MasterChef Australia – Is Winning The Mystery Box A Curse?
I cracked up when I saw Lucas for the english theme food challenge had cooked a curry as I thought that was the height of english cuisine when I was living there some years ago. The way the english anglicised the dish was to served it with chips. Thankfully all that has changed now and there is some great food in the UK now.
Tonight’s episode started off with a cupcake challenge. It surprises me so many of the contestants freak out when they have to bake or cook a dessert. But they are not alone in this Top Chef contestant’s also have these issues. Is there some sort of snobbery which means they think real chefs don’t bake?
It was great that Chris said that there was an opportunity with the mystery box challenge to cook more adventurously as there was no elimination attached to it. He took the opportunity to mix beer in with chocolate and this got his cake to be one of the three the judges would taste.
The other two were Poh’s Hazelnut and lime punch cup cake, and Julie’s lemon diva cupcake. Julie won and for this she got the supposed advantage of picking the ingredient for the main challenge, but this is turning into a poison chalice? Tom who won last week landed in the bottom three, as did Julie did tonight.
She had the choice between blue eyed trevalla, strawberries and a leg of lamb. She was not to pleased with any of them. The lamb because she said every challenge which had involved filleting has tripped her up, the strawberries because she said she is not a dessert chef, and the trevalla she had never cooked before.
So she went for the lesser of the evils and picked the leg of lamb. They were given 90 minutes to cook the dish so if they would have the time to roast if they decided to.
From a strategic viewpoint I would have picked the strawberries, I think there is an opportunity to knock some of the “stronger” chefs into the bottom three with dessert challenges. Sam has no clue on how to cook anything sweet, and Trevor and Justine also look nervous when the sugar and flour appears. At this stage you don’t have to shine but just keep on getting through with the group.
Anyway back to Julie, I like her but can someone give her a paper bag she appears to have an anxiety issue, she needs to calm down. This is affecting the amount of time she is taking to prep. She was going to do a stuffed and rolled lamb but ended up having to use the stuffing as a crust but it was still served up rawer than I have seen some beef carpaccio.
Sandra pushed the boundaries by stuffing the lamb in a potato wrapping, this resulted in being in the bottom three. Also Aaron needs to get over his obsession with pastry, it was totally unnecessary for his Shepherds Pie. But that wasn’t his only sin he also over seasoned the pie filling. Has he cooked an edible dish since being on the show? He also will be fighting it out in the elimination challenge tomorrow with Julie and Sandra.
The special guest judge tonight was from UK’s MasterChef John Torode a chef who was born in Australia but has lived in England since he was 25 years of age (source wikipedia). He gave the Australian judges Gary Mehigan, George Colombaris, and Matt Preston a masterclass in how to be a judge on the show, with his zippy one liners and warm charm. I hope he is on tomorrow night as well.
The top three dishes were Chris who is shaping up to be a favourite with his confident and innovative cooking. Justine who prepared a beautifully rolled roast, serving it with spinach and mint, potatoes with tarragon and some mushrooms, this girl can cook. Tom also picked himself up and dusted himself off to climb back to the top, and his dish was pronounced the best he had cooked in the competition thus far.
Justine deservedly won the challenge and will cook against Guy Grossi on the Tuesday night episode.
The unfortunate thing about the editing is you don’t get to see much of the dishes that are not in the top or bottom three, so it is hard to formulate an opinion or who should or should not be there. This type of editing was also seen in the cupcake challenge, which meant it was easy to pick whose cakes were going to get tasted.
However I think Geni should have been penalised by being in the bottom three for producing a dish that was so outside the english theme. Her roast lamb with a garlic tomato sauce was pure mediterranean. For the sharp eyed readers out there who noticed bruises on her back when she was filmed in the bathroom at the beginning of the episode, they look like the result of a cupping therapy where glass cups are suctioned onto your back to remove toxins.
I think Aaron will be the one to go tomorrow night, he has had too many chances. As much as I like that he takes risks you do have to deliver with a decent dish sooner or later.