After witnessing the infamous “Breast Milk” advert for this season’s Master Chef, I decided to finally sit down and watch this competition. To be honest, I have never even heard of the series until this season – usually due to the fact that I stick to Food Network in order to get my cooking competition fix. So, after the first three episodes aired on Hulu, I sat back and watched this American Idol of cooking begin.
There were a lot of heart-felt stories in the auditions. From preacher men who want to do good for their community to those who were cooking in memory of their loved ones, to others who want to prove themselves not only to their families, but to the world. There were a lot of unusual moments (such as a woman who came in in a bikini while spinning fire balls around in circles) but for the most part, it was your standard audition.
To his credit, I was shocked at how calm Gordon Ramsay was during the auditions. I am a big fan of Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen so I am well versed with his temper and foul mouth. I expected him to be the Simon of this series but to my surprise, he was not. He was actually rather neutral and he gave more passes than I expected.
The second judge, Graham Elliot, is easily my favorite of the three. He is the gentlest in terms of personality and a lot less in your face, but that doesn’t make him a pushover by any means. What I enjoy is the fact that he smells every dish before he tastes it. It is a small detail but one that I believe is very important when you taste a meal.
Finally we have Joe Bastianich who is a vineyard owner and restauranteur. He’s the most strict out of the three and has a pokerface that would intimidate the best players in Vegas. He has the habit of not commenting after tasting the meal, preferring to let the contestant sweat it out for a while.
What really surprised me was the fact that after the auditions were held, the judges ended up cutting over half of those who made it. Some of these people were not even able to have the judges sample their dishes as they were being judged not only on their food presentations, but how well they can handle the pressure of the competition. What an intense match!
When it is all said and done, we are left with 19 competitors. Their first challenge is a Mystery Dish. Much like how CHOPPED is handled on Food Network, the competitors are given a box where they have no knowledge of its contents. They then must make a dish using those ingredients along with any ingredients found in the Master Chef pantry. The ingredients for this mystery challenge were:
A single Potatoe
The winner of the Mystery Box challenge was Natasha with her AMAZING looking dessert. As winner, she was allowed to select the ingredient that would trip up her competition. She chose langoustine. Unfortunately for her, it failed to trip up the chefs she was rooting against and in the end, it was Jordon and Jessie who won out; thus becoming team captains for the next competition.
Now that the competition is underway, the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that there were already those competitors who instantly disliked one another. I’ve been watching competition reality shows for quite some time but I was shocked at just how quickly people began to single out and attack their competition.
The primary target is Krissi for whatever reason. I don’t really understand why some of the other competitors are singling her out so early. One competitor – mama’s boy (I mean this in a good way) Jordon Roots targeted Krissi for making Mac N Cheese whereas Natasha has decided that not only does she despise Krissi with the passion of a million suns, but she will make sure that Krissi realizes this every step of the way. However it wouldn’t be Krissi who would be eliminated this round. In fact, Krissi continued to wow the judges with her meals. The ones in trouble were the ones that I thought had some of the most spunk during the audition rounds.
The first being Howard, someone that judge Joe Bastianich personally announced to friends and family that he was moving past the auditions. He made a poached langoustine over a simple salad which enraged both Joe and Ramsey to the point where Joe felt insulted for even considering Howard for the competition.
The second being Sasha who won me over with her larger-than-life personality and balls-to-the-wall attitude. She combined the langoustine (A crustacean that resembles a giant crawfish) with a large amount of cheese which ended up destroying her chances to move on. In the end, it was Sasha who would fail to move forward as her dish was a mess throughout whereas Howards was just too simple.
The show is already heating up and as of this article, I’ve noticed that Hulu has already uploaded the next episode. I will be watching it and writing that recap by the end of the week for everyone who is a huge fan of the show. As of this moment, my picks for this Master Chef are:
Jordon – He is full of heart and passion.
Johnny – I just love his look and personality
Krissi – I want her to beat Natasha so badly!
Luca – I love an underdog
I cannot wait for the next episode! I shall keep you updated with more thoughts and recaps as the season moves forward!