Season two’s finale was a showdown between Logan and Samuel, to see whose creativity and flavors in the kitchen wowed the judges more. Samuel likes sophisticated dishes and unique flavors, while Logan excels in presentation and his signature bow-tie.
Whoever wins will be the youngest Masterchef Junior ever. Samuel is 12, while Logan, who is 11, claims that this night is the most exciting night ever in his childhood! Wow.
They both have ten minutes to go back in the pantry and get the things they need to create their three course meal. As expected Samuel’s menu is a risk and very complicated. He’s using liquid nitrogen! They have 90 minutes to create their amazing three-courses.
We see some input from some of the top ten competitors: Sam doesn’t know who’ll win because Logan and Samuel are both great cooks. Abby thinks Logan’s menu is super difficult and that he’s going to win, while Mitchell announces that this battle is going to be epic!
Finally we get to see the kid’s imaginations run wild – so far, that hasn’t been the case in the past several episodes. The kids have been limited on what they could create, we definitely missed the creativity that comes from mystery box challenges, or free range of the pantry where they can pick and choose at will.
And these little home cooks are creative and inventive. Logan uses a smoking gun to smoke his aioli, and says that it’s every boy’s dream: fire and a Nerf gun. Samuel uses liquid nitrogen to quick freeze his raspberries and then he smashes them into little pieces. Gordon says he looks like a sou chef from Breaking Bad. The judges comment that they might be witnessing the future of cooking.
The 90 minutes is up and both Samuel and Logan’s dishes look fantastic. Logan says he’s very proud that he got everything on the plate that he wanted. Samuel says (as he looks down at his dishes) that he knows he’s come a long way on this journey. It’s difficult to see who is going to win this challenge, all their dishes look excellent.
Samuel is first to present his appetizer. He made south-east Asian chicken oysters with pickled cucumber and crispy rice. Gordon says the chicken is cooked perfectly but that there is too much vinegar. Graham says he likes the idea of the dish better than the actual flavor. On the other hand, Joe likes the flavor and the vinegar. He says it’s a ying-yang type of dish that takes him right back to Singapore.
For Logan’s appetizer he made grilled spot prawns with olive capers and smoked saffron aioli. Joe asks if he feels strongly about this dish, and Logan replies with: of course, how could I not? Where do these kids get their confidence from? Gordon says the spot prawns are cooked beautifully. Graham comments that it’s a great dish but the olive capers overpower the other flavors on the plate. Joe, once again, disagrees and likes the olive flavor on top of the aioli and says that the dish is a hit on every level. You can tell Logan is very pleased, but Samuel has a hard time keeping a poker face.
For the entrees, Samuel made pan-seared arctic char with coconut saffron curry. He pours the curry sauce at the table for the judges. Joe cuts into the fish, and says that Samuel has cooked it perfectly. Graham says that the fish is so good that it can practically stand on its own even without the other ingredients. He also says that the coconut curry is heavy, and he would want the fish to stand out more. Gordan says that there are professional chefs that can’t even cook fish like that.
Logan made salt-crusted branzino stuffed with lemon, thyme and butter with chimichurri and roasted vegetables. Joe says that the fish is cooked perfectly, but the chimichurri is a little bit aggressive. Although, it looks like Logan’s dish might be more successful, Gordan says its anyone’s game because they both cooked their fish perfectly but they applied the wrong sauce.
Now, for the dessert! And both of their desserts look excellent! Samuel made a kaffer lime panna cotta with passion fruit and raspberry. Graham tastes first and says its like getting punched in the mouth…in the best way possible. It’s like edible perfume and the raspberry adds a nice textural aspect to the dish. Gordan says that all the flavors go together wonderfully and Joe comments that using the star anise in the dish was crazy brilliant and very delicious. It looks like it is anyone’s game at this point!
Logan made a meyer lemon madeleine with a berry compote and goat cheese mousse. Gordan says visually, that it is brilliant but that the madeleines could have been cooked longer. Joe says that its a great ending to the dishes that he just made.
The judges reiterate that regardless of the results they should walk out into the kitchen with their heads held high because they both made some fantastic dishes. It seems to be a tough call, as neither of them had any big mistakes. At this point, it seems that Samuel’s menu was a bit more complicated than Logan’s, however, Logan seemed to have flavors that worked a lot better.
After an agonizing, drawn out pause, the judges finally announce the winner and it is: Logan!
You can tell that Samuel is very disappointed, but Gordan says that he should be proud of what he accomplished. It looks like Logan’s dishes overall tasted better than Samuel’s, but what a finale! Finally, we got to see some beautifully presented dishes and some creative flavors. It seemed like this was the flare we have been missing all season long from the rest of the contestants. Was it because they were limited because of the challenges? I think so!
I hear they are casting already for the third season of Masterchef Junior, but well done Logan! A well-deserved win!