Christina Meets Christina, the MasterChef Junior Recap
The season kicks off with head to head matchups which unfortunately eliminate some deserving cooks. This is the first of two episodes where we are introduced to the cooks as they vie to make the top 20.
The Storming of the Courtyard
Dozens of children flood the courtyard of the MasterChef studio. They scream and holler and bang on the door to be let in. However, what these poor little kids do not know, is that the old man inside is going to kick half of them out. So they blissfully go about their way until the godly Gordon and Christina emerge from the studio to orate to them the great rules and regulations of the "most famous kitchen in the world" as Cydney puts it.
Gordon and Christina retreat to the safety of the kitchen while the kids return to their childish ways of screaming uncontrollably and waving their hands about.
In the first of four head to head battles, four junior cooks make tartlets. First off, there is Elisabeth from Texas who had to fundraise her way to the auditions. Then there is Barbara who hails from Colombia but currently resides in New York. She makes sure to show us her citizenship certificate so as not to ire the leadership of the country. Cydney from Brooklyn loves to knit and to bake. Finally, Na'imah who hails from Chicago has already started her own baking business with her sister.
Christina praises the young girls and they all cheer themselves on. How much sugar do they feed these kids before they stick them in front of a camera? Christina and Gordon tell the quartet that they will be making tartlets and the young cooks kick off. Gordon heads over to Elisabeth to tell her that a charity helped him out when he was young. Later, Christina pays Cydney a visit and finds out that Cydney is herself when she was young. Apparently, time travel exists and we will get to watch Christina interact with her younger self for the rest of the season.
Time is up and the four cooks present their dishes. Elisabeth made a lemon custard tart with strawberries, kiwis, and berries. Christina calls it delicious. Na'imah presents her vanilla bean tart with bourbon peaches and pecans. Gordon loves the peaches but thinks the pastry is a bit off. Barbara hides her face as Christina approaches to taste her vanilla custard tart with caramelized bananas. Christina tells her not to worry about a little slip up and tells her that the pastry cream tastes nice. Finally, Cydney offers up her dark chocolate tart with coconut cream and coconut chips. Gordon loves it.
With the tastings out of the way, Christina hands out two white aprons in a very anticlimactic manner to Elisabeth and Cydney. The two move on.
Up next are four young cooks that will make a salmon dish. There is Donovan from Brooklyn who loves to cook Asian food. Kamryn hails from Michigan and loves to dance and sing. Syd from Wisconsin dons ties and dove into cooking for her dad by making some salmon. Logan is from Chicago and learned how to cook from his dad.
Gordon and Christina inform the four that they will be making a salmon dish. We discover that the reason why Donovan loves to cook Asian food is because his babysitter was from China and decided to delegate the cooking portion of her job to him. Syd impresses Gordon by offering to make salmon en papillote which means "in paper" as she informs us.
Time is up.
Kamryn presents her brown sugar salmon with feta couscous, broccolini, heirloom tomatoes, and lemon vinaigrette. Christina calls it delicious.
Donovan offers up pan seared salmon with hoisin ginger sauce, bok choy, ponzu sauce, and jade rice. This kid wasn't kidding when he said he loved to cook Asian. Gordon loves the salmon and the bok choy.
Logan made salmon tacos with heirloom cherry tomatoes, pineapple salsa, guacamole, and chips. Christina wishes the salmon had a bit more salt but really enjoys her first taste of salmon taco.
Syd presents her salmon en papillote with baby potatoes and asparagus. Gordon is impressed with her ability to make this dish and loves the flavors.
Gordon offers an apron to Syd and Christina offers one to Donovan.
Liani comes from Texas and loves to cook Mexican food as that is her ethnic background. Jasmine, from Georgia, is half Jamaican and loves making Jamaican food. Mark hails from Mississippi and loves making Southern dishes. Kaitlyn is from New York and loves to cook Latin dishes as she is of Dominican descent.
Christina steps forward to reveal the ingredient the four young cooks will cook with. She lifts a cloche and reveals a pork chop.
Cooking commences and Christina heads over to Jasmyn who informs Christina that she is spicy and fiery and that is why she loves to make jerk pork. Mark tells Gordon that he will incorporate molasses into his dish.
Time is up.
Liani offers up her Southern breaded pork chop with corn, bell peppers, and cilantro. Christina thinks the pork is a bit overcooked but loves the breading.
Jasmyn presents her jerk pork chop with broccolini, sweet potatoes, and orange gastrique. Gordon says it tastes amazing.
Mark has made grilled pork chop with biscuits and molasses butter. Christina thinks it's delicious.
Kaitlyn presents her pan seared pork chop with tostones and mojito sauce. Gordon notices that the chop is slightly undercooked but loves the flavor.
Christina hands the two aprons to Jasmyn and Mark. The two state that they competed against great cooks.
Gonzalo who is from New York and hails from Peru states that he cooked before he spoke English. We would be further impressed if he started cooking before he started speaking altogether.
Madyson comes from California's wine country.
Emma comes from Boston and loves high-end ingredients.
Justise is from Georgia and both of her parents are cops.
Gordon steps forward to reveal what the four young cooks will make. He lifts the cloche and reveals a scallop. He expects them to make one of his signature scallop dishes. The cooks ask several questions about technique and head back to their stations.
Cooking commences and Gordon heads over to Gonzalo who tells Gordon that he would selflessly offer his winnings to his parents that have done so much for him. Christina asks Justise if she wants to be a police officer like her parents, but Justise would rather be a teacher so she can teach her parents how to spell the word justice.
Time is up.
The cooks bring up their scallop dishes.
Gordon thinks that Madyson's interpretation of his dish is seasoned properly.
Christina states that Gonzalo's interpretation is decent.
Gordon thinks Justise replicated his dish beautifully.
Christina notices that Emma's seasoning is great.
After a little deliberation with Christina, Gordon hands Justise the first apron. Later, he hands one to Gonzalo as well.