MasterChef: On a Cinnamon Roll

This week’s MasterChef featured the first team challenge of the season!  The twenty home cooks find themselves at Knott’s Berry Farm to prepare the biggest meal they’ve ever had to.  They’re feeding the amusement park-goers… “all of them,” adds Graham.

Let’s be real, guys, it wasn’t ALL of them, but it was 500 people.  They broken into two teams at Christina’s cue– self-directed, many women gravitated toward reigning champ Dan on the blue team.  The red team’s captain is Kerry, who is used to leading teams as a human resources professional.  The blue team’s captain is Darah, who works at an amusement park and is confident in her element.  Each team is to make a burger and fish and chips.  The public votes for the winning team.

There are a couple hiccups on either side.  Red’s first idea is to pair the burger with three different sauces, which Chef Ramsay throws out the window for them.  Kerry also gets so caught up on the leadership portion and basically forgets to make any onion rings to accompany the burgers.  Ramsay is not pleased.  On Blue, Darah has not taken an organized approach.  Katrina is making the batter for the onion rings and the fish.  Her speed is an issue, and Tommy tries to notify her of that.  She rejects him, though, and conflict arises between the two.  They do get into a groove and crank out food until Ramsay realizes that the fish Claudia is putting up is completely raw because of the thickness of Katrina’s batter.

The margin is fairly slim, but the red team earns 59% of the votes and wins their safety from the Dreaded Pressure Test!

The losing team stands before the judges the next day.  Out of the ten of them, only five will face the pressure test, while the other five can join the winners above.  Darah, as team captain, gets to select the exempt.  She picks her friends first, Ailsa, Claudia, and Sara (who Gordon insisted had a dismal performance) then finally someone deserving, Dan.  For her last pick, she wisely decides not to chose herself.  Instead, she selects Hetal, who turns it down saying that Derrick deserves it more than her.  Derrick and the judges appreciate her integrity.  This leaves Hetal, Darah, Olivia, Tommy, and Katrina (these last two are now sworn enemies) to make a box of cinnamon rolls!

I wasn’t nervous for Hetal, because she’s a science gal and can bake!  I was definitely nervous for Tommy, though.  I know he’s sassy, but he didn’t deserve the flak from Katrina.  I’m not sure what the appeal of her is.  She’s not sweet or particularly interesting.  Tommy is the absolute last to get his cinnamon rolls in the oven, but everyone has a full box when it’s time for hands up!  Here are the results:

IMG_7787

  • Unfortunately for Darah, her cinnamon rolls are basically raw.  Her flavor combinations of anise, coconut, walnuts, and lemon zest get complicated and do not work.
  • Gordon is none too impressed with the looks of Hetal’s chai spice cinnamon rolls, but the scent of espresso is enticing.  They are absolutely delicious!
  • Katrina flavors hers with rosemary, raisins, and prunes.  The judges are disappointed she’s left the paper on in the box, but they’re happy with the taste.
  • Olivia’s are boozy and include rum-infused raisins and and orange liquor glaze.  The taste goes over well.
  • Tommy’s flavors– green tea and pistachio– sound amazing to me!  Unfortunately, Chef Ramsay can barely look at these green guys.  He notes, if he closes his eyes they don’t taste bad.  It seems like more of a show to me, because he doesn’t really talk about the flavors.

The winner of the pressure test with the best cinnamon rolls is Hetal!  Katrina and Olivia are safe.  Darah and Tommy find themselves in the bottom.  Darah is eliminated.  It was her leadership that put them all here in the first place, so this is a just elimination.  Tommy lives to be fabulous another day.

I can’t wait to see what they cook up next!

Any home cooks standing out to you as an early favorite yet?

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