Follow TV Tropes


Characters / MasterChef

Go To

With ten seasons worth of contestants, this show has plenty of memorable (and dismemorable) people from the US Show.

Warning: This page contains spoilers as the folders go in order of who won each season, and the first one eliminated. You have been warned.

    open/close all folders 

The Judges

     General Tropes 
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between:
    • Season 1-5: Graham was "Nice", Joe was "Mean", and Gordon "In Between".
    • Season 6: Graham was "Nice", Gordon was "Mean", and Christina "In Between".
    • Season 8: Aarón was "Nice", Gordon was "Mean", and Christina "In Between".
    • Season 9 and 10: Aarón was "Nice", Gordon was "Mean", and Joe "In Between".
  • Supreme Chef: All of them are experts in their fields, most notably Gordon Ramsay. Even Joe, who is a restauranteur, has 24 restaurants and a winery. Everyone has given live cooking demonstrations at least once per season.

     Current Judges 

Gordon Ramsay

Judge: Seasons 1-Present
  • The Ace: It's Ramsay; you wouldn't expect anything less from this guy when it comes to cooking. Notably, whenever he joins the homecooks in a Mystery Box Challenge, he shows how well he can elevate an ingredient to 5-star quality.
  • Berserk Button: Raw food, not taking the competition seriously, talking back, Ramsay still has a plenty.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: When he puts on the chefs jacket, he goes into Chef Ramsay mode, with the same attitude you'd expect from Hell's Kitchen.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Hell's Kitchen, Ramsay is a lot more patient with the contestants as he's not dealing with professional chefs, and rarely yells unless he's expediting a Team Challenge (and wearing a chefs jacket). More so in the Junior edition, where it would be very rare for him to yell at children.
  • MacGyvering: In Season 7, he took part of the Mystery Box challenge, which consisted of only using a cast-iron pan, a wooden spoon, and a paring knife. Gordon picked a big daikon radish to use as a rolling pin.
  • Spot of Tea: In Season 4 Episode 6, Gordon also participated in the Mystery Box challenge, but instead of starting right away along with the contestants, he took his sweet time to talk to the other judges, interview the homecooks, and even make himself some tea. He made his dish in only 30 minutes and still delivered a dish that was above the rest.

Joe Bastianich

Judge: Seasons 1-5, 8 (guest), 9-Present
  • Bald of Awesome: He is the most refined and blunt of the judges, and has his head shaved.
  • Family Business: Joe is the son of renowned Italian chef Lydia Bastianich, making it clear where he got his taste and business sense. Lydia has been a special guest in Seasons 4 and 9.
  • Gratuitous Italian: He was raised in an Italian family in New York. He makes emphasis on the pronunciation of Italian dishes. In Season 3, he has a full conversation with Luca in Italian during his audition, later trolling Gordon about what they are really talking about.
  • Put on a Bus: Left the series after Season 5 due to conflicts in his schedule, but...
    • The Bus Came Back: After a guest appearance in the Season 8 finale, he returned back to being a full time judge in Season 9.
  • Running Gag: Had a habit of trashing the worst dishes by chucking them into the garbage bin right in front of the contestants as a demonstration of why they need to take the competition more seriously. This is most prominent in the first five seasons, as no dishes found their way to the bin in Season 9.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He is always wearing suits. Sometimes with dress shoes, and others with sneakers.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He is usually more calm and affable in MasterChef Junior, while in the adult version, he is even more critical and dry to the contestants, even throwing plates to the garbage if the dishes are exceptionally horrible. After returning in Season 9, Joe toned down his critiques and hasn't throw a single dish to the trash can. Even Ramsay lampshaded it during the Season 10 auditions.
    Ramsay: Did you swallow a nice pill, what's happened to you?
    Joe: I am nice to nice food. This [[ravioli]] is nice food, so Joe want's to be nice to the nice ravioli.
  • Tranquil Fury: Easily the most feared of the three original judges because of this. As noted above though, he's toned things down from Season 9 onward.

Aarón Sanchez

Judge: Seasons 7 (guest), 8-present
  • Ascended Extra: He was originally a guest judge for Season 7 and appeared in episodes 5-7. Come Season 8, he joined Gordon and Christina as the third judge.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Describing the good dishes as "Text book" or "Dynamite!"
  • Gratuitous Spanish: During Season 9, he has a lot of moments where he says some phrases in Spanish, even while expediting during a team challenge.
  • Token Minority: He is the only Mexican-American judge in the panel, next to Scottish Gordon, Italian-American Joe, and Americans Graham and Christina.

     Past Judges 

Graham Elliot

Judge: Seasons 1-6
  • Big Fun: He was big and was always nice to the contestants. He slimmed down considerably in Season 5.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Graham rarely gets angry, but in Season 6, he almost protested Darah's decision to save people based on smiling over actual work. However had to let it slide.
  • Formerly Fat: While still big, he slimmed down considerably by Season 5, having adopted a healthier lifestyle.
  • Put on a Bus: He leaves the judge panel after Season 6.

Christina Tosi

Judge: Seasons 6-8
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't let her appearance fool you. She can be stern and direct whenever is necessary.
    We are here because you lost, so instead of telling us what your team did great, it's time to really face the fact that you guys are here facing a Pressure Test because you lost!
  • The Bus Came Back: She returns in Season 9 to be a guest judge for a Cupcake Pressure Test.
  • Put on a Bus: Played with. While she's no longer a main judge after Joe's return, she still remains a judge for Masterchef Junior.
  • Smurfette Principle: She is the only female judge.
  • Sweet Tooth: Her specialty is pastry.



     Season 1 

Whitney Miller

Occupation: College Student
  • The Cameo: She returned briefly in Season 2 to help out in a challenge featuring one of her dishes from her cookbook. Season 2 contestant Jennifer picked her catfish dish.
She also returns for season 10's finale.
  • Red Baron: Many of the other contestants referred to her as the "Pastry Princess" due to her talent with baking. Most notably was her chocolate souffle dish as she made only one cake with no other back ups, and it was PERFECT!
  • Southern Belle: She's from Mississippi.
  • Weak, but Skilled: At the age of 22, Whitney doesn't have the experience or knowledge of elevated dishes as most of the other contestants had, but she managed to make it up with some worthy dishes.
  • What Were You Thinking?: In the final five challenge, she decided to make a dish that used canned tomatoes for her sauce for food critics, and even outright told the judges what was used. This landed her in the bottom two with Sharone, and even a flabbergasted Ramsay pointed out that she could have used fresh tomatoes that were in the kitchen instead.

David Miller

Occupation: Software Engineer
  • Beware the Silly Ones: On the surface, he's a jokester and may not look like he takes the competition seriously enough. But, come push to shove, he can pull it out. It's why he made it to the final two with Whitney.

Lee Knaz

Occupation: Bartender

Sheetal Bhagat

Occupation: Teacher
  • Deaf Composer: As a Hindu, she doesn’t eat meat. She manages to impress the judges with a baked egg and a crab curry.
  • Heroic BSoD: Suffered one during the Crab Mystery Box Challenge as the thought of killing an animal put her in a panic attack (being of Hindu religion, this would have gone against her beliefs). Despite Ramsay offering to kill the crab for her, she sucked it up and managed to make a dish worthy of Top 3.

Sharone Hakman

Occupation: Financial Advisor
  • Character Filibuster: During the food critic challenge he tells the critics his life's story to the point of boring the critics.
  • What Were You Thinking?: For the food critic challenge, he somehow thought that making a dish from fish liver was a good idea. This landed him in the bottom along with Whitney.

Michael "Mike" Kim

Occupation: Server

Jacob "Jake" Gandolfo

Occupation: Construction Worker
  • Identical Stranger: Graham backed Jake up to get the apron and related to him because both shared similar things, like body shape and arm tattoos.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He is a big construction worker who enjoys cooking delicate Italian dishes and desserts.

Tracy Nailor

Occupation: Doctor
  • Heroic B So D: She starts crying when the icing on a cupcake based on her mother's carrot cake recipe falls over.
  • Jaw Drop: Had this after Joe trashed Slim's dish into the trash bin, as she never saw him get that pissed off before.

Kim "Slim" Dung Huynh

Occupation: College Student
  • Epic Fail: Her passion fruit fondue dish became the first dishonorable dish of being sent to the infamous Joe trash bin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: When in the bottom two with Whitney, Ramsay asked her what she would have done differently if given another chance. Her answer? Make the same dish again, but use less ginger. Naturally, it was not the answer the judges were looking for and she was sent home not long after.

Anthony "Tony" Carbone

Occupation: Server
  • What Were You Thinking?: During the Pressure Test, he kicked himself after confusing a Star Fruit with a Passion Fruit, setting his own ingredient record to 9 ingredients, and ensuring a pretty low bar for his fellow contestants.

Faruq Jenkins

Occupation: Bartender

Jenna Hamiter

Occupation: Homemaker
  • Irony: The pressure test she was eliminated on was a taste test on Texas-styled chill. Despite being from Texas, she failed to get enough points to keep her safe, and had to watch every other chef get higher scores than her.

Sheena Zadeh

Occupation: Marketing Executive

Avis White

Occupation: Elderly Caregiver

     Season 2 

Jennifer Behm

Occupation: Realtor
  • Arch-Enemy: Christian
  • Book-Ends: She was the first contestant to audition this season and the last homecook standing.
  • The Cameo: Returned in Season 10, alongside Season 3 winner Christina and Season 7 winner Shaun, during the audition round, the pool party challenge and the finale.
  • One Steve Limit: She shares the same name with fellow contestant Jennie Kelley
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: In her audition, she described herself as "A boy with boobs". She was a former Miss Delaware.
  • What Were You Thinking?:
    • During the Ravioli Pressure Test, Jennifer placed in the bottom two because she made her pasta with nutmeg, which overpowered both the filling and the butter sauce. She only avoided elimination because Tony made a subpar dish.
    • Was on the receiving end of this from Gordon word for word for her infamous pork and sauerkraut dish, a homemade dish from her childhood that was lacking in both flavor and visual appeal. It was quickly shown to the garbage can by Joe, but Jennifer soon bounced back from this misfire.
    • Her decision to stay and cook instead of accepting immunity during the truffle challenge nearly proved fatal for her as she brought up a subpar dish that consisted of a coddled egg topped with cheese and truffle. While the judges admired her choice to stay and cook for the fact that she didn't want to take the easy way into the Top Ten, they were quick to criticize her decision when she couldn't deliver on the challenge.

Adrien Nieto

Occupation: Server
  • Achilles' Heel: Plating seemed to be a serious one for him. One especially egregious case of this was during the challenge to recreate Whitney Miller's fried catfish, which required the contestants to get the plating near-identical as well. On top of failing to nail the flavor of the dish, the judges were baffled when Adrien presented his recreation on a rectangular plate instead of the round one used by Whitney, resulting in a cluttered dish. Joe was so pissed off that he demonstrated the simplicity of this by taking Adrien's dish apart and rearranging it on a new plate in the manner of Whitney's for all to see. His chocolate torte was another, as it was exploding with nuts and cocoa powder, and finally his truffle fillet on a bed of chili, plated in a way that had Gordon comparing it to the contents of a colonoscopy bag.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When he won a Mystery Box, his advantage was to choose nuts for his dessert, while the others had to work with coffee. He got too excited with the advantage, that he ended up doing a torte with all the nuts from the pantry, resulting in a confusing mix of flavors that the judges found underwhelming. He only avoided the Bottom 3 because Alvin, Max and Jennie did worse.
  • Nice Guy: He doesn't trash talk his competition in the confessional, and all his advantages are strategic rather than personal.
  • What Were You Thinking?: During the truffle challenge his idea of an aphrodisiac dish was to infuse his truffle with a fillet mignon which rested atop a bed of chili. Not only was the dish visually unappealing and badly plated, but Graham noted that he could barely make out the truffle in his dish and felt that Adrien had missed the point of the challenge.

Christian Collins

Occupation: Stay-at-home dad
  • Arch-Enemy: He was this with Jennifer and Suzy.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In his audition bio, Christian mentioned that he was a Fallheavy drug user before realizing that he needed to be in his son's life more.
  • Never My Fault: When the judges called him out for making the worst Vegetarian dish of the Mystery Box challenge, he immediately argued that Esther's dish looked worst than his, irritating everybody in the process.
  • Smug Snake: After a few episodes, he starts to berate his competition in the confessional, specifically Suzy and Jennifer
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Probably the biggest example of this in MasterChef. He started as one of the strong contestants with a sympathetic side, but gradually became more cocky and arrogant to the others. Notably this happened when Max was eliminated, leaving the "villain" spot open.
  • What Were You Thinking?: In one Mystery Box Challenge, Christian was caught eating his dish after he was not called up for the Top 3, during Jennifer's critique. That led to Joe threatening him with elimination if he ever tried that again.

Susan "Suzy" Singh

Occupation: Neural Engineer
  • Bollywood Nerd: She has a background of Neural Engineer, applying the same complexity to her dishes.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
    • While very intelligent and overachieving, Suzy had the tendency to choose dishes out of her expertise in an attempt to show off. One example was during their first Team Challenge, where she offered to make a lasagna, despite never in her life having done one. Unsurprisingly, the lasagna was horrible and was the dish that gathered the less votes. Nobody wanted to hear her cry about it.
    • Another good example was her glazed pork belly platter with spaetlze, gravy and a mystery sauce made from cloves in a bizarre play on German cuisine. After having just badmouthed Christine's dish, which was extremely well-received, Suzy's unappetizing-looking dish was royally ripped to shreds by the judges, who found her extremely bitter sauce to be inedible. Joe called her delusional for even attempting the bizarre techniques she used, and if not for Alejandra's raw pork she almost certainly would've been eliminated.
  • Teacher's Pet: She describes herself as a perfectionist, and would usually be the girl who reminded the teacher to leave homework. Christian, Max and Christine often badmouthed her in the confessionals because of her ego.
  • Tempting Fate: During the pork challenge, she badmouths Christine's pork dish, which had just received glowing reviews from the judges and says she'd like to see Christine pull off a pork belly dish (Which she was tasked with) before she gives any cred to Christine's ability. A few moments later, cue the judges all telling Suzy that her overly-bitter pork belly platter tasted terrible, and that even if she wasn't eliminated for it she deserved to be.

Benjamin "Ben" Starr

Occupation: Travel Writer
  • Broken Pedestal: Not during his season, but much later. During an interview, he admitted that many of the show's moments were faked for drama, and he Rage Quit blogging about the following seasons after he disagreed with one of the season winners.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Happened twice
    • He said one of his passions was his pumpkin and carrot cake, a recipe he has been perfecting over the years. It came handy when he actually wins the challenge by producing the best six-layer cake from the group.
    • In his audition, he promised Gordon to impress him with a Shepherd's Pie. One of the Mystery Boxes had the exact ingredients for Shepherd's Pie, giving him a chance to fulfill that promise. Not only did he win, but won over Suzie, who also did the same dish.
  • Full-Name Basis: Gordon almost always referred to him as Ben Starr.
  • Nice Hat: Ben is seen with a lot of different hats through out the competition. Gordon once mocked his hats.
    Gordon: Next up. Pizza! We had a true Italian against an American with a ridiculous hat.
  • The One Guy: His team challenge for the Hollywood Party was composed of women... and him.

Tracy Kontos

Occupation: Sales Consultant

Derrick Prince

Occupation: Web Designer/Blogger
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite looking like a member of a death metal band, he was actually very decent and mellow. The judges even joke that he should be working in the back to avoid scaring the children from the challenge.

Christine Corley

Occupation: Single Mom
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: During her audition round, she had a glass of wine on hand to calm her nerves.
  • Percussive Therapy: When Esther chose to leave Christine and Max in the Pressure Test, Esther hoped Christine wasn't picturing her face on her cutting board. Cue to Christine angrily smashing her ingredients.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Has a two-year-old son that she raises alone.

Alejandra Schrader

Occupation: Architect/Urban Planner
  • Failed a Spot Check: A game ending version as she failed to notice that her pork was raw on the bottom during an elimination challenge, resulting in her elimination.
  • What Were You Thinking?: In the Recreation Challenge, Alejandra added raw garlic to her dill tarter sauce, making it very overwhelming to the other flavors on the dish. Not only was it deemed her weakest performance at the time, she was nearly eliminated that episode.

Giuseppe Morisco

Occupation: Granite Salesman
  • Irony: He often mentions that his friends would give him a hard time if he didn't nail a pizza challenge, and he ends up losing against Ben Starr. During the Pressure Test, he says that despite being Italian, he doesn't like ravioli.
  • Nice Guy: He never had any negative comments about his fellow competitors, and during his elimination, Gordon highlights how much of a good heart he has.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Gordon got pissed at him when Giuseppe said that Gordon's mom had different taste.
  • Token Minority: He is the only Italian in the cast

Erryn Cobb

Occupation: Public Relations
  • Critical Research Failure: Invoked. During the French Cuisine challenge, he presented a beef carpaccio, which Joe and Gordon noted that it's an Italian dish. He barely escaped elimination because Angel and Mark did worse.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Of the non-fatal variety, naturally. After having completely destroyed his steak dish during the truffle challenge, he landed in the Bottom Two with Adrien. Given the chance to hand over his apron and admit he had the worst dish, Erryn accepted his defeat so that Adrien would not have to take the fall for it, as he had at least cooked his dish properly. The judges praised Erryn for his noble move.

Esther Kang

Occupation: Lawyer
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: During her audition, she begged for the judges to give her a chance, since she left her job as an attorney to try competing in the show.
  • The Millstone: Was this for the blue team during the Private Party Team Challenge as her attempts at Chocolate Profiteroles led to two wrecked batches, and a broken mousse. This forced the blue team to scramble together a dainty dessert of chopped berries with cream in a paper cup at the last minute, and costing them the challenge.

Jennifer "Jennie" Kelley

Occupation: Musician
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Her salmon dish, which she cooked into a tart of all things impressed all the judges, who found hers to be the most unique and daring dish of the challenge.
  • One Steve Limit: She went by "Jennie" to avoid confusion with Jennifer Behm

Max Kramer

Occupation: College Student
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He was the youngest contestant, at age 18.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: He is so accustomed to fancy ingredients and restaurants, that he failed to lead a team challenge based on cafeteria food.
  • Graceful Loser: Played with. While he took his defeat well and wished some of his fellow contestants the best, he wished ill on Esther, Christian, and Suzy, warning the three that their time of defeat will come.
  • Spoiled Brat: He has been raised as a rich kid from Manhattan, whose parents often took him to fancy restaurants. Once in the competition, he looked down on everyone, considering them inferior.

Alvin Schultz

Occupation: Retail Manager
  • Complexity Addiction: As an engineer, he loves making dishes with advanced machines and molecular cuisine. This didn't help him at making a coffee dessert, resulting in a coffee pudding so bitter that it got him eliminated.
  • Nice Guy: Was deeply respected by the other contestants and initially seemed poised to work his way to the top. The aforementioned coffee challenge though proved his undoing, much to the dismay of his fellow competitors.

Anthony "Tony" Scruggs

Occupation: Trucker
  • Badass Mustache: He has a big bushy one. The badass part is subverted in that he was the third contestant to be eliminated from the competition.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Even thought Max was already a bad leader, he refused to get orders from him because of his age.

Angel Moore-Soukkay

Occupation: Property Manager
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: During her audition, she got on her knees and begged the judges to give her an apron. Gordon decided to give it to her.
  • Epic Fail: Tried to make a fruit tart, but presented a very sad soupy custard with fruit, ensuring her elimination.
  • Graceful Loser: She knew her fruit tart was a complete disaster and completely owned up to the blunder. She was nevertheless grateful for having had the opportunity to compete despite her early elimination.

Mark Raffaeli

Occupation: Realtor
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: During the French Elimination Challenge, Mark's dish was a simple steak with Bearnaise sauce on it, and when Joe asked why he did that, he simply said that it was French.
  • Epic Fail: Made a very big error on his mashed potatoes by adding raw flour into them in an attempt to thicken them. This led to his elimination.

     Season 3 

Christine Hà

Occupation: MFA Student
  • Beginner's Luck: She was very insecure about baking an apple pie because she couldn't tell if the colors of the crust were right inside the oven. Gordon praised her pie as one of top of the class that night, encouraging her to be more confident.
  • The Cameo: Returns a couple of times in the series such as Season 4 and 6 when she helped out in an elimination challenge. She also returned in Season 10, along with Season 2 winner Jennifer and Season 7 winner Shaun, during the audition round and finale.
  • Deaf Composer: Since she lost her sight at age 14, she has to rely on her other senses and memory to plate dishes. A prominent example was the Apple Pie Pressure Test, where she ended up doing the second best pie of the lot, despite her own insecurities with the color of the crust.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: She is the first blind contestant to compete in MasterChef and she won. She comments that she wanted to be taken seriously during the competition rather than just being "inspirational"
  • Picked Last: For most of the team challenges. Not because she was a poor cook, but because the team captains had no idea what to do with her due to her disability. Subverted when Becky picked her as her first choice in the Restaurant takeover Team Challenge.
  • Promoted Fangirl: She became a full-on judge in season 3 of MasterChef Vietnam.

Joshua "Josh" Marks note 

Occupation: Army Contract Specialist
  • The Big Guy: The tallest of the chefs that season.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He was a very respectful to his fellow competitors, even helping Christine follow the tortellini demonstration with their hands. When David Martinez was in need of someone giving him some rice, the judges openly asked who would have given him help, with Josh being the only one who didn’t raise his hand, because he is taking the competition seriously.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: He got eliminated, but gained a chance to return to the competition by beating Scott, Ryan, Stacey, Tali, Anna, Tanya and Cowboy Mike.

Rebecca "Becky" Reams

Occupation: Food Photographer
  • The Ace: She was considered the one to beat, landing in the top three most of the time
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Epic Fail: While still considering herself a top contender, she tried to show off to the judges that she was capable of combining exotic flavors. Result? She made a trifle that, while looking beautiful, tasted weird because of the star anise she incorporated. This landed her in the bottom three and gave her negative points with the judges.
  • Insufferable Genius: While rightfully talented, the others were sick of listening to her whine about not winning a challenge. When she finally wins a Mystery Box, she can't stop jumping and squeeing all the way to the pantry, getting everyone annoyed at her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Of the good kind. When David Martinez was in need of some rice for his dish, Becky graciously gave him the spare rice she had. While David landed in the Bottom Two for doing a bad dessert, Becky won the challenge along with Frank.

Franklin "Frank" Mirando

Occupation: Stockbroker
  • Beginner's Luck: He regrets his choice of taking the Pressure Test after being told it was apple pie. Fortunately, he produced a very decent pie that the judges praised.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Subverted. He excels at Italian cuisine, but not all his entries gained good results. His team lost because he suggested making pasta for Marines, and in another challenge the judges scolded him for going to his comfort zone as a security blanket.
  • Honor Before Reason: After losing their first team challenge, he accepts responsibility for his team's defeat and commits to take the Pressure Test and save someone else.
    • When David Martinez borrows rice from Becky, the judges openly ask if anyone else would have lend him ingredients, and he, along with everyone except Josh, raised the hand.
      Frank: I know this is a competition, but there's not enough honorable people out there. And if he's gonna go down, he's gonna go down because his dish sucks.
  • Hypocrite: Frank, who did not save himself the first time he was a losing captain of a pressure test but did the second time, despite admitting beforehand the second time that Josh deserved the immunity. Unlike other examples, Frank was clearly unhappy with his choice and knew it was a bad move.
  • Springtime for Hitler: He is on the receiving end when Felix gives him a catfish, thinking that his Crippling Overspecialization on Italian food would trip him with a fish mostly associated with Southern cuisine. It turns out that Frank made the best dish that night.

Mairym "Monti" Carlo

Occupation: Homemaker
  • Arch-Enemy: She had an intense feud with Ryan and Tali
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Both her and her son, who she named "Danger"
    Monti: He is gonna love me for that in college.''
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Catchphrase: Shut your mouth!
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When Ryan forced her to use canned crab for an Elimination Challenge, she decided to go for broke and make a Scotched Egg with it. Even though Ramsay was the most skeptical of the dish, he fully admitted to enjoying it when it came to judging.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Had many comebacks in and out of the confessionals
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Since she is Puerto Rican, she has said many phrases in Spanish. During the Breakfast Hotel challenge, she expedites while yelling in both English and Spanish. Much later, David Martinez asked Monti for rice in Spanish.
  • Struggling Single Mother: When the show aired, she was fresh out of a divorce, having to raise Danger all by herself. The judges noted that her sadness reflected in many of her early dishes.
  • Team Mom: She has a young son who she talks about frequently, also she comforts other contestants when their food gets a bad review from the judges.

David Martinez

Occupation: Educational Administrator
  • All the Other Reindeer: Most of the contestants considered him a fluke, and the returning homecooks thought he was holding a place they deserved more than him.
  • Arch-Enemy: Both Ryan and Tali had it against him.
  • Elimination Houdini: Invoked. Many of the contestants even called him “Nine lives” each time he was spared from elimination.
  • Epic Fail:
    • In Episode 10, the challenge was to cook a dish on a pizza stone.note  David was one of those who elected not to make a pizza, instead cooking a lobster and potato soup dish with all of the ingredients cooked individually on the stone. The judges noted his struggle with the dish and Graham was immediately critical of its lackluster presentation, and the taste did not make up for the shabby mixture. Joe was equally put off by the dish, sending David off and then, in his usual fashion, sending the dish to the waste bin, slamming it in and actually sending some nearby cookware flying across the counter. The entire kitchen fell silent, and David braced himself for what looked like certain elimination. However, he was ultimately spared that night when Mike and Tanya were both sent home instead.
    • In Episode 11, David presented an over-seasoned Yellow Tail, which offended the judges given that it was the second most expensive fish of the lot, placing him in the Bottom Two.
    • David's misadventure in episode 15, yet again. After winning a mystery box challenge, he was asked to choose one from three commonly known ingredients for savory dishes to cook a dessert with for everyone including him. He chose corn since his mother used to make corn and rice pudding for him. He also had an advantage to set three examples of dessert corn dishes (corn and rice pudding being one of them) and pick ingredients from the pantry right after. Since he had been looked down upon by most competitors, he proudly declared that he would be taken seriously after this... and proceeded to forget his rice after exiting the pantry, which became a subject of ridicule by Joe during tasting and Josh in Confession Cam. Even when Becky gave him the rice, his pudding was bashed by judges for being underseasoned and lacking in corn flavor. Joe especially went so far as saying David's dish was really "unedibly disgusting." He was only saved because Felix managed to perform worse than him.
  • The Eeyore: A downplayed example, but he was more often seen frowning than smiling.
  • Full-Name Basis: Even after David Mack was eliminated, people still referred to him by his full name.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: He has Mexican heritage. He once asked Monti for rice in Spanish.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: During the Tag Team Challenge, he was paired with Becky to make a sushi platter. Despite never preparing sushi himself, his only knowledge came from eating in a Japanese restaurant. One of the indications he tried to give Becky was to soak the nori before doing the rollsnote .
  • One Steve Limit: He and David Mack share the same name

Felix Fang

Occupation: Food Runner
  • Achilles' Heel: Gordon asked her if desserts were this for her while judging her last dish.
  • Asian Hooker Stereotype: Invoked. During her audition, she jokingly said to the judges "Me love you long time" as a reference to her hair and looks.
  • Attack Backfire: Her advantage to assign everyone an specific fish missed the mark with almost everyone. Frank, Becky and Monti, who had the most difficult fish, succeeded to impress the judges, while she had troubles with her own halibut, and Christine (who she tried to help by giving her a salmon) landed in the bottom.
  • Odango Hair: She wore her hair this way in her audition (making the joke above) and in some challenges as well.
  • Tender Tears: She was driven to tears when the judges panned her "free-form" Tiramisu with macadamia nuts, considering it the most embarrassing thing she has presented.

Stacey Amagrande

Occupation: Market Manager
  • Crazy Enough to Work: During the Dessert challenge, she planned to make a Balsamic Strawberry triffle, which had Gordon and Joe very skeptical. To their surprise, it turned out to be the best dessert of the night.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She is a recovering alcoholic, finding cooking as an important key in her rehab

Tali Clavijo

Occupation: Musician
  • Arch-Enemy: With Monti and David Martinez
  • Complexity Addiction: Tali loves to use complex techniques to his dishes, to the point of overworking them. What gets him eliminated was his idea of cook an artic char in a sous vide, instead of going the easier way by pan searing it. Graham promptly called him out for using terms like "emulsify" without actually knowing how to apply them properly. He proved to be a very decent cook when he went simple with apple pie and strawberry shortcake (the most he did to it was a strawberry foam, but still kept the overall recipe simple)
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: An especially bad case of such considering he made it to the Top 9; his risotto is a good example as it included among other things hazelnuts, gooseberries, raspberries, among other things the chefs wouldn't dream of putting near a risotto. Most of his other dishes suffered from ill-considered preparation, with his infamous crab dish proving too difficult to eat.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Perhaps the kindest thing that could be said of his.....unique approach in the kitchen. While every single one of his dishes certainly stood out visually (Usually for the worse), the taste never came through on any of them due to the liberties he took in their preparation.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Ryan named themselves "The Dream Team"
  • Never My Fault: He had a hard time seeing the flaws in his cooking techniques, thinking the judges simply misunderstood him.
  • Nice Hat: Occasionally wore a fedora in the kitchen.
  • Nightmare Fuel: His dish from the crab pressure test bears a resemblence to a facehugger.
  • One-Hit Wonder: His strawberry shortcake was one of the only dishes he produced to excel over the others in the kitchen. Graham absolutely loved it, but sadly this comeback didn't last for long.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He fancied himself as an "artistic genius", but that never was reflected on his food
  • Trash of the Titans: Gordon took a moment to scold Tali for leaving his station a disaster, all his dirty pans and pots on the floor and the counter and stove stained with flour. Gordon warned him that he would be fired from his kitchen in a minute, and closed with describing his resulting dish with "If you cook in a mess, you produce a mess"

Tanya Noble

Occupation: Sociology Student
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Her strategy during the dessert challenge brought down several of the frontrunners who had taken too many risks with their respective dishes, among them Felix for her sad-looking "free form" tiramisu and Becky for making a trifle bowl who's bizarre mishmash of flavors proved inedible; the judges were very impressed with her strategy after seeing the struggle of so many strong players.
  • Nice Girl: She was so nice that she even could see the good in both Tali and Ryan. When she got the advantage of giving her competition a dessert to make, she did so by her competition's strengths, more worried about people being pissed at her.
  • Prone to Tears: She crumbled during a Pressure Test, crying when the judges saw her poorly constructed tortellini.

Michael "Mike" Hill

Occupation: Contractor

Anna Rossi

Occupation: Pharmaceutical Sales Rep
  • Career Versus Man: Averted. Both she and her husband passed the auditions, and made it clear that they had a Friendly Rivalry instead. When she got into the main competition, her husband was genuinely happy for her.
  • Epic Fail: Her final episode had her making a lot of mistakes when making her tortellini dish. First she made her pasta with a food processor, instead of doing it by hand. Then she used a knife when closing the pasta, which punctured the tortellini before boiling them. On top of all that, she forgot to check the flame of her stove, not getting her tortellini to properly cooked.

Scott Little

Occupation: Interactive Producer
  • Achilles' Heel: Baking. All the challenges that included them landed him in the bottom. On his first Mystery Box, he gets called out for doing duck profiteroles. Then he failed at doing an apple pie. In the dessert challenge, Tanya chose for him a strawberry shortcake, the easiest one to make, and he was eliminated on it.
  • Nice Guy: He rejected immunity for a pressure test, since he didn't feel comfortable leaving the rest of his team. During his elimination, the judges praised overall his work ethic and good heart.
  • Nice Hat: Wore a cap in most of his appearances.

Ryan Umane

Occupation: Unemployed
  • Arch-Enemy: With Monti and David Martinez
  • Achilles' Heel: Desserts. He gets eliminated for a poorly prepared Molten Lava cake, and again gets defeated in the comeback challenge in a dessert round against Josh.
  • Attack Backfire: When Ryan wins the advantage of choosing who gets to work with either fresh or canned crab, Ryan tries to trip Christine with a live crab, Monti with a canned crab, and help Tali with a live crab. As a result, both Christine and Monti got to impress the judges, while Tali landed in the bottom.
  • Expy: To Max from season 2 both arrogant New Yorkers who come from from money and ultimately finish in 14th place.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Tali named themselves "The Dream Team"
  • Jerkass: He rubbed most of his competition in a wrong way.
    • During the first Mystery Box challenge, he and Samantha landed in the bottom. Before the judges could say their decision, without being asked, he quickly threw Samantha under the bus by remarking that her duck was raw, instead of talking about his own strengths. All the other contestants saw this as a dick move.
    • He told Monti to flash her boobs to the soldiers to get votes, later waving it off as a joke.
    • He constantly talked smack about everyone except his close friends, mostly insulting Monti and David Martinez for no particular reason other than his dislike of them.
  • Know When To Fold Them: Even though he specifically gave Christine live crab to trip her up, he admitted how good the dish tasted when Ramsay called him down to taste.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Everybody hated him during his time due to his poor attitude. It's very telling that when he came back for a second chance, nobody cheered for him.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Has one during the crab elimination challenge after Christine pierces herself with the crab, paired with an Evil Laugh from the balcony.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: What he had in common with Tali. During his audition, he told the judges that he has unemployed for 18 months, claiming that there wasn't a job worthy of his skills. He even referred to himself as "The Flavor Elevator"

Helene Leeds

Occupation: Health Coach
  • Completely Missing the Point: She set her pan on fire, which Gordon had to put out himself. Her reaction? First she was amazed that Gordon saved the day as the knight in shiny armour, and when she laughed at that like it was a silly mistake, Gordon outright tells her that it's not funny, could have been really dangerous, and she's on thin ice after this incident.
  • What Were You Thinking?: During the risotto challenge, she presented the judges an undercooked risotto with burdock root wrapped scallops shaped like little baskets. Not only it looked ridiculous, but the burdock prevented the scallops from cooking properly, resulting in raw centers.

Michael Chen

Occupation: Meteorology Student
  • Straight Gay: During his audition, Gordon asks him if he had a girlfriend.
    Gordon: Girlfriend?
    Michael: I'm gay, actually.
    Gordon: (without missing a beat) Boyfriend?
  • What Were You Thinking?: He topped his apple pie with cheese to give it a bit of texture and an added kick. It sadly did not work out as such and he was eliminated for it.

David "Dave" Mack

Occupation: Caviar Sales Director
  • Shout-Out: How he describes standing in front of the judges during the top 36 elimination challenge.]]
    "I'm standing in front of the judges, [[Music/Eminem))palms are sweaty,knees weak,]] there's no way I'm letting them send me home tonight."

Samantha De Silva

Occupation: Design Consultant
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The only time of her important appearance was in the Bottom three during the Duck Mystery Challenge, and she was eliminated in that challenge.

     Season 4 

Luca Manfè

Occupation: Restaurant Manager
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Despite his good nature and cordial behavior to his fellow contestants, he knew how to play the game smart.
  • The Cameo: Returns in both Season 5 and 6 to help out in the Elimination Challenges that featured his signature dish and Italian ingredients respectively.
  • The Determinator: He didn't pass the Season 3 auditions. He returned the following year, successfully passing this time, and eventually won the entire competition
  • Graceful Loser: After his advantage to handicap Jordan failed, he happily compliments Jordan's cupcake, and congratulates him.
  • Happily Married: With his wife Kate, who was with him during both of his auditions, family visits and the Finale. When Joe's kids ask him if they have any children, Luca responds that they are going to start making babies after he wins.
  • Honor Before Reason: He lends his competition ingredients, despite being in the middle of elimination. He can’t simply stop being the nice guy.
  • Meet Cute: Subverted. Kate tells the judges that she met Luca when he was the restaurant manager and she was hired as a waitress. Luca wanted to fire her two weeks later. They would eventually marry some time later.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: As a true Italian, he always was wearing suits with vests.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He was initially a middle ground chef who was in the bottom a few times, but excelled in more challenges as the competition continued, leading to his eventually victory.
  • What Were You Thinking?: In Episode 11, he thought it was a good idea to make a crab risotto using fish sauce, because he wanted to use one of Christine Ha's favorite ingredients (since she was the main guest for the challenge). The judges not only panned his dish, but also Christine admitted that she would never use fish sauce on a risotto.

Natasha Crnjac

Occupation: Stay-at-Home Mom
  • Alpha Bitch: She was both tough competition and didn't care about making friends between the cast.
  • Berserk Button: Never call her food “disgusting”. Beth had the bad luck of poorly choosing her words, which sent Natasha into an angry rant that made Beth cry.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She genuinely felt bad for Krissi when her son couldn't be there, since as a mother, she knows how much that sucks.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Rarely emoted during the competition, and always had a resting face on her.
  • Proud Beauty: She often commented that she wasn't just "a pretty girl who looks good cooking".
  • The Rival: Jessie, Luca and Krissi considered her the one to beat.
  • She's Got Legs: She often wore mini skirts and shorts.

Jessica "Jessie" Lysiak

Occupation: Yacht Stewardess
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Epic Fail: Her cupcakes in Episode 6, and the bird challenge in Episode 19 are her most memorable hiccups during the competition.
  • Fingore: During the Glee Team Challenge, she accidentally chopped the tip of her index finger with a mandoline slicer.
  • Southern Belle: She's from Social Cirle, Georgia. For the Paula Deen challenge, she was determined to win it to represent her state.

Krissi Biasiello

Occupation: Paralegal
  • Arch-Enemy: It’s actually easier to count who isn’t she enemies with. She especially had it against Bri, Natasha, Bime and Jordan.
  • Hypocrite: She had a lot of these moments. Namely...
    • After the first team challenge, Jordan, captain of the losing team, was told to save three people, and he could choose to save himself, which he did, and teammate Krissi openly called it "a bitch move". After the third team challenge, the losing team being led by Krissi and including Jordan, Krissi was told she could pick and choose which teammates would compete in the pressure test (and she decided to keep there people she disliked like Bime, who scored many of the points for their team). She chose Jordan as one of the competitors, and saved herself. Jordan IMMEDIATELY called her out on it, while the others could only laugh at this.
    • Later in the competition, Krissi talks trash about Bri when Bri gives a name to one of her dishes (a dish which got her the win in that particular challenge). Move on to another challenge, and Krissi gives one of her dishes a name too.
    • Later, after she and Jessie lost their team challenge, Jessie, Luca and Natasha started to talk among themselves about how Krissi ruined it for Jessie by walking out and not knowing how to make a simple crepe. Krissi could hear them and went to confront them for talking behind her back. All the way back in Episode 11, Joe reprimanded Krissi for talking behind his back for disagreeing with his critique.
  • Fat Bastard: Female example. She is loud, brash, rude to her fellow competitors, and uses her son as an excuse for her actions in the competition.
  • Hate Sink: After Sasha and Kathy were eliminated, all of the remaining constestants didn't like her in the slightest. Her teamwork was awful, she wasn't shy of throwing people under the bus, or bully people, even threatening to punch anyone who pissed her off.
  • The Millstone: All the teams that had her ended up losing. The only time she averts this is during the Tag-Team Challenge, where she had to follow Natasha's lead at making a Japanese platter.
    • In particular, the beach challenge was lost because she kept doing horrible fish, which she claimed were delicious, forcing Savannah to demote her to tortillas.
    • When she was paired with Jessie, she failed at communicating with her, and kept saying to Jessie that she wasn't comfortable making a crepe for their dessert. When Jessie snapped back at her to cook something she might actually be able to do well, Krissi left her to do everything alone while she calmed down, returning with only a few minutes left. Unsurprisingly, both of them had to go to the Pressure Test.
  • Never My Fault: She completely botched her catfish which was a dish she presented to Season 3 winner Christine, and was on the receiving end of Joe's wrath after having mouthed off to him during the aforementioned challenge. After returning to her station she continued to insist her dish was perfect, for which Joe quickly shut her up.
  • Rage Quit: Did this during her last elimination challenge. Although she did come back.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: She mentioned in the confessional that she used to beat up girls like Bri when she was in highschool.
  • Sherlock Scan: When she finally wins a Mystery Box, Krissi reveals to the Confession Cam that, as a paralegal in real life, she had been gathering information from all her competition, strenghts and weaknesses. In case she failed with both Natasha and Luca, she successfully predicted that Jordan would sink with the quail.
  • Squee!: She was very excited when an elimination test guest starred Lydia Bastianich, who she idolizes.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Krissi has told the audience that she and her son live in a single bedroom apartment, where she sleeps on the couch. When the relatives come visit the contestants, her son is the only one missing, since he couldn't travel because of his SATs, she is visibly distraught.

James Nelson

Occupation: Retail Sales
  • Deadpan Snarker: He provided most of the snark in the confessional
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Since he is from Texas, he often boasted about eating meats of all kinds.
    You know who doesn't like sausages? Bad people.

Brianna "Bri" Kozior

Occupation: Theater Assistant
  • Arch-Enemy: While Krissi hated almost everyone in the competition, she had it especially against Bri.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Deaf Composer: As a vegetarian, she had to rely on her sight, touch, and smell to replicate meat dishes.
  • Granola Girl: She is vegetarian and can't bear using living animals, which hasn't stopped her from climbing up during the competition.
  • History Repeats: In Episode 16, Bri is made captain opposite to Natasha, and gets eliminated in the Pressure Test. After she returns to the competition, she gets eliminated again in Episode 20, after her team loses against the other team. Like the last time, Natasha is the rival team's captain, and Krissi was in Bri's team both times.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: She rejoined the competition by beating Lynn and Bime

Jordan Roots

Occupation: Delivery Driver
  • Arch-Enemy: He notably had a feud with Krissi after she threw him under the bus and later saved herself, after heavily calling him out when he did it.
  • Complexity Addiction: Because of his tendency to overthink his dishes, both Eddie and Krissi used this against him. Eddie managed to cramp him by giving him and James fresh mushrooms, making him feel too comfortable with the ingredient, while Krissi willingly gave him a quail, knowing that he would over complicate it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He lost his mother to brain cancer five years prior to his time on the show. As she was his inspiration when it came to cooking, he dedicated his time on the series to her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Invoked by Luca. He chose Jordan to have his mixer removed, because Luca didn't think he did a honorable thing by saving himself from the Pressure Test. Subverted, as Jordan managed to survive the challenge, and even got Luca to graciously accept that his cupcakes were good.
  • Manly Tears: After being approved with high praises from the judges, he took a moment to have a big relieved cry behind the doors, before returning to the hall and show his apron.

Eddie Jackson

Occupation: Personal Trainer/Former Pro Football Player
  • Break Out Character: Out of all the MasterChef alumni, he has the distinction of being one of the most prominent star chefs at Food Network.
  • Career-Ending Injury: He was a Pro Football Player. After fracturing his wrist and sustaining more injuries, he decided to retire and work as a personal trainer and polish his cooking.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: He won two Mystery Boxes that had meat as the main component (the elk flank steak and the sausage machine). He eventually made a career at Food Network based on grilling and barbecue.
  • The Strategist: Both times he gained the advantages, he managed to send direct hits to his intended targets.
    • During the Agnolotti elimination test, he chose to deprive Lynn and James from Lydia Bastianich's demonstration. This successfully sent them to the Bottom 3, only avoiding elimination because of Howard.
    • When he wins the Mystery Box again, he gets to choose who to give fresh or canned mushrooms. To everyone's surprise, he gives fresh mushrooms to Jordan and James, counting on giving them false confidence so they would overwork their dishes. His predictions were correct, since both landed in the Bottom, only spared from elimination when Bethy's dish was deemed worse.

Bethy Rossos

Occupation: High School P.E. Teacher
  • What Were You Thinking?: After been given fresh mushrooms for the Elimination round, she chooses to do a szechuan pasta dish with the mushrooms as garnish. She was eliminated because the sesame oil and spices of the szechuan overpowered the main ingredients.

Savannah Sturges

Occupation: Middle School Special Ed. Teacher

Lynn Chyi

Occupation: Systems Administrator
  • Achilles' Heel: Seasoning. The judges often criticized him for underseasoning all his dishes, despite his beautiful plating skills. The moment he seasoned his dish correctly, he won the Mystery Box that night.
  • The Big Guy: He was the tallest member of the cast
  • Informed Ability: Subverted. He was considered one of the strongest in the competition by his fellow competitors, and widely regarded as “The Plating King”. But he gets little screen time and starts declining midway through the season.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: During the wedding challenge, he kept sweating a lot, to the point he even wiped the plates with the towel he was using to dry his forehead. Gordon kept him in the Pressure Test because of this.
  • The Quiet One: His reactions and comments were very low key, never raising his voice or swearing like the others.

Jonathan "Jonny" Blanchard

Occupation: Carpenter
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: He tended to use weird combinations, with mixed results. Some were received positively, like his Popcorn and Lobster Crackerjack, while others got negative feedback, like his Maple Syrup Alfredo Agnolotti. When he was chosen for the Top 3 of a Mystery Box, Graham commented that this was a nice surprise, since he was expecting Jonny to make a weird thing with cotton candy.
  • Nervous Wreck: During the Pressure Test against Lynn, in a moment of desperation, he ended up smashing his macaroon box while trying to close it. The judges even said that if not for this, he could have easily won the round.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He is a carpenter capable of doing great flavors with cakes and macaroons.

Elizabeth "Beth" Kirby

Occupation: Writer, Photographer
  • Epic Fail: She has the distinction of failing to boil water during an Elimination Test
  • Oh, Crap!: She did this face the second Joe tasted her crab dish and spat it, and noting that the crab cake was raw.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: She wasn’t thinking clearly before calling Natasha’s cauliflower purée “disgusting” to her face, getting her full rage directly, to the point she was reduced to tears.

Albaya "Bime" Cruz

Occupation: Boxing Coach
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: For some unexplained reason, almost everyone of the Top 7 showed no support to him returning to get a spot back. Luca was the only one who clapped for him.
  • Manly Tears: He gets emotional every time the judges mention his three girls in Puerto Rico, and even gets questioned if he was gonna cry whenever they were mentioned.

Howard Simpson

Occupation: Barback
  • Face Death with Dignity: During his last episode, he is given the chance to leave with dignity and remove his apron on his own, afterwards giving a more optimist out speech.
  • Never My Fault: During the agnolotti challenge, Lydia’s feedback to his own version of the dish was negative, followed by an angry "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Joe when Howard replied “Do you want fifteen of the same dish?”. In the confessional, he dismissed the purpose of the challenge by basically saying he did nothing wrong by trying to be creative.
  • One-Hit Wonder: His Tahitian vanilla bean cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream he made were the only dish of his to spare him from the judges' wrath.
  • Retired Badass: He is a veteran, and has been in Afghanistan.
  • Tempting Fate: After one Mystery Box Challenge, the judges announced that one home cook plated raw fish, Howard wondered who did it. Turns out that he was that person, and Joe sent his dish to the trash bin not long after.
  • What Were You Thinking?:
    • His citrus salad dish from the opening challenge was ripped to shreds for its insufficient portions and obvious laziness, having woefully underused the fresh langoustine that was the focus of the challenge. Gordon refused to eat it, and Joe told Howard that he has spoken highly of his skill and was now prepared to kick him out for wasting his time.
    • Instead of doing a well done traditional recipe for the agnolotti, he chose to make his own version with jalapeño and bell peppers, resulting in a very confusing flavor profile that Lydia Bastianich herself found underwhelming. On top of that, he did get the live demonstration from Lydia, and kept rolling his eyes at the feedback, even snapped at Joe about having "15 of the same dish presented", which frustrated Joe, earning another verbal beatdown.

Kathleen "Kathy" Prieto

Occupation: Office Assistant
  • What Were You Thinking?: Despite never made a cupcake before the show, she thought putting cookie dough at the bottom of her tray was a good idea. As a result, her cupcakes were heavy and overcooked on the bottom, on top of having neon colored frosting that Jordan described as "what it would look like if an acid-tripping monkey took a dump on them." She only avoided elimination because Jessie and Malcolm performed worse.

Malcolm Green

Occupation: Unemployed
  • What Were You Thinking?: In the Cupcake Challenge, Malcom decided to add raw mashed bananas into his cooked, resulting in cupcakes that tasted sour. He was eliminated that night.

Adriana Guillen

Occupation: College Admissions Rep.
  • What Were You Thinking?: She made a cheesecake with processed guava paste for the topping, which eliminated her over Savannah.

Sasha Foxx

Occupation: Singer
  • Epic Fail: Despite being told that langoustines are more delicate than shrimps, she ended up doing grilled langoustine (which were barely visible) on top of cheese grits, giving both a terrible presentation and dissonant flavors.
  • Sassy Black Woman: On top of her bombastic personality, she loudly sings during her audition.

     Season 5 

Courtney Lapresi

Occupation: Aerial Dancer
  • All Women Love Shoes: Despite being struggling with money, she was always wearing expensive high heels. The first thing she praised about Tana Ramsay were her yellow heels.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: She has been the only antagonistic contestant to have won a season of Masterchef.
  • The Cameo: Returned in Season 6 to help out in an Elimination Challenge that featured her dessert ingredients. She also makes an appearance during Season 10's pool party and finale.
  • Combat Stilettos: One notable characteristic of her was that she always wore expensive high heels. Gordon notes that the moment she started wearing them again during the competition, she seemed to recover her mojo, coincidentally having her only Bottom Three when she was wearing flats.
  • Cool Big Sis: Her other motivation to win the competition is to be a role model for her younger brother Cooper, who was born shortly before she moved out to Philadelphia. She barely can see him because of her financial situation.
  • Epic Fail: The only time she landed in the Bottom Two was during the donut challenge, where she ruined a first batch of dough, had to beg for spare yeast, and confused salt for sugar for the second batch. She was only saved because the judges felt Kira had less passion than her.
  • Old Shame: Invoked. She admits that she had to work in a Gentlemen Club due to financial struggle, and winning the competition will help her to not return to that job

Elizabeth Cauvel

Occupation: Advertising Executive
  • Deadpan Snarker: She had a lot of quips, most of them targeted at Courtney
  • Enemy Mine: When Courtney paired her with Cutter for the Tag Team Challenge, Elizabeth didn’t want to show any weakness, and stated that she and Cutter could focus on their common goal of taking Courtney out.
  • Fiery Redhead: She had both the talent and the determination to make it into the finals

Leslie Gilliams

Occupation: Stay-at-home Dad
  • Arch-Nemesis: Started this off with Ahran, until they buried the hatched after working as a pair. He kept this rivalry with Cutter and Daniel.
  • The Cameo: Was invited in Season 6 for the 100th Episode lunch. Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Cassandra Truth: During their first Team Challenge, he immediately knew that Stephani didn't cook the chicken breast enough by only glancing at it, but she refused to listen. Gordon finds out about the chicken being raw in the center and promptly scolded them.
  • Coattail-Riding Relative: Mostly averted. He is the husband of Paula Hart, and step-father of Melissa Joan Hart, but he reached the Top 3 on his talent alone.
  • House Husband: He isn’t ashamed to admit that his wife is the real bread winner, and his role is raising their seven kids at home. The others often mocked him on this.
  • Hypocrite: When Elizabeth comments that she doesn’t think Leslie is going to last, he angrily starts ranting on how she doesn’t know how hard he had to work. Elizabeth quickly pointed out that he lives in Malibu and his wife is the one who supports him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his arrogant attitude and volatile personality, Leslie has showed his nice side on occasions. When Ahran got eliminated, he took a moment to declare his newfound respect for her as a young lady, and her leaving was like it was one of his daughters.
  • Manchild: Despite being the oldest of the competitors, he isn’t above angry rants towards his fellow competitors or holding petty grudges for minor offenses. His teammates even called him out for bickering with Ahran, an 18 year old teenager, while he was supposed to be the oldest of the cast.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The judges notice Leslie having some servings of wine while cooking.
    Joe: Hey Leslie, try not to get tanked.
    Leslie: I'm 56, that's all I do!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Has some good baking skills as his blueberry pie and red velvet cake has shown. Also, his doughnuts were the reason he won with Francis L. in an elimination challenge.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He always wore dress shirts with vests.
  • Silver Fox: He has been called this many times, considering as well that he is in good shape at 56

Joshua "Cutter" Brewer

Occupation: Petroleum Landman
  • Achilles' Heel: Desserts, a fact he was all too aware of.
  • Arch-Nemesis: With Leslie. After the pairs challenge, he and Dan weren't fond of each other as well.
  • Fingore: During his last Mystery Box challenge, where he was paired with Leslie, he accidentally cut himself, chopping part of the nail of his index. This took several minutes of their time, leaving Leslie alone while he needed to get medical assistance.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name is Joshua, but he went with Cutter for the season.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: He often said that he is a Texas man and knows his meats.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Subverted. He is the typical "Steak and beer" Texas man, and many of his worst dishes have been desserts. Then he finally wins a Pressure Test by making a box of delicate truffles, impressing everyone including the judges and himself. When making a caramelle pasta dish, Gordon compliments him for doing the only cream sauce plate.
    Gordon: You may have the face of a British bulldog, but you cook like an angel.
  • Retired Badass: Used to be in the military, and was part of the search and rescue team.
  • What Were You Thinking?: His "Artisan Pizza" was the most notorious example of such, and was seen as both a silly idea and a misuse of the ingredients in the challenge.

Christian Green

Occupation: Sales Rep
  • The Ace: Was seen as one by many of the contestants.
  • The Rival: He and Courtney didn't get along, and every time he had to work with her, he wasn't shy about saying it aloud.

Jaimee Vitolo

Occupation: Bakery Assistant
  • Irony: Despite being one of the best bakers that season, she lost the Croquembouche Pressure Test due to having caramel so thick, the profiteroles broke when Ramsay tried to remove one off the tower.
  • Shrinking Violet: She had a lot of trouble raising her voice even before her disease, to the point she crumbled under pressure both times she was appointed as a team leader, preferring to pass the mantle to her other teammates.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Along with her meek looks and personality, the judges note right before the Blueberry Pie challenge that she has a slice of blueberry pie on her neck. They later comment on how much she loves baking, to the point she also has a mixer on her thigh and the word “bake” on her hands.

William "Big Willie" Mike

Occupation: Church Music Director
  • Big Fun: He is overweight, and loves bright colors
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: His Squash and Apple Caramelle, because he thought about doing a dessert pasta dish by only seeing the shape of the pasta. Gordon compared his dish to "regurgitated dog vomit".
  • Gentle Giant: One of the best examples of such in the competition.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A rare positive spin in this case. After choosing to stay in the Pressure Test with Cutter, Dan Wu, and Leslie, the dish was revealed to be a red velvet cake, a dish he made several times. Unsurprisingly, he made the best cake of that night.
  • Nice Guy: He rarely had any negative comments about any of his competitors. He was the only person in the balcony rooting for Leslie (most of the others were rooting against him), and when his team lost, he chose to save three people other than himself.

Daniel Mcguffey

Occupation: Former Video Game Designer
  • Arch-Nemesis: He had an ongoing feud with Leslie after their first team challenge
  • The Cameo: He was a guest for Season 6's lunch for the 100th Episode. Makes an appearance in Season 10's Pool Party.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of his comments, especially the ones directed at Leslie.
    Daniel: Leslie nails a pie. He's been around for a while, so he probably knew Betty Crocker.
  • Epic Fail: The most notable example was how he managed to loose the yolk of his poached egg inside the pot.
  • Honor Before Reason: Unlike other examples, this one ended up backfiring on him. He chose to save other teammates and compete, until he regretted this when the dish is revealed to be blueberry pie. While the judges applauded his honor, they still found his pie underwhelming.
  • One Steve Limit: He shares the same name with Daniel Wu
  • What Were You Thinking?: He says this to himself when the judges destroyed him after his Asian inspired caramelle bombed.

Ahran Cho

Occupation: High School Student
  • Aerith and Bob: Her name is Korean among all the Western names in the cast. She got pissed everytime Leslie butchered her name by pronouncing it “Iran”, until Gordon finally makes him say it correctly.
    Ramsay: For God's sake - you're still getting her name wrong, and it pisses her off every time you do it! Repeat after me. "AH!"
    Leslie: AH!
    Ramsay: Ran!
    Leslie: Ran!
  • Arch-Nemesis: She targeted Courtney during the donut challenge because she reminded her of the fake Alpha Bitches at her school. She also had a feud with Leslie because he constantly condescended her and mispronounced her name, until they came to respect each other after their pair challenge.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: The judges often noted how Ahran was one of the best at 18 years of age.
  • Berserk Button: Leslie deliberately mispronouncing her name as "Iran" was a big one for her. Thankfully, when they made up he stopped doing that altogether.
  • The Cameo: Was invited to Season 6 for the 100th Episode lunch. She also appears during the Season 10 pool party challenge.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: During the Italian Basket Challenge, Ahran decided to make a savory tiramisu. Despite the judges writing it off as a terrible idea, they admitted how well the dish was, and she won that challenge along with Elizabeth.

Victoria Scroggins

Occupation: Bartender
  • Butch Lesbian: She looks tough and butch, excels at grilling meats, and has a girlfriend back at home.

Francis Legge

Occupation: Music Video Director
  • Complexity Addiction: His tendency to try molecular techniques and prioritizing crazy presentations over flavor affected the performance of some of his dishes.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: It worked both ways. In the Doughnut challenge, he made 12 different flavors under the motto "Go big, or go BIGGER", gaining the praise of the judges. Averted when it completely backfired in the Caramelle Pasta challenge, where he did a beetroot pasta with bellpepper pureé that didn't make sense as a whole.
  • One Steve Limit: He shares the same name with Francis Biondi, so the others called him "Scottish Francis"

Christine Silverstein

Occupation: Investment Director

Elisa "Elise" Mayfield

Occupation: e-Learning Administrator
  • Epic Fail: As a self-proclaimed baker, most of her worst dishes were pies, which Gordon notes to be her nemesis.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe example; while cooking for her apron, both of her dishes were pies, neither of which really impressed but luckily the second of them proved good enough to get her into the competition. As noted above, she still had trouble making them despite them supposedly being her specialty. Gordon himself said upon her elimination that whenever he eats a pie again, Elise will be who he thinks of, though he clearly meant it in a more lighthearted sense.
  • Prone to Tears: At the smallest mistake, she crumbles completely.

Daniel "Dan" Wu

Occupation: Unemployed
  • One Steve Limit: He shares the same name with Daniel Mcguffey, so the others called him "Dan Wu"
  • Tempting Fate: He defined himself as a “food snob”, confident enough that his dish was going to get praised by the judges. While he was correct about Whitney doing a bland meatloaf, Gordon called his “the worst meatloaf I ever tasted”. He only got to stay because Whitney’s was even less original.

Francis Biondi

Occupation: Server
  • One Steve Limit: He shares the same name with Francis Legge, so the others called him "Francis B"

Tyler Viars

Occupation: Hunting Sales Manager
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction when Ramsay revealed that he accidentally grabbed Jamiee’s panacotta’s was shock and regret, even profusely apologizing to the latter. Sadly, this did not keep him from being disqualified.
  • Non Game Play Elimination: Because of the hurry, he ended up grabbing one of Jamiee’s panacotta’s from the blast chiller by mistake and served it to the judges, which broke one of the game rules. He was disqualified because of that.

Jordan Kaminski

Occupation: College Student
  • The Load: During the Beach Wedding challenge, Graham chooses him for the Pressure Test, noticing that he spent most of the time looking lost and standing around.

Kira Novak

Occupation: Medical Recruiter

Gordon Houston

Occupation: Law Student
  • Non Game Play Elimination: He had to leave the competition after a few episodes due to health issues
  • One Steve Limit: He shares the same name with judge Gordon Ramsay. He was referred as "Little Gordon"

Stephani Syfax-Shepherd

Occupation: Server
  • What Were You Thinking?: Despite she has never in her life baked a pie of any kind, she thought putting pecans on her dough was a great idea. She ended up producing a weird texture pie with a lot of sugar that got her eliminated.

Whitney Bray

Occupation: Call Center Rep

Astrid Lavenia

Occupation: Food Sales Rep

     Season 6 

Claudia Sandoval

Occupation: Events Manager
  • The Cameo: Returned in Season 7 on two different occasions. The first time she was a guest at Nick's wedding, and the second time was cooking with guest judge Aaron in a Mexican themed Mystery box Challenge. She also returns for season 10's finale.
  • Honor Before Reason: Decided to decline Tommy's offer of immunity during the Peanut butter and Jelly Elimination Challenge as she wanted to get to the Final 10 by her own skills. The gamble paid off as her dish was well received.
  • Spicy Latina: She identifies herself and her cooking style as full Mexican. Most of her lines in the confessional cam were about referring herself as "the Latina of the cast"
  • Struggling Single Mother: She has a daughter she is raising by herself.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Got chewed out by Ramsay when she let it slip that her chicken and waffle dish could have been better if given more time, with the former reminding her that Derrick had to cook in half an hour due to a penalty given to by Stephen.

Derrick Peltz

Occupation: Drummer
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • The Napoleon: He was the shortest of the male contestants, often commenting on how despite his size, he is one of the strongest. He ended up as the Runner-up of the season.
  • The Rival: He was this with Stephen, becoming Vitriolic Best Buds after being paired in the Tag Team challenge.

Stephen Lee

Occupation: Urban Gardener
  • Ambiguous Disorder: It may or may not be the case. Some viewers have speculated that his histrionic personality, intense reactions and outbursts (in one occasion, he suffered a big freak out when his tart crust cracked) were characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Heroic BSoD: During a Pressure Test, he suffered a big freak out when his tart crust cracked, sending him to the corner to cower and have a big cry before going back to work. He barely survived the challenge.
  • Large Ham: He had very intense and funny reactions, which ranged from extreme joy to loud anger. After a while, even Gordon got accustomed to his outbursts.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Lost the first Audition round to Tommy, but was chosen as one of the six chefs to compete one more time. He won one of the last two aprons along with Shelly.
  • Reverse Psychology: He applied this to manipulate Shelly into picking chicken tenders (leaving him the lobster by default), and keep the option to pick his teammates.
  • The Rival: He was this with Derrick, becoming Vitriolic Best Buds after being paired in the Tag Team challenge.

Nicholas "Nick" Nappi

Occupation: Dishwasher Sales Rep
  • Nice Hat: He always wore a fedora during the competition
  • Wedding Day: In Season 7, the challenge is to cater his wedding

Katrina Kozar

Occupation: Administrative Assistant
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: She and Tommy kept bickering and snipping at each other at every chance available

Hetal Vasavada

Occupation: Startup Developer
  • Deaf Composer: As a vegetarian, she can’t taste meat. This went both ways, as she completely failed at making a Salisbury Steak (this one was a double cripple, since she also is allergic to mushrooms), but she nailed the Beef Wellington challenge by using her observation and Chris’ comments.
  • Nice Girl: She never had anything negative to say about her fellow competitors, and in one elimination challenge, she gave Shelly a whole jar of peanut butter after she forgot to pick up the key ingredients, with the judges commenting on how easily she could have let Shelly get eliminated on that alone.

Thomas "Tommy" Walton

Occupation: Fashion Designer
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Camp Gay: Fashion designer and completely sassy on and off camera.
  • Older Than They Look: He was 53 when he competed, and his claim to fame was that the only wrinkle he had was the one he sat on.
  • Hidden Depths: Mentions he is of Creole and grew up in the south. This helped in his victory in the Chicken and Waffle Elimination Challenge.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:He and Katrina kept bickering and snipping at each other at every chance available

Olivia Crouppen

Occupation: Fashion Stylist
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She was very reluctant to cook living crabs because she saw them as creepy and disgusting alien bugs

Michelle "Shelly" Flash

Occupation: Kitchen Assistant
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Lost the first Audition round to Christopher, but was chosen as one of the six chefs to compete one more time. He won one of the last two aprons along with Steven.
  • Springtime for Hitler: When her team lost the Las Vegas Team Challenge, she chose to keep Derrick and Christopher in the pressure test just so one of them would go home. However, not only did they make it, she lost her ally Ailsa in the process.
  • Struggling Single Mother: She is the "single mom on a budget", raising her daughter by herself.

Christopher Lu

Occupation: Restaurant Manager
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Comically Missing the Point: During the Beef Wellington challenge, he claimed that he chose to send Hetal’s dish because his was missing the sauce. It turns out that it had even more problems than that, namely the disproportionate size of the pastry, which Gordon compared to the lounge cushion, which also was undercooked.

Sara Zacek

Occupation: Mobile Home Park Manager
  • Never My Fault: During the Peanut Butter and Jelly challenge, she made a subpar tart that lacked peanut butter and had a lot of creme fraiche, but she dismissed Gordon’s feedback as his “personal taste”. This was enough for Gordon to eliminate her.

Kerry Prince

Occupation: Human Resources Rep

Amanda Saab

Occupation: Social Worker
  • Heroic BSoD: She starts crying when the birthday cake she makes on regular basis ends up raw in the center.

Charlie Chapman

Occupation: HVAC Technician

Jesse Romero

Occupation: Petroleum Landman
  • Never My Fault: During the Frozen Dinner challenge, he tried to argue with Gordon that his venison dish wasn’t dry, which was evident it was because of the color. This cemented his elimination that night.

Veronica Cili

Occupation: Beauty Consultant
  • Completely Missing the Point: For the TV Dinner challenge, she thought that she only had to do one Salisbury Steak, completely forgetting that the whole point of MasterChef is to elevate the dish. This resulted in the judges eliminating her for the subpar dish.
  • Genki Girl: Despite being the oldest of the cast, she was always positive and cheerful, jumping excitedly when Gordon praised her apple pie.

Ailsa von Dobeneck

Occupation: Assistant Railroad Manager

Daniel "Dan" Collado

Occupation: Engineer and Model
  • Chick Magnet: For their first team challenge, the contestants had to split in two groups at random. Amanda notes that many of the women stood right next to Dan.
    Amanda: The judges say “Go! Pick your own teams!”, and most of the girls go to Dan. Oh my g- Really?! You run to the model boy?!
  • Non Game Play Elimination: He left the competition offscreen for unknown reasons.

Justin Banister

Occupation: High School Student
  • Adorably Precocious Child: At least that’s how he presents himself in the confessional. He states that most of the teens his age are partying, while he stays at home planning his future.
  • What Were You Thinking?: He presented corn profiteroles made of canned corn. The judges then pointed out that it was more effective to get more natural corn flavor from actual fresh corn from the pantry, which was full of any kind of corn in existence.

Darah Carattini

Occupation: Amusement Park Guide
  • Honor Before Reason: Deconstructed. When given the chance to save herself before the pressure test, she declined, wanting to stay as she was the captain, and wanted to redeem herself from costing her team the challenge. However, her cinnamon buns were raw, and she was eliminated.
  • Skewed Priorities: She puts more emphasis on customer service over the quality of the food, basing her reasons to save teammates on who smiled the most. Even Graham had a problem with this criteria.

Brianna Watson

Occupation: Hairstylist

Matthew "Mateo" McConnell

Occupation: High School Teacher

     Season 7 

Shaun O'Neale

Occupation: DJ
  • The Ace: All of the remaining contestants in the Top 7 mentioned his name as "the one to fear", without missing a beat.
  • The Cameo: Returned in Season 8 on two separate occasions. The first time was cooking with the contestants on a Mystery box Challenge with ingredients he personally picked, while the second time was in the guest list for Caesar Palace's 50th anniversary. In Season 9, he came back for his wedding, and in Season 10, he along with Season 2 winner Jennifer and Season 3 winner Christina came back for the audition round and finale.
  • Never Bareheaded: Always wore a baseball cap in the competition, only subverting it during his wedding day in Season 9.
  • The Rival: To David.
  • Through His Stomach: In Season 9 Episode 8, Katie, Shaun's fianceé, explains why she chose scallops as appetizers.
    Katie: For our very first date, Shaun made me scallops
    Gordon: How good were they?
    Katie: Amazing. We're here now.
  • Wedding Day: In Season 9, the challenge is to cater his wedding. Gordon even performs the ceremony himself.

Brandi Mudd

Occupation: Elementary School Teacher
  • Beginner's Luck: Despite never working with a lobster, she completely nailed poaching and deconstructing it.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Chekhov's Skill: During her audition, she told the judges that she has been cooking with her grandmother’s iron skillet, which was more than a hundred years old and never touched a drop of water. She ended up winning the Mystery Box that required only using a skillet, a knife, and a wooden spoon.
  • Cool Teacher: She is an Elementary School teacher and mother of two kids, with her class appearing in her audition tape to support her. Gordon and Christina visit her at one of her classes.
  • Country Mouse: She often comments on how her small town in Kentucky only has farm animals and no fresh seafood available. Gordon teased her about her small town by asking her if they had electricity. She mockingly answered that they also had plumbing.
  • Irony: Despite making pies at home, her dish was the worst of the Pie Elimination Challenge due to multiple factors (horrible presentation and raw apples are a start). She was placed in the Bottom two because of that, barely surviving over Brittany.
  • Nice Girl: On par to her Cool Teacher and Team Mom during the season

David Williams

Occupation: Professional Poker Player
  • Chekhov's Skill: As a poker player, David knows about memorization and counting numbers, so when he led the blue team during the Popup Team Challenge, he used that skill to remind Brandi and Tanorria about what was next on order.
  • Hot-Blooded: David is very volatile and easy to anger, which is ironic considering his real life job as a professional Poker player.
  • Rage Quit: Nearly left the competition after given Dan's grocery basket, which had ingredients he never worked with on a daily basis. However, Ramsay stopped him from leaving.
  • The Rival: To Shaun.

Tanorria Askew

Occupation: Credit Union Coordinator

Daniel "Dan" Paustian

Occupation: Server
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Shaun's wedding in Season 9.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His competition tended to underestimate him because he was the typical frat guy and had a relaxed attitude. He managed to get to the Top 5 thanks to his own skills and taste.
  • Frat Bro: He often boasted about being the typical beer-drinking frat guy with a good palate

Katie Dixon

Occupation: Fitness Trainer/Retail Associate
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Since she is a trainer and cooks healthy food, she can’t perform well when the challenge requires her to deep fry things, like frying chicken with a batter, or doing french fries.

Nathan Barnhouse

Occupation: Tuxedo Salesman
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He is the youngest contestant at age 19. His biggest bad peeve is being called inmature.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • The Load: Is usually the weakest person on team challenges, making most people annoyed by him and quickly lost his respect. In fact, when Dan was made a team captain, he made a point to pick the protein advantage just so he would not get Nathan.
  • The Millstone: Was this to the red team in the Farming Team Challenge as he failed to prep enough kale for the customers (and this was after he complained that he was not getting respect) resulting in them pulling out fresh kale and serve it without cleaning them. But that got worse as the customers found the kale too salty, with one spitting their serving to the ground. That pretty much led to the red team losing.
  • Naive But Skilled: While he usually underperforms in team challenges, he was perfectly capable of holding his own at individual challenges.
  • Nervous Wreck: He can't handle pressure, to the point he even fainted in the middle of a Tag Team challenge.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his tendency to freak out, he rarely has a mean streak, often commenting on him being the son of a pastor.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He was always wearing a colorful tux and a bow tie during the competition.

Eric Howard

Occupation: Fireman
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Shaun's wedding in Season 9, even being one of the groomsmen.

Terence "Terry" Mueller

Occupation: Handyman
  • Happily Married: He proudly tells the judges that he is a newlywed
  • Hidden Depths: After winning a Mystery Box, he is given the advantage to choose between three rice dishes. He ended up choosing Bibimbap note , because he lived in Korea Town for a few years, knowing very well that many of his competitors haven’t seen it compared to risotto or paella.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He is a big handyman who is capable of baking delicate cakes and pies

Diamond Alexander

Occupation: Web Designer
  • Deaf Composer: She was the vegetarian contestant of the season, and managed to clear challenges involving meat with minor criticisms.
  • What Were You Thinking?: In the bibimbap challenge, the judges are incredulous at her Thanksgiving bibimbap topped with fried chicken, cornbread, and gravy.

Andrea Galan

Occupation: Student
  • Dramatic Irony: After losing a team challenge and arguing with Nathan, she tells him that she can’t wait for him to be sent home. Not only Nathan gets immunity from the other team, but she gets disqualified during the Pressure Test.
  • Non Game Play Elimination: Despite having the best sausage of the Pressure Test, she had to be disqualified because she arrived to the front counter three seconds late.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Being Cuban-American, she gets complimented by Wolfgang Puck for pronouncing correctly "Tortilla de Patatas" (Potato Omelette)

Alejandro Toro

Occupation: Voice Over Artist

D'Andre Balaoing

Occupation: Bartender
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Shaun's wedding in Season 9 and during Season 10's pool party.
  • Gayngst: He tells that his parents disowned him when he came out as gay, having been homeless for a time. His goal is to open a cooking school for LGBT teens who are going through the same issues as he did.
  • Twofer Token Minority: He's African-American and gay.

Diana Bilow

Occupation: Server
  • Dumb Blonde: Thought that mincing raw tripe and hiding it in her dish was a smart move. Unfortunately, Ramsay was easily able to find them, and she was eliminated.

Emmanuel "Manny" Washington Jr.

Occupation: Fireman
  • Dramatic Irony: He is a firefighter for a living, and he gets eliminated for serving burned fried chicken.

Lisa-Ann Marchesi

Occupation: Insurance Manager
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Shaun's wedding in Season 9.
  • What Were You Thinking?: She started to make her flambé right when Gordon was at her station, nearly burning his face off, if not because of his own good reflexes.

Brittany Craig

Occupation: Server

Barbara Savage

Occupation: Investigator
  • Epic Fail: She made the most mistakes during the Wedding Challenge, by making an inedible vinaigrette and wasting portions of scallops by cooking them way too early. This ensured her elimination without a Pressure Test.

William "Bill" Travers

Occupation: Retired
  • Scatterbrained Senior: When tasked with replicating Gordon's halibut dish, Bill ends up forgetting many of the ingredients needed for the dish. He gets sent home.

Cassandra "Cassie" Peterson

Occupation: Bakery Clerk
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Like Season 3 Samantha, Cassie did not get much attention except for her poor steak and potato dish during the first Mystery Box challenge, getting eliminated afterwards.

     Season 8 

Dino Angelo Luciano

Occupation: Dancer
  • Big "YES!": Pretty much yelled it out when he found out that one pressure test involved cannolis, a dish he grew up on. Unsurprisingly, he won that challenge easily.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Underestimate him at your own risk: he comes off as a campy dancer but he was consistently in the top throughout the competition and eventually won it all.
  • The Cameo: He returns for season 10's finale.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Subverted. He frequently makes bizarre dishes that theoretically should not work but he manages to impress the judges anyway.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: He did this twice with a coconut profiterole, and later a fried prawn wonton filled with cream cheese, impressing the judges for making the combination work.
  • Deaf Composer: Being vegan for health reasons, Dino had to rely solely on muscle memory when it came to cooking proteins, a fact that allowed him to win the first Pressure Test of that season when he had to cook a pork chop.
  • Keet: He was very energetic and peppy throughout the competition.
  • Verbal Tic: If he says "Baby doll", you know he's in the zone and has an idea.

Eboni Henry

Occupation: Addiction Counselor
  • Almighty Mom: Once she got into “Mommy Mode”, she could lead her team to victory.
  • Beginner's Luck: Two times in fact;
    • Despite never making scrambled eggs before in her life, Eboni managed to make a good batch that earned her to safety.
    • In Episode 9, despite never eating a cannoli, let alone make one, she made a box that was equally good as Dino's (who did indeed grew up on the dessert).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: She had a Teen Pregnancy and was homeless while raising her first child, living in her car
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: She and Cate became close friends, calling themselves the “Chicago Sisters”
  • Sassy Black Woman: She had the attitude and the pose to back up her skills
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She was afraid of crawfish, and had a hard time peeling and preparing them. The judges noted that this was the only time during the competition when all her confidence was gone.

Jason Wang

Occupation: High School Music Teacher
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Camp Gay: He has a chipper voice tone and has a male partner
  • Cool Teacher: He is a very passionate music teacher
  • Took a Level in Badass: When he was appointed team captain, he couldn’t control his team because of his soft spoken nature. It’s only when he starts yelling at his teammates and regaining control that his team wins.

Caitlin "Cate" Meade

Occupation: Nutritionist
  • Achilles' Heel: When it comes to taking in the leadership role, Cate can either be decent, or falter apart. Notably in the Breakfast Team Challenge, she nearly led the red team to defeat until Eboni stepped in.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Genki Girl: She was always peppy and energetic in all the challenges
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: She and Eboni became close friends, calling themselves the “Chicago Sisters”.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Lost to Lisa-Ann in the Season 7 audition rounds, but managed to win a white apron this season.
  • One Steve Limit: Since her name is also Caitlin, she goes by "Cate" to avoid confusion.

Jeff Philbin

Occupation: Marketing Director
  • Butt-Monkey: He won a grand total of zero team challenges this season, which got to the point where Eboni outright called him a bad luck charm in the final team challenge.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Hot-Blooded: Many of his fellow competitors have been taken aback because of his volatile personality, which has cramped all of his team challenges.
  • The Jinx: Most of his fellow competitors were reluctant to have him on their team challenges. At one point, Ebony felt confident enough as a team captain and attempted to prove that she could "break the curse" and chose him over Yachecia. Her team ended up losing and she regreted this, calling Jeff a loser.

Yachecia Holston

Occupation: Minister
  • Honor Before Reason: Decided to keep herself and Jennifer in the Pressure Test instead of taking the option to save herself and let her teammates do it instead.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: Presented what Ramsay called the worst dish in the show's history by the final 6 as her sweet and hot salmon with braised Swiss chard and Tuscan white beans had a disgusting presentation, with Ramsay stating that it looked liked it was prepared in 10 minutes, had overcooked salmon, and confusing flavors.

Gabriel Lewis

Occupation: Fast Food Server
  • The Baby of the Bunch: At age 19, he was able to reach the Top 7. Gordon was so impressed by his raw talent at young age that he offered to give him a scholarship for Culinary School.
  • Deaf Composer: In the cow challenge, he gets to cook kidneys, explaining in the confessional that he has never eaten red meat because he is a peskitarian. He gets mixed reviews on his dishes, particularly the temperature of the hanger steak.

Daniel Pontes-Macedo

Occupation: Substitute Teacher

Caitlin Jones

Occupation: Dancer
  • One Steve Limit: She shares the same name with Cate.
  • The Quiet One: Deconstructed. Her inability to speak up led to Jeff taking more control in the tag team challenge, which led to them making one of the worst platters of the day. However, Christina was more upset that Caitlin was letting Jeff walk over her, and she was eliminated because of that.
  • What Were You Thinking?: She wanted to kick herself after she and Adam landed in the Bottom Two, since she felt she should have talked to Adam about her own strengths before doing his dish. Then again when she let Jeff boss her around during the tag team challenge.

Adam Wong

Occupation: Harvard Student
  • Heroic BSoD: During the Elimination test against Caitlin, he manages to perfectly replicate Gordon’s dish, but later discovers that the chicken breast was raw in the center. He cried in frustration, to the point Caitlin had to hug him and calm him down by praising his effort.
  • Mixed Ancestry: He is half Chinese-American, with most of his signature dishes being Asian inspired.
  • Token Rich Student: He studies at Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, which judges and contestants alike refer him that.

Jenny Cavellier

Occupation: Special Needs Therapist

Mike "Newton" Newton

Occupation: Ranch Owner
  • Cool Hat: He always wore a cowboy hat or a chefs cap during the competition. Even during his cooking vlogs he is always sporting a baseball cap inside his kitchen
  • Cool Old Guy: He was the oldest of the contestants, cracks jokes and managed to make it to the main competition.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He wasn’t above making quips on the confessional.
  • Irony: Despite being a ranch owner, he had the worst cleaning of his rack of lamb during the Masterclass, and was unable to recreate Ramsay's lamb dish properly. Even though he was spared over Sam, he knew he would get ridiculed back home.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A game ending example. He went up against Yachecia in a Pressure Test to recreate Ramsay's champagne oysters, but forgot to add in the caviar berblanc to the dish due to running out of time (and being unable to open the jar due to the after effects from a stroke he had in January). Had he had the caviar on the dish, he would have beaten Yachecia as he had his other components praised to be better. But as Yachecia did get her caviar on her dish, it led to his elimination.
  • Last-Name Basis: He went by his last name
  • Real Men Eat Meat: As a Texas ranch owner, he considered failing at a meat challenge instant ridicule at his Home State. After his Epic Fail during the lamb challenge, he redeemed himself with a Porterhouse steak, winning the Mystery Box that day.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His audition round dish was making cupcakes. He also made a decent batch of cannolis that saved him from the Pressure Test.

Reba Billingsley

Occupation: Stay-at-home Mom
  • Deep South: Mentions that she grew up in a small town in Texas, and would hunt for her food to cook. She also offhandedly mentioned that a family member used to eat squirrels by sucking out their brains, to the disgust of Ramsay.
  • Team Mom: She was the oldest of the female contestants, was constantly looking out for her fellow teammates, and avoided drama on camera, which often granted her immunity from the Pressure Tests. Everyone was sad to see her go during her elimination.

Brien O'Brien

Occupation: Magazine Ad Sales
  • Epic Fail: The cannoli Pressure Test was this for him. He presented a very underwhelming combination inspired on peanut butter and jelly, and failed to present six.

Necco Ceresani

Occupation: Marketing Manager
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: During the Beef challenge, he and a few others who Newton considered the strongest were left to cook a hanger steak. He pretty much ignored Gordon’s warnings on how to properly cook the cut, dismissing the challenge with a “It’s just a piece of meat. How difficult can it be?”. His plating ended up baffling Christina because of the poor composition, and the temperature was rare, below the recommended medium rare.

Jennifer Williams

Occupation: Debt Collector
  • Nervous Wreck: Despite having the talent and working as a debt collector, Jennifer was surprisingly very prone to crack during team challenges and Pressure Tests. Gordon even compared watching her cook with a plane taking a nose dive during a turbulence.

Sam Reiff-Pasarew

Occupation: Creative Writing Teacher
  • Rule of Three: Was in the bottom three times before being eliminated.

Heather Dombrosky

Occupation: Registered Nurse
  • Informed Ability: She proudly told that her mother was Peruvian, which influenced her Chicken with Rice dish, but Aarón couldn’t taste any of the Peruvian flavors, expressing his disappointment considering that he worked with Peruvian chefs in college.

Paige Jimenez

Occupation: Swimsuit Model
  • The Millstone: Even if Jennifer's leadership during the Lifeguard Team Challenge was frantic at best, Paige ruined the blue team's dishes by overseasoning the fish with a whole bottle of cayenne pepper, making it inedible without the avocado mousse.
  • Stepford Smiler: Christina noted that she shouldn’t be smiling during a Pressure Test, making the judges not take her seriously. It was also why all the contestants chose to keep Jennifer over her when asked by the judges, leading to her elimination.

Mark Togni

Occupation: Stay-at-home Dad
  • Jerk Jock: He is cocky and speaks in football language constantly because he used to play football back in college
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: While making their dishes, Mark tells Heather to ignore the judges to avoid getting distracted, right when the judges are giving them advice. Gordon immediately called him out and threatened to eliminate him on the spot if he didn't take the competition seriously.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Besides openly saying to ignore the judges in front of Gordon, he makes the same single pancake but with chocolate chips when given a chance to repeat the grocery bag challenge.

     Season 9 

Gerron Hurt

Occupation: English Teacher
Mentor: Joe
  • Be Yourself: For the Finale, he decided to make his menu based on his southern roots, despite Joe telling him to grab more inspiration from foreign cuisines. After presenting a very consistent and nearly flawless menu, Joe stood up and hugged him, admitting that he was wrong. Gerron ended up winning the entire competition because he chose to put himself on his dishes.
  • The Cameo: Returns in season 10 for his wedding and the finale.
  • Cool Teacher: His main reason to compete in MasterChef was to use the prize money to open a Culinary program at his school.
  • Informed Flaw: Gerron claimed that desserts were not his strong suit, but he managed to excel at the three chocolate based desserts during the Three Chocolate Pressure Test. And, he made a peach bread pudding that won him a Mystery Box Challenge. The only time he did wind up on the Bottom 2 for desserts was during the Cupcake Pressure Test, but that was for the density of the batter (Mark, the person who was eliminated over him, made very big technical errors on his batch in comparison).
  • Sole Survivor: He was the only remaining member of Team Joe in the Top 7.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He started as one of the middle-of-the-road contestants, landing in the Bottom 2 more than once. He started to get better in the second half of the season, eventually winning the whole competition.
  • Wedding Day: He and his fiance have their wedding inside the Masterchef kitchen during Season 10.

Ashley Mincey

Occupation: Professional Grocery Shopper
Mentor: Gordon
  • Adorkable: When Gordon asks her if she's crazy for doing a cake in one hour, she responded singing "Yes, I'm crazy~", making Shanika laugh.
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When given the sweet basket during the Citrus Elimination Challenge, she decided to bake a cake in 1 hour note . Even she herself admitted to how risky that was. However, it paid off as she won that challenge with Gerron.
  • Epic Fail: She and Taylor teaming up ended up in a terrible result. They mauled the chicken, with Gordon even stating that the kids from MasterChef Junior have done better, and couldn't even decide on how to cut the protein.
  • Heroic BSoD: She broke in tears during the Wedding Team Challenge, after Ramsay confronted her over not making enough wine reduction for the sauce. This was enough to place her in the bottom two that day.

Cesar Cano

Occupation: High School Teacher
Mentor: Aarón
  • But Not Too Foreign: In his own words, his Mexican family consider him too American, while others note that his Mexican roots not make him American enough.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Cool Teacher: He takes pride on his background as a teacher, mostly applying his work habits into his cooking
  • Friendly Rivalry: He and Bowen kept this one, coming across more as Vitriolic Best Buds
  • Sole Survivor: He was the only remaining member of Team Aarón in the Top 5.

Samantha Daily

Occupation: College Student
Mentor: Gordon
  • The Baby of the Bunch: She was the second youngest at age 20, and she was able to reach the Top 4. Like Gabriel in Season 8, Gordon was so impressed that he offered to give her a scholarship for Culinary School.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Daddy's Girl: She was very close to her late father, who influenced her into Italian food. She broke in tears every time she talked about missing him.

Bowen Li

Occupation: Pilot
Mentor: Gordon
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Chinese food. Most of the dishes he does tend to use Chinese techniques.
    • Cesar took this as a reason to choose churros for an elimination test, knowing that Bowen rarely went out of his comfort zone. As a result, Bowen tried to double fry his churros like he would with Chinese salty dough, presenting a batch of burned churros to the judges.
    • He struggled again during a pasta elimination challenge, since he never made Italian style pasta before. He only got saved because Shanika was eliminated instead.
    • This proved to be his downfall during "Battle of the Beef". He tried to make beef skewers by cutting his vegetables Julianne. Then tried to roll his ground meat in breadcrumbs instead of incorporating them into the mix, resulting in dry meatballs.
  • The Determinator: He suffered a fatal car accident, needing an entire year to recover. He was motivated to recover and audition because the only program he could watch at the hospital was MasterChef.
  • Friendly Rivalry: He and Cesar kept this one, coming across more as Vitriolic Best Buds
  • Straight Gay: He is Happily Married to his male partner
  • Token Minority: He is the only Chinese contestant
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He compares Gordon to his own father, being both stern chefs. He later tells Gordon that his father wasn’t supportive of his life decisions, including cooking.

Farhan Momin

Occupation: Dental Student
Mentor: Aarón
  • Bollywood Nerd: He is Indian and a dental student. He kept comparing the competition with his profession, with mixed results.
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.
  • Failed a Spot Check: During the Dungeness Crab challenge, he finished extracting the meat five minutes early, standing still the remaining time. When it came the time to check his crab, he still had shell pieces. Gordon told him that the next time he has that much time left, he needs to double check everything.

Julia Danno

Occupation: Sales Manager
Mentor: Aarón
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Subverted. During a team challenge, she decides to plate all the dishes with smiley faces using the sauces because they are serving kids, which Shanika points out that they aren't toddlers and the decorations look stupid, which she ignores. She only averted this because Gordon tells her exactly what Shanika said before serving.

Shanika Patterson

Occupation: Event Promoter
Mentor: Joe
  • Brutal Honesty: Despite being edited as the season villain, Shanika wasn’t mean to anyone, but very blunt in her opinions, which rubbed her fellow contestants in the wrong way. Bowen was one of the very few who actually admired her for that.
  • Cassandra Truth: All the teams she has been part of ignored all of her advices, which turned out to be right when Gordon’s feedback was exactly what she said.
  • Deaf Composer: She is allergic to shellfish and chocolate. She nailed both challenges that required her to extract meat from a Dungeness crab, and baking a Black Forest cake.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her braided ponytail reached her waist. When Gordon asked her how long was it, Shanika called it her "Beyonce Ponytail". The first thing Gerron does to try appealing to her during the Citrus Challenge is to compliment her ponytail.
  • Sassy Black Woman: She had the poise, the skills and the confidence to back up her attitude.

Taylor Waltmon

Occupation: Sales Training Director
Mentor: Gordon
  • The Determinator: She didn't give up auditioning to MasterChef three years in a row. Gordon picked up on this and decided to finally give her a chance in Season 9.
  • Epic Fail: She and Ashely teaming up ended up in a terrible result. They mauled the chicken, with Gordon even stating that the kids from MasterChef Junior have done better, and couldn't even decide on how to cut the protein.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: She auditioned to MasterChef three times, losing the battles against Andrea in Season 7, and Cate in Season 8.
  • Nervous Wreck: She started to decline her performance as the season progressed, being more notable the pairs challenge with Ashley, in which she tried to bounce off her part of the blame, and the Tag-Team challenge, in which Julia did most of the actual work.

Emily Hallock

Occupation: Food Research Analyst
Mentor: Joe
  • The Ace: Many thought she was the one to beat, as she excelled in baking, savory and technical skills. The only reason she left early was because she underestimated Shanika.
  • The Cameo: Made an appearance during Season 10's pool party challenge.
  • Insufferable Genius: As a food anthropologist, she didn’t miss any opportunity to show off her food knowledge. While the judges were impressed with her, Samantha mentioned once that she didn’t want to be in her team because Emily came across as pretentious.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: She was considered the front runner from the first episode, but she underestimated Shanika by trying to take her out in a Pressure Test, which involved baking a Black Forest Cake. As a result, Shanika, despite being deadly allergic to chocolate, won over Emily, who’s cake fell inside the fridge and lost most of the filling cream.

Seung Joo "SJ" Yun

Occupation: College Student
Mentor: Gordon

Chelsea Sargent

Occupation: Sales Specialist
Mentor: Aarón
  • Heroic BSoD: After her team lost, she gets affected by Shanika being angry at her poor leadership. She still managed to present a good banana cream pie for the Pressure Test.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has curly hair dyed in blue and purple

Ralph Xavier Degala

Occupation: Senior Accountant
Mentor: Joe
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.
  • Picked Last: When the contestants had to group in pairs, Ralph was the last one without a partner. This turned out to be good for him, because he got to work with Joe, who not only taught him new techniques, but also granted him immunity for the elimination test.
  • Token Minority: He is Philipino-American

Mark Ingraham

Occupation: Dishwasher
Mentor: Joe
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He was the youngest competitor, at age 19.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
    • Mark believed that he did not need culinary school as all his knowledge of cooking came from his family restaurant. However, during the audition rounds, he served completely raw lamb, and would have been sent home had Joe not have felt pity for him and offered him an apron.
    • This hit him again during his last team challenge. He assured that he could do the Bearnaise sauce, but refused to listen to the judges about doing it in a double boiler instead of doing it on direct contact to the flame, since he learned the latter way from his father at the restaurant. As a result, he only had raw yolks instead of a sauce and crippled the team.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: He took pride on having been raised in a restaurant environment, but after a few episodes of being praised by the judges, his cockiness started to show, refusing to listen to feedback and sticking to the techniques learned at his mother’s restaurant rather than the judges’ advice. This resulted in his elimination.
  • You Remind Me of X: Joe’s main reason to give Mark his apron was because Joe saw a lot of himself in Mark’s upbringing in a family restaurant.

Ryan Cortez

Occupation: Drummer
Mentor: Aarón
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: Always wore his hair this way.

Lindsay Haigh

Occupation: Trial Attorney
Mentor: Aarón
  • Butch Lesbian: She has a wife back at home, planning to open with her a B&B if she wins.
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.

Matthew "Matt" Houck

Occupation: Optometrist
Mentor: Joe

Juni Cuevas

Occupation: Disability Analyst
Mentor: Aarón
  • Camp Gay: He describes himself as "a suburban housewife inside a gay man's body"
  • Deaf Composer: He is the vegan competitor of the cast. According to him, he can manage the challenges involving meat, after all he could handle his meat back in the day.
  • Epic Fail: His entire leadership during Shaun’s Wedding challenge. From the dish selection to the quality control, he was so bad at this that Gordon took the leadership away from him, gave it to Taylor, decided to skip the Pressure Test and eliminated him.
  • Missing Mom: He tells that his mother was deported to Mexico when he was very young, and he remembers her every time he cooks.

Alecia Winters

Occupation: Daycare Owner
Mentor: Aarón
  • Friend to All Children: She owns a day care center as her day job
  • Team Mom: As a daycare owner, she is friendly and protective. She was constantly cheering on Chelsea while Shanika was trashing her during the Pressure Test.
  • Tempting Fate: During the churro elimination challenge, she boasted that nobody from Aarón's team would be going home since at that point, Aarón still had all nine of his aprons left. Guess who gets eliminated, along with being the first Aarón chef sent home?
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She had long lavender hair
  • What Were You Thinking?: At the last minute of the churro elimination challenge, Alecia decided to toss her churros in sugar with a bowl, leaving them overcaked in sugar and severely disappointing Aarón.

Darrick Kraus

Occupation: Engineer
Mentor: Gordon
  • Beginner's Luck: He never poached eggs because his wife doesn't like egg yolks, and he managed to nail Crab Benedicts. However averted when breaking down his crab and making whipped cream.
  • The Millstone: His team lost the challenge because he ruined half their chicken supply.
  • Genre Blind: Gordon is baffled when Darrick admitted that he never practiced making whipped cream even before auditioning.
  • Manly Tears: He sheds tears of happiness when Gordon acknowledges his Sticky Toffee Pudding with three aprons.

Olusola Ogbomo

Occupation: Bus Driver
Mentor: Joe
  • Epic Fail: In Episode 5, the elimination challenge had the people who failed deconstructing a dungeness crab to make Gordon Ramsay’s Crab Benedict, presenting two muffins with perfectly seasoned crab, hollandaise sauce, and a light touch of paprika. Olusola couldn’t complete the second muffin, didn’t make enough hollandaise (because she wasted most of her eggs trying to nail the poached eggs), which was under seasoned, and she even forgot to use the presentation black plate, using a steel tray instead.

Stephanie Willis

Occupation: Bartender
Mentor: Gordon
  • Struggling Single Mother: She has a son she raises by herself. As her exit speech, she encouraged all single mothers to not let their circumstances define them.

Sal Maida

Occupation: Architect
Mentor: Joe
  • The Cameo: Appears as a guest for Gerron's Season 10 wedding challenge.
  • What Were You Thinking?: He landed in the Bottom 3 in the first Mystery Box. He was given California spot prawns, and he decided to make a New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp that not only failed at representing his home State, but also was poorly cooked.

Sid Hoeltzell

Occupation: Food Photographer
Mentor: Gordon
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Spends several minutes wandering through the kitchen looking for his potato masher in the steak and potato challenge.

     Season 10 

Dorian Hunter

Occupation: Creeler
  • The Ace: Has never been in the bottom during pressure tests.
  • Nervous Wreck: During the tag team pressure test, she got paired with Subha, who she saw as Nick's attempt to sabotage her. Subha's slow pace didn't help matters, which made her yell and throw tantrums during the entire challenge. Despite everything, Subha and her managed to present all the dishes, and later hugged it out after both were declared safe.
  • Pink Means Feminine: She picked the pink champagne cake during the Cake Replication Challenge, not just for the color, but because it strongly reminded her about her mother dying to breast cancer. She ended up having the best cake of the night, winning her immunity.
  • Team Mom: Like Shari, she tends to be the mother figure of the group, even comforting Micah after his family refused to come for the family visit.

Sarah Faherty

Occupation: Former Army Interrogator
  • Retired Badass: She served in the army as an interrogator, having retired from service a year prior to her audition.
  • Statuesque Stunner: The tallest female contestant and she's taller than several male ones.

Nick DiGiovanni

Occupation: College Student
  • Achilles' Heel: Desserts. While Nick started off as one of the front runners, he started to land in the bottom during dessert challenges. His Victoria Sponge was worthy of the Bottom 3, while his macaroons were heavily panned for their presentation. Thankfully averted in Episode 14, where he won the Immunity Challenge with a Lemon Meringue pie served in a mixer.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: His audition dish, a lamb ravioli, wound up surprising Joe for how good it was, easily netting Nick an apron.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Subverted. During the Latin protein mystery box, he tells the camera how difficult it is to cook with a model like Alessandra Ambrosio in the same room. He ends up winning the challenge alongside Shari and Wuta.
  • Foil: To Micah. Both are the youngest contestants of the season and highly praised by the judges for their raw potential. While Nick's parents decided to support his dream of becoming a chef after he got into Harvard, Micah doesn't have the approval of his father, who dismisses his culinary dream as "just a phase."
  • Token Rich Student: He studies at Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, which judges and contestants alike refer him that. He even auditions with a Harvard jersey.

Noah Sims

Occupation: Septic Systems Foreman

Subha Ramiah

Occupation: R&D Director
  • Achilles' Heel: His lack of plating skills, which Gordon constantly calls him out for it despite that his dishes taste great.
  • Author Appeal: Roses. All his desserts have featured rose water as the main theme, because he always gives roses to his wife on special days.
  • Cool Old Guy: A cool old Indian guy at the age of 54.
  • Failed a Spot Check: During the Chicken Carving Challenge, he finished the fastest in three minutes, but just like Farhan from last season (who happens to be Indian as well), faster did not mean better as he left a big chunk of chicken breast on the carcass.
  • Lethal Joke Character: During individual challenges he is always seen messing around, falling behind everyone else and having terrible plating. In spite of this, his dishes seem to make up for it in flavor, with a few laughs to boot.
  • The Load: Subha is a very talented cook who consistently puts out food with great flavors... in individual challenges. In team challenges, however, he is consistently shown to be useless at best and an impediment at worst.
    • During the Pool Party challenge, he was barely functioning, to the point Gordon had to remove him and send him to water the plants. Even after his team won the challenge, the judges revealed that they had to choose the weakest member to compete along with the losing team. Noah chose Subha because he had the most mistakes from all the team.
    • Subverted in Episode 9. Dorian saw him as this during the Tag-Team Challenge. In spite of his slow pace and Dorian constantly freaking out, both managed to survive the challenge without landing in the bottom.
    • During the racing team challenge he somehow manages to burn several portions of chicken despite not actually being involved with the cooking of the chicken.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his fellow contestants being constantly annoyed by his slow pace in team challenges, he didn't hold grudges, and the judges mostly laugh with him rather than scold him harshly.

Shari Mukhergee

Occupation: Stay At Home Mom
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Subverted. Most of the dishes she cooked earlier were all Indian based, frustrating Ramsay as he felt she can do more than cook like he's her mother in law. Fortunately by Episode 6 she learned her lesson, and going out of her comfort zone got her immunity twice.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: She is from Minnesota, and her husband is Indian. According to her confessional, her mother-in-law is constantly criticizing her, so Shari had to teach herself to cook Indian food to please her.
  • Team Mom: She has a gentle personality and is always ready to give support to her fellow contestants. During the wedding challenge, she tried to calm down Renee and make her focus.

Micah Yaroch

Occupation: Kitchen Porter
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He is the youngest contestant at age 19.
  • Deaf Composer: Like Noah, he too is allergic to shellfish. This didn't stop him from gaining immunity from the king crab mystery box with his squid ink and crab risotto alongside Shari and Fred.
  • Foil: To Nick. Both are the youngest contestants of the season and highly praised by the judges for their raw potential. While Nick's parents decided to support his dream of becoming a chef after he got into Harvard, Micah doesn't have the approval of his father, who dismisses his culinary dream as "just a phase."
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Gordon gives him his Battle Pass for a redemption round. He manages to win over Carli and Molly.
  • Nice Hat: Always wearing a backwards baseball cap.
  • Tempting Fate: In the One Pan Wonder Challenge, he brushes off Joe's warning of cooking a filet mignon in a cast iron pan and cooking at a high temperature, stating that he likes to take risk. His dish comes out with burnt ingredients and an undercooked filet which sends him in the bottom three for the first time.
    • A major one. After winning the Race Team Challenge, he sends Subha to the elimination challenge despite that he could have sent someone strong instead. Even Joe says that this decision may haunt him, to which he brushes it off. Several episodes later in the MasterClass elimination challenge, he gets eliminated in favor of Subha.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His big motivation is to prove to his family that he can have a career as a chef, which his father deems as a waste of time.

Bri Baker

Occupation: Cocktail Server
  • Tender Tears: She started crying the first time she landed in the bottom two, as she was embarrassed by the poor execution of her onion soup. This happened again during the cake challenge, since she had one of the easiest cakes, and the judges noted that this was her second worst performance in a row.

Jamie Hough

Occupation: Fisherman
  • Beginner's Luck: During Sweet Week, Jamie nailed both challenges involving desserts he never had or made before. The judges praised his Black Forest cake, and the following night his macaroons were praised along with Fred, Shari and Sarah's.
  • The Big Guy: The second tallest guy of the contestants. Even Noah notices how tall he is during the Race Team Challenge's group assembly.
    Noah: Every person has just congealed into Jamie's armpits.
  • The Captain: Invoked. When all the contestants tried to convince Joe why they deserved to lead their teams, Jamie's reason was because he is a literal boat captain.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Being a fisherman, Jamie had the knowledge how to properly clean and filet a fish to perfection, a fact that allowed him to win his safety in the prep boot camp challenge.
  • Irony: Despite being a fisherman, therefore strong at cooking fish and seafood, most of the lobster tails for Gerron's wedding turned out undercooked, which granted the win to the other team.
  • Nice Hat: Wears a baseball cap most of the time.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He is a fisherman, captain of his own boat, and even he got surprised when the judges praised his desserts.

Fred Chang

Occupation: Revenue Analyst
  • Epic Fail: In the wedding team challenge, he decides to push mashed potatoes through a strainer to "remove the impurities from it". He get's chewed out by Gordon for it getting him labled as a "donut".
  • Hero-Worshipper: During the Pool Party challenge, he got excited to see Season 8's Jason Wang there, since he admires Jason as a fellow American-Taiwanese competitor.
  • Irony: Despite being the only person in the kitchen who ever made a tart tartin before, he ended up making one that was raw on one half. It landed him in the bottom three, but thankfully, Evan did worse.
  • Shrinking Violet: His background into coming to the competition, in that he's introverted and people don't believe in him. During his run, he manages to get himself a massive boost in confidence and self-esteem.
  • What Were You Thinking?: During the Latin protein mystery box challenge, he decides to add cactus seeds to his dish to add crunch to his dish.

Wuta Onda

Occupation: English Teacher
  • Deaf Composer: He is vegetarian. During the Mystery Box challenge, he made his pork dish by tasting a bite of it and then spitting it to avoid eating the protein, to the surprise of the judges. He barely passed despite forgetting his most important protein on the cutting board. However, he managed to get in the top more than twice during Mystery Box challenges that required using proteins.
  • Hero-Worshipper: He looked up to Gerron, explaining that he was inspired to compete after seeing another African-American educator succeed in the competition.

Renee Rice

Occupation: Receptionist
  • Epic Fail: During episode 8's team challenge, she forgets to boil water for her team's raviolo dish, until Gordon reminds her.
  • Tempting Fate: During the cake challenge, she chooses cheesecake as her theme, but she screws up the height of her crust, so she decides to redo all the cheesecake. During the tasting, Renee kept claiming that she made the smartest move, but it turns out that her crust didn't hold, resulting in a base made of cracker sand with a cream cheese topping, because it didn't cook enough.

Sam Haaz

Occupation: Attorney

Keturah King

Occupation: Freelance Writer
  • Chekhov's Skill: Was very confident in deep frying the cod as a) she used to deep fry fish back in her mother's home, and b) she ate fish and chips a lot due to being British. It's very noteworthy that it was her dish that had the least amount of problems for the blue team.
  • Nervous Wreck: Became this in Episode 11 during the Barbecue Elimination Challenge. On top of never grilling anything before in her life, she had to create a dessert on top of that, making her entire performance frazzled throughout the hour. The end result: a poorly made steak and frites that did not use the full tomahawk steak, a dessert that Ramsay compared to Masterchef Junior Season 1 level, and her elimination.
  • Token Minority: She's the only non-American in this season as her hometown is listed as London, England.
  • Walking the Earth: In Episode 6, she tells that her father was a diplomat, which enabled her to travel to 16 countries and get a lot of international influence.

Michael Silverstein

Occupation: Real Estate Flipper

Liz Linn

Occupation: Events Consultant

Evan Tesiny

Occupation: Sales Coordinator
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He feels he's the strongest cook in the competition, but his attitude shows more of an arrogant side. This came in Episode 6 where he brushed off Joe and Aaron's suggestion of using a grill plate instead of a non stick pan, with Joe even warning him that anything he said would be thrown back at him. This ultimately became the reason why he was eliminated as, while he was a strong cook, his refusal to take in the judge's suggestions were a big problem.
  • Tempting Fate: Spends most of the prep boot camp challenge criticizing his fellow competitors on struggling with their own prep work, but when the judges get to him, he revealed a lot of mistakes as well.

Kimberly White

Occupation: Shoe Designer
  • Epic Fail: Her attempt at a mushroom sauce came out more like "mushroom flavored cottage cheese". This was the reason for her elimination.

Kenny Palazzolo

Occupation: Carpenter

Deanna Colon

Occupation: Vocal Coach


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: