Masterchef – surprise shopper
With Julie gone, it’s up to the judges* to decide who the captains will be for this challenge. Having been introduced to the concept of the Kiddie Mafia (Sam, Josh and Kate), it’s only surprising that KM members aren’t chosen to head up both teams. Instead, the “judges” decide to leave splitting up this emerging alliance to Chris, who – as the Red Team captain – makes Josh his first pick. Kate, predictably, fights back tears.
Once teams are picked, they head to The House of Blue Leaves for the details of the challenge. They are going to be shopping at a supermarket and cooking a three-course dinner for Australia’s Toughest Food Critics(TM). Sounds fairly straightforward. But wait! A totally unexpected twist! Teams can only shop from certain aisles and those aisles will be allocated by a Top Chef-style knife pull. Amongst other things, Kate’s team gets the dairy aisle (which includes packaged smallgoods), biscuits and confectionary. Chris’ team has frozen food, canned vegies, condiments and baby needs. Both teams have full run of the meat section, but neither can go to the bakery or fresh fruit and veg. Sounds like the epitome of healthy eating. Watch out for Jamie Oliver’s next series: cooking quickly with arbitrary shit.
Kate takes Tom shopping with her and seems to be fatally attracted to over-processed dairy products. About the only thing she didn’t buy was a cream-cheese-and-dried-apricots roulade. Tom interviews that she’s panicking and thinking only of dessert. Chris takes Poh, and they look as though they have everything under control. Everything – menu fully worked out, shopping list made, everything. They even come in under budget – or so the edit suggests – while Kate and Tom have to make snap decisions at the register to meet their limit (they don’t give up the “garlic butter” or flavoured cheeses).
Back at the kitchen, each team is given a surprise team-member: Gary or George. The Reds get George and the Blues get Gary, again using the time-honoured team selection method of the knife pull. The Reds run through their shopping and proposed menu with George, whose only suggestion is not to puree the broad beans. Gary, on the other hand, hates most of what is brought back and seems to design the team’s menu almost single-handedly (including sketches). It’s at this point that I tweet: Either the #Masterchef editors are going for the fake out, or the Red Team are rocking this challenge. Aaron’s confidence is a worry, though
The edit continues to go Red’s way and I start to fret in a major way. You can’t fool me, crafty editors! I know your game!
As time runs out, we see the first signs of a problem in the Red kitchen: their chicken’s not cooked. Even the most casual view of Kitchen Nightmares know that undercooked chicken is akin to mass murder. Ramsay would have “shut it down!”.
Anyway, judging still goes on. Brave people, these food critics. Maybe “toughest” just refers to their intestinal fortitude… For some reason, Aaron plays waiter, and serves up the entree: beef carpaccio with a red capsicum cigar and – I’m not kidding – a variety of garnishes. Now, if you are limited to supermarket produce, why would you decide on a carpaccio? Anyway, it’s really all pointless blather at the moment because they are going to serve bloody chicken. They are also going to serve frozen berries in frozen pastry (cooked, of course, but how good did they expect it to be?), so from this point on, Ten has totally ruined the pimp-edit-double-bluff through egregious overuse.
The Blue Team dishes look a bit clunky, but also look edible, and the judges make “mmm” noises for the most part. Matt tries to make it seem like a close thing, but it never was, and the Blue Team goes nuts in the joy of finally winning. Tomorrow, a Red Team member will go!
Briefly (and I know this is a long post to end with this word):
- Larissa Dubecki has put me off reading Epicure. Hopefully this is her only Masterchef appearance – I don’t want her ruining that, too.
- Did the judges take into consideration the limitations of the teams’ shopping rules?
- Did Gary really give Blue such a lot more help than George gave Red, and – if so – is that fair?
- Whilst the “kiddie mafia” shits me and I wouldn’t mind seeing one of them eliminated, I will be pissed off if it happens due to a peer elimination based on “strategic alliances”.
*I’m sure George, Gary and Matt are sitting around, watching the day’s footage, trying to decide who would provide the best drama.