MasterChef Junior (2013) s06e14 Episode Script

The Finale, Part 1

1 Tonight, you all have a front row seat at the greatest culinary event of the year.
This is the showdown America has been waiting for.
This is the "MasterChef Junior" finale.
( cheers, applause ) Our search began with tens of thousands of talented young home cooks from all across this great country.
- After an intense battle - Whoo.
for a coveted MasterChef white apron - Thank you.
- only the very best were left standing.
- This year, the challenges - Aw! were more difficult than ever before.
Put some elbow grease cinto it! - ( cheering ) - They survived intense team challenges.
- Joe: 75 guests.
- Are we mad? Now or nothing, guys! Gordon: Our VIP guests are arriving! Hurry! - It's the hardest shift - That is raw egg! you will ever work as a chef.
- ( kids screaming ) - Gordon: At times, it got messy in the MasterChef kitchen.
- Go on, Joe.
- ( kids cheering, screaming ) And along the way, said hello to some fresh and familiar faces.
- Jasmine! - ( cheers, applause ) What? What are you looking at? Oh, my God! It's Gordon.
- One, two, one, two - Gordon: Through it all - Hurry! - these tiny, but mighty cooks - Go! - conquered everything we threw at them.
I don't think that I can really criticize this dish at all.
- Perfection.
- Gordon: It's quite ground-breaking.
- Great job.
- Thank you, Chef.
- It's divine.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Every single challenge - Girl: Faster, faster.
- every single obstacle - Switch! has all come down to this.
- ( cheers, applause ) - Three young home cooks remain standing in the world's biggest culinary competition, but only one will take it all: the trophy, and $100,000.
Only one will become America's MasterChef Junior.
( cheers, applause ) Boy: Let's go! Our first finalist tonight is nine-year-old Beni.
I consider myself as a unique girl.
- A punky Chicago girl.
- ( laughs ) Joe: Little Beni impressed the judges with her giant skills in the kitchen right from the start.
The thought that a nine-year-old came up with this dish is incredibly impressive.
Joe: Her palate is diverse, conquering every challenge we throw her way.
You have definitely stamped your authority on this competition.
Joe: Beni has been in the top during more challenges than any other competitor.
This girl is one to watch.
- Beni.
- ( applause ) Gordon: The dish of the night.
Congratulations, Beni.
Rounding out a Midwestern top three, Beni! - Beautiful! - But this Chicago girl's specialty is elevating Midwestern comfort food into sophisticated dishes.
This is the Picasso of your dishes.
- It's kind of a masterpiece.
- Thank you.
Beni: I don't care about my birthday parties anymore.
I don't care about my presents at Christmas anymore.
This is the present of the lifetime.
I've been in the top a lot, but I've never won a challenge, and this is the challenge I have to win.
I could change my entire life tonight.
It's now or never.
- Yeah, Beni! - Beni! The first obstacle that stands in Beni's way is 11-year-old Quani.
( cheers, applause ) Quani, are you crazy? Cupcakes for Christina Tosi? - Seriously? - Yeah, I'm crazy.
Christina: Quani has an unmatched passion for baking You're 11 years of age, and you sound like a 33-year-old pastry chef.
Christina: and enjoys creating beautiful and delicious sweet treats.
- Quani: Yes! - You handle that piping bag like a ninja warrior.
Christina: This kid from Georgia may not have started out with as much experience as some of his fellow competitors You're a prolific baker, but I want to see you cook meat or fish, 'cause that's gonna convince me that you can get to the very, very top.
Christina: He put everything he had into becoming the one to watch Seasoning-wise, incredibly impressive.
- and turned himself - You guys got this! into a culinary force to be reckoned with.
You can bake, you can cook.
- You're the real deal, aren't you? - Yes, Chef.
Quani: I came into this competition with a cupcake, but I want to show that I can finish strong by cooking savory just as good as I do baking.
I'm going to win this thing, and start my baking empire.
( cheers, applause ) Whoo, Quani! Go, Quani! Completing the lineup tonight is our youngest competitor ever in the "MasterChef Junior" finale, eight-year-old Avery.
- What have you got they haven't? - I have flair.
I have style, and I have Texas! Gordon: From day one, young Avery has had a strong voice in the kitchen.
Two more eggs going out! Looking awesome! We can't serve that.
Throw it away.
Gordon: She may be tiny, but she cooks with big flavors Christina: It's to die for.
I am beyond impressed.
Gordon: always staying true to her hometown roots.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
A "Texas gunpowder sauce.
" - Yes, Chef.
- This sweet and sassy Texas girl has blown us away week after week.
You were able to create something that was smart, delicious, and beautiful.
I'm speechless right now.
I think you've been the most talented eight-year-old we've ever had in the history of this competition.
I've proven that age does not matter in this kitchen.
I am unstoppable, and tonight is the night I make history by being the youngest ever contestant to win.
- ( cheers, applause ) - Go, Avery! Amazing.
Congratulations, Avery, Quani, Beni, on making it here to the "MasterChef Junior" finale.
Now, to get here, you had to prove yourselves week after week and outcook some of the best young culinary opponents we have ever seen in this kitchen.
They also have become your great friends, and now they've returned to this kitchen to cheer you on.
( cheers, applause ) Also, here tonight to cheer you on are your family and friends.
( cheers, applause ) Beni, you have your dad, Mark, your mum, Erin, your brother Isaac, and your uncle Mike.
Mum Erin, you look very nervous up there.
- ( laughter ) - Yep.
How does it feel to witness this, one of the most important 60 minutes across Beni's life? It's amazing.
I can't believe we've gone from the past year of watching this show in our basement to having her here.
She's a shining star.
I'm so excited.
Thank you for letting me do this.
- I love you guys.
- Both: We love you, too.
- We love you, too.
- ( kisses ) ( cheers, applause ) Quani, you have your mom, Rebecca, your stepdad Charles, your grandmother Barbara, and your aunt Christine.
( cheers, applause ) So, Mom, Rebecca, how do you feel at this moment looking down at young Quani in his chef whites getting ready to prepare the meal of his life? I'm just overfilled with pride and excitement.
I'm so happy for him He's worked so hard to get to this point.
Are you a partner in his cupcake business as well? ( laughs ) Well, I help, but I don't get a cut.
( laughter ) You're gonna have to work on that.
And Avery, you have your dad, Jeremy, your mom, Christina, your sister, Addison, and your grandma, Carla.
Christina, we have come to know her as quite a natural in the kitchen, but I'm curious if you remember the moment back at home in Texas when eight-year-old Avery first showed that knack that you need to be this talented.
She's been following me around the kitchen since she was four years old, wanting to help, and trying to get her fingers in everything.
So I finally just gave up and said, "Go for it.
" - Resistance was futile at that point.
- It was.
( cheers, applause ) You are the last three home cooks standing in the world's biggest culinary competition, but only one of you can be crowned America's next MasterChef Junior.
Joe: For your grand finale, we want each of you to show us exactly how much you've learned here in this kitchen.
And we want to see that through a flawless three course dinner, the best three courses of your entire young lives.
You'll each have ten minutes shopping in the pantry.
- You three ready? - All: Yes, Chef! Your time in the pantry starts now.
( cheers, applause ) Shop your hearts out! I'll do this, guys.
Basket I've seen every finale of "MasterChef" and "MasterChef Junior," and tonight is the biggest one ever.
Remy: Avery's tiny, but she's the toughest out of everyone.
There it is.
Remy: She is more talented, more powerful, more creative, so I really want Avery to win tonight.
I'll be baking, baking, baking! Sammy: My money's on Quani, because I know he'll ace the desserts.
- Sprinkles! - Sammy: So if he knocks the appetizer or the entrèe out of the park, he can easily steal the win from both of the ladies.
Apples, I need a lot of apples.
Mikey: I am really rooting for Beni, 'cause she's from Chicago, I'm from Chicago.
Cantaloupe! Mikey: She's a really talented chef, and she's been in the top more than anyone, and I know she works really well under pressure so I think she's definitely gonna win it tonight.
( cheers, applause ) You can do it, guys! Christina: It's now time to put together the most show-stopping three course dinner of your lives.
First up, your appetizer course.
Beni, what will you be making? I'm gonna make corn blini, with smoked salmon, herbed crème fraîche pickled radishes and salmon roe.
- Wow.
- Sounds very intriguing.
And, Quani, what about you? What will you be making? For my appetizer, I am making a grilled spot prawns with crispy grit cake, fried green tomato, a spicy tomato sauce and a crab chow-chow.
- Wow! - Amazing.
Sounds very Southern.
Avery, what are you dreaming up for this appetizer? Tonight for my appetizer, I will be making grilled lobster with an avocado crema, salsa de Tejas, and a blue corn crisp.
- All right, Miss Texas! - ( cheers, applause ) Now, the three of you have 60 minutes ( exhales sharply ) to execute those incredible appetizers.
- Are you ready? - All: Yes, Chef! Your 60 minutes starts now.
Let's go! Avery, whoo! - Go, Beni! - Go, Quani! Gordon: This is it.
Tonight is "MasterChef Junior" history.
We have three incredible young home cooks in the finale, but only one will take it all.
This is going to be the most exciting finale in the history of "MasterChef Junior.
" - ( hisses ) - Ooh! - Okay.
- You can do this! - Joe: Let's go, let's go! - Christina: Come on! Gordon: This is it, the finale that all of America has been waiting for.
Come on guys, you got this! These three were the most talented throughout the competition, they showed the most growth, and I am so proud of all three of them.
I can't wait to see what they have.
Go, Avery! Gordon: Let's talk about the dishes.
Avery's appetizer.
Come on, grilled spiny lobster.
How many eight-year-olds do you know across this country who will be grilling lobster tonight? - Whew! - Joe: Lobster, as you know on the grill, is the most difficult way to cook it.
You can boil it, you can poach it, there's a little bit of room for error.
If you cook the lobster wrong on the grill, it's like eating a mouthful of rubber bands.
Good job, Quani! Christina: Quani's starting off with an upscale take on shrimp and grits that Southern classic dish.
- Smart.
- In place of shrimp, he's taking a beautiful spot prawn - Wow.
- and grilling that.
He's putting that on a bed of white polenta - then he's grilling a fried green tomato.
- Gordon: I love it.
Love it.
Christina: It's an elegant pop to an appetizer.
But again, grilled prawns are very, very tricky, just like the lobster.
You can overcook them and they'll be mealy and mushy and disgusting.
- Go, Quani! - Come on, Ben! Gordon: Now, Beni's cured salmon.
She's not only curing salmon, she's smoking it, and then she's doing like a corn blini, but it takes three days to smoke salmon in Scotland.
Thank you! Will she be able to execute it, guys? That's my only concern with Beni.
She's taking such a massive risk.
Oh, yeah, look at that! Smokin'! 46 minutes remaining, guys.
Come on.
Christina: Come on, guys, you gotta move.
Come on! - Gordon: Speed up, guys! - Christina: Keep at it! Come on! Go, Avery! Whoo! Young lady, tell me about the dish.
I am making a grilled gulf lobster, - Wow.
- with an avocado crema, and salsa de Tejas.
Now, what's in the fryer over there? - Chips.
- Chips.
- Yep.
- Now this is a tricky appetizer to nail, spiny lobster.
What are you most worried about? Probably the cook on the lobster.
And you're gonna blanche it first, right? I'm boiling it and then I'm gonna grill it.
- It's a very decadent, expensive appetizer.
- Yes.
You trying to win over the judges with the flashy ingredients? - Well - ( laughs ) Maybe just a little bit.
Are you trying to manipulate me? - No.
- No? - Maybe.
- I have three daughters.
They're always trying to manipulate me.
- ( giggles ) - Have you seen that up there? - What's that at the top there? - That's the trophy, and I'm gonna get it.
How many times would you clean that trophy a week? I'm not really the cleaning type, but - Oh.
- ( laughter ) - Good luck, young lady.
Well done.
- Thank you.
( cheers, applause ) All right, guys, 30 minutes to go.
You're halfway there.
- Joe: Let's go, let's go.
- Christina: Come on! - Keep it up! - Yeah! Whoo! Come on, Beni, you can do this! Whoo! - Joe: Beni - Hello.
So you're gonna cure and smoke salmon - in one hour's time? - Yes.
Who put this insanity in your brain? ( cheers, applause ) - How you gonna do that? - Well, we always eat smoked salmon back at home.
It's kind of a thing of my family's.
- But in an hour? - Yes.
So what's the technique? How you gonna cure and smoke? You have sugar and salt on it? Yes, I do.
I have blackened peppercorns on it, - salt and sugar.
- Tell me again, very clearly, Beni.
- What is the dish? - It's corn blinis, with cured smoked salmon.
Blinis are a lot of things for different people.
- These are savory buckwheat pancakes.
- Yes.
- But they're corn.
- With cornmeal, then.
Actually, I'm using corn, and I'm mixing it.
- Real, fresh corn? - Yes, I did.
Just to get a little crunchiness to the blini.
You've given yourself a very difficult appetizer to put together.
If the smoke doesn't impede that curing salmon, it might mean that your dish falls short.
I know, but I think that if you have confidence and courage in yourself that nothing can stop you.
- I agree.
- I love that attitude, Beni.
Good luck.
Thank you.
15 minutes remaining.
You can do this, Quani! Right, young man, how you feeling? - Good.
- Tell me about this dish.
How you gonna cook those spot prawns? Quani: I'm gonna grill the spot prawns.
Be careful.
Five seconds overcooked, - and they're like rubber.
- Yes, Chef.
Tell me about the tomatoes.
What are you doing with the green tomatoes? The "tomahtoes" - The tomatoes and - "Tomahtoes.
" - Speak English.
- ( laughter ) - The tomatoes - "Tomahtoes"! - Tomatoes! - Come on.
( laughter ) Quani: I'm frying them in cornmeal.
Tell me how you're gonna layer this out.
What's on the bottom? Tell me about the chow-chow.
The chow-chow is a crab chow-chow with pickled vegetables, and here they are right there.
What kind of vegetables going in there? - Peppers, corn - Mm.
- and baby green tomatoes.
- Mm.
- Are you organized? - Yes, Chef.
- Are you in the game? - Yes, Chef.
- Good luck.
- Thank you! ( cheers, applause ) Gordon: We're down to the last ten minutes! Come on, guys, keep it going.
- Come on, guys! - Let's go! Keep it up, everyone! - Christina: Come on! - Gordon: This is it! Come on! Go, Avery! Smells like something's burning.
Ooh, God! Okay.
- Fire.
- Oh.
Boy: Avery's lobster on fire! Oh, no.
Everyone knows how hard it is to grill lobster, and Avery's lobster's on fire! - Avery: God - I know color equals flavor, but this could go from awesome to awful in a heartbeat.
Oh, my God.
( cheers, applause ) Go, Avery! Ooh, God.
- Fire.
- Oh.
Boy: Avery's lobster on fire! Oh, my God! Where's your cloth? Can you give me a towel? - Yeah.
- Do you have a towel? Where's the towel, quick.
There we go, okay.
- Gosh.
- Don't worry, it's only a little bit of water.
- And they're not overcooked.
- Okay.
My God.
They're all fine, okay? How long have they been in there? - Two minutes.
- Two minutes, so they still need a touch more cooking, okay? - I haven't cooked them on that side yet, so - Right.
- Good girl.
- Low heat.
Low heat.
Good girl.
Well done.
It's funny, she's unflappable.
Even as 18-inch flames engulf her pan, she doesn't even wince.
Okay, whew! My lobster's a little bit charred.
I'm a little bit nervous about the cook on it.
but I have to stay calm, I have to stay cool, I have to stay collected, and I have to stay confident.
Winner! ( cheers, applause ) You got this, girl.
You have five minutes left in your appetizer course.
Keep at it! Come on! They are poised.
A slight issue with Avery's lobster, Unfortunately a little bit too much oil in the pan, water came out of the inside of the lobster.
Should have drained them a little bit longer first, let them steam in that shell, and then grill them at the last minute.
You don't think that bit of flame might have added some flavor to those lobster tails? - It depends.
- It could've added flavor, but did she control it enough so that we're not tasting smoky lobster and nothing else? - Burnt oil.
- Yeah.
We are down to two and a half minutes remaining.
- Yeah, Beni! - Yay, Quani! Yeah, Avery! Wow, amazing.
Three incredibly diverse dishes.
- Joe: How's Quani's dish? - Gordon: He's got a complicated dish going on there.
I'm concerned about the grits, are they cooked down enough? - Tomatoes have to be crispy.
- Christina: And the spot prawns - flavor cooked - And the chow-chow underneath, Just wait till you taste those pickled vegetables.
Beni, no doubt, the most sophisticated dish of the evening.
But I'm just not sure if in an hour, the smoke will have really the kind of impact on that salmon that it needs to have.
For me, Avery looks the most poised, the most in control.
An eight-year-old plating like that, seriously? 30 seconds to go! Come on, Quani! Come on, Avery! Come on, Beni! You got this, come on! Judges and crowd: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, - one! - Stop, hands in the air! Yeah! Well done! - Great job.
- Group hug.
Amazing! Home cooks, please, walk around to the front, and bring us your dishes.
Joe: So, Avery, are you happy with how your appetizer turned out? I'm very happy with how my appetizer came out.
I think it looks beautiful, and I think it tastes even better.
So, the one hour went exactly according to your plan.
Except for the fire.
- ( laughter ) - That was not according to plan! Now it's time for the most critical part of the evening.
We need to taste those delicious-looking appetizers.
Very carefully, bring those dishes and follow us into the restaurant.
Avery: Appetizer round is super important because I want to knock the judges' socks off right away.
If I win this appetizer round, I can get one hand on that trophy.
Fingers crossed.
Let's start with Avery.
Thank you.
Thank you.
( exhales ) Avery, please, describe your appetizer.
Tonight I have made for you a grilled Gulf of Mexico lobster, with an avocado crema, salsa de Tejas, and a blue corn crisp.
Now, I couldn't help but notice while you were grilling this lobster, that there was a little too much oil in your grill pan, and some flames caught up.
Are you at all concerned that there will be a bitterness or a smokiness that throws the rest of your seemingly-beautiful dish off balance? Avery: I think that they all have an equal cook on them because the fire was only on for about I'd say 30 seconds and that really doesn't affect the cook time of a lobster.
I will say personally, just knowing what's at stake tonight, I'm a little worried.
Now, inside this lobster should be beautifully cooked, slightly opaque in the center and not bright white.
Let's have a look.
Avery it's Avery, inside this lobster should be slightly opaque in the center and not bright white.
Let's have a look.
Avery it's beautifully cooked.
- You're taking it down a Mexican route.
- Avery: Yes, Chef.
- Gordon: Why? - Well, I'm from Texas, so we're right on the border with Mexico, so I wanted to grill the lobster so it has that smoky Mexican flare, but also the fresh salsa and crema that gave it that nice brightness to the dish.
I love that kind of acidity behind the salsa.
I can't taste the grilling of the lobster - 'cause you actually grilled the shell.
- Okay.
You can slice the tail in half and then grill the lobster - flesh side down so it gets that flavor.
- Avery: Okay.
Gordon: But for me, the actual cook on the lobster is beautifully done.
And I'm gonna remind myself, yet again, you're only eight years of age.
I'm impressed.
Great job.
Avery, I think the brightness, the enthusiasm that you brought to the dish with the chive blossom, with the jalapeno rings, it's quite lovely.
- Thank you.
- The one thing that I will say I probably, after eating the rest of this lobster tail, would still have half the tomatoes on my dish.
I think perhaps you overdressed the dish with tomatoes.
You want the dish to be beautiful, but you also need it to make sense as the diner eats the entire dish.
The plating of this dish is really interesting and very contemporary.
It's done in kind of like a, um, art nouveau style.
Are you more of an impressionist or a modernist in your aesthetic in your art tastes? - Hmm? - ( chuckles ) Ummiddle.
- A little of both? - Yeah.
The reason this dish is so good and so sensibly made - because the cook on the lobster is perfect.
- Thank you.
It's crispy, it's firm, but delicate, buttery.
Everything you want in the richness of lobster.
But then the magic is here the tomato salad with the onions and the jalapenos and the acidity that you put into it is a complete contrast to the richness of the lobster, so it's like a yin and yang on your palate.
challenging you to want more, to eat more, which is what great dishes do.
Good job, Avery.
- Thank you.
- Quani: Good job, Avery.
Quani, please present your appetizer, thank you.
Everyone knows that I can bake really well.
But I'm not going to win the MasterChef trophy - Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Quani: if I don't prove to the judges that I can cook way better savory food than Beni and Avery.
Quani, describe the dish, please.
I have made for you a spot prawn with a crispy grit cake, a fried green tomato, spicy tomato sauce, and a crab chow-chow.
- Visually, it looks great.
- Thank you, Chef.
It's the exact way to serve a spot prawn, whole.
- I'm so glad you kept that head on.
- Yes, Chef.
The idea is to twist the tail, pull that out.
Now, that is what I'm looking for.
That beautiful color on the prawn.
- Why grill them? - I grilled them for the flavor.
I was thinking about frying them at first, but then I thought I can't have too much crispy stuff on there.
I already have my grits.
I already have my fried green tomatoes, so I thought how about I grill the shrimp? Wow.
I'm transported immediately down south.
I feel I'm sat on my mom and dad's porch eating a very fancy shrimp and grits.
Love the crunch, love the texture.
But just the sweetness of those Santa Barbara prawns is mind-blowing.
- Good job.
- Thank you, Chef.
What I really love about this dish is that you've been really thoughtful about the components.
From that spicy tomato sauce at the bottom to the fried green tomato, to that crab and pepper chow-chow, which I think is, like, brilliant on so many levels.
It celebrates where you're from.
It's showcased in an elegant way.
There's a sweet heat to the combination of the tomatoes and the peppers, which I really love.
Think my concern with my spot prawn, looking at Gordon's, he's got a beautifully cooked spot prawn, and mine is just a little undercooked, but that's to say that it's probably this close from perfect, and, sir, that in and of itself is an achievement in the finale.
Thank you, Chef.
Quani, know what the difference is between a cook and a chef? One's better than the other? - ( chuckles ) - The main distinguishing factor is that a chef has a narrative in they food they create.
When you have a narrative, your food tells your story.
And I think the most interesting thing about this dish is that it truly is a narrative with an opinion about you, where you come from, and probably in a lot of ways that you don't even realize, what you think about food.
The grits are rich, crispy, perfectly seasoned.
The fried green tomato, spot on.
Tomato nice and raw, bitter, almost sour with the richness of the fried, crispy coating.
My spot prawns were perfectly cooked.
- Good job, Quani.
- Thank you, Chef.
I mean, Joe.
Good job, Quani.
Beni, please, present your appetizer, thank you.
Visually, my appetizer looks stunning.
I'm just a little worried about that smoked salmon.
- Thank you.
- I'm hoping that it's smoked enough, seasoned enough, and cured enough.
Beni, please, describe your appetizer.
So in front of you, you have cured smoked salmon with corn blini, picked radishes, lemon herb crème fraîche, and mini radishes.
You cured the salmon, and you smoked the salmon, and then you put salmon caviar on top of the salmon.
- Yes, I did.
- More salt, why? Because salmon roe is technically salmon eggs, so I thought they would kind of go well together.
Cutting into this salmon, it needs to be cured and smoked and seasoned perfectly.
Undercured, it's oily.
Oversmoked, and it's like a mouthful of tobacco.
If you didn't wash off sufficient salt at the beginning whilst curing it, and you added salty caviar to it, you've completely screwed the dish.
- Beni? - Yes, Chef? Beni, the salmon needs to be cured and smoked and seasoned perfectly.
- Beni? - Yes, Chef? ( exhales deeply ) It is incredible.
Thank you.
You got the balance right, the seasoning.
The pickling of those vegetables just cuts through the richness of that salmon.
The actual combination of the acidity and the smokiness, - it's delicious.
- Thank you.
But the one thing that I would never do is that some of the radishes are pickled beautifully.
And you've got these raw radishes just sliced in half.
It's an unwanted crunch.
Everything on this plate works but this little radish.
- Okay.
- Exceptional.
Good job.
Thank you.
I think the colors of your dish are incredible.
- Thank you.
- This corn blini provides such a beautiful lightness.
I think that pop of flavor matches very well with that beautiful salmon roe that you chose to put on top.
You get these two big bursts of flavor in your mouth.
I think it's a stunning appetizer that very much is you on a plate.
- Thank you.
- Yeah, Beni, as a nine-year-old cook, I have to say that this dish is spot on restaurant quality dish that I could easily sell at any restaurant - in this country tonight.
- Thank you.
The knife skills are so apparent in the unctious, oily nature of the salmon.
That's someone who really knew how to cut salmon like a sushi chef.
- Thank you.
- I agree with the radishes.
It seemed like some rogue sous chef who wanted to sabotage you threw raw radishes on your dish before it left the kitchen.
- Yes.
- But excellent dish.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Good job.
- Thank you.
I was so scared.
Beni, Quani, Avery, let me just tell you three of the most outstanding appetizers we've ever witnessed in this competition.
Now, all three of you, get back in to that incredible kitchen and get set up for your entrèes.
Thank you.
( cheers and applause ) Wow, what a start.
I mean, talk about all three coming out of the gate sharp.
- Yeah.
- So Beni gave us a classic corn blini with smoked and cured salmon.
To smoke salmon like that across 60 minutes, cure it, incredible.
I think the dish fires on all cylinders, but the only defect being the raw radishes almost ruined it, quite frankly.
Avery gave us a grilled lobster tail with a salsa de Tejas and an avocado crema.
I thought it was high-end, but for me, she missed a few marks.
Too many tomatoes on the dish.
But it's quite mind-blowing to see the technique in what she did with that lobster, let's get that right.
- Absolutely.
- Now Quani, tonight, gave us a modern take on a shrimp and grits, but elevated to sort of restaurant quality.
Amazingly cooked those Santa Barbara spot prawns.
- My spot prawn was - Raw.
cooked beautifully on one end, and then raw on the other end.
Green tomatoes, polenta, come on.
The cheapest ingredients anywhere.
You know, you've got to commend him for that.
There are two more courses to go.
It's still any home cook's title to win.
( cheers and applause ) - Good job, guys.
- Wow.
All three of you, incredible job on those amazing appetizers.
We cannot wait to see what's next.
It is now time for the main course.
Your entrèe.
Whoo! Go, Avery! Christina: Each of you will have just 60 minutes to make us three plates of your show-stopping entrèes.
You need to give this everything you've got.
Right, are we ready? Kids: Yes, Chef! - Your 60 minutes - Good luck.
Gordon: starts Now.
Let's go.
( cheers and applause ) Whoo! You got it, Quani! - Gordon: Wow.
- Christina: I mean, guys, we're staring down the barrel of the entrèe course.
Where do we go from those appetizers? Joe: I think that we're gonna need to see much more cooking technique now.
- Yes.
- On the entrèes, you have real high-end culinary skills.
Grilling, getting meat temperatures correct, frying techniques, much more of a cooking game here in the entrèe portion.
Whoo! Go, Avery! Whoo! You got this, girl.
You got this.
Avery: For my entrèe, I'm gonna be making a seared rib eye cap with wilted mustard green, glazed pearl onions, a bone marrow compound butter, and a chimichurri sauce.
I want to show the judges that I can cook any protein.
So now this rib cap in my entrèe round has to be nailed down to the ground amazing.
If Avery pulls this rib cap off, it's a showstopper.
( cheers and applause ) Whoo! Good job, Beni! Beni: For my entrèe, I am making grilled veal chop with braised cabbage, beet and potato fondant, and a mustard cream sauce.
I'm going big right now 'cause a veal chop is not like a steak that you can cook all different kinds of temperatures.
It's either right or it's wrong.
Joe: If you can cook and grill a veal chop properly, and render the veal fat, it can be one of the most delicious things you could ever put on a plate.
She's playing a big, big game with this veal chop.
- Whoo! Whoo! - Keep it up, guys! You got this, guys.
Good job, Quani.
Quani: For my entrèe, I am making duck fat-fried catfish, with braised greens, pickled okra, and a corn purèe.
Making catfish is a gutsy move in the finale.
Some people would say it's hard to elevate, so I'm gonna over-elevate it.
You know, I hear catfish, and I'm running for the door.
It's a fish that I don't like.
It tastes like the bottom of a river.
He's gotta really do something spectacular with the breading or the frying of that catfish to make it happen.
Ten minutes gone.
Let's go, keep it going.
( cheers and applause ) - Miss Avery.
- Hello.
- Texas state today, how you feeling? - Yep.
I'm feeling good.
So talk me through the other elements of your dish.
I'm gonna caramelize my onions, wilt my greens with some chicken stock, make a chimichurri sauce, and then for the bone marrow butter, I just whipped butter and I melted down some bone marrow right there.
- Christina: Ooh.
- Joe: Nice.
Now you're an eight-year-old girl and you're giving us rib cap, the epitome of big boy Texas food.
- It's a macho dish.
- Macho? Joe: Yeah, this manly, macho food, kid.
I'm gonna give you a newsflash.
- What's that? - You picked one of the hardest cuts of steak to cook.
It's not like a strip or a porterhouse or a filet.
You have all this inter-muscular fat here, so you have to render it, because if not it's gonna be very sinewy and chewy.
The margin of error is massive, Avery.
Do you understand that? I just want to impress you guys.
The stakes are high, Avery.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
Good job, Avery.
Christina: Home cooks, 30 minutes down, 30 minutes to go in your entrèes.
- ( cheers, applause ) - Let's go! - Gordon: Right, young man.
- Hello.
Now, why catfish in the finale? Why not sea bass or lobster or branzino? I wanted to step it up and do a Southern fish that tasted really good, and my twist is to fry it in duck fat.
Why are you cooking with duck fat? - Fat equals flavor.
- I love that, yes.
( applause ) - You are absolutely right.
- Good job, buddy.
Now, what are you serving with it? - I'm serving a corn puree - Right.
with spicy mixed greens with bacon in it, - and pickled okra.
- That sounds amazing.
Now, young man, you've got 20 minutes to get your hands one step closer to that incredible trophy.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
- ( cheers, applause ) - Good job, Quani.
Gordon: Wow, incredible.
The smells are phenomenal.
So here's the breaking news.
Quani is making duck-fried catfish.
- Have you ever tasted catfish in duck oil? - Never.
It's not something that is normally done.
Duck fat has a super high boiling point.
He should've gone with a traditional frying oil.
But then it would just have been boring, Joe.
He wants to celebrate the spirit of the South.
At the cost of losing the competition? Gordon: Exactly.
Oh, that's a lot of oil.
His pan's burning.
He needs to watch that.
That poor duck fat looks like it's gonna catch on fire.
Ariana: I'm looking at Quani's station, and there's, like, a huge billow of smoke coming up from his pan.
He's burning this duck fat.
He can't cook his fish in it.
It'll taste horrible! Joe: When you have any kind of fat, and it's smoking, it's burning.
Ariana: Catfish is not one of those glorious proteins, so he needs to make sure that every flavor is perfect.
Gordon: Anything goes in there - He's gonna burn it in one second.
- He's gonna burn it.
Ariana: This finale is going to change somebody's life, so this is not the time to have a bad day in the kitchen.
Everything counts.
How does he not see this duck fat? This is gonna be a big problem.
Quani's poor duck fat looks like it's gonna catch on fire.
His pan's burning.
He needs to watch it.
Joe: When you have any kind of fat, and it's smoking, it's burning.
How does he not see this duck fat? This is gonna be a big problem.
Gordon: We are down to the last 10 minutes! Come on, guys.
- Keep it going.
- Christina: Come on, guys! - All right, Quani.
- Hello.
Joe: What are you doing, you burning some oil? - Um - Smoking burnt fat equals smoking burnt flavor, right? Joe: Let me show you a trick, Quani.
You take a little bit of whatever you're gonna fry, and you throw it in.
What happens when it's so hot, you put it in, it's gonna burn it without cooking it.
It's brown in two seconds.
- Get it's too hot.
- Use your brain.
- Okay.
- It's all on you.
- Quani, keep your eye on that.
- Yes, Chef.
You got this, Quani.
Stay focused.
Gordon: Young home cooks, this is it.
Your entrèe, this could make or break your dreams.
Yeah, buddy! Awesome! Killing it.
- Joe: Hey, Beni, how's it going? - Beni: Hello.
- Good.
- Christina: Tell us about your entrèe.
- Christina: Whoo! - I'm making a veal chop.
- You're making some fire.
- Yes, I am.
I'm making a veal chop with a mustard sauce, - a sauerkraut and potato and beet fondant.
- Christina: Wow.
So potato and beet fondant, you've gotta leave it in that liquid as long as possible.
- Yes.
- It needs to be soft.
It needs to be luxurious, and it can't be rushed.
- Now, have you ever cooked veal chop before? - No, I haven't.
- You've never cooked veal chop.
- No, I haven't.
- Girlfriend, what are you doing? - I'm taking a risk! That's the whole point of this competition.
( cheers, applause ) Joe: But, listen, it needs to be glistening, crisp on the outside, and it's also really important to render the veal fat, make it nice and caramelized, get good color on it.
It could really, really be one of the most delicious things you could put on a plate, but you've gotta cook it right.
- Beni, good luck.
- Thank you.
Joe: Good luck.
Go, Beni! Gordon: Guys, we've six minutes remaining.
Come on! Time to oven bake.
Gordon: Your chance to get in front of your competition - happens right now.
- ( cheering ) - Oven open! - Gordon: Wow, I think these guys have really set themselves up for success, but the jeopardy is extraordinary;.
So Beni, she's never cooked veal chop before.
Joe: Bone-in veal chop is one of the most difficult cuts of meat to cook at a restaurant, because the tendency is to overcook the outside, and leave the part by the bone completely rare.
How is she able to do that? Gordon: Yeah, I mean, I think she's not showing off with the ingredients, she's showing off with the technique.
- Go, Beni! - That looks great, Beni! - You got this, you guys.
- Come on, Quani.
Now, Quani's fried catfish it's a beautiful homage to the South.
But would you choose catfish as your entrèe? Honestly, no.
Not for finale.
- Exactly.
- Gordon: However, he's cooking it in a way that you've never tasted before.
I have to commend him on that.
Imagine if he can make that rustic, unwanted catfish into something incredible, come on.
Oven open! Now, here's the big issue tonight.
Avery's rib caps have just come out of the oven, and they're swimming in fat.
- She didn't put 'em on a rack? - No, no rack.
Joe: If you don't get 'em out of the fat, they're gonna overcook.
They're basically poaching right now in their own fat water, and that's a problem.
Ah, I think Avery's are maybe overdone.
Oh, my gosh, my collar's gonna fall down, there's so much pressure! This is the finale.
They have to have high, sophisticated dishes that are perfectly cooked.
Gordon: It needs to be medium rare.
Anything over, it's a disaster.
It all comes down to those tiny, tiny, tiny details.
They've been in the oven for eight minutes.
so by the time they rest, unfortunately, they're gonna be well-done.
Mikey: If Avery wants to become the youngest MasterChef Junior ever, this entrèe is gonna have to be the best entrèe she's ever cooked.
Christina: I worry the pressure has gotten to her.
You're seeing the inexperience of an eight-year-old at this point.
Oh, looks like too much color.
This could be game over.
- Announcer: Coming up - This could make or break your dreams! the biggest cooking competition in the world continues - Yeah, Quani! - as the three best junior home cooks in America - Good job, Avery! - battle it out - Yeah, Beni! - over the final two courses.
Dang it.
- But only one - Absolutely delicious.
- will walk away - Kind of perfection.
with $100,000 Man, does it taste good.
and the "MasterChef Junior" title.
America's next MasterChef Junior is ( cheers, applause )