MasterChef Junior (2013) s07e15 Episode Script

The Finale, Part 1

( cheers and applause ) Tonight, you have a front row seat for the biggest event of the year.
This is the battle of the culinary world's next generation.
The showdown that America has been waiting for.
This is the "MasterChef Junior" finale.
( cheers and applause ) - ( kids laughing ) - Gordon: Our search began with thousands of talented young home cooks age eight to thirteen.
- Whoo! - Come on, guys! Just 24 young home cooks earned a MasterChef white apron.
Oh, my God! But earning the apron was only the beginning.
- Open oven! - Because this year, the challenges were more difficult than ever before.
- ( kids scream ) - We're just kids.
Sometimes it was messy.
- Sometimes it was intense.
- Matthew: We need more flour! - Switch! - Come on, guys, let's go! - And sometimes - ( gasps ) - Oh, my gosh! - it was inspiring.
Tonight, we've invited a very smart, talented group of people.
- Hello! - Oh, my God.
- But throughout it all - All right, guys, it's MasterChef worthy.
Let's go! - these young home cooks - Salt and pepper it! - conquered everything - Punch it, punch it.
- we threw at them.
- Chop faster than you ever did in your life! That is a work of art.
- Delicious.
- Thank you.
Aarón: I'm really impressed.
That is dynamite.
Exceptional.
This dish, it's out of control impressive.
- Thank you.
- Tonight, it all comes down to this.
Three young home cooks remain standing in the world's biggest culinary competition.
But only one will take it all home the trophy and $100,000.
Only one will become America's next MasterChef Junior.
( cheers and applause ) ( cheering ) Our first finalist tonight is 11-year-old Malia.
( cheers and applause ) First of all, I just need to give you props on the head scarf.
That for me is, like I get my superpowers in the kitchen - when I can put a little head scarf on.
- Yes.
With an incredible thirst for knowledge, Malia impressed the judges with her remarkable skills in the kitchen right off the bat.
Mm-mm-mm-mm-mm! Stop playing, Malia.
You think I do the little taco dance for anybody? Malia has been gifted with palate of a professional chef.
Ooh! These are nice and crispy.
It's sophisticated, it's gorgeous, and it screams you.
- Thank you.
- Well done.
This California girl has shown great skill - with both seafood - Whoo-whoo! - and dessert.
- Good.
Her impressive passion for learning and her signature bandana are all coming with her into this finale.
This is the most perfect box of cupcakes I have ever seen.
- Nice job.
- ( cheers and applause ) From the day I started, I've been wowing the judges with my Japanese flavors.
I've put so much hard work and effort into it, but it all comes down to this.
I hope to walk out as the next MasterChef Junior.
All: Malia! Malia! Malia! Malia! Malia! The first obstacle that stands in Malia's way is 12-year-old Che.
( cheers and applause ) - Look at this hairstyle.
Who styles that for you? - Thank you.
- Me.
- So that style I wanna see, just like you do with your hair.
- It's a very cool style.
- Okay.
Thank you.
Whoa.
This 12-year-old kid from New York flew under the radar in the early stages of the competition.
Oh, my gosh.
A natural born leader, this Italian home cook has shown us that he can excel in all areas of the kitchen.
Guys, garnish! Garnish! Che, keep cooking with your instincts.
- This dish, my friend? You are well on your way.
- Thank you.
Che's natural talent and determination to succeed has landed him right at the top of the competition.
- Christina: Hands in the air! - Gordon: Well done.
As a proud Mexican, I can tell you that that right there is spot-on.
Che has remained focused throughout the competition and turned himself into a culinary force to be reckoned with.
- Wonderful.
- What I like about this dish is that it's got harmony.
- You're tough to slow down, aren't you? - Yes, Chef.
Che: My journey throughout this competition, it's had ups and downs, but my dad taught me how to cook when I was three or four, and he taught me how to never give up, and that's why I'm here today.
To win this competition keeps my dad's spirit and my dad's legacy alive.
So it'd just be amazing to win this.
All: Che! Che! Che! Che! Che! Gordon: And that's not all.
Completing the lineup tonight, is a real force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, 11-year-old Ivy.
( cheers and applause ) All: Ivy! Ivy! Ivy! I'm making corn tamales.
- In 60 minutes? - Yeah.
From day one, Ivy is a powerhouse who has proven she can do it all.
- From savory to baking - Looking good.
- Love it.
- nothing in the kitchen has phased her.
You guys got this! This plate shows me that you know exactly what you want us to know about you as a home cook.
Thank you, Chef.
Hailing from Georgia, 11-year-old Ivy has proven to be proficient at every culinary style thrown her way.
Come on! Make it perfect.
You have a lot of compelling factors that make me wanna have another bite.
Good job.
In this competition, Ivy's extraordinary gift for cooking secured her place in the finale.
This dish shows a confirmation that you're growing massive in this competition.
Every time you turn that stove on, - you get more and more confidence.
Well done.
- Thank you, Chef.
I came here just being a regular old person, just in school doing homework.
But now I have the skill level of a chef, and I'm in the finale! This moment is so huge.
I'm gonna prove to the judges that I deserve to be the next MasterChef Junior.
All: Ivy! Ivy! Ivy! Welcome.
Congratulations, Malia, Che, and Ivy.
This is the moment you've all been waiting for.
Three young home cooks enter the ring, only one will emerge victorious.
To get here, you've had to prove yourselves week after week, and out-cook some formidable opponents.
But they've also become your good friends.
And now, your young friends have returned to the kitchen to cheer you on.
- Hi, guys! - ( all shouting ) - Hi, guys! - ( cheering ) ( all shouting ) I missed you so much! I'm rooting for everyone, But I think Che's gonna win without a doubt, because he's the most amazing chef.
He never falls behind, he's always ahead.
Che, you got this.
( laughing ) - Long time since I've seen you guys.
- Wow.
For me, it's a battle against Ivy and Malia to win.
But my guts are telling me that Ivy is gonna win this thing.
She's a powerhouse, people! - Bye, guys.
- Bye, guys! Also here to cheer you on are your family and friends.
- Whoo! - ( screaming ) - Oh, my God! - Oh, my God.
- Oh, my gosh! - So long! ( overlapping chatter ) Oh, my God! Oh, my gosh! Welcome to you all on such a special evening.
- Malia.
- Yes, Chef.
You have your mom Deanna, your dad Chris, and your brother Austin.
Mom Deanna, how proud are you right now? I've told her before, we're just so proud of her that she made it here.
She has a season of memories, of friendships, of recipes, of tutelage under your guidance, and it's just been a blessing.
We call her the pit bull at home.
- Oh, my gosh.
- And she just came out like a feisty little determined thing, and whatever she puts her mind to she does.
Mom, Dad, you guys have encouraged me a lot along the way, and I'm just grateful for you guys.
Aww, I love you.
- Che.
- Yes, Chef.
You got a lot of support flanking you.
You have your mom Elizabethanne, and your brothers Cosimo and Jackson.
- Elizabethanne.
- Yes.
Do you have any words of advice? Well, we've talked a lot about how we all believe in him, but the secret is that he believes in himself.
- Aarón: Yeah.
- All: Aww.
Cosimo, if Che were to win, he takes home a trophy.
He also takes home a $100,000 of cool cash.
How much of that money has he promised you in bracelets and hair product? Any final words of advice for your big bro? Just cook your heart out and put yourself on a plate.
- Aarón: I love that.
- Now, Ivy, you have some pretty important people here - to cheer you on as well.
- Yes, Chef, I do.
You have your mom and dad Timna and Thomas, and your sister Anavi.
Come on, Mom.
How are you feeling right now? Amazing.
I mean, this was her dream.
So to see her come here is just phenomenal.
Just one piece of advice for you guys, to just relax, I got this.
You know, just oosa! - Yeah.
- Okay.
Christina: I love it! Families, friends, the time has come.
Please, take your seats.
Let's let these young home cooks do their thing.
- Bye.
Ooh.
- Bye, Chee-chee.
I love you.
You got this, remember? - Good job, guys.
Good job.
- You got this! Now, you'll each have ten minutes in the incredible MasterChef pantry to get everything you need to cook us the best three-course dinner of your entire young lives.
Are you ready? All: Yes, Chef! Your ten minutes in the pantry start now.
- ( cheers and applause ) - Come on, guys, let's go.
Whoa.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! Che, Malia, and Ivy, are amazing cooks, but I think Ivy might win because Ivy from Georgia has not been in the bottom three yet.
- Uh, what else? - She's the best cook in the kitchen.
Take some spices.
I'm rooting for Che, my fellow New Yorker.
He's amazing at presentation and just amazing about flavors.
One, two.
I put my money on Malia.
And three.
Malia has won the most challenges out of everybody.
She's bold, she's brave, she does risky things, and she has what it takes to win.
- ( cheers and applause ) - Let's go, Che! Come on, Ivy! But all three chefs are worthy of being here.
This is the ultimate showdown.
It's now time to put together the best three-course dinner of your lives.
First up, the appetizer course.
Malia, what will you be making for your appetizer? I'll be making a miso-marinated black cod, fresh soba noodles with pickled cucumber and a soy quail egg.
- Wow.
- Wow.
Sounds delicious.
Che, what will you be making for your appetizer? I'm making pan-seared prawn and cuttlefish with a Calabrian butter polenta, a lemon vinaigrette, - and a Parmesan crisp.
- Mmm.
Out of this world.
And finally, Ivy? Tonight I will be making pan-seared red snapper with a tropical salsa, tostones, and an avocado crema.
- All right.
- ( cheering ) Very ambitious.
Yeah! Whoo! Now, the three of you have 60 minutes to make your incredible appetizers.
- Are you all ready? - All: Yes, Chef! Your 60 minutes starts now.
- ( cheering ) - Come on, Che! Malia! Malia! - Go, Ivy! - Come on, Ivy! It comes down to this.
- Three incredible youngsters.
- Come on, guys.
Come on! Only one can be crowned our next MasterChef Junior.
Ay, ay, ay.
We're in for one of the most exciting finales ever.
- Yeah.
- Timna: Go, Ivy! These home cooks are stronger than any other home cooks we've ever seen in a finale to date.
- Ivy! - Now let's break it down.
Ivy's appetizer.
She's got that beautiful seared red snapper.
She's bringing the plantains of her sort of Caribbean flair in.
- Yeah.
- A beautiful salsa, some avocado crema.
That snapper, two minutes under, you're in trouble.
It doesn't separate.
Two minutes over, it's dry.
Lot of jeopardy there.
Yeah, and for me, the tropical salsa is gonna be key.
Don't make it too sweet.
Does she have enough acid? - And it desperately cries out for spice or chili.
- Yeah.
- ( cheering ) - Go, Che! Che is doing a spot prawn cuttlefish sauté atop a beautiful bed of polenta Parmesan crisp.
- It's a very unique dish.
- But two big proteins.
If he pulls this off, it'll be a showstopper.
But this is a very, very difficult appetizer.
Nice, Malia! - Whoo! - Malia's making that miso-glazed black cod.
She's making fresh soba noodles.
Gordon: We've never seen anybody make fresh soba noodles.
- I haven't.
Have you? Have you? - I have not.
- Never.
- I think she's gonna have more issues with the noodles than the actual miso cod.
- Yeah.
- 45 minutes remaining.
- Go, Ivy! - Why does everything have to be so far away? All right, so, Ivy, what's going on, young lady? I'm making pan-seared red snapper with a tropical salsa, tostones, and an avocado crema.
So the idea of this dish is gonna have a little bit of a Caribbean flair.
- Why? - I wanna celebrate my mother's side of the family.
Her Afro-Latina side.
Is this Caribbean-Latino thing gonna go through the whole arc of your meal? Actually, only for my dessert and appetizer.
For my entrée, I am celebrating - my father's side of the family.
- Outstanding.
So you'll bring a little bit from mom, a little bit from dad.
But the key is consistency, young lady.
So make sure there's a beautiful trajectory, - memorable flavors, tropical.
- Yes.
- Bold like you, all right? - Mm-hmm.
- That's what I wanna see.
- I hear you.
Keep your eye on the clock, okay? Make sure your presentation is spunky and vivacious like you.
- Thank you.
- All right? - ( shouting ) - Ivy! Gordon: Just under halfway, guys.
32 minutes gone, 28 minutes remaining, come on.
- Come on, Che! - Young man.
- Yes, Chef.
- So you're trying to raise the bar super high.
Shrimp, cuttlefish, polenta.
- Why so difficult? - 'Cause I can do it.
You can do it.
That's what I love about you.
- How are you making the sauce? - Fennel and garlic.
Sautéed that.
Then I added the prawn heads, and then I flambéed with the Pernod.
- Did you burn off all the alcohol? - I hope so.
You still got another ten years before you can start swallowing Pernod.
The concept of this dish is the kind of dish you'd find on a fine dining menu.
How did you come up with it? I kind of just pieced together things I like to eat and I kind of put it together with a little bit of an Italian spin.
- Keep up the good work.
Well done.
- Thank you.
Yeah, Che! Just under 14 minutes to go.
Start speeding up a bit.
- Yes, Chef.
- Yeah, Malia! Matthew: Good job, Ivy! Good job, Che! Good job, Malia! Keep up the good work! ( cheers and applause ) Good girl, Malia! Now, Malia, I see your gorgeous miso black cod.
- Thank you.
- Soba noodles.
- Who do you think you are? - Malia.
The inspiration behind this dish is my Japanese heritage.
- Great.
- I was hoping that my quail eggs will be easier to peel.
When I saw you soft boil them, I thought, "She is out of her mind! First with the soba noodles, and now with this.
" All these components go together really well, so I think they will bring me to victory.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
( cheering ) Gordon: Nine minutes to go.
Amazing.
Three intense appetizers.
For me, the one that's got the most jeopardy is Che.
I don't know if this young man's gonna pull this off.
Polenta, cuttlefish, sauce, and then the spot prawns.
- Aarón: Yeah.
- It's a very ambitious appetizer.
Not a single element of his dish - is cooked together.
- Yep.
So Malia's doing a miso-glazed black cod - with fresh soba noodles.
- Doesn't need noodles.
I would not serve noodles with a miso cod.
I'm sorry.
- No, I think it's important to show your technique.
- She's showing off.
Yeah, it's got to work together.
Ivy, for me, I think out of all the appetizers, hers seems simplest.
She's up against a miso cod, - cuttlefish, spot prawns.
- Aarón: Yeah.
So, do you play safe and go that simple? Listen, you just said it yourself, Gordon.
Does Malia's dish need soba noodles? Is it too wow to be wow? Ivy has simplicity, and it's not about putting everything - you've got on a dish.
- Wow.
It needs to make sense, and Ivy's dish makes sense.
Just over five minutes to go.
Come on, guys.
Deanna: Malia, you have time.
You have five minutes, so relax.
Christina: I'm worried a little bit about Malia.
She's struggling with her quail eggs.
- Yeah.
- She's got one beautifully peeled, but the others have pretty big divots.
Yes, but how much time do you invest in that? If she's struggling with the eggs now, quail's eggs are a nightmare for any chef.
- Stop it.
- Christina: But then Malia's appetizer is just less impressive - because there's less technique there.
- Yeah.
Sadie: This is the finale.
Everything needs to be spot-on.
Matthew: Focus! If Malia keeps breaking her quail eggs, she might lose on this appetizer round.
Yeah, Malia! - ( cheers and applause ) - Yeah, Malia! Christina: I'm worried a little bit about Malia.
She's struggling with her quail eggs.
Quail's eggs are a nightmare for any chef.
- Stop it.
- Christina: But then Malia's appetizer is just less impressive - because there's less technique there.
- Yeah.
- Rhashad: You got this, Malia! - Aarón: Come on, Malia.
Give me those beautiful quail eggs.
- Whoo! Malia! - You got this! - Yeah, Malia! - Go, Malia! Whoop-whoop! ( cheers and applause ) Good job, girl! - Looking good, Malia.
- Thank you.
- Last two minutes! - Oh, wow.
- Come on, guys.
Come on! - Gordon: Now, you know, to plate these dishes, they need at least two minutes, so they should be plating now.
But, guys, I'm worried a little bit about Ivy.
She is really up against the time right now.
- Come on.
- Che! Che! Che! Che! - Great color, Malia! - Go, Ivy! - Good job, Ivy.
- Come on, Ivy! You've gotta start plating.
Come on, Ivy, finish off.
Ivy, come on! Finesse, Ivy! Finesse, mama! One minute to go.
- Yeah, Che! - Let's go! - Go, Ivy! - Come on, Ivy! - Come on, Ivy! - Come on, Malia! Come on, Malia.
Come on, Che.
- Come on, Che! - All of you speed up.
Come on, Ivy.
- Matthew: Ivy! - Ivy! Go! - Gordon: Come on.
- Christina: Come on, guys, you gotta move.
Gordon: Ten seconds to go.
All: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
- Aarón: Yeah! - Hands in the air.
Whoo! - Gordon: Well done.
- Outstanding.
What an amazing 60 minutes! Unbelievable.
- Good job, guys.
- Yeah, Che! All right, guys, please carefully and cautiously bring your appetizers to the front, please.
( cheers and applause ) Wow.
Che, how has this experience been cooking beside these two incredible young ladies? It's been great.
I mean, just to be by them, you can feel the energy behind you and how great they work and what great cooks they are.
Malia, are you happy with what you have on the plate? Is it everything that you imagined? I'm really proud of myself that everything's on the plate.
You know, it was a little stressful, but I'm really happy.
Ivy, when you look across at Che's and Malia's, what are you thinking? Their plating is very beautiful.
I would love to try them.
( laughing ) Right.
Now for one of the most important moments of our year, tasting those appetizers.
Please, very carefully walk those incredible appetizers into the MasterChef restaurant.
- Good job, Malia! - Nice job, girl! This is the beginning of the finale, and first impressions are so important.
So, hopefully I wow the judges with my Japanese flavors and get one step closer to the MasterChef trophy.
Now, Malia, please present your appetizer.
Thank you.
Please describe your appetizer, Malia.
Well, today I have made for you a miso-marinated black cod, fresh soba noodles with pickled cucumber, and a soy quail egg.
Malia, tonight's the grand finale.
You've just spent 60 minutes putting two and a half items on the plate.
A piece of cod, a forkful of noodles, and half a quail egg.
And then you blowtorched the cod after baking it.
Why? You know, I didn't want to pan-sear it, because I felt the blowtorch has great marks.
Let's get in there.
The secret behind any miso-glazed cod is that the minute you put your fork in it, it should slide like butter and separate.
- Yes, Chef.
- If it doesn't, I hope you've got an amazing entrée up your sleeve.
Mm.
The secret behind any miso-glazed cod is that the minute you put your fork in it, it should slide like butter and separate.
- Yes, Chef.
- If it doesn't, I hope you've got an amazing entrée up your sleeve.
Mm.
That, young lady, is cooked perfectly.
Miso glaze is very sweet.
The egg yolk of a quail egg is incredibly rich.
Why on the same plate together? You know, I put them on the same plate together because I feel like the soy quail egg ties everything together, like the soba noodles and the cod.
And I feel like the flavors go great together.
What is absolutely incredible is the way you've cooked the cod.
Quail egg actually works well marinated in soy.
The yolk worked beautifully.
Got the saltiness, got the sweetness, but it just needs some acidity fresh ginger grated into the noodles, just something to cut that richness.
But what you have done, young lady, is cooked cod to absolute utter perfection.
Malia, it's a delicious dish.
Without the richness of that egg yolk, I would miss the transition between that gorgeous cod into those beautifully cooked soba noodles.
But I'm bummed that the soba noodles are, like, this long max.
- Yeah.
- Because the earthiness from that buckwheat, the bounce from those beautifully cooked soba noodles, is lost when they're thin and short.
They don't hold on to the dressing the same, and so the dish starts to fall off balance.
Yes, Chef.
Cod, that's hard to do.
It's hard to permeate flavor of miso with such an abbreviated time table.
You did that, you cooked the cod perfectly.
The soba noodles? Delicious.
I think when you have a dish that's stripped down to very few elements, it really shows that you have such confidence that all the flavors here are going to be compelling enough and executed that well.
- Great job, young lady.
- Thank you, Chef.
Che, please present your appetizer.
I'm feeling confident about my dish because it's very unique.
And what the judges need to see from this is that I'm very complex and that I can make two different proteins at the same time and make them both amazing.
Thank you.
Malia set the bar really high, but the bar's just going to get higher with my dish.
Che, please describe your appetizer.
So, for my appetizer, I've made pan-seared prawns and cuttlefish with Calabrian chile butter polenta, lemon vinaigrette, and a parmesan crisp.
Visually, young man, it's breathtaking.
It's definitely restaurant quality, let's get that right.
I love the colors.
Everything pops.
What I'm worried about is you have two proteins.
Why on a night like tonight would you attempt to cook two proteins just for the appetizer? Well, it is the finale, like you said.
On a night like this, I didn't want to go with something that I had done before, because you kind of just go to put your all into the dish no matter what.
Gordon: Che the dish is delicious.
Thank you.
The Santa Barbara spot prawn, cuttlefish, are cooked beautifully.
- Thank you, Chef.
- That saltiness from the sea and from the crisp, and that richness from the polenta is just dialed in.
Young man, you have a level of finesse, because tonight you've just demonstrated cooking two of the most difficult proteins anywhere in this country.
- Great job.
- Thank you.
Che, I think it's a beautifully complex dish.
It's full of mystery and hidden surprises and these flavor turns, which makes me just want to keep digging in.
I think your polenta needs a little bit more of that seasoned broth to really bring it along, to give it that creaminess.
But I love it.
It's a dish I've never seen before and leaves me wanting to eat more - of your food as a chef.
- Thank you.
Che, there's a supple flavor and texture to cuttlefish that is so difficult to achieve, and you have done it with such skill.
And I think that tactile sense that you have about food really came to the surface here.
- Thank you.
- But I think sometimes it's a big stretch to try to put cheese with shellfish.
But other than that, I think what you have there with that vinaigrette and the cooking of the shellfish is just pure magic.
Thank you.
Right.
Ivy, please present your appetizer.
Thank you.
Ivy: Not only is this inspired from my mom's Afro-Latina side, but the dish has a bunch of different flavors and is very bold, just like me.
But if my red snapper is not cooked perfectly, it's going to cause my appetizer to sink.
Right, Ivy, please describe your appetizers.
Tonight I've made for you a pan-seared red snapper with a tropical salsa, avocado crema, and tostones.
Ivy, I can't help but look at the mangos and look at the plantain and look at the avocado and wonder is this going to be too sweet? I don't think it's going to be too sweet, because I did add lemon juice in the salsa, and spicy peppers to give it a little kick.
Then I did add lemon juice in the avocado crema.
- Did you test it? - No, Chef.
Did you taste a piece of fish? - No, Chef.
- No.
- Ivy.
- Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
I think this dish is - Ivy, did you test it? - No, Chef.
Did you taste a piece of fish? - No, Chef.
- No.
- Ivy.
- Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
I think this dish is absolutely you on a plate.
You kept it simple and light, so that you could wow us with this pairing of flavor and these bounces from your raw red onion and your jalapeño and your red pepper into your fruit was incredibly smart.
I wanted more avocado crema because it was delicious.
It brought a different kind of richness and acidity - that helped tie it together.
- Thank you.
- Really great appetizer.
- Thank you, Chef.
That fish is cooked beautifully.
Thank you, Chef.
It's glistening, and it is absolutely packed with texture.
The fish is delicious.
The tropical salsa is tropical.
It's sweet, it's sour, it's peppery, and it's fragrant.
The problem I have? This soggy skin is like a it's like a wet piece of cardboard.
When you've got something so crispy and delicious, don't spoil it with a salsa on top.
- Yes, Chef.
- That's just crazy.
But I look at this plate, and it's you.
It's got that little bit of attitude.
I love the colors.
I love the tropical nature of the different fruits you put in there with the papaya and the mango, but I think the opportunity for you here was to maybe take this plantain, buzzing that up and making a crust to your fish, perhaps.
So then it's just this beautiful kind of journey into texture, sweetness, and spice.
But reimagined with some slight differences here, you have a home run.
Thank you.
Now, we all came out the gate strong.
Get back in that kitchen, focus on those entrées, and come back even stronger.
Off you go.
- Get focused.
- Thank you, guys.
And give it everything you've got.
( cheers and applause ) Gordon: Wow.
That for me has to be one of the best starts we've ever had in the "MasterChef Junior" finale.
I agree.
Malia made this miso-marinated cod with some beautiful handmade fresh soba noodles - and then a quail egg.
- Definitely restaurant quality.
But the soba noodles were short, it's missing acidity.
- There was some real misses on the appetizers as a whole.
- Yeah.
I'm sorry I disagree but I think Malia's appetizer was a home run.
- The cook on the cod was just expert.
- Yeah.
Che gave us those gorgeous pan-seared Santa Barbara spot prawns and cuttlefish across that bed of polenta with Calabrian chile butter.
Too much polenta on the plate, but everything else about Che's dish was perfect tonight.
Che delivered a showstopping opener.
- Yeah.
- Now, Ivy gave us pan-seared red snapper with that tropical salsa, tostones, and then avocado crema.
The cook in the snapper was just textbook.
It's what you ask.
But she made a big faux paus where she covers the top with the salsa.
Yes, the dish is good, but it wasn't a showstopping good.
Know what, guys? Time for the entrées.
( cheers and applause ) - Ivy! - Ivy! All three of you, incredible job on those appetizers.
You've all set the bar very high for yourselves.
We can't wait to see what's next.
Now it's time for the main course.
( cheers and applause ) Your entrées.
Each of you will have just 60 minutes to make us your game-changing entrées.
So, please, all three of you, give it all you have and lay it out on the table.
- Are you three ready? - All: Yes, Chef! Your 60 minutes start now! - ( cheers and applause ) - Yeah, Malia, you got this! Come on, Ivy! All right, Che! Go, Che! Go, Malia! Go, Ivy! - These three home cooks killed it over those appetizers.
- Yep.
- We got this, guys.
- Where do they go from here? Entrée course.
Now you ratchet up again another notch.
- Aarón: Yeah.
- So you go a little bit further.
I don't wanna see a disparity in between each course.
It's an arc of a meal.
You gotta make sure you're constantly progressing through the appetizer, entrée, and dessert.
- ( cheers and applause ) - Go, Ivy! For the entrée I'm making glazed hanger steak with butternut squash two ways, Brussels sprouts, and an herb stock.
Most people think hanger steak is not a fine dining meal.
Steaks.
Well, I'm gonna make it a fine dining meal.
I think the hanger steak has the most jeopardy.
Hanger steak is extremely fickle.
It has to be cooked and seared very aggressively, then you have to let it rest sufficiently to let all those juices come back in.
Focus! Focus, Malia! For the entrée round I'm making a pan-seared filet mignon with fried shishito peppers, dashi-braised daikon, and a yuzu soy steak sauce.
The judges like a perfect medium rare.
So I need to make sure the cook is perfect.
Malia's got the hardest task.
Those filet mignon are so unforgiving.
Aarón: There's nowhere to hide When we cut into that filet, it has to be one temperature perfect.
Whoo! Yeah, Che! For the entrée round I'm making veal saltimbocca, a spring pea ragout, roasted fingerling potatoes, and a wild mushroom jus.
This is definitely a risk because I can't really tell if it's cooked or not because it's wrapped in prosciutto.
So I would need to trust my instincts and make the best dish I possibly can.
Che's big issue there is getting the color, getting that prosciutto crispy, and the seasoning inside correct.
- Yeah.
- You got a double whammy of jeopardy.
Looking great, Che.
45 minutes remaining.
( cheers and applause ) - Che.
How you feeling, buddy? - Hi, Chef.
- I have a lot of things going.
- Yeah.
You shot out the gate super fast.
- You got veal saltimbocca right now.
- Yes.
High risk, high reward in the "MasterChef Junior" finale.
Is that what you're doing? Uh, yeah.
So, veal.
Veal doesn't have a lot of fat.
It's almost void of any fat.
How are you gonna tell when it's cooked perfectly? It definitely makes me feel nervous.
Yep.
It's gonna be hard because I can't really see it as much because it is gonna be wrapped.
Right.
Prosciutto wrapped over veal.
Yeah, yeah.
I mean, I think I just gotta trust my gut and feel and everything.
And, um, besides that I don't know.
Are you concerned about the prosciutto making the veal too salty? 'Cause, you know, when you cook prosciutto, it can go to that other place, right? Well, I'm worried not too much, but just a little.
All right.
So what are you making there? You gonna use the morels to make a sauce or both, - is that it? - Yes.
So, the morels - Okay.
- Spring pea ragout and fiddlehead ferns on there as well.
- Have you ever worked with these before? - Not really.
You know, my mom has, but I haven't really yet.
- Ooh, hot! - Take your time, okay, mijo? Ben: Che's doing a veal saltimbocca.
I don't even know what that is, but it sounds very difficult.
The entrée round is the most important part of the meal so there's so much more pressure.
And it looks like Che's starting to fall apart a little.
I don't know if he's gonna pull this off.
- Che, you got veal saltimbocca right now.
- Yes.
The idea of high risk, high reward, right? - Ooh, hot! - Take your time, okay, mijo? Che what's going on? I definitely feel the pressure.
The gravity of the moment.
Yes.
It's just - Okay.
- I mean, honestly, I wanna make my family really proud.
My brothers, my mom.
I cook with them, I cook for them.
- That's why I'm here, and I don't wanna fail.
- yeah.
But this dish, it's really difficult to do.
I think you're absolutely right.
But I think the idea of feeling nervous in the finale, that's a good thing in competition.
Everything that you've learned in this kitchen, - that's what you need right now, okay? - Yes, Chef.
- Go, Che.
- And make sure you feed off of your people here.
- ( cheers and applause ) - Looks fantastic.
Your family is watching your every move making sure that you're successful.
Something to think about.
All right? Good luck, young man.
- Go, Che! - Go, Che! 36 minutes remaining.
Come on.
- Gordon: Keep it going.
- Let's go! ( cheers and applause ) - Ivy.
- Hey! - How you doing? - I'm good.
So, hanger steak, butternut squash.
This herb sauce.
You're taking us a little bit direction than your appetizer, right? You gave us these sort of Caribbean flavors.
I'm sending a message about my dad's side of the family which is Swiss, and I lived in Germany for seven and a half years.
So this is you taking us on your trip as this worldly, young lady.
- Yeah.
- Now, what for you are the real points of jeopardy? The real points of jeopardy is the cook on my steak and flavor profile, I guess.
This entrée sounds delicious.
I love the knife work on the butternut squash batons.
- Is that good or bad? - It's good.
It just needs some salt.
( laughs ) Okay.
That is the point of feedback that we're talking about, right? - Matthew: You got this, Ivy! - Good luck.
Come on, guys.
Just over 25 minutes to go.
Jaala: Yeah, Che! Ivy! Go, Malia! Malia! - Young lady.
Filet mignon.
- Yes, Chef.
Why have you gone for the most expensive protein anywhere in the world? Because, I mean, it's the MasterChef kitchen - and I don't have to buy it.
- Right.
( all laugh ) - You've got such expensive taste.
- I do.
- ( laughs ) - Now, young lady, the sear on a filet mignon, you know that it's unforgiving.
There's no fat.
How you gonna get the color on there and protect that temperature in the center at the same time? I am pan-searing it in a cast iron - Smart.
- and I'm doing four just in case I mess up on one.
- Smart.
- And then I'm going to put them in the oven for about six minutes.
You cook with such poise.
You're calm, you're collected, you're together.
Do you ever get flustered? - Well, I never get flustered like you, but - No? ( all laugh ) Never? Do you ever drop the occasional naughty word? No.
Never.
( all laugh ) Young lady, we're in front of a live audience and you don't seem bothered at all.
- Huh? Love the confidence.
- ( all laugh ) - Good luck.
- Thank you.
Christina: 15 minutes to go! Amazing.
I mean, incredibly sounding entrées.
Each and every one of them.
I've got dangerous cooking techniques - across all three stations.
- Aarón: Yeah.
You got it, Ivy! Guys, Ivy with that hanger steak.
Gordon: It's such a tough, tough steak to get right.
30 seconds under, you can't get through there.
30 seconds over, it's gonna be dry as anything.
Aarón: Yeah.
But how do you connect those Caribbean, Costa Rican flavors into hanger steak? - Where's the balance of that? - Christina: I think it's spice.
It's that balance of sweetness and heat and acidity.
Yeah, Che! So Che really needs to nail the cook on that saltimbocca.
I don't want it to be salty and I don't want that veal to be underseasoned as well.
And that morel, the spring pea ragout has enough seasoning and acidity.
That's what he needs to worry about.
- Gordon: He's sticking to his roots.
- Aarón: Yep.
It's that modern twist on that Italian cuisine.
But it really is gonna be a matter of how do you elevate veal saltimbocca from a plating standpoint? - Malia! - How's Malia's filet? Gordon: She needs to give that some finesse.
Careful with that temperature on those filet and make sure it's got that balance this time.
It's Asian.
It's got that sort of pectin acidity to it.
She needs to back that up with the sweetness.
But she is cool as a cucumber.
- Yes.
- I mean, pretty incredible.
- ( cheers and applause ) - Eight minutes to go! Timna: Sauce, sauce, sauce.
I think Ivy just burned that sauce.
Malia: You good, Ivy? It burnt.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my gosh! What happened to Ivy's sauce? The demi-glace was melted but now it's all like paper.
Ivy's gonna have to redo her sauce.
I don't even know if there's enough time for this.
Time to speed up.
- Ivy! - Ivy! - Announcer: Next time - It all comes down to this.
the world's biggest cooking competition continues.
- Go, Ivy! - As the three best junior home cooks in America - Come on, Malia! - battle it out over the final two courses.
- Amazing.
- Only one It's bloody delicious.
- will win - Beyond amazing.
- $100,000.
- So well done.
and the MasterChef Junior title.
The winner congratulations ( cheers and applause )