TV: MasterChef Season 5, episode 1 recap

TV: MasterChef Season 5, episode 1 recap

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In tonight's season 5 premiere, America's MasterChef 2014 contestants learned from the judges that the competition begins "not at the ranges, but in the pantry." Each cheftestant was directed to look in a mirror and then raid the pantry to meet the directive, to serve  "you on a plate." DanWu_GordonRamsey_MasterChef_Season5(Spoiler Alerts; Episode 1's winners and losers will be announced in this post.) Cheftestant Willie, 25, a church music director in Houston, Texas, makes his signature white wine and apricot chicken. Francis L, 34, a New York music video director, fancies himself a molecular gastronomist, but his dreams of Wylie Dufresne territory are nearly shattered when he breaks his syringe, but is given a second chance. He says, "my strengths as a cook really come from my love of technology." Elise, 25, a Birmingham e-learning administrator, begins her quest with blueberry-goat cheese- basil hand pies, and follows up her next effort in one-last-chance territory with a second pie, this one a savory pot pie. Though chided by Gordon Ramsay for not leaving her comfort zone, she is, nonetheless, given an apron, and will proceed on to next week. Astrid, 41, (who looks a little like Annabella Sciorra), is in food sales in Louisiana and tries out with coriander crusted shrimp, "this is me on a plate with a little bit of Latina."  She is nearly sent home for a dirty work station, muttering under her breath, "I thought they had people who cleaned," but narrowly attains an apron in the last chance round. Tyler, 27, is a hunting sales manager in Ohio, and, as a hunter, opts to serve up venison with chimichurri — an "homage" to him and where he grew up. He is nearly sent home immediately for not tasting his creations as he goes, and therefore failing to identify mistakes.  Instead, Kevin is singled out for the same error, and is sent home at the half hour mark. "Turn off your gas; you are out of the competition." Early on, the judges praise Lexington's Dan Wu for the heavenly smell of his Ramen stock., that he is quickly reducing with chicken bones, soy sauce, aromatics, ginger, garlic, etc. He receives the third apron awarded, and is lauded for his "pure, authentic, courageous cooking — simple, right on." Courtney, 25, is making a ricotta gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce, and divulges that during her senior year at college, even with five jobs, she had to make the decision to go work at a "gentleman's club" just to make ends meet. She is awarded the judges' first apron. (Little) Gordon, 30, an LA law school grad, gets his apron on the second try with a take on chicken and the egg; 56-year-old stay-at-home Malibu dad, Leslie, also makes it in with his last chance effort. Idaho's Chandis, 24, is sent home for the cardinal rookie sin of serving the judges raw potatoes. Twenty two cheftestants will advance to next week's round. MasterChef airs on Fox; check local listings, and tune in here for future recaps. In Lexington, you can join the MasterChef viewing crowds at Blue Stallion Brewing.  Click to subscribe to the Ace digital e-dition, delivering Lexington, Kentucky news, to your inbox every Thursday morning. Cheftestants who will advance to next week are: Francis Biondi, 25, Orlando Florida Whitney Bray, 28, Columbus Ohio Cutter Brewer, 33, Beaumont TX Elizabeth Cauvel, 31, Brooklyn NY Ahran Cho, 18, Palo Alto CA Leslie Gilliams, 56, Malibu CA Christian Green, 29, New Orleans LA Gordon Houston, 30, Irvine CA Jordan Kaminski, 19, Muskego WI Courtney Lapresi, 25, Philadelphia PA Astrid Lavenia, 41, Mandeville LA Francis Legge, 34, New York NY Elise Mayfield, 28, Birmingham AL Daniel McGuffey, 32, Los Angeles, CA Willie Mike, 25, Houston TX Kira Novak, 31, Youngstown OH Victoria Scroggins, 35, San Angelo TX Christine Silverstein, 31, Yonkers NY Stephani Syfax-Shepherd, 25, Detroit MI Tyler Viars, 27, Wilmington OH Jaimee Vitolo, 23, Queens NY Dan Wu, 39, Lexington KY MasterChef Season 5, 2014 Recaps Episode 2      

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