MasterChef
MasterChef's Christine Ha Talks About Inspiring Others

Credit: FOX

Christine Ha is heating up the competition in the MasterChef kitchen.

But as the Fox show's first blind contestant she's inspiring people around the world with her ability to prepare all kinds of dishes under pressure.

"I have gotten a lot of amazing letters from people, messages – just an outpouring of love and support," says Ha, who chatted with PEOPLE at the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills on Monday.

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Jennifer Behm Blog: Adventures in L.A. Wedding Dress Shopping – And Guacamole

Credit: Courtesy Jen Behm

Season 2 MasterChef winner Jennifer Behm is a food lover, owner of Pink Martini Catering, a soon to be wife, an adventurer – and this summer a food blogger for PEOPLE.com.

Last week was exciting! After catering four events and taking meetings with some networks, I missed my flight to L.A.

Did you know they cancel your entire flight if you miss your outbound? Yep, I was at Philly International with no ticket, but thanks to the amazing services of Lerone I was able to secure a seat to L.A.

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MasterChef's Joe Blogs: How Paula Deen Inspired Contestants

Update 07/18/2012 03:45 PM Originally posted 07/18/2012 09:30 AM

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs About Paula Deen's Surprise Appearance | Joe Bastianich, Paula Deen

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX; Carlo Allegri/AP

Tuesday's episode of MasterChef was a turbulent ride for our remaining seven home cooks. We threw them into the fire with our first ever tag team elimination challenge, and the results proved that it did indeed push everyone to the breaking point.

Monti and Felix were downright impressive, and not just because Felix has experience with sushi. Their plate was a result of exemplary team work. It's no secret that they don't particularly care for each other, but they checked their egos at the door, communicated beautifully and gave us exactly what the judges were looking for. We certainly cannot say the same for Becky and David.

Frank has come a long way from his one-trick pony days of plate after plate of pasta. Taking a spin on traditional Southern food from none other than the great Paula Deen, arguably the reigning lady of Southern cuisine, was risky to say the least. But kudos to him – he pulled it off nicely.

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MasterChef Joe Bastianich's Blog: Don't Mishandle the Meat!

Originally posted 07/17/2012 01:00 PM

MasterChef Joe Bastianich Blogs About Becky's Mishandling of the Meat

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

Serving up a perfect steak to hungry cowboys in under 90 minutes is not something I'd want to rest a quarter of a million dollars on, but this is exactly what we asked our eight remaining home cooks to do.

Guest chefs at Horse Town USA for the day, both teams were given truly amazing pieces of meat to work with – and to mishandle them at this point would be a sin. Steaks are not tricky; half the battle is ending up with a quality piece of meat to work with.

How Becky, of all people, ended up massacring a quarter of the red team's cut I’ll never understand. In fact, I'm a little suspecious ... was she trying to get Monti as team leader sent home? I don't buy that Becky can't cook a steak. Overconfident at times she might be, but careless and incompetent she is not.

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MasterChef's Joe Blogs About Tali's 'Delusional Thinking'

Originally posted 07/10/2012 09:30 AM

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs About Tali Clavijo's 'Delusional Thinking'

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX (2)

From what was once a solid and tight-knit group of home cooks, on Monday's episode of MasterChef we saw the competitive nature of our contestants! With nine left, the pressure is mounting, and we are anxious to see who has the ability to carry it to the next level.

Sea urchin is not something that is found in most kitchens across the country, but Graham, Gordon and I wanted a clearer picture of our home cooks' food sensibility and creativity. Cooking is a craft, a profession and an art form. A true MasterChef should have the ability to work with something foreign to them and, with little explanation, should possess enough innate knowledge and intuition about food to make the most out of it. It is what differentiates a cook from a chef. We saw this with both Felix and Josh in the uni challenge, and later with Monti during elimination. It is exactly what we expect at this stage of the game, and those who don’t possess it will be weeded out.

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Jennifer Behm: Sunday Funday Pub Food at Home

Credit: Chris Tomko/FOX

Season 2 MasterChef winner Jennifer Behm is a food lover, owner of Pink Martini Catering, a soon to be wife, an adventurer – and this summer a food blogger for PEOPLE.com.

As a kid, I think I spent every day at the pool in the summer. As a teen, I spent hours cruising in my best friends Honda Prelude, – yep, sunroof open rocking to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince! In college, most of my summer days were spent mountain biking, surfing, playing soccer and laughing with friends.

Now, as an adult, I love having my friends and family for Sunday Funday – sometimes just to hang out at the local pub (love that one, because cleanup is so easy, LOL). And sometimes it is great just to sit on the patio with my dog Zoe, fiancé and a cold bevie. Funny how things change.

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MasterChef's Joe Blogs: Stacey Is a 'Top Contender'

Originally posted 07/03/2012 08:50 AM

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: Stacey Is a 'Top Contender'

Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX; Michael Lavine/FOX

On Monday's episode of MasterChef, our top 12 contestants faced off in another team challenge in Venice Beach, Calif. Venice Beach may be L.A.'s most laid back neighborhood, but that does not mean the locals don't take their food seriously – food trucks are huge here! With Stacey being the big winner from last week, she was given advantageous task of splitting her fellow competitors into three groups of four, and showed us that she came to play.

I've got to hand it to Stacey. She's taking the competition seriously and has really stepped up these last few weeks – not bad for someone who initially didn't get past the audition round. Her strategy was sharp and cunning, and for the most part, her plan paid off. I love how she did whatever it took to get more people in her line – it ultimately secured her team the win, and tells me she can hack it in the real world of running a restaurant. For me, she's become a top contender.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs About Despicable Desserts

Originally posted 06/27/2012 04:00 PM

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs About Despicable Desserts

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

The remaining 13 MasterChef constants seem to have found their groove, and over the last few days of the competition, the level of cookery greatly surpassed that of what we experienced on audition day.

Which is why it is so hard to accept the inexcusable plates we judges were served during last night's dessert challenge. Macadamia nuts in tiramisu? David turning Mascarpone into glorified cream cheese?

Plate after plate of badly-executed food made me wonder if our home cooks had taken a step backwards – and on a challenge not particularly high in difficulty. They all should have nailed this one.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs About Losing Your Cool in a Hot Kitchen

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

On Monday night the final 14 contestants of MasterChef season 3 faced another team challenge – sweating it out in their first professional kitchen!

The plan was to execute 130 traditional American breakfast dishes in 90 minutes. It doesn't sound too difficult, but our inexperienced home cooks sadly learned otherwise. Working in a busy kitchen is the ultimate test of teamwork. You either have the ability to perform as a unit or you don't. Individual culinary talent takes a back seat here – customers will never taste the food if it doesn't make it out the door.

Felix's lackluster performance was a huge surprise to me, and probably to Christine as well. I completely understood why Felix was chosen as an expeditor – she is a runner and server in a Los Angeles restaurant! It is her job to interact with an expediter every single day! How she could be so unaware of what this role requires? Christine did a decent job leading her team, but honestly, about five minutes in, I would have pulled Felix off that line and replaced her with Becky.

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MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: Home Cooks Turn Offal Into Amazing

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX (2)

After Monday's MasterChef with its exhausting team challenge, the remaining top 15 contestants get thrown right back into the ring with what is hands-down the most difficult mystery box challenge in the history of MasterChef. A jarring selection of offal is what awaited our home cooks, and judging by their shocked and disgusted faces, they certainly didn't see this one coming! Tripe, chicken liver, bull testicles, sweet breads, and even a lamb's head – it was quite the display.

"Surprise" could have been the theme of the day, because what we judges tasted was nothing short of amazing! One phenomenal dish after another – this was something we certainly were not expecting. Sweet breads reigned supreme, and rounded out the top three dishes by Becky (no surprise there), Ryan and Christine. Ryan's performance thus far has been spotty, so this was a win he really needed. It was perfectly executed, plated well and tasted simply delicious.

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