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MasterChef Australia – The Iconic Chefs

Is Chris Badenoch the Greg Norman of MasterChef Australia? After a near flawless performance over the past three months he definitely appears to be choking in a big way.

Tonight’s challenge was to cook for four iconic cooks who had over 175 years experience between them. The contestants would have all night to think about what to cook, 15 minutes to shop at Coles, and 1 hour to cook.

Julie confused me when she said “I am going to hit the cookbooks, I want to come up with something original.” Something of an oxymoron, but maybe she was going to mix and match recipes.

In the morning Gary and George come into the MasterChef house, which I could not really see the point of, but it did give the opportunity for George to go straight to Poh’s bedroom. I love the way Channel Ten continue to edit George to make it seem like he has a crush on Poh.

They took them to their 15 minutes at Coles.

Did anyone else think the checkout chick was unusually attractive? My store is filled with pimply non-communicative students, new immigrants, and elderly workers just waiting to be old enough to claim the pension. All really lovely (except perhaps the students) but glamours? No. This girl looked like a failed auditionee to Australia’s Next Top Model.

I hoped Justine had a back up plan if Coles had not sold duck breasts. I have never seen them in a mainstream supermarket. But then again I rarely buy meat in a supermarket.

Once they got to the MasterChef Australia set they found out who the four icons of cookery were. They were Margaret Fulton,  Cheong Liew chef to The Grange Restaurant, Amando Percuoco of Buon Ricardo, and  Jacque Raymonde from Jacque raymond Restaurant.

Andre was the first to serve up. He cooked Roman Gnocchi with Caponata. Is anyone else getting sick of his constant cooking of Italian pasta type dishes? Especially since he does not cook them very well.  “Tasting it I am disappointed” said Jacque. Margaret Fulton like it, and  Armando thought the ” Gnocchi good, vegetable lack of seasoning, and too oily.”

Poh was up next with Dry Chicken Floss Curry with Coconut Lattice Pancake. Margaret Fulton thought it was delicious. Cheong thought it was  presented beautifully. Jacque who appeared to be the hardest person to please on the panel said it “lacke a drizzle of lime juice, but very technical and professional dish.”

Chris was like a dead man walking when he came into to serve up his pan seared rib eye, with bone marrow.  He even admitted the dish was not him. Jacque told him to his face that he did not think it was up to scratch. Reiterating his criticism by holding up a piece of alfoil. 

Matt Preston siad  “Meat pasty, salad under dressed, and he had very little bone marrow.”

Jacque also said  “No imagination on the plate, the worst dish so far.”

Justine’s Duck Breast with eschallot tart was gushed over.  Jacque  said “Perfect seasonal dish.”, and “all ingredients on one plate working together”. It was the dish of the night.

Julie who cleverly picked a dessert to cook. It was a layered spice orange cake with white chocolate yoghurt with Almond crumble. Margaret Fulton who had thought it had not looked that appetizing said it was “absolutely devine.”

The next day the contestants came back to the set to find out who would be facing an elimination challenge. But first George had to get the atmosphere going with one of his grand proclamations “You have just spent the last hour cooking for the Rolling Stones of the culinary field.” Who writes his lines.

Justine won the challenge with a score of 47/50. Julie 45/50 and Poh  42/50. Poh said she was happy but devastated that Andre is in the bottom two.

Then it was light years between the girls and the guys with Chris award a humiliating  33/50 and Andre 37/50. I note Andre thought he had stumped up his best and got that score, whereas Chris knew he had dished up crap.

Tomorrow night they have to battle it out with a taste test. Personally I think this wrong, and it should have been a cook off considering a position in the final week is at stake. Also the taste tests make Eddie Maguire on How To Be A Millionaire look positively lively.

29 comments

1 sourkraut { 07.09.09 at 1:02 am }

8 ways this show craps me
1. should not let the contestants bring the dishes out to the judges specially if one is a frog. advantage was too much to justine &poh in fact all the contests should be done in anonymity to the judges
2. how did they determine the order of dish presentation. can make a big difference toss a coin in future.
3. chris wot were u thinking?
4. geo lay off Julie. “cant bake a cake in time” etc
Julie tell him to sit on pohs crap and rotate.
5. matt dont wink (and wank) at justine, oh and wot a surprise the frog gave her a 10
6. Why give them only 15 minutes to shop for the ingredients? how the shitengruber does that assist in judging who can cook
7. gary if you ask superwoman if she has enough ingredients at the end of the shopping wot in cranberry snot cream were u gunna do if her royal highness had said no???????
8. editors its impossible to tell who got wot advice from g or g or even m b4 this shemozzle startyed and how even hande woz it
MEH
Thanks be, the ctickets on and england have actually lost a coupla wickets, knock em down mitch!!!!!!!!!

2 Aussie-Chinese Home Cook { 07.09.09 at 1:59 am }

The two dishes that say something about how culinary history has evolved are Poh’s coconut roti jala (Malaysian lace crepe) and Julie’s orange layered cake. Traditional pairing of ingredients, modern presentation. Gnocchi, duck breast and beef steak looked like poor reproduction of older episodes, enough to bring on the yawns.

3 Suziwong66 { 07.09.09 at 2:02 am }

I’m well and truly over these rediculous taste test battles for the right to stay as well. It never worked in the past e.g. couldn’t get rid of Sam despite him clearly overstaying his cooking limits by many weeks!
chris normally outperforms Andre in the kitchen; and i guess everyone will have one or two snafu’s along the way e.g. tonight’s spectacular snafu by Chris. The elimination contests should be about cooking not guessing flavours as it’s a cooking competition not a guessing competition.
Justine did well without doubt but i have two points that appear to favour her advantageously.
1. I have NEVER seen duck breast at Coles (funny how it’s at the Masterchef Coles outlet???)

2. two of the 4 judges were French…hello??? Justine’s favoured cuisine is French.

Two very big anomalies in my opinion.
However, I was thrilled to see Justine do well and even more happy to see Julie excell with her layer cake.

4 barbara { 07.09.09 at 7:50 am }

There wasn’t two french judges, one was italian.

5 I like food { 07.09.09 at 8:04 am }

When the Hawk takes site of it’s prey it slowly swoops in to take what it thinks is rightfully his…..was I watching the nature channel last night…no, it appears I was watching some dirty old French perv. Watching ‘frenchie’ undress Justine’s duck breast was maybe one of the more sickening things I have seen on television this year. Was anyone else disturbed by watching this disgusting man ?…..the horror….the horror. I’d be willing to put my house on the fact he’s already offered her a position (maybe in more sense of the word) at his dining establishment. I, for one cannot stand Justine….if someone was ever in line for a comeuppance I truly believe it is her. Tonight’s ‘taste test’ only proves this show has pretty much lost all sense of credibility that it once had. You get the feeling Chris might go out tonight on some ridiculous spice, like the plant of a 70000 thousand year old flower that sits at the top of a mountain in Peru but can only be picked just as the seasons change from spring to summer and at 4:37 in the afternoon. I’m over it…..but damn it I’ll keep watching.

6 Injera { 07.09.09 at 9:48 am }

Count this viewer as sick of seeing Andre’s limited repertoire. Particularly since, of his standby dishes (gnocchi, lasagne, caponata), he seems to be able to cook any one of them properly only on every third attempt. After all the judges had their say, Matt’s comment – “What we have here is two very good dishes – they just don’t work well together” – had me stumped. What? So oily, grey, underseasoned caponata counts as a “very good dish” here at the pointy end of finding ‘straya’s best amata shef?

Yep – agree with all of you. The taste test is a completely bogus challenge, especially when it’s for a place in the finals. How authentic can the curry be, when Gary can’t even say “Siri” Lanka? I predict a lot of “Did you say [insert name of ingredient blind Freddy could see swimming around in the pot]? Are you sure? … [lengthy pause… fakeout elimination… reveal – to no-one’s surprise – the ingredient no-one can even remember being identified, due to the years that have lapsed, polar ice-caps that have melted and reformed, and Campbell’s Real Stock ads we have experienced since the segment first started].

Said it in the open post, but will say it again here: why, oh why did Chris stay up so late to decide on steak’n’salad? And why did he decide on this knowing that his shopping destination was Coles? 1. I’ve never seen bone marrow at Coles – but, as others pointed out, this is a magical Masterchef Coles – and 2. I’d probably want to go to a butcher I trusted if I was going to do a simple seared steak.

Poh’s taken on the shill-shill-shill lesson well. In a panic over her roti jala, she says “I need two Scanpans!”. Seriously. Who name-checks their pots’n’pans? Good to see the “icons” giving generous praise, but I think trained palates could pick herbs-in-a-tube and Real Stock from a line-up, don’t you?

George and his “Rolling Stones” comment was yet another eye-roll in a festival of eye-rolling (who was Keith? Mick? Charlie Watts? Ronnie Wood? Bill… oh, hang about, whaddaya mean there are more than four Stones?), but when they appeared, it seemed more like the Chieftains, or the Travelling Wilburys.

As for the early morning boudoir visits: lame. The aspect that really intrigued me was that Gary goes into Chris’ room and says, with surprise “What are you doing awake? It’s six o’clock!” which isn’t really that early and eeeeewwwwww Gary wanted to creep in on Chris while he was SLEEPING?

7 TDK { 07.09.09 at 11:08 am }

The old lady judge was so sweet.

8 seepi { 07.09.09 at 11:08 am }

Chris seems to lose it when he has too long to think about his menu.

Was it the scallops (or quail) when he told the judges that although everyone else was cooking it too, his would be the only one cooked well. And instead he presented a tiny little faff food meal on a big white plate.

He should have taken a leaf out of andre’s book and just done something he’d done well before.

What is a Caponata anyway?

9 Jacqui { 07.09.09 at 11:35 am }

Was it only me, or did someone else think their 15 min to shop was a lot longer than 15 min?

10 Injera { 07.09.09 at 11:44 am }

Jacqui, I think it was 15 minutes in Gary time, which is like Hammer time with tighter pants and less Rick James.

11 Reality Raver { 07.09.09 at 12:22 pm }

Finding all your ingredients in that huge Coles in 15 minutes would have been difficult, unless you were Julie with the cake, as it was flour/cake/sugar sec (normally same aisle), dairy, and fruit. I liked her strategy buy everything you never know what you may need and she had $100. Gave her a fallback position.

Poh and the bottled herb must have been a sponsored thing. As Poh would want to use fresh, though she may not have been able to get lemongrass there.

The duck is a mystery, as was the bone marrow rib eye. It was not well cut by the butchers probably first time they have had to do it.

Sourkraut and others you are right should have been a blind tasting, was much ogling.

12 I like food { 07.09.09 at 12:33 pm }

If I was Chris I would of gone the roast chook with a bucket of peas and gravy then pocket the rest. I wonder how many times the celebrity judges shop at coles for their restaurants ?

13 I like food { 07.09.09 at 12:35 pm }

Injera……great Rick James call by the way. I think the others should dress up as the rest of the Stone City Band.

14 Jacqui { 07.09.09 at 12:35 pm }

I like food- Only if it is instant gravy! Haha! Or better still, how about a bbq chicken already cooked? These ppl are hopeless! George was obviously hoping to catch Poh still in bed or in her underwear.

15 Reality Raver { 07.09.09 at 12:42 pm }

Jacqui and I Love Food – If George had found Poh in bed in her underwear, they would have had to pixelate a certain part of his body…. LOL

16 Jacqui { 07.09.09 at 12:54 pm }

LOL- Reality Raver: Remember however that he is quite a short man, so they may not have to do too much! LOL

17 I like food { 07.09.09 at 1:22 pm }

Cocktail weiners anyone ?

18 Wurstsemmel { 07.09.09 at 1:25 pm }

What’s the ‘let’s surprise people in bed’ thing? George may have an ulterior motive but, really, this is Masterchef, not Boot Camp.

I don’t buy the 15 minutes in Coles….. and duck breast? Riiiiggghtt. I don’t think so.

I really hope Chris goes tonight. Even if he did manage to serve up something I fancied (and his eat from ‘top to tail’ approach is really not my thing), his unkempt appearance would put me off completely. He looks like he should be running a greasy spoon.

19 Culinary Boner { 07.09.09 at 2:35 pm }

Raver, agree with the comment these crap guess-the-ingredient challenges.

Even compared to Eddie M’s milk-every-second-before-the-next-commercial-break Millionaire performances, Eddie still looks he’s performing on speed and steroids, compared to the dull whimper that is a MasterChef ingredient challenge.

20 Injera { 07.09.09 at 4:31 pm }

Jacqui – lucky Poh was wise to George’s tricks, and slept IN FULL MAKEUP! I’m so glad we didn’t have to go the pixellation route…

I like food – I don’t think any of our judges are groovy enough to convincingly dress as the Stone City Band, although I’d like to see Matt with cornrows… Actually, scratch that, I’d love to see them try! George’d need a wig.

21 Anonymous { 07.09.09 at 7:24 pm }

I’d like to point out to you that there was ONE french judge and an Italian Judge – which is the one I am assuming you thought was french, because I can’t believe that even you would be idiot enough to think that any of the others were. Good Lord.

22 sourkraut { 07.09.09 at 7:46 pm }

Mon sewer jack (off) … back in your box! You’ve had your minute of fame on tv (and as the Raven said….nevermore)

You could not wait to attack Chris. The instant his food hit the table you started. WHY? It was not that bad! Sure it was not that good but it did not deserve your snotty attack!!!!!!!

To: I like food (post 5) I 100% agree with you re jerk frog. As I sais b4 this comp is no longer about judging food or even the best chef in 1 square millimeter of any metropolitan Oz city. No its a popularity contest run on the lines of and with the same prejudices and subtlety as the wretched eurovision song contest.

Wurstsemmel
R u seriously going to tell me that Chris’ food is worse than Andre’s? Cmon get real. Just because Chris looks like a grot (and he should smarten up for sure and he should lose the raw egg syndrome) you don’t like him? that’s the same sort of judgment basis that got Justine a 10 from the frenchy, but it wont decide a “serious” cooking comp. PS wake me up if you find one.

TDK
Yes Margaret Fulton had class and charm and tried to be fair to all. Pity some of the other clods could not . Anyway i still think Julie deserves to win overall but I bet it duz not happen.

Injera how many times do i have to remind you that NO pre packaged food is used in this comp.

that said I bet Chris goes out tonight because he wont be able to pick geo’s mum’s sri lankan curry SPECIAL ingredient ( the one they pour in wearing asbestos suits for protection), or… the mystery ingredient in the coogee bay sundae! ERRKK actually it will be some obscure spice like asofoetida (which smells a bit like the coogee b s
You heard it here first

23 Injera { 07.09.09 at 7:50 pm }

Nice call on the asofoetida, sourkraut! That was in the ingredients list for a dish I was making years ago – never could find any and still keep my eyes open. Don’t know why, given that it is described as being pongy in its natural state, but it’s become a mission. Anybody know where it can be found in Melb?

24 Reality Raver { 07.09.09 at 8:05 pm }

Sourkraut – hilarious as usual. I hope you are going to be watching australian Idol.

Injera – why don’t you ask the collective brains trust on twitter?

25 sourkraut { 07.09.09 at 10:36 pm }

Injera, I can find it in sydney at an indian spice shop at Harris Park next door to parramatta where I used to go to get the spices i neede to MAKE_UP my curry powder heh heh (sorry andre)
Also try looking for it under the lable Heeng. it comes in yellow or light blue plastic containers about 30mm high and a bit larger diameter than a 50 cent piece. You dont use very much of it but nearly every curry dish uses it. It stops you from getting “wind”

26 Injera { 07.09.09 at 10:40 pm }

Thanks, sourkraut!

27 sourkraut { 07.09.09 at 11:17 pm }

Injera
Charmaine Solomons excellent “Indian Cooking for Pleasure” has a list of spice shops in oz the book is 100 years old (nearly) but some places mentioned are:
myer in burke st
ceylon(old book) curry centre 188 russell
eastern food centre 232 little burke
and about 20 others.
they are probably all gone by now so I suggest using dear old mr google

28 sourkraut { 07.09.09 at 11:20 pm }

R R sorry, cant bring myself to oz idol id disgrace myself (even more)
If they ever bring back the MOLE I’ll be in there with bells on

29 Roza { 09.23.11 at 9:56 am }

Is it just me or does anybody else notice that they never wash their meats. There’s probably animal hair or sores in the fat which is never removed.