MasterChef Junior Season 9 episode 3: Slam dunk team victory

MasterChef Junior Season 9 episode 3
MasterChef Junior Season 9 episode 3 / FOX

After getting their feet wet with two challenges, MasterChef Junior Season 9 episode 3 takes the young chefs in a different direction. This team challenge is more than just preparing a meal for the Harlem Globetrotters. It is a test of how well they work together.

When MasterChef Junior takes on a team challenge, the episode tells the judges a lot about the young chefs, especially for those chefs who have yet to make a big impression. So far, some chefs have soared to the top and others have struggled. The ones who have settled around the middle need to make an impression. Hopefully, it is a positive one.

In this team challenge, the young chefs need to make a protein, two sides, a sauce and a starch. While there are nine dishes in total, one of the dishes for the Harlem Globetrotters needs to be vegan.

For the red team, the judges picked Lydia as captain. So far, Lydia has played the middle ground. She was asked to show her leadership skills, but her approach might be a little too brisk for the team. From the yelling to the lack of direction, Lydia was not necessarily proving herself as a leader.

Additionally, Lydia delegated tasks in an unusual way. For example, she decided to cook the steaks herself and assign Bryson the vegan dish, cauliflower steak. Given that Bryson has the most experience cooking on a grill, it might have been beneficial for him to takeover cooking the steaks.

With the blue team, their demeanor was less chaotic due to their leader, Miles. It seemed that everyone had a task, but it was not completely smooth sailing. The blue team was making fried chicken. Under-cooked chicken is never acceptable; neither is dry chicken. The blue team needed some guidance with that aspect.

Looking at the Red Team’s plate, they nailed their protein, the steak. Each one was cooked to a perfect medium and it had a great sear. Unfortunately, the rest of the plate was not as successful. The coleslaw was not dressed and the mashed potatoes were lumpy.

The Blue Team impressed with its buttermilk fried chicken. The crust was well-seasoned and the chicken breast was juicy. Although the cornbread was a little dry and the potato salad was a little too mustard forward, the dish was successful.

For the vegan dish, the Red Team’s cauliflower steak was superior to the Blue Team’s grilled eggplant. The seasoning and texture on the cauliflower was a the better dish.

But, in the end, the Blue Team’s fried chicken proved to be the overall winner. Miles led his team to victory and they were safe.

Unfortunately, the Red Team had multiple issues. From Lydia’s lack of leadership to Kristell’s poorly executed coleslaw, the mistakes were obvious. In a twist that no one saw coming, the judges decided to eliminate two chefs.

Even though she cooked the steaks well, Lydia was sent home. Her demeanor as the team leader did not help her team.

Additionally, Kristell was sent home. Her coleslaw was not executed well and too many other team members had to pick up her slack in other areas.

Overall, the first team challenge had a few more downs than ups. Going forward, the entire plate needs to be well executed. A protein without a good supporting plate of food will not earn any win in the MasterChef Junior kitchen.

Be sure to tune into a new episode of MasterChef Junior Season 9 every Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. Episodes can be streamed the next day on Hulu.