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  • Previously on MasterChef...

  • The home cooks faced one of the wildest challenges

  • in MasterChef history...

  • There was lamb over here, lamb over there--baa-aaa!

  • As those who won an apron,

  • had to fight to keep them.

  • I want to hold on to this apron so bad.

  • You have to put them out of their misery.

  • Wwhen the judges thinned out the herd...

  • We've seen enough. Time to go home.

  • Only the strongest survived.

  • - Congratulations. - Yeah!

  • - Jonny. - It's Bri.

  • You've made it to the MasterChef kitchen.

  • Now, the best home cooks in America

  • take their place in the MasterChef kitchen.

  • Oh, my goodness, this is our home now.

  • This is the kitchen of your dreams.

  • And it isn't long before sparks begin to fly.

  • You underestimated the wrong person.

  • Keep cooking. Shut your mouth.

  • - She hates me. - She hates you?

  • Who will be the first eliminated?

  • If that's the best you can do, I'll put you out of your misery.

  • It all happens right now on...

  • Ecch! This is a waste of time.

  • MasterChef.

  • Thousands of cooks have already been eliminated,

  • and only these competitors remain in the battle

  • to become America's next MasterChef.

  • Now, it's time for these top home cooks to take their place

  • in the MasterChef kitchen.

  • So I'm the first to walk through and all I can see is

  • the beautiful kitchen.

  • I'm thinking, "oh, my goodness,

  • this is our home now."

  • The first thing I noticed was the wine room.

  • I just wanted to lock myself in there

  • for, like, a couple hours.

  • I'm looking at the equipment room.

  • Man, they got top-notch mixers, pressure cookers.

  • They got top-notch everything.

  • I want to become a great chef, and the only way I can do that

  • is by being here in the MasterChef kitchen.

  • I see a restaurant.

  • It looks like there's a nice plushed-out V.I.P. section.

  • 'cause, you know, I'm V.I.P. type of girl,

  • so I'm familiar with those type of areas.

  • Let's go.

  • The MasterChef kitchen is insane.

  • It's just so picturesque.

  • The judges are standing there, you can see the side rooms,

  • and anything and everything you could ever think of--

  • It takes your breath away.

  • Welcome.

  • This is the kitchen of your dreams.

  • All you need to do now

  • is to beat every other home cook

  • in here, and one of you will win

  • $1/4 million.

  • And most importantly, you will walk away

  • with a title that cannot be bought,

  • can never be taken away.

  • It's yours forever,

  • to become America's next MasterChef.

  • And to find out who that is,

  • you need to start cooking.

  • Please, go to your stations.

  • It's time to find out who has what it takes,

  • and who just can't cut it in the MasterChef kitchen.

  • Are you ready? Because it's time

  • for your first mystery box challenge.

  • You'll each have to prepare,

  • cook, and present one amazing dish

  • using only the ingredients hidden under those boxes.

  • With every mystery box challenge, you'll have the use

  • of a staple pantry box to help you make one stunning dish.

  • The person with the best dish will get a huge advantage

  • in the next stage of the competition.

  • We will be watching your every move.

  • There's no faking it in here,

  • Nowhere to hide.

  • On the count of three, you'll lift those boxes.

  • One, two, three.

  • Lift.

  • Oh, [bleep].

  • Bacon!

  • Simply amazing.

  • I'm going up, and I thought this was a joke.

  • I was hoping for a big nice fish, some steak.

  • What do I have to do with this?

  • One tomato, some amazing bacon,

  • handful of chocolate,

  • and the most incredible single potato.

  • You need to prove to us

  • that you can work with the basics

  • before you move on to greater things.

  • As soon as I lifted up the box, I thought to myself, "like,

  • this is so easy and so difficult at the same time."

  • Your 60 minutes...Starts...

  • Now.

  • Where are the measuring cups?

  • - Exciting. - It's great.

  • You know they all feel the heat right now.

  • they want to make a good impression, first mystery box.

  • They know that we're expecting a lot.

  • So, Gordon, what would your strategy be?

  • I would take the bacon, the potato, and the tomato

  • and do a stunning chowder, and then finish it

  • with a really nice basil-infused oil.

  • - Which ingridienat is the devil in the box? - Definitely the chocolate.

  • The devil in the box is the ingredient

  • these contestants should steer clear from.

  • Today, I'm going to be making a seasoned potato puree.

  • I'm gonna sun dry some tomatoes.

  • I'm gonna do a riff on a mole sauce

  • as well as a spicy bacon sauce.

  • I want to show the competition to watch out for me,

  • so this is the perfect opportunity to do it right away.

  • Hit 'em hard and hit 'em fast.

  • I'm making a potato and bacon frittata.

  • I feel like I got this in the bag.

  • I'm hearing a lot of people making

  • really plain-sounding breakfasts,

  • and I'm doing mine just a little bit bigger.

  • I figured out my other sauce just a moment ago,

  • so I think that'll be pretty killer,

  • when I get that on the plate.

  • Mm. Tasty.

  • Get creative. Halfway, guys, let's go.

  • Right, Jonny, how you doing? What are you making?

  • - Tomato and egg potato cake. - Ugh, what's in there?

  • Chocolate mashed potatoes.

  • Just trying to be creative

  • - something different. - Creative or stupid?

  • I've never, ever seen chocolate and potato together.

  • I'm trying to present it in a different way.

  • - Savannah. - Hi.

  • Walk me through what you have.

  • I'm making a spanish tortilla de patatas

  • with a bacon-tomato marmalade.

  • It's simple. Do you think it's creative enough to win this?

  • Well, I think it's gonna look beautiful and,

  • you know, I want the competitors to feel like

  • I'm someone to watch out for.

  • - All right, Howard. - Hello, Gordon. - How you doing?

  • So you're melting the chocolate directly in the pan,

  • - coating it in bacon? - Yes, I am.

  • And baking a little bit of potatoes,

  • and seeing if it works out.

  • Holy crap. What's the dish?

  • I haven't figured it out yet.

  • I'm working as I go, and, hopefully,

  • it will all come together.

  • I'm gonna do a lemon tart with a bacon ganache

  • and then do a whipped cream on top with vanilla.

  • Everyone's competition here for me,

  • but Kathy and Krissi are the biggest talkers here.

  • They don't know what they're doing,

  • and they should just go home.

  • - Hello, Krissi. What have you got for us? - Hello, boys.

  • - I made a frittata. - It's pretty simple.

  • I make this for my kid all the time--he loves it.

  • - You have a big personality. - I do.

  • How does that come across with your

  • fellow contestants in the kitchen?

  • Do you think some people like you and some people hate you?

  • Oh, Howard, Natasha, they hate me.

  • - Are they afraid of you? - I think so.

  • Start visualizing that dish.

  • Think of your presentation. Come on.

  • I'm making a potato hash with a poached egg over the top

  • with a little bit of gremolata on the side.

  • Trying to make sure I get it all done in time.

  • Just over five minutes to go.

  • Time is what's kilLynng me right now.

  • Start thinking of plating, finishing your dishes,

  • and making something incredible out of that mystery box.

  • Some amazing stuff out there.

  • Yeah, some tasty, tasty dishes.

  • Natasha's tart, though, you should see the pastry!

  • - I mean, beautiful. - Yeah.

  • Bethy, she's already made gnocchi and bread.

  • Wow. On the other hand, I am seeing

  • - some disastrous combinations. - Really?

  • - A chocolate mash. - Right.

  • Chocolate-coated bacon. Trust me, that is not the way

  • to get yourself noticed in this competition.

  • - 60 seconds to go. - Finishing touches, guys.

  • This challenge can be won or lost in the last 30 seconds.

  • Presentation is key.

  • Ten, nine, eight, seven, six,

  • Five, four, three, two, one...

  • and stop.

  • Let's go. Move.

  • Five, four, three, two, one,

  • and stop.

  • Well done.

  • In this year's first challenge

  • in the MasterChef kitchen, our home cooks were given

  • the most basic mystery box ever to create one stunning dish.

  • After observing and sampLynng throughout the challenge,

  • the judges now take one final look

  • to identify three standout dishes.

  • There are three dishes that looked amazing,

  • tasted incredible, but really stood out.

  • One of these three cooks will be the winner,

  • and that comes with an amazing advantage

  • in the next stage of the competition.

  • The first dish that we would like

  • to look at again...

  • That dish belongs to...

  • Bime. Great job.

  • Yes! Whoo!

  • That bell has rung, and I'm coming at you,

  • and you better have your guard up, because if not, pbbbt,

  • I'm knocking out the competition.

  • Explain the dish, please.

  • A poached egg over potato hash

  • with a tomato and basil salsa with a gremolata on the side.

  • So the secret of this is to slice through the egg,

  • - and you wenriching the potatoes? - Yes.

  • Let's just see if you poached the egg perfectly.

  • Wow, I mean that is absolutely sublime.

  • The dish has got finesse. It's seasoned beautifully.

  • - Great start. - Thank you, chef.

  • Well done. Thank you.

  • There's acidity, there's sweetness

  • from the caramelization on the potato,

  • the smokiness with the bacon... I'm very excited.

  • Thank you, chef.

  • You know, this dish smells a little bit like a fake to me.

  • You're a boxing coach from Eastern Massachusetts?

  • Where did you experience food like this before?

  • - I haven't. - You saw it in a book?

  • Where'd you come up with this?

  • Truthfully, yeah, I go through books,

  • and I just look at pictures and get ideas for plating.

  • Does this represent you on a plate,

  • or are you trying to deceive us?

  • It represents where I want to be as a chef.

  • - Where you heading looks good. - Thank you, chef.

  • I just hope, now that you throw up a big flare like this,

  • that you can walk the walk.

  • - Well done. - Thank you.

  • - Well done. Great start. - Thank you, chef.

  • All right, the second person that made it

  • into the top three,

  • they cooked a delicious, scrumptious dessert.

  • It looked like any dessert that you'd find in our restaurants.

  • That dish belongs to...

  • Natasha.

  • Well done.

  • Of course I'm proud of myself. I'm not here to just

  • look pretty on camera and chop some basil.

  • Like, I'm here to be better than everyone.

  • Hi. How are you?

  • I'm awesome.

  • At some point, maybe I'll go up to her and say,

  • "look, I know we have our differences, but good job."

  • But I probably won't because I can't stand her.

  • Tell me exactly what's in it.

  • A lemon curd pie tart with a chocolate ganache

  • incorporated with bacon fat, with a meringue.