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'MasterChef' Recap: top 15 compete

By Elizabeth Sudlow,

The top 15 arrive and walk into the MasterChef kitchen unaware of what challenges they will be facing that day as a traditional mystery box was not in the cards. From the beginning Courtney was sent to the top of the gallery and is then told what her advantages from last week would be.

Instead of picking a meal or team captains, Courtney instead gets to pick the 7 pairs who will be working together to create a beautiful and unique surf and turf meal. The first pair she sets up is the one she was hoping would ruin each other: Christian and Francis B. These two chefs are great cooks but together the two just might not be able to see over each other’s egos. Jaimee and Elizabeth are paired off, as are Victoria and Christine, Cutter and Dan, Willie and Daniel, and Francis L and Elise. The other pair that Courtney intentionally put together in her hopes of destruction was Ahran and Leslie, the youngest and oldest chefs in the competition.

Over the past few weeks it is no secret that the two can barely get along. Most of their interactions turn into large arguments with the root of their problems being that they are from two completely different generations and views on life. Even before Courtney started making pairs, the two expressed that if there was one person they would not want to work with – it would be the other. The moment Courtney announced their partnership, Ahran said, “I just might die in a hole.”

The teams were given 60 minutes to create a wonderful surf and turf dish that successfully fussed the two different flavors together. In addition they were given five minutes to search the pantry for any other ingredients they felt they would need with the warning that once they left the pantry and time was called, there would be no reentry and you would be stuck with what you grabbed. This element especially played out negatively on Cutter and Dan as the two bickered over what the dish should be and barely grabbed anything from the pantry before time was up. The two of them were doomed from the start.

image courtesy of Dara Kushner/INFphoto.com

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