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October 31, 2014

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'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot: Suzy Picked Christian for His Talent, Despite His Arrogance

by Graham Elliot, posted Aug 16th 2011 11:50AM
Graham ElliotGraham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's 'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

Here we are with the fantastic four!

This was a big big deal for us and it was important to show our last four that they are part of a worldwide phenomenon. This competition spans almost 30 countries, and we were confident that our American home cooks could impress the panel of international judges.

I'm not surprised Suzy picked Christian. She knows he can be arrogant but I think she has always respected his talent. It really is a battle of two different mindsets: on one hand you have the technical chefs who approach cooking as more of a craft, and on the other you have those who cook with more of an artistic touch.

That pantry was out of control. We spent a lot of time making sure we had ingredients that represented the country. There was lamb, beef, pork, lobster, chicken, spot prawns, duck and amazing produce. Nothing says USA like amazing product, and this selection was badass!

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Ben Makes Shepherd's Pie For Gordon Ramsay on 'Master Chef' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 10th 2011 5:30PM
Gordon Ramsay eats Ben Starr's shepherd's pie on 'Masterchef'Ben Starr wanted to impress Chef Gordon Ramsay by showing him he could make British food on 'Masterchef' (Tuesdays, 9PM on FOX). He made a risky choice, preparing shepherd's pie, a dish with which Ramsay is no doubt very familiar. He'd have to compete with Jennifer Behm's meatloaf and Adrien Nieto's meatball trio.

Ramsay loved Behm's meatloaf, while judge Graham Elliot thought Nieto's meatballs were too salty. "This dish is screaming for one thing," said Elliot. "A giant glass of water. It's so salty."

Then it was up to Starr. "We have brown veal, onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms sautéed in butter," he said, introducing his dish. "On top we have garlic mashed potatoes finished with a reduction of red wine beef stock with a little bit of worcestershire sauce to remind you of home."

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'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot: The Cooks Don't Want to Be Pushed Around Anymore

by Graham Elliot, posted Aug 9th 2011 11:45AM
Graham ElliotGraham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

This was an exciting challenge ... and a daunting one. Patina has a Michelin star, which Joe, Gordon and I have been awarded and I can tell you those stars don't come easy. It's a leap to go from a talented home cook to serving a full restaurant. Chef and Owner Joachim Splichal has a menu of delicious dishes and very elaborate plating. Every dish is like a work of art. I wasn't kidding about them going into "culinary warfare." But I'm ahead of myself ... more on that later.

I was as surprised as Christian that team captains Suzy and Tracy didn't choose Christian in their first picks. It seems as if his cocky personality has had an effect on the other cooks. They are confident enough to lead now and don't want to be pushed around.

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Gordon Ramsay Calls One Dish the Worst He's Ever Tasted on 'MasterChef' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 27th 2011 2:12AM
Gordon Ramsay, 'MasterChef'A plot to help certain contestants while hindering others by the winner of the mystery box challenge backfired in a big way on 'MasterChef' (Tue., 9PM ET on FOX).

And while Joe Bastianich has been largely the bad guy on this show, Gordon Ramsay let out a little of his 'Hell's Kitchen' persona on what he dubbed the worst sauce he's ever tasted.

!!SPOILER ALERT!!

The box challenge led to some intriguing choices, and while the judges did decide to sample Ben's banana and scallops concoction, they were most impressed with Adrien's dish. That gave him some power in the next challenge, which featured pork as a main ingredient.

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'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot: I'm Sensing a Friendly Rivalry Between Christian & Adrien

by Graham Elliot, posted Jul 26th 2011 10:00PM
Graham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's 'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

Ahh yeah, another mystery box challenge! Tonight's challenge was close to my heart, as it featured one of my favorite ingredients: diver scallops. Most scallops are dredged across the sea bed, resulting in broken shells, excess grit, and sand. Diver scallops, on the other hand, are hand-picked by scuba divers, thereby insuring they're in much more pristine shape when they get to the kitchen.

While many of the contestants have cooked scallops before, few of them have actually had the pleasure of shucking a live one freshly plucked from the water. In addition to actual cooking skills, a great chef must be able to show due respect for his or her ingredients. Once you fully realize that an animal or creature has unwillingly given its life for you to cook and consume, you tend to cherish it more and take the extra time to make sure it's prepared to perfection.

At the end of the competition, we were presented with a plethora of sexy looking dishes. Leave it to Ben Starr to use the scallops and the bananas together ... we totally didn't expect to see that combo. I'm not sure, but he may have been wearing a special banana hat this time. Christian's dish was bad-ass; the only issue we had was that there wasn't more of it! Adrien's dish was really attractive and tasted great ...his plating has greatly improved, and the flavors really did take me on a world tour from South America to Europe.

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One Horrible Presentation, One Horrible Dish, One Elimination on 'MasterChef' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 19th 2011 2:41AM
'MasterChef'It was a night of decadence and disaster on 'MasterChef' (Mon., 9PM ET on FOX). As the Top 11 competed in the box challenge, they discovered a second box with the judges; one that revealed four pound lobsters. Later, the winner of the lobster challenge chose truffles, and boldly chose to compete in the second challenge as well.

!!SPOILER ALERT!!

Christian had perhaps the hardest time in the opening challenge, because he felt he deserved to be one of the three finalists. As only the finalists' dishes are actually sampled, Christian must have felt passionately enough about it to disrespect the competition by tasting his own dish.

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'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot: Whose Dish Was Close to Being Inexcusable?

by Graham Elliot, posted Jul 18th 2011 10:00PM
Graham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's 'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

Here we go yo, here we go yo, so what's so what's so what's the scenario?!

Well this week's scenario was cooking "a la bling" cuisine. The contestants' reactions to challenges are always fun for us, but particularly so when they realize they're cooking with ingredients that are rare and expensive.

When we opened the supersized Mystery Box with the giant lobsters, it was a classic reaction to witness. Our culinary and art departments had researched and collaborated to make sure that tank and water were all set up right for the lobsters.

When it came time to get down and start cooking, Christian was getting in his own way again. While working in an aggressive manner with the equipment, a piece of plastic broke off from a processor and got into his food. It all went downhill from there -- things were falling and he spilled fish stock on his pasta, thus ruining it. It's beautiful to see calmness and grace in the kitchen, and a horror when anger rears its ugly head.

For the record, i feel Joe was right to put him in his place when we were critiquing Jennifer's baked lobster (which was great by the way).

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'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot on Ben's Carrot Cake: 'My Mouth Really Had an Orgasm'

by Graham Elliot, posted Jul 12th 2011 12:30PM
Graham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's 'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

It's great to get out of the kitchen in the field challenges and see the competitors cooking in professional kitchens and for the public -- not just the judges. But when Gordon handed over his kitchen to the cooks AND they had to cater a party for the Hollywood clientele -- I knew it would be a tough ride.

As the cooks get to know each other better, the team picking gets more interesting. They take into consideration friendships, talent, and the ability to follow their lead. Ben ended up with Charlie's Angels and Christian chose more of a variety.

As team leaders, Christian and Ben had very different styles. Christian is decisive and made his own menu and assigned courses while Ben was all about teamwork and feedback. I can't say there is a proven formula for winning. It really comes down to execution. Does the food taste good?

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'MasterChef' Judge Graham Elliot: Tonight's Eliminated Chef 'Massacred' Her Food

by Graham Elliot, posted Jul 6th 2011 1:00AM
'MasterChef' Judge Graham ElliotGraham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's 'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

Alrighty then, we are now down to the lucky 13! Hard to believe that we've already lost five great home cooks along the way. I love the Mystery Box challenges, and this one in particular was exciting as it was our first vegetarian challenge in 'MasterChef.' I love meat cooking with proteins as much as the next big, tattooed guy, but as a chef and restaurant owner, I want to make sure the cooks are proficient in vegetable cookery as well.

That said, it was a great challenge for our aspiring chefs, and it was obvious from the start that some of the cooks were a little lost without a big piece of fish or meat. Christian's forte is fish, and I'm guessing that since Jennie is from Texas, she was probably hoping for a steak.

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Graham Elliot: Tonight's 'MasterChef' Losing Dish Tasted Like An Old Shoe

by Graham Elliot, posted Jun 28th 2011 1:00AM
'MasterChef' Judge Graham ElliotGraham Elliot is a world renowned chef and judge on Fox's 'MasterChef' who'll be guest blogging for AOL TV from time to time this season. Here are his thoughts on this week's episode ...

Alright let's get started! The Mystery Box is totally what got my blood going on this episode.

I was shocked to see Derrick had taken this beautiful rack of lamb and decided to grind it up, which he himself said was akin to crashing a Bentley. It's one thing to be a big fan of the meat grinder but c'mon, we're talking about rack of lamb! I have to admit after seeing that, I was really nervous that things were gonna be tough for him.

In the end I gotta say that it was Alejandra and Tracy that impressed me the most. Alejandra has this incredible ability to keep her food light while infusing tremendous flavor. Tracy is showing she has some serious chops and her side was one of the best vegetarian dishes I've ever tasted, and her lamb was beautifully done as well.

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