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MasterChef Australia – Julie v Donovan Cooke’s …..Apprentice

Donovan Cooke was never going to put up with having his chef peers of Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris judge his food against an amateur cook. It would be like Gordon Ramsay agreeing to be on Ready Steady Cook and being patronised by Ainsley Harriott whilst creating a dish out of baked beans, bok choy and chicken. There is no way he would allow that fuckery to happen.

Oh no Donovan put up Pak his fourth year apprentice, who even Gary and George would have had difficulty beating.  The setting for this Chef’s challenge was Donovan Cooke’s restaurant Derby at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Now really there are some big differences in some of these beat the chef challenges. This was no sous vide the kangaroo and giving it a quick sear and serving it with a red wine jus (sorry Ben O’Donoghue and Lucas). This was a serious dish of pigeon stuffed with truffles, confit of pigeon legs, celeriac mash, tortellini with a sauce as well.

Christ it is a wonder Julie didn’t need a Bex and good lie down before she cooked it. On the positive note she was never going to win, but she did get a 90 minute masterclass from a seriously good chef.

I am really liking Julie and I think she is starting to peak at the right time of the competition. Last week in the wedding challenge she just kept on going without any dramas. I am hoping she is a dark horse to get to the final week.

Whilst the challenge was on Matt Preston, Gary and George got to punt on the horses but where was Sarah? She introduced the challenge then turned up in the end for the judges scores. I just don’t get why she is such a fringe player in this show.

The fourth person on the judges panel tonight was the Klaus the Hospitality Manager for the club. Pak wiped the floor with Julie. Matt Preston even handed out a ten. He was extremely enthusiastic about the dish and complained about having to share it. MasterChef Australia would be nowhere near as good without his eloquence and cheeky sense of humour, and off course his lairy suits and cravats.

Tomorrow night looks like an episode of The Amazing Race mixed with Top Chef – very entertaining.

11 comments

1 Kyvyny { 06.23.09 at 11:16 pm }

The other chefs weren’t even onscreen for peeks or cheers at even the voting reveal. Where did they go and why did they leave Julie all alone serving up one impressive dish. Even if the drumsticks were a little crispy, that’s a stellar effort.

At the cost of the meal, wouldn’t be eating that too quickly. $450AUD? That’s quite the indulgent repast.

2 sourkraut { 06.23.09 at 11:31 pm }

pretty boring episode. I was hoping Julie would win but it was obviously set up that she wouldn’t.

Why pick a French dish in Hong Kong? I’ve never tasted truffles and if they are really as expensive as quoted on the show I probably never will. It must have been the truffles because everything else in the dish was just the usual humdrum ingredients. Pigeon can’t be that special, all you have to do is find a statue and you use your Survivor slingshot and hey Presto(N) youv’e got yourself 50% of a 450 buck meal!
Surprise, Plate 1 ……….Julie’s
Plate 2………. superchef’s
Of course the judges didn’t know that!
Anyhoo Julie looked like she did a teriffic job. Pity she was up against probably the hardest Chef type contestant so far (probably a cousin of Hiroyuki Sakai)
George For a lazy millyu, i kin learn you to make speaks gooder…..ie don’t tell me the tortellini is saying hello to you, when it’s really saying How do you do, pleased to make your acquaintance.
hope tomorrow is better but I’ll miss it anyway.
GO THE MAROONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

3 Anonymous { 06.24.09 at 6:09 am }

Julie gets tutored through the entire thing by the chef, and faces off against his apprentice, still fails. LOL. Geeze, I bet the others are wishing they had such privileges during their face-offs.

This show is so ridiculous, they keep giving away who is safe and who isn’t in the previews. Two most recent examples – 1: Justine’s recent faceoff – ads before that episode clearly showed her at the wedding. 2: Ads for Wednesday’s episode, showed on Tuesday night show Justine/Julia and Andre/Sam doing the super challenge, therefore Chris is safe and wins the first part of the episode.

4 kate { 06.24.09 at 8:36 am }

I agree with you that the degree of difficulty on this one was much higher than the other challenges to date. And the ‘apprentice’ had obviously done the difficult prep for this dish multiple times before…

And on why really, Gary and George shouldn’t be judging these celebrity chef things – it really would be better to bring in a few other food critics and keep Gary and George as the mentor/coaches. Bit unfair on Julie in one respect, though I’m not sure that a fast track ot the final is really something that desirable.

Umm, truffle. Wish I was there to eat it!

HK is a food capital for more than just Cantonese food, I don’t see the problem with things like High Tea and this kind of dish, it really does reflect the history and culture of this ex-Brit colony.

5 Wurstsemmel { 06.24.09 at 9:56 am }

Julie has always been my favourite and she really pulled out the goods last night. I think Anonymous is a little hard on Julie – this was a much more complex dish and the apprentice has had four years of tutoring. I’m glad she didn’t win though. Would rather see her stay around and compete. ,

Someone needs to do a little surgery on Donovan’s ego.

6 Culinary Boner { 06.24.09 at 1:05 pm }

Matt the Cravatt saved this episode, as did Julie’s quiet determination not to fuck up what would have been a difficult task for even a seasoned chef. Donovan strutted around like an extra from a Guy Ritchie film. I’m a real hard rock’n’rolla, sunshine. Oi, careful with that truffle!

7 Reality Raver { 06.24.09 at 5:24 pm }

Kyvyny – I presumed the other contestants were not there due to the challenge occurring in a proper kitchen therefore nowhere to stand.

Sourkraut – I tend to agree with you it would be good to see them get into the wide variety of chinese cuisines.

Kate – I agree I think MasterChef will have difficulty finding top chefs wanting to put themselves up for the challenge after being criticised by Gary and George. Chances of seeing Guy Grossi back – zero.

Anon- If she had not been tutored there is no way she would have finished in the alloted time frame. I wonder if Channel Ten had to pay for all those truffles.

Wurstsemmel and Culinary Boner – after seeing the ads about Donovan I thought we were going to get a Gordon Ramsay ala Hell’s Kitchen mark two, however once he did his I am a hardarsed chef, I thought he was pretty constructive. Also he looked very proud of his apprentice.

8 Injera { 06.24.09 at 6:56 pm }

I was a bit disappointed that ol’ Cookie didn’t do a Ramsay and call anybody a f*cking donkey, or scream that their dish was shit. The ads sure were setting it up as an adequate replacement for the wrinkly one. I fell a bit more in love with Julie – especially at the end when she whispered to Pak that Matt’s score was “really good”.

Sarah would have been a perfect addition to the race track. She’s been shafted here and she should probably pack her toys and go home.

If the editors had any of the skill of Survivor/Amazing Race editors, they would have shown the clip of Julie’s deep frying pigeon legs against the voiceover where she explains the confit technique “gently, over a very low heat”…

9 sourkraut { 06.25.09 at 7:16 pm }

Injera I am exceedingly glad the editor clowns DONT have the “skill” of survivor/amazing race. Those two shows got me completely sucked in (not off as this is a family show) and then spat me out in a shower of blue despair as my favourites got eliminted b4 the end. an d besides I am still waiting for anal probe to fall out of the chopper somewhere over the Marianas trench SIIIIIIIgGH

10 sourkraut { 06.25.09 at 7:25 pm }

As to the quiz top left above I’d like Matt to drop the pompous git routine and read me a Donald Duck comic

11 its so amazing sir!!!this is jay from linmar appatelle @ davao city im so happy to meeting u sir.. { 02.17.13 at 8:04 pm }

wow its so amazing sir!!!im so proud of u…im so happy to meeting u sir..this is jay from linmar appartelle @davao city philipines..