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Offline apskip

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Master Chef 2
« 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

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #1 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

« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 06:50:31 PM by apskip »

Offline TexasLady

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #2 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.
The choices we make dictate the life we lead.

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #3 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.

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #4 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
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 09:11:54 AM by apskip »

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #5 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).
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 07:32:10 AM by apskip »

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #6 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.

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #7 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:

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:19:13 AM by apskip »

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #9 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.

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #10 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.

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #11 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.

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #12 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.

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 06:47:30 PM »
@Apskip: You might want to see this...

The episode in question is Episode 5.

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #14 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.

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #15 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.

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #16 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.

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #17 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.

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #18 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.

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #19 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.  :(

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #20 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.

Offline apskip

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #21 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.

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #22 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.

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #23 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.......

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Re: Master Chef 2
« Reply #24 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.