Monday, September 21, 2015

SalleeShares: The MasterChef Grand Finale

I am going to tell you a secret. Are you ready? Here it is - I do not watch MasterChef until the final six chefs are left. Yep, I prefer to not watch until the top six chefs are consistently bringing their A game and have found their culinary voice. Season 6 has had an unusually high calibre of home cook competing. 

Due to the outstanding cooking abilities of the home cooks, Season 6 has been exciting. Judges Gordon Ramsey, Graham Elliot, and Christina Tosi have consistently remarked that each home cook is cooking at a professional restaurant level. Wow, fine dining from home cooks is exciting. However, the top 3 were fairly easy to pick out.

The final three contestants - Derek Peltz, Claudia Sandoval, and Stephen Lee - were simply amazing to watch as they cooked for a VIP crowd of thirty in the MasterChef Restaurant. The VIP's were the culinary teams behind Gordon Ramsey, Graham Elliot, and Christina Tosi. Can you imagine cooking for professional sou chefs, pastry chefs, and restaurant managers? With a quarter of a million dollars and a cookbook deal at stake, the three finalists cooked their hearts out. 

Stephen was edged out by Claudia by the smallest seasoning margin. However, Gordon Ramsey told Stephen to get together his food truck business plan and he would personally invest. You know that the cooking level is amazing to have a world famous chef offering to invest in your food truck dream. Maybe Stephen needs to consider going onto the Great American Food Truck Race?

Claudia and Derek faced off in a three course meal consisting of an appetizer, an entree, and dessert. Family members were present at the final cook-off. Claudia asked her mom and grandma to pray for her and I do believe God was involved in Claudia's cooking as she stuck to her Latino cooking heritage and brought it to a fine dining level. Graham Elliot said she was cooking with "la vida loca", an ultimate accolade for a home cook.  

Derek and Claudia consistently presented beautiful plates that contained heavenly, well seasoned, offering to the three judges. Ultimately, Claudia won by the narrowest of margins. 

Congratulations Claudia Sandoval!