Masterchef Junior Season 2 episode 5 Recap: Pop-up Restaurant Take-over

Right from the start, the kids are congratulated on being the top six junior cooks in America. The judges reveal that they won’t be cooking in the Masterchef kitchen today, but in a professional restaurant. But there is a twist: it’s a pop-up restaurant, which Samuel explains is usually a restaurant that lasts only one evening and has VIPs and very important people there. This time, they will be serving to a culinary crowd; foodies and food critiques a like. Oh, and the restaurant is in Malibu.

The group will split up into teams of three. Abby and Samuel are team captains, as they had the best dishes in the last round. The blue team is: Samuel, Sean and Oona, and the red team: Abby, Adaiah and Logan.

Credit: Fox

Credit: Fox

The judges have prepared a sophisticated menu for the restaurant. The guests have the choice between two appetizers: tempura zucchini blossoms with goat cheese, or spot prawn ceviche. For the entrees: loup de mer with fennel trio, or filet mignon with fries and spring mushrooms.

First, the judges show the contestants how to cook and present each dish. Logan notices that Abby isn’t taking notes, but drawing smiley faces. Oh, boy. Even Samuel, who so far has proven himself to be a top contender, is a little intimidated by all of the components to some of the dishes. The judges reveal that the guests know that they are kids but they will still be judged on an adult level. And of course, Gordan Ramsay will be expediting in the kitchen.

While Samuel rises perfectly to the head chef position in his team, Abby is having a hard time being heard. Some of the other contestants in her team are having a hard time listening to her, as she is a younger chef and might not be as experienced. Logan says that things are tense in the kitchen and the last thing he wants to hear is Abby’s voice in his ear…ouch.

The guests start arriving and say that the pop-up restaurant is not an easy thing to do. Gordan starts shouting orders to the different teams and already you can start to see it flying over their heads. Even I can’t remember ten different things without it flying over my head. (Hopefully in the behind the scenes they have a pen and paper to write this stuff down.)

Oona is having a hard time getting the squash blossoms out on the plate. Gordan tells them they are serving to VIPs, not PIGs. While the red team is struggling with the seasoning on their ceviche. Gordan sits down with Logan in an uncomfortable confrontation: “Why did you do that?” (Oh, God, stop with the drama already. It was an accident.)


Credit: Fox

Meanwhile, Oona is still struggling with the squash blossoms and it is slowing down the blue team’s orders. Graham has to step in to put them back on track. While the red team is flying out with orders, the blue team is struggling and falling behind. Gordan Ramsay is starting to lose his temper. Did I mention that the restaurant take-over is my least favorite episode?

The blue team gets confronted by Gordan Ramsay and asked why they can’t get the orders out that he asked for. He says they should just go home. But of course, he doesn’t really mean it. They re-group and try putting out appetizers. Abby says that she’s very proud of her team and thinks that if they can nail the entrees they can win this.

They start on the entrees. Graham gives Logan some tips about properly cooking the fish, something like be one with the fish and don’t push it down in the pan and be like: “I’m sorry you had to die but we are going to make some people really, really happy.” Riight.

Meanwhile, the blue team seems to be bouncing back, however on the red team, Adaiah is struggling with the filet mignon. The blue team finishes their entrees and the red team falls behind. Now it is the judge’s turn to evaluate each of the team’s entrees. The red team’s fish was cooked perfectly, however, the blue team’s filet mignon was seasoned and cooked a lot better.

Looks like it is a close competition, that’s for sure! The kids meet the guests that they cooked for and someone asks to describe their experience cooking under Gordan Ramsay in one word. Sean comes out with “traumatizing.” I say that about sums it up!

And the winning team is…the red team! This is a surprise, really, but they worked better together and as a result turned out some better tasting dishes. And the two that get to go home: Oona and Sean. What?! Is Masterchef Junior trying to get rid of their best cook? Sean has displayed (I thought) some awesome dishes…more than anyone else in the competition. But Samuel is saved because of his masterful leadership skills.

Who’s left? Abby, Samuel, Adaiah and Logan. Not who I would have thought would be in the final four, but we will see how it turns out! Looks like fish is on the menu for the next episode, and what ever happened to the mystery box challenges?

Here’s a sneak peek of next week’s episode below:

My thoughts about last night’s episode?

So far, it seems like everything in this season is being led by the judges, what ever happened to creating their very own dishes with purely their imagination? I feel like the quality of their dishes is suffering as a result, because they are limited by the challenges. But that’s just my personal opinion. I’m starting to think that Season one was a fluke.

Tonight was definitely not my favorite episode. It was stressful and the kids didn’t seem to have a lot of fun, which isn’t that fun to watch. It was definitely one of Masterchef junior’s most awkward episodes so far. Hopefully the next few we see will step it up some!

Thoughts below if you want!

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