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MasterChef Junior Review: Finale, Part One

Our four semifinalists enter the kitchen to the sight of the judges standing inside a makeshift chicken run, complete with chickens. Troy freaks out a little, thinking they might have to actually kill the chickens before cooking them. I think that’s a different kind of show, Troy.

It’s a two-part challenge, with part one being about the egg.

For Gordon this means that the kids need to cook the perfect soft-boiled egg. He demonstrates how it should look and eats it in front of them rather greedily, I must say. I’m not one for plain eggs, but it was a little uncomfortable to watch.

Masterchef Jr. Pic

Again, Troy is worried, because he’s never done a soft-boiled egg before. Oh, and also because Gordon took away the timers, so the kids will have to count in their heads.

As they get started on the boiling water, Graham and Gordon argue about the best way to cook a soft-boiled egg. Graham says he likes to “teach it to swim," which I can only assume means to bring the water to a boil with the egg already in it. Gordon scoffs, as he usually does.

Troy heads up first with his egg, followed by the others, and they present their eggs on a fancily set table. Jack takes the longest on his egg, and gets his tasted first. Graham cracks it open and it’s a bit overcooked. Surprisingly, Alexander and Dara also have overcooked eggs.

As predicted by the editing, Troy’s egg was perfect. His reward is choosing which cut of chicken to cook with, and assign the other ones. The cuts to choose from are breast, thigh, wing and liver. He smartly gives biggest competitor Alexander the livers, then give Dara the wing and Jack the breast, while taking the thigh for himself. Troy’s strategy is to let Jack have the easiest so he can beat him when they both are in the finale.

They get one hour to cook and attack the pantry. As the cooking gets underway, everyone seems very confident, except Alexander, who can’t even answer Gordon because he is still trying to think of what to do with livers.

The cooking goes by quickly, and Troy is first up to present. I’m not impressed by his dish, despite the vibrance of colors. Romesco sauce and fried chicken? Fairly simple, to be honest, especially considering what the others end up bringing to the table. Gordon is pleased with the sauce, but then he cuts it open and calls over the other judges before revealing what he sees. Yep, raw chicken. Huge rookie mistake, and Troy is out of the running.

Dara is next with soy ginger glazed wings with pickled cucumber radish and carrot. She trimmed the wings so they are cute pops rather than the messy standard wing. Graham loves it and even says it’s the best thing he’s had the entire show. It does sound really good right now. I love chicken wings, but don’t make them much because my husband will eat them all.

Alexander is next with his “pate” on crostini with cherries, balsamic and bacon. I think it’s a bit crumbly to be called pate, to be honest, but Gordon says it tastes delicious. (I feel like on an adult cooking show, they’d be called out for mislabeling it.)

Jack brings up his chicken, which is a roulade of goat cheese and sundried tomato and the kitchen sink wrapped in prosciutto, plus asparagus and fingerling potatoes. He gets raves as well.

Alexander is in! Duh. Gordon refers to him as Julia Child’s long-lost grandson. Spot. On. It makes me wonder if she would love or hate this kind of cooking show.

Dara is in! Hooray!

Next week: the actual finale, with parents and a remodel for the studio kitchen. Looks like they’re cooking battle royale style!