Michelle Obama’s Mystery Box, the MasterChef Junior Recap

MasterChef Junior Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama and Julie Bowen take part in this installment of the cooking competition.

Mystery Box

The junior cooks enter the kitchen and as soon as they take their usual spots up front, Gordon starts namedropping all of the people he has cooked for.  The junior cooks are impressed.  He tells them that a lot of "very important people" owe him "a favor or two."  He and Christina head off to the side where a man brings him a phone.

Gordon picks up the handset and demands to speak to "the boss of the house" and just moments later, a screen is lowered in front of the junior cooks.  Soon, former First Lady Michelle Obama appears and informs the cooks that their mystery box contains vegetables like those found in the White House vegetable garden.  The cooks have one hour to make a healthy meal.  The screen is raised and Gordon and Christina take their usual spots up front after informing the cooks that the winner will win a White House dinner.  Donovan confesses that he does not like vegetables.

Cooking commences.

Gordon and Christina start visiting the various cooking stations.  Gordon talks to Peyton, Christina talks to Lila.  Gordon then heads over to Justise who says she does not want to wear a dress to the White House dinner.  Then he heads over to Shayne who asks him to taste his pasta.  Gordon tells him it needs some acidity and starts asking him to give him the letters L-E-M-O-N.  He asks Shayne what that spells but Shayne does not know.  Mark tells him it's lemon.

Time is up.

Gordon and Christina call up the three best dishes.

First up is Peyton with her pan-seared branzino (European sea bass) with strawberry-kale salad and roasted vegetables.  Gordon says it's delicious as does Christina.

Lila is called up next with her pan-seared branzino with roasted lemon, Parmesan quinoa, and roasted squash.  It is accompanied with a raspberry and strawberry drink.  Christina loves it.  Gordon thinks it is delicious.

Finally, Justise brings up her pan-seared shrimp with sautéed bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, and quinoa.  Gordon thinks the dish is near perfect.  Christina thinks it's beautifully seasoned.

Gordon and Christina confer with each other and announce that Justise wins the White House dinner.  Her reward is safety from elimination and a giant sugar-laden cake that fits in perfectly with the healthy meal mystery box.

Elimination Challenge

Gordon announces that the guest judge this week is Julie Bowen who has nothing at all to do with food.  She enters the kitchen and explains that she is too busy to cook and wants the cooks to make a meal that will honor their mom.  Gordon asks the cooks to pull out a picture of their mothers from a drawer and asks Donovan if he is a better cook than his mom.  Donovan responds by telling Gordon that his mom doesn't cook.

Julie turns to Justise and asks her to pick two people to save.  She chooses Mark and Shayne who is eager to dig into the cake.

Cooking commences.

The junior cooks rush into the pantry where Donovan confesses that his mom loves sweets but he never bakes.  So naturally, he will bake something up for the elimination challenge.

The cooks return to their stations as Julie confesses to Gordon that she never cooks.

The three judges start making their rounds.  First, Gordon and Julie visit Evan who will flambé.  Julie lets Gordon know that she has yet to pull that off herself and that she thinks that it is a dance.

Christina visits Mashu who tells her that he pureed swordfish.  Christina is not so sure about this but Mashu presses on.

Gordon and Julie head over to Donovan who impresses Julie with the fact that he is making marshmallows.

Christina visits Jasmine, who, according to Shayne is making a very colorful dish.

Gordon and Julie talk to Afnan who impresses Julie with his molecular cooking technique.

Time is up.

Cydney is called up first with her raspberry soufflé with raspberry coulis.  Gordon wonders why she made a soufflé in an elimination challenge.  However, once he bites in, he really likes it.  Christina loves the coulis.  Julie thinks it's delicious.

Afnan brings up his tandoori spiced swordfish with scallop and shrimp.  Christina is impressed.  Julie thinks it's delicious.

Mashu presents his Japanese surf and turf with rack of lamb and swordfish cake.  Gordon is not too happy about the swordfish cake but loves what Mashu has done with the lamb.  Julie says that the swordfish cake is tasty and lets Mashu know that the only reason Gordon gave him a hard time is because he respects him.

Evan is up next with his apple crisp with caramelized pears and sugar sauce.  Christina wishes there were more apples.

Jasmine brings up her chicken curry with jasmine rice (of course) and fried plantains.  Gordon likes it.

Peyton presents her New York strip steak with squash, eggplant, and chimichurri sauce.  Julie tells her that she has not eaten steak since her tragic encounter with it in boarding school and yet she loved the dish.

Donovan is next with his marshmallow pie with fruit, chocolate ganache, and raspberry sauce.  Christina tells him that his pie does not really resemble one, however, she thinks it tastes good.

The three judges discuss the dishes amongst themselves and return to announce that Afnan made the best dish of the night.

Christina calls up Donovan, Mashu, and Evan.  Gordon asks Evan to head back to his cooking station.  Melancholy music plays as Donovan and Mashu make their way out of the kitchen.


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