Wednesday night's episode of MasterChef was entertaining, to say the least. We even saw Tampa competitor Jeff Philbin — the first one to walk through those tall kitchen doors, I might add — right up front with his signature backwards hat (I can say that at this point, right?) during the show's first "Mystery Box Challenge."
Sporting their new white aprons during what essentially acted as the kickoff to Season 8, the 20 contestants were tasked with cooking what awaited them inside big brown paper bags, one for each of them. Turns out, the ingredients, which included green beans, chicken and chocolate, were, apparently, the 12 most-popular items found on an American grocery list.
Local viewers tuning in caught a glimpse of the home cook repping Tampa quite a few times on screen. We didn't get a one-on-one exchange with any of the FOX reality show's cheffy judges, but there is photographic evidence that Gordon Ramsay did, indeed, approach Philbin with what I can only assume were questions about his dish.
Which might explain the tweet I sent after noticing an in-the-zone expression on his face. Maybe that face was immediately post-Ramsay.\\I\ was\ in\ a\ zone\!\!\<\/p\>\&mdash\;\ ChefJeffPhilbin\ \(\@ChefJeffPhilbin\)\ \June\ 15\,\ 2017\<\/a\>\<\/blockquote\>\ \\<\/script\>\
Before you check out my full recap via rosé-fueled tweets (they're worth the read, promise), I gotta fill you in on Mark. A lover of football analogies, Mark prepared a caramel-swirl pancake and some other breakfast stuff out of his paper-bag medley. He was among the episode's bottom three contestants — which, in a strange turn of events, were called up first — briefly banished to the wine room, a deceiving, booze-filled place you don't want to end up in. (News to me.)
Long story short, the judges eventually gave the bottom cooks a chance to redeem themselves using the same ingredients, Mark did another pancake (this time, served with baked eggs), made a sassy comment to a fellow competitor ("You know what you can do, Heather? Just do what I do and ignore [the judges]"), and Ramsay got in his face, resulting in an all-around "oh, shit" moment.
But, yeah, point is: Philbin pulled off a plate that was tasty enough to keep him in the competition. New MasterChef episodes air at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, in case you're wondering; I'll probably continue to live tweet the series unless any of you vehemently object. Now, onto that recap.