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Top Finalists Revealed On "MasterChef"

May 27, 2014 - Last night on the Season Five premiere of MASTERCHEF, 30 of the best home cooks in America presented their signature dishes to the judging panel: host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot. 

Last night on the Season Five premiere of MASTERCHEF, 30 of the best home cooks in America presented their signature dishes to the judging panel: host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot. Following an intense first round of competition with unexpected twists and eliminations, the judges announced the talented hopefuls who proved worthy of a coveted white apron and will advance in the competition. The MASTERCHEF Season Five Top Finalists are: Francis Biondi, Whitney Bray, Cutter Brewer, Elizabeth Cauvel, Ahran Cho, Leslie Gilliams, Christian Green, Gordon Houston, Jordan Kaminski, Courtney Lapresi, Astrid Lavenia, Francis Legge, Elise Mayfield, Daniel McGuffey, Willie Mike, Kira Novak, Victoria Scroggins, Christine Silverstein, Stephani Syfax-Shepherd, Tyler Viars, Jaimee Vitolo and Dan Wu.

The competition continues on Monday, June 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, as the Top Finalists face their first mystery box challenge of the season. The contestants will have 90 minutes to cook a unique and impressive dish using mainly dessert ingredients including chocolate, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, brandy, ladyfingers, extracts, honey and ground coffee. The winner of the mystery box challenge will have a significant advantage in the next round and determine which classic American dishes the remaining contestants will have to prepare in the elimination round. At the end of the episode, the MASTERCHEF journey will end for two home cooks.

Below are the Top Finalists and the signature dish that earned them a MASTERCHEF apron:

  FRANCIS BIONDI                     Age: 25          
Hometown: Orlando, FL                Occupation: Server
Signature Dish: Crusted Halibut Cheeks on Moroccan Chickpea Ragu

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5FrancisB
Twitter: @MC5FrancisB
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  WHITNEY BRAY                     Age: 28
Hometown: Columbus, OH            Occupation: Call Center Representative
Signature Dish: Braised Pork Belly with Mustard Greens, Banana Mustard and Fingerling Potatoes

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Whitney
Twitter: @MC5Whitney
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  CUTTER BREWER                    Age: 33
Hometown: Beaumont, TX             Occupation: Petroleum Landman
Signature Dish: Venison Backstrap Lollipops with Fruit Chutney or Whiskey Gravy, Potato Salad

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Cutter  
Twitter: @MC5Cutter
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  ELIZABETH CAUVEL                     Age: 31
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY               Occupation: Advertising Executive  
Signature Dish: Peanut Butter Bread Pudding with Mixed Berry Compote

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Elizabeth
Twitter: @MC5Elizabeth
Link: YouTube / Embeddable 

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  AHRAN CHO                      Age: 18
Hometown: Palo Alto, CA               Occupation: High School Student 
Signature Dish: Korean Garlic Soy Fried Chicken

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Ahran
Twitter: @MC5Ahran    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________
  LESLIE GILLIAMS                          Age: 56
Hometown: Malibu, CA                   Occupation: Stay-At-Home Dad      
Signature Dish: Broiled Salmon with Citrus Glaze over Sautéed Spinach

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Leslie 
Twitter: @MC5Leslie
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  CHRISTIAN GREEN                         Age: 29
Hometown: New Orleans, LA           Occupation: Sales Representative
Signature Dish: Macadamia Crusted Chicken, Garlic Mash, with Two Signature Sauces

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Christian
Twitter: @MC5Christian    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  GORDON HOUSTON                        Age: 30
Hometown: Irvine, CA                       Occupation: Law School Graduate
Signature Dish: Sea Urchin Risotto

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Gordon 
Twitter: @MC5Gordon   
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  JORDAN KAMINSKI                        Age: 19

Hometown: Muskego, WI                Occupation: College Student
Signature Dish: Seared Scallops with Sautéed Leeks, Crispy Chorizo and Coconut Cilantro Sauce

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Jordan
Twitter: @MC5Jordan    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________
  COURTNEY LAPRESI                      Age: 25
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA           Occupation: Aerial Dancer  
Signature Dish: Ricotta Gnocchi in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Courtney 
Twitter: @MC5CourtneyL    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________
  ASTRID LAVENIA                       Age: 41
Hometown: Mandeville, LA              Occupation: Food Sales
Signature Dish: Coriander Crusted Shrimp with Duckfat Potato, Smoky Lardons with Jalapeno Emulsion

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Astrid
Twitter: www.twitter.com/MC5Astrid    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  FRANCIS LEGGE                        Age: 34
Hometown: New York, NY               Occupation: Music Video Director    
Signature Dish: Crazy Caprese Salad

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5FrancisL
Twitter: @MC5FrancisL   
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  ELISE MAYFIELD                      Age: 28
Hometown: Birmingham, AL            Occupation: e-Learning Administrator
Signature Dish: Blueberry Goat Cheese Hand Pies with Whipped Cream and Almond Brittle

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Elise
Twitter: @MC5Elise  
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  DANIEL McGUFFEY                       Age: 32
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA           Occupation: Video Game Designer 
Signature Dish: Deerly Beloved (Venison Tartar with Quail Egg and Tempura Okra)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Daniel
Twitter: @MC5Daniel    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________

 WILLIE MIKE                        Age: 25

Hometown: Houston, TX                  Occupation: Church Music Director
Signature Dish: White Wine Apricot Chicken, Almond Rice Pilaf and Cinnamon Roasted Carrots

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Willie 
Twitter: @MC5Willie   
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  KIRA NOVAK                        Age: 31
Hometown: Youngstown, OH           Occupation: Medical Recruiter
Signature Dish: Herbed Goat Cheese Crusted Steak with Roasted Habanero Red Pepper Sauce and garlic Cauliflower Puree

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Kira
Twitter: @MC5Kira    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  VICTORIA SCROGGINS          Age: 35
Hometown: San Angelo, TX              Occupation: Bartender
Signature Dish: Roasted Goat Heart with Parsnip, Celeriac and Pickled Beets

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Victoria 
Twitter: @MC5Victoria    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________
  CHRISTINE SILVERSTEIN         Age: 31
Hometown: Yonkers, NY                 Occupation: Investment Director
Signature Dish: Wild Boar Meatballs with Squash and Chestnut Radicchio Salad

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Christine 
Twitter: @MC5Christine   
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

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  STEPHANI SYFAX-SHEPHERD      Age: 25
Hometown: Detroit, MI                    Occupation: Server
Signature Dish: Lobster Polenta with Corne Maque Choux and Rose Beurre Monte Shellfish

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Stephani 
Twitter: @MC5Stephani   
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________
  TYLER VIARS                                 Age: 27
Hometown: Wilmington, OH             Occupation: Hunting Sales Manager
Signature Dish: Venison Chimichurri with Fried Potatoes

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Tyler
Twitter: @MC5Tyler    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________

JAIMEE VITOLO                              Age: 23
Hometown: Queens, NY                  Occupation: Bakery Assistant 
Signature Dish: Peanut Butter and Banana Elvis Cream Puffs with Bacon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Jaimee
Twitter: @MC5Jaimee    
Link: YouTube / Embeddable

________________________________________
  DAN WU                                          Age: 39
Hometown: Lexington, KY               Occupation: Unemployed 
Signature Dish: Home Alone (and All Grown) Ramen with Sriracha Pickled Peaches

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MC5Dan
Twitter: @MC5Dan
Link: YouTube / Embeddable


Later this season, the home cooks will prepare a hearty meal for more than 500 servicemen and women on an army base in the biggest field challenge in MASTERCHEF history. Then, the hopefuls will hit the beach to prepare an unforgettable two-course meal for a summer wedding, visit a local diner to prepare American classics, cook a romantic dinner for couples on date night at the MASTERCHEF restaurant, serve game-day favorites for hungry football fans and take command of a legendary Hollywood restaurant. With each new challenge, the pressure will mount as the home cooks compete for the coveted title of MASTERCHEF, a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

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