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Top finalists revealed on 'MasterChef'

by jmaloni


Tue, May 27th 2014 04:35 pm
`MasterChef`: The Top 22 home cooks get ready to compete on the June 2 episode on FOX. (photo by Greg Gayne/FOX)
"MasterChef": The Top 22 home cooks get ready to compete on the June 2 episode on FOX. (photo by Greg Gayne/FOX)

Church music director, stay-at-home dad, high school student, advertising executive and investment director among finalists

Competition continues Monday, June 2, on FOX

Monday night on the season five premiere of "MasterChef," 30 of the best home cooks in America presented their signature dishes to the judging panel: host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot. Following an intense first round of competition with unexpected twists and eliminations, the judges announced the talented hopefuls who proved worthy of a coveted white apron and will advance in the competition.

The "MasterChef" season five top finalists are: Francis Biondi, Whitney Bray, Cutter Brewer, Elizabeth Cauvel, Ahran Cho, Leslie Gilliams, Christian Green, Gordon Houston, Jordan Kaminski, Courtney Lapresi, Astrid Lavenia, Francis Legge, Elise Mayfield, Daniel McGuffey, Willie Mike, Kira Novak, Victoria Scroggins, Christine Silverstein, Stephani Syfax-Shepherd, Tyler Viars, Jaimee Vitolo and Dan Wu.

The competition continues on Monday, June 2 (8 p.m.), on FOX, as the top finalists face their first mystery box challenge of the season. The contestants will have 90 minutes to cook a unique and impressive dish using mainly dessert ingredients, including chocolate, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, brandy, ladyfingers, extracts, honey and ground coffee.

The winner of the mystery box challenge will have a significant advantage in the next round and determine which classic American dishes the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. At the end of the episode, the "MasterChef" journey will end for two home cooks.

Francis Biondi

Age: 25

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Occupation: Server

Signature Dish: Crusted halibut cheeks on Moroccan chickpea ragu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5FrancisB

Twitter: @MC5FrancisB

Whitney Bray

Age: 28

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Occupation: Call center representative

Signature Dish: Braised pork belly with mustard greens, banana mustard and fingerling potatoes


Twitter: @MC5Whitney

Cutter Brewer

Age: 33

Hometown: Beaumont, Texas

Occupation: Petroleum landman

Signature Dish: Venison backstrap lollipops with fruit chutney or whiskey gravy, potato salad


Twitter: @MC5Cutter

Elizabeth Cauvel

Age: 31

Hometown: Brooklyn

Occupation: Advertising executive

Signature Dish: Peanut butter bread pudding with mixed berry compote


Twitter: @MC5Elizabeth

Ahran Cho

Age: 18

Hometown: Palo Alto, California

Occupation: High school student

Signature Dish: Korean garlic soy fried chicken


Twitter: @MC5Ahran

Leslie Gilliams

Age: 56

Hometown: Malibu, California

Occupation: Stay-at-home dad

Signature Dish: Broiled salmon with citrus glaze over sautéed spinach


Twitter: @MC5Leslie

Christian Green

Age: 29

Hometown: New Orleans

Occupation: Sales representative

Signature Dish: Macadamia crusted chicken, garlic mash, with two signature sauces


Twitter: @MC5Christian

Gordon Houston

Age: 30

Hometown: Irvine, California

Occupation: Law school graduate

Signature Dish: Sea urchin risotto


Twitter: @MC5Gordon

Jordan Kaminski

Age: 19

Hometown: Muskego, Wisconsin

Occupation: College student

Signature Dish: Seared scallops with sautéed leeks, crispy chorizo and coconut cilantro sauce


Twitter: @MC5Jordan

Courtney Lapresi

Age: 25

Hometown: Philadelphia

Occupation: Aerial dancer

Signature Dish: Ricotta gnocchi in a brown butter sage sauce


Twitter: @MC5CourtneyL

Astrid Lavenia

Age: 41

Hometown: Mandeville, Louisiana

Occupation: Food Sales

Signature Dish: Coriander crusted shrimp with duck fat potato, smoky lardons with jalapeno emulsion


Twitter: www.twitter.com/MC5Astrid

Francis Legge

Age: 34

Hometown: New York City

Occupation: Music video director

Signature Dish: Crazy caprese salad


Twitter: @MC5FrancisL

Elise Mayfield

Age: 28

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Occupation: e-Learning administrator

Signature Dish: Blueberry goat cheese hand pies with whipped cream and almond brittle


Twitter: @MC5Elise

Daniel McGuffey

Age: 32

Hometown: Los Angeles

Occupation: Video game designer

Signature Dish: "Deerly Beloved" (venison tartar with quail egg and tempura okra)


Twitter: @MC5Daniel

Willie Mike

Age: 25

Hometown: Houston

Occupation: Church music director

Signature Dish: White wine apricot chicken, almond rice pilaf and cinnamon roasted carrots


Twitter: @MC5Willie

Kira Novak

Age: 31

Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio

Occupation: Medical recruiter

Signature Dish: Herbed goat cheese crusted steak with roasted habanero red pepper sauce and garlic cauliflower puree


Twitter: @MC5Kira

Victoria Scroggins

Age: 35

Hometown: San Angelo, Texas

Occupation: Bartender

Signature Dish: Roasted goat heart with parsnip, celeriac and pickled beets


Twitter: @MC5Victoria

Christine Silverstein

Age: 31

Hometown: Yonkers

Occupation: Investment director

Signature Dish: Wild boar meatballs with squash and chestnut radicchio salad


Twitter: @MC5Christine

Stephani Syfax-Shepherd

Age: 25

Hometown: Detroit

Occupation: Server

Signature Dish: Lobster polenta with corne maque choux and rose beurre monte shellfish


Twitter: @MC5Stephani

Tyler Viars

Age: 27

Hometown: Wilmington, Ohio

Occupation: Hunting sales manager

Signature Dish: Venison chimichurri with fried potatoes


Twitter: @MC5Tyler

Jaimee Vitolo

Age: 23

Hometown: Queens

Occupation: Bakery assistant

Signature Dish: Peanut butter and banana Elvis cream puffs with bacon


Twitter: @MC5Jaimee

Dan Wu

Age: 39

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky

Occupation: Unemployed

Signature Dish: "Home Alone (and All Grown)" ramen with sriracha pickled peaches


Twitter: @MC5Dan

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