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MasterChef Australia Recap – Christmas In July

“I’m back with a bang,” smirkedPoh, and that was one of the outcomes of judge George Calombaris enjoying her pork. Meaning she won this week’s  mystery box challenge, which was to make sausages.

It was a great challenge for them, as they had a huge selection of potential fillings, and great for us the viewer as we get to make a lot of sausage jokes, as in Andre’ “stands behind his sausage”, and sam knows  his sausage is “little”

Poh made a lap cheong (sic) sausage and the judges lapped it up. George told her that it was great to have her back, and then after the judges had tasted it, Gary and George applauded her. Was that a MasterChef Australia first? Maybe the cheeky buggers are just playing up to the Poh favouritism rumours.

Chris’s bratwurst looked better than it apparently was. Chris is starting to appear very confident which brings the old maxim of pride becomes before a fall.

Sam’s sausage was clearly the most inadequate – small, with too much fat in it, so therefore no flavour. I think that says it all.

Poh’s prize for winning the mystery box challenge was to pick the ingredients for the invention test, but since the challenge was going to be a team one she got to pick who went with whom.

She picked Andre to pair with herself, which would have been a relief to everyone else. And because of her stupidity she only has herself to blame for facing elimination on Monday night.

Anyway the invention test tonight they had to make a christmas in July dinner in an hour and half with the ingredients of salmon and chocolate.

Poh and Andre also had the option of picking ham and dried fruits, or Turkey and rhubarb.

Andre cooked salmon lasagne which looked hideous. The pasta was raw and Gary refused to taste it. As they said there was nothing Christmasy about that dish. Poh brought back her fried meringues. She obviously went to the restaurant to get the recipe. In the middle of them was chocolate, chestnut, and orange rind. Gary thought the were the “dish of the night”. But this was not enough to save her from elimination.

Chris and Sam cooked the whole salmon on potato salad, with a chocolate pudding with a egg nog sauce. Chris had overcooked a salmon in the prior episodes but he went to the other extreme this time and served it up raw. Gary who must have put on his hard arsed hat tonight refused to eat it.

Justine and Julie’s fish was perfectly cooked, but they attracted criticism for the chocolate pudding dessert, saying it was not christmassy enough. I thought it looked delicious. They won the prize and the right to challenge the chef on Tuesday night. They flipped a coin to decide who it will be and Julie won.

Next week is final week, and there are still 8 people left in the competition. How many are they taking through to next week? I thought there maybe double eliminations this week, but host Sarah Wilson said tonight “tomorrow one of you will be going home.”. So they must ditch a few later on in the week.

Fingers crossed that Sam goes tomorrow night. The phrase out of his depth was made for him.


1 CG { 07.06.09 at 1:29 am }

Mr. Sourkraut had a good point in an earlier post: why was Poh at home perfecting her meringues unless she knew in advance she was coming back? Having perfected dishes and looking for openings to cook them seems more than unfair as perfecting a former “flop” will certainly win brownie points. Surely tonight episode proves Poh was brought back for ratings alone and with a mandate for flirting and sexing it up with G&G for that segment of the audience who are horn dogs and the other (large) segment who tunes in to whinge about Poh.

And speaking of repeats, how many bloody times is Andre going to make a lasagne. This salmon disaster was his fourth lasagne to date, I think.

Chris is getting cocky and will be gone soon. It was so obvious he should have won the sausage sizzle that you knew he was going to mess up. Ditto for properly cooking the salmon.

So how the hell they are going to eliminate 4-5 persons in the next four days is going to be a farce given some have hung around so long past their due date? While a rapid fire elimination may finally take care of persons like Sam and Andre, it could be unfair to others.

And given there are only a few days left, why have a celebrity chef challenge this week? Although if there is a rapid fire elimination on Thursday and Friday, perhaps winning this week would be more valuable than the early wins. But I hope there are no more than three in the final otherwise it is all a bit silly after such a long series.

I stand by my observation that Justine will win and her appearance at the Sydney Good Food Show was another editorial cock-up because the MC series should have ended a few weeks ago. They extended the show by a few weeks to milk the ratings but had to produce the winner for the Food Show. Otherwise, why would Justine alone appear? Unless of course its a set up..? Was Justine in the group of 3-4 contestants that was spotted at the magazine shot a few weeks ago…I can’t remember?

2 Chefette { 07.06.09 at 1:56 am }

Just a friendly heads up: the final 4 have already been leaked 😉 thought i’d mention it since i stumbled upon the spoilers en route to this site…

3 Foodie { 07.06.09 at 5:26 am }

Do you have a link where it’s mentioned who the final 4 are?? I want to knoww!!

4 MaryMags { 07.06.09 at 5:39 am }

I love spoilers, link us up!

5 I like food { 07.06.09 at 8:10 am }

I too would like to know please…… it Sam, is it Sam ? HAHAHAHAHA. Now wouldnt that be funny ? I’m pretty sure the show has lost most of it’s credibility so it’s not as far fetched as one would think.

6 Aussie-Chinese Home Cook { 07.06.09 at 9:06 am }

Win or lose, I really like to see Poh’s cookbook! Does anyone have deep fried angel cake/meringue recipe? If you like lap cheong sausage, try here:

7 David { 07.06.09 at 10:03 am }

Everyone, if you go to the tvtonight website and go to the advanced guides for the week starting 12th July you will find that on the Sunday show there are still 6 in the kitchen including Julia and Lucas and starting with the Monday show, they eliminate 1 every day , so by Friday they have the final 2.

8 Culinary Boner { 07.06.09 at 10:23 am }

Raver, in honour of the Beavis & Butthead of MCA, Sam & Andre perhaps they should have re-named last night’s sausage extravaganza, Weiner night. ‘Hey Beavis, check out this tiny Weiner.’

9 Aussie-Chinese Home Cook { 07.06.09 at 11:00 am }

I found a recipe for deep fried meringue recipe here:

10 Reality Raver { 07.06.09 at 11:11 am }

Aussie-Chinese Home Cook – Thanks for the recipes.

Everyone – If there are spoilers just put links (or write spoiler in bold at top so people know not to read etc) DO NOT NAME NAMES. Speculation in comments is fine, like I think Chris or Sam or Justine will make the final week. But some people hate spoilers and like the surprise.

CG: Agree Andre needs to get off the italian cooking track, as he appears to not do it very well. The salmon lasagne looked completely unappetising.

11 I like food { 07.06.09 at 11:21 am }

I’ve had lean cuisine’s that looked better than what Andre served up. Dude, we get it……you can cook a lasagne.

12 Injera { 07.06.09 at 12:02 pm }

Actually, I like food, Andre proved tonight that he can assemble what looks like a lasagne, but he can’t actually cook it! And I agree that there are frozen calorie controlled meals that look more appetising than that – in fact, I think the packaging of a Lean Cuisine would be heartier than that travesty of a meal.

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, or – in Andre’s case – he’ll completely f*ck it up so everyone will go hungry.

CG – you’ve hit it on the head. Why, oh why, would Poh have been perfecting her “meringues” if she didn’t know she needed to have at least one functional recipe for when she takes out the cookbook deal?

Oh, and Poh, stop calling them meringues. They appear to be doughnuts. And not at all Christmassy. What we saw was that Poh can make a doughnut crock of bush and get kudos for it, despite the fact that there is nobody on this godforsaken planet who has encountered anything resembling such whilst celebrating Christmas.

13 Anonymous { 07.06.09 at 12:46 pm }

You guys are crazy. But I love it. 😉 Seriously though, I bet everyone, when they leave Masterchef, goes home and tries to fix the things they stuffed up on the show.

It was quite clear to me, in last night’s show, that the bottom three if it was singles, would be Julie, Sam, and Andre. Sam and Andre because they simply can’t cook as shown over and over again, and Julie because even though she can cook, it’s completely uninspired for the level that Masterchef is *apparently* aiming for…

I’m just glad Justine is back, my favourite is Julia, but I suspect that her going straight to the finals was a curse – many people do not have the connection/emotional investment in her, unless she was their favourite from the very beginning in the auditions, like me. It’s sad. :(

14 TDK { 07.06.09 at 1:53 pm }

will it be viewer’s votes?

15 kate { 07.06.09 at 3:37 pm }

Hmm, actually I thought Julie’s pud looked rather enticing and entirely consistent with the level of the comp (as they rather acknowledged in the end). And for Christmas I would far rather be served up something like that than Poh’s donuts, however tasty they might be.

Their critique of it just seemed to reflect the ongoing problem of the comp, namely the judges being seduced by the competitors rather than the food, and the all male composition of the panel. Most women, I suspect, would be rather less likely to feel that the desert has to either contain half a bottle of booze or be delivered by an Asian beauty in order to be considered Christmassy!

That said, I was glad to see that Poh had done as she said she would and started chasing up all the Asian recipes that she had enjoyed but didn’t know how to cook. I don’t think that implies she knew she would be back (actually if she had known, surely she wouldn’t have shot off her mouth on how she was robbed?). At least the competition has spurred her on with her cooking, which is the intention of the thing.

16 nitrous { 07.06.09 at 4:23 pm }

so where are links for the final 4 then? I dont see them

17 Chefette { 07.06.09 at 6:21 pm }

Ok, it’s pretty much speculation here for now but i’ve heard other reports that are consistent with this so i’m convinced this is the real deal…


AND for those who can’t wait another 2 hours, here’s who will be leaving tonight:,21985,25737424-2902,00.html

18 sourkraut { 07.06.09 at 7:24 pm }

Guess we have to agree to disagree re Julie. I thought her xmas cake looked v noice and only lacked a brandy custard to be sensational.
The rest of her food has been generous appeared tasty and 90% of the time were NOT stuffed up ( you cant blame her for the pig problem as Justine was the cook there , I THINK)
Her only problem is that she is not what my son would vulgarly call a “hornbag” BUT personality in the long run is more important and Julies hubby is a lucky man in that regard

19 Anonymous { 07.06.09 at 7:26 pm }

“Hmm, actually I thought Julie’s pud looked rather enticing and entirely consistent with the level of the comp (as they rather acknowledged in the end).”

I don’t think she really fits in with the Masterchef aim. In my opinion, her cooking is quite bland, ditto her presentation and flavours – they are unsinspired, and often similar to stuff found in a supermarket deli/bakery. She is kind of like having a commercial model aiming to win a high-fashion model contest. But that’s just my opinion.

20 kate { 07.06.09 at 9:29 pm }

Anon – How can we judge flavours when we don’t get to taste!

Seems to me the judges always (albeit rather reluctantly) admit that what she produces tastes good. It is true that her natural inclination seems to be towards more bistro fare rather than high end restaurant. But she does better on presentation than sya Chris as a general rule, and too be honest, if a pig’s head is ‘true gourmet fare’ then I don’t want to be a gourmand!

But I would happily have eaten her Lobster Bisque (and the one in my supermarket didn’t look anything like that!), those chips with tarragon salt, her crispy duck, or her balmain bugs.

21 Anonymous { 07.06.09 at 9:47 pm }

lol, sorry Kate, you are right, we certainly can’t taste them! But I meant the concept of the flavours – what flavours she chooses to combine, that sort of thing. I have some idea of how the flavours would taste together because I used to be a chef for most of my life. :)

Agreed she does presentation better than Chris – on some occasions. I certainly think she is a better cook than Sam and Andre. I don’t think she’s a bad cook at all – just an unexceptional one.

22 sourkraut { 07.07.09 at 12:37 am }

hi again
But aren’t they all (unexceptional) the truth is this silly competition goes from the sublime to the ridiculous in the cooking standards required, and NONE of the contestants have stood out so far.
Absolutely right we cant taste so we have to rely on the editors and you know what that,s like. Atotally independent random judge picked off the street for each contest would make things more interesting. I’m beginning to think that some of the more intelligent contestants have sussed out the spices and sweetness degree the judges like and are cooking towards it, just like in Iron Chef

23 Anonymous { 07.07.09 at 1:09 am }

An independent judge would be good. Honestly, I would be happy if Matt was the sole judge. He’s articulate, creative, knows what he’s talking about, entertaining, and most of all – appears to be the most objective one there.