We’re mere weeks away from naming the new champion, so MasterChef Junior is pulling out all the stops. We’re treated to a three Michelin star lunch, tears, Gordon Ramsay in a bathrobe, King George the Dog, and scalding hot venison being dumped on a culinary giant’s foot. What more could you want as we hurtle toward the semi-finals?
Before we can find out who in the Top 6 will be moving on to those semis, our young cooks have to face one of the most stressful challenges yet: catering a Gordon Ramsay party. Our tiny chefs are split into two teams, chosen by last week’s winners, Addison and Amaya, and are responsible for feeding 20 of Gordon’s friends, all of whom are accustomed to top-notch Ramsay parties and have very discerning palates. They won’t be serving any old meal, either: They’re making two dishes straight out of the Gordon Ramsay stable of recipes. So, yeah, the pressure is on.
Next stop, Ramsayville! You guys, Ramsayville is real, and it’s spectacular. Before the chefs arrive (being chauffeured by Graham and Christina in convertibles, no less), Gordon is just straight up relaxing with his pup, King George. He’s sitting poolside in a bathrobe, gardening in a bathrobe, taking in the full splendor of his land in a bathrobe. I imagine this is all very true to life. It has to be.
Once the kids show up, there’s no time for adult relaxation – it’s straight to work. The chefs head to the outdoor kitchen and get a quick demo on the menu items from Gordon. Seriously, how amazing is it for these young chefs to stand there and get this kind of cooking lesson from someone like Gordon Ramsay? This is the real prize, kids! But also, the money.
For the first course of this VIP lunch, the kids will be serving pan seared snapper with rainbow chard and shellfish broth. Each team is responsible for 13 plates, all to be served at the same time. Timing and good team communication are everything in this challenge.
The Red Team: Amaya, Zac, and Avery
Team Captain Amaya splits up the work by having each chef focus on a different component of the dish. When Gordon catches wind of this, he is not pleased. He pulls the team aside for a chat. Having each person work on a component of the dish without solid communication is a recipe for disaster. Each chef should be making four to five full plates. With this one change in strategy, the Red Team is able to refocus and pull together 13 great dishes.
They earn rave reviews from Gordon’s friends – who, by the way, have no idea their meal is being cooked by children – who commend the Red Team for the chard’s crispy skin and perfect sear. Looks like Gordon and his pep talk saved the day…again.
The Blue Team: Addison, Kya, and JJ
The Blue Team has the opposite cooking experience of the Red Team. Captain Addison is skilled enough in the kitchen to realize the best way to tackle this challenge is by having each chef cook complete dishes – just like Gordon’s advice. The only problem is that Addison is the only person on her team who really came to cook today. It’s surprising since Kya has been such a strong chef all season, but tonight, she and JJ are completely overwhelmed; they burn fish, forget how to make simple sauces, and completely lose one portion of snapper – leaving Gordon with an empty plate to serve.
Gordon Ramsay isn’t even mad, he’s just disappointed. Just kidding – he’s totally mad, too. Thankfully, the Blue Team makes up for their kitchen misfires with taste. They earn mostly great reviews from the guests.
If you thought one round of three Michelin star-level cooking was intense, get ready for round two. The already exhausted chefs will be cooking venison loin with cabbage, gnocchi, and chanterelles. It’s an intimidating dish with lots of components and a delicate protein that has to be cooked perfectly. To say the kids start to buckle under the pressure here is an understatement.
NEXT: A new leader steps up to the plate