Chad, 9, Poughkeepsie, NY
Spaghetti and Meatballs (with scallops)
Oh, Chad. Any time the star ingredient is relegated to the parenthesis, you know you’re going to be in some trouble. I love pasta as much as the next girl, but even I could tell that a heavy tomato sauce and meatballs would overpower those tiny little scallops. Graham admits that if this were a meatball contest (WAIT, CAN WE HAVE ONE OF THOSE?), Chad would win. As it stands, his scallops are overcooked and completely lost within the dish.
Ian, 8, Beverly Shores, IN
Pan-Seared Scallops (with zucchini cakes and microgreens)
Our friend Ian here has a rough go of it. He can’t get any of his scallops out of their shells and begins to melt down. (Anyone else gasp with joy when little Kya told Ian all he had to do was believe in himself? I mean, it was terrible advice for shucking a scallop, but the sentiment was nice.) Because Gordon is a handsome angel person, he comes over, calms the guy down with small talk, and gives him a one-on-one shucking tutorial. Ian is back in the game and just barely gets his food on his plate. You know what happens when Gordon tastes the completed dish? He loves it. It’s visually stunning and the scallops are perfectly cooked. HANDSOME. ANGEL. PERSON.
Vivian, 11, Avendale, AZ
Parmesan Scallops (with couscous and bacon-corn relish)
Not only has Vivian never cooked a scallop before, she’s never even tasted one. Right off the bat, she’s concerned about her ability to complete this challenge at its most basic level. The judges try to remind all of the kids that their scallops should be the last thing they cook, and that a scallop really only needs about 90 seconds on each side. Vivian should’ve listened a little more closely. Christina has to deliver the bad news that Viv’s scallops are not properly cooked and because of that, the dish doesn’t work at all.
Derek, 11, Yardley, PA
Pan-Seared Scallops (with Israeli couscous and herb pesto)
D-man calls himself the Frankenstein of the kitchen. He’s a scientist as well as a cook, and he is super pumped to show off his inventive cooking skills in the MasterChef arena. Gordon is super pumped about Derek’s dish. The combination of the rich, sweet scallop with the herb pesto is delicious. Gordon’s only note is that the dish could’ve used a little more salt, otherwise: perfection. That’s a bold statement coming from Gordon Ramsay, and Derek knows it.
Kamily, 10, Santa Ana, CA
California Scallops (with avocado lime sauce and quinoa)
Kamily’s biggest fear about getting eliminated is that it means she’ll have to go back to her fifth grade math class. Girl, I hate to break it to you, but math class gets so much harder than fifth grade. Are her scallops good enough to save her from the horrors of fractions? Maybe not. The scallops look pretty, but Christina isn’t impressed. She finds the ingredients to be a strange mix and the scallops are not evenly cooked. A big no-no.
Amaya, 10, Bergenfield, NJ
Pan-Seared Scallops (with asparagus and béchamel sauce)
Amaya is rocking some sweet glasses, has a great hair accessory game, and serves up a mean dish of sass alongside her scallops. She also shucks her scallops like a pro; even the judges are impressed. Thankfully, she also knows how to cook a good scallop. Graham thinks her scallops are perfect but, she hid them under too much sauce. Amaya needs to work on her presentation. Next time, let the star ingredient stand out by putting it on top of the sauce. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, is what he means. So many life lessons!
Annabelle, 10, Cookeville, TN
Scallops Two Ways
Like Ian, Annabelle cannot shuck a scallop to save her life. Gordon comes to her rescue so she has a fighting chance. Unfortunately, Annabelle blows that chance when she completely burns the few scallops she has. She tracks down a few leftovers before time’s up, but things are not looking good. She made a scallop ceviche with lemon cilantro and…water. Gordon explains that a ceviche is never made with water, and doing so rendered her dish virtually tasteless. Her pan-seared scallops also fail; they’re completely overcooked. Gordon wishes AB had focused on cooking her scallops one way perfectly, rather than over-complicating things.
The scallop-shucking challenge win goes to Tae-Ho and his mean plate of risotto. Kamily, Chad, Annabelle, and Vivian make up the bottom four dishes for the evening, but Kamily and Vivian just squeak by into safety. So, we must say goodbye to Chad and Annabelle. Gordon reminds them both that they’re good enough, and I’m tearing up on my couch because Gordon has once again cut to the core of me. Though Annabelle seems to take it pretty hard, both kids look like they’ll bounce back eventually. And thankfully Kamily doesn’t have to go back to math class just yet. I mean, who needs math when you have a $100,000? NOBODY. Just kidding, stay in school!
Next week: CHEESE.