MasterChef – Sun, Jul 10 – San Fran trip

The MasterChef Australia competition travels to California for the week. With just a map in hand the contestants must track down the mystery box ingredients from local San Francisco produce shops.

Don’t forget to vote in the new poll for MasterChef final three.
According to Wikipedia (so it must be true), this is the rundown for the last few weeks of the show:

We start with the Qantas plug with Elise and Trent living it up in business class – the reward for having won the last challenge. No footage of the others crammed into cattle class.
All of a sudden they are strolling on a clifftop past Alcatraz. “It’s an absolutely mint day,” says Intense Matt.
George is looking extra stubbly today but Matt Preston is wearing a new cream blazer and waistcoat combo.
They learn today is a mystery box challenge, with each person contributing one item of local produce they buy somewhere in San Francisco. Harry and Brett end up at a fishmonger scoffing down calamari, oysters and crab. Trent and Elise stumble upon a farmers market – no way did a producer tell them to head there. Trent goes for citrus while Elise finds a dreadlocked farmer to sell her vegies. She wants to choose a veg that has multiple uses. No doubt it will be beetroot.
IM ends up in a fancy chocolate shop where they wrap they blocks of chocolate for you and he’s right – no-one would have picked him to choose bacon. Glowing Elena is sent more to a deli type place and is sniffing around the fennel pollen – will she pick it? No Mimi airtime.
They head back to the outdoor MasterChef kitchen, with views of the Golden gate bridge.
The mystery box contains: Mimi – beef shortribs, GE – fennel pollen, Brett – fennel goat’s cheese, Harry – crab, IM – 100 per cent Ecuadorean choc, Trent – tangelos and Elise – golden beetroot. They have 60 minutes and the usual staples of butter, flour etc.
IM is planning to do Korean short ribs with roasted beets, tangelo and beet relish with grated choc, served on flatbread.
Trent is doing a dessert of smoked choc mousse with tangelo granita. Ooh, fancy. Trent is really getting into smoking stuff. But he’s having drama melting the choc as it’s 100 per cent cacao. Luckily he fixes it by folding some smoked cream through it.
Elise is, of course, doing dessert: a choc brownie with a golden beet and tangelo sorbet.
Mimi is grilling her shortribs and serving them with beetroot and a fennel cracker.
Harry is making what he calls crab benedict while GE is making a crab and beetroot salad with the veg done several ways, including a beetroot puree with fennel pollen.
Brett is doing fennel pollen ravioli (it’s a while since we’ve had ravioli on the show, after the initial glut of them) stuffed with goat’s cheese.
IM is in his element cooking street food and we get talking head reiterating his food truck dream. He’s getting heaps of airtime so could well be winning this challenge.
Now Elise is having the same choc dramas as Trent and she’s using silicon moulds, but the red moulds of death obviously weren’t tucked into the Qantas jet cargo hold. Elise’s brownies are a bust and she’s trying to hold back the tears in front of a crowd of tourists. “It looks like absolutely crap,” she says in her usual blunt manner. At least George comes over to put an arm around her and give her a pep talk. She gets back on track and plans a few last-minute elements to bulk out her dish.
Trent adds a microwave sponge to his dish as an afterthought, even though he thinks it’s too dense.
Again, Mimi has disappeared from the edit. And Harry didn’t get much time.

The judges taste

GE’s crab and beet salad: George says there is a definite “look” to her food. Gaz says it’s clean and fresh. “I love it,” says George.

Elise’s beet and tangelo sorbet with fennel and citrus crumb: Gaz tells her it looks fine but she’s teary anyway. He likes the sorbet. “Show everyone here in America how good you are,” George tells her.

Trent’s smoky choc mousse with tangelo granita: You can tell from the edit they are going to hate the sponge. George loves the smoked mousse. But Matt says the sponge is “bleagh”. Gaz says he’s worried for him: “You haven’t found your identity yet in the competition.”
Mimi’s beef with crackers and beetroot: She gets a few words about it being tasty.
Brett’s ravioli: The cheese dominates the crab. It is, however, delish.

Harry’s crab benedict: It looks great and it’s fun, they say.

IM’s beef ribs in flatbread: He’s worried it’s street food and not fancy enough. They are so going to love it. And, yes, they love the colours and he gets the tinkly piano. Thumbs up from Gaz: “The hairs on the back of my head just went ‘ping’.” George takes the leftovers out to the crowd to try.

The winner is …
Yep, it’s IM, which was bleedingly obvious from about eight minutes in. Next up is a parade of farmers walking in carrying giant baskets of local produce. IM’s advantage is to pick one ingredient to be the challenge “hero” and he goes the beef. Brett will be happy. They can use any of the local produce, plus staples, and have 60 minutes.
If they win this one they get fast-tracked to the final challenge of San Fran week.

Elena is making a borscht-inspired sauce, using red cabbage and betroot, calling on her Ukrainian heritage. Matt is respecting the produce by not cooking it, for a carpaccio. Trent is going back to the hearty rustic cooking that is more his style, doing steak, mushies and creamy kale.
Elise wishes she was doing dessert but sucks it up to cook steak with smoked leek, pickled onions and jus.
For once, the judges aren’t thrilled with GE’s dish and look disdainfully at her soz of beetroot and beef bones. “I think you’re just making it mucky and dirty,” says Gaz. “It looks like a witches’ brew.” Ouch.
Harry is the first one to pull out the sous vide machine, so his steak will be perfectly cooked. Brett is doing the caveman rib eye on the bone with a smoked parsnip puree, which we’ve seen a few times.
Mimi is going with a walnut theme, crusting her rib eye with it and serving it with a walnut pesto and walnut butter.
IM makes parsnip chips to go with his raw beef but needs to trick it up some more.
Mimi pulls her T-rex haunch from the oven and reckons she’s overcooked it. And, yes, it’s no longer mooing.
IM is adding some sauteed mushies and a smoked, confit egg yolk to his dish. Trent is happy with his self-described “caveman food”.
Elise is doing her dessert-style plating for her dish and you know the judges will adore it. She’s getting the underdog comeback edit.
Mimi and Brett aren’t in with a chance – they haven’t had enough airtime, and Harry isn’t far behind.

The judges taste …

Elise’s steak with smoked leeks: The pretty plating gets a “woah”. Gaz says she has a great chance of getting into finals week. Matt loved the soz and the balance of the elements. George tells her she needs to embrace her savoury side.

Trent’s caveman food: “Everything taste as it should do,” says Matt. The judges are happy he’s “cooking from the heart”. Meanwhile, on the sidelines the tourists are shivering in their hoodies while our contestants are stuck in their T-shirts for continuity.
GE’s teak and veg with borscht-inspired soz: Gaz actually loves the soz but thinks it doesn’t go with beef. Matt thinks it would suit duck or pork more.
Harry’s sous vide steak with mushies and onion soz: They like it.
Brett’s rib eye with pickled beetroot and smoked parsnip puree: Gaz loves the puree.
Mimi’s walnut beef: Night has fallen by the time Mimi’s dish is tasted. Poor thing looks nervous and cold. Gaz thinks it’s not as overcooked as she feared. It’s delish. Matt likes the walnut theme.

IM’s carpaccio with smoked egg yolk: Again, the edit is doing the “it’s a risk thing” to make you think it will be a disaster. Gaz says the dish shows confidence and maturity in looks alone. George says he respected the produce. Matt says the yolk “derailed” the dish slightly.

The winner …
..and the person who will be fast-tracked to the end-of-the-week challenge is out of Elise (and George gives her a loud “yes” – and not a “yes, George” yes) and Trent. And Trent gets it! Good one, Trent. “You could seriously win this competition,” George tells him. Much as I love Trent, at this stage, that would be a bit of a surprise, as the edit has painted him as more of a steady cook than a risk taker.

Now, please let them put some jackets on and go back to the hotel for hot showers.

Tomorrow night
They have to replicate the dishes of a Domenique Crenn, who’s won “best female chef in the world” awards. Yay – a female chef who’s not Kylie Kwong on the show. She’s so fancy that when you go to the website for one of her restaurants and click on “menu” you just get a poem. George would love it. But maybe not so much vegetarians wondering if there are any meat-free dishes.

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From the TV guide for Final week

Sun 17 Jul

Finals Week. The top six contestants now face a mystery box challenge containing some of the hottest ingredients being used in the world right now. The winner will gain the advantage going into the invention test.

Mon 18 Jul

The bottom three contestants from the invention test now face the elimination pressure test set by pastry chef & dessert specialist, Christy Tania.

Tue 19 Jul

The Top Five contestants must cook five dishes from the menu of the Lake House in Daylesford under the guidance of legendary chef & owner, Alla Wolf-Tasker.

Wed, 20 Jul

The bottom 3 contestants from the Lake House challenge now face elimination & must impress the judges with a dish produced from the ingredients that they each cooked with to get into the competition.

Thurs 21 Jul

The final MasterClass of 2016 sees the return of the eliminated contestants. The shoe’s on the other foot for George, Gary & Shannon who must cook a dish from ingredients from a special mystery box.

brain dead dave

Thanks Littlepetal . I’ve never heard of the legendary chef… but “Wolf~Tasker”, I will remember.


She has appeared on MC before

brain dead dave

Fail for me…. I could be going home.


In the previous oversea trip, they have a time limit to shop. Tonight it is more about advertising San Fran.

Fennel is still the flavor of the day

brain dead dave

I don’t know if Inspector Callahan would approve of fennel. Now there’s a new Dirty Harry coming to San Francisco.


Definitely preferred the old one. He’d take a magnum to topknot Harry in a heartbeat and not feel a moment’s qualm. Sigh.


Smoking gun also making its appearance

brain dead dave

A Forty Four Magnum.

“I know what you’re thinking with that “beautiful” parfait, punk”


Waiting for the sous vide machine


Yeah, didn’t disappoint!!! Here come the sous vide machine


Silicone mould, at least not dome shaped also make its appearance


Those short ribs look really thin – look a bit different to what we would buy here.


FFS – tears. It’s not an elimination challenge.


Thought the same thing. Why waste tears when you won’t be eliminated!


With all the contestants talking in sound bytes and layer upon layer of MC cliches, I barely have the strength to keep watching – even when it’s transferred to another country.
It’s not a good season.


You’re right, would be interested to play an episode from this season, side by side with one from the first season.
Pretentious claptrap.


Totally given up watching live and can barely summon energy to click ‘play’ even when I can fast forward through the annoying bits- but given that 90% is annoying to me it’s barely worth it!


Nothing great about Harry’s dish but they still try to sing its praises

brain dead dave

Singing crab….what next? We’re in San Fennelcisco, too.


Beetroot & beetroot leaves – fennel & fennel pollen. Jew (sic) Season 2016


And parfait mounds!


Smoked leeks has been done to death. Its not an invention, Elise


Getting dark out there and the audience has gone home.
And then they have to do their ‘speak to us’ pieces.
Long day for everyone I assume.


Wonder why they didnt cook under some kind of cover, or let them wear hats – some bad sunburn there. I think it must cost zillions to relocate the show, all that equipment on a dockside☺


Harry strikes me as being a bit effeminate


Well, there is this from No Idea.

Is Harry dating Luke Wolfe?






Thanks for the great recap Juz.
So they go all the way to the other side of the world & still cook with beetroot & fennel.
I’ve never had 100% chocolate, the most I’ve had it 75%.
You could see what a long day it must have been cooking outside. It was very dark by the end of it. Plus they would have been jetlagged, assuming they went straight from the plane.
That crab benedict looked absolutely yummy. I love eggs benedict, so would love it with crab.
They didn’t seem to have a time limit to buy the food. They were all taking their time & the guys were eating all that seafood without a care in the world.
So they’re only doing one elimination this week. Usually tomorrow would be one.


I love crab and anything with crab will be delicious.

Not so sure about the inventiveness in their invention test.


So Elise .. “far out!” .. says she thinks it’s time she learnt to cook savoury.
Ya think?
Brett does his usual meat on pureed something or other.
Harry tries to use psychology on the judges by calling his food beautiful and delicious. Doesn’t work.

Trent uses the oldie-but-a-goodie ‘me on a plate’ routine … and it works!
They loved eating Trent.

Mimi’s beef looked so rare, there were vampires hovering, yet they called it ‘medium’ and over-cooked? Am I missing something?

As far as I can tell, Matt is the most talented and creative, and Preston was quite harsh about his egg. Robbed.


They need to keep at least one contestant in play who can cook.

Too bad there is no guest appearance by the MCUS judges.


The judges on MC Australia think they are way better than those judges on MC US. They do not want us to see them on our screen


Only two main judges on MC US now…Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tossi but would have been fun to see them as part of the CA “adventure”.


Thanks for the recap Juz. Should have skipped watching and just read it.
Beetroot…the most overused vegetable evah in MC.
Except for the views there was nothing exciting about this episode. Thought perhaps the trip to CA would make things more interesting but it’s just the SOS, different country. Hope the remaining CA episodes will be better.
I do like Trent and Matt the best and would like one or both to be in the finals. IMO, Matt’s dish was the most inventive in the invention test and I think he should have won.


I thought they might have the contestants do something at The French Laundry, which is one of the best restaurants in CA but no. 🙁


They were cold at the end? All I could see was the horrendous sunburn on Matt, Brett, and Trent. Add heatstroke to jetlag and fatigue.

Seems that ‘invention’ is no longer a feature of the invention test. Both contestants who tried to rev up their dishes were mildly condemned for it.

Felt a little uncomfortable with George actually hugging Elise and went off on a daydream to imagine what would happen if he gave in to baser instincts and went too far.

TV in general is a little sad at the moment, waiting for the olympics to be over. No wonder MC is killing the ratings, they have no competition.


Contestants said thet did apply suncreen. Its the icy cold wind that caused the redness-from Elena.

There must be a break during the day between the mystery box and invention cook off.

Invention test could be filmed in the late afternoon .


Go Trent!


So they’re only getting rid of one contestant this whole week in California?! Oh, geez, boot them out already! I love the show but it’s going soooo slowly in the final weeks. Can’t wait for the Bachelor, and then Survivor Aus! Get on with it!

brain dead dave

The hairs on the back of Gary’s head went “ping ” a long time ago. There’s none there. He ought to have been referring to the hairs on the back of his neck but I love Gary’s passion for destroying language convention and revealing that he’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.


A pity about the week’s itinerary – Elise would have been right at home in Silicone Valley.


What do you mean by that?


Because she keeps using the silicone moulds, I guess.


Oh how stupid of me😁 well said, for a minute i thought it was a reference to false boobs!