MasterChef Italia celebrates 300 episodes with 3 eliminations and Bastianich’s return from the past

Cake and candles and Maestro Iginio Massari in the studio

A journey through time spanning 300 episodes contained in a single, extraordinary evening, also rewarded by a new audience record: at MasterChef Italia the judges Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Giorgio Locatelli organized a special “birthday” party, but as per tradition in the Sky Original show produced by Endemol Shine Italy the celebration was full of surprises and difficulties.

From the Mystery Box with the same ingredients used in the very first Mystery Box of edition 1 to return of Joe Bastianich, beloved judge which with its tripartite history between present, past and future in the Invention Test has put more than one competitor in difficulty, until the highly feared (by amateur chefs) but highly anticipated (by the public) arrival of Iginio and Debora Massari, who brought sweetness and great anxiety to the Masterclass with a special birthday Skill Test. And this week Three aspiring chefs took off their aprons: Alice, 27 year old graphic designer from Lodi and now in Rome; Lorenzo, 20 year old Marketing Manager from Torrevecchia Teatina (Chieti); and Filippo, a 25-year-old architect and ski instructor from Cittadella, in the province of Padua.

The episode: what happened

The evening opened with a return to the past thanks to an unusual event Mystery Box with the same ingredients as the first iconic test carried out in the history of MasterChef Italia. And to earn dark beer, flour, quail, lemon, beans and eggs, the competitors had to guess the number of the edition in which six amateur chefs who returned to the Masterclass as guests participated: Agnese (MasterChef Italia 2), Enea (1 ), Giovanni (8), Giuseppe (4), Laura (3), Manuela (7). The judges tasted only the three best dishes: Sarah’s Quail, Pumpkin and Beans (quail bonbon and stuffed pumpkin dumpling on bean cream), Michela’s Orzotto alla pumpkin (pumpkin risotto with barley with caramelized onions and green sauce), Three pumpkins and a quail from Lorenzo (seared quail with dark beer base and pumpkin in three consistencies). It was Michela who won the test and was awarded the Golden Pin and an important advantage in the following challenge.

The time travel continued with theInvention Test, a meeting point of present, past and future of Joe Bastianich, who told his story through a trio of courses. Michela, winner of the Mystery Box, entrusted the dish linked to the past (spaghetti with cuttlefish ink and seafood) to Eleonora, Lorenzo, Alice and Filippo; the course of the present (smash burger to be served with two creative sauces and french fries) she assigned to herself, Settimino, Marcus and Sarah; finally, the dish of the future (to be made with cricket flour, seaweed, a mix of legumes and vegetables) went to Antonio, Deborah, Niccolò and Kassandra. Furthermore, Michela also gave the latter a time penalty, forcing her to postpone the start of her cooking. The tastings began with Michela’s Smash Burger by Michela (with chilli sauce and gorgonzola sauce), then Smash until you crash by Marcus (with mayonnaise and tomato sauce and blue cheese sauce), Set Burger by Settimino (with sauce secret, but no fries), Sara’s Peri Burger (with mayonnaise-mustard sauce and pepper-onion sauce); then Alice with Tutto nero (spaghetti presented in a pan), Eleonora with Spaghetti with cuttlefish gray (with yellow datterini tomatoes, octopus and raw prawns with citrus fruits), Lorenzo with Chi non muoro si rivede (with raw prawns and pistachios) and Filippo with Black Sea (with clams, prawns and pistachios); finally, Out of time by Deborah (siphon-whipped sponge of cricket flour, bean hummus and lentil cream), Street future by Niccolò (cricket flour tortilla filled with chickpea cream, pesto, beans and fried seaweed), Hummus dal futuro by Antonio (bean hummus with seaweed brunoise in oil and vinegar vinaigrette) and Decomposto di un futuro burger by Kassandra (cricket flour crepe, sautéed legumes, caramelized onion and seaweed in vinegar). The best dish was Antonio’s, while Alice and Lorenzo had to abandon the Masterclass, respectively for not having completed the dish and for serious errors in the preparation.

Subsequently, the entry into the Masterclass of this season’s Top 10 amateur chefs was “sweetened” by cake and candles to celebrate the evening of the 300th episode of MasterChef Italia, and among the guests the feared Master Pastry Chef Iginio Massari could not be missing, accompanied by his daughter Debora. Their task is to lead one Skill Test special consisting of two steps, the first of which consists of three preparations: meringue sponge cake, ladyfingers and Bavarian cream. The contestants had 2 hours to make their personal birthday cake dedicated to MasterChef Italia. During the test, Maestro Massari could have those who were doing something wrong in the procedure repeat a preparation, while Debora could dispense a minute of advice to those who requested it: Antonio, winner of the Invention Test, had 3 minutes available and could also decide who to deprive of this precious support, a penalty suffered by Michela, Eleonora and Sara. The tastings began with Midsommar by Marcus (charlotte with berries), Chri and Jennifer by Deborah (strawberry charlotte with hazelnut praline, berry gelée and whipped cream), Beatrice by Kassandra (charlotte with red berry gelée with chocolate icing), then again Benedetta primavera by Eleonora (charlotte with peach compote and basil gelée), Torta heart of fruit by Settimino (charlotte with fruit and whipped cream), Torta by Niccolò, Anita by Antonio and Dolce Aurora by Michela (all charlotte with berries); finally, Sarah’s Lavender Notes (fruit charlotte with apricot, peach and lavender compote) and Filippo’s Prima Torta ai 300 (charlotte with berry compote). Deborah, Eleonora, Antonio, Michela and Sara immediately conquered the balcony; the remaining competitors, however, in the second step had 90 minutes to prepare a creative dessert with cherry as the main ingredient, and this time Antonio was able to put Niccolò and Filippo at a disadvantage, forcing them to also prepare an additional crumble.

The tastings of the second step began with Cheer-Y up by Marcus (white chocolate mousse with cherry and cinnamon gel on a cherry and crumble base), Filippo’s crunchy cherry Fantasia (white chocolate mousse and salted almond crumble and stuffed cherries) and Sueno de chocolate blanco y cereza by Kassandra (white chocolate mousse on shortcrust pastry with cherry compote), then Cuore di cherry for two by Settimino (dark chocolate cake filled with cherries, white chocolate icing) and Blind love by Niccolò (white chocolate and cherry mousse, crumble and cherry sauce). Filippo, with a half-successful dessert but above all with a totally wrong plating, had to take off his white apron.

Next week, Thursday 1 February, again at 9.15pm on Sky and streaming on NOW, at MasterChef Italia amateur chefs will have to dare and amaze even more: because you can never lower the bar, not even in a moment of celebration , and the race does not include any stops.

The ratings: the seasonal record arrives

For the cooking show, last night on Sky Uno/+1 and on demand, seasonal audience record: average evening of 932 thousand viewers and 4.45% share, with over 1,357,000 unique contacts and 69% permanence, numbers growing by +4% compared to last week. In detail, yesterday’s first episode reached 1,006,000 average viewers, with a 4.04% share, over 1,455,000 unique contacts and 69% retention; the second average 858 thousand viewers, with a 5.03% share, 1,260,000 contacts and 68% retention.

Over the seven days, last week’s two episodes scored 1,978,000 average viewers, with over 2,481,000 unique contacts and 80% permanence, an increase of +4% compared to the previous two episodes.

On social media the conversation literally exploded: almost 426 thousand total social interactions, for a sensational +103% compared to a year ago and an even more incredible +140% compared to a week ago, and thanks to these data #MasterChefIt was the content by far the most commented on in prime time. The official hashtag entered the Italian Trending Topics ranking directly in first position during the broadcast, then remaining steadily in the top two positions also on Friday morning; the names of Bastianich, Locatelli, Massari, Barbieri, Michela, Kassandra, Settimino, Niccolò, Eleonora also appeared in the TT chart, as well as Cracco and Rachida mentioned during the broadcast (sources: Talkwalker SCR;