MasterChef

MasterChef's Joe Bastianich Blogs: The Fighting Gets Dirtier

Originally posted 08/15/2012 02:00 PM

Joe Bastianich: The Fighting Gets Dirtier

Credit: Michael Lavine/FOX

Joe Bastianich is a successful restauranteur, vineyard owner and author of the memoir Restaurant Man. He's also a judge on MasterChef, which challenges home cooks to prove they can cut it in top professional kitchens. Each week he's blogging season 3 of Fox's hit show, offering an insider's take on the competition.

On Tuesday's episode of MasterChef, our final six conducted service at none other than the great Hatfield's of Los Angeles. This is a restaurant of significance, a Michelin-starred establishment, and it is time for the home cooks to show us their capability as professionals.

While I was thrilled to finally see that Christine was not picked last by a team captain, I was questioning whether it was fair to put her in this challenge. My comments may have offended some, but the fact remains – she cannot see, and we threw her into a complex kitchen without giving her time to familiarize herself with her environment and its hazards. She doesn't have the advantage of spotting potential dangers visually like the other home cooks. This is just a fact. If you've read my book Restaurant Man, you know that I don't hold back on my opinions.

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MasterChef's Joe Blogs About Redemption in the Kitchen

Originally posted 07/24/2012 08:45 AM

Joe Bastianich Blogs About Redemption in the Kitchen

Credit: FOX (2)

It's getting down the wire with only six contestants left on an intense third season of MasterChef. Taking a hard look at this group, we judges could not help but wonder if there might be a few who still deserved to be here.

We decided to throw a major curveball and do something we've never done before on the show by giving a huge opportunity to those who've recently said goodbye. Giving the last eight contestants to go a chance at redemption was not only something they deserved, but a great way to ensure our top six aren't getting too cozy.

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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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