MasterChef Junior (2013) s06e15 Episode Script

The Finale, Part 2 - The Winner

1 Last time at MasterChef Junior.
The three best junior home cooks in America faced off This is it.
over their appetizers.
The MasterChef Junior finale.
where Avory Quite lovely.
Quanni Excellent dish.
and Beni Incredible.
competetion to another level.
Rib cap off, it's a showstopper.
It's still any home cook's title to win.
( cheers, applause ) Christina: Finish strong.
It all comes down to this, - your incredible entrèes.
- Oven open! Gordon: And for one of you, minutes away from being crowned America's next MasterChef Junior.
- Come on, guys.
- Whoo! 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.
If you don't get them out of the fat, they're gonna overcook.
They're basically poaching right now in their own fat water, and that's a problem.
Okay, I got this.
Gordon: Two minutes remaining.
Come on, guys.
Start thinking about your plating.
Yeah, Beni! Guys, look at the color on that veal chop.
All that caramelization on that fat.
Go, Quani.
And then the color on that catfish.
- Christina: Mmm.
Love it.
- Joe: Wow.
Kid: Man, Quani, those look good.
Thanks.
Yours looks really good, too.
Christina: Look at what Avery's doing over here.
- Joe: She's branding? - Christina: She's branding.
She bring in her own brand from Texas? You got this, Avery! Whoo! Christina: These entrèes are shaping up to be some real showstoppers.
Gordon: We are down to the last 60 seconds remaining.
- Here we are, come on.
- Let's go! - Gordon: Taste everything.
- Joe: Remember, guys, consistency in the three plates.
They need to look exactly the same.
Gordon: Good boy, Quani! Looking great, Avery! - Go, go, go! - Keep pushing, guys! - Gordon: Well done, Beni! - Christina: Come on, guys! All: 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Gordon: Stop! Hands in the air! ( cheers, applause ) - ( Avery sighs ) - Christina: Great job.
- Gordon: Well done! - Whoo! - Good job, guys.
- Amazing! Group hug! All of you, those dishes look incredible.
Christina: All right, you three.
It's time to taste those stunning entrèes.
Follow us.
( cheers, applause ) Girl: It looks amazing, Avery! Good luck! Boy: It looks so good, Beni! - That looks awesome! - Girl #2: Looks great, Quani! Okay, let's begin with eight-year-old Avery.
You got this, Avery.
Avery: I knew coming into this finale that I had to take Texas Southern comfort food to a whole new level.
- Thank you.
- Here you go.
Avery: I'm used to cooking cow.
I'm used to the taste, I'm used to the texture, and I'm used to what temperature it's supposed to be cooked.
So this entrèe could be worth big money.
Joe: Okay, Avery, please describe your dish to us.
Avery: For my entrèe, I have made you a seared rib-eye cap with wilted mustard greens, glazed pearl onions, a chimichurri sauce, and a bone marrow compound butter.
I was going for upscale steakhouse restaurant quality, but also a bit of rusticity with the branded tortilla garnish.
Aside from all the rusticity, this represents Texas, only one thing matters, and it is the cook on the steak.
Yes, Joe.
Let's see if the cook is good.
The cook on this steak is spot on.
You have a perfect char on the outside.
All the sinewy intermuscular fat has been rendered into delicious juices seeping out of it.
It's a perfect medium rare-to-medium.
- It's perfection.
- Thank you.
How did you season it? Avery: I seasoned it with salt and pepper.
I was a little perplexed by the bone marrow compound butter and the chimichurri sauce.
You'd think you would choose one or the other.
What was your intention in using both of those on these plates? So I just like the idea of the creamy and fatty butter with the earthy and acidic greens.
I like it.
It's a huge contrast.
The complexity of the flavor profiles of the dish are really kind of blowing me away.
- Good job.
- Thank you.
Avery, I don't know that I've had a rib cap that was cooked more perfectly.
That said, I like the bone marrow butter on top.
I think there's way too much of it for the size of rib cap that you've given me.
Mm-kay.
The branding of this tuile, I love the spirit of it, and these red onions, I love the acidity that they bring.
- But I wish they were braised just a little bit longer.
- Okay.
- They had a tenderness but still a toothiness.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
- Uh, young lady.
Rib cap's become a prized protein over the last five years and you've mastered it.
Mine is beautifully seared, pink all the way through.
But visually the plate looks very simple.
I'm surprised there's no starch on there.
- No potatoes? - No, Chef.
I'm not saying the dish is incomplete, but, you know, the wilted greens, - it needs a little bit more love in there.
- Okay.
Some bacon in there.
I want to see more love on the surroundings 'cause the foundation of this dish needs to sing as well as the heart of the dish does.
- Okay.
- Okay, Avery, thank you.
- Good job, Avery.
- Good job, Avery.
Thanks.
Okay, please come up, 11-year-old Quani.
Quani: For my entrèe, my goal was to elevate catfish Thank you.
which is something that nobody's ever done in the finale before.
So I'm taking a big risk, but I'm trying to stay true to my Southern roots and I think it's definitely gonna pay off huge.
Quani, please describe the dish for us.
I have made a duck fat-fried catfish with spicy mixed greens, pickled okra, and a corn puree.
Quani, why catfish? Catfish because it's harder to elevate because it's not as expensive, and I wanted to prove to you that I could still make it taste just as good as a expensive filet mignon.
Hmm.
There is trying to prove your point and there is winning this competition.
What's more important to you? - Winning the competition.
- Okay.
Frying in duck fat is not always so easy.
When your pan started smoking and your duck fat was way over temperature, did you regret that decision, as opposed to trying with a more traditional frying oil? I did not regret that decision at all.
Did the duck fat have a payoff in the flavor? Yes, Chef.
This catfish could be worth $100,000 and the title of MasterChef to you.
- Do you understand that? - Yes, Chef.
All right, let's try it out.
Quani, this catfish could be worth $100,000 and the title of MasterChef to you.
- Do you understand that? - Yes, Chef.
All right, let's try it out.
This is, uh - pretty fantastic.
- ( gasps ) It's perfectly moist.
The crust, cornmeal, is integrated perfectly.
It's soft, tender, well seasoned on the inside.
This is all an incredible foundation for what is the best catfish I've ever had in my life.
You know, I do not generally like river fish, least of which is catfish, but you've made a believer out of me and I will never look at that ugly, whiskered fish the same way ever again.
Thank you, Joe.
Quani, you know how I can tell you're from the South? - How? - You know how to cook your greens.
That smoky, fatty bacon that you rendered off before you braised that kale and that rainbow chard.
It's tender, it's flavorful, it's got this great punch of sweetness to it.
Your pickled okra and the pickled stems of that rainbow chard provide great acidity.
Now, I like the flavor of the corn puree.
I wish that it were more smooth.
But, Quani, not only have you made Joe a believer, but you've definitely, for me, confirmed why you are cooking here tonight, sir.
- Nice job.
- Thank you, Chef.
Quani, we have unleashed the beast.
( laughs ) It is absolutely delicious.
I don't quite think you know what you've just done.
'Cause you've elevated a catfish to this sort of sea bass level.
And I'm gonna use this, by the way, let's get that right.
This is going on my menu, okay? But I'd get rid of the corn meal.
Go a bit further, a different breading, a softer, brioche crumb or a panko breadcrumb.
But you've transformed a bottom-feeding, tasteless catfish and elevated it into something unique.
- Thank you, Chef.
- You've proved Joe wrong, and that's the snobbiest restaurateur anywhere in the country.
( laughing ) Thank you, Quani.
Thank you, Quani.
Thank you, Quani.
Thank you, Quani.
- Nice job, sir.
- Good job, Quani.
All right, let's see what Beni has for us.
I am staying true to my Eastern European roots right now with this dish because beets and veal are really popular in the Polish cuisine.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
And even though I haven't cooked a veal chop before, I am here to take risks.
Please, Beni, describe your dish.
Beni: For my entrèe, I made a veal chop with beet and potato fondant, red cabbage sauerkraut, a simple little green salad, and a mustard cream sauce.
This is a much more complex cook than a steak because we don't really talk about veal in terms of medium rare, rare, or well done.
Veal is cooked properly.
So we're gonna see what happens when I cut along the bone, because if I was putting out a banquet for 500 people at the Plaza Hotel, I would take the first chop off the line and check for temperature and do exactly this.
It has to be white, maybe slightly a tone of pink.
It has to have beautiful rendered white, oozing fat.
Beni, I'm sorry to say if you were a cook in one of my banquet kitchens right now, you probably wouldn't be cooking for much longer because I'd probably make you a sous chef.
Because you've perfectly cooked this veal chop.
It is perfection.
Beni, you've gone beyond.
An amazing job.
Thank you.
I mean, Beni, it's a beautiful dish.
Thank you.
This veal chop, and that marbling of fat that runs through, is beautifully rendered.
I have to say, this mustard cream sauce that you've made, for me, is rich, it's beautiful, it's acidic, it has a little bit of a heat to it the way that mustard does.
It's not overpowering, but it's exactly what you need.
I think that your microgreen salad here is lovely.
I'm not sure it's needed.
Visually, it's a great pop of color, but I get enough acidity from that beautiful red cabbage sauerkraut that I don't necessarily need anything else.
- Okay.
- But I think you've really nailed a lot of the different edges of what a well-composed entrèe looks like.
- Nice job, Beni.
- Thank you.
Beni, you've nailed the veal chop.
The seasoning is beautifully done.
The caramelization, just radiant.
What would I have done differently? The beet roots need another four or five minutes.
- I don't want to hear that.
- Okay.
However, I love everything on this plate, bar the beets.
I mean, what I don't eat now, young lady, I'm taking home tonight.
In fact, I'd like to take Christina and Joe's bone home as well.
- ( laughs ) - Gordon, you get a bone of your own because I'm gonna keep mine, too.
- You're keeping yours, wow.
- Yeah.
- Christina? - I'm not giving you my bone.
- Okay, just asking.
- Okay, don't fight, don't fight, don't fight.
- Great job, young lady.
- Thank you.
Great job, Beni.
Please head back into the kitchen and get ready to prepare the most important dessert of your young lives.
( cheers, applause ) - Good job, guys.
- Good job, guys.
What a course.
Beautifully done.
I think Quani and Beni are frontrunners, at this point.
But with Avery's copious baking skills, with one nailed dessert, she could easily be back in the running to win this competition.
It is seriously coming down to this dessert.
If your dessert isn't good, game over.
Yeah.
It's going to be a very interesting final cook.
Let's go.
( cheers, applause ) Christina: Avery, Quani, Beni, it's time for you to make us your grand finale, dessert.
You have just one hour to make us three plates of one incredible dessert to show us that you have what it takes to win the title, the money, and of course the trophy that confirms that you are the next MasterChef Junior.
- Are you three ready? - All: Yes, Joe! Your final hour cooking in the MasterChef kitchen starts now! ( crowd cheering ) There you go.
Wow, this is it.
Whoever nails this dessert right now can bag this competition.
Christina: It's been an incredible meal so far.
They've raised the bar so high.
It's really down to this last course and, at this point, it's any home cook's title to win.
( cheers, applause ) For my dessert, I am making an apple tartlet with candied walnut crumble, persimmon chips, and cranberry coulis.
Yeah, Beni! Beni: Going into the dessert round, I'm going to be a little out of my comfort zone because Quani's the baking king.
He has in own little bake sale back in Georgia on the soccer field.
Avery's mom is a baker, so Avery knows how to bake.
But I know if I put my mind to it and my heart into it, I can rock it.
Yeah, Quani! For my dessert, I am making a blueberry tart with a toasted marshmallow meringue, flambéed blueberries, and lemon poppyseed tuile.
I'm the baking king, and I do not want to hand that crown over to Beni or Avery.
I won my white apron doing a dessert, and now I'm gonna win the trophy doing a dessert as well.
- Good job, Avery! - Whoo! Come on.
I'll be making a Mexican hot chocolate tres leches cake with a cinnamon smoked salted caramel sauce caramel popcorn, and a whipped cream.
My dad loves tres leches.
My sister loves whipped cream, and my mom loves caramel popcorn.
Yum.
This is like my whole family in one dessert.
This is it.
This is the most important dessert that we're ever gonna cook.
It's now or never.
This moment is all that matters.
- ( cheering ) - Come on, guys! You can do this! This is it, Avery, Quani, and Beni.
It all comes down to execution of their dessert.
Whoever nails it picks up that trophy.
( beeps, whirring ) Whoo! Avery! - Avery! - Hi! What have you got going on over here? - Popcorn.
- I love it! Is this how you make popcorn at home? Sometimes.
I usually use our microwave, though.
No, this is the best way to do it.
No microwaves here in the MasterChef kitchen.
Now, we have this smoked Mexican chocolate tres leches cake.
I imagine your cakes are in the oven.
Yep, and I'm baking for five more minutes.
When do those different types of milk come into play? The tres leches mixture's right there and I'm gonna pour it over the cake when they come out.
Okay, keep your eye on that popcorn.
It's coming, I can smell it.
- Oh, it's starting.
- There you I hear it, I hear it, I hear it! All right, Avery, can't wait to see how it comes out.
- Good luck! - There it goes.
Whoo! Just under 30 minutes remaining.
Yeah, Beni! - Right, young lady.
- Yes, hello.
Deconstructed apple croustade.
- Yes.
- Why? Because I like to deconstruct stuff my own way.
I don't like to copy stuff.
Do you take apart your bicycle? - No.
- Okay, so you don't deconstruct everything.
Why deconstructed apple tart? I just thought, instead of doing the old, boring way, I could do the fancy new way.
You're saying old and boring.
Are you considering Joe and I old and boring? Well, we know who's more old.
Who's more boring? Age is only a number, Joe.
What's the sauce? How are you gonna bring this together? - A cranberry coulis.
- Joe: Wow.
Gordon: Love that idea.
Now, are you flambéing these apples? - No.
- No.
So, no alcohol.
No um, brandy cream, though.
- Oh, brandy cream.
- Brandy.
You'll get that beautiful flavor, and since you're a grown-up, you can drink brandy, you will enjoy it.
Right, young lady, 25 minutes to get your hands on that stunning trophy.
- Wow.
- Good luck.
Beni: Thank you.
Yay, Quani! ( grunts ) Eek, Quani's dough is falling apart.
Dang it.
I can't it's too crumbly.
- Christina: Quani? - Yeah.
What's going on with this dough? It looks a little dry? How much time do you have before you need to get this into the oven? It needs to go in now.
So, as you know, pastry dough you don't want to make it too floured of a surface, yeah? - Yes.
- 'Cause the more you flour the surface, the more you're gonna dry out that dough.
And make sure that crust is nice and thin, okay? Yes, Chef.
Now, Quani, what are you making tonight? Today I'm making a blueberry tart with toasted marshmallow meringue, blueberry flambé, and a lemon poppyseed tuile.
All right.
You've created a very ambitious dessert that you have to execute to perfection.
If we taste underbaked shell, if there's a hole in that tart shell, it's game over.
- Yes, Chef.
- And these two young ladies behind you, they're chasing you down because they want to prove to us that they're just as good of a baker as you.
- Now, do you have what it takes? - Yes, Chef! Get those pie shells in the oven.
- Good luck.
- Yes, Chef! Thank you.
La! Whoo! You've got to get those tart shells in the oven.
Quani, you've got to get them in the oven.
Otherwise they're not gonna be cooked and rested and cooled down in time.
- Please get them in the oven.
- Yes, Chef.
Keep moving, keep moving, buddy.
- Movie night.
- ( laughter ) Now, Avery's smoked Mexican tres leches cake, this is the dessert that I'd want to have after that delicious rib cap.
Yep.
This is not an entry level dessert.
This is what you would expect to get a dessert at a three-star Michelin restaurant in Mexico City.
She's really kind of going out of her comfort zone and taking a big risk.
( cheers, applause ) So, Beni's doing, like, a deconstructed apple crustada.
I don't mind anyone deconstructing, but it has to be better than the original.
I'd rather have a perfect old-fashioned apple pie - Christina: Yeah.
- than a modern deconstructed that doesn't really tell the story.
- Joe: That's true.
- You got it, Quani.
Gordon: We are down to the last 10 minutes.
Come on, guys, keep it going.
- Christina: Come on, guys! - Gordon: Let's go! The big question for me now is when does Quani take those tarts out of the oven? Right now, I'm worried about running behind.
Oven open! But I need to get this pie crust onto the plate.
He's starting to tip those out now.
He hasn't got time to cool them down.
You got this, Quani! Even to take them out of the mold, it's gonna be brittle and they could fall apart.
Quani: I have to pay, like, super close attention.
- Take your time, Buddy.
- So I'm tipping it really slowly, hoping it doesn't break.
I need to get it done now, but I've got to get this done perfectly.
Come on, Quani.
Joe: Careful, Quani.
Careful, careful, careful.
Oh, oh, oh.
( gasps ) Joe: Uh-oh.
Ooh.
- Come on, Quani.
- Come on, Quani.
Gordon: Careful, Quani.
Christina: Oh, oh, oh, oh! ( gasps ) - Joe: Uh-oh.
- Ooh.
One of my tarts is breaking.
It's just not gonna work.
He did not give it enough time to rest.
Quani: I only have one left.
He is struggling beyond belief.
Careful, Quani.
I can't take it out.
It's gonna break.
Quani: I have to keep it in the tin He's leaving one in the shell.
or there will be no tart on that plate.
Gordon: You've still got this, okay? Keep that composure.
You got it, bud.
- ( cheering ) - Let's go, come on! You guys got this! Nice and slow, Beni, make it look beautiful.
All right, guys, two minutes left in the final dessert course.
Come on! - Go, Avery! It looks awesome! - Avery! - Ah, yeah.
- Gentlemen, can you see the dessert on Avery's station right now? - Joe: Fabulous.
- Gordon: Absolutely amazing.
Yeah, Beni! Beni's started to put together her deconstructed apple tart.
- Gordon: Beautiful.
- That gooey, sugary covering on Beni's apples right now.
- Mind-blowing.
- Good job, Beni.
The marshmallow meringue on Quani's looks incredible.
Honestly, that guy is bouncing back brilliantly.
- Absolutely.
- Avery, watch out.
Okay.
Quani is now blow-torching his marshmallow.
Wow, Quani, wow.
That's gonna give a beautiful caramelization to the sugar of those marshmallows, gives us a little bit of the smoky essence of campfire.
- Gordon: Love that.
- Yeah, Quani! 30 seconds away from one of you being crowned America's next MasterChef Junior! - Come on, guys! - Yeah, Avery! - Gordon: Finishing touches, let's go! - Go, Quani! - Let's go! - This is it! You gotta push, guys! - Gordon: Ten! - All: Nine, eight, seven six, five, four - three, two, one! - Gordon: Stop! ( cheering ) Gordon: Amazing.
Well done! - Oh, my God.
Great job.
- Gordon: Brilliant.
- Great job, Quani.
- Good job, Quani.
You too, guys.
Oh, my God.
We just cooked our last time in the MasterChef kitchen.
Absolutely incredible.
Joe: Home cooks, you have impressed everyone in this room tonight and there's no doubt that you're about to impress us three judges back in the restaurant.
So now it's time for the most critical tasting of your entire lives.
Whew.
Let's go to the restaurant.
Boy: Yeah, guys! You guys did awesome! Christina: So here we are, the final course.
Oh, man.
Let's begin with Beni.
I love to be unique, stand out, go out of the box.
And I wanted my dessert to represent me.
So that's why I didn't make the old and boring way apple pie.
I made it exciting, creative, deconstructed apple pie.
I gave it my all and I hope the judges see that.
My dessert is a deconstructed apple tartlet with candy walnut crumble, apple brandy cream, persimmon chips, and cranberry coulis.
Why do you need to deconstruct an apple tart? Beni: I just thought that it would look more pretty deconstructed.
So you're deconstructing in search for aesthetic beauty.
Yes.
My big question to you, young lady, is your deconstructed apple croustade - better than a classic? - Yes, Chef.
Christina: Beni, there's not an element that's done with anything short of perfection.
- Wow.
- Christina: The way that you've cooked the apples down, there's such a perfect amount of sugar and cinnamon.
- Beni: Thank you.
- The cook on the tart shell could not be more perfect.
You get that sort of brown buttery note.
It's a great texture at the bottom of it.
I would've loved to see you take the apples and maybe build them a little bit higher.
Or maybe do another layer of tart shell and build that again.
But that's really just to show off the beauty of this dessert even more and to give me more to eat.
- I love it.
- Thank you.
I'm not a big fan of the whole deconstructed thing, but what you were able to do here in your deconstruction is to isolate and exalt all the individual flavors that a apple tart like this would have.
Perfectly cooked apples, crust.
If I had to make one comment, - perhaps the pastry cream is a bit too gelatinous.
- Beni: Okay.
I like it a little bit more creamier, a little unctuous.
- Beni: Oh, okay.
- But aside from that, kinda perfection.
- Yes! - Joe: Reminds me of desserts my grandmother cooks for me.
That's not what a gentleman does.
- I've never called myself a gentleman.
- ( Beni laughs ) - Gordon: It's fragrant, it's delicious.
- Beni: Thank you.
Gordon: You know, to be that bold and that tenacious to deconstruct something, you need to know at the other end, it's as good as the original.
And it definitely is.
I mean, seriously well done.
Avery: Great job, Beni.
Good job, Beni.
All right, next up please, Quani.
Beni: Come on Quani, you got this.
- Avery: You got this, Quani.
- Beni: It's beautiful.
This is the most important dish in my life.
I wanted to step it up a notch.
But because of circumstances, I had to keep one of my tarts in a tin because if I didn't my crust would have broke.
Hopefully the judges understand.
Quani, what's the dessert you made for us tonight? I have made a blueberry tart with a toasted marshmallow meringue, flambéd blueberries, and lemon poppy seed tuile.
Why give yourself such a complicated dessert to execute? Because it's the finale and my bar on dessert right now is super high so I had to make it higher and hopefully impress you guys.
Why did you decide to give me the one in the metal pan? Uh, I didn't really decide to give you No, no, no, no, listen, Quani.
Everything in life is a decision.
Why me? No, just be aware, my friend, that every decision has ramifications.
In the professional world, in the competitive cooking world, you cannot plate a dessert with a piece of metal in it.
Quani, in the competitive cooking world, you cannot plate a dessert with a piece of metal in it.
It's just a fact.
But you know what? Aside from the fact that mine looks like it's being carried in a military naval vessel the structure and the idea of the dessert is quite interesting.
Now, Quani, I know you had some trouble out there with your pastry crust.
What happened? Um, it wasn't cold enough so it was really hard to put into the tin.
It really is delicious.
The blueberry's tart.
It's got a great body to it, and that torched marshmallow on top is very reminiscent of, like, campfires and smores, and beautifully toasted marshmallows.
Your pastry crust is cooked all the way through.
But Quani, I have nearly no tart shell on this side.
It's not perfectly rolled out.
And I see some blank edges of pie, so I don't have an even layer of that blueberry curd.
You definitely fell short on some pretty crucial techniques tonight.
But, I love the idea, I love the inspiration behind this dish.
Really nice effort.
Um, young man, it's elegant, but the ironic thing is the blueberries on the outside of the plate, the ones you caramelized in the zest and the sugar, taste better than the actual blueberries in the tart.
I'm saying that you attempted something short of a miracle.
I'm amazed you got it done.
So, well done, for not breaking down and disappearing.
Thank you.
- Good job, Quani.
- Avery: Great job, Quani.
You did awesome.
So, the very last tasting of this incredible journey comes down to our youngest finalist ever, eight-year-old Avery.
They look great, Avery.
Thank you.
My mom's a baker so I technically learned how to cook making desserts.
Ladies first.
Thank you.
The hardest thing about making a tres leches cake is to get the cake perfectly soft.
But I think I definitely nailed it.
Avery, please describe your dessert.
Tonight for my dessert, I have made for you a Mexican hot chocolate tres leches cake, with a smoked cinammon salted caramel sauce, smoked cinammon caramel kettle corn and a whipped cream.
I think that sweet and salty go really good together so I wanted to add some smoked salt to make it that smoky, kind of Texas-inspired flavor.
This is the moment of truth.
How long did you bake the cakes for? I baked it for 25 minutes on 350 and then another five minutes on 325 to bake it all the way through.
Christina: It's rich, it's luscious, it's salty, it's sweet, but it is a minute or two overbaked.
- Okay.
- Christina: But the center is still gooey and moist.
Because making a tres leches cake is actually one of the smartest moves you can make because even if you overbake your cake reinforcing the moisture back in with that tres leches soak revives it.
It brings it back to life.
And for me the real shining star is that caramel corn.
- Decadent, delicious.
- Mm-hmm.
This is a lovely dessert.
The execution isn't perfect, but man, does it taste good.
Thank you.
There's a lot to like about this dessert.
The popcorn is crunchy, the caramel sauce is fabulous.
It's kind of spicy with the cinnamon.
I love the bite of salt every now and then.
I love the density of the cake.
Christina's right, on the outside, - it's a little overcooked.
- Mm-hmm.
But where it's moist on the inside, it's rich and unctuous.
It's just the kind of dessert that draws you in.
This is a dessert that would sell.
Avery, it's delicious.
Very clever, with popcorn on top of the smoked molten salt in the caramel.
I disagree about the overcooking of it.
I think you just need to soak them longer.
So, had you soaked around the outside, I think it would have been a near-perfect dessert.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Good job, Avery.
- Thank you.
Gordon: Let's get one thing straight, shall we? All of you should be feeling incredibly proud.
What you've just achieved tonight has been nothing short of extraordinary.
- Thank you, Chef.
- Thank you, Chef.
Please head back into the kitchen because we have so much to discuss.
And the next time we see you we will know who's going to be crowned America's next MasterChef Junior.
Thank you.
( cheers, applause ) Wow.
What an incredible finish to an amazing night.
But we need a winner.
Now, Avery gave us that incredible poached grilled spiny lobster, avocado crema, with that fragrant tomato salsa.
I thought that the dish was really kind of a triumph.
In contrast, the flavor of the lobster versus the acidity of the tomato salad.
And they were cooked.
Impeccable.
Followed by this incredible entrèe, that seared rib cap, topped with that bone marrow pounded butter, glazed onions and those wilted greens.
I don't know in my life that I've ever had a rib cap that was so juicy, so full of flavor.
It was the most perfectly executed of the three proteins, no doubt.
Christina: That said, the rest of Avery's entrèe fell short for me.
Gordon: And then the chocolate tres leches cake topped with caramel corn, smoked sauce.
I mean, making a dessert of that quality was exceptional.
The biggest issue that she had was not soaking it long enough.
Christina: Though there was an error in Avery's cake, I kept eating it because it was good.
I mean, she sounded like a 28-year-old chef that's been in the business for the last decade.
Beyond her eight years.
Way beyond! Avery: I really stayed true to my culture.
I went 500% Texas and I have proven that age does not matter in this kitchen.
As his appetizer, Quani gave us beautiful Santa Barbara spot prawn, atop a fried green tomato, a white corn polenta, with that crab and red bell pepper chow-chow.
A modern take on a shrimp and grits.
Great flavor with the green tomatoes.
Amazingly cooked, those Santa Barbara spot prawns.
It was delicious.
Joe: He grilled the prawns to perfection, and conceptualized a restaurant-quality dish that I would want to eat anywhere I went to dinner tonight.
Christina: Now, as his entrèe, cast-iron duck fat-fried catfish, corn puree, pickled okra, and braised rainbow chard, kale, and bacon together.
Quani elevated the most unwanted fish anywhere in the country to a Rolls Royce standard.
It was divine.
He really changed my mind about what a fish could be.
And then, of course, Quani's dessert, a blueberry tartlet.
You know, guys, the base of Quani's dessert, this tartlet shell, crumbled in his hands.
He's the pastry kid, but it's the finale, and I think today, the pressure got the best of him.
But Quani elevated the cheapest ingredients anywhere to a completely different level for all of us.
Quani: I took traditional Southern dishes and I elevated them to something that the judges have never seen before.
And I think I definitely made the South and Georgia very proud.
- I'm so scared.
- I know.
Me too.
So, Beni, for a appetizer, gave us corn blini with triple-smoked and cured salmon.
To smoke a salmon like that across 60 minutes, cure it, and then make those corn blinis, incredible.
The only defect being the raw radishes, were really almost ruined it.
Followed by the entrèe course, grilled bone-in veal chop with red cabbage sauerkraut, beet and potato fondant, pickled mustard cream sauce, amazing, amazing entrèe.
I loved Beni's veal chop.
I thought it was high-end with the proper Beni humility.
And that, for me, makes Beni's veal chop the star of the evening.
Not everything on the plate worked with it, but the sear was beautiful, the cook was impeccable.
I mean, what a course.
Last but not least, her dessert was a deconstructed apple tart.
Everything had an individual flavor that made sense, separately and together.
That apple walnut crumble on top, in my mind, perfectly cooked.
- I mean, Beni's not a showy gal - No.
She lets her food do the talking, and I think that she really did do that this evening.
I took the judges on a journey from Chicago to Eastern Europe.
I created delicious food, and I think that I did enough to win the title of MasterChef Junior.
Three home cooks cooked their hearts out, and the big question is now who is going to become America's next MasterChef Junior based on the overall concept of their menus? - It's very clear in my mind.
- Gordon? - 100% yes.
Christina? - Without a doubt.
Let's go.
I feel like I was underestimated from the start, being one of the youngest home cooks here.
But now I can be the youngest "MasterChef Junior" winner ever.
This night could change my life.
( cheers, applause ) Beni, Quani, Avery, this competition began with young home cooks aged 8 to 13, and you are the final three left standing.
I've gone through a lot of bumpy roads to get here, but I definitely think I've proved to the judges that I can cook and bake really well.
I'm ready to take home that trophy and start my baking empire.
You may have started this journey as three talented young home cooks, but all three of you have become so much more than that.
We want you to come up here and switch places with us and take your well-earned and deserved place on this stage where you three belong.
( cheers, applause ) Beni: This is what it all comes down to.
This is the moment of truth.
I worked so hard for this, and I'm so close to winning.
Gordon: Beni, Quani, and Avery, all three of you are big inspirations to every youngster in this incredible country.
But this is a competition and sadly only one of you can become America's next MasterChef Junior.
Only one of you will receive a check for $100,000.
Oh, my gosh.
Only one of you will win the most coveted trophy in the culinary world.
Gordon: The winner of "MasterChef Junior" Congratulations.
- Beni.
- Oh, my God! Oh, my God! ( cheers, applause ) Oh, my God! Hey, guess what? That belongs to you.
- Here's $100,000.
- Oh, my gosh! This is it.
I won.
I've been working so hard for this moment.
- Oh, my God.
- I'm so proud of you, Beni.
I think that Avery and Quani did a really, really, really good job.
High five, man.
That was awesome.
They were such fierce competitors, and they did not go down without a fight.
- You guys changed my - Seriously, good job, guys.
Good job.
I'm really proud of Beni 'cause she's worked really hard for it, and I'm proud for myself because I still got close to winning, but I just fell a little short.
Group hug.
Come on, bring it in.
Avery: To be the youngest ever in the finale, it really feels great, and I think that this experience has been probably the best experience of my entire life.
I'm gonna miss you guys.
Beni: I hope I have inspired kids out there to never stop following your dreams.
Never give up and just do what you have your mind set to.
Wow, what a night.
Now, if you think you have what it takes to be on the next season of "MasterChef Junior," please go to fox.
com/masterchefjunior for more details.
Good luck.
I am the next MasterChef Junior! ( cheers, applause )