Mystery Box Challenge
There are hand mirrors. So the contestants can cook something that “identifies” them.
The judges only taste 2 dishes each from their groups. Actually, make that one. Ennio says he’s choosing the ONE dish that was ” least bad” from his group. Claudia’s disappointed as well. And Benito…OK, cake on cardboard isn’t the greatest plating, but I’d eat Nancy’s cake anyway. Because cake.
Maria Luisa’s (CS) salmon goes over OK. Ángel ‘s (EC) pasta, not so much (though, for the record, Mr. 5ft and I both think garlic toast sure as hell does go with pasta!). John (BM) cooked his steak perfectly and wins an advantage in the first “Judges Battle” of the series.
The team that wins the Judges Battle gets to hang out on the balcony. The judges are picking the dishes and will provide all the ingredients.
John’s advantage is he gets to kick a contestant off each of the other teams. He picks Javier and Aurelio.
Each team has to serve a main dish and a dessert to the crowd in the “MasterChef Restaurant.” The dinner guests get to vote on their favorite dish…or possibly their favorite team…I can’t really tell how they’re doing this. The Blue team (CS) gets the most votes. Ennio looks like they need to get him away from the sharp objects.
Three from each team have to cook for the Elimination Challenge. Ennio sends Lauren up to the balcony. Benito thought his team did a good jobHe’s sending John up…and as team leader, he wants John to decide who else is going up with him. He picks Dennis.
Gaby sends the six unfortunate contestants to shop for their challenge. They get to cook whatever they want, with up to 20 ingredients. They shop. Nancy’s earrings are little bunches of grapes to go with her purple lipstick and eyeshadow. Yes, that’s of vital importance.
And the twist is–the contestants have to swap shopping baskets. I laugh. The muttering starts on the balcony. They can tell Miriam, aka La Abuela, has no idea what to do with David’s ingredients and they’re worried about her. Javier calls instructions down to Ángel. Nancy and the balcony have a little cross-cultural conversation about one of her ingredients. Javier knows it by one name and they eventually figure out Nancy knows it as epazote. (And here’s a page that has some info on herbs and how to sub them.)
John wants David to help Miriam open her packages, but he says his hands are greasy. Benito goes over to help. John thinks it was tacky of David not to help.
The judges are disappointed that Aurelio took a great cut of beef and chopped it up.
John’s calling down plating instructions to Miriam and she’s happy to follow them. Aurelio gets some specifics as well.
- Nancy did some beef on a square of rice. Ennio disses the plating and says the rice has no flavor.
- Ángel did chicken tacos with fresh tortillas.
- Miriam made grilled fish on a bed of nopal. Claudia approves of John’s suggestion to cut the nopal into a ring. John admits he felt bad leaving her downstairs.
- I swear as David carries his plate up they’re all wishing he’d trip. Or maybe that’s just me. He made chicken and rice with some bits of potato.
- Dubraska did some Indian-Latino fusion.
- And finally, Aurelio comes up with his rib-eye that he turned into stir fry.
Dubraska, Nancy, Aurelio are safe. They make us sweat it out before Benito sends Miriam upstairs. John’s really emotional. So are a lot of other contestants. ‘Cause she’s Abuela, you know?
And then, they send Ángel home and keep David. I’m holding a grudge about not helping Miriam, though. Just saying.