MasterChef Junior review: Who passed the Gordon Ramsay Masterclass?


In this week’s MasterChef Junior review, the young cooks go from impressing some powerful women to learning elevated techniques in a Gordon Ramsay masterclass.

With Mother’s Day approaching, MasterChef Junior took the time to celebrate some powerful women on this week’s episode. With a dining room filled with strong, talented and influential women, these young cooks needed to impress, and they did.

For the first challenge in this week’s MasterChef Junior episode, the young cooks were split into two teams, with Ivy and Rhashad being captains. Neither cook has been a captain this season.

After winning the coin toss, Ivy decided to choose her teammates instead of picking her ingredients. This choice was smart. Even Gordon commented that choosing her brigade set her team up for success. A strong team can cook with any ingredient.

The teams start planning their menus. The Blue Team, headed by Ivy, decides to make lamb chops with risotto and grilled asparagus. The Red Team chooses to make salmon with broccolini and potatoes.

Kudos to the Blue Team for wanting to make risotto on a MasterChef episode. That dish is often the downfall of many cooking competitions. How many times have foodies heard Gordon send back risotto on Hell’s Kitchen?

Unfortunately, the Blue Team had a huge set-back. Reid gets terribly burned during the challenge. While the tears flowed, Reid decides to gut it out and finish the challenge.

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR: Clockwise from top: Host / chef Gordon Ramsay with contestants Reid, Malia and Ivy in the “Junior Edition: Girl Power” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Tuesday, May 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Greg Gayne / FOX.

Actually, watching Gordon show Reid his previous kitchen injuries endears him to MasterChef fans. While the Junior version of this show has a softer Gordon, these moments convey how much Gordon really wants these contestants to achieve their best. It is more than just another cooking competition, he is helping these young cooks to become their better selves.

In the first challenge, the Red Team struggles. While their dish is well planned, they had some execution errors with the salmon. The skin doesn’t get crispy and they seem to cook the fish twice. While some fish can be butter basted, salmon usually isn’t. All the judges fear that the salmon will be over-cooked and dry.

The Red Team errors come from lack of leadership. Their leader, Rhashad, isn’t driving the team. He needs to be calling out tasks, ensuring that food is cooked correctly and pushing the service forward.

MASTERCHEF JUNIOR: L-R: Contestants Aaron Rhashad, Ben, Jaala and Matthew in the “Junior Edition: Girl Power” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Tuesday, May 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: Greg Gayne / FOX.

In the end, both teams present delicious dinners to their honored guests. Given the elevated plates, both teams did extremely well. The judges really had to look at the tiny details to determine a winning team.

Some of the commentary about the Blue Team focused on the risotto. Chef Christina (you might recognize her from Hell’s Kitchen) commented how well executed that dish was. If you can impress Christina with a risotto, that team definitely has an edge.

Unfortunately, the Red Team had some negative comments about the salmon. Some guests’ salmon was a little over cooked. Still, the concerns weren’t dramatic.

In the end, the Blue Team won the challenge. They were all safe from the pressure test and move onto the top eight.

The Red Team had to face a very daunting MasterChef Junior pressure test. With their notebooks ready, the young cooks watched Gordon demo one of his infamous dishes from his 3-Michelin Star restaurants. This scallop with apple dish demo is definitely a video that any foodie or inspiring chef should watch over and over.

There are numerous tricks and techniques in this masterclass. From properly prepping a scallop to never over-crowding the pan, these techniques will make a difference in the dish. If you have ever wondered why your scallop isn’t seared, over-cooked or mealy, now you might understand why.

Additionally, the flavor combinations in this dish aren’t commonly found in most restaurants. The caramelized apple puree and celeriac puree offer an elevated flavor contrast to the seared scallop.

Also, this epitomizes the importance of various textures, flavors and colors. From the brightness of the lemon vinaigrette to the crunch of the apple slices, everything in this dish is in perfect harmony.

Overall, the young cooks do well in this challenge. Many older cooks might feel overwhelmed with the pressure. By following the steps, these dishes have few errors.

That concept is important for any foodie or food fan watching at home. For a new dish, following a recipe step-by-step is important. Recipes have instructions for a reason. Once you master a dish, then you can experiment away from the recipe.

Two young cooks definitely excelled in this week’s pressure test. Jaala and Matthew definitely impressed the judges. Even though Jaala couldn’t taste her dish (she’s allergic to seafood), she had the most color in her apple puree and seared the scallops well. Matthew executed the scallops well and got all the components correct.

Unfortunately, the bottom three were Aaron, Ben and Rhashad. These three struggled because they had errors during the preparation. From unevenly cut scallops to seasoning the scallops too early in the cook, these errors created a lackluster dish.

With two young cooks going home, the judges had to decide which of the three dishes had the least errors. In a way, they were trying to decide which dish had the essence of the actual dish.

The young cook saved from elimination was Aaron. While his dish lacked finesse, he could probably re-create this dish correctly if given another chance.

Ben and Rhashad were eliminated from the MasterChef Junior competition. While the both put up a valiant effort, this particular dish was not theirs to master in the kitchen.

Related Story. Hell's Kitchen finalist Mia Castro shares her winning recipe. light

With only a few more episodes left this season, which young cook will earn the MasterChef Junior title? Check back next week to see who is still standing.