July 16, 2012 06:00 AM by Christine McDow
It is getting hotter in the MasterChef kitchen for Monti Carlo and the other contestants, but one of the fan favorites, Monti Carlo, is holding her own and having a very successful run toward winning MasterChef, all while watching her friends get eliminated. As it gets closer to the end contestants start to throw each other under the bus and this week it was Becky’s turn to try to get rid of who she saw was her toughest competitor. However, it didn’t quite work! Read on to see what Monti Carlo has to say about the last episode of MasterChef.
I’m watching Gordon Ramsay delicately scoop Uni from the insides of a Sea Urchin. He gabs candidly about his days in Paris as a young chef. “Fishermen would bring the day’s catch to the back door of the restaurant and it was my job to take the Sea Urchins, cut them up and collect all the Uni.” He talks about the omelets they would make with the uni and how tasting it always takes him back to that time and place.
This is when it hits me like a cold shower “HOLY MOLY BATMAN. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.” I’m in the Top 9 of MasterChef. Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliott, GIANTS OF THE CULINARY WORLD, stand behind Chef Ramsay as he collects the precious membranes AND I HAVE A FRONT ROW TICKET.
Our mystery box challenge is to create one STUNNING dish utilizing the Uni, an ingredient I’ve never worked with and it shows. My dish doesn’t have any (as Joe would say) “finesse”. I compare myself to Josh, who also made a pasta dish. It is clear to me that his vision and technique are much stronger than mine. We both work with almost all the same ingredients: peas, rock shrimp, fresh pasta and Uni. While I use a hearty fettuccine, Josh uses a delicate taglierini noodle. The difference is that mine is heaped into a bowl, enough to feed a construction worker after a hard day of manual labor. Josh’s is plated beautifully with a delicate cream sauce to finish it off. Looking at his dish I know if I don’t step it up I will be going home soon.
Josh makes it to the Top 3 for the first time with that beautiful pasta dish. Stacey also makes it in with a gorgeous sushi with Uni aioli .But neither of their creations are as genius as Felix’s Uni Risotto. It truly is a stand out, fusing Asian and Italian cuisine, something that can be a big risk in this kitchen. I wish the editors wouldn’t have cut out Joe Bastianich cracking a huge grin and joking that he never thought he would eat risotto with chopsticks, because it’s one of my favorite moments of the season. I love it when Joe lightens up. He gets the cutest dimples!
Felix has the advantage and gets to choose what kind of fish each of us has to work with in the elimination challenge. Felix is very smart with her strategy, assigning her biggest competitors the toughest fish to filet. I am surprised to be in that group. In the end the people that got the most challenging fish (Frank with his Catfish, Becky with her Rock Fish and I with the John Dory) rise to the top while those with the easier fish (David with his Yellowtail, Tali’s Arctic Char and Christine with her Salmon) crash and burn. While I’m excited to be picked as the second best dish of the day behind Frankie’s, it‘s tough for me to watch the bottom three get called up.
I have grown attached to David and I have come to respect Tali. More than anything, I have loved every minute of cooking next to Christine. She’s funny, a straight shooter and truly is an inspiration to me. I hold my breath until Gordon announces it isn’t her last day in the kitchen. It’s Tali’s. It’s sad to watch him go. I know he was represented in the show as kind of a weirdo, but that kid really can cook. He made a Chocolate Pot de Crème once that I still think about. IT WAS THAT GOOD.
After Tali leaves, Gordon tears mischievously into David for ruining a beautiful Yellowtail. “Repeat after me.” Gordon instructs and David stands at attention. “I David MAAHR-teen-ez,” Gordon ALWAYS mispronounces David’s last name, but it is David mispronouncing his own last name in his effort to say everything exactly right that sets us all into fits of giggles. “I David MAAHR-teen-ez” David repeats at the top of his lungs. Gordon continues, “will never go to Japan” David starts to rock back and forth , a clear sign he is nervous. “Will NEVER go to Japan” Gordon laughs “for fear of bodily injury for what I did to that Yellowtail.” Our giggles have erupted into belly laughs, and even Joe is laughing.
I’m going to address this here, as I’ve received THOUSANDS of tweets about the hate directed towards me in this episode. I LOVE everyone that I worked with in the MasterChef kitchen. And I LOVE everyone that has taken a minute of their day to reach out to me on Twitter and Facebook and through my blog, www.slap-yo-momma.com. While I appreciate the hundreds of people that have stuck up for me, I want you to know it only makes me sad to hear anyone talk poorly of my cast mates.
You have to take all Reality TV with a grain of salt. Christine only says I will be in the bottom because WE ARE ALL forced to pick who we think will be leaving the MasterChef kitchen. Felix trying to take me out with a difficult fish is a compliment. She is a strategic player, an insanely talented cook and she came to win. Yes she said I memorize recipes, but why would she think any different? I am always studying.
It does sting to hear Becky’s comments; to see her walk Christine over to my pasta dish and say, “This is Monti’s giant bowl of pasta with everything in the world in it.
Nothing’s on fire. That’s good.” And then to see her say to Graham and Joe “I want to see Monti go home next. I question her as a Master Chef. I mean she’s a pretty good like recipe user and stuff. But I think she has a shtick that has lasted her quite a while. That’s what I think. This isn’t Who’s the Best Home Cook on a Budget. It’s Who Wants to be a MasterChef.” It was definitely my least favorite moment of the show.
The truth is it was naïve of me to think everyone would play nice in a competition where there’s a quarter of a million dollars on the line. Some people will do whatever it takes to win. So be it. The truth is ALSO that I’ve been through much harder things in my life than having Becky talk cattily about me: a divorce, homelessness, the murder of my best friend.
I like to keep things in perspective. No matter what anyone says about me on this show, I still got to stand by GORDON FLIPPIN’ RAMSAY as he reminisced about his early days as a chef. How many people in the world get to say that? I EARNED my spot in the TOP 8 of MasterChef. It’s going to take a lot more than snide remarks to wipe the smile off my face. FOR REAL.