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MasterChef
Graham Elliot Drops 56 Lbs. Since Beginning Weight Loss Journey

Credit: Courtesy Graham Elliot

Graham Elliot has some great news to share. The Chicago-based chef, who underwent surgery for a sleeve gastrectomy on July 16, has lost a dramatic amount of weight already.

"I started [weighing] 396 and I'm now at 340. That's even better than expected," the MasterChef judge, 36, tells PEOPLE.

"I feel amazing. I have a lot more energy," he adds. "I'm able to play tag with my 6-year-old son, [Mylo]. He said, 'You're way faster than you were.' He's so excited."

The chef, who stands 6'1", admits that slimming down hasn't come easy.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: Family Visits Encourage the Top Seven

Update 08/01/2013 06:00 PM Originally posted 08/01/2013 01:00 PM

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: Family Visits Encourage the Top Seven | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

On Wednesday night, we watched our remaining finalists face what was by far the most emotional day of this year's MasterChef competition.

They say nothing is harder than being given your chance and that includes everything given up in pursuit of it. It has been almost two months since our top seven were plucked from the lives they knew, bid goodbye to their families and friends, forgoing whatever support system they had, all for the shot to fulfill their dream of a career in food.

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Talk About Fast Food! MasterChef Judges Make Two Gourmet Meals in 5 Minutes

Update 07/29/2013 08:35 AM Originally posted 07/28/2013 06:15 PM

Gordon Ramsay & Graham Elliot Race the Clock on MasterChef Judges

Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX

Are your cooking skills put to the test just microwaving?

If so, then you won't believe what Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot were able to create in just five minutes on a recent episode of MasterChef.

As seen in this clip from the TV show, the two chefs were able to plate culinary masterpieces in less time than it takes most of us to order a pizza. Ramsay makes caramelized scallops with roasted endive and fresh cauliflower puree, while Elliot whips up grilled wild salmon with a beet juice reduction, sautéed beet greens and a beet salad with mustard vinaigrette.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich: Chefs Tame the Wilds of California | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He is blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

Wednesday night's MasterChef featured what was by far my favorite team challenge of the season. Stranded in the beautiful California wilderness and armed with little more than a camping knife and skillet (essentially nothing), both teams turned in dishes that completely surpassed expectations. Our final eight proved they can cook anywhere and with anything. Deciding the victor was a very tough call.

The blue team's inclusion of pasta showed real ingenuity in addition to skill (genius idea by Bri), but ultimately we had to acknowledge the red team's pigeon. Once again, Eddie's knack for handling proteins secures the win for his team. MVP, indeed! The man just cannot go wrong when it comes to meat. That pigeon was as good as I've ever had it.

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Joe Bastianich: Eddie Is the One to Beat on MasterChef

Originally posted 07/18/2013 03:45 PM

Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: Eddie Is the One to Beat | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He'll be blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

The competition continues to intensify on MasterChef as our numbers drop to a mere nine home cooks. Narrowing it down past the top 10 automatically pushes the bar up a notch and our remaining contestants delivered beautifully.

Overall, last night's show did not disappoint!

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Masterchef's Graham Elliot Undergoes Weight Loss Surgery

Originally posted 07/16/2013 04:00 PM

Graham Elliot Undergoes Weight Loss Surgery | Graham Elliot

Credit: Courtesy Graham Elliot

MasterChef judge Graham Elliot has a very good reason for missing out on Tuesday night's All-Stars baseball game.

Instead of joining the winners of the challenge from last week's show, he will be recovering from major weight loss surgery.

This Tuesday morning, the 6'2" acclaimed chef, 36, underwent a sleeve gastrectomy after nearly hitting 400 pounds.

"Weight is something I've battled all my life," says Elliot, who spoke to PEOPLE just days before the laparoscopic surgery. "It's hard to get in and out of a car, tie my shoe or play with my kids."

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Joe Bastianich: Eva Longoria Is a Serious Restaurateur

Update 07/11/2013 10:40 AM Originally posted 07/11/2013 09:20 AM

Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: Eva Longoria Is a Serious Restaurateur | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He'll be blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

On Wednesday's MasterChef, our final 11 home cooks got a surprise visit from the beautiful Eva Longoria! Not just a pretty face, Eva is a serious restaurateur. Defying the stereotype of the absentee celebrity restaurant owner, Eva is the real deal. She knows food and the nuances that make this industry so trying. It was a pleasure having her guest judge in the MasterChef kitchen.

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Joe Bastianich Blogs About MasterChef's Rocky Wedding Reception | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He'll be blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

Season 4's remaining home cooks are the strongest group we've seen on MasterChef, and at no time was this more apparent than during Wednesday night's Mystery Box challenge.

Everyone was in their element. It was an inspiring moment of transformation from amateur home cook to actual chef, and I was very proud of the dishes they put forth.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich: My Mom Lidia Knows Best

Originally posted 06/20/2013 10:45 AM

Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: Mother Lidia Bastianich Knows Best | Lidia Bastianich

Credit: Diana Delucia

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He'll be blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

This week's challenges made for some of the most memorable moments in season 4. I was honored to have my mother, Lidia Bastianich, one of the best-loved chefs in America (and recent daytime Emmy winner) spend some time with our top 14 in the MasterChef Kitchen. Who better to learn how to make pasta from then the woman responsible for bringing authentic Italian cuisine into the homes of the American public for decades?

Unfortunately, Howard thought he knew better. At this point in the competition he has exhausted my patience. I knew it was over for him just by his conceptualization of the dish. To misconstrue so badly a beloved Italian classic for a chef considered to be the matriarch of Italian food in America was totally unnecessary.

Good, old-fashioned common sense – not to mention respect – just isn't there. Johnny, too, has gone a bit far off the beaten path, but at least he lacks the arrogance that Howard's dish reeked of.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich: All Bets Are Off in Las Vegas

Originally posted 06/13/2013 07:00 AM

Joe Bastianich's MasterChef Blog: All Bets Are Off in Las Vegas | Joe Bastianich

Credit: Matt Hoyle/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and one of the judges of MasterChef. He'll be blogging each week about the show's search for the best home cooks. Follow him on Twitter @Jbastianich or visit joebastianich.com.

Down to the final 16, we felt the pressure mounting as our MasterChef home cooks faced their second team challenge and battled it out in Sin City.

Although they produced some great plates, ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy was sadly a recurring theme of the evening.

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