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Other Great Reality Shows => Other Reality TV Shows & News => Topic started by: apskip on May 19, 2011, 01:40:17 PM

Title: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on May 19, 2011, 01:40:17 PM
Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliott Bowles and Joe Bastianich are back with the second season of Master Chef, which was filmed in Los Angeles and begins telecasts on FOX Monday June 6. In the premiere episode, the hopefuls will prepare their signature dishes and present them to the judges, who are looking for presentation, flavor, originality and creativity, but most importantly demonsrate an immense passion for food. The amateur cooks will be put through the paces, and only the most deserving among them will win the coveted white apron and move on to the next round of the competition.

On Tuesday, June 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Monday, June 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), the judges will continue to winnow down the Top 100 and ultimately reveal the Top 38. The competition heats up as more hopefuls are eliminated until the Top 18 are announced on Tuesday, June 14 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Below are the hometowns, names and professions of the 100 amateur cooks:
Edgardo Geronimo, Teacher
Michelle Farmer, Clothing Designer
Pauline McAloon, Realtor
Denise Jacinto, Event Planner
Julie Lafoya, Human Resources Manager
Jervis Cole, Sport Management
Laguna Beach
Tahera Smith, Sales Representative
Los Angeles
Esther Kang, Lawyer
Brian Dolnick, Physician
Kevin West, Nursing Supervisor
Michael Labrador, Aerospace Company President
Kristie Amobi
Oncology Marketing Vice President
Playa Del Rey
Alejandra Schrader, Architect/Urban Planner
San Francisco
David Gunderman, Homemaker
Adrien Nieto, Server

Jonathan Baiardo, Electrical Engineer
Colorado Springs
Kayla Hildebrand, Homemaker
Christine Wendell, Government Contractor
Joey Stasolla, Business Owner
Highlands Ranch
DeVoyn Huddy-Nickels, Tattoo Shop Owner
Josh Heilbrun, Forklift Operator
Gladys Jackson, Homemaker
Jarvis Green, Construction/Retired Pro-Football Player

Jennifer Behm, Real Estate Agent

Rhonda Sweet, Produce Company Owner
Coral Springs
Tracy Kontos, Style Consultant
Dustin Gatward, Pool Maintenance Technician
Christin Carson, Teacher
KC Quaretti-Lee, Internet Host
Kala Fillmann, Sales
Ashley Pado, Student/Server
Joe Palladino, Restaurant Manager
Panama City
Yi Lynne Weber, Homemaker
Saint Cloud
Joe Jayne, Pipe Superintendent
Christine Corley, Homemaker

Michelle Dean, Homemaker

Lou Bank, Non-Profit Management
Erryn Cobb, Publicist
Brian Dombrowski, Mortgage Banker
Giuseppe Morisco, Granite Sales Representative
Mark Raffaeli, Real Estate Broker
Suzy Singh, Neural Engineer
Grant Park
Tony Scruggs, Truck Driver
Beth Peterson, Homemaker
Chad Ryan, Police Officer

Jeannie Burchett, Rental Property Management

Baton Rouge
Jay Ducote, Program Coordinator
Jason Broussard, Oil Rig Engineer
New Orleans
Brant Langlinais, Nursing Student

Alice Phillips, School Psychologist/Education Therapist
AJ Williams, Event Planner
Christian Collins, Unemployed
Bob Rafferty, Farmer
Mike Donovan, Firefighter
Jeff Dalton, Ph.D. Student
Ana Hammond, Interior Designer
Laura Raposa, Gossip Columnist
Erin Cabana, Customer Service Representative
Kathy-Ann Hart, Lawyer
Natalie Rodriguez, Phlebotomist

David Bersch, Bartender

Reneen Chodkowski, Cooking Teacher/Kitchen Tools Salesperson

Eden Prairie
Rebekah Garneau, Homemaker

Aaron Thomas, Student
Albert Necaise, Truck Driver

Timothy Hagedorn, Server

New Jersey
Donna Zicarelli-Pierro, Homemaker
Alterik Wilburn, Lawyer

Christian Alonso, Event Planner

New York
Morenike Lambert, Tutor/Freelancer
John Addona, Plumber
New York
Monica Chung, Classical Pianist
Cidele Curo, Make-Up Artist
Chiharu Dixon, Interactive Media Consultant
Max Kramer, Student
Saratoga Springs
Gary Styczynski, Professional Poker Player
West Babylon
Derrick Prince, Musician

Angel Moore-Soukkay, Property Manager
Maysfield Heights
Kyle Manning, Catering Account Manager

Jim Miller, Martial Arts Teacher
Garrett Lee, Student
Craig Tyson, Computer Engineer

Heather Conger, Homemaker

Cynthia Price, Human Resources Representative
Donna Collins Yamini, President of Global Peace Project/Feng Shui Master
Anthony Fedele, Semi-Retired Brand Specialist
Shamarra Garmon, Youth Cooking Instructor
Risa Goldstein, Retired
Jennie Kelley, Musician
Amber Montgomery, Restaurant Manager
Stephen Russell, Bartender
Jason McConniel, Property Tax Consultant
Alvin Schultz, Retail Manager
Ben Starr, Freelance Writer
Mc Kinney
Bryce Hendricks, Office Manager
Seby Joseph, Student
Shawn Guenther, Product Engineer
Round Rock
Juliet Mossman, Homemaker

Jason Albert, Hydraulic Technician

Jenny Jennings, Car Sales Representative
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 08, 2011, 06:48:11 PM
One third of the chefs competed in the first round last night and 10 of them won coveted aprons. Here are the first-round winners:

Jennifer - former Miss Delaware USA, making a point to the judges about how easy cooking is in 4 inch heels; she did a nice coconut curry soup with shrimp

Albert - a truck driver who made alligator jambalaya with sausage and chunks of alligator on the side

Monica - a Korean pianist who did bibimbap, Korean style vegetables, rice and fried egg

Aaron - eggplant, chorizo, goat cheese

Kayla - shrimp and polenta

Ellin - lamb and pumpkin stew

Tracy - wild mushroom risotto w/egg; if she stopped there she would have gotten a top rating, but she went on to use white truffle oil; the judges all hated this move; she could have been voted off for it, but her sob story appealed to Graham and Joe (but not to Gordon); she got her apron

Pauline - she is from Glasgow, which automatically got Ramsay's empathy; she did Scottish salmon with haggis en croute w/ dill sauce; Joe did not appreciate the haggis and voted no but Graham and Gordon were firmly in her corner

Christian - cioppino with lobster, shrimp and shellfish; his sauce was delectable; Joe called his dish the best one overall and capable of winning the competition

another Christian earlier had the most innovative approach; he brought a model who stripped naked, lay on the serving table and had sushi placed strategically on her body; the judges were appalled and voted him off for not cooking anything

Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: TexasLady on June 08, 2011, 11:32:05 PM
I see we have a contestant from Central Texas. Juliet Mossman, Homemaker from Round Rock TX.  I haven't seen anything in our local paper about her but I will certainly keep track of her progress.

I'm behind in viewing so at the moment, I'm hoping she makes the show.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 09, 2011, 08:04:14 AM
Texas Lady,

There have been several unidentified competitors who were quickly judged wanting and did not make the next round, so it is impossible to tell for sure. There is a third preliminary round being telecast next week, so maybe she will get air time then (if she has not already been eliminated quietly).

I count 11 slots of the 30 for the second round still open.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 09, 2011, 08:21:55 AM
The second round of competitors got their chance to move ahead. The most interesting was a mother and son competing against each other. Denise had only a side dish and was eliminated. Her son Kyle is listed below along with the 9 moving to round 2:

Dustin - sausage roll (he called it English but with Italian sausage) in a marinara sauce and with pesto; Graham adored this

Christine - single mom, soft shell crab, creamy polenta  

Derrick - web designer, homemade chorizo w/ potato sopa and fire-roasted salsa; all judges loved this; he is a front-runner

Bob - ahi tuna with coconut chicken and mushrooms; Graham said "you're what this competition is all about" after Gordon devoured almost all of the chicken

At this point the judges agreed that the level of home cooks was much higher than in the first season. Joe went out to superfluously exhort the remaining cooks to raise the level of their game.

Esther - lawyer, Korean spicy braised cod with daikon relish

Alvin - engineer, who came with a homemade immersion circulator for doing (among other things) a 63 degree egg; braised short ribs with sticky rice and 63 degree egg

Kyle - chicken paprikash with sauteed spaetzele

Tony - truck driver, pan-seared mahi mahi with rice and mango salsa

Alejandra - spicy camarones with saffron infused quinoa
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 13, 2011, 09:53:52 PM
Master Chef 2, Ep. 3

This was the final preliminary round. Here are the chefs who made it to the next round, along with their dishes:

Suzy Singh, a neural engineer, Sea Bass en Papillote w/ masala of coriander seeds and cardamom; Joe said “it blew me away”

Max (18 years old and the youngest Master Chef competitor ever) - Fried oysters Kumamoto and beef tataki (sauce containing grapeseed oil, soy sauce, scallions and sometimes wasabi)

Giuseppe – southern Italian cuisine of stuffed (salt, pepper, egg and bread crumbs) mussels w/ marinara sauce; he got to bring his wife and son in to witness the apron award

4 more competitors who were on screen for about 5 seconds each with no names or dishes identified

Adrien – achiote tierra y mar, surf and turf (shrimp and beef) w/ homemade achiote, rice and salad

Joseph (who brought his disabled wife with him) – Swiss alligator w/ steamed rice

Ben Starr – crispy pumpkin (intended but left off the plate) with fish tacos, tilapia marinated in pumpkin beer in homemade tortilla, crema, jicama salad 

I was annoyed by several things in all 3 episodes combined. First, the angst and drama that is ended when Ramsay, Bowles or Bastianich asks a competitor if he can do this is absurd. What do they expect the chef to say, no? It’s going to be a positive response 100% of the time, so why bother with such verbal diarrhea? I was also annoyed when , even adding in the 4 unidentified first round apron winners briefly shown, the total of the third preliminary came to 10, making the overall total 29. At the end of this telecast, it was announced that there were 38 competitors who made it to the second round. I have no problem with that unless they have previously led the audience to expect only 30 (which the producers of this show did).
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on June 13, 2011, 11:19:12 PM
@Apskip (just a little correction)
Adrian Adrien – achiote tierra en mas y mar, surf and turf (shrimp and beef) w/ homemade achiote, rice and salad

I shared the concern that the drama could be skipped and it's just better to show us the 4 unidentified ones. we can safely say that those 4 won't go through to the next round.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on June 21, 2011, 02:42:06 AM
I can't believe it....they gave away the result of team challenge in the preview for tomorrow's episode!!!!   :groan:
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 22, 2011, 07:39:35 AM
MC2, Ep. 4

This was the round in which 38 cooks would be cut down to 18 cooks. The first exercise was to peel and slice apples very carefully to not get any pits or seeds left, get all the skin off and do so with speed and efficiency. A total of 24 competitors made it through and 14 were gone at the conclusion of the 2+ hours this took for some.

The second task was to cook a chicken dish in 1 hour that exemplified the best culinary skills that each individual had. There was a mad rush for ingredients, which the judges said were critical to success as well as to get the chicken cooking quickly.

Competitors were judged in a group of 6 or 7. The first group had these dishes:
Max – southwestern chicken w/ southwestern sweet potato
Angel – chicken and dumplings
Tony – brick chicken w/garlic mashed potatoes
Kyle – chicken salad w/ hummus, sautéed feta and tabouli salad
Alejandra – Moroccan chicken tagine w/apricots and dried figs
Alvin – beer can chicken w/ warm potato salad
All but Kyle in this group moved ahead.

The second group was:
Suzy - butter chicken w/ vegetable salad
Christian – chicken Oscar w/ asparagus and risotto
Jennifer – chicken w/ fruit and couscous
Christine – chicken w/ orange slices
Ben – butter poached chicken w/ biscuits made without baking powder
Aaron – chicken roulade w/ sweet creamed corn
All but Aaron in this group moved ahead.

The third group was:
Mark – chicken rollatini w/ vegetable pasta
Erryn – BBQ chicken w/ sweet corn salad
Adrien – chicken chili verde
Albert – chicken gumbo w/ mustard penne salad
Joey – chicken picatta
Rhonda – rosemary chicken salad and chunky chicken salad
Joey, Albert and Rhonda were out.

The final group was:
Jennie – prosciutto wrapped chicken over couscous
Esther – pan-roasted mustard chicken, pancetta, spinach
Giuseppe - chicken cacciatore w/ capers and carrots
Derrick – chicken etoufee w/ dirty rice
Tracy – chicken pot pie w/ ciabatta bread
Seby - chicken w/ morel mushroom sauce w/ chick peas
Seby was the only one from that group out.

So a group of 24 was cut to a group of 18 going on to the next round.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on June 22, 2011, 07:44:16 AM
Apskip: just a little correction

The third group was:
Mark – chicken rollatini w/ vegetable pasta
Eric – BBQ chicken w/ sweet corn salad
Adrien – chicken chili verde
Albert – chicken gumbo w/ mustard penne salad
Joey – chicken picatta
Rhonda – rosemary chicken salad and chunky chicken salad
Adrien Eric, Albert and Rhonda were out.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 22, 2011, 10:20:54 AM
Actually, we are both wrong on that third group. When I went back to check, I found that the third group eliminees were Tony, Albert and Rhonda. I had misspelled Erryn (a weird spelling) as Eric, which has also been corrected above.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 22, 2011, 11:21:34 AM
MC2, Ep. 5

The Mystery box Challenge started off this episode. The Mystery Box contained salmon, fennel, fresh dill, white asparagus, pistachios, fresh strawberries, spices, zucchini and balsamic vinegar.  The chefs had 1 hour to cook their best dish. The judges were watching what was happening and they selected what they considered the top 3 dishes to taste. Those were:
Suzy – Trio of salmon (poached, sautéed, grilled)
Christian – pistachio crusted salmon in strawberry w/ balsamic reduction
Jennie – savory salmon tart w/ mustard/ricotta cheese sauce, caramelized fennel, shaved asparagus

Ben was judged to have the worst dish, but there was no penalty for that. Christian was the winner and got to pick the cuisine for the next challenge. The choices were Spanish, French or British (replacing the more obvious Italian as a nod to Gordon Ramsay). Christian debated which one would be hardest for his competitors to do and selected French cuisine. He then learned on return to the other cooks that he would not even have to cook in the French Cuisine Challenge. He got to drink champagne and watch his colleagues, particularly Max who he considered a major threat. Max claimed to have eaten in all the finest French restaurants in New York City as well as traveling to France. Ramsay later chided him for all his advantages. The judges commented that there were more desserts than they expected to seem (presumably because desserts require more precision, which makes them harder to pull off). Here is what was presented:

Max- poached cod in cream sauce, sage potatoes
Giuseppe – profiteroles in lemon vanilla cream
Suzy – Tart Duo: chocolate ganache and meringue; lemon curd w/ apple and meringue
Alejandra – seared cod over steamed clams
Jennie - Trio of Soups: cream of mushroom w/ tarragon; zucchini w/ fresh dill; French onion
Mark – peppercorn crusted steak filet w/ béarnaise sauce and garlic mashed potatoes (garlic, shallots, rosemary, flour)
Derrick – gougine cheese puff w/ poached egg
Angel – fruit tart w/ custard was intended, but the pastry didn’t make it to the plate and she only has chopped fruit w/ custard
Christine – pork chops w/ creamy Dijon mustard sauce
Erryn – beef carpaccio, sweet potato fries, zucchini soup; this is OK but it is Italian and not French; he should know the difference; also the beef is too thickly sliced for real carpaccio

Note – there were 18 chefs left in the competition at this point, so we only were shown 10 of them. The rest must have been judged in the middle and edited out.

The top 2 were identified as Derrick and Max.
The bottom 3 were judged as Angel, Mark and Erryn. Angel was an obvious elimination. Max had done OK except made the cardinal sin of putting flour into raw mashed potatoes. He was also eliminated. Erryn was saved to continue in the competition. Christine felt fortunate to not have been judged in the bottom 3.

The field is now at 16 competitors.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 22, 2011, 04:39:24 PM
MC2, Ep. 6

The next challenge is a cookoff between two teams captained by the top 2 performers from the prior round, Derrick and Max. They alternated choices and the teams came out like this:
Red – Derrick, Christine, Alvin, Suzy, Erryn, Adrien, Jennie, Ben
Blue – Max, Tony, Giuseppe, Esther, Christian, Tracy, Jennifer, Alejandra

The task was to create a cafeteria meal in 2.5 hours for 350 employees (it turned out to only be about 200 who ate) of the Los Angeles Times involving these courses:

Each team assigned responsibility for one dish (sometimes 3 people on one dish) as follows:
Soup – chicken orzo by Erryn, Alvin
Salad – watermelon with cucumbers and feta by Adrien, Jennie
Pizza – white by Ben, Christine
Main – lasagna by Suzy over her head, with help from Derrick and Christine
Dessert – fresh fruit/berries by Adrien and Jennie?

Soup – chicken chili by Alejandra with help from Tracy
Salad – Seasonal salad by Jennifer
Pizza – prosciutto arugula by Giuseppe
Main – sliders by Tony, with help from Christian and Max
Dessert – chocolate chip cookies by Esther 

The task was structured so that food had to be ready when the diners arrived at noon. If it was not, then that team got an empty plate, which when compared to any food by the competition resulted in a loss of that dish for that individual. Joe Bastianich was ruthless in pushing Giuseppe on pizza and Tony on sliders to get their food out by moving the diners by with the loss of those points. Tony ran out of sliders and when Max attempted to help him by precooking them on a dirty pan with nuts on it, the resulting 48 burgers had to be trashed. They then immediately shifted to cooking chicken burgers.  Each diner had to vote for Blue or Red on each course. The team with the most course wins would win the competition.

The final tally from the diners was:
Soup – Blue 106 Red 39, course to Blue
Salad - Blue 52 Red 91, course to Red
Pizza – Blue 48 Red 101, course to Red
Main – Blue 105 Red 78, course to Blue
Dessert – Blue 62, Red 85, course to Red and task victory to Red

That means that the Red team was done and the Blue team had to compete in a Pressure Test in which a minimum of 1 individual would be eliminated. The Pressure Test was to 1 hour to cook homemade ravioli with filling and sauce very tasty. The dishes were: 
Max- used sage in his sauce; his risk paid off
Tony – spinach and parmesan in filling; his pasta was too thick
Esther – perfect pasta, but filling was a problem; she cannot answer Gordon Ramsay’s question of what was in her filling
Christian – parmesan filling
Alejandra – excellent taste
Jennifer – salt and pepper filling
Tracy – used nutmeg in her dough (a no-no) but it turned out OK
Giuseppe – larger shape but pasta was too thin and too flat

The judges brought up Esther first. She made it in spite of her filling problems because her pasta was excellent. Next they asked Tony and Jennifer to come up. Tony was eliminated and Jennifer was spared. We now have 15 competitors.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on June 23, 2011, 06:47:30 PM
@Apskip: You might want to see this...

The episode in question is Episode 5.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 23, 2011, 10:00:44 PM
I stand resolutely with my numbering system. Just follow the episode recaps above. How many are there? The answer is that the most recent one is the 6th one hour episode. Sometimes two episodes are telecast on the same night, which may have confused somebody else. That is not my problem.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on June 23, 2011, 10:15:23 PM
No, it's not about your numbering...What I meant to say, apparently the episode 5 has some fake pictures combined to show the huge crowd. There's the article about it.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 24, 2011, 04:26:05 PM
Sorry for my misunderstanding. Photo alteration to add prospective auditioners is certainly something that FOX or Berkeley Productions could have done. Ramsay, Bastianich and Bowles may not have been involved, although Ramsay is infamous for his grandiose claims about Hell's Kitchen.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 29, 2011, 10:06:46 AM
MC2, Ep. 7

This episode started with a Mystery Box Test. Items in the mystery box for each cook included blood oranges, walnuts, lamb rack, peaches, romanesco cauliflower, rice, chili peppers, feta cheese, eggs, pie crust, pomegranate, fava beans, crème fraiche and tarragon.
They had one hour to turn whichever of those ingredients they wanted into haute cuisine. Jennifer received a warning for her lamb being completely raw. The 3 dishes chosen by the judges for sampling were:
Adrien – Farmer’s Market Lamb with cauliflower puree
Alejandra – curried rack of lamb w/ peach chutney and cauliflower
Tracy – sweet and salty lamb w/ feta cheese
The winner was Adrien for what was described by Ramsay as a technically superior dish.

This won Adrien the right to choose ingredients for himself and for the rest of the cooks under the theme Desserts in an Elimination Test. He had to choose from nuts, pineapple   and coffee. He chose nuts for himself and chose coffee for the other cooks. Each cook then had 90 minutes to create a fine dessert. Those with pastry or baking experience were way ahead of those with only culinary experience. Adrien did not get an exemption from this Elimination Test.  The dishes presented were:

Adrien – chocolate-nut torte
Alejandra – black-bottom-coffee tart w/ coffee whipped cream
Alvin – coffee-filled beignets using molecular gastronomy
Ben – not shown
Christian – not shown
Christine – chocolate coffee mousse (saved from failed chocolate tart in last 7 minutes)
Derrick – not shown
Erryn – not shown
Esther – chocolate cheesecake
Giuseppe – not shown
Jennie – raw coffee infused tart w/ orange blossoms
Jennifer – coffee crème brulee
Max – 15 small crepes w/ cream
Suzy - chocolate-dusted brownies on truffles
Tracy - espresso-chocolate flourless cake

The winners are Esther and Tracy. They will be captains of the next task on the next episode. The 3 worst are Alvin, Max and Jennie. Jennie is sent back into the pack to cook another day. Alvin was told by Ramsay that flavors and textures are more important than using cutting-edge techniques if you cannot get tasty results. Alvin was eliminated.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on June 29, 2011, 04:53:29 PM
MC2, Ep. 8

On we go. This episode starts on Magoo Point on the Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu. The cooks are on the beach there and walk up to a picnic site where picnic tables co-exist with a food trunk and a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Up ride Ramsay and Bowles on kick-ass motorcycles, followed a minute later by Bastianich on a Vespa.  The challenge is announced: cook sausage with a topping for 101 hungry bikers who will arrive in 90 minutes. The teams chosen by the designated captains were:

Tracy (Blue team) picked Alejandra, Christian, Jennifer, Erryn, Suzy, Giuseppe
Esther (Red team) picked Derrick, Adrien, Jennie, Ben, Christine, Max

The time sequence of the critical path will be to mix the meat, case it, season it and add a topping. Assignments were given out for each task within each team. The most important decision was what each team’s product will be. Blue chose Pork Italian Sausage with sweet peppers and caramelized onions and molasses. Red chose Spicy Pork beer-soaked Sausage with beer-soaked drunken onions and pepper relish. Ramsay recommended that each team taste their sausage cooked before finalizing their recipe. Blue followed that advice and did so before casing. Red elected to not do so before tasting. Once Ramsay tasted the Red product, he announced that it was BBQ dog****, too spicy, too grainy and too much like a hot dog. Blue’s tasting revealed that the peppers were getting too prominent a role, so they were taken out of their recipe. Red then had great trouble in casing properly.

The fiasco with not tasting and starting casing late caused Red to be way behind as the bikers were soon about to arrive. Esther made a command decision to not case and to make patties for the grill; she didn’t have a lot of options. As the bikers came, the initial results totted up through the handlebars of Ramsay’s motorcycle were Red with a big lead. The Blue team realized that their recipe lacked acidity, so they put in hot peppers
and a red wine vinegar into the mix. This solved the problem and Blue steadily evened up the score at 19 and then pulled ahead to a 51-41 victory. Blue rightly attributed their victory to good teamwork.

That meant that the Blue team was exempt from the Pressure Test. Esther as captain of the losing team was, in Ramsay tradition borrowed from Hell’s Kitchen, asked to nominate the 2 worst performers. She chose the 2 individuals responsible for the casing mess, Max and Christine. Ramsay excused the rest of the Red team except for Esther, who was given the opportunity to trade places with either Max or Esther. She declined, so the Pressure Test began with Max vs. Christine. The announcer stated (pun intended): “the stakes were never higher.”

This Pressure Test was simple. Each person had to cook 3 filet mignon steaks, one rare, one medium and one well done. Consistency of temperature and seasoning were the two biggest factors. They each had 30 minutes to do their best. The results were:
Rare – Christine had a gorgeous red color inside, a good but not great sear and good seasonings except for not enough salt; Max had the right color but a nice sear on one side only, with the other side naked
Medium – Christine undercooked with pink color; Max also undercooked
Well Done – Christine had red color (way underdone) but it was moist and very tasty; Max had his undercooked by about one minute

The judges congratulated both on a job well very done, but they eliminated Max.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on July 05, 2011, 11:17:26 PM
Wow.....this show clearly has a lack of skills in editing the preview for the next episode. Everytime I watch Tuesday's episode, I have to remind myself not to watch the preview. The preview shows the elimination challenge and that clearly spoils the result of the team challenge.  :(
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on July 08, 2011, 05:03:49 PM
MC2, Ep. 9

First was the Mystery box Challenge, for which Ramsay warned the chefs to open the box carefully as what was under it would bite them. That might be true figuratively but not literally.  The ingredients included purple potato, Japanese eggplant, zucchini, green beans, garlic, paprika, red tomatoes, green tomatoes, Spanish rice, radish, green pepper and eggs. The challenge was to make a restaurant-quality vegetarian main course.

The chef rated worst was Christian, as his dish was jumbled and not cohesive. Alejandra had a vegetarian korma with Asian pear sauce with salad ingredients on the side. Jennifer had vegetable terrine with curry powder, eggplant and cumin. Adrien had green gazpacho with Spanish rice and green sauce of avocado, green tomato, blanched arugula and parsley. Jennifer was judged the winner despite her eggplant being slightly undercooked and given a huge advantage.

Whitney Miller was introduced in the kitchen to Jennifer, who was allowed to sample 3 dishes from Whitney’s new cookbook (product placement) “Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern charm.” Jennifer got to pick one recipe for all to cook (without the recipe):
Cranberry chipotle BBQ Chicken + potato salad
Shrimp + Grits with Andouille Sausage, roasted red pepper sauce, salad
Crispy Catfish with a complex slaw, sweet potato fries, tartar sauce

Jennifer picked the last one because the ingredient combinations were tricky and likely to be difficult to match. After returning she was given a basket of all the 29 ingredients needed to replicate the dish. The other 12 chefs had to guess, selecting their ingredients in 5 minutes before cooking began.

The judges stated that the slaw would be the most difficult to match, as it had purple cabbage, carrots, apples, pecans, jalapeno pepper and Brussels sprouts. Several chefs were mistaking the jalapeno for green bell peppers and missing the heat. 3 chefs had problems with their frying oil so hot that it flamed.

There were Suzy, Christine, Erryn, or Tracy. Judges’ comments for the other 9 were:
Jennifer – pretty good (but not considering her advantage)
Adrien – not plated correctly (which he knew but did not apparently have time to correct) and poor flavor
Esther – good
Christian – very good
Alejandra – average except that she used raw garlic in her tartar sauce, a major technical mistake
Giuseppe – very good
Derrick – coating a problem, slaw horrible
Jennie – salty, slaw poor; overall disgusting
Ben – really good     

The winners were Ben and Christian, who will be team captains next episode. The losers were Jennie, Adrien and Alejandra (Derrick dodged a bullet here). The chef eliminated was Jennie.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on July 08, 2011, 07:26:58 PM
I will not be able to do any MasterChef 2 recaps for 11 days starting next week. If anyone wants to do them, fine; if not I will when I am back.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on July 12, 2011, 08:50:55 AM
MC2, Ep. 10

This episode started with a team challenge with 6 chefs on each team. The Red team captain Christian selected Adrien, Alejandra, Giuseppe, Derrick and Erryn, a mostly male team. Blue team captain Ben selected Jennifer, Esther, Suzy, Christine and Tracy, a mostly female team. The challenge was to create dishes for a rooftop cocktail party fitting these categories:

“Vegetable Course”
Main Course

The menu for the Red team was Tomato Mint Gazpacho, Beef Tartare and a dessert tray with an assortment of berry and mascarpone fruit tart. It was originally supposed to be profiteroles but that was technically too demanding for either Giuseppe or Esther to pull off so she switched. The Blue team menu was gazpacho Duo, Beef Wellington, and a tray of berry tart w/ whipped cream profiteroles originally planned but Giuseppe was unable to pull it off. Each guest voted for the Red team menu or the Blue team menu. The result was 54% in favor of the Red team on the Gazpacho, 100% (extraordinary for the Beef Wellington over the beef tartare and 53% for the Red dessert. That gave Red the victory 2 points to 1 in spite of their total dominance of the main course. The Red team was exempt from the Pressure Test.

 2 hours was allowed to create a fabulous looking and tasting 6-layer cake with appropriate fillings between layers and icing on the outside. Ramsay called it the most difficult pressure test ever on Master Chef and since desserts are not the forte of most chefs who are not pastry chefs or bakers I would agree with him.

Here were the cakes presented:
Jennifer – banana split cake w/ strawberry, citrus, mixed nuts
Tracy – chiffon cake w/ sweet basil, citrus infused icing
Christine – apricot berry cake w/ apricot+ raspberry fillings, hazelnut liqueur
Suzy – ganache cake w/ Chantily cream and raspberry Chantilly icing
Esther – lemon raspberry cake w/ lemon curd, fresh raspberries lemon syrup
Ben – pumpkin carrot cake w/cream cheese frosting, candied hazelnuts

The 3 best cakes by far were from Ben (nearly perfect), Jennifer (also nearly perfect) and Suzy (very good). Christine, Suzy and Esther were all rated way below standard. Christine had excelled on the beef Wellington earlier, so she got a pass. Esther was given the boot because she was out of her depth and Suzy, who had a wonderful cake before messing it up with add-ons near the end, was lucky to survive.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on July 18, 2011, 10:23:34 PM
MC 2 Ep. 11

The episode starts with another mysterybox challenge. The main protein that the contestants have to use is lobster.

3 dishes were chosen:
1. Derrick --> Butter Poached Lobster with Potato Puree and Tomato Mango Salad
2. Alejandra --> Thai Style Grilled Lobster with Red Curry and Mango Salsa
3. Jennifer --> Baked Lobster with Roasted Fennel & Mashed Potatoes

note: When Jennifer's dish was tasted by Graham, Christian started eating his dish. He was reprimanded by Joe who threatened to come personally and take him out if he does not behave next time.

Winner of MysteryBox Challenge: Jennifer

The choices for the advantages to be chosen from have a theme of aphrodisiacs. They are:
1. Oysters
2. Artichokes
3. Truffles

Jennifer chose truffles so everyone will cook with a $500 truffle each. Jennifer was given another advantage. She could opt out of the challenge and enjoy drinking wine from the gallery while watching the other contestants cook or participate in the challenge with a risk of being eliminated if she cooked the worst dish
In the end, she chose to cook with the others.

These are the dishes (Suzy's, Ben's, Christine's and Derrick's dish were not tasted):
Tracy: Truffle & Corn Soup with Shallots, Thyme & Truffle Butter --> Light and balanced soup.
Christian: Pan Seared Fillet with White Asparagus Salad and Truffle infused custard --> Smart & delicious.
Giuseppe: Tagliolini with Spinach, Pancetta & Truffle --> Really good, deemed as a force to be reckoned with after being in the middle for a long time.
Adrien: Seared Fillet on Truffle mash, chilli and fig mushroom sauce --> Have issue with plating.
Erryn: Truffle Steak with Yellow Carrots & Brussels Sprouts --> Really bad that Gordon was speechless
Alejandra: Veal Cutlets with truffle, leek and marsala sauce --> Not very good.
Jennifer: Coddled Eggs & Truffles with Pancetta, Three Cheeses & Thai Pepper --> Eggs were still wobbly(quite undercooked).

Top 2 dishes: Tracy & Giuseppe. They will be captain for tomorrow's challenge

Bottom 3: Erryn, Adrien, & Jennifer

Jennifer was sent back first because there are two other worse dishes than hers.

The judges offered Erryn/Adrien to step up and gracefully bow out of the competition.

Eliminated: Erryn

And there were 10 left.......

Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on July 21, 2011, 01:14:07 AM
MC2, Ep. 12

Team Challenge:
This episode started with a team challenge with 5 chefs on each team. The Red team captain Giuseppe selected Suzy, Alejandra, Ben, and Derrick. Blue team captain Tracy selected Jennifer, Christian, Adrien, and Christine. The challenge was to cook 3-course dishes for the mothers of the judges after considering the mothers' preferences:

Main Course

The menu for the Red team was Mixed Green Salad with Crispy Polenta, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Apple Pie The Blue team cooked Carrot Ginger Soup, Pan Seared Turbot with Caramelized Fennel and Poached Pear.

The result was 2-1 to the winning of Blue team, taking the points from Main Course and Desserts, even winning the heart of Gordon's mother who dislike fish.

Elimination Challenge:
Each contestant have to make eggs benedict in 30 minutes. Giuseppe is at his disadvantaged position as he has never made eggs benedict before and his egg was quite undercooked. Derrick's dish had a lack of sauce while Alejandra's eggs were overcooked.

Ben and Suzy made the overall best eggs. Alejandra was the next one declared safe.

Finally, Giuseppe was eliminated because of his raw eggs.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on July 27, 2011, 10:26:23 AM
MC2, Ep. 13

This episode started with a Mystery Box Challenge. The exclusive ingredients were large special scallops, eggs, arugula, cauliflower, pancetta, shelled peas, corn on the cob, bananas, avocado, red onion, croissants and brandy. The cooks had 60 minutes to create and, if chosen to be among the top 3, present their dish. The top 3 dishes were:

Ben – seared scallops with roasted bananas and corn salsa
Adrien – scallops 3 ways with corn, egg, and cauliflower puree
Christian - scallop succotash

Adrien won and discovered that the theme for the upcoming Elimination Challenge was cooking with cuts from a pig. He received the huge advantage of assigning to each of the 9 cooks a special pork cut which the judges urged him to use to try to eliminate a tough competitor. They stated that pork belly and pork cheeks were the most difficult to work with:
Adrien – double pork loin for himself
Alejandra – pork loin
Ben – pork butt
Christian – pork cheeks (acknowledged by the judges to be the most difficult)
Christine – baby back ribs
Derrick – St. Louis ribs
Jennifer – ground pork
Suzy – pork belly
Tracy – applewood smoked bacon

The cooks then had 60 minutes to create and cook these dishes:

Adrien – double cut pork chops with apple beer sauce and sweet potatoes
Alejandra – pork loin (generally regarded to be the easiest cut with apricot wine sauce; pork slice raw in its center on both sides
Ben – pork butt chili (he had problems with undercooked beans, so he took out as many as possible, but Joe actually liked them)
Christian – braised pork cheeks with apple fennel slaw
Christine – baby back ribs with a dry rub, Brussels sprouts and leeks
Derrick – braised St. Louis ribs, roasted tomato tartare
Jennifer – sauerkraut, ground pork, mustard
Suzy – spaetzele with pork fat + braised cabbage with pork with too many cloves
Tracy – not shown

The winners’ group was Christian, who excelled at the most difficult cut (disproving the judges theory that getting the most difficult cut was always a disadvantage), and Christine. The worst 3 were Jennifer for having an outdated uninteresting dish, Suzy for having the nerve to cook German food when she never had previously and never visited Germany and Alejandra for not testing either side of her pork slice properly and serving it raw. Joe during sampling had gone so far as to dump Jennifer’s dish into the garbage to emphasize what he thought of it.

The competitor eliminated was Alejandra. Ramsay called serving raw pork to anyone anytime a catastrophic error.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: franxaverian on July 27, 2011, 12:30:15 PM
Apskip, the one that has her dish thrown over was Jennifer's, not Suzy's
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 02, 2011, 03:41:24 PM
MC2, Ep. 14

This challenge started outdoors in a suburban cul de sac with the captains picking teams for this challenge. Christian chose the Blue team of Adrian, Derrick and Jennifer. Christine chose the Red team of Tracy, Ben and Suzy. Every cook left in this competition had a degree of skill that varies depending on what type of cooking it is. This challenge will be to cook burgers and sides in 2 hours plus one hour serving time for 200 kids who will be the judges. The catch is no beef and no potatoes. The basic decisions on what to cook are made by the captains, but Christine listened to ideas from her team and Christian did not. Those menus were:

Blue – turkey sliders with cheese, ketchup, mustard and pickle; side of fresh apple slices with caramel sauce
Red – originally pan fried chicken nugget burgers with creamy ranch dressing, fried corn nugget

Jennifer got into arguments with Christian on the caramel sauce (which she asked him not to stir while she was cooking it because it subsequently crystallized; also whether the total number of items on top of the burger was not too much, particularly the mustard). Jennifer cited her experience with her 5 year old against Christian’s with a nine year old. She was right, as it turned out. Christian arrogance and autocracy cost both him and his team.

It was obvious early in the cooking process that Red could not finish 200 burgers using pan frying. They needed to switch to grilling to get higher throughput.

The 200 kids descended and went to either food station first, ate, then ate at the other station and decided how they would vote. It looked to me that about 60% went to Red, I believe drawn by the creamy ranch dressing. Only about 40% went to Blue. Victory went to the Red team, who would then be exempt from a nasty Pressure Test. All kids got a nice official MasterChef cooking box with unknown contents but sponsored by Ramsay, Bowles and Bastianich (so it can’t be all that bad), one way to accomplish surreptitious product placement.

At the beginning of that Pressure Test, the enmity between Jennifer and Christian was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Jennifer said some things on national TV that did not get by the censor. She was totally upset and determined to give Christian his come-uppance. Ramsay asked Christian which one other Blue team chef he wanted to compete head-to-head with, giving Adrien and Derrick the belief that they would be off the hook. Not so fast, as Ramsay was only faking you out. All 4 members of the Blue team have to compete on this one.

The end product of the Pressure Test was revealed and it was a cheese soufflé, one of the most difficult items any chef can ever face, and they have 90 minutes to make as many as they like but only one can be officially submitted for tasting. Judging criteria are texture, proper rise and taste. The chefs started by preparing their ingredients and getting their oven to the right temperature. It took almost 50 minutes of preparation before Derrick put in a test batch. Christian, Adrien and Jennifer did so just inside 1 hour. Given that each batch takes 14 to 17 minutes, that meant that they could submit just one of the soufflés from the batch of each one. Derrick made a minor adjustment and put another one in at just after 70 minutes (20 to go). Christian’s cheddar and parmesan soufflé completed and he submitted it. Adrien’s Gruyere and parmesan soufflé completed and he submitted it. Jennifer’s cheddar and parmesan soufflé completed and was submitted. All of them looked good and the judges sampled each one, but they made no comments at all. Derrick’s second souffle batch went right to the wire and he delivered His Gruyere and parmesan soufflé to the judges with no time left.

The verdict of the judges was delivered: Jennifer go upstairs, you’re safe; Derrick delicious, go upstairs; Adrien OK, go upstairs. That left Christian, who was led to believe that his was inferior to the others and that he would be going home. However, the judges had played a ruse on him to make him eat some humble pie (which he totally deserved). His souffle was also judged delicious and he was safe.  So all 4 survived and nobody was going home. The reason was exceptional souffles from each of the Blue team members.   
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 03, 2011, 10:25:18 AM
MC2, Ep. 15

We were down to 8 home cooks. A Mystery box challenge started this episode off. The judges were looking for new levels of creativity and technique to create taste, texture and appearance. Proteins were revealed and they can be combined with anything from the pantry(first time that was allowed in any Mystery Box Challenge). There were short ribs, porterhouse steak, apparently (although not shown) bison steaks, rib-eye, NY strip steak, crayfish, large prawns and Alaskan king crab legs. The time was only 45 minutes, so the cooks got right to making stocks, broths and sauces while the proteins were cooking. The final dishes complete were (but only the top 3 were:

Adrien – beer basted short ribs and crab salad
Ben – not shown
Christian – orange carrot ginger emulsion and potatoes (huh?, no protein?; this is risky)
Christine – not shown
Derrick – crab salad and Porterhouse steak
Jennifer – risotto w/ crabmeat and shrimp stock, crab and short ribs
Suzy – shrimp bisque and bison w/ pan gravy
Tracy – not shown

The 3 chosen dishes were those of Adrien, Suzy and Jennifer. Christian was pissed, but he was told that his dish was underwhelming, particularly his use of simple potatoes. Adrien had hope of victory when the judges stated that it was a third time victory, but that also applied to Jennifer and she earned the win with a dish that blew the judges away. Christian was ordered to come up and taste Jennifer’s dish so that he was exposed to something excellent. He said he had tasted better risotto before and Ramsay flatly told him to adjust his attitude.

Jennifer got the advantage of seeing the judges in pictures taken as children and picking one of the childhood memory favorite foods. Joe had focaccia bread pizza with tomato sauce, Grant had macaroni and cheese and Gordon had tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. Gordon’s favorite dish was the selection of Jennifer for all the cooks to make in 45 minutes, a time limit making flavorful soup very difficult to pull off.

The dishes presented (with the word sandwich left off after “cheese”) were:
Adrien – Crazy tomato soup, grilled Blue Cheese and goat cheese, foie gras on bread
Ben – roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese; Ben thought his soup was terrible as he served it but he had no choice
Christian – lobster and tomato soup, grilled cheese, foie gras, prosciutto
Christine – black bean tomato soup (high acidity due to vinegar), grilled provolone and goat cheese
Derrick – gorgonzola tomato soup, grilled Gorgonzola cheese
Jennifer – heirloom and plum tomato soup w/ lobster
Suzy – heirloom tomato soup w/ bourbon, bacon, roasted red pepper and 3G grilled cheeses: Gruyere, goat, Gouda
Tracy – Mediterranean style tomato soup w/ pancetta + grilled Fontina cheese

The winners were Tracy and Suzy. The worst dishes were Ben, Derrick and Christine. How would this get resolved? Ben made his admission of major sin of getting the wrong flavor to his soup and he was sent back to the group. Christine was told that her time was up.
Suspense was thick as the verdict for Derrick awaited. It was elimination, bringing the total left in this competition to 6 cooks.

Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 09, 2011, 02:51:33 PM
MC2, Ep. 16

This episode opened in the Los Angeles restaurant Patina, which is run by Executive Chef Tony Esnault and overseen by Master Chef Joachim Splichal. It has French cuisine focus and has earned one Michelin star. The 6 cooks remaining will run its kitchen and produce a limited list of its special dishes. Joe Bastianich would help as Front of the House and Gordon Ramsay would be the expeditor relaying orders from a group of 50 special customers of the restaurant, half of whom would dine Blue and half Red. A key factor in the evaluation of which team won or lost was feedback from those diners but maybe more important was the feedback from Splichal and Esnault, who dined in a special room. The objective was to match the way Patina routinely cooks these dishes:

lily risotto with edible flowers and black garlic oil
marinated hamachi w/ green apple mustard, avocado and crostini
pan-seared scallops w/ cauliflower, crostini, capers
prime beef tenderloin w/ short ribs, carrots

The teams chosen by captains were:
Blue – Tracy chose Adrien and Jennifer
Red – Suzy chose Ben and was left with Christian, whom she stated she would have picked 

The meal began with Ramsay knowing that none of these cooks had ever worked in a restaurant kitchen before. Ramsay pointed out that cooking risotto will take about 21 minutes, so if anyone screws it up their customers will have to wait that much extra to get their meal. Tracy put herself on the risotto and assigned beef to Adrien and scallops to Jennifer. Suzy assigned Christian the risotto and hamachi to Ben, leaving scallops for herself.

Ramsay implored for each team to communicate internally and work as a team to get the dishes out properly. Customer feedback was mixed. Splichal and Esnault rated each individual dish from each team and their feedback went to the 3 Master Chef creators. Ramsay, Bowles and Bastianich made the final decision.  That decision was a Red victory, which put Tracy, Adrien and Jennifer into a Pressure Test.
That pressure test would be easy for any fish chef, but was extremely difficult for home cooks. It was to scale, fillet, portion and cook one of at least 10 portions of a King salmon in 45 minutes. The raw fish looked marvelous. Ramsay warned that the proper way to cook it was to leave the skin on, cook it for several minutes with that side down and finish by cooking the other side down for the final 2 minutes.  Scaling started, with Adrien still at it 20 minutes into this competition. Tracy and Jennifer seemed to do that much better and certainly much faster. The filleting was a huge challenge for anyone not used to doing it; none of them were. Jennifer worked very cleanly and left little meat on the strip of bones and she took off the tail. Adrien was not as clean but he got it done. Tracy was overwhelmed by the filleting and had a huge amount of waste with meat left on the bones and she failed to take the tail off it. Portioning appeared to be about even between each competitor, but Tracy started much later than the other two. Jennifer and Adrien started cooking their selected portion well before Tracy, who did not start until 5 minutes left. She quickly discovered that the portion she had chosen was too thick to cook properly, but it was late to do an alternative piece. She knew that her piece was going to end up undercooked for the desired medium rare. Adrien took off the skin and got much more even cooking, but he ended up with an overcooked piece. Only Jennifer appeared to get it right. 

The judging was quick and easy. The judges asked the competitors to demonstrate their final bone structure and the low waste on Jennifer’s, slightly more waste on Adrien’s and high waste on Tracy’s was obvious. Jennifer was excused. Tracy was sent home, although Gordon did offer her a free one year in the Master Chef cooking training program, for which they clearly wanted to get in a plug, to encourage her continued culinary career. She also received an offer from all 3 of the judges that after that program she was welcome to work in their restaurants.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 10, 2011, 10:32:11 AM
MC2, Ep. 17

There are 5 cooks left in this competition and the challenges get harder. This episode started with any Mystery Box Challenge. The ingredients were ground beef, ground veal and ground pork, corn (on the cob), celery, bell peppers, butter, carrots, potatoes, rice Worcestershire sauce, cheese. The cooks have 60 minutes to create a stunning dish. Ben immediately thinks those ingredients were just right for Shepherd’s pie and remembers that he had promised Ramsay at the beginning that he would cook him something British. This may be the last opportunity. The others decide on:
Christian – chili (which Suzy says takes too long)
Suzy – Shepherd’s pie
Jennifer – meatloaf
Adrien – 3 different meatballs in 3 different sauces
The cooking proceeded with the judges closely monitoring what was happening, because they would have to choose the top 3 dishes to taste based on what they saw. Those chosen were those of:
Jennifer – meatloaf with bell pepper and other vegetable bits integrated, homemade ketchup, roasted corn
Adrien – beef meatball w/ carrots, celery, potatoes, mushrooms in yellow pepper picadillo sauce, veal meatball w/parsley and parmesan sauce, an unknown third meatball w/ a red sauce
Ben – Shepherd’s pie with inner layer of ground veal, celery, carrots, onions sauteed in butter and outer layer of garlic mashed potatoes, red wine reduction and Worcestershire sauce

On tasting, Adrien’s dish was far too salty so he was effectively out. It was Jennifer vs. Ben and Ben won his first Mystery Box Challenge. That gave him a special advantage, which was to choose from 3 signature dishes for a world famous chef (the one and only Gordon Ramsay). Those were pan-roasted filet of halibut with crab, new potatoes and basil vinaigrette; roasted duck breast with honey-glazed baby onions, minted peas, and Madeira sauce; roasted loin of venison set on a bed of braised red cabbage and a red wine sauce. Ben chose Ramsay’s venison dish because he believed he had more experience cooking venison than any of the other cooks. Ben was then given a basket of the correct amount of the 5 primary ingredients for that dish (venison, parsnips, red cabbage, mushrooms, Madeira red wine for the sauce). He was also given the unique opportunity to ask Ramsay 3 questions to help him decide cooking methods. Here is where Ben squandered some of his advantage, as he failed to ask the most important question, which was how long and at what temperature should the venison be slow-cooked before final cooking. Ben did ask about how the parsnip puree was made (small amount of milk blended in, the finishing with cream). The third is about searing, which Ramsay replied was done with being warmed (effectively light poaching) in butter first, then seared at the end.

The other cooks were given an opportunity only to taste the dish and from that they had to select 5 ingredients and discern cooking methods. They then had 90 minutes to prep and cook. Here was the feedback given to each one after tasting their dish:
Ben – venison way overcooked (Joe said it should have been at 140 degrees and Ben did it at 200 degrees); parsnip puree broken; Ben knew he had totally squandered his advantage
Christian – parsnip puree broken; too much pepper used to season; meat not the hero of the dish
Adrien – venison cooked with butter in a pan, which gave the wrong results; “all over the place”
Jennifer – her dish was a disappointment on flavor
Suzy – by far the best, even though she had never cooked venison before; got the balances right

So, Suzy was quickly off the hook. Jennifer and Christian were placed in the same grouping and let off the hook after some drama. That left Ben and Adrien. Ben was eliminated.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2 Christian Collins In Gloucester Video and Pictures
Post by: captjoe06 on August 11, 2011, 03:35:18 PM
Here's A Video and Picture Of Gloucester's Christian Collins Competing In A Seafood Throwdown at The Cape Ann Farmer's Market-

( (

Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: TexasLady on August 12, 2011, 11:05:56 PM
Thanks for the link and article captjoe. It helps me to have a better understanding of Christian. He could well win this season.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 14, 2011, 11:59:41 AM
There are just 2 more episodes of Master Chef 2, so I expect the first will eliminate one more cook before the 2 hour finale starting at 8pm EDT Tuesday with 3 go head-to-head.

It's time to make a fearless forecast. I think the one eliminated with be Jennifer, which will leave Christian, Adrien and Suzy in the finale. Christian has a lot of talent but he makes mistakes. Suzy is lucky to be there. The only one who was consistent throughout was Adrien, who is my pick to win in it.

Please note that if you have been depending on full episode videos from FOX, those will only be available after an 8 day delay after today as a result of a special exclusive deal the DISH Network cut with FOX.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 16, 2011, 07:40:46 AM
MC2, Ep. 18

This started with Suzy picking her teammate. She decided on Christian for a battle against Jennifer and Adrien. A wide array of proteins and other ingredients was available. Jennifer and Adrien selected Maine lobster and California spot prawns as their proteins and came up with these dishes to accompany them:
Roasted corn
Coulis w/blood orange, roasted red pepper, ginger and chipotle
Sweet potatoes

Suzy and Christian went with duck to simulate Thanksgiving dinner with these accompaniments:
Sauce based on a raspberry coulis

The teams had 90 minutes to cook their dishes. For judging this special event Ramsay imported judges from the Master Chef versions in France, Israel and India
Sebastian Demorand
Michal Ansky, food critic
Kopal Kapoor 

Christian was told by Joe Bastianich that his team’s dishes were “disrespectful” to the foreign judges, which I think is absurd. What’s not OK about a tasty Thanksgiving dinner? Christian responded that duck was Suzy’s idea and that he would have used lobster instead. The foreign judges appeared to be unsatisfied, but Joe and Gordon were vociferous that the Christian/Suzy team had no teamwork (which you expect whenever Christian is on a team).

The Adrien/Jennifer team also did not knock it out of the park. Adrien had forgotten to clean at least two prawns. However, the foreign judges gave the win unanimously to Adrien and Jennifer.

That put Christian and Suzy into the ultimate Pressure test for 90 minutes. That turned out be lemon meringue pie. Suzy’s dessert experience would give her the edge going into this. Christian as a seafood cook did not have much desserts experience, so this was recognized as being more of a challenge for him.

The components of this pie are the filling (lemon curd), crust and meringue.  Here were the stated results:
Gordon – Suzy’s was delicious but light on meringue, dough undercooked
Graham – her filling great, but not enough meringue, dough undercooked
Joe – her meringue flavorless, dough undercooked

Graham – Christian’s filling broke and separated
Gordon – his texture was broken, his sugar was not properly incorporated into the meringue
Joe – pastry rich, meringue not good enough
The judges all agree that Christian’s pie looks better than it tastes and Suzy’s tastes better than it looks.

So who would you think won? I thought it would go to Suzy because she had a better overall pie. However, the judges had a different interpretation of the above stated results. They gave the win to Christian and eliminated Suzy. How could that be? I can’t explain it except for the judges making a correction for higher difficulty for Christian based on his prior limited dessert experience and an effective penalty to Suzy’s greater experience.  Another possible explanation is that in past episodes the judges have been carrying Suzy by judging her above what she really earned and that they just cannot stomach allowing her to go to the finals and leave Christian (a technically better cook) behind.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: cinni on August 16, 2011, 08:14:39 PM
They oopsed big time last night here and started showing the finale. They got as far as to introduce the final 2. Won't post it here as to not spoil all the hard work here. PM me if you want to know.

Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 17, 2011, 09:04:56 AM
MC2, Semifinals

Only Adrien, Jennifer and Christian remained. Ramsay summarized past performance by stating that Jennifer had won 3, Adrien 2 and Christian 1 Mystery Box Challenges. It was time for another Mystery Box Challenge except that the contents were revealed to be a whole chicken. Each had 60 minutes to wow the judges, whose expectations were incredibly high. Jennifer decided on bacon-wrapped chicken, jalapeno w/ onions, apple/bacon stuffing and potatoes. Adrien went with braised thighs, squash puree herbs and asparagus on rice. Christian had bacon wrapped chicken in French onion sauce w/ carrot puree, peas, purple cauliflower, sage, rosemary and thyme. Christian had asked during cooking time if he could get a small amount of flour from Jennifer. She declined, saying she needed it for her fresh pasta.

The judges decided that Jennifer’s dish was the weakest and Adrien’s the winner. That gave him the usual big advantage for the Elimination Test. All 3 were brought into the back area and show Joe Bastianich’s favorite ingredients, which were octopus, veal and mushrooms. Christian expected to get octopus as he is a seafood chef. What he did not know is that Adrien, picking first, had experience from a young age cooking octopus. Christian also was surprised when, after he picked veal and forced Jennifer to use mushrooms, she explained that she had grown up near Kennett Square PA, the mushroom capital of the world. There was 10 minutes to shop in the pantry and then 90 minutes to cook.  Here were their dishes:

Christian – mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, braised veal shanks that had to be finished in a pressure cooker
Adrien – octopus in black bean/ black garlic puree, rice, chilis, watercress
Jennifer – mushrooms and egg yolk over 3 fresh-made ravioli (a switch from her original choice of pappardelle)

Suzy got the winning line of the episode was “the 1980s want their dish back” in reference to Christian’s choices. Joe replated Christian’s dish for him, declaring it improved. Ramsay said to both Christian and Adrien that theirs were not their best dish. To Jennifer they said really well done. The first pick of the judges to advance was Adrien. The second was Jennifer, which meant Christian was eliminated. He was defiant and nasty to the end.
Title: Re: Master Chef 2
Post by: apskip on August 17, 2011, 09:06:25 AM
MC2 Finale

It came down to Adrien versus Jennifer. The voiceover announcer called it as 3 dishes, 2 hours and 1 winner. They had 10 minutes to load up shopping carts of whatever they thought they might need. They could return for kitchen equipment but not for ingredients.

The dishes created were:
Jennifer appetizer – pan-seared scallop w/ egg, creamed corn, English pea puree
Adrien appetizer – prawns w/ jicama, microgreens, salsa

Jennifer entrée – quail w/ jalapeno, stuffing, creamy potatoes
Adrien entrée – pan-seared short ribs, mole, chipotle, cauliflower/parsnip puree, rainbow chard

Jennifer dessert – moscato braised pears, poached apples, crème anglaise, mascarpone, lemon zest
Adrien dessert – flourless chocolate torte w/ blood orange and passion fruit sauces, mole, powdered cocoa

So that was it. Each dish was explained and the judges had some comments. Perhaps the most telling were Ramsay stating that he could not taste the prawns in Adrien’s appetizer and that Adrien’s cake was too dry. He and Joe both chided Jennifer for not removing the abductor muscle from a scallop.  My inference from the commentary was that Jennifer was a clear winner of the appetizer course, they were in a positive dead heat for the entrée course and they both underperformed on the dessert course to negate each other there. That would make Jennifer the winner if I was correct.

I was. Jennifer did win the $250,000 and the title, plus no doubt the opportunity during the next year to travel as a spokesperson like Master Chef 1 winner Whitney Miller. She really earned it, as my impression was the competition was much stiffer in MC2.