MasterChef: From Flambé to Chicken & Waffles

Something’s on fire in the MasterChef kitchen.  Lots of things, actually, and don’t worry; they’re supposed to be.  This week’s Mystery Box challenge revealed a selection of alcoholic liqueurs meant expressly from a flambé challenge!

Christina, Graham, and Gordon each demonstrate a flambé dish.  The nine remaining home cooks try their hands at the fiery creations.  The judges taste:

Tommy's bananas foster (my favorite!), Katrina's sea bass and seafood stew, and Stephen's sea bass wrapped in leeks.

Tommy’s bananas foster (my favorite!), Katrina’s sea bass and seafood stew, and Stephen’s sea bass wrapped in leeks.

Stephen wins three advantages!  First, he doesn’t have to cook.  Second, he takes control of the challenge.  He gets to chose between three Southern specialities: shrimp & grits, chicekn & waffles, and gumbo.  He picks chicken & waffles.  Each home cook has 60 minutes to prepare their take on the dish.  Oh, but then there’s that third advantage– one home cook will only get 30 minutes.  Stephen singles out Derrick, his toughest competitor, and continues the psychological warfare.

Here’s what the home cooks come up with:

IMG_8703

  • Derrick (top left) impresses the judges with a brave and good attempt, despite his 30 minute disadvantage.
  • Hetal (top center) is an expert at cooking things she doesn’t eat, huh?  Her Indian-inspired waffle ensnared Christina from the beginning, and her dish is absolutely delicious.
  • Claudia (top right) puts out a dish that is not pretty.  The waffle is, according to Chef Ramsay, embarrassing.
  • Nick (center left) doesn’t make much of an impression, but no news seems to be good news for him.
  • Katrina (center right) elicits a “miso disappointed” from Chef Ramsay.
  • Olivia (bottom left) is passable, but her dry chicken and okay waffle don’t do her many favors
  • Tommy (bottom center) is the superstar of the episode.  His chicken is incredible and his waffles are in another league.  Graham asks him to jar & sell his marmalade.
  • Shelly (bottom right) prepares something completely bland, and worse, her chicken is pink!

Tommy & Hetal are the top two and are set to be team captains next time around!

Shelly & Claudia are the bottom two.  Claudia’s never been in the bottom before, and even Chef Ramsay knows Shelly has gone as far as she can go in this competition.  She is eliminated.

So, I have a definite favorite pulling ahead… do you?!

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