you, of course, are safe from elimination, and you'll get to watch this daunting elimination challenge from the safety of the balcony.
But before you head upstairs, we're about to place this competition in your hands.
- Whew! - You are not deciding what everybody's gonna be cooking with tonight.
- Okay.
- Because tonight everyone will be cooking with the same incredible, versatile ingredient.
( Squeals ) Citrus fruits.
Tonight, everybody will have to incorporate citrus fruit - across their dishes.
- I'm so excited.
When you grow up in a place like Opa-Locka, Florida, with grapefruit trees and orange trees in the backyard, they just become a part of your DNA.
Shanika, you don't get to choose the ingredient everyone has to cook with, but you will get to decide what kind of dish each home cook has to make this evening-- Savory or sweet.
If Shanika hands you a savory basket, that means you'll have to make a savory dish.
If Shanika hands you a sweet basket, you'll have to make a sweet dish.
The home cook who fails to conquer this citrus fruit challenge will be going home.
Please, everyone, line up.
Gerron.
Hey, Shanika.
Your ponytail looks good today.
- Why thank you! - ( laughing ) I really would like a sweet basket, because I didn't prove myself in the last baking challenge.
I will not give you the opportunity to correct that error, and I'm going to go with the savory basket for you.
Thank you so much.
Gerron, is that what you really wanted? This is exactly what I really wanted.
Gordon: Smart boy.
Shanika, they're playing mind games with you.
- I see that.
- Hey, girl.
I would love a sweet basket.
I am going to give you a savory basket - Damn it.
- To see what you can do.
My strategy is very, very direct.
You will get this sweet basket.
Thank you.
I've been paying attention to everybody in this competition.
The sweet basket.
I'm giving the sweets to the people that I know have issues with baking.
I'm gonna say pink basket.
Well, of course I would not give you the sweet basket.
I do want the savory today.
I am going to give you the sweet basket today - Damn.
- To see what you can do.
I'm just gonna go out now.
They think I don't notice things, but I notice everything.
Gordon: Two talented cooks left.
Wow.
Sweet, savory.
Sweet, savory.
- And you will get-- - Ooh, wow.
Sweet basket for you, savory basket for you.
- Farhan: Thanks, Shanika.
- Gordon: Wow.
The end goal is for me to get rid of top competitors right now.
Emily, Cesar.
Gordon: Great choices.
Now, head on up to the balcony.
If I can do that, that's one step closer to me becoming the next MasterChef.
Strategy is key.
- Whew, okay.
- Oh, calamansi.
I love you.
- Can I grab something behind? - Where the fruits at? There's a bunch of lemons right here.
Fennel, I need peas, I need radishes.
- Where's the dairy? - Brussels, brussels, brussels.
I got savory, so I'm going to be making ravioli with a lemon cream sauce.
Some pine nuts over here.
I feel like I'm starting to fall behind - in the competition.
- ( bleep ) I need to step it up and prove to Gordon that I am here for the long haul.
Okay.
- Let's go.
- Let's go, guys.
Hurry up.
Gordon: Well done, Cesar.
Ashley, are you kidding me? - I'm a grocery shopper, Chef.
- Oh, my Lord.
Ashley brought the whole grocery store out.
Is everybody ready to cook the most amazing citrus dish of their lives? All: Yes, Chef.
60 minutes on the clock.
Your time starts now! Today, I'm gonna be stepping out of my comfort zone.
I'm making this beautiful cube steak that has been marinating in lime juice.
I know I would be able to succeed better at the sweet basket, but I think I'm gonna surprise Shanika and pull off a great savory dish today.
Oh! Nice! Hey, Cesar, what you making? I'm gonna be making a lemon chiffon cake with mascarpone pecan filling.
- Mmm! - I'm from Houston, so in Texas we have lots of pecan trees.
So, it's a touch of home that I'm putting in there as well.
I think Shanika forgot that the mystery box challenge that I have won was with a baked item.
So, assigning me the sweet basket might not yield the results that she was looking for.
Let's just marvel at the world of citrus.
It's the most versatile element in my kitchen.
A lemon, an orange, a grapefruit can really work in both sweet and savory context.
The citrus, it is the star.
Gordon: This is a tough challenge.
We could be saying good-bye to a big hitter tonight.
Gerron: Whoo! I took a study abroad trip to Trinidad and Tobago where I ate a lot of jerk, and so I am making a jerk chicken infused with blood orange.
Shanika definitely underestimates me.
I've been in elimination rounds over and over again, but I make it out of elimination every single time.
So, I'm feeling good.
I'm feeling good.
Guys, we're down to 30 minutes remaining.
- Joe: Let's go, guys.
Step it up.
- ( bleep ), man.
Right, S.
J.
, now Shanika gave you a pink basket that you didn't want.
- S.
J.
: Absolutely.
- It was strategy.
Tell me what you're doing.
So, I'm gonna be doing a strawberry Meyer lemon torte.
Why so complicated? A torte, why? I've been taking a lot of safe routes so far in this competition, Chef.
- And I really wanna step out of my comfort zone.
- Right.
- What are you layering it with? - Strawberries and whipped cream.
The batter itself has a little bit of the Meyer lemon zest.
- Nice.
- And I'm going to be doing a butter cream frosting that's gonna have a little bit of the juice itself - and the depth from the Meyer lemon as well.
- Right.
You may be one of the youngest here, but you are a very passionate young man.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Focus and don't leave everything - to the last minute.
- Yes, Chef.
Okay, Emily, what are you thinking? Chile lime marinated shrimp over a kind of an jilotes inspirited corn salad with an avocado lime crema.
- When you got the savory basket, - Yes.
Did you feel like Shanika is playing some strategy against you? I know that Shanika wants me to go home.
- I'm just motivating you.
- She sees me as a threat because I am one of the strongest competitors in the kitchen.
But this is not something that is in my wheelhouse.
Like, I think the savory is gonna test my skills today.
Emily, good luck.
- Thank you.
- Good luck.
Ashley, Shanika gave you a dessert basket.
- Yes, she did, Chef.
- What are you making? I am doing a double layer lemon blueberry cake.
It's gonna have a lemon curd.
I'm going for a coconut pastry cream.
- Wow.
- And it's gonna have beautiful garnishes of these lime zest cookies.
Like, this is gonna be to honor my grandparents.
This is gonna be to honor Opa-Locka and my family.
And I have to do it.
There's no, like, letting them down.
I can't believe you're gonna do this in 60 minutes, - I'm gonna do it.
- But I'm gonna wish you all the best.
- Thank you, Chef.
Thank you.
- Good luck, Ashley.
What in the hell is she doing? - How's it going, Chef? - All right, Ralph, talk to me.
- What are you making? - It's brazo de mercedes.
This is, like, a special cake that my mom always makes for us.
So, I'm very honored to be doing this dish.
You got Joe's pin on your apron.
Should he be concerned that Shanika chose a sweet basket for you? Bake that cake.
I've never baked in the competition, so I gotta make sure-- This dish has a couple-- Oh, we got-- - Ralph, Ralph, don't BS us.
- Yes, Chef? You're sweating like a long-tailed cat in a rocking chair store.
You can't just talk the talk.
You gotta walk the walk.
I don't wanna lose another apron, bro.
Oh, my God.
- How's it going, Chef? - All right, Ralph, you got Joe's pin on your apron.
Should he be concerned that Shanika chose a sweet basket for you? Bake that cake.
I've never baked in the competition, so I gotta make sure-- This dish has a couple-- Oh, we got-- - Ralph, Ralph, don't BS us.
- Yes, Chef? You can't just talk the talk.
You gotta walk the walk.
I don't wanna lose another apron, bro.
- I got you, Joe.
Thank you.
- Good luck.
All right, if that doesn't work, you need a backup plan.
Wow.
First of all, Ashley, I mean, she's doing, like, a three-layer cake - with a coconut citrus filling.
- Ooh, it's hot.
S.
J.
, again, another dessert.
He's doing this citrus torte with, like, a strawberry filling.
So, two very tough desserts to pull off, and I don't think they're gonna have time to nail it.
I am, like, sweating.
- Damn it.
- Hey, Gordon, are you prepared to lose one of your aprons tonight? - No.
- I'm talking about Taylor.
She's making a ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach.
She's gonna do a very run of the mill lemon cream sauce.
Joe: Quit those lemon cream sauces.
- It's not 1975.
- Exactly.
We are coming up to two minutes remaining.
Joe: Let's go, guys.
Step it up.
- Okay.
- I don't think Ashley can make it.
Joe: She has to construct the cake.
- Yeah.
- Those layers are still hot.
It's gonna squish out like melted butter.
- S.
J.
, you gotta go.
- Yes, Chef.
Oh! Joe: Another layer? Another layer.
Really? 30 seconds remaining! Joe: Ralph is getting his custard out.
Oh, my God.
Ralph's plate right now looks like a bowl of English mustard.
- Aarón: Let's go, Ralph! - Joe: Come on, you got my apron! - That is not pretty.
- Whoa.
- Here we go.
- Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
- And stop! - That's it.
Hands in the air.
- Whoo! - Wow! - Wow.
- Damn.
Now it's time to find out how you all did using citrus.
First up, Gerron.
Since day one, I've been working on my plating, and I'm feeling pretty confident about what I have here.
But the MasterChef kitchen is always full of surprises.
You can be knocked down really quick.
Aarón: So, how would you describe the dish? It is a jerk chicken infused with blood orange zest, and then also a coconut cauliflower puree with crispy bacon and brussels.
You put coconut in cauliflower? Yeah, I actually boiled it in coconut milk.
I lived in Trinidad for a month on study abroad and I ate a lot of jerk chicken there, and just experienced a lot of island flavors, and so that was just my inspiration tonight.
Well, I'm happy that you spent time in Trinidad and understand those flavors.
You chose to serve the breast.
You were able to inject a lot of flavor in that marinade and the jerk in a very short period of time.
I love the velvet nature and the creativity of coconut and cauliflower.
What would I have done different? Herbs.
This needs some freshness.
But, look, man, this is really showing that you're growing as a cook, Gerron.
- Very impressive.
- Thank you, Chef.
Next up, Ralph.
( Bleep ) Ralph: I am so shook right now.
This plate does not look good at all.
I don't know what the judges are gonna say.
I just hope that it tastes absolutely amazing.
So, explain the dish to me.
It's a brazo de mercedes, with a mixed berry calamansi coulis.
And it's supposed to be, like, a rolled dessert.
Yes.
I think the time got to me.
This is a dish that usually takes two hours to make.
You chose to do a very ambitious thing, but the meringue is kind of technically wrong.
I mean, it tastes more like a marshmallow than a meringue.
This dish is a-- I don't even know what to say.
It's chewy.
It's raw in the middle.
It's doughy.
This is a couple of ingredients put together and assembled in a sloppy mess.
- Oh, man.
- You know, Ralph, it's been a great road for you and I.
I gave you an apron, and I would hate for it to end on this.
- Yes, Joe.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
I am devastated right now.
I hope the judges see the potential in me.
I hope they see that I've been growing, I've been learning, and, uh, hope this isn't the end of the road.
Next up, Ashley, please.
Thank you.
I have never made a cake in 60 minutes before, but it looks gorgeous.
However, I am still nervous, because my daddy always says, - "But does it taste good?" - You live on the edge.
With two minutes to go, you're assembling this.
Are you crazy? Yes, I'm crazy.
Gordon: And describe it.
What is it? This is a lemon cake, filled with lemon curd, a blueberry sauce, with lime zest and white chocolate whipped cream.
What's the sponge? It's a classic lemon cake, and it has the freshly-squeezed lemon juice and fresh lemon zest inside.
Ooh.
It looks like it just came out of a top patisserie shop off the Champs-Elysées.
I hope it tastes as good as it looks.
What's in the chantilly? It's heavy cream that's been whipped, and then also some white chocolate that I melted down for the sweetness instead of powdered sugar.
I'm gonna be honest.
Um I'm gonna be honest.
Um - it's bloody delicious! - Oh! The sponge is magical.
I think you've got five or six different flavors of the citrus bouncing around on the palate.
The curd is vibrant, tangy, sour, sweet, bitter.
Young lady, I think this is the best performance that you've had in this competition so far because you played to your strengths.
You took a massive risk, and it paid off.
I'm happy for you, and I'm worried for everybody else standing behind you.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Good job, girl.
- Whoo! Go, Ashley.
- Good job, Ashley.
Next up, Cesar.
Shanika, there's no way I'm going home tonight.
I'm extremely happy with my dish, so I know I'm gonna make Chef Aarón very proud.
All right, so, before I taste this dish, Cesar, Shanika, what is your assessment of this dessert? Um, I'll be bluntly honest.
It doesn't look appealing.
Shanika, you are absolutely right about that.
This looks like it's a slice from a bigger cake that was left behind somewhere.
Talk to me about your dish.
It's a lemon chiffon cake, with a pecan and mascarpone filling in the middle, and just whipped cream on top.
So what citrus did you rally around? I put lemon zest and lemon juice in the batter, and then I made a kumquat and grapefruit simple syrup to soak it before I assembled it.
Here's the deal.
It's unappealing.
This is a very ( sighs ) difficult dessert, because, surprisingly, I can't even pick up any citrus.
And it's not lively and popping in my palate.
All of the elements that you've chose to put on, from the cream to the pecans, they're not that bad, but it's just like a cake that you would get from a diner.
I gave you my apron.
I believe that you're gonna be, hopefully, a chef someday that can take Mexican food to the next level, but that right there is a disappointment.
Cesar: As a teacher, I always tell my students to perform their best, and tonight, obviously, I did not do that.
So, Shanika, well-played tonight.
I'm feeling this could be the moment that this dream ends.
Next, please join us, Samantha.
Samantha: This dish is really outside of my comfort zone.
I don't work with steak a lot, because being in college, steak is not on the budget for me.
But I feel so confident, and I know I knocked it out of the park.
Okay, Samantha, tell me about the dish.
Today, I have for you a lime juice marinated steak on a bed of roasted red, yellow, and green bell peppers, and then I have a chimichurri and lime and cilantro crema.
And what cut of steak did you use? I believe it was a cube steak.
Mmm.
You know, the chimichurri's good.
It has, probably more than any other dish, a strong citrus component in all the aspects of it.
Steak's properly cooked.
Nice sear on the outside.
The peppers are really, actually, properly cooked, which is always something that's very difficult to do.
- Good job, Samantha.
- Thank you.
Emily, thank you.
Emily, describe the dish, please.
It's a chile lime shrimp over an jilote-inspired corn salad with an avocado-lime crema.
I used lime and lemon, lemon to focus on the corn salad, and lime in the shrimp and the crema.
What you've done is you've brought out that magic of the citrus.
That's what we were hoping for.
The big surprise is when you get so much color on a shrimp like that, and they're still cooked beautifully in the center, and seasoning on point, that shows me you've got finesse.
It's a rustic dish, but it's got that nice bold flavor.
Shanika targeted you tonight.
I think it's a missed hit.
- Well done.
- Next up, Taylor.
I made a ravioli stuffed with pine nuts, ricotta cheese, some Parmesan, with a lemon cream sauce underneath.
Let me tell you something, young lady.
It has delivered on flavor, texture.
Little bit more cream sauce.
You need that one element, that condimenti, to kind of bring it all together.
But the citrus pop at the end really makes this dish remarkable.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Good job.
Next up, S.
J.
, please.
I know that my torte doesn't look pretty, but I hope that the judges see that I tried my best, and that I can pair citrus ingredients with any dish, sweet or savory.
S.
J.
O-M-G.
- What is that? - Um Gordon: I'm looking at that.
I don't know what to say! Describe the dish.
It is a strawberry Meyer lemon torte.
The center is strawberries that's been marinated with the Meyer lemon juice, and a little bit of the zest as well.
( sighs ) You know it's not good, right? There's no citrus in there.
And seriously? - What's that? - Uh, caramel, Chef.
( Bleep ) It's a visit to the dentist.
Have we seen everything? Are you done? Is it time to get back to studies? No, Chef.
I really want to be here.
This is one of my biggest embarrassments and disappointments ever in cooking.
I really want to bounce back from this, Chef.
Bounce back? Yeah, I'd love you to progress in this competition, but how can I invest in that? Would you invest in that? - No, Chef.
- No.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, Chef.
I'm so down on myself right now.
The fact that I served something of this poor quality to Gordon Ramsay, who gave me one of his aprons, is just heart-wrenching.
I could be going home.
Now, guys, that was a very tough challenge.
There were two outstanding dishes tonight, and it just so happens that one was savory and one was sweet.
Gerron and - Ashley.
- Gerron: Thank you.
Aarón: Great job, young lady.
- Thank you.
- Gordon: Amazing.
But now comes the hard part.
If we call your name, please come down to the front.
S.
J.
Cesar.
Ralph.
One of you is going home.
Cesar, you got a lot of things wrong tonight.
But there were two worse dishes than yours.
Please, head back to your station.
It's a great relief to know that I'm safe, that I'm part of the top 12, but I know if I keep performing like this, my name is next.
You live to fight another battle.
So I really need to buckle down and elevate what I'm doing in this kitchen.
So, it's down to S.
J.
and Ralph.
S.
J.
, you were brought into this competition by Chef Gordon Ramsay.
And, Ralph, you were brought into this competition by Joe Bastianich.
Both of you fell from a great height with dessert.
Gordon, who would you send home? Um, S.
J.
, you just took on too much.
Ralph, you didn't give yourself enough time to master that dessert.
So, I would send home Ralph.
Aarón: Wow.
- Joe? - It's tough.
Aarón: Yeah.
The home cook that I would send home, didn't have the technical skills to execute, is wearing an apron that I gave him.
- I'm sorry, Ralph.
- Wow.
I agree with both Gordon and Joe.
Ralph, this is the end of the road.
Thank you, Chef.
S.
J.
, get back to your station, please.
Ralph, you know, even though you and I have become friends, I have to deal you this devastating blow in order for us to pursue our mission to find America's next MasterChef, and I'm sorry for that, Ralph.
My love to everybody.
Thank you to the judges, and, uh, I've learned so much.
Ralph please place your apron on your bench, and goodnight.
One more thing.
- Come on, brother.
- Bring it in, Joe.
- ( Applause ) - Good job.
I'm very sad to be leaving the MasterChef kitchen, but I feel like I've accomplished a lot since I've been here.
I've learned so much, and I'm not going to give up on my dream of starting a Filipino restaurant.
Thanks, guys.
Shout-out to those judges.
Shout-out to my mentor, Joe.
I got a little misty there.
Not only am I a better person, but I'm a better cook.
Bye! And just like that, we entered with 24, we're down to the top 12.
Shanika: Oh! This hurts, 'cause I was the cause of us losing our apron.
We're down to three aprons now.
Aarón has four, and Gordon still has five? This competition is getting serious now.
Now, all of you, get some rest.
- Goodnight.
- Goodnight, Chef.
Narrator: Next time on "MasterChef" Halibut.
it's a Gordon Ramsay master class.
The way Gordon's moving, it's just like a surgeon at work.
- And - Damn it.
Only the sharpest home cooks Gordon: Looks like it's been mauled by a cat.
- will make the cut.
- This looks like trying to clean a fish with an ax.
Then, a shocking twist Two more talented cooks will be leaving.
shakes up the MasterChef kitchen.
And that will happen right now.