MasterChef gives our Season 12 chefs a “Winners Mystery Box”

It’s time for the first Mystery Box of MasterChef Season 12. With 19 chefs in the kitchen, things are just going to get hotter and more difficult in the MasterChef Kitchen. And what better way to do that than with one of our favorite challenges, the mystery box.

And this time around, it is all about a box of ingredients chosen by a previous winner! In fact, for this challenge, the ingredient(s) were chosen by MasterChef Season 7 winner, Shaun O’Neale. With a Las Vegas themed box at their disposal, our Back to Win chefs were given the ultimate challenge of having to cook with alcohol. And that they means they will have to create a dish inspired by whatever spirit is in their box (and yes, every box has a different spirit).

The variety of spirits in those mystery boxes was definitely challenging if you didn’t get something you already know how to cook with. And yet, that’s what we love about these mysteries, the challenge of it all.

With at least three different duck dishes on the menu, it may be a battle of the ducks. Or perhaps it will be all about the pork dishes. Then again, it could always be Fred, Derrick, or Dara (and they aren’t the only dessert makers out there) with their dessert dishes that come out on top! Considering they have just 60 minutes to make magic happen, it will definitely be interesting to see how each of these MasterChef cheftestants makes the spirit the star of the show, without it completely ruining their dish.

MasterChef gives the returning chefs alcohol as their mystery box ingredient for the very first Mystery Box challenge!


MASTERCHEF: L-R: Gordon Ramsay, guest star Shaun O’Neale, Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich in the “Winners Mystery Box – Spirit of Vegas” airing Wednesday, June 22 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

Not only did we see a lot of flames in the kitchen, but there were also plenty of challenges, including Dara’s caramel crystalizing (which wasn’t good since her mystery box ingredient was in that caramel) and Michael’s duck breast over-cooking with less than 15 minutes to go.

As with any challenge, it is all about the clock. And this time around, that clock was definitely the enemy of the mystery box and our cheftestants.

So which chefs made it to the top three in this challenge? Christian with his Coconut Bang Shrimp (made with Mezcal), Fred with his Krem Pita (made with Apple Brandy), and finally there was Brandi with her Cast Iron Seared Salmon (made with Limoncello) for the top three. So which chef earned immunity pin? That would be Fred!

Of course, with the good, we have the not so great. And that means there is of course a bottom three. So who was in the bottom of the first Mystery Box challenge of the season? Unfortunately, the bottom three chefs were Dara with her Rum Soaked Cake (with Dark Rum), Cate with her Stone Fruit Spiced Cake (with Bourbon), and Tommy with his Sweet Potato Tartelette (made with Scotch).

In the end, the MasterChef competitor sent home was ultimately Cate.

What did you think of this challenge and who went home? We want to know.