Yesterday, we had a poll to see who we believed would win Season 6 of MasterChef….
70% of you thought the Winner would be Derrick (I hoped for that too)
25% of you thought it would be Stephen
and a small 5% thought it was going to be Claudia.
The Season 6 Winner of MasterChef is…. *Drum Roll Please!*
5% of you were correct (like my friend Laura, who stated “Totes disagree- think the men are way too into themselves. Love Claudia.” to the statement I made hoping one of the men would win) and the other 95% of us, (myself included) were unfortunately wrong!! However, at least those of us who were on Team Derrick were proud to see him be the runner up. Also, I am very happy for Claudia since it will change not only her life, but also, life for her daughter.
Derrick was the first one selected to be in the final two after a stressful challenge in which they had to cook for the people who continue to help the judges achieve their culinary dreams (no big deal, right?) Wow.
While all of the dishes were aesthetically pleasing, I thought that Derrick’s dish seemed a tad lack luster but after you heard the critic’s reviews, it wasn’t surprising that he claimed the spot on the balcony. Claudia’s dish looked delicious though- I was actually impressed.
Stephen and Claudia had to then go head to head to grab their place in the last spot for the very final cooking challenge.
I won’t give too many details away, but there are quite a few suspenseful moments and you’ll have to watch it yourself to really feel the nerves and the energy.
I won’t lie though, when they were cooking the steak frites, all I was thinking was that I could make it…. but it does make it more complicated when there are two other dishes that they have to make all within one hour.
This is when Stephen’s journey ended (darn soufflé and pana cotta). I was disappointed that he was leaving but I unfortunately saw it coming as this portion of the episode unfolded. While he may have double cooked the fries, when he said he thinks he had her beat on the dish, I was apprehensive. The cook of his steak may have been great but it didn’t look as appealing to me as Claudia’s did. I knew as soon as I saw Stephen’s Pana Cotta that it was the end of the road for him but hey, he still got Ramsay as an investor and partner, so who can complain?
For the battle between Claudia and Derrick, I’ve had to watch the episode about 4 times just to see if I agreed with the judge’s decision without being stubborn about wishing Derrick was the one to come out on top.
Right away, I thought Derrick’s dishes were beautiful. The way he plated them alone made me want to eat it, forget about the taste. The challenge started with comments from the past contestants who were watching from the balcony. Nick saying his vote was for Claudia, and Stephen saying he was supporting Derrick was a nice change of views.
“Guys, you know that we eat with our eyes as well, you know it has to look beautiful!”-
What I did notice, was Claudia’s absolute confidence the entire time. Derrick was very confident too, don’t get me wrong, but Claudia didn’t seem to be flustered at all.
Derrick’s appetizer, spiced pork belly with watermelon three ways, had wonderful reviews from all of the judges. Claudia’s huitlacoche tamale with cactus salsa, avocado crema and pork skin chicharron also received amazing comments.
For the entree, Derrick did a pan seared venison with root vegetables and puff pastry cage and I think the presentation was absolutely beautiful. Even at the very beginning, Ramsay gave him a high five like he usually did with his favorite, Stephen. Claudia’s dish was also beautiful. She did a grilled swordfish with chickpeas and Mexican squash- and her salsa verde got huge compliments from Ramsay, “I want more of it”.
Dessert was a struggle for both of the contestants. I almost had a heart attack when Derrick struggled with getting the cake mix to cooperate with him. Before presenting the dishes to the judges, you could see the tears in Derrick’s eyes and it made me emotional. Claudia In the end, Derrick’s lemon mousse in a chocolate shell with green tea cake and raspberry sauce was well received.
“You should be so proud.” – Christina Tosi
While technically he nailed it, Ramsay criticized him for wasting so much time dealing with the cake mix, to which Derrick replied, “I couldn’t give up. […] My mom- because her voice was in my head. ‘Don’t give up. You can do it. And I did.” Hello, waterworks for Joanna.
Claudia made a hibiscus poached pear with a key lime flan and cinnamon brittle. I think out of all of the judges, to have Christina Tosi compliment you on your dessert is the biggest goal you could ever wish to achieve and Claudia did it.
“Both of you- incredible.” – Gordon Ramsay
There have been several Seasons of MasterChef that had such close outcomes for the final two contestants and this Season is no different. If anything, I found Derrick and Claudia were more neck and neck than in any other finale. When Claudia was announced as the winner, my heart did sink a little bit, or as my friend Devon stated, “I yelled at my tv when he lost, I’ve never seen food like that.”
“Dreams come true and it doesn’t matter where you come from”. -Claudia, the Season 6 Winner of MasterChef
So that’s it for this season of MasterChef, but for those of us who are completely addicted, the good news is, we don’t have to wait too long for another season to start. On November 6th, the new season of MasterChef Junior begins!
Here is the link to see a preview of it now!
What did you think of the Finale? Do you agree with the judge’s choice to have Claudia as the Winner?
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that this actually happened to me? Thanks again Graham Elliot & Gordon Ramsay!