Tonight's installment of Master Chef featured the last of the cooking auditions starting with neuro- engineer Suzie Singh who was not only charming, passionate, and funny, her offering of sea bass en papillote impressed the judges so much Joe Bastianch said "I feel like we're looking at one of the finalists here."
All three judges loved her.
They also loved Giuseppe, a transplant from Southern Italy now living and cooking for his family Chicago.
Watching Giuseppe reminded me again why I think Italians hold the keys to the secrets of life.
His food and outlook were so filled with love and passion for family, fresh ingredients, and flavour it was no surprise when Chef Ramsay asked him to call his family in and presented Giuseppi's son with an apron signifying his dad would carry on in the competition.
Ditto for 18 year old Leonardo Dicaprio look alike Max from Manhattan. Max, who's parents divorced when he was 12, developed a passion for cooking while dining in some of the worlds best restaurants in New York City.
His dish of fried oysters got mixed reviews from the judges with Graham feeling he was a bit too young.
Graham, however, was trumped by Joe and Chef Ramsay who both want to see what he can bring and if he will be able to compete using less sophisticated ingredients.
I, for one, am going to be very curious to see what an 18 year can do.
Gordon Ramsay was as quick as ever with the one liners this episode:
"You have a great future in the restaurant world - as a customer."
"I'd give it 3 out of 10 after three bottles of wine."
"You go from greasy to dry to bizarre."
"My biggest problem is the oil slick on the plate."
"Are you allergic to flavour?"
How much would you DIE if Gordon Ramsay said that about your food?
Meanwhile, I've convinced myself Graham read my first blog comparing him to Paula Abdul and has, as such, rebelled by becoming the mean judge rejecting people all over the place.
(What? He could have read my blog. Don't rain on my narcissism.)
Thankfully though, all three judges found their hearts for the last two cooks to present their dishes.
"Joe" a self proclaimed good old boy who learned to cook after his wife was badly injured in a construction accident completely won me over.
There must something about men who cook alligator, because as soon as he said "I got a lot of ideas in my head ain't afraid to take a risk and try something" I was a fan.
Ditto for another one of my favourites in the competition, Ben Star, a travel writer and food super hero in disguise as a giant pumpkin.
His fish tacos had me salivating and wanting to jump into the screen.
Please God, let them publish his recipe in the next Master Chef cookbook!
In episode 4, the list of hopefuls was cut down to a final 18 with some of my initial favourites - including my alligator man, not going further.
I am always heart broken for people when they are told their road has come to an end as I know what that feels like.
18 year old Max is still hanging in there as is my favourite, Christine Corley who I hope goes very far!
All in all, we have the makings of an incredible season and I, for one, can't wait to be inspired and learn from all of these brave home cooks!