MasterChef: Takeover

The top six home cooks were tested on the line this week!  The challenge was a restaurant takeover at legendary Japanese fusion restaurant, Chaya.  The executive chef here invented tuna tartare in that very kitchen… so no big deal or anything.

Last week’s winning team of Stephen and Derrick get to take their places as captains.  Stephen selects Nick to start his red team and Derrick picks Katrina for his blue.  Stephen selects Claudia, automatically assigning Hetal to Derrick’s team.

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Along with the tuna tartare appetizer, the teams are also preparing a wagyu beef appetizer.  For entrées, they are preparing venison, and a miso sea bass.

Blue starts off a little stronger, but both teams actually are able to prepare impressive and delicious appetizers to Chaya’s diners.  Entrées go well for blue right off the bat, but it takes red a while to get the timing down between the sea bass and the venison.  They get it down, but they receive comments about their food being oily.  Blue seems to fall apart at the end of service.  The fish gets burnt, the team slows down.

Gordon Ramsay gathers the home cooks back at the MasterChef kitchen to announce the winning team: Red!  That places Stephen, Claudia, and Nick on the balcony and safely in the top 5.  Derrick, Hetal, and Katrina now face the dreaded pressure test… and it’s a bad one.

Christina presents a beautiful ricotta-and-spinach-filled manicotti.  Graham presents a squid ink-striped farfalle with clams and scallops.  Gordon presents a single egg yolk-filled raviolo.  Each of these dishes looked harder than the last, and Derrick, Hetal, and Katrina must make all of them.  In an hour.

It’s a pretty mad dash.  Derrick looks fairly under control, as he’s been in a million pressure tests and is probably used to it by now.  He struggles most with the egg-yolk ravioli, making it almost too small and threatening to break that yolk before cooking.  Katrina’s biggest concern is the squid ink stripes in the farfalle.  She can’t figure out how to do them!  Hetal is in a panic.  At one point, she decides to only present two dishes, which would have been the worst idea ever.  Speaking of horrifying things she almost did– she almost put the manicotti filling in the ravioli!  Claudia caught her from above and told her that wasn’t right.

Christina tastes the manicotti from each home cook.  Derrick’s sauce could use a pinch more salt and his pasta a pinch more filling, but it’s good.  Katrina’s comes out great.  Hetal’s sauce is bland and her manicotti is also lacking some filling.

Graham tastes the squid ink farfalle.  Derrick’s seafood is cooked beautifully, but his past is a bit under.  Katrina couldn’t get the squid ink stripes in there, but her seafood is also well cooked.  Her pasta is undercooked too, though.  Hetal’s pasta is done nicely and cooked well, but her seafood has not a sear in sight!  Graham makes a face trying to eat it.

Gordon tastes the ravioli.  He makes a big deal about the raw sage Derrick put atop his, but the yolk oozes out of the perfectly cooked raviolo and all is well as far as I’m concerned.  Katrina should’ve been paying attention to Claudia/Hetal, because she put ricotta in her raviolo… other that that, it would’ve been good.  Hetal basically cooked her egg yolk, over-cooked and over-peppered.

Hetal is sent home.  I’m sad to see her go, as I’ve really enjoyed her!  She’s done such impressive cooking, especially for a vegetarian!  I’m throwing all of my support behind Derrick.  How awesome would it be to see him and Stephen in the finale?!  Thoughts?

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