MasterChef Australia – Confirmed Winning The Mystery Box Is a Poisoned Chalice
So Poh gets more sympathy for failing in her attempt to make fried meringues than Geni got for slicing her finger? I know it was probably in the editing but seriously. More on that later.
The first five minutes of the program we get the spiel of voiceovers from the contestants on how important it is to win the mystery box test because of the significant advantage it gives you in the invention test challenge. I cannot wait for one of the contestant to look straightfaced to the camera and say “Are you fucking kidding me there is no way I want to win it – it’s a frigging poisoned chalice.”
Has anyone who has won the mystery box NOT landed in the bottom three and have to cook for their life on the Monday night?
Tonight was no exception.
Anyway first the mystery box challenge there was the usual mismatch of ingredients including kingfish, pineapple, rum (was this not sponored, why did they not call it Bacardi?), coconut, and baby zucchini. Also they said basic ingredients are available “that can be found in any pantry”. Ordinary items include coconut milk and medium curry powder. I have them in mine, but I would have thought rice, pasta and onions to be much more day to day items.
I thought Chris might whip up his own version of a pina colada to drink whilst cooking but he probably wanted to keep a clear head for the invention test that followed. I note that he took out two beers with his ingredients for the invention test. Considering he was making middle eastern inspired food it was rather an unusual ingredient, so maybe he was drinking it as is his habit. Cheeky bugger.
The three dishes they tasted were Sam’s pineapple crumble, Geni’s kingfish with a sweet curry sauce, and Poh’s dishes of kingfish and pineapple based on a Pacific Islander’s cuisine. She also did a dessert of sweet potato and coconut milk.
Poh’s Kingfish dish did look delicious and she did deserve to win the mystery box test.
Today Poh had to make the decision between the pairings of food which were pork and pears, prawn and nuts, and eggplant and chocolate. She picked prawns and nuts.
They had to cook two courses in one and half hours. There was no theme so it could be anything they wanted.
Gary was critical of people trying new and different things he said they were “chancing their arm”. Now I am of a different view I think they should be moved outside their comfort zone and cook things that they have not tried before. But then again I am not tasting the food, and it would appear Andre’s strawberry and champagne risotto was not pleasant.
Poh was another contestant trying something new by frying meringue. It was a bold decision that did not come off. This was the point where Gary Mehigan was all sympathetic and said “Poor Poh”, but no obvious sympathy for Geni who was dripping blood everywhere.
The other thing I noticed for the first time tonight was the judges actually tasting some of their sauces whilst they were still cooking. I saw Gary take a taste of Justine’s sauce. I don’t think it is right. What happens if they don’t like it, it means they have time to salvage it. And do they taste everyones?
Sam’s choclate fondants did not work out but he plated it up. I thought at one stage he was going to plate it like Gary and George did to the lemon cupcake in the Masterclass the other week crumbled up on the plate. His chocolate pudding drew compliments but not his prawns with vegetable broth. “Not gutsy enough for me” said Gary Mehigan.
Geni who was playing it safe with prawn saganaki and baklava rolls copped criticism with “Nothing in there that leaps out and says wow”.
Justine and Chris were by far the best in this challenge. Justine with her prawn and zucchini terrine, and frangipane tart and raspberries, and Chris with his middle eastern prawns and chocolate fudge cake.
Julie drew both criticism for her ginger prawns, and praise for her walnut meringue. I wondered why she was not told off for baking stuff she would just do at home, as the prawns like ones you see at every BBQ in Australia.
Poh cooked prawn dumplings in a prawn broth, and meringue which must have been baked. She was heavily criticised for the dessert which must have been what landed her into the bottom three. The mystery box poison chalice striking again.
Clearly the worst dish of the night was Andre’s strawberry and champagne risotto. Matt Preston said “Because I like you Andre I swallowed it.”, and Gary just said “Horrible”.
Andre’ teared up and George Calombaris looked surprised and said are you upset by what they said? Andre’ said no “I want to be a chef, it is not the criticism, I did not want to do anything cliched”. Isn’t risotto the biggest cliche there is? Anyway it did look hideous, but at least he was outside his comfort zone.
The bottom three were Andre and Poh for cooking outside their comfort zone, and Geni for cooking within hers. Confused? Yes I am too, talk about mixed messages.
I think Geni is going to be the one to go, they give her no loving what so ever. Has she ever been team captain?
I was shocked as Sam was that he avoided the bottom three.
And the winner of the challenge was Justine who was told by Matt Preston “At this point your leading the race.”. Confirming my view that it is a disadvantage for Lucas and Julia to be shunted off into the work experience abyss.
Justine will challenge Aria chef and owner Matt Moran. If Matt is appearing on a Channel Ten show does that mean he is no longer contracted to Nine and there will be not be a season three of The Chopping Block? I hope not as I loved that show.