Hello MasterChef fans,
Monday night we watched the Final 4 compete in the second season of MasterChef USA. Over the last two months, it was Suzy, Jennifer, Adrien and Christian who rose to the top out of thousands who tried out, and as we saw this evening, not one of them is ready to go out without a fight!
By now our remaining foursome have endured a constant stream of intense and emotionally draining tasks — arguably some more fair than others, and yet have remained passionate and resilient. We felt they were ready and capable to take it to the next level by representing their country before a panel of highly revered international MasterChef judges. Competing for yourself is one thing, but knowing your performance will quite possibly make or break the reputation of your country's food culture is quite another. This challenge is a big deal! Although MasterChef is relatively new in the US, the show has a worldwide phenomenon with versions airing in India, Australia, and France, just to name a few. Not only is the skill level of our home cooks under scrutiny, they will be compared against home cooks from countries with a much richer and deeper food history than our own. In the eyes of much of the world, we have yet to shed our reputation as the worst offending fast food nation — purveyors of cheap, mass-produced food, ready and eager to invade Shanghai or Antwerp with the next five-story McDonald's. To put something on the plate that is poor not only in its execution, but in its conception, will only solidify us as the land of SPAM and Lean Cuisine. We don't need any help in that department.
Splitting the finalists into two teams of Jennifer and Adrien in blue, versus the Red Team of Christian and Suzy, we once again find Christian at the center of turmoil and discord. The Red Team failed to communicate and did not work as unit, and that is of course what showed up on the plate. Although Christian has a long history of strife in this competition, I must take Suzy to task for her role in their team's undoing. She really didn't give Christian as much as an inch, but then again, who can blame her? She's been dealing with his personality so long; you can see where he's worn her down. Christian says he's still fighting; his only opposition is himself at this point. I hope he watches these episodes and realizes two things: 1)that he has a real gift in the kitchen, and 2) he's teetering on the edge of tossing it all right out the window. What a shame that would be.
The Blue Team's spot prawn and lobster dish won in the end, but they were certainly not without some mishaps of their own. Not cleaning the prawns? Seriously? Sitting at that table next to our esteemed guest judges, I was screaming inside. Overall, both dishes put forth were decent, but Jennifer and Adrien produced better results, and worked together as a team beautifully.
For the pressure test, Suzy should have had the lemon meringue pie in the bag. And even though the pie itself was delicious, the meringue was disappointing and the crust was unvevenly done. Sadly, this sent her home.
Tuesday night is the big dance, and concludes a long and arduous, albeit exciting journey for not only the remaining finalists, but for us judges as well. It has been a privilege to watch these talented and spirited home cooks pursue their dreams. Who will be the last man or woman standing? Tune in at 8/7c on Fox and find out. It's going to be a great night! Thanks for reading, and thanks for watching!
Who do you think should win — Adrien, Christian or Jennifer?