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Home cooks from all over the country have a shot to become the newest star in the culinary firmament.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Joe Bastianich
Graham Elliot
Gordon Ramsay
Announcer Charlie Ryan
Creator Franc Roddam (based upon "MasterChef")
EP Elisabeth Murdoch
Eden Gaha
Robin Ashbrook
Gordon Ramsay
Adeline Ramage Rooney
Pat Llewellyn
Ben Adler
Packager One Potato Two Potato (an All3Media company) and Shine America
Origins Los Angeles
Web fox.com/masterchef
Airs 9p ET Mon & Tues, Fox

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Auditions 1
June 4

A quarter of a million dollars.

Your own cookbook.

A giant resin trophy.

All of this comes with being named MasterChef. But to have a chance at all of that, first you need an apron. Who will put perfection on every plate?

The judges are here, and they're hungry. Each of the 100 home cooks today will have one hour prepare their signature dish in the prep kitchen, and they will have five minutes to finish in front of the judges. If two of the three judges think they have what it takes, they're going to get an apron.

First is 19-year-old college freshman Michael Chen (Austin, TX). He's always loved cooking, but cooking has never been a reputable profession for himself or his parents. He cooks Chinese Dumplings with Scallion Salad. Gordon thinks it's phenomenal. Graham thinks that his father will be proud, and we have our first sweep of the panel.

Meanwhile, we have frog leg egg foo young, farfalle salad, and a mussel soup, none of which make it to the next round.

But what about Monti Carlo (36, single mom-of-2 from Los Angeles). She has a two-year-old named Danger and $50 in her bank account. She sees this as an opportunity to start all over again. She'll make a Puerto Rican Shepherd's Pie with Twice-Fried Green Plantains. Will this get her a food truck? Graham thinks it's delicious. Gordon thinks that it needs a sauce. It's all on Gordon here... a 2-1 split... and she's THROUGH!

Samantha McNulty (18, Florham Park, NJ, HS senior) goes to an all-Catholic school in NJ. Her love of food came from her father. She is cooking a Quadruple Layer Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting and a side of basil & raspberries. Once again, the judges are split, 2-1... but Gordon wants her to come back... NEXT YEAR.

Another three MasterChef aprons head out the door. Will Ryan (26, NYC, unemployed) join them? He learned about food from growing up in the Upper West Side. He's cooking Red Wine Pressure Cooked Short Ribs with Corn Pudding and Parsnips. Gordon thought it was pretentious, so it's a no. Graham thought it was done well, so it's a yes. Joe.... gives him an apron.

Next up, Josh (24, MS, Army contract specialist) is a former basketball player who traded hardwood for cast-iron. He's got Shrimp Etoufee with Jasmine Rice. And it's a sweep! That was straight from the heart.

Next up, Shami (30, Seattle - originally from Zimbabwe, recruiter) cooks from her African roots. She cooks a Sadza with Chicken Curry and Spicy Greens. Unfortunately, it's not enough for Gordon or Joe.

More aprons are flying, giving us a total of 11. Meanwhile, cakes... with personality. Audrey from Texas wins with her cakes complete with Masterchef judge caricatures, bringing us to 12. Meanwhile, Gordon bites his own head off.

Final cook of the night is Christine Ha (32, graduate student from Houston), the first ever blind MasterChef contestant. She's here with her husband supporting her. She believes that food connects everyone. She's looking a Vietnamese Catfish with pickled vegetables. Gordon thought it needed stability with rice. But still, it's a sweep from the panel, and Christine is through!

So we end the day on a master high, but tomorrow is another story. Right now, the guys are going on the road...

To see this episode in its entirety OR to apply to be a contestant on season 4 of MasterChef, go to fox.com/masterchef.