The winner of the third season of MasterChef was finally revealed last Monday night (Sept. 10) after judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot reconvened out in the MasterChef kitchen and officially announced who the winner was in the season’s competition.
It all came down to a final cook-off between 33-year-old grad student Christine Ha from Texas, and 24-year-old Army contract specialist Josh Marks from Mississippi. As usual, the two finalists were tasked with cooking a complete meal: an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert.
For appetizers, Christine presented a Thai Papaya Salad with Crab and Mixed Vegetables served cold, while Josh made a Butter Poached Lobster with Grits and Sweet Potato Puree. In summary, the judges thought Christine’s appetizer was balanced and delicious but not “luxurious”, whereas Josh’s was a work of art and bold but the lobster was half cooked.
Entrées: Christine went back to her Vietnamese roots with a Braised Pork Belly with Rice, Crispy Kale and Maitake Mushrooms, whereas Josh served a beautifully plated Rack of Lamb with Green Curry Sauce, Spring Peas and Carrots. Judges said Christine’s entrée made up for taste what it lacked in appearance, which basically means it could go either way, while Josh’s was almost a complete ”symphony” of components.”
Last but certainly not least, the desserts. Christine came up with a Coconut Lime Sorbet with Ginger Tuile, and Josh with a Bacon Crusted Pecan Pie with Vanilla Cinnamon Ice Cream. The judges thought Christine’s sorbet was just right and that it perfectly complimented the entrée and Josh’s ice cream was loved by all three judges.
In the end, it was Christine who was declared the winner and who took the trophy to become the season’s MasterChef winner. The balance and the impeccable execution of her meal was said to be the deciding factor that earned her the win, with the judges praising her final menu for its cohesiveness.
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Here’s a look back at Christina Ha’s Masterchef USA Audition: