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Masterchef – The Competition Finally Takes Off

Masterchef tonight finally got a whole lot more interesting with the first of the top 20 challenges. But first I am a bit disappointed we have barely sighted host Sarah Wilson since the show started. At least tonight she had her dialogue expanded from “Welcome to Masterchef”, to “Welcome to the Masterchef kitchen”.

I think she should have the role of going around the kitchen talking to the contestants about the dishes they are cooking. Currently the George Columbaris and Gary Mehigan are taking on this role, but I think as judges should only see the finished dishes. The Gary and George show could become tedious six nights a week.

There was a touch of iron chef when Gary Mehigan whipped off the black covering and announced the key ingredient for the first challenge was chicken. They were allowed 10 ingredients and only one hour to cook a dish that would be suitable to go on the menu of their future restaurant.

The contestants had 2 minutes to pick the ingredients, but where I thought it was unfair was some people had longer to think of what they were going to cook, as they were sent into the pantry one at a time. Trevor the navy guy from Perth had to kick it off so he had very little time to think of what he was going to cook. Did this impact his chances?

But then again he gets to actually serve his food hot as his was the first dish the judges got to taste.

Trevor made chicken thighs stuffed with blue cheese, and other cheeses. It was plated like a starfish and to me did not look that appetising, but the judges like it.

We did not get to see everyones dishes but a few.

Poh Ling was having a disaster with her noodles as she is trying to make her own.  So no carbs just chicken with bean sprouts. I thought it looked ok.

Josh cooked pan fried chicken with pumpkin and pine nut salad. Matt Preston told Josh this was the first dish of his that he actually wanted to eat. How did he make it into the top 20 if his other dishes did not look great. Anyway past performance did not matter as they liked it.

Aaron made a deconstructed coq au vin with Saffron Potatoe Puree. It looked interesting, but he got panned by Gary for saying it was a coq au vin when he thought it wasn’t. Personally I thought Gary was being a bit pedantic, and maybe if he had poured the sauce over it the chicken would not have been so dry.

Justine who we haven’t seen much of cooked spanish stew which they thought was full of flavour, I thought it looked a red hot mess.

Andre stuffed gnocchi with chicken ragu it looked, if I was being kind, rustic, but really it was a plate of mess.

Is anyone else getting the crazy vibe off from beauty queen Linda Kowalski, but having said that I like her interesting dishes and presentation of food. The walnut crusted chicken was original and inventive. Not sure what it would have tasted like. I could have done with out George’s Zoolander impersonation with the chicken.

Kate made a delicious goan chicken curry. The judges loved it but she did get criticised for having no rice or bread with it.

Melissa got told off for overdoing the preserved lemon in her dish.

Sam who had gotten married the two days previously made pan roasted chicken with a zucchini rosti. Gary said it was a good bistro dish. He was also given a lot of love by the judges and told he had the potential to go top three.

Top three were Josh, Kate, and Sam. Sam was declared the winner, and tomorrow night he will cook head to head with a name chef to give him the opportunity to go straight to the final week of competition.

Bottom two were Aaron and Melissa who then had to do all the washing up. I hope for their sakes there is a dishwasher in the Masterchef kitchen.

Best Dish – Goan Curry (I know the judges loved Sam’s panroasted chicken but it did not really do it for me.)

Worst Dish – Preserved lemon stuffed in the chicken

4 comments

1 Laura { 05.04.09 at 11:42 pm }

I was surprised that Sam won, the judges did not seem as impressed with it as they were with Kate’s. Maybe that was just the editing though!
So far I’m liking Sam, Kate & Trevor (Trevor is my favourite).
The blond girl is annoying, and Poh seems like the Masterchef version of SYTYCD’s Max – without the argumentative side. I don’t think she deserves to be there, Strictly speaking, she shouldn’t have even gotten through the first round (like Max), but she brings some diversity to the competition I guess.
I agree – less judges and more Sarah! She has more charisma than all of them put together :)

2 Reality Raver { 05.05.09 at 1:39 am }

I was surprised he made the top three. The best thing about his dish was the rosti and the little tomatoes. The way he did the chicken looked a little bland.

I am still deciding who my favourites are. I like most of them. Linda has got to cut down on the faux sexiness when the camera is on and the judges have got to stop looking so leery at the under 30 girls.

3 Injera { 05.05.09 at 8:40 am }

Agree with you, RR, and Laura – more Sarah. Otherwise, what’s she doing there at all?

We’re playing “spot the cooking show” when we watch Masterchef, and my partner did his best Chairman Kaga impersonation when the black cloth was removed: “Chicken Challenge!”. The dishwashing punishment at the end was pure “Hell’s Kitchen”, and totally unnecessary at that.

Linda is doing my head in.

I was surprised that Matt was so positive about Josh’s dish. Perhaps it was one of those things that read better in real life, because I thought it looked decidedly average. I hoped Kate would win…

Finally: is there anyone out there who’d buy a cookbook written by the winner?

4 Reality Raver { 05.06.09 at 12:24 am }

Injera – well I won’t be buying the book new I will just be waiting until it is in the remainder bins.
I wonder which publisher agreed to doing it? If BJ wins he will be able to photgraph it himself.