The dish that sent me home from #MasterChef… reworked.

I’ve been in an environment that fosters innovation for the past decade. With innovation comes failure. As I’ve mentioned before, failure teaches us the most important lessons. There’s a quote from work that I’ve become quite fond of:

“If you see sombody working on something impossible, please do not disturb them…”

This dish may have been called “blood clots” and “shoe leather” by the judges, but here’s a re-worked proof of concept…

Was this executed perfectly on the show? No. Was it the most daring, bold, risky, creative dish of the day… I think so. The idea is completely “Freak Genius”… Here’s the recipe that has been put through some proper testing and development.


For the Coffee Spheres.

303g Fresh brewed coffee (with or without chickory… your choice)

67g Evaporated Milk

42g sugar

11.2g Calcium Lactate Gluconate

4g Ultratex 8

Blend all ingredients thuroughly with hand blender. Pour into a 8″x8″ pan or a container that will have the liquid be about 1/2″ deep. Freeze solid.

For the Alginate Setting Bath

1432g BOTTLED water (3x12oz bottles, tap water will not work)

4.8g Sodium Alginate

Mix alginate thoroughly with clean hand blender. Chill and reserve.


For the Binget.

7g Yeast

167g Warm Water

50g Sugar

3g Salt

1 Egg

120g Evaporated Milk

440g Bread Flour

25g Shortening

Oil for Frying

Powdered Sugar

Combine yeast, water, sugar, and evaporated milk. Cut shortening into flour and salt. Mix liquid with beaten egg. Add all the wet ingredients to dry and allow dough to rise.

Coffee Bourbon Salted Carmel

122g Burbon

145g Turbinado Sugar

50g Coffee Beans, whole

2g salt

4 tblspn butter

108g Heavy Cream

Place Bourbon and Coffee into .5L iSi canister. Charge with 1 N20 cartridge reserve 10 minutes. Release all gas quickly. Strain. Discard beans.

Place coffee infused burbon into a sauce pan over medium heat. Flame to burn off alcohol. Add sugar and bring to 260F. Add cream – be careful, the carmel will foam up here. Whisk in butter and salt. Transfer to squeeze bottle.


Cut frozen coffee into 1″ squares. Place frozen squares into alginate bath for about two minutes. Make sure coffee is completely submerged and not touching each other. After two minutes carefully transfer spheres to a fresh water bath. They will be extremely delicate at this point – handle them like egg yolks.


Roll out dough 1/4″ thick. Place coffee spheres on dough and lightly moisten the dough around the sphere. fold and seal the dough as you would a ravioli. Carefully cut into desired shapes. Seal edges extremely well- an opening means that about a table spoon of coffee is going to leak into 375F oil (bad thing).

Fry in 375F oil until brown, about 2-3 minutes, rotating frequently. Dust with powdered sugar and top with bourbon coffee caramel. Devour. Get kicked off MasterChef. Go #TeamAdrian!


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  1. Mike

    I really appreciate the fact that you stuck your neck out and tried something that no one else would have ever dared attempting. Your passion for food shows so much and for that I would recommend you join an organization called the RCA. If you don’t already know what it is; the RCA is the research chefs association and it will give you an amazing platform to hone your craft and meet other people who share your passion. is the website. I am a corporate chef in R&D and have been a member for the past 2 years and its awesome! I wish you the best and and i have to say that i hate seeing Max stay and you go, oh well good luck man. Email if you decide to join the RCA, the national conference is in San Antonio this year. Going to be a BLAST. Good luck man,


  2. David Schultz

    Great job Son. Science involves bold and persistent experimentation. If doesn’t work throw it out and try again.

    Love Dad

  3. Kristen W


    You are always amazing. I will never stop saying that. I enjoyed watching you on the show and was sad that your time was up. Have to say though, you’re dish was by far the most creative and definitely not the same old boring thing. I have to give you props for sticking to who you are and always pushing the envelope! Will always be one of your biggest fans and I’m glad we’ve reconnected as friends. Someday I will try this, just not that brave yet! Love you!
    Kristen =p

  4. I just watched that episode and my husband and I were so sad. We were rooting for a local boy! But I expect to see you back next season. It was too bad that the less daring stuff kept them safe. Hopefully your loco moco will be somewhere on a menu soon so I can try it.

    You did an amazing job. I’ve met some very talented people who were on season one and were eliminated in the first episode, so I’d say you did very very well.

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