MasterChef – Thurs, July 7 – auction elimination

The four members of the losing teams from the service challenge now face elimination.
(Sorry, gice – hope to catch up on last night’s service challenge recap at the weekend.)

Poor Intense Matt looks tired but maybe that’s because they are still forcing him to sleep in a bunk bed. We get IM back story about his recent marriage and his food dream. And more footage of Chloe’s beardo hubby and her farm restaurant food dream.
Glowing Elena looks extra glowy today. No back story as yet for her or Mimi. Have we ever seen Mimi back story?
They walk into the MasterChef kitchen and realise it’s the dreaded auction challenge, where they bid minutes of their 120 minutes total cooking time for ingredients: proteins, veg and miscellaneous (sauces, spices etc). They’re not allowed to use the MC herb garden, which will make it harder for whoever misses out on the herbs or spices.
In the past there’s always been one person who plays strategically, bidding on something they don’t want to inflate the price, but it often comes back to bite them.
Thanks to reader Liberty, who recapped all the bids:
Mimi bids 25 minutes for beef
IM bids 35 minutes for duck (after a bidding war with Elena)
Chloe bids 15 minutes for eggs (she wants to do a dessert – shock, horror)
GE gets red mullet for free

Fruit & Veg
Mimi bids 20 minutes root veg
GE bids 20 minutes nightshades
IM bids 5 minutes for alliums (which is stuff like onions, leek, garlic and chives)
Chloe gets citrus for free (oh, dear – are we heading for another lemon curd bombe Alaska?)

GE bids 20 minutes for herbs (outbidding IM)
IM bids 5 minutes for sauces
Chloe bids 5 minutes for spreads
Mimi gets spices for free (she’s done well with beef, root veg and spices and no doubt will go for the beetroot)

Cooking times
Chloe 100 minutes
GE 80 minutes
Mimi 75 minutes
IM 75 minutes

And they’re off
Chloe is off and grabs the honey, citrus, blackberry jam and eggs and there’s a close up of the black heart tatt on her finger as she uses the whisk to create a mousse, even though she doesn’t have a setting agent. Everyone else thinks it’s a risky move. But Chloe has her “I’m ignoring the warnings of experienced chefs” noise-cancelling headphones on and ploughs ahead.
Elena is taking care with her filleting of the delicate fish – it’s her first time using red mullet.
Mimi is doing eye fillet with roasted beetroot, pickled radishes and some jews. She’s using a fennel and mustard rub on her beef.
IM is doing crispy skinned duck breast and braised duck leg with a Chinese-style soz.
It’s a worry GE still doesn’t know what her dish will be, even though she had 20 minutes of watching Chloe cook.
IM has had to use a jar of bought soz to simmer with his duck bones, but he’s happy with the taste… until Other Matt comes over. “You might want to have a little back-up plan,” OM says. Uh oh. Don’t panic, IM – you can do it. Hell, without you being in the challenge tonight I wouldn’t have bothered to Google what “allium” met
How will IM save his soz? Smoke it? Freeze it into a parfait in the red moulds of death? Add it to liquid nitrogen?
After 35 minutes Elena has finished her filleting and creates a charred nightshade soz with chilli, eggplant and tomatoes.
Chloe is getting a lot of talking head time about how flustered she is and how things aren’t working.
Mimi is making charred beetroot leaf butter by blitzing burnt leaves with a butter sauce. When did burning everything get so cool? I’ve been on trend for years without even realising.
IM decides the solution to his soz dilemma is butter – genius!
Oh god – George is doing his “yes, George” thing. Urgh (it’s the same reaction I had upon learning Pauline was back in the Senate).
Another talking head from Chloe about her iffy mousse. The judges head to the fridge for a taste and point out it’s very soft. If only there was some kind of freezing device nearby.
Mimi gives her beef a little squeeze. “How does it feel?” Brett the Protein Man asks her from the gantry.
Elena is deepfrying her red mullet wings and panfrying the fillets in butter – you can see how delicate they are. Her plate looks gorgeous.
Mimi is taking her time to make her beef dish look fancy, topping it with some leftover burnt beetroot leaves. Chloe is having curd dramas and then discovers her mousse has set too much.


IM’s duck two ways with onions and a char sui jus: This whole soz bizzo better be a misdirect. If IM goes and Chloe stays there will be rioting in the streets. Gaz loves the look of the dish. As George dishes up I notice he’s wearing the same bead bracelet as Chloe – do Swisse make healing bracelets?

The judges love the perfectly cooked duck but aren’t keen on the sweet yet salty sauce. OM says IM should have left the soz off.

GE’s red mullet fillets with nightshade sauce and salad: She looks confident. OM says it looks spectacular. Here comes the swelling music of triumph. “Can’t fault it,” says Gaz. “Incredible,” says George. OM says she could win the comp.

Mimi’s eye filet with roast beetroot: She explains the dish as George stick his schnozz in the soz bottle. Her use of beet leaves is on trend. Gaz says the leaves are a bit like a nori sheet. They like it.
Chloe’s honey mousse with orange curd, butter wafer and blackberry sauce: “Is that a mousse, is that an ice cream or is that a parfait?” asks OM, brow furrowing at the rapidly melting quenelle on the plate. “I think it’s a mousse,” says a worried-looking Chloe. Apart from the wafer, they could do with a straw for this dessert. “What a shame,” says Gaz. “That mousse is an absolute disaster.” It froze and then collapsed. And the curd was undercooked.

The judges decide
Elena gets the standout dish award. Gaz says they knew straight away which dish would send its maker home … and Chloe’s gone. George says he’s loved watching her “po-gress” and then does his “yes, George” again. Stop it, already!

Where is she now?
Chloe is launching Bowles Family Sauces, starting with her favourite – butterscotch. She also has plans to open her own bistro.

The announcement
Enough with the teasing … George lifts a cloche and reveals s Sydney tourist trinket and says they are going on a trip. But then OM tops it with his own cloche with a souvenir of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. Trent and Elise get to go bizzo class because they won yesterday. Fair enough – Trent needs to the extra elbow room to fit his shoulders in.