Masterchef – Mystery box
Well, so much for a graceful exit. I should have taken my cue from Josh, who – despite the graceless behaviour of a particular friend in the house – departed with dignity last week. Anyway, Raver is back – as those of you who have checked out the pic of Kara Di Guardio in her bikini already know – and is tackling homeMADE tonight as a way of countering the effects of jet lag. For tonight, I remain your Masterchef poster and will endeavour to convey the excitement of the mystery box challenge. A word of warning – I have set up macros for the following: Kate pouts (Ctrl+K,P), Kate sulks (Ctrl+K,S), Kate cries (Ctrl+K,C) and Julie panics (Ctrl+J,P). I’m hoping not to need them, but forearmed is… something… an RSI case averted? Anyway, let’s go!
Keep us on our toes, narrator. This week, instead of “working alongside Australia’s top chefs”, the winner will be “working in Australia’s top restaurants”. I still need the details of this part of the prize clarified.
We see Justine very early on, which bodes well as far as I’m concerned. Did Justine just say “eh?” at the end of her sentence? Is that why she’s been ignored so far?
In case you had lagged behind, Sarah makes one of her brief appearances to let us know that we’re down to the lucky 13. What do these lucky people have in front of them? 30 minutes to create from the mystery box, which contains a whole snapper, eggs, potato, chilli and beer. Chris cracks a smile at the beer. Again, the judges (which this week includes Matt) will only taste three “stand out” dishes.
Gary tells our hopefuls that “it’s about winning, not avoiding losing”, although I haven’t seen much (any?) evidence that winning the mystery box challenge is any advantage at all. And today there’s a twist! The judges are magnanimously prepared to taste five, but only if there are five dishes that appeal to them. What’s the bet there will be?
Sandra’s making ceviche and the judges are excited. This means that it doesn’t matter if the dish is a mess – the judges are going to taste it.
Andre (Andre!) is doing an open lasagne. I’m not sure what that means and his explanation doesn’t really help. He’s never made it before, and seems stressed, but the judges seem interested. Tom is savvy enough to name-check The Red Lantern, with his whole snapper, so naturally the judges are hot for that. Kate chooses to completely ignore the fish, which means she’s working with eggs, potato, chilli and beer. In the words of Sir Humphrey Appleby, “Very courageous”.
Time’s up! Sarah recaps and Kate pouts.
The judges want to try Sandra’s dish (wow, big surprise). Sandra gives us a brief lesson in “cooking” with acidity. Gary’s judgement uses words like “fresh”, “healthy” and “acidic”. George says it’s a cracker. Julie’s pleased that they want to taste hers, as she’ll get some feedback, which is a clear criticism of the process so far. Geni’s lemon potatoes are undercooked, which is something you don’t want to serve to George. Tom’s praised for taking the learning on board and he’s pleased to get positive reviews from Gary and Matt. Clearly he cares nothing for George’s opinion. Andre’s dish has bones. Cue the fail SFX.
Tom wins! Sarah continues to try selling this as a “massive advantage” and Trevor’s had a decent swig of that Kool Aid. The theme for the invention test, for which Tom is streets ahead of the competition, is French. Justine is happy, and we all offer a prayer of thanks to the editing gods for actually allowing us to see her in the previous ep, so we’d know she was still in the competition.
Tom is given a choice between gruyere, sweet shortcrust pastry and rib eye. In his five pantry minutes, he selects blue cheese – amongst other things – to stuff his beef, so to speak. Stuffing rib-eye with Roquefort seems like an unusual way to squander his advantage, but there you go. The remaining contestants run around the pantry in their two minutes. Julie panics.
- Chris: Gary explains that steak tartare is raw (thanks, Gary) and queries the cheese Chris has. Chris says it’s “to eat”, and I’m just a bit in love with him for that.
- Trev’s doing a red wine sauce with beef, carrots and onions, or – as he describes it – steak and veg.
- Poh’s says she’s cooking “beef and fries”, but instead of “fries” she’ll serve “smashed potatoes”,
- Aaron’s making pastry. Ambitious.
Gary and George say that Chris is looking good, while George thinks “the world’s concerned about Aaron”, but that he has a soft spot for him. Tom starts a bonfire. Sandra thinks Sam looks nervous, as well he should. His celeriac puree has escaped from the blender.
“Cook like you’re going to save the world!” exhorts George and… really? That’s where we are now with this?
With the clock ticking, Chris settles back for a nibble of cheese. Trev thinks his looks fancy compared to the others, which obviously means that it’s going to be crap and he’ll get stick from the judges for trying to polish a morceau de merde (translation courtesy of a free online tool – feel free to correct it!).
- Sandra’s steak and mushroom sauce gets a furrowed brow from Gary, which means it’s nice. George likes it, as do the helplessly-raised hands of Matt.
- Lucas’ is fine
- Chris’ tartare looks good and Gary says he’s “achieved the freshness” of the raw beef. Surely the freshness of the beef has about, oh, nothing to do with Chris? Still, I’m happy for him. George doesn’t like raw beef and I think he even uses the word “icky” to describe how he feels about it.
- Julie’s gets a rave.
- George loves Andre’s.
- Poh’s is fantastic.
- Justine’s… sauce doesn’t pull it all together. WHAT!
- Tom’s stuffed ribeye is overpowered by Roquefort and garlic. Also? It looks like a hideous mess.
- Trevor’s dish is described as “a funny little dish” by Gary. His heavily reduced sauce is reminiscent of vegemite.
- Kate’s is too much
- Sam’s looks a bit crappy and is “on the verge of being overcooked”. I’m now regretting making Kate macros, as Sam is pouting. He doesn’t take criticism at all well. Also, he’s crying, so there’s another wasted technical effort. Gary tries to press him on the “ya still want to be here?” but Sam’s not biting.
- Aaron’s pithivier :”weirdly nice”
Matt has his hand tucked into his blazer and looks even more pompous than usual as Sarah limps through her lines as though she’s learned the spoken language phonetically and has no idea as to the meaning of her utterances.
Called forward: Aaron, Justine, Geni, Andre, Julie, Lucas, Kate. They are all through, but not top three.
The six left are the top and bottom three. Called forward: Poh, Sandra, Chris. No surprises for guessing that this is the top three. Chris is the winner and will have a crack at the cook off. This time, his competition is being billed as “one of Australia’s most respected chefs”.
Sam, Tom and Trev will cook for their lives. So, I guess that winning the mystery box is not such an advantage. Do you think the narration next week will be changed to reflect that?
- Sam goes, and that is what prompts Kate’s threat to leave.