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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 8p ET Weds, Fox

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Top 18 Complete/Top 17 Compete
June 5

Last week, the chef'testants entered the MCK for the first time, and things got a little hot between Krissi and Natasha, but it was the saucy spicy Sasha Foxx who couldn't take the heat. So she leaves the kitchen first.

... and we leave the kitchen next for our very first...


The cooks are heading on a school bus to Emperor Elementary somewhere in Southern California, just as the kids are starting their day. The cooks' challenge: provide a healthy lunch to over 300 schoolkids. Each team is responsible for an entree and a dessert. They have 1 hour 45 to cook and 60 minutes to serve. The winning team is safe, while the losers head to the first Pressure Test, where someone is going to be expelled.

RED TEAM (Jessie): Lynn, Bethy, Beth, Bime, Natasha, Bri, Luca, Malcolm
BLUE TEAM (Jordan): Savannah, James, Eddie, Jonny, Krissi, Adriana, Howard, Kathy

The meal must contain a protein, a starch, a vegetable, and a fruit.

Reds are going with chicken teriyaki with rice, corn, and a strawberry crumble. The Blues get spaghetti & meatballs, green beans, and an apple crisp. They're planning for two turkey meatballs per kid. That's 600 meatballs. Smart move. How about the execution? The Blues menu may sound better, but the Reds is easier to prep.

Joe & Graham notice that there's an overcrowding of chicken. What they need is to spread out less chicken so that a) they cook even and b) they don't boil the chicken. Meanwhile, the Blues have a whole lot of meatballs to cook, and they haven't even started yet.

Middle of the game comes a change, as the Blues decide to turn their meatballs into sauce. As for the teriyaki sauce, the Reds are going to add a sweetening agent. Meanwhile, Gordon plays teacher. Everyone likes turkey. Everyone likes spaghetti. Everyone likes chicken. One person likes chicken teriyaki. (Anne Hegarty) OH DEAR.... (/AH)

Time to cook is up. Now it's time to serve. And here comes a mob of hungry kids! They'll taste their dishes and vote.

The Blues are having issues serving. We need orders! NOW! Meanwhile, let's go to the kids. They like the barbecue chicken, but they think the green beans are a little too hard.  The Reds are starting to fall apart, while the Blues are holding together.

The judges liked the Reds dishes. But it's up to the kids. Let's vote!

And the winners... by a count of 58% to 42%... is... THE RED TEAM!

"(^_^) this... no seriously, (^_^) this." Thanks for that, Krissi.

PRESSURE TEST #1: Cheesecake

There are good news in this test... only SIX of the nine will compete. That choice of the six will be left to team captain Jordan. He chooses to save Howard, James, and ... himself.

Krissi: "That was a bitch move and in my neighborhood, that would get your ass kicked. The captain goes down with the ship."

Today's Pressure Test... cheesecake. It has to have perfect balance between flavor and texture in the cheese and the crust. One mistake, you have an unbridled mess. You have 90 minutes to prepare, bake, chill, and garnish one amazing cheesecake. The secret: a good base. Solid base, solid mix. Set it. Now the cheese. Eggs, sugar, break down the cheese and incorporate. 45-50 minutes in the oven. Then chill, top, and serve. An American classic.

And Adriana has already cut herself.

Krissi: Cheesecake with Raspberry Bombs - It fell. Otherwise, perfect.
Jonny: Pineapple Cheesecake with Coconuts
Kathy: Cheesecake with Mixed Berry Compote
Eddie: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Mixed Berry Compote - needed to drain the fruit.
Savannah: Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Hazelnut Almond Brittle - poor execution.
Adriana: Mango Guava Cheesecake - canned guava...

Eddie, Krissi, and Kathy... are safe. Jonny's topping was nowhere near quality. He nailed the filling, though. So he's safe.

The next person to leave the MasterChef Kitchen...



Dodging the bullet by millimeters. We're going to do it all over again in Round 2, but right now let's pause 10 seconds to give stations a chance to identify themselves over the Fox Broadcasting Company.

(10 seconds)

ROUND 2 set to begin!


With every Mystery Box this season, you will also have a Pantry Box which has flour, sugar, butter, eggs, heavy cream, baking powder, lemon, vanilla bean, and a gallery of herbs & spices. The winner of the Mystery Box will receive an important advantage in the Elimination Test.

A very special guest will be cooking the Mystery Box alongside our cooks. That mystery guest is... Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Inside the Mystery Box is... black cod, black and white sesame seeds, shiitakes, baby beets, cauliflower, rice wine vinegar, soy, ginger, and miso paste.

60 minutes... STARTS NOW!

Gordon's taking his sweet time. No seriously, he's in no rush to cook. He walks up to the gallery, has a tea, and then, with 30 minutes left, Gordon... is still not cooking. Until he arrives and does so. He does his knife hone and it's time to get to work.

Gordon has TWO black cods with caramelized cauliflower with a peanut miso sauce. Unfortunately, Fox is paying him, so he's not eligible in the contest. Neither is Howard, who plates a raw fish. Ew.

The top three, though, are...

- James: Black Cod with Shiitake Salad
- Beth: Black Cod with Sesame Seed Crust & Caramelized Beets
- Luca: Black Cod with Shiitake and Snap Peas


His advantage... is in the MasterChef pantry.


As the winner of the Mystery Box, Luca gets to choose the ingredient or equipment used in the Elimination Test. The one thing that he cannot control is the theme. Today, the theme is... dessert.  Luca has a choice among 24 cookies, 12 cupcakes, and one layer cake.

Luca chooses... CUPCAKES. But he will not have to cook it, because his second advantage is immunity to the next round. He has a THIRD advantage that even he doesn't know about yet. He gets to remove... someone's mixer. This is going to get ugly. He picks... Jordan's.

For the record, your cupcakes have to be in the box before time expires, or the judges will not taste them.

Another hour on the clock.... and GO!

Howard: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Malcolm: Buttermilk Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting & Rum Banana Cream.
Bime: Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting
Kathy: Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter & Peanuts
Bethy: Banana Foster Cupcake, Raspberry Lime Cupcake, Almond Crusted Cupcakes
Jessie: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes
Jordan (no mixer): Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Tasting Jordan's cupcake... Luca. "100 percent safe. They are delicious. Can I keep it?"

At least one person is going home on the back of all those cupcakes. But before we kick someone to the curb, we must reward greatness.

Bime earns a Team Captain apron for next week. But the WINNER of this challenge is... BETHY. Three cupcakes, all restaurant quality.

- Malcolm. This is his second bottom three.
- Kathy
- Jessie

Malcolm made so many fundamental flaws...  Kathy is not done, not ready to go home. The judges agree. She's SAFE.

The cupcake just crumbled for... MALCOLM GREEN. Back to the kitchen for you.

And back to the field next time with a five-alarm Team Challenge and a Pressure Test with a game-changing twist.

To see this episode in its entirety OR to apply to be a contestant on season 5 of MasterChef, go to fox.com/masterchef.