“These critics are stone-cold killers.”
Working in teams, the four remaining contestants (Brandi, Shaun, David, and Tanorria), speed-prepared restaurant-quality entrées for "seventeen of America’s most powerful food critics," people who even the hosts Richard Blais and Christina Tosi would be terrified to cook for.
While the home cooks frantically chopped and braised, the critics stomped into the arena-style kitchen and squinted menacingly from a terrace above. Not their natural resting faces, sure, but intimidating nonetheless. "I can just feel their death stares glaring at me, watching every single move I make and waiting for me to make a mistake," said Brandi.
Along with critics like New York Magazine's Adam Platt and Vogue's Jeffrey Steingarten, Amanda tasted both teams' dishes—hazelnut-crusted halibut and duck breast with ras el hanout—and wrote a brief evaluation. There was little consensus among the judges—some loved the duck, some thought it was undercooked; some thought the halibut was perfectly seasoned, others thought the ratios were off—which just goes to show that we should all take restaurant reviews (and recipe comments) with a grain of salt.
As for Amanda's take, she said she'd "seen a dish like this many times" and that it "completely lacks soul.”
Recipes inspired by the episode:
Who are you rooting for in the MasterChef finale? Tell us in the comments below.