MasterChef – Mon, Jul 4 – Peter Gilmore’s lamington

The three contestants with the least impressive dishes from last night’s invention test face off in the pressure test. At the end of the cook, one of these contestants will be going home.
It’s Peter Gilmore, he of Snow Egg fame, back to set Mimi, Trent and Theresa their elimination test.
Will it be another dessert?

Yes – it’s his take on a lamington.

Probably no recap til tomorrow, gice. SA is getting battered by heavy rain and wind at the moment and Mr 4 doesn’t want to go to bed.
I do know the eliminated contestant was Theresa, which won’t surprise anyone.

The usual footage of mopey contestants back in their MasterChef jail – ahem – house, but Theresa is the only one who gets a flashback.
Upon their arrival in the kitchen, they know it’s a Peter Gilmore challenge the minute the judges say the chef has set two finale challenges.
He tells them today’s dish is not quite as difficult as the chocolate creation Laura and Brett had to replicate, buut it’s on par with the Snow Egg Callum and Adam tackled.
It’s a cherry jam lamington and it looks pretty cool – literally – as dry ice vapour is drifting off it.
Mimi and Theresa don’t seem to have any dramas with making their cherry ice cream (hooray – real ice cream, not Another Bloody Parfait) but Trent is having anglaise (aka custard) trouble. So we get a brief flashback to remind us he’s some kind of electrical safety inspector.
Half an hour in and it’s sponge-making time. Trent gets to do this dish exposition and this could be the most we’ve heard him speak this entire season. Mimi talks about how important it is to bake the sponge for 20 minutes. And then forgets to push “start” on her timer. D’oh. Luckily she put it in around the same time as Trent’s and he knows how to set a timer.
Next is a coconut cream mixture that will be used to create the coconut “flakes” in which Peter Gilmore’s creation is nestled. Then it’s on to cherry jam which, judging by the footage of Theresa pitting cherries, will include several long strands of dangling hair. She misreads the recipe and weighs her cherries AFTER she’s pitted them. Luckily Intense Matt is on hand to tell us that’s bad, because her jam will be sweeter.
Oh dear – they’re making ABP so they can shave off their coconut flakes. Mimi has misread the recipe and put the wrong amount of coconut mix in her parfait. But she twigs before she gets too far into the process and adds some double cream to thicken it up. IM and Chloe lean over the gantry railing to see what’s up.
So far this dessert, while having a lot of steps, doesn’t seem to use any techniques that are too tricky. Time is the biggest issue.
The judges come over to taste Theresa’s ice cream and Peter just says “interesting’. Aw, come on, Peter – other guest chefs have given more clues. IM reckons it may not be setting because it has too much sugar and Chloe agrees, so it must be true.
Their last step is to make a ganache and Mimi goes rogue and blitzes hers without checking the temp first. She and Trent seem to be ahead of Theresa.
With 15 minutes to go, Trent gets to shave his coconut flakes on a mandoline.

Everyone is getting all their bits together, ready to assemble for the judges.
Mimi is having trouble with her coconut shavings and it’s because she stuffed up her quantities earlier. Theresa’s look great.
Trent seems to have had the fewest dramas- who’d have thunk it – Trent doing so well in a dessert challenge.
Ooh, here’s Brett with a talking head – didn’t realise he was even here. Thanks to him we know Theresa has added too much jam to her sponge. Luckily Mimi had one chuck of extra-frozen parfait left and it shaves well, so Elena can stop having a conniption up on the gantry.
Time’s up and it’s hugs all round.

Time to taste
Gaz says lamington is one of his fave desserts. “You’ve got a lot of favourites, Gary,” deadpans George, finally finding his sense of humour.
Trent: He’s up first and he gets to retell his foodie farm restaurant dream. “Pretty good effort,” says Peter. It all tastes great but Peter says some of his proportions of the different elements are a bit off. So, Trent’s safe then if that’s all they can find.
Mimi: She has another of her brain freezes as she plates up and can’t remember how many coconut shards to put in the bowl. Don’t they all sketch the dish at the start of the challenge or at least write notes? She hardly puts any in. “It doesn’t look great,” says Gary. Luckily Peter says the shard flavour is great. All of the elements taste great. Gaz pretends Mimi is still in trouble.
Theresa: George ensures Theresa tears up by asking her about her kids in Canada. She puts heaps more shards in her bowl and the dish looks good. George loves the mirror glaze and Peter liked the lammo, but the cherry elements were too sweet. So Theresa was the only one who cooked something that didn’t taste as it should – Trent and Mimi just made minor plating errors.

The decision

Come on – we know it’s Theresa. At least she went out on an episode where she didn’t get in a huge flap. She can start a dessert cafe making her fallen ice creams and that groovy green sphere on a bed of grated chocolate she made in the Heston ferris wheel challenge.

Where is she now?
Who knows? There’s no exit blurb. Last time they left it off was because the eliminated contestants came back to fight for a second chance – which Theresa won.
Bye, Theresa.

Tomorrow night
It’s Elise, Brett and Harry fighting for a chance to cook against Shannon Bennet.

Oh, Theresa has posted this on Twitter:


MasterChef – Wed, June 29 – Heston’s twisty past challenge

Heston’s restaurants are all about taking recipes from the past and giving them a modern twist. Four contestants must prepare a single course inspired by recipes from the past to avoid elimination.

So tonight it’s Elise, Harry, Theresa and Mimi trying not wind up in black. Matt goes on about how much Heston loves history, but the man himself says only a few words, without conviction.
The contestants will be given recipes dating back as far as the 15the century as their inspiration, but they must give them a modern twist.
Mimi is first with savoury, Theresa savoury, Elise sweet and Harry sweet.
They have to feed 10 diners plus the four judges. It’s another staggered start, but at least this time they can’t open their recipes until their time starts.
Both Mimi and Theresa have trouble reading their recipes due to the ye olde writing. Theresa is making roulade chicken with stuffing but Mimi seems lost with her roast salmon dish. Elise gets an apple and fennel seed tart recipe so she’s stoked.
Mimi is panicking and taking things too literally – just do a baked salmon with a smoked yoghurt and say it’s your modern twist, Mimi. Heston comes over to get her going and luckily she seems to find her mojo.
Gary pops over to Theresa to stress her further about whether she has enough time to sous vide her chooks. For once he hasn’t told Elise she’s rubbish and, for once, she isn’t flustered. Her dessert sounds pretty cool.
Harry opens his envelope and he gets a trifle recipe. This is his chance to do the dish that Brett derailed when he went rogue in the Chinese whispers challenge! He’s delighted and decides to do an espresso martini-themed trifle.
With only 40 minutes to go, Theresa pops her chook in the sous vide machine. They look massive – normally I’d be worried we’re in for another MasterChef raw chicken disaster but since her return Theresa has managed to take risks that mostly work. And while she never seems fully in control she’s not the flustered mess she was at the start of the season.
Mimi is making seared salmon with mushy peas and a beurre blanc soz but she isn’t happy with the soz – she decides to add saffron, which was mentioned in ye olde recipe. Still sounds pretty simple – chicken skin is a bit fancy but nothing new. Cut to Heston looking totes bored on the sidelines.
Elise is making nougat with ground fennel, with an apple jelly centre. She says she wants the fennel flavour to be strong, which could be another foreshadowing a la last night’s Elena’s “my green tea jelly can’t be bitter” outcome. Here are the olde recipes they used – if you click on them you’ll get a bigger version. Don’t know what Mimi was pancicking about that – most of it is understandable. She had an Elise brain freeze.

The judges taste

Mimi’s salmon: Gary asks Mimi lots of questions but for once he isn’t being a tool. Heston’s salmon is cooked perfectly. Gaz says she’s covered the main elements of the recipes. They seem happy.

Back in the open-air kitche n, Theresa decide to deep fry a roulade to crisp it off. “Shit,” she mutters. It looks rubbish. She has to brown off the rest in a pan of butter. Matt pops over to tell her it’s time to plate but she’s still cooking.
Back at the dining table, Gaz is back to his snarky self: “Where’s Matt? Is he doing the washing up or what?” Finally her chicken is cooked and she chucks stuff on the plate.

The judges taste

Theresa’s chicken roulade with leeks: They note the plating was obviously rushed. Gaz likes it and Heston especially like the raisins. George thought it was tasty but he ended up with a tonne of raisins on his and it wasn’t balanced.

Back in the kitchen, Harry decides his trifle is too simple and he needs to “Heston it up”. So he grabs a siphon gun. When it’s Elise’s time to plate, she’s ready to go. Gaz actually looks begrudgingly impressed for once.

The judges taste

Elise’s fennel nougat on a tart base with apple jelly: “I think that looks smashing,” Gaz says. Heston says it’s fabulous. George loves the caramelised fennel garnish.

In the kitchen, Harry is faffing around trying to combine white chocolate and red wine to make “snow”.
Oooh – now this is more exciting than watching Harry split a soz. It’s an ad for the Australian version of Survivor. See separate post.
Back to Harry, who grabs a bunch of fruit to chuck in a bowl of liquid nitrogen at the nitro station that of course has been set up nearby. Surely Heston now has shares in a liquid nitrogen supplier. He wraps the frozen fruit in a tea towel and smashes it to smithereens. The result looks cool.

The judges taste

Harry’s orange and coffee trifle with fruit confetti: Harry walks around with the table with his bowl of frozen confetti, dolloping on spoonfuls that send up a plume of frozen air for theatre. Heston says the fruit cells look like hundreds and thousands. Gaz likes it but Matt says it’s in danger of veering to tiramisu.

The verdict
The silent black-aproned ones hover in the background, to see who’ll be joining their ranks – hoping it’s someone they can beat. This would be the first time I’ve said it but surely Elise is safe. I think it will be Theresa for the rushed plating. Elise can’t seem to believe it when Matt praises her dish, telling her it could become a signature dish.
Theresa does indeed get the call to take the black for her inconsistent plating, so it’s off to The Wall with her.

Tomorrow night
So, the seven up for elimination tomorrow night are Trent, IM, GE, Theresa, Chloe, Brett and Heather. It’s a rainbow-themed elimination (where is Chloe’s tie-dyed shirt when you need it?). Poor IM cops blue: “I can’t think of any food that is blue. I’m not looking forward to this.” I’m with you, IM – I don’t really want to eat blue food. Enough Heston gimicks – just let them cook! Afterwards, there’s a masterclass with Heston’s best roast chook and a chocolate mousse made from only chocolate and water – now that I’d like to see.
No recap from me tomorrow as I’ll be travelling interstate amid the big chill. I’ll catch up with MC and Offspring at the weekend.


MasterChef – Wed, June 15 – Curtis Stone

Guest chef Curtis Stone joins the MasterChef off-site team challenge.
Each team must prepare a six-course degustation menu for 50 guests in only two and half hours to avoid the elimination challenge.
Warning: Matt Preston’s garish outfit may offend some viewers.

The contestants arrive at Sails on the Bay (, where they have to prep a six-course degustation. They’re in teams of two. Uh oh – what if your partner sucks? Theresa gets to choose one contestant to sit out of today’s challenge – in effect saving them from potential elimination. She returns the favour by picking Anastasia (who used the power apron to let Theresa pick an additional ingredient the previous night).
The teams are:
Elena and Theresa
Nicolette and Chloe
Intense Matt and Heather
Elise and Trent
Karmen and Harry
Mimi and Brett

IM and Heather should be a force to be reckoned with but I’m still worried about Theresa’s ability to focus (my recap from the returning contestant challenge is now up, by the way).
And here’s Curtis, in town for MasterChef and to film more Coles ads, no doubt. He tells them their theme tonight is citrus. This rings a bell and (thanks, Google) it’s because when Curtis was on MasterChef in 2014 (the year of Brett and Laura) he also set a citrus-themed service challenge. So, in 2018 we can expect Curtis back with another surprise citrus challenge? This time, the teams won’t know what citrus they have until they enter the kitchen.
He takes Mimi and Trent into the kitchen to discuss their ideas for the first course. They have mandarins so pick seafood for a light start. They are making a grilled prawn and rocket salad.
Harry and Karmen are up next and get lemons. They are making salmon sashimi with a lemon zest cure with microherbs. Hopefully Karmen had input on this dish, because Topknot seems to be doing all the talking.
IM and Heather get oranges and go for duck breast with candied beetroot, roasted fennel, pickled orange and madeira duck jus.
Mimi and Brett get limes and will do eye fillet with beetroot and lime. Brett’s the meat man so he’s in charge of that and Mimi gets everything else.
Back in the kitchen, Trent is a bit worried the starter dish is too simple. As they practise their plating up, Curtis and the other judges tell them it’s not fancy enough (something that could have been mentioned at the start). Perhaps Elise could make wongtongs? Curtis flat out tells them to do a pesto.
Elena and Theresa get tangelos and they have already chatted with the final team to plan that they will make some kind of warm pud and Nicolette and Chloe will do a sorbet to finish. But Curtis reminds them that, in the real world, the sorbet comes first as a palate cleanser and then the heavier dessert. They are making Star anise crumble, creme fraiche cream, tangelo segments, tangelo granita and tangelo juice inside chocolate spheres. It sounds like a tonne of work.
Now, the first team has decided to do a cold starter of mandarin-cured prawns with rocket pesto and mandarin reduction. Will their prawns cure in time?
Curtis grabs the last team of Nicolette and Chloe, who get ruby grapefruit, and delivers the bad news that he wants them to do a heavy dessert. All the planning they’ve been doing while they waited has gone to waste. Uh oh – no it won’t. They’ve decided to ignore Curtis completely and keep doing their lighter cold dessert. Forget that a degustation is meant to flow and the team before them is doing a cold dessert. Their youth is showing here.

The tasting begins

Elise and Trent’s prawns with mandarin: The dish looks interesting but they are worried because they changed their concept the prawns won’t be cured enough. What the heck is George wearing tonight? Some spotty kind of shirt and one of Matt’s cast-off brown and navy check jackets. George and Matt says the prawns aren’t cured enough and a lot of diners won’t eat them.
Everyone seems to be going well in the kitchen. The last team – the rebel girls – are doing grapefruit sorbet, a meringue shard and grapefruit gel.

Harry and Karmen’s salmon with lemon: It looks pretty on the plate – wonder if Karmen did the plating? Gaz thinks it looked refined and had good flavours.
In the kitchen, IM and Heather are feeling great as they have 30 minutes to go, which is plenty of time to cook and rest the duck. But, no, Curtis tells them they only have 10 minutes. This smacks of a producer swifty to add drama – I can’t see both Heather and IM getting the time wrong.
Poor IM is worried he’s lost track of which duck rested for how long in the confusion.

IM and Heather’s duck with orange: “I love everything about that dish apart from the duck,” says Matt. The duck, while looking pink, is apparently “over rested”. If Heather or IM goes home off the back of this I will be even crankier than Gary on a normal day.
Back in the kitchen, the rebel girls are adding a choc ganache to their dessert to heavy it up.

Brett and Mimi’s beef with lime: The judges love everything about it.

Elena and Theresa’s tangelo dessert: It looks absolutely delightful and the choc-coated juice bursts are a hit. “Oh my,” says Matt, cleaning his glass. “It’s a thoughtful dish,” says George.

Chloe and Nicolette’s sorbet with meringue: Looks lovely but is definitely not the heavier dessert Curtis wanted. “Do you want two sorbet/granita desserts in a row?” asks Matt. Gaz says it’s refreshing but is not the memorable end to a meal it should be. “This degustation ends not with a bang but with a whimper,” Matt says. The sorbet is overchurned (which explains why it was trying to escape from the churner.

The judges decide
The judges says the dish of the day belonged to Theresa and Elena. The teams in the elimination challenge are Trent and Elise and Chloe and Nicolette. Phew – IM and Heather survived. Elise is the eternal black apronner – it could stand her in good stead if she doesn’t have a brain freeze, a la the frying challenge.

Tomorrow night: The contestants must make a dish inspired by either sea shells or autumn leaves. How vague is that! It could favour the dessert girls.


MasterChef – Tues, June 14 – returning contestants

So, the eliminated contestants are back, with a one in 12 chance at winning re-entry to the comp, and it’s the sweetest thing to see Charlie run and hurl himself into Intense Matt’s arms for a massive bro brog.

They have 60 minutes cook a dish from the following ingredients: Greek yoghurt, rosemary, beetroot, lamb rack, fennel (it had to be there), lemon, chocolate, quinoa, gelatine, botrytis, green cardamom pods and raspberries.
As the wearer of the cursed apron, Anastasia has the power to choose a returning contestant who can pick one extra ingredient. Pffft – call that a power? She picks her friend Theresa.
Theresa is excited because she’s been doing work experience with Reynold (the dessert king from last season who now has his own eatery) and has a dish in mind, for which she needs desiccated coconut. She’s making a snowball and choc rocks with raspberry centres.
A break from the comp has given Charlie a chance to rid his fringe of its floppiness and it’s back to its usual perfect state. He’s making a choc mousse raspberry sphere.
Cecilia is, of course, also making a dessert: a yoghurt sorbet with beetroot curd. She has been working hard at home on her plating (so, thank god, no more stuffed turnips).
Miles is making a choc beetroot parfait with nougatine wafers. Perhaps he’s not confident doing savoury with the ingredients available as there are no Asian flavours. He did well in the Shannon Snickers challenge but that’s when he had a recipe to follow.

Back from the ad break and it’s more Theresa, trying not to panic, as she so often in the past. Can’t we see what the others are making – not just random shots of lamb being Frenched (trimmed, that is).
Swishy Pony Tail Zoe – back before we could blink – is making a beetroot bavarois with confit beetroot, crunchy quinoa and candied fennel. Remember the old days, when the only dessert made of vegetables was a carrot cake? Those were the days …
More Charlie … Come on – surely we can spare a sec for Jimmy and amp up the sibling rivalry? Or Nidhi?
Zoe wants to show she’s learnt something new my making a tempered chocolate disc, but she’s rushing it and has to use the blast chiller. So, not tempered chocolate after all. “It’s perfect,” says Zoe, describing her dull, sheenless chocolate. She cracks her disc peeling it off the acetate – why did she only do one? Up on the gantry, Nicolette has a conniption.
So, the judges chatted at the start with Con – who got married straight after he left the comp – but the edit doesn’t bother showing us what he’s cooking. Grrr.

Should we add the phrase “elevate my dish” to the list of things MasterChef needs to ban, along with panna cottas and parfaits? Theresa just used it when discussing her idea to combine rosemary and raspberry.
Shannon pops over to turn up the heat on poor Cecilia, leading her to add a cardamom tuile to her dessert. Cut away to her repeating a lime a producer no doubt gave her: “Fifteen seconds is all I have between success and disaster.”
Miles’s choc parfait is a pile of poo and he knows it. Charlie’s mousse – which seems to parfait anyway – has worked, despite being in the red silicone domes of death.
Cecilia – who must have made a million tuiles before – is having bickie drama but finally gets it. She also shows off some fancy sugar work.
Charlie covers his choc sphere in choc plop – it looks rough as – what did he do to torture that chocolate? He needed to add coconut oil to create some Ice Magic.
Ooh – there’s a glimpse of Nidhi making a dessert. We’ll probably never know what it was.

Time to taste

Cecilia’s yoghurt sorbet with beetroot curd: She’s done a fancy, modern presentation to one side of the plate and shown off many techniques. Shannon: “You can tell you’ve worked damn hard.” The judges love everything. “That is a dish worthy of winning a place,” says Matt.
Miles’s choc parfait with raspberry botrytis jelly: His plating really has not improved – he needs to ask Cecilia for some lessons. But the judges love the flavours. Miles pretends for the camera he’s in with a shot but he knows he’s got Buckley’s.
Nidhi’s cardaomom parfait with choc crumb and raspberry sauce: Ah, we DID get to see Nidh’s dessert. It’s tasty.
Nathaniel’s lamb with fennel rings and choc rosemary sauce: Yep, he WAS in the comp – I swear. The lamb is well cooked. Wish we’d heard what they thought of the soz.
Con’s lemon ice cream with roasted fennel and toasted quinoa crumb (so Zoe wasn’t the only one with that idea): His dessert looks super pretty – I wish we’d seen him making it. Shannon likes the ice cream.
Charlie’s choc mousse sphere with raspberry gel: George could need a jackhammer to get through that chocolate shell. It looks nice inside. George loves the mousse, the raspberry gel and the crumb. Gaz says he nailed it.
Zoe’s beetroot bavarois with with puffed quinoa, candied fennel and choc: Shannon says her tempering of the chocolate was flawless. What the? “I like it, but for me it needs more chocolate flavour,” says George. Gary is more enthusiastic.
Adam’s crusted lamb rack with veg and lamb jus: “It’s good cooking,” says Gaz.
Jimmy’s choc mousses dome with sponge: “There’s lots to love in this dish,” says Matt.

Theresa’s yogurt rosemary snowball with chocolate raspberry balls (just call it Snow, Theresa): The judges let out “ooohs” when they crack open the choc rocks and raspberry spurts out. Matt is smiling as he eats. “There’s some skill in there, backed up by some really great flavour,” says Shannon. Gaz thinks it’s fantastic.
And that’s all we get to see. Sorry, Olivia and Ashley – you’re both the new Invisible Elena.

And the winner is …
As was bleeding obvious, it’s between Cecilia and Theresa. as with Highlander, there can be only one … and it’s Theresa. Will she be be able to keep a lid on the flustering and faffing this time round? At least her decision not to go home to Canada after her first boot, in order to do work experience in kitchens, has been validated.
But I do wish Cecilia had won.
Theresa also gets the power apron but we have to wait until tomorrow to find out what the new poisoned chalice is.

Tomorrow night …
It’s a service challenge and Curtis Stone is the guest chef. More importantly, Matt Preston wears an eye-popping candy pink ensemble.


MasterChef – Mon, May 30 – Elimination test

Oh god, I can’t sit through the pounding music playing over everyone’s heartfelt recitations of how much they want this so I skip forward a little.
Brett has had two flashbacks in two days, so surely it’ll be him tonight, rather than Upswept Hair Charlie or Sister Theresa.
Matt Preston in a tame blue and mustard ensemble rattles off the guest chef’s impressive CV. And yet, I find myself doubting his cheffy credentials as he does not have tattooed arms.

What does quail afternoon tea mean? I’m looking at it and I still don’t know. Apparently it’s a thing in the UK, to eat a savoury afternoon tea. It’s pearl barley mushroom porridge, liver parfait (looks like pate to me), tea and duck consomme, quail soft-poached quail egg.
This is going to be painful to watch – everything is so brown and finicky. Can I skip to the end?

More Brett back story … gastro pub … glamorous family photos … he’s a pilot … he cracks jokes.
Theresa is impressed that following the recipe is working for her. Well, der. Brett and Charlie are already stuffing up their parfaits, one adding butter, the other not straining. George and Jason come over to stare at Charlie, at which point I’d be scanning the recipe for what I did wrong, but he’s feeling the pressure and the stare is ignored. Poor Charlie – he does seem talented but just not suited to the unusual pressure of the TV kitchen.
Ooh – just had an Elena sighting.
Now it looks like Charlie has stuffed up his mushroom parfait and everyone on the gantry is wincing as they watch.
George pops over to Theresa’s station to utter a helpful: “There is so much to do and so little time.”
My recording scrambles for a few minutes and comes good as the guest chef bucks Charlie up by telling him his consomme is perfect, and then he praises Theresa for her parfait. Wow – encouraging contestants – what will they think of next?
Brett knows his parfait is stuffed and – after some heckling from Miles about how easy it is to be a pilot – the judges tell him he needs to move faster.
Everyone on the gantry tells Theresa she needs to hurry up – yeah – 10 people yelling at you is not helpful. She is getting into a flap.
More TV scramble and, appropriately, the snow clears as Charlie breaks one of his soft-boiled eggs. And another.
Now everyone is yelling at Brett to “push! push!” and he has a little moment – aww. As does Elena on the gantry. You can tell from his talking head to camera after that he is normally pretty easy going was shocked by his tears. Chef Jason comes over to give him a cuddle and gets him to refocus, and here come the crescendoing violins of triumph. And then he get the guitar and drums building up speed, so here comes Brett’s redemption arc. His motoring through his other tasks and decides wisely not to worry about redoing the icky-looking parfait.
Back to Charlie and he’s broken 11 of his 12 quail eggs. Jason pops over to encourage him and he finally manages to peel an egg. Hallelujah!
Theresa is behind so she has to forget about the quail egg or she won’t have quail.
Brett’s parfait is wrong but it tastes okay, whereas Charlie’s unsieved parfait “looks like cat food”, as he says. Charlie also has to make up for the mushroom flavour he’s missing from not making enough puree so he pops extra fried mushrooms on his barley.
Theresa is in such a tizz she can’t find the cooking string she needs for her “tea bag” but luckily Brett is listening to the gantry and runs over to give her his.

Time for the judges to taste
Theresa is up first and as she wheels the elements in we’re reminded she didn’t do the quail egg and then she twigs she left the crucial “tea bag” back in the kitchen. Oh, Theresa …
George gets out his tosser tweezers. Whatever happened to tongs? Jason like the textures and the quail is well cooked. Gaz says she nailed the parfait. But she missed two elements.
Brett gets a lot of time chatting with the judges – including a bit about him watching the show on TV and wondering why previous contestants were crying. So he’s won, right? Jason says the parfait looks “rough” but the egg is perfect and he’s done a good job with everything else. Matt is in raptures and even the mucked-up parfait taste ok.
Charlie’s hair is starting to lose its sculptural quality so you can tell he’s frazzled. Luckily that lucky last quail egg worked and it’s gooey in the centre. Jason says the consomme is sensational. The parfait is icky and the mushroom flavour is missing from the barley. Charlie is surely going home. Sure, Theresa left off two elements but Charlie served up two not right elements and the judges loved Theresa’s parfait.

The verdict
Brett is safe. Oh – suddenly we’re hearing Theresa’s consomme lacked flavour and she’s going home. Charlie dodged a massive bullet there.
The end blurb says she’s been doing work experience at many top kitchens, including at Reynold’s restaurant. Good on you, Reynold. I wonder if he put her spectacular fallen ice cream from the audition round on the menu?

Tomorrow night: It’s yet another jaffle challenge and there are two immunity pins on the line. “That’s one of the best dishes so far in the competition,” says Gaz of one dish. I’m predicting that will be Matt’s. Or maybe Elena will finally get airtime?


MasterChef – May 5 – first elimination

The TV blurb says: In the first elimination challenge, three contestants choose a cloche containing a single ingredient to be used in a dish for the judges.
So, let’s hope the bottom 3 can shake off the TV jitters and put up some great dishes. Who do you reckon is going home: Charlie, Theresa (sister of Jimmy) or Ashley (the beardie one)?

Ok, I’m going for Theresa just because no grown woman should have to sleep in a bunk bed. These aren’t Top Model teens, MasterChef. No doubt she hurt her hand trying to clamber down to find the loo in the night.
Love a good cloche challenge – I hope they show what was under each one. Wouldn’t it be good if one just had a cup of water in it to mess with their minds?
Charlie picks the cloche with fresh ginger. Beardie Ashley get mushrooms. Theresa – after praying it’s not shellfish – gets prawns but is worried a second pick will turn up something weird, so she sticks with them.
The other cloches had oranges, seaweed, pineapple, venison, mint, cardamom, coffee, broccoli and licorice. What, no offal? That must be later in the season.
Theresa uncertainly says she’s doing doing prawns with tarragon butter and prawn oil mayo with avocado.
Beardie Ash is making another bloody ravioli, trying to redeem himself from a similar dish in last night’s Mystery Box challenge.
Charlie is doing a ginger chocolate cremeaux. The worry is chocolate will be the hero, rather than ginger.
Theresa is still frazzled and the judges are trying to talk her out of having so many oily elements on her dish. Focus, woman – the just want you to chuck some salad or something fresh and acidic on.
Ash is doing the oh-so-trendy 63-degree slow egg with his mushroom ravioli. But he’s stuffed up his pasta dough. Again. he starts over.
Theresa is doing some weird thing freezing a layer of avocado in the blast chiller.
Luckily for them, Charlie’s cremeaux has split. Quick, Charlie – do a ginger custard or one of those soda siphon microwave sponges. But, no, he decides to make it all over again. Aargh, Charlie, it’s not going to set in time! He candies some ginger as well. However, he’s happy with his second cremeaux so the dessert gods may be smiling on him.
Ash is feeling confident, so of course he’s jinxed himself and stupidly chucks his ravioli in a frypan with hot oil. He says it’s too late to do anything, but could he not have just fished them out?
Time to judge
Cravat update: Matt is wearing a white cravat with a blue coral-type design.
The judges try Ash’s ravioli first: The flavours are classic but the egg is a bit overcooked and the ravioli skin is tough from frying. Good in concept, poor in execution.

It’s Theresa’s turn and she’s still freaking out. Her prawn oil crisp thingie looks yummy, but it’s the most complicated part of what’s basically a prawn salad. The judges think she’s “heroed” the prawns (that’s another word to add to our MC drinking game: “hero”) and they love the prawn bickie.
Pro golfer Charlie plates up delicately and tears up when describing how his passion for cooking was stronger than his passion for his golf career.

Flowers are not food.
Flowers are not food.

But the judges are obviously worried whether the ginger will be “heroed”. They taste and, yep, it’s a delish dessert but doesn’t meet the criteria. I’d feel sorry for Charlie if he got sent home on a dish that was delicious, given it’s the first elimination.
Theresa wins and brother Jimmy starts bawling – awww – I’m still Team Jimmy.

And, phew, Charlie is safe. It would have been sad to send home someone who obviously knows so many dessert-making techniques – plus he has nice hair.
Ash drops the word “journey” in his farewell comments, thus meeting his contractual obligation. Unfortunately for the producers he does not cry into his beard.

Marco week begins 7.30pm Sunday, which I know will please many of you (although not as much as a Shannon Bennett week would). So, a drink every time he yells “Yes, Marco!”?