AceShowbiz - One home cook went home as a new MasterChef after the season 7 finale which aired Wednesday, September 14 on FOX. Brandi Mudd, Shaun O'Neale and David Williams were the three remaining contestants in the competition, battling it out for the title and the grand prize of $250,000 in the two-hour finale.
Before the finale, %cGordon Ramsay% and %cChristina Tosi% visited the three finalists in their hometown, where each of them revealed their ideas for their next dishes on the show. When they returned to the kitchen, they began to prepare a three-course meal following an introduction by Gordon.
Brandi served a Bourbon braised pork belly with apricot barbecue sauce and a squash-parsnip puree for her appetizer. David cooked teet-cured salmon with a soft-boiled egg, filo dough, salmon roe and caviar. Shaun went with halibut cheek with vadouvan carrot puree, pickled mushrooms and uni foam. The judges loved Brandi's dish, while David's and Shaun's got mixed reviews.
Up next was the entree. Shaun presented his dish first, which was a spiced-rubbed venison with cipollini onions, smoked plums, black truffle and fiddlehead ferns. Brandi served cast-ironed seared duck breast with Andouille-greens, blackberry demi-glace and ramp hush puppies. David prepared cabbage-wrapped guinea hen with foie gras, morel mushrooms and yellow wine cream sauce, but he's not happy with it.
Shaun earned lots of praises for his dish. Guest judge Wolfgang Puck and Christina expected more from Brandi, but Gordon and another judge Daniel Boulud loved her dish. Meanwhile, the judges agreed that David didn't have the technique to prepare complicated dish like his entree.
For the dessert, Brandi prepared cornmeal Madeleine with bourbon caramel sauce, white chocolate mousse and glazed peaches. David presented his stuffed cherries with white chocolate glaze, cherry compote and cookie crumble and gold popping candy to the judges next. Shaun served salted caramel tart with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry coulis.
Gordon thought Brandi's cornmeal Madeleine was heavy and the other three judges felt the same way. Wolfgang said David's dish was a great marriage of textures and flavors. Wolfgang said Shaun's dessert was slightly undercooked, but the judges couldn't deny that it tasted delicious.
After some deliberation with the other judges, Gordon announced Shaun as the winner of "MasterChef" season 7. Besides the title and money, he got an opportunity to publish a cookbook. "I think I'm done with DJing," the now-former Las Vegas DJ jokingly said of what's in his future after winning the competition. "I feel like this is what I was put on this planet for," he said, adding, "This changes my life. All my dreams came true today. All of them."
Gordon praised Shaun in a statement after the episode aired, "Shaun has been a strong contender since the beginning of this season and continued to impress each of the guest judges. His passion, enthusiasm and dedication was evident."