Flambe: a French technique whereby alcohol is poured into a hot pan, causing it to burst into flames. There are many chefs who argue that flambé does not actually infuse the dish with additional flavours. Rather, it is used to grab diners' attention. However, the judges of MasterChef US season 6 seem to believe that flambé is a skill that's essential to survive in the culinary world. In episode 13 of MasterChef US, we will see the top nine contestants take part in a flambé mystery box challenge.
In the two minute promo for episode 13, we see a live flambé demonstration by Chefs Christina Tosi, Graham Elliot and Gordon Ramsay. While Chef Tosi prepares her favourite dish, Beef Stragonoff, with slivers of beef flambéed in cognac, Chef Elliot flambés his mussels in anise liqueur. And Chef Ramsay's dessert looks exquisite: caramelized peaches flambéed in calvados and sandwiched in shortbread. Nothing could scream Modern European cuisine more.
We think the flambé mystery box challenge will allow contestants access to a limited pantry. They will most probably have to cook a dish that brings out the glaze and infuses their dish with the aroma and flavours that result from a flambé.
Tommy and Stephen could be the frontrunners of this mystery box challenge as both their dishes look exciting.
In the next episode, Tommy, the 53-year-old fashion designer, goes back to his roots and makes a classic southern dish from Louisiana: Bananas Foster. Whereas Stephen makes a Seabass wrapped in leeks cooked with anise liqueur and served with a bed of vegetables. Stephen could win the mystery box challenge as his dish most probably balances the sweetness of the fish with the heat of the anise liqueur.
Whoever wins the mystery box challenge will have to choose a southern dish that the rest of the contestants will have to make. Since its a southern special, we could expect to find chicken, beef or seafood dish.
MasterChef US Season 6 Episode 13 will be aired at 8 pm, Wednesday, 5 August. You can also live stream the episode via Fox Now.