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MasterChef Australia: It’s Official Beating The Chef Is No Advantage

If Chris is shagging Julia he is not doing a very good job of it, as she is always freaking crying.  She wept last night, she wept while she was being judged, and also when she had to say why she should stay in the competition.

Ok I can understand her sobbing uncontrollably when she was eliminated, as it was completely left field, considering Julie’s dish was inedible because her ling was so raw.

Anyway in the final’s week the first two to go were the ones that beat the chef to get fast forwarded through. So as we have been theorising for weeks, it is now a fact beating the chef was no advantage. And for poor Julia her MasterChef Australia experience was approxiamately three weeks out of the three months. And then she was just slave labor in Pete Evans kitchen.

No dining in the best restaurants in Sydney, no fun challenges, however she did get to go to Hong Kong. That’s right she wept in the high tea challenge over there. I am kind of glad she was off our screens for the last two months. But then again Julie used to cry a lot and then toughen up.

Tonight Poh had a huge advantage in the challenge as she got to by pick the cuisine – Malyasian. She also got to pick the two key ingredients. She picked coconut cream and ling fish.

Of course the rest of the contestants knew they were in trouble. However I would question how much the judges in particular George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan actually knew about the cuisine.

In fact I loved the way when George and Gary ask Julia and Justine whether the food they was cooking was Malaysian, and they answered yes, they accepted it. However when Julie hesitated about whether hers was strictly Malay they went in for the kill, and said it seemed more thai.

Matt Moran when he tasted Julia’s stock questioned whether there were any Malaysian flavours in it. Matt also questioned whether zucchini and udon noodles were Malaysian as well when he tasted Julie’s dish. Speaking of Julie’s dish the ling was inedible because it was raw. Really raw – not great considering ling can take a fair bit of cooking before it becomes tough.

Just will pause here to take the time to write about how great Matt Moran is on TV – looks good (even for a bald ginger),  is relaxed and gives great tips and comments. If it is true about what they write about in the Sunday papers, that certain judges think they are the stars of the show, who have now been told they are replaceable  then replace them with him. Oh and I don’t think he licks his knife.

Poh’s Petai with Sambal and Fish custard, and glutenous rice dumpling  garnered rave reviews. Gary said  “bee-yoo-tiful, lots of interesting flavours,”  and Matt Moran said her dessert was dish of the night. It did look delicious.

Justine also surprised with her  Ling with curry sauce and ling spring rolls, and rice pudding for dessert. Gary said “Looks good, sauce is good, has real depth of flavour,”, and Matt Preston said ” I love cold rice pudding….my mouth is zinging.” Poh frowned when she saw Justine getting a bit of judge loving. I would have liked to have known what the sprig roll was like.

Chris’s fried rice got criticised,  Gary thought it could have been more interesting. Also Matt Moran said “I thought your food would be a little bit better than this.”  Also George said “Pannacotta way to hard.”. I thought it interesting that the pantry can have pigs head hanging around but not sheets of gelatine, only powdered. He landed in the bottom again. As Matt Moran said has he peaked to early?

Julia  did an Eggplant with a coconut sauce, and ling in a Malaysian Broth. Matt Preston said  “Sauce pretty close.”, and Gary said  “Is it suppose to be raw? do I like the ling dish? – no.”  She was melting down by the time Matt Moran got to taste her food. Good on him for not pulling any punches because there was tears rolling.

I must confess I was completely shocked when they punted Julia, because her flavours were not robust enough. I would have thought Julie’s raw fish was a much greater sin. I can only guess her sauces were ok.

In fact with all the camera time Julia got tonight I thought they were trying to pump her up for the win. For once Channel Ten did not give the game away. I felt a bit sorry for her, and if any future top 20 contestants are out there it obviously does not pay to beat the chef. I presume they will have to change the format next year.

 Tomorrow Adrian Zumbo is back, which will mean a killer challenge with obscure ingredients. Poh has the advantage that she gets to see the recipe beforehand.


1 Anonymous { 07.14.09 at 10:49 pm }

The person they are pumping for the win is clearly Julie, not Julia. Or they are at least pumping her for the final two. She can do whatever the hell she wants, serve up crappy home cook food instead of MasterCHEF food for weeks, make completely inedible food like the fish, fail briefs over and over like only cooking one pie instead of two, etc, and still make it through.

I feel sorry for Julia, she’s an intelligent woman who clearly knew from the beginning of this week that she was at a severe disadvantage. But… word from inside the industry says that she’s going to go far, regardless. I do not blame her for crying occasionally considering this and also that Justine has been crying equally as much the past two nights.

I wonder if they will get chefs such as Moran on next year. The overstaying in the comp of Julie, Andre, and Chris has shown that it’s NOT about skills and talent.

2 Anonymous { 07.14.09 at 10:54 pm }

Oops, I meant Julie, Andre and Sam, not Chris.

3 BB { 07.14.09 at 10:56 pm }

MasterChef Justine Schofield live

MASTERCHEF star Justine Schofield will blog with readers of The Daily Telegraph at 12.30pm tomorrow Wednesday.

Send her your messages of support, ask her anything you want and get all the backstage goss.

4 Injera { 07.14.09 at 11:01 pm }

The only good ginger man is a bald ginger (or a gingerbread man).

Honestly don’t know Julie got through. I agree with Anon – it’s all about the story, not about the food.

But then, how seriously could we take the judges’ comments on any of these dishes, given that they repeatedly conflated “Malay” and “Malaysian”. If they don’t know the food, how can they tell if what they are tasting is representative? In the end, that didn’t matter, because two of the six “best amata shefs in ‘straya” can’t even get it together to cook a piece of fish.

Chris’ mistake with his dessert was in calling it a pannacotta. The judges, therefore, were looking for Rubenesque wobble, and were distracted from the fact that they were supposed to be eating a “Malaysian” dessert. The criticism of texture was valid for a pannacotta, but as I mentioned on the open thread, jelly desserts are popular in Malaysia and they are solid jellies, like his.

5 CG { 07.14.09 at 11:05 pm }

Hmm, Justine blogging tomorrow. Justine appearing at the Sydney food show just after the finals were taped. Would a losing contestant be so willing to give of their time post MC? Me thinks these could be signs that Justine has won and is now fulfilling various PR obligations.

6 Sooty { 07.14.09 at 11:23 pm }

I wonder if some of Julia’s weeping is breaking up with her partner? And/or getting involved with a bloke on a tv show and knowing she’s doing something maybe self-defeating? Or just breaking up is bad enough. Boy, it’s nuts, especially after Hosea screwed-up his rel with sneaky kissing on Top Chef – the pressure of the situation must get to them. Once/if/Ipray it’s not true anyway/can’t grasp the timing of any of this – once this show is over Julia will do very well in her work and probably have a twenty-times longer career than whoever wins and has a cookbook deal that may or may not sell and then is goodbyski/forgotten. Plus anyone sensitive would be bursting into tears too, if they suddenly wandered out of a real kitchen into blazing lights, cameras, fuckwits, and weird time constraints.

My final conspiracy theory – could Chris have been parking his meat in her oven to sabotage his top competition? That hat would sure have been distracting…

7 Reality Raver { 07.14.09 at 11:35 pm }

Injera – you bet George will be banging on about best amateur chefs in the country tomorrow as collapsed cakes get pulled out of the ovens etc.

Sooty – that crossed my mind re: chris as he certainly wants to win, but it does not appear to be helping his game at this stage he is not looking like a winner. I think either Poh or Justine are ahead at this stage.

CG and BB – it does look suss considering Justine also got some loving in last week’s news limited papers.

Anon – I just cannot see how Julie can win. Consistent but not outstanding

8 Anonymous { 07.14.09 at 11:43 pm }

RR – Julie isn’t consistent or outstanding. But those aren’t traits needed to “win” this “competition”. You just need to have a story and journey – actual chef skills not required!

9 Aussie-Chinese Home Cook { 07.15.09 at 12:15 am }

When Matt mentioned the Malaysian flavours, I was really excited with the possibilities of assam fish, sambal fish, SE Indian curry fish, fish head curry…with sides of rojak, peanut sauce …. followed by coconut cakes, sweet coconut dessert soups, ice kachang, pandan chiffon yummy yum…. What rolled across the TV screen, didn’t look Malaysian or something I would eat, other than Chris’s nasi goreng on banana leaf and coconut jelly. Poh’s otak otak fish mouse didn’t look exciting without banana leaf. Such a disappointment with the standard for the finals.

10 Laura { 07.15.09 at 12:31 am }

As much as I love her, I think that Julie should have gone home. Julia is definitely disadvantaged by being sent home so early – like she said, the judges haven’t been able to see her strengths because she hasn’t had a chance to have the freedom to cook her ‘signature’ dishes like the othes. It’s really not fair.
Also I agree with you RR, I would question how much the judges know about “Malaysian” food themseves. For one thing, Malaysian is very different cuisine to Malay, yet the judges and Sarah used the terms interchangeably. Malaysia is a multi-cultural country so its cuisine as a whole incorporates Chinese, Indian and native Malay, yet Malay relates purely to indigenous Malay food.
I am really warming up to Poh now, although I would have loved to see Justine win this challenge.
I hope to see Chris go home tomorrow as dessert is his weakness!! :):):)

11 sourkraut { 07.15.09 at 12:36 am }

1) GET A FEMALE JUDGE no doubt she would be impressed with Justine’s pretty tears
2)Poh’s shock surprise smile giggle tee hee stretch mouth to width of a white pointer shark is giving me to put not too fine a point on it, the utter unmitigated shits. it’s far worse than Chris’ so called portrayed smugness.
3) Of course bloody turmeric is used in malay cookinggary, fat matt even told them all so when they started. Guess he was worried that all the one dimensional french only pat a cake makers (Apart from the EVIL meat cooker) were not going to have a clue about Asian cooking
4) Poh from the heart of my bottom, THANKS for picking Malaysian, It made it all so much more interesting
5) Poh you deserved on the VISUAL evidence to win. I hate it but WELL DONE
6)Judges will scrutinise poh harder. In your dreams Chris. That will only happen if they get a female judge.
7) Since when is coconut rice pudding Malaysian. I have not seen it in any Asian cook book i’ve evr looked at. Also Since when are RAW spring rolls malaysian. Come off it gary. you had a bitch that Julies food was Thai at least thats closer than china
8) bad luck julia but you deserved it
What odds on poh winning now? almost unbackable I’d say
Aussie-Chinese Home Cook…….. I absolutely agree. If they did not know any of the dishes you mentioned Which i think proves my point about 1 dimensionality, the least they coul;d have done would be to make a beautiful Laksa. I had one today at the Malay cookery underneath woolworths town hall station. As usual it was YUMMY

12 Laura { 07.15.09 at 12:40 am }

Haha I love how that smiley is so evil, which is what my face looked like when I was typing it lol.

13 Reality Raver { 07.15.09 at 12:58 am }

Anon – yes you are right re: having a journey. But Julie certainly has not stood out from the pack!
Aussie Chinese Home Cook and Laura I agree there is the gamut of cuisines in Malaysia. But I presumed when Poh said Malaysian that it was similar food that would be dished up in The Malaya or Temasek (Sydney Malay restaurants). Though I would have loved to have seen a banana leaf curry served up.

Sourkraut – that food hall is one of the best in Sydney. The Pho from the Vietnamese stall is the best.

14 Zephyr { 07.15.09 at 1:57 am }

As much as I want Poh to win, there’s a Malaysian dessert called beeko moi (in hokkien) which I guess is black rice pudding in English? So does that make Justine’s dish Malaysian-inspired?

15 kate { 07.15.09 at 7:15 am }

The finals week format is proving really dissapointing.

The silly advantaging of winners. The weird selection of challenges. We’ve had all the elimination for those who can’t cook fast etc – this week should have been the chance to let them really demonstrate what they’ve got in them.

After all for weeks in masterclasses they’ve been taught dishes that require advance prep – so I was expecting them to be finally given that advance time. They could have featured a course a day for example.

Instead, more of the same old same old, except even more unfairly set up.

Pies, Malaysian and some elaborate dessert – is this really what should determine who is ‘Austray’s beeest amata cook?’

I love Malaysian food (I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the country), but it really isn’t one of the top ten world cuisines on most people’s lists and not really something you’d expect Oz contestants to be on top of (Laksa aside, and I’m betting that in the absence of a prepared paste they wouldn’t have had a clue how to make it!). Nor is it really haut cuisine of the type they’ve been repeatedly told to produce (yes, I know it cna be in top restaurants in Singapore and KL, but few and far between in Australia). Of course it is arguably a sufficiently broad umbrella to allow some cuisines (such as chinese and indian) that are on most lists – except that the judges didn’t seem to interpret it that way.

As to the eliminations – poor Julia. But both she and Julie had raw fish (and both should have gone!), and Julie’s dish had a semblance of Malaysian flavours to it, while Julia’s had none that I could see. Seems to me Chris was dissed unfairly though – both the dessert and main looked very genuinely Malaysian, and I thought his crispy ling over the top was a clever way of hinting at dishes like deep fried ikin bilis. I guess George just wanted him to include those special touches of a sprinkle of dashi and carmelized ginger…

I think I’ll just watch the last five minutes tonight and see Julie go.

16 Sooty { 07.15.09 at 11:44 am }

Julia’s eggplant was steamed (urgh) not fried and Matt Moran thought fried would have tasted better. Her sauce looked revolting, and the flavours in it – were okay?

Her ling broth had too much black vinegar Moran said and just didn’t balance out flavour-wise (Malay, Malaysian, or otherwise), and her ling was cooked through in parts with raw chunks – nasty surprises.

Julie’s coconute curry? had some dodgy extras but tasted good and had a balance of flavours and I guess spices that fit the bill.

Her fish was raw and inedible but the sauce was nice??

So that’s Lucas and Julia both pinged on flavour, seasoning, and spices. It’s slightly unfair, but not heinous.

Does it taste good, is it tasty – you need that in restaurant food! My problem with this show is all the tasting of warm, luke-warm and cold food that should be served piping hot. Erk.

17 seepi { 07.15.09 at 11:50 am }

It is time for Julie to go. Her little girl in trouble with the principle face for judging is giving me the irrits.

I think the contestants did ok with the malaysian theme. They can’t be expected to be genuine experts in every world cuisine.

I think the girls ended up with raw fish by trying too hard to be restaurant standard. At home I bet they both would probably slightely overcook the fish.

18 Anonymous { 07.15.09 at 1:00 pm }

RR – Yes, Julie hasn’t stood out from the pack, but the judges certainly don’t care about that! If she’s made it this far on inedible food and pure mediocrity, what’s to stop her from getting the win?

19 I like food { 07.15.09 at 1:23 pm }

Much like the TV show Friends, I have to be honest and say I cant stand any of these contestants…..especially Justine. I’m still hoping for a kitchen explosion so we can end this finally. I think out of the remaining contestants if Chris isnt the clear cut winner for what he’s produced throughout the show then this show is in fact a farce. It lost credibility weeks ago and is slowly going down the big brother line of television. I’m surprised we havent been able to text in our votes yet.

20 TDK { 07.15.09 at 2:02 pm }

It’s going to be votes for final two is it?
Is that how the UK version has it?

21 J { 07.16.09 at 2:46 pm }

Jeez I remember an episode when Chris says, ‘I look around and there’s people in tears and messy benches everywhere,’ or something like that. It’s kind of funny, actually. It seems that Poh and Chris are the only ones who don’t cry much, maybe because Poh doesn’t take the competition too seriously as she already has an established career and Chris well he’s a guy. Everyone else always cries in almost every episode since the finals.

22 TDK { 07.16.09 at 3:41 pm }

J – or it could be that they’re not very emotional people; or are emotional but not the type that reveals it as easilly as others.
Take SYTYCD America for example, the guys cry as much as the girls.
May be Aussie guys are more tough, emotionally.