'MasterChef Junior' Season 8 Finale: Liya and Grayson impress judges with complex protein for entrees

As the two chefs put together entrees for the judges, winning this first round meant they were one step closer to winning the title


                            'MasterChef Junior' Season 8 Finale: Liya and Grayson impress judges with complex protein for entrees
Grayson and Liya on 'MasterChef Junior' (Instagram/masterchefjunior)
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If there is anything that can be said about 'MasterChef Junior' Season 8, it would have to be that this season was a cutthroat one. Right up until the semi-finals, it looked like it could have been anyone's competition to win, seeing that each of the young chefs was exceptionally talented. While it was heartbreaking to say goodbye to a young chef each week, it has now boiled down to the top two chefs -- Liya and Grayson. With both of them bringing their own unique strengths, talent and tastes to the table, the battle is now on to see who walks away with the 'MasterChef Junior' Season 8 title, trophy and cash prize!

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If you're on the prowl for culinary reality shows to sink your teeth in, you might want to consider 'Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend' and 'MasterChef: Back to Win'.

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For Young Grayson, whose dream is to own a Michelin star restaurant, being on the show gave him the opportunity to push the envelope and take some risks when it came to his cooking. His time on the show led him to realize that this is what he was meant to do for the rest of his life. Whereas, when it came to Liya, she noted that cooking runs in her blood and for her, it would be carrying on her family's legacy. While she learned a lot at her family restaurant, her time on the show allowed her to grow and improve her skills. Stepping into the finals, Liya felt confident in the kitchen and knew that she had a chance at winning.

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When it came down to the competition, the young chefs had to make three plates of entrees and desserts. Liya decided on a spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant for the entrees. For her, her menu looked at celebrating her family and Asian heritage. Grayson on the other hand went with a Togarashi dusted venison loin, smoked whipped potatoes and blackberry juniper gastrique. To him, this dish was his love letter to his hometown of Austin.

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While Gordon was worried at Grayson might have picked the toughest cut, Aaron reminded him that many adults have won the show cooking venison. At the same time, they were also concerned that Liya might undercook her duck. Although the pressure was on, both the chefs were in their element, determined to see the challenge through. However, Grayson's smoking gun refused to work, causing a hindrance in his cooking process. While the pressure was getting to him, Grayson managed to get the smoking process going just in the nick of time. 

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When it came down to the judging process, Gordon noted that this was the best protein he'd served. Daphne complimented the 'art' of his food, while Aaron also praised him for cooking the protein beautifully. Whereas Aaron was all praises for Liya plate, and even Gordon noted that he felt as though he had the best seat in her parent's restaurant. For Daphne as well, Liya dish felt as though it was elevated comfort food. Moving towards the dessert round, it was certainly neck to neck.

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