MasterChef Latino #2.7


We’re down to ten contestants.

Team Ennio

  • Aurelio
  • Lauren

Team Claudia

  • María Luisa
  • Noelián
  • Javier
  • Sara

Team Benito

  • Dennis
  • Dubraska
  • John
  • Nancy

I’m not looking forward to the first episode without Abuela Miriam.

First Challenge

Benito’s out again. Chef James from Un Nuevo Día is subbing. Where can I get Claudia’s dress? I mean, Gaby’s is nice too, but I love the color of Claudia’s.

Anyway…the first challenge is ceviche and the first 4 dishes finished are the ones that will get tasted.

John finishes first. Then Noelián, Dennis, and Maria Luisa.

  • John used dragonfruit in his ceviche and he serves it in a hollowed-out dragonfruit. I think.
  • Noelián hasn’t made a ceviche before, but she’s at least eaten ceviche. She has no idea what fish she used and admits it.
  • Dennis used tilapia with lemon, orange, and mango. And a stray hair.
  • Maria Luisa used watermelon and mango in her ceviche.

Maria Luisa knocked it out of the park. Claudia thinks hers was the best. Ennio hopes she’s been writing down her recipes ’cause this is book-worthy. And Chef James liked the pepino (cucumber).

John will be leading a team, because his ceviche was the runner-up. Maria Luisa will be leading the other team.

Team Challenge

  • Red team: Maria Luisa, Nancy, Lauren, Javier, Noelián
  • Blue team: John, Aurelio, Dubraska, Sara, Dennis

But first, a master class with Chef James about cooking fish with fire.

And now Maria Luisa’s advantage…she gets to decide which cooler full of ingredients her team will use.

They can cook whatever they want, using whatever method they want, with two side dishes, for 40+ guests.

Let the drama begin. Teamwork is…not happening. The judges try to encourage Maria Luisa and John to take control of their groups, but really…if they knew how to do that, they would have done it already. Maybe teamwork could be the next master class.

Is it just me, or does the beach look stormy by the time they’re serving?

The judges saved Gaby a plate, but they don’t think they should let her have it. It’s all bad, as far as they’re concerned. Gaby asks if they’re sending everyone to the elimination challenge. She goes to round up the contestants while the judges finish talking.

There is no official winner. Maria Luisa and John are going to the elimination challenge because they were the team leaders. (Screwing up in the first challenge so you don’t get put in charge of a team is starting to look like a winning strategy.)

Elimination Challenge

We’re back to the kitchen. The mystery boxes are out, and there are more than two. Maria Luisa and John get to pick the others who are up for elimination.

John tries to fake his way out, but then picks Aurelio. I laughed. I mean, seriously, everyone knows they can’t stand each other.

Maria Luisa picks Noelián and she takes it with grace.

John picked Dennis? The what? He was the one keeping his head down and working and not arguing with John the entire time. Turns out Dennis approached John to remind him that he did a bunch of work and all Aurelio did was a salad. And that’s what John didn’t like.

Maria Luisa picks Javier. He’s another one angry because he thinks he did most of the work. And he suspects she’s trying to protect Nancy.

The last four–Nancy, Lauren, Dubraska, and Sara–get to hang out on the balcony.

And the elimination challenge is making a “healthy” breakfast with whatever ingredients they want, as long as they use Mazola. Let me restate that…

Breakfast Challenge using Mazola

Because Mazola paid for product placement…oh, sorry, I mean, because oil is not the devil and corn oil has a high smoke point and studies have shown it blocks more cholesterol than olive oil. So they’re equating “healthy” with “use Mazola.”

Everyone hits the pantry and I can’t decide whether I’m over Aurelio or if I was already over Aurelio and I just didn’t realize it until now. Javier…I dunno.

Maria Luisa is obsessed with this Mexican Eggs Benedict idea and she’s going through eggs like tissues. Noelián is also out of eggs and asks if she can have the two she gave Maria Luisa back.

Nope, ’cause they’re gone. Nobody else volunteers.

Aurelio asks for eggs and Dennis is like “I’ve got some over here.” That’s cold, Dennis.

Is it just me or does everything they’ve made look kind of oily? They said “use” Mazola, not “overuse.”

  • Javier did green chilaquiles and a scrambled egg. Ennio’s annoyed with Javier’s presentation. Claudia’s angry that he’s not giving “more.” Chef James liked the flavors, but agrees the presentation needs work.
  • Dennis made quiche, steak, and fruit. Chef James questions whether Dennis considers this a “healthy” breakfast. Claudia gets the steak and eggs vibe and his steak was cooked perfectly. Ennio says it’s a hearty breakfast, but it doesn’t look good on the plate.
  • Noelián made a potato purée with an egg “cake” and veggies. Claudia thinks it needs salt. Chef James thinks it doesn’t live up to the plating. Ennio isn’t finding the dish seductive.
  • Aurelio did a poached egg on a yucca and corn cake and a mayonnaise. Chef James says the egg is cooked perfectly. Claudia liked the inclusion of corn for a salty-sweet taste. Ennio wants Aurelio to remind everyone he’s on Ennio’s team. Claudia rolls her eyes.
  • Maria Luisa did a fried egg. Ennio’s poking at it and I’m waiting for him to say it’s overcooked. Instead he says the most important thing is…Gaby says “flavor.” ‘Cause she’s been paying attention. She gets a round of applause. Ennio doesn’t even want to talk about the flavor yet. Claudia’s like “Excuse you, it’s a huevo ranchero,” and the plating is horrendous. She thinks the people in her team are the ones who most disappointed her. She says the flavor is good like she hates to have to say it. Chef James scolds everyone about remembering this is not breakfast at their house.
  • And finally, John. He’s totally confident. There’s a bunch of stuff on his plate and Ennio calls him on doing something complicated again. Chef James likes the plating and that’s all he says. Claudia says it reminds her of an English breakfast. Dennis complains that if you tell John his food reminds you of anything European, he’s happy.

Aurelio’s safe and the judges think he never should have been up for elimination. Dennis is also safe.  So is John and Claudia’s pissed that she has to send home someone from her team.

Javier’s safe because someone’s plating was worse than his and someone’s flavor was worse than his.

Damn, y’all made Claudia cry. She’s sending Noelián home. And now everybody’s crying. Noelián says she’s learned a lot and she’s going to keep learning. Gaby tells her not to let anything dim her smile.

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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I hated this episode. Thank you for extracting some jokes and humor out of all the ego and drama.

“Maybe teamwork could be the next master class.”

No sh*t.