'MasterChef' recap: What God Has Brought Together, Let No Chef Tear Asunder

masterchef-joe-bastianich-graham-elliot-320.jpgPreviously -- as in, five minutes ago -- on "It's My Crabcake, And I'll Cry If I Want To" (aka "MasterChef"), Sheetal was put off by the thought of personally helping a crab cross the River Jordan, but not so much that she couldn't actually do it. Lee won both the Mystery Box and Inspiration Challenges, making Sharone a most unhappy fellow. And Slim's fate was only slightly better than the hand the crabs were dealt -- she was sent home. Wonder what our "MasterChef" hopefuls are up to now?

Ruining the happiest day of someone's life, apparently. The eight remaining contestants will be cooking for someone's wedding. We can only imagine how the producers approached the happy couple.

Producers: Hey, we were wondering if you'd let us use your wedding reception as a challenge in our reality show cooking contest.

Our Happy Couple: You mean like "Top Chef"?

Producers: Yes. Almost exactly like "Top Chef." In a way.

Our Happy Couple: Well, if it's as classy and well-produced as "Top Chef"..

Producers: You know, "as" is such a nebulous, hard-to-define term.

Anyhow, there will be 230 guests for these amateur chefs to not poison. They'll be split into two teams, and Lee, as the winner from the last episode, gets the pick of the litter for the Blue Team. He's going with Jake, Mike and Tracy. Graham points out that Tracy had one of the worst dishes in the romance competition -- a stomach-churning beef tenderloin with burnt greens -- and that Sharone had one of the best. Why pass him over? Well, it's all about teamwork, Lee says. So, yes, leave out the guy who led the winning squad in the last team challenge. Sounds like a hell of a plan. By the process of elimination, that means your other team -- Red Team -- is Sharone, David, Whitney, and Sheetal.

So the plan is this: Each team has three hours to cook 115 Caesar salad and goat cheese tartlet appetizers and 115 surf-and-turf entrées (with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and fried onions). The teams will be judged based on performance in a professional kitchen, ability to stick to the wedding's timetable, and getting the flavors perfect. Points off if you make the bride burst into tears. The Blue Team will serve friends of the groom while the Red Team handles the bride's half of the wedding guests. Friends of both the bride and the groom pick sides, apparently; it will be good practice for the inevitable divorce.

After dressing up in their make-believe chef gear, Lee doles out the assignments to his Blue Team comrades. Jake will be portioning the beef, while Mike will take care of the salmon. Tracy will be on salad duty. Tracy likes her team's chances: "We have Jake who's a meat specialist. We have Mike who's technically skilled. And, you know, me." Her skill? Making it easy to spot the weak link, would be our guess.

And the Red Team? Sharone's going to break down the salmon and cook it. And so he leaps right into that task eagerly. "Eagerly," by the way, should not be confused with "expertly." Sharone has butchered his first salmon beyond recognition, inducing a torrent of bleeped-out profanities from Gordon. Hey, it's an early promo for the new "Hell's Kitchen" season!

Photo credit: FOX