‘MasterChef’ season 11 episode 5 recap: ‘Legend’ Sherry Yard joins Gordon Ramsay [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Heading into the fifth episode of “MasterChef: Legends,” host Gordon Ramsay and judges Joe Bastianich and Aaron Sanchez had already singled out three front-runners to win the show: Kelsey Murphy, Suu Khin and Autumn Moretti. They did the best last week at preparing monkish dishes, with Kelsey winning that challenge. Conversely, last week’s bottom three home cooks were Elyce Wooten (who was eliminated), Alejandro Valdivia and Annai Gonzalez. This week’s guest judge was Sherry Yard, who tasked the remaining 14 chef-testants with competing in a tasty dessert challenge. So how’d it all play out on Wednesday night?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “MasterChef” recap of Season 11, Episode 5, titled “Legends: Sherry Yard – Dessert Challenge,” to find out what happened Wednesday, June 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite aspiring chefs on Fox’s reality TV show and who you think has what it takes to join the winners list.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “MasterChef” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘MasterChef!” In the fourth episode, Masaharu Morimoto joined the judging panel for the first-ever monkfish challenge. He helped the judges pick the three best dishes (Kelsey, Suu and Autumn) as well as the three worst (Elyce, Alejandro and Annai). Elyce was sent home because of her baja fish taco with spicy aioli and chips, a dish Gordon claimed “fell short.” Following Elyce’s ouster, only 14 players remain in the running to join the “MasterChef” winners list. Who will be eliminated tonight?

8:05 p.m. — The Top 14 return to the kitchen, pumped to continue the competition. Annai is determined to redeem herself after slipping to the bottom of last week’s challenge. Gordon introduces pastry queen Sherry Yard as this week’s legendary guest judge and lets everyone know they’ll be cooking up some delicious desserts. Sherry talks about how her grandmother was her first big influence, saying, “She loved the whole pageantry of setting a table up properly and then finishing the meal with something decadent and delicious.” Nobody is as excited to have Sherry in the kitchen as Mary Jayne Buckingham, who calls her “flippin’ doo-dah amazing.”

8:10 p.m. — Gordon announces this week’s challenge: Make a delicious, restaurant-quality dessert. Lexy Rogers is concerned because baking is not her strong suit. Sherry tells the contestants that she wants to be able to wake up tomorrow morning, dream about their dessert and want to drive right back. That’s a lot of pressure! The winner of this challenge will also get a set of brand new Breville kitchen appliances. The home cook that doesn’t meet their standards will be eliminated. They have 90 minutes to make a stunning dessert. Let’s go!

8:30 p.m. — Alejandro is feeling the heat when Gordon and Sherry blast him for not having his pie crust in the oven, while focusing too much on his accompanying ice cream. After being on the brink of elimination last week, Alejandro is struggling once again. Tay Westberry could find himself in trouble as well after the judges realize he’s using canned fruit in his pineapple upside-down cake. Lexy’s struggles continue as she has to trash her overbaked molten lava cake and start over with just 30 minutes remaining in this challenge. Time finally runs out and all of the home cooks have finished plating their dishes.

8:45 p.m. — The judges stop by each station to decide which three dishes are the best of the night and which three are worthy of elimination. After a brief chat, the judges have made a decision. They’ll begin highlighting the best desserts of the night, starting with Lexy! She’s absolutely shocked she made the top three. She presents her molten lava cake with macerated berries and white chocolate drizzle. Gordon calls it “beautiful” but suggests she add fresh mint to give it a bit more “pop.” Next is Tay, who has has baked a pineapple upside-down cake with cherry compote and lemon zest whipped cream. Sherry calls the cake “lovely and light” and says the pineapples “sing.” The final top dessert belongs to Anne Hicks, who made an olive oil rosemary cake with blueberry compote and whipped crème fraîche. Gordon says it is “spot on,” but Sherry suggests Anne put the sauce on the side. Joe says Anne’s olive oil cake is as good as any he serves at his restaurant. Then, Gordon surprises everyone when he announces a fourth dish will be in contention to win. That dessert belongs to Michael Newman, who made a cannoli cake with chocolate espresso ganache and toasted pine nuts. Sherry loves the “fudgy frosting” and says he has the basics down. After tasting all the top desserts, the judges have made a decision. The best dish of the evening belongs to Tay! All four of the top home cooks head up to the safety balcony.

8:55 p.m. — Now for the bad news. Three dishes did not live up to the judges’ standards tonight. First up is Abe Konick with his pomegranate tart with pistachio brittle and Italian meringue. Sherry says it looks “incredibly elegant” but “underbaked.” Gordon says it’s like a bathtub of liquid pomegranate. The pastry is delicious but the filling isn’t set. Joe says the dish reflects “immaturity.” Next in the hot seat is Annai with her avocado “no-bake” cheesecake with dragon fruit cream and mango sauce. Gordon is shocked to see the base of the cheesecake mold still underneath the cake, holding it together. It wasn’t baked and Sherry says Annai “cut corners.” Alejandro says it’s hard to get away from such poor execution. The last home cook the judges will see is Matt Gagnon with a black garlic chocolate cake with spiced ganache, whipped cream and ginger raspberry coulis. Gordon questions whether black garlic should be used to make a delicious chocolate dessert. Joe says it tastes like Matt made a cake with rotten coffee grounds.

8:59 p.m. — The judges have deliberated and now Abe, Annai or Matt will be eliminated from this competition. The home cook turning in their apron is Annai. The 25-year old legal assistant from Dallas couldn’t survive being at the bottom of the pack two weeks in a row. Annai says it was a win just to make it this far and she will keep cooking. Next week the 13 remaining contestants will cook for the legend of surf and turf, Michael Mina, in the first mystery box challenge of the season.

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