MasterChef Latino #2.4

Here’s the list of remaining contestants after Ángel’s departure in Episode 3.

Team Ennio

  • Aurelio
  • Lauren
  • David

Team Claudia

  • María Luisa
  • Noelián
  • King Sam
  • Javier
  • Sara

Team Benito

  • Dennis
  • Dubraska
  • Miriam
  • John
  • Nancy

Mystery Boxes: Mushrooms

As the judges said–not a vegetable, not an animal, it has its own kingdom, could elevate a dish or send someone to the hospital, it can help the immune system and delay aging. I’d look that last part up, but I’m too busy finding a hair tutorial for Claudia’s bubble ponytail. Priorities.

Mushrooms need to be the star of the dish. The winner of the challenge won’t have to cook anymore tonight.

There’s station drama. Aurelio thinks John’s in his way. Ennio thinks Javier’s space is a mess. And then Dennis cuts into some half-cooked chicken breasts and tries to put the more-cooked part back in the pan with his mushroom sauce or whatever. Claudia’s making an “I’m not tasting that” face.

The judges want to taste:

  • Lauren’s (EC) stuffed mushrooms in mushroom broth with crunchy kale. The judges are all happy with her presentation and the flavor of the dish.
  • Miriam’s (BM) mushroom soup. Claudia says the others should be afraid. Ennio praises Miriam’s common sense. Dennis is in tears because Miriam’s dish was in the top five and his mom just died last year and he’s very fond of her (as is everybody else).
  • Maria Luisa (CS) is surprised her dish was picked. She made mushroom risotto, but she doesn’t know the names of the mushrooms she used. Ennio approves of the risotto. Claudia says she’s still impressing them.
  • Noelián’s (CS) mushroom something with a pork chop.
  • David’s (EC) croquettes. And he’s sure he was chosen because of his plating. Ennio agrees his plating is great, but he’d better start working on his flavor.

As an aside, we find out the contestants are getting mentoring and cooking classes during their down time.

So, it’s time to pick the lucky person who gets to hang out on the balcony for the rest of the episode…it’s Maria Luisa.

But she also gets to choose team captains AND TEAMS for the next challenge.

For the red team she picks Lauren (Captain), King, Dennis, Nancy, Noelián, Dubraska.

For the blue team she picks Aurelio (Captain), Javier, Miriam, John, David, Sara.

Is it just me or is the blue team designed to implode?

“Healthy Sweets” Challenge

Ugh. I really hate the idea that foods are either “healthy” or “junk.” And it doesn’t really help people with their eating habits to call foods “good” or “bad.” It just adds a bunch of baggage to an everyday task that’s complicated enough to begin with. So lemme rewind this just a bit…

Challenge: Desserts with less-refined ingredients and added vegetables

They’re putting together dessert displays that need to appeal to kids. The guest judge on this challenge comes in to give them a tutorial and makes zucchini brownies with almond flour, coconut oil, coconut sugar, etc.

The red team has a lot of dessert experience and Lauren’s an excellent leader.

John gets a lecture on cross-contamination. Javier sniped at John about being the “Mariah Carey” of the team? Someone hipper needs to explain that one to me. And then Aurelio does a confessional vid saying it wasn’t professional of Javier, but they all thought the same thing.

Aurelio gets a talking-to from Claudia about not knowing what his team’s up to. He should have been making sure Miriam’s had a dish to be judged on and not just leaving her to organize the ingredients.

The kids come in and start sampling things and making faces. Dennis insisted on making a spicy dessert “for the adults” but Claudia took a bite that was way too spicy for her. One of the kids picks the pineapple with chile as her favorite thing. Ha!

As for the judges, they name the red team the winning team.

Aurelio’s already griping about how unfair it was that he should have to suffer because of his teammates’ mistakes. Dude…it’s called leadership.

And hey, guess what?! Lauren’s pregnant! So the baby’s like an extra team member.

Elimination Challenge

Benito lifts off the dome and reveals the challenge, and it’s…the only five things my/your baby cousin will eat? (Come on, we’ve all had that one cousin, or a sibling: pizza, french fries, tater tots, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, waffles, and donuts. OK, actually that’s a slightly wider variety than the one relative I’m thinking of would go for. But where are the fish sticks?!

Plot twist! Benito doesn’t want them cooking any of that stuff. He complains about fast food and junk food (and let’s be honest, frozen microwaveable food), and unadventurous kids’ menus  limiting the palates of kids. The contestants need to make a kids’ plate that will, like, appeal to kids but not be on the Generic American Kids’ Menu. But he uses the H word and I’m not gonna go there.

Let the freakout begin. David doesn’t know any kids. Javier has no inspiration. Come on, now Abuela Miriam, you should own this challenge! Make what you make for your grandkids!

Seriously, though, what is “Kids’ Food” supposed to mean? Smaller portions? Finger foods? Something that doesn’t require multiple utensils to eat? I’m pretty confident it should be non-alcoholic.

Miriam’s getting in her head too much. The balcony’s worrying about all the fish they’re seeing.

The judges have to try it all

  • John (B) made salmon on cauliflower puree with some star fruit, red tomatoes, and something green. At least it’s colorful? Claudia’s not sure a kid would like these flavors.
  • Miriam (B) made a caldo de pollo. The judges all agree the flavor is on, but she just made them soup earlier today.
  • David (E) pretends he liked chicken soup when he was a kid. He tops this with a parmesan crisp. Benito needs to put a dollar in the “bœuf bourguignon” jar.
  • Aurelio (E) brings up his mashed potatoes with grilled vegetables and salmon in honey mustard sauce. Ennio thinks it’s good, but it might not appeal to kids.
  • Sara (C) made a pancake trio and some egg roll-ups.
  • Javier (C) made three chicken burgers on spinach tortillas. Ennio finds them a little chewy. But ok, he liked it. Claudia says he can’t always use bacon as a flavor (oh reeeeeally?). Benito declares the broccoli overcooked.

The judges deliberate and Sara (C), Abuela Miriam (B), Aurelio (E), Javier (C), and John (B) are safe.

David’s going home.

Author: 5ftLatina

Kat is 5ftLatina. She is really 5' tall (and probably shrinking) and Latina. She is not actually a cactus, but she is both prickly and cute. Mr. 5ft is actually married to Kat, but is not 5' tall or Latina. He is also not a form of plant life.

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Your recaps add even more sabor to an already tasty show. Loved your health food aside.

I agree that kids’ dishes should probably be non-alcoholic.

Is it wrong that I was kind of glad David was eliminated?