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MasterChef Australia – The Finalists Dish On Each Other

MasterChef Australia is everywhere this week, and Who Magazine have got an interesting article in it where the finalist that about their competitors amongst other things. Unfortunately no soft copy on their website .

So this is what they had to say:

Poh Ling Yeow

Recipe for success: “I’ve been lucky to get a second chance. When I was home, I practised a loto f the dishes without knowing I was coming back. And I think my creativity sets me apart.”

Dishing on the Competition: “At this stage, it’s not so much who’s  my biggest competitor, it’s more who trips up first. I can’t actually name anyone who’s not a threat.”

Secret ingredient: “Depending on what they let us do for the finale, I’ve got a few very traditional Chinese dishes I want to do, and I would challenge even [judge] Matt Preston hasn’t seen them.”

Back-up Plan: “I’ll still write my cookbook, and keep painting.”

Julia Jenkins

Recipe for success: “I’ve got the skill, the knowledge and the desire to be in the industry.”

Dishing on the competition: “Chris know so much about food and no matter what you throw at him, he’ll do it well. In a perfect world, it’ll be us in the final two because I’d really like to beat him.”

Secret ingredient: “Everything I’ve learnt over the past few months. Coming back into the competition, the other guys don’t really know what I’ve been doing.”

Back-Up Plan: “One day I want to open a restaurant with simple, seasonal food. But I’d spend the prize money eating my way around Europe.

Lucas Parsons:
Recipe for Success: “I bring all the travel I’ve done over 20 years. I basically embrace cultures through food, and I understand flavours. That’s me to a tee.”

Dishing on the Competition: “Chris has got incredible food knowledge. He’s the one we try to knock off the wall each week. Justine is only young, but she has a wonderful array of knowledge behind her.”

Secret ingredient: “For the final challenge I want to work with chillies, and even mud crab. It would certainly be Asian with a twist, because I think Asian’s my strength.

Back-up plan:  “For me, it’s all about a cookbook. I’d love to be able to put my passion for travel and food into print.”

Julie Goodwin:

Recipe for success: “I made it this far because I’m determined. Being absent from my family is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, but I want to show my kids that you can pursue your dreams.”

Dishing on the competition: “Even though she’s young, Justine is a natural cook with a brilliant palate , and a fast leartner too. I see her as a huge threat.”

Secret ingredient: “Nobody seems to have twigged on to the fact that I am extremely determined.”

Back-Up Plan: “Do work experience and learn what I need to learnt to write a business plan to open my restaurant. It’s serve up good, hearty, home-style food that people love to eat but don’t necessarily want to cook themselves.

Chris Badenoch:

Recipe for success: “I’ve displayed a consistently high level of skill. I’m really in control of my nerves – I don’t let them control me – and I’m neat and methodical in my approach, which helps me have a level head when I’m cooking.”

Dishing on the competition: “Julia’s my biggest threat. She has an amazing palate, and she’s been out training in restaurants for two months. Julie is the weakest link. She’s dodged so many bullets it’s ridiculous.”

Biggest misconception: “That I’ll do anything, including sabotage to win.”

Back-Up Plan: “I’ll still work towards my dream of opening a beer mason’s bar and restaurant. I’ll probably end up living in Bavaria – I love the climate, the people, the food and, of course, the beer.”

Justine Schofield:

Recipe for success: “I’ve had a clear direction of what I want to do – own a French bistro – ever since I was little. I specialise in French cooking, sauces, and I know what flavours go well together.”

Dishing on the competition: “Chris is always a threat. But Julia has been away for a while, and I don’t really know her cuisine. She has this natural touch with food and that scares me.”

Biggest misconception: “I love other cuisines aside from French. In fact, I do a really awesome lasagne.”

Back-Up Plan: “Go to France and bring back as many recipes and ideas for my restaurant. It’ll serve traditional rustic, regional, French food. I hope to own one in Sydney and Melbourne.


1 Injera { 07.12.09 at 10:14 am }

Interesting. Poh says “I’ve got a few very traditional Chinese dishes I want to do, and I would challenge even [judge] Matt Preston hasn’t seen them” and this is a good strategy. I think the judges are awed by anything they don’t know and so they over-praise to avoid looking ignorant.

Interesting that Julia sees her absence from the comp as a secret ingredient, when many of us have been reading it as a hindrance.

Lucas couldn’t avoid slipping in a golf reference, could he? Mud crab with chilli in the final week will not demonstrate any sort of progress – if it wasn’t his audition dish, chilli crab was something he put up by top 20.

Julie – bless!

Chris – is he trying to be the moustache-twirler of the competition? Is he protesting too much against the “misconception” (where?) that he’ll sabotage to win? Needless dig at Julie, too.

Justine – great to have ambition, but restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne? Slow down…

2 saffronlie { 07.12.09 at 10:29 am }

Interesting that Chris and Julia see each other as their biggest threats! Or is it overcompensation for the rumours that they’re seeing each other?

3 Anonymous { 07.12.09 at 11:41 am }

saffronlie – Justine sees Julia as a threat, too.

Injera – Maybe Chris’ claims of sabotage are referring to that article that said Poh thought Chris sabotaged her? (She later said it was a joke or something.) I don’t mind him taking a dig at Julie, it’s accurate, imo. She should have been eliminated weeks ago but has been kept around for comic relief/personality rather than skills.

I’d love to see Justine, Julia, and Chris as the top three, I think they deserve it, based purely on talent.

4 CG { 07.12.09 at 11:47 am }

I thought Lucas’ goal was to upgrade his coffee bar in Randwick into a full fledged restaurant. Now he is going on about a cookbook Me thinks he is angling (like Poh) for a publishing deal in the event he doesn’t win MC. Would anyone really buy a cookbook from any of these imposters? Not me.

5 Sooty { 07.12.09 at 12:30 pm }

I wouldn’t write Julie off so soon. OK, in reality tv or indeed tv terms she is ‘middle-aged’ and plump and she’s not going to get an offer to do a photo shoot for Zoo magazine – but as I have noticed she is really focussed and determined, and has overcome a lot of personal demons to stay in the comp (nerves, feelings of overwhelmment and of inadequacy, and genuinely missing her kids and husband ).

Also, she is one of very few of those left who states they want to open their own restaurant. A cookbook deal?! Please, spare me.

She also doesn’t get pissed the night before a major challenge and then serve a bland steak dish like Chris. Ahem.

6 Injera { 07.12.09 at 1:00 pm }

So, Sooty, is a hangover to blame for Chris’ ordinary “icons” performance? Ha!

All this angling-for-publishing-deals is driving me batty. I thought it was meant to be about the cooking – we haven’t seen many inventive dishes from this mob. Why do they think there’s a market for their packaging of other people’s creations?

Saffronlie – like your theory that Chris/Julia are just trying to run some interference on those relationship rumours!

7 Anonymous { 07.12.09 at 1:29 pm }

Sooty – I don’t write Julie off because she is middle-aged or plump, I honestly couldn’t care less what the cheftestants look like. I’m strictly referring to her cooking skills/palate/flavour choices/lack of creativity. I used to be a chef and the other day was discussing this show with my old chef buddies and everyone thinks it’s an absolute joke that Julie is still around! But it was nowhere near the outrage that they expressed about Sam’s nine lives…

Injera – Agreed on the annoyance of the angling for a publishing deal, although I’d actually be interested in Poh’s… I’d borrow it from the library rather than buy it, though! 😉 The book deal is such a dud prize. Really, it’s like the albums on Idol, traditionally pre-written before the winner is even chosen. I reckon they should have some other prize, like a job in a restaurant training under someone like Manu, or a trip somewhere to learn about different cuisines…

8 Sooty { 07.12.09 at 3:26 pm }

Well, Anonymous, I wasn’t specifically talking about you! Or, really, anyone else here. But I am glad you don’t write Julie off because she is middle-aged and plump!

Injera, it is a theory (re the piss-up), based on past experience of Chris on the show and on the extraordinary green, yellow and grey-ness about the gills (eyes) in the “oh-oh I stuffed it up” interviews after the challenge – which may have been brought about by stress. I am sticking on my alfoil hat and sticking with overindulgence of booze.

9 Anonymous { 07.12.09 at 3:43 pm }

Sooty – lol, sorry, I thought you were talking to me re: Julie! Btw, I wouldn’t even call her plump… You should see some of the chefs I used to work with! What do they say… Never trust a skinny chef. 😉

If I am going to judge on appearances… You know what I can’t stand about Chris? His hair! It’s so greasy and just falls into his food all the freaking time. Invest in a hairnet, man. So unhygenic.

10 Injera { 07.12.09 at 4:00 pm }

Anon- re: the prize. Agreed that if there has to be a prize – bless the Brits, it’s all about the achievement there (and the exposure seems to help in a quest for jobs/restaurants afterwards) – it should be a job/research trip, but that could sound too much like, y’know, work!

You’re right, Sooty, I should have put Chris’ hangdog expression and “hangover” together!

11 seepi { 07.12.09 at 6:03 pm }

Poh complained that Chris was sabotaging her in the wedding challenge. She lost me in that one. She called out for help, everyone else was flat chat and couldn’t help her, and she sees that as sabotage.

I think they were desperate to get a few styles of cooking into this show, and Poh got in as the Asian expert. Geni – Greek, Justine – French, Andre – Italian.

Chris is the only one with an actual style that isn’t a nationality. And there is Julie with her home cooking.

12 Reality Raver { 07.12.09 at 6:30 pm }

Interesting that people don’t think Julie’s cooking is not up to it. On the recent poll I had up asking whose restaurant you would eat at. Julie came in second easily. I would definitely eat there, as I would Chris’s and possibly Justine’s.

Love the Chris was hung over rumour – it had crossed my mine. It was like he could not get it together at all.

Injera – agree with everyone of your comments in your first post.

13 sourkraut { 07.12.09 at 6:50 pm }

Sorry we have to agree to disagree again. I agree with R.R re Julie, I’d much rather eat at Julie’s restaurant than some of the so- called $50 main course art on a plate and stay hungry pretentious places that a certain % of the population like to frequent just to be able to say they have been there. That said , its all a matter of taste and we are all different, which is what makes it interesting. In a way I’m a little jealous of people who really can appreciate very good food’ good luck to them, enjoy it as food is one of the few real pleasures of life. (and for that matter so is criticising MC.)

Re Poh and Asian food. I predict that will be the winner as obviously neither G or G has much of a clue how to cook it (many of my Asian friends have also made this remark, otherwise how come none of the Master farce classes have featured it) Ergo as someone else already pointed out above they would be too embarassed to judge it down
Cmon Julie, Cmon Chris.

14 CG { 07.12.09 at 6:58 pm }

IMO everyone is now talking “cook books” because they are angling for publishing deals in the event they don’t win. The author makes about $1 per book sold, from what I understand.

Stephanie Alexander’s “The Cook’s Companion” has apparently sold 300,000 in Aus only and is the most successful Aus cookbook ever. BUT this doesn’t include overseas markets and apparently UK and Europe are big markets for Australian cookbook authors.

So given MC has average nightly audience of 1.5 million and possiblity the series will be syndicated and shown in some other markets (UK, US?) then a cookbook deal for a runnerup (any

15 CG { 07.12.09 at 7:02 pm }

uggh… not sure what happened…was unable to complete / edit my comment…

anyway…was going to conclude by saying that a cookbook deal for any of the runners-up (ie any of the top 5-6) could easily get them $50-100K if not a whole lot more.

I think they’ve wised up to this fact, esp given the success of the series and realise that there will only be one “winner” and talking up a book deal could bring them more cash in the near-term than putting their head down and using the opportunity to become an apprentice of open a restaurant. Even the winner will have a hard time establishing a restaurant given how tough the industry is and the viewer success of MC is not going to translate into bums on seats, esp for someone in Adelaide (Poh) or “semi-rural” NSW (Julie), for example.

16 TDK { 07.12.09 at 7:51 pm }

i remember one masterclass with asian food, and they brought in an asian chef to do it – some stir fry dish

17 Laura { 07.12.09 at 8:10 pm }

Chris is a jerk, I would eat at Julie’s over his any day. She beat him by miles in the last challenge.

18 Kyvyny { 07.12.09 at 8:14 pm }

If they get published somehow, they’ll probably end up lasting longer than the restaurants from My Restaurant Rules.

19 Betsy { 07.12.09 at 10:42 pm }

Evan & Bella re-launched Pink Salt in Double Bay in 2006 only a few months after MRR finished. They recently won the Customer Service Institute of Australia’s Best Customer Service award in Hospitality 2008.

20 Sue { 07.08.10 at 4:52 pm }

How about Channel 10 and the Health Department advise the dirty devils on MASTER MESS to wash their hands and do not taste food and put the dirty spoon back in the food. They should have to pay for all the good ingredients they mess up and throw out. Good eggs and Milk etc would be very welcome by the Wayside Chapel.