MasterChef – Sun, Jun 12 – Luke Nguyen

Yay – it’s Luke Nguyen! Urgh – it’s Power Apron Week.

The contestants learn about the Power Apron Week and try to feign excitement. But they are genuinely happy when Luke walks in. His mystery box is revealed and there’s some cool stuff in there.

Luke's box of jicama, rambutan, shrimp paste, goat cutlets, lime, betel leaves, tamarind puree and crickets.
Luke’s box of jicama, rambutan, shrimp paste, goat cutlets, lime, betel leaves, tamarind puree and crickets.

I saw jicama (apparently it’s like a yam or turnip) for the first time a few weeks ago when they did the alphabet name the ingredient challenge, so I hope someone cooks with it. Goat curry is one of my faves, so surely someone will go that route. Topped with deep-fried cricket instead of the usual prawn heads.
Who’s going to remain invisible for this cook? My money’s on Anastasia – the new Elena.
Chloe is making a cricket praline parfait (when is she not making a parfait?). Trent gets to speak – yay! He’s doing goat in a betel leaf with a tamarind caramel. Heather is not wearing her headband. I’m worried she has left the source of her coooking power behind at the MC mansion. She whips out the smoking gun and uses it on the goatm to which she’ll add a tamarind glaze.
Intense Matt goes for broke and tries a goat ceviche. He’s curing the meat in lime, sugar and salt and is not sure if it will work. This is the challenge in which to take risks as no-one’s going home.
Elise is making a caramel cricket parfait. Not cricket wongtongs, Elise? She’s never been tasted in a mystery box and is hoping her caramlised crickets will give her the edge. Gaz forces George to try one and you can see if they weren’t on TV he wouldn’t do it.
Harry – frizzy fringe flying – is making goat skewers wrapped in betel leaves with rambutan jam. He’s deseeded the rambutans and is roasting them. Matt Preston gees him up and tells him the seeds will be poisonous unless they are correctly cooked. Google tells me that, while the seeds are bitter, it’s only folklore they are toxic and that testing has shown they are fine to eat. Roasting should remove the bitterness.
Who we haven’t seen: Anastasia, Elena, Nicolette, Mimi, Brett (we got a few words but have no idea what he’s cooking), Karmen and Zoe.
Gaz is keen on the dishes of Heather, IM, Harry and Elise.
Harry has given up on using the rambutan seeds and Elise has made a sugar coated betel leaf to go with her cricket parfait. “Things that taste good but don’t look good are fine at home,” says IM, but he knows he needs to jazz things up for MC. He adds a fried egg to his dish – perhaps he should have done an egg net instead.

Top three tastings
IM’s citrus-cured goat salad: He’s not happy with his plating. “It looks homely but interesting at the same time,” says George. “Matt, presentation-wise, I like it,” says Luke. “That’s pretty cool.” The judges only have good things to say.
Heather’s smoked and barbecued goat with tamarind glaze: Luke is impressed she grilled the betel leaf, as he’s never done it. She gets thumbs up but they’re not raving as much as for IM’s dish.

Are crickets on special at Coles this week?
Are crickets on special at Coles this week?

Elise’s cricket caramel parfait with sweet betel leaf: Gaz says it looks “beyond amateur cook status” and it taste delicious. “It’s stunning to look at … wor, hey – congratulations,” says Luke, one of the nicest blokes on TV.

And the winner of the first power apron is …
Elise … darn it – I was barracking for IM. Elise’s dessert did look pretty cool, though. So, what power does she have that will turn out to be a poisoned chalice filled with rambutan seeds?
She gets to choose between “steamed” and “fried”. The ovens will be turned off. Luke is a good salesman for the wonders of frying, and she succumbs to his charms. Everyone will be happy with that.
Instead of looking for the top three, they are looking for the top one, who will get the power apron. Bottom three contestants are up for elimination. Elise gets 90 minutes to cook her dish, while the others have 60. At least the others will have 30 minutes to plan their dishes properly.
Elise is making pan-fried quail with mango harissa, maple goat’s cheese and bacon jus. So, she’ll use up her whole advantage chopping up pesky quail. Over on the sideline Nicolette picks up that Elise is making a jus, which uses involves boiling. But they are only allowed to fry things. The judges wait til she’s done heaps of work before dropping the bomb. This is where the so-called disadvantage has served the other contestants well.
The others start to cook and at least we won’t see any parfaits for this challenge.
Oh my goodness – Anastasia is speaking! She’s making seafood with a fried fennel pesto. And now Karmen finally gets to talk, about her laksa-inspired flatbread wrap. Chloe is making duck breast with sambal and compressed cucumber. It looks like compressing is the new smoking, which is soooo 10 minutes ago.
Elena has been reading my mind and is creating an egg net filled with pork and prawn. Pork served her well last week with the Spanish rice dish that finally got her airtime. Her egg net is green with what I guess is coriander but it’s not quite working.
Zoe plans to do a whole deep-fried baby snapper, even though she’s never done it before: “I’m going to run with it and hope I can cook that dish perfect (sic).”
Harry, who lived in Korea for a while, is making Korean fried chicken.
Brett – now the oldest contestant left in the comp by at least a decade – is making crumbed fish and chips.
With 23 minutes to go, Chloe hasn’t even broken down her duck and Elena is still having egg net drama. Luke gives her some tips. Come on, Elena – you can do it!
Zoe’s snapper is out of the fryer and it does not look great. So she goes and grabs another one. What a waste of fish! Why not switch to prawns or something. Panicking, she chucks it on the hot oil which splashes all over her arm. I’m surprised she didn’t go the desert route and make some kind of crepe with a dry caramel, dry-fried nuts and fruit.
Harry’s Korean fried chicken has been coated in a sticky sauce and it looks delicious. Brett is having soggy chip dramas and Elise feels like she wasted her time. Elena has given up on the eggnets and used her mixture for omelettes instead.
At least when they do the tasting we get to see what everyone else cooked.

Time to taste
Harry’s KFC with assorted side dishes: “I love the flavours,” says Luke. “You’ve transported us somewhere really special,” says Gaz.
Zoe’s snapper: The fish is cooked but her sambal is way too hot. “I was expecting more,” says Luke. She’s definitely bottom three.
Anastasia’s prawns with fried fennel pesto: “I go weak at the knees when I look at fennel,” says George. “I love that dish sooo much.” Gaz thinks the flavours go “boom!”.
Elena’s pork and prawn omelette: “It’s not great for me, I hate to say,” says Gaz of the soggy pancake. Yep, she’s in trouble.
Trent’s prawn and corn fritters with mango salad: “That’s exciting,” says George.
Nicolette’s version of a Vietnamese prawn salad: “Colourful” and “delicious”.
Heather’s nori-wrapped tempura quail: “Quite delicious.”
IM’s buttermilk fried snapper with green papaya salad: The fish is “just so damn good”.
Brett’s fish and chips: Gaz admires his chip-cutting technique. But they’re soggy. The fish is cooked well but the dish did not wow compared to everyone else’s efforts.
Elise’s quail with mango harissa: “You’ve gone from the highs … to just having an absolute brain freeze … I don’t like it.” Luke says she got confused and flustered and it shows in the dish.
Chloe’s duck with pickled, compressed veg and sambal: The judges coo “It’s so pretty” when it arrives. “It looked great and everything worked for me,” says Luke. George: “This is bang up to speed.”
So, we didn’t get to see what Karmen or Mimi made.

The top three
Anastasia, Chloe and Harry. The winner of the power apron is Anastasia. Woo hoo – someone different!

The bottom three
Zoe, Elena and Elise. Fingers crossed Elena will make it through.

Tomorrow night: The bottom three has to create a Ross Lusted dish. Elise probably has the advantage in that she survived the pressure of the Anna’s Mess dessert challenge last week, so she knows a bit about what to expect. The promo shows Elena having a little moment, so not her usual serenely glowing state of being.

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How many decent, hardworking fish had to give up their lives for Zoe to make a mediocre dish?
And if Elise can’t follow the simple brief of frying, not boiling, as a pharmacy technician, how many people has she killed with the wrong drugs?
The Power Apron should be renamed the Useless Apron – it does little more than the so-called ‘advantages.’

Ok so Elise has picked up Heatherisms – someone should tell them you can’t cook jews. They don’t like it.

Hoping that the awful Zoe will get the chop tomorrow, but I think it will be Elena.


lol, it’s beyond me why they don’t tell them. I suppose they want them to look and sound ignorant.


I cringed every time I heard Elise pronounce jus…..preparing a jew, doing a jew, etc. Heard Nicollete pronounce it as “jew” also. Why does no one correct them?
Harry helps Heather out by telling her that the veggie she is holding is a jicama and he even spells it for her: “jicoma”. LOL
Also why do the contestants say I hope I will be tasted. That just doesn’t sound right. 😉 How about I hope my dish will be tasted.

Power apron was a big joke.

Hoping for Zoe to be eliminated but will probably be Elena or Elise.


“I hope I get tasted ..”
“Embrace the goat ..”


brain dead dave

Yeah. I just heard “embracing the goat.”. There are kids watching. Boom, boom. The show’s really gone to buggery.

Embrace the goat real bad, yeah?

Hero the goat. This ep isn’t worth two knobs of goat shit so far.


Falling deeper into the abyss…worst season of MC evah.


No, the judges don’t want to taste the contestants. I don’t think they taste very nice!


Who knew goat most consumed red meat in the world? I do have an awesome Jamaican goat curry recipe (you do too, Juz?). Unfortunately most places only stock goat frozen and it ends up being quite expensive (and sometimes off when defrosted).
Thanks for the recap Juz. The parfait cracked me up. Why? with so many ingredients to choose from…. She wasn’t the only one, I noticed someone else had something “ice-cream” looking.
That fish – what a waste! It must have been pretty bad to be worse than soggy fish and chips. Elise’s dish – another fine example of minimalist plating – WTF, was there a reason, for such a small portion? Her plating was ridiculous!


Fortunately I’m in the position that when I want goat my son goes out and gets me a whole one for free. (Plenty of wild ones out here) and he has become quite the butcher. We haven’t eaten lamb in over 10 years as goat is a much nicer meat imo. I haven’t tried Jamaican recipes but do love middle eastern with it and it makes a great spag bol.

Saw Miles’ elimination a mile off and agree that it should have been Zoe.

Power shmower…what a crock of 💩 a half hour advantage and I think I’ll waste it on boiling a sauce in a FRYING challenge. REALLY??? What part of fry did Elise not get?


The half hour advantage actually helped the others in the end. They had that time to think about what to cook & how to do it.


Thanks for the great recap Juz.
That mystery box, I wouldn’t have known what to do with most of those ingredients. I really wanted them to try Harry’s dish & see if he poisoned them. But was happy to see 3 different people get picked for a change.
Oh Elise Elise Elise, wasting that half hour advantage. She did seem to get all confused there for a bit. She had that whole quail, then only had a couple of little bits on her plate. What the fuck did she do with the rest of it?
And stupid Zoe. She cooks a whole fish & it doesn’t work out so she gets another fish EXACTLY THE SAME & does it again. Why didn’t she cut out a fillet & crumb or batter it? Cut the tail & head off at least. Then she makes a chilli sauce & DOESN’T TASTE IT. I knew that it wouldn’t be nice. Every time someone says they haven’t tasted something it always tastes horrible. Don’t they learn?
I didn’t know goat was the most eaten red meat in the world. I’ve never had it. I imagine it would be similar to lamb.
Harry’s chicken did look really yummy.
It was obvious who the bottom 3 would be. Brett’s lucky, he just scraped through.


It’s similar to lamb but seems less fatty. Terrific for braises, pies etc. Unfortunately it’s hard to get for a decent price on my boring Anglo-centric side of town but if you head to an area with a more vibrant mix of cultures you can get some bargains.


Oh thanks Juz.


I was worried Anastasia’s advantage would be to swap someone out and put the next bottom one (Brett) in their place, but it looks as if the three women are cooking in the promo…

Fingers cross Zoe goes. She drives me bananas in her talking heads.


Hope Zoe goes. Her cooking arrogance knows no boundaries and her grammar is even worse.

Elise was busy cooking Jews last night and bombed in a spectacular fashion.

Why do they keep saying, “I want it so bad” – it drives me nuts.
Never tried Goat. Hard to source that protein in my local Woollies! Goat curry cooked in a middle eastern style sounds delicious.
The power apron is about as useful as 15 minutes free parking!

brain dead dave

Plenty of goats at my supermarket. Old ones who stand in the middle of the aisles , talking.

Thanks for the recap, Juz.. Now I know Zoe fails, I’ll be pumped for the encore.


I think eating goat is common in India as they don’t eat beef.

I don’t really eat red meat but when I was living in Singapore, there is a street food call Soup Kambing (Goat Soup) sold by Indians. That soup is delished. Very peppery and the meat is tender.

Not sure why Harry want to use the rambutan seeds. He is trying to complicate things like Miles. But I want to eat his Korean Fried Chicken!

They said they will taste every dish and yet we didn’t see the complete dishes from Karmen and Mimi.


Harry is getting very cocky!! I am o.k with Matt. At least he really want to do well and always trying his best. Harry keep saying he knows all these Asian flavours. Like he is an expert in it!


Yep, seems a bit full of himself.


I used to go out with a farmer. We had goats. He used to sell the baby male goats to some Greeks who butchered them (qualified butchers). I remember one of the Greeks saying to me that, at 6 weeks old, they were too old and could they had them younger please. I know it shouldn’t make any difference but it put me off.
I should add that a lot of things about farming put me off. Cruel occupation. Hence, I am now very close to being vegetarian (and don’t get me started on pig farming).

Lyn F.

When I saw Zoe with the fish, I kept thinking that’s how another Masterchef contestant from years past got eliminated: by attempting (but failing) to fry a whole fish. (Nicole from Series 6.) That could possibly be Masterchef’s new death dish…

brain dead dave

I don’t like crickets….uh huh…. I love them.

I thought you were joking in the recap about crickets, Juz. So the massive Power Apron is for throwing up on after eating them. A Caramel Cricket Parfait. Throw some fennel in, ffs.

Everything the topknot tackles is “beautiful” in advance. Shut up, Harry.


Thanks for the recap, Juz.

I have to admit that once Elise won the “power apron”, I got mighty bored and turned off. I have a feeling she was pretty disappointed to learn the “power” was no different to just plain old winning the Mystery Box every Sunday night, which turned out to be the usual poisoned chalice. So I was amused to read the result here.

I’ll watch tonight to see who goes bye bye though. I hope it’s not Elise – that would be just too cruel.