MasterChef wedding episode recap: Wedded bliss and team disasters!


On the MasterChef wedding recap, the top eighteen create a wedding feast to remember. Will it be a fond memory or one the guests try to forget?

MasterChef wedding episode opens, surprisingly, with the home cooks in a safari truck. They are at the truly beautiful Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu. The ranch features vineyards as well as a collection of exotic animals, including a giraffe dressed in collar and tie. The giraffe is ready for a special occasion- the wedding of MasterChef Season 7 winner, Shaun O’Neale.

Since his win, Shaun has kept busy at many food festivals as well as meeting the love of his life, Katie. As suspected, Shaun and Katie are getting married at the ranch and the home cooks will be preparing their reception meal.

MASTERCHEF: L-R: The bride and groom and judges Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich in the “A Gordon Ramsay Wedding” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

Shaun and Katie request scallops as an appetizer and duck breast as the entrée- two proteins that are very tricky to cook perfectly and consistently. The cooks are split into the usual red and blue team with captains chosen by the judges as people who have been “flying under the radar.” Juni is named red team captain and Julia is captain of blue.

Beginning with Julia, the captains take turns selecting their team. Both privately state what they are looking for in their team and it boils down to strong cooks who are team players. In general, Julia gravitates toward the more “mature” cooks while Juni generally takes the younger cooks.

Julia selects Lindsay, Taylor, SJ, Ashley, Ralph, Bowen, and Matt. Juni selects Cesar, Mark, Farhan, Gerron, Chelsea. This leaves three cooks unselected- Shanika, Samantha, and Ryan.

Gordon asks Juni who he doesn’t want on his team. Without hesitation he says, Shanika. “I don’t like her in the kitchen. I like her outside the kitchen.” He selects Samantha for his team. Julia then selects Shanika. As Shanika collects her blue apron, she points in Juni’s face and tells him the red team is going down. Ryan joins Juni’s team as last pick.

After confirming that the captains are happy with their teams, the judges announce the captains will switch aprons. “A great chef, a great leader should be able to work with anyone,” Aaron tells them. So of course, now Juni is the captain of Shanika’s team.

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The teams have no time to worry about the switch. They run to the tent where they will cook and immediately start menu planning. As we’ve seen before, Julia is a force in the kitchen. While she gets some pushback from her team on her ideas for the menu, she retains her leadership role and in the end, seems to have the support of her team.

On the other side, Juni seems to be asking for advice on the menu, especially as he is a vegetarian. And yet, while he listens to some advice (like not cooking his scallops in duck fat as it would kill the delicate flavor of the scallop), he ultimately decides on the final menu.

He has decided that they will put farro under the scallop and he wants to do an orange zest mashed potato, overriding the objections of his team. Shanika says, “Juni, you’re not making sense right now. Frickin’ orange mashed potatoes? Who does that?” I have never agreed with her more.

MASTERCHEF: L-R: Contestants Julia and Juni in the “A Gordon Ramsay Wedding” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

Gordon checks in on Juni’s team and listens to his menu. He stops him at farro. It’s a winter grain, not fitting for a spring wedding. (As a side note, Julia is putting bacon and lentils under her scallops and I had the same complaint about that choice.) Juni decides on a celery root puree instead.

Juni continues on with his menu and gets no farther than orange mash potatoes. “Put your hands in the air if you’ve ever seen an orange zested mash in any restaurant anywhere in the world. What are we thinking?” He demands they meet and change their menu. Shanika privately laughs, “Juni your ideas sucked and Gordon got your ass.”

Gordon moves on to check on Julia’s team. He is horrified to find they have seasoned their scallops well before they plan to cook them. Moisture is leaching out of them. The team scrambles to clean and dry the scallops.

As the teams continue prep, the wedding proceeds. Shaun chokes up as he introduces Gordon. “Since I lost my Dad, there’s only been one main role model.” Gordon, looking handsome in a dark suit, saves Shaun from trying to continue and officiates the wedding. He pronounces them man and wife and then hustles off to the kitchen to expedite.

Aaron is expediting for Juni’s blue team while Gordon does the same for Julia’s red team. Aaron seems frustrated that Juni is not leading, and when he calls for dishes, only Lindsay can be heard responding. It is time to serve the bride and groom but Juni’s last-minute celery puree is raw. Gordon insists they drop the puree rather than delay while it cooks. Taylor steps up and recommends a pickled carrot instead.

MASTERCHEF: L-R: Judges Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich and contestants in the “A Gordon Ramsay Wedding” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

The scallop dishes are served to the newlyweds. Red team serves a seared scallop with lentils and snap pea salad. Blue serves a seared scallop with pickled carrots and blood orange gastrique. I find it unfortunate that the gastrique has created a pool of pink juice around their plate.

The red team’s mistake of seasoning their scallops early has left them without a good sear, but the bride and groom unanimously pick their dish as being tastier.

Joe circulates among the guests to get feedback. The scallops from both teams seem hit or miss. Aaron, expediting on Juni’s team, is speaking in partial sentences, in a high voice, with frantic hand gestures. Gordon, over at Julia’s team, throws a cooked scallop into the grass.

When appetizers have all gone out, the judges assess. Gordon feels like Julia’s team started off poorly but had improved by the end. Aaron says Juni “has completely lost his voice. He was not leading or delegating. Juni needs to step back up.” So it definitely sounds like Julia’s team has the lead after apps.

For entrees, Aaron is now expediting for Julia’s team and Gordon for Juni’s. Gordon asks Juni again about his mashed potatoes. The weird orange mash is now a garlic mash. Gordon is unimpressed. He doesn’t feel the dish is special. Juni assures him the garlic will be roasted. Gordon simply hangs his head and walks away.

Shanika pulls Juni aside and suggests a fondant potato as it would be a more elegant solution. Juni tells her the garlic mash is already in progress and insists that they stick with it. He plans to pipe it on the plate to make it more fitting for the wedding.

Juni then checks on his doomed mash. SJ and Ralph are not peeling the potatoes. They are mostly cutting the skin off as they cube the potatoes for boiling. Juni tells them that is fine, something that is obviously going to come back on him.

Gordon checks in again. Of course he is angry about the irregular, skin-on potato cuts. He is also frustrated that Juni planned a “charred” romanesco with no idea of how to char it. The team suggests a cast iron pan, an open flame, the broiler. The blue team is clearly going down.

Gordon has had enough. He demotes Juni and tells the team to get a new captain. Taylor immediately steps up. Her first decision is to go with Shanika’s fondant potatoes. But at this point, Taylor is captain of a sinking ship.

Gordon checks on the team’s sauce. Ashley has been developing a red wine sauce for the entire competition and yet has very little sauce made. He confronts her and she begins to cry. Taylor calms her and tells her to get to work on more sauce. Gordon has to ask Matt for potatoes so often that he tells Matt to “get it together or …feed the giraffe!”

In the end, the blue team presents a seared duck breast with fondant potatoes and charred romanesco. The red team’s duck breast comes with tricolor potatoes and mushrooms. The bride and groom find the red team’s duck undercooked. In general, the guests seem to get a range of duck temperatures from both teams, though they seem to like the red team’s sides more.

MASTERCHEF: The red team contestants in the “A Gordon Ramsay Wedding” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting.

The last plate leaves the kitchens and the red team congratulates itself. They start to clean their kitchen. Meanwhile, Joe finds a whole table with very undercooked duck. He returns to the red kitchen and demands a re-fire, right after the team threw out all their sides and sauce. They have to create four new plates from scratch and now they are worried.

Shaun and his bride are ready to announce the winning team. They shake two huge champagne bottles which pop to reveal red confetti. Despite their last minute re-fire, they still did better than the blue team which struggled from start to finish.

Before leaving the venue, Gordon announces that Shanika and Taylor were bright spots on the losing team and they are safe. That leaves seven cooks up for elimination.

Though the team arrives in the MasterChef kitchen ready for battle in black aprons, they are told there will be no pressure test. Ralph, Bowen, Lindsay, Matt, and SJ are deemed safe. Gordon tells Ashley that he is disappointed that she cracked under pressure, crying over her sauce. He tells Juni that he is “possibly one of the worst performing captains I’ve ever witnessed. Ever.” Juni is eliminated for dooming his team with bad leadership. “The menu was badly conceptualized and you lost complete direction of your team.”

Next: MasterChef wines: Perfect pairings for your signature dish

As Juni was one of Aaron’s mentees, that leaves Aaron with six, Joe with six, and Gordon with five. It remains a tight race among the judges. Who will fall in the next challenge?