MASTERCHEF “Top 12 Compete” Review

MASTERCHEF Top 12 Compete Season 2 Episode 10 (11)

MASTERCHEF “Top 12 Compete” Season 2, Episode 10 – This week the MasterChef contestants had the rare opportunity to cook in the pristine kitchen of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood. As if the pressure of cooking in Chef Ramsay’s kitchen wasn’t enough, the challenge for the remaining 12 home cooks was to cater a cocktail party sprinkled with celebrity chefs, former Bravo stars and Hollywood foodies.

Ben and Christian were both team leaders tonight and it was surprising how similar their menus were. Both teams originally planned to serve a gazpacho for the vegetarian course and profiteroles for the dessert course and ultimately both teams ended up abandoning their profiteroles.

The Blue Team’s dessert looked hideous on screen and Chef Ramsay grumbled about how humiliated he was that it was even leaving his kitchen. The presentation was so tacky that it even made me uncomfortable just having to watch Ben explain the shot-of-fruit-salad-in-a-cupcake-tin to the cocktail guests. Giuseppe, on the other hand, put out a beautiful little fruit pastry, which rightfully landed the Red Team their win, but not by the landslide majority that one would have expected. In previous weeks, I’ve complained about the chef judges’ decision to only taste the “top three” dishes based on appearance and technique during earlier MasterChef challenges. Had that been the policy this week, the Blue Team’s fruit salad would not have made it to the tasting table, yet roughly 47% of the guests in this challenge preferred it over the beautiful tart.

With their loss, the Blue Team faced a Pressure Test elimination challenge which required that they bake a 6 layer cake. I don’t care what the chef judges had to say, I would have happily eaten all of those cakes (even the “bad” ones – it’s difficult for to remember a cake I’ve met that I didn’t like.) I was practically drooling as the judges cut out fat slices of the six layered sinfulness for sampling. I don’t think I’ve ever envied the judges the way I did tonight.

Ben really shone in this round of MasterChef. While I don’t normally like to laugh at the crying kid, he had a very sweet, but also kind of ridiculous, emotional breakdown about finally being able to present his perfect cake to the chefs. I’m not one to judge, though. I’d probably be crying sweet tears of joy if I was eating his cream cheese frosted pumpkin-carrot layer cake right about now.

Suzy, Esther and Christine landed in the bottom three. Suzy needed to be in the bottom three if only to hear the warning that Chef Ramsay gave her. Hopefully this experience will prevent her from becoming more cocky in the kitchen. I think she’s a talented cook, but her big head seems to be getting in the way of her palate and she has been under-performing as of late.

It was definitely Esther’s turn to go home. She had frequently used the excuse that she just needed more time for things to turn out right, but what was really the problem was that she simply wasn’t able to perform consistently under pressure. She seems to have a talent for cooking, but after her failure in the team challenge and in the pressure challenge, it’s clear that she doesn’t have a knack for this kind of competition.

Right now I don’t have anyone in particular that I really want to see go home, but I’ve got a handful of people that I’d love to see win MasterChef. There are still eleven people in the competition and while it’s still anyone’s game, the competition is definitely getting more intense every week.