The Top 24 junior home cooks in America arrive in the MASTERCHEF kitchen and are immediately put to the test to prove they can master any challenge thrown their way. These chef-testants begin to learn the importance of teamwork and speed in the kitchen, while facing two sets of eliminations.
The 22 remaining junior home cooks are divided into teams of four and face a speed and teamwork challenge to make as many perfect banana splits as possible! Not only is an elimination on the line, but the winning team gets to turn a judge into a human banana split.
In the season's first big team challenge, the top 20 junior home cooks test their leadership and communication skills in a bold carnival-themed competition. As two teams of nine fuel 51 Circus Vargas performers with a delicious lunch, one team prepares seared salmon and the other grills NY strip steak.
The pressure is on for the remaining 18 young home cooks, who must debone an entire fish and make a MASTERCHEF worthy dish, or be at risk in a challenge. Not only are there big stakes at hand - the winner will receive a special advantage worthy of the effort - but the cooks also bring heart to the table as they reveal how their cultural heritages influence their cooking styles.
The Top 16 home cooks face a sticky situation when they are divided into three teams and tasked with a Gordon masterclass - make as many stunning English trifles as possible in under 20 minutes. Only one team proves they have enough creativity and finesse to bypass the elimination round, the remaining home cooks are challenged to make three identical sliders.