MasterChef Australia – Shock Final Two?
“I am dreaming about Gary and George in my bedroom hollering at me,” said Poh as she was describing how MasterChef Australia has seriously mind her. For about 2 seconds when she started the sentence I was like “Nooo Poh not an erotic menage a tois!” Just imagining George naked and saying ‘Yeah, Yeah, oh yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh’ made my stomach flip.
Now Julie really needs to go out an buy a lottery ticket that Donna Hay was on the judging panel tonight. However you wonder how much influence she really had. I think Donna Hay is a clever women, with good cookbooks, and marketing ideas. But what really impressed me tonight was her teetering about on those really high heels. I thought at one stage she was going to stack it, but they probably would have edited it out.
I really hope MasterChef Australia has an episode of outtakes, as I reckon it could be hilarious.
Back to Julie she did not finish plating up, but still got through to the finale. Controversial? Yeah.
I have to be honest I have complained about Andre being one dimensional with his italian cooking, but Chris and his unusual meat cut mixed with boutique beer cuisine was starting to get a tad predictable. Even though he obvious is a very good technical cook.
Tonight’s challenge was to cook three dishes that would be in their first cookbook. The challenge meant they had to combine styling with flavour. They had 2 1/2 hours and they could pick 30 ingredients.
Donna Hay said she was looking for three things. Innovative recipes, thought in food styling (for camera), and she would like to see their cover recipe to blow your socks off. George also said it had to look like “food porn”.
Poh was always going to have the advantage in this challenge as she is excellent at plating up.
Tonight it was just about confirmed that the contestants know the challenges before they go in there. The pantry would not have pigs trotters, and beef cheeks just sitting there. Also Poh’s century eggs would definitely not be kitchen staples. Speaking of that egg, I am sure I have spotted something similar in a Survivor eating challenge, where they have to eat half formed duck foetuses.
Poh was first to be judged and she cooked Century duck egg and pork dumplings which Donna Hay said “Acquired taste but I quite like it”.
Black squid ink cubic noodles with fish stock got a resounding ” Confronting but exciting,” from the judges, and her ginger custard with rice balls and sugar were an “Amazing combination of textures in your mouth”. She said her concept for a cookbook was Chinese/Malay food, and she would call it Food from Mars, because there would be some strange things in it. Donna Hay politely said there would be a niche market for it.
Poh deservedly got a place in the final two. All her dishes were outstanding. They were adventurous, looked great, and would have tasted delicious.
Chris was next to be judged with deboned quail stuffed with chicken livers . “Cloying needs a bit of acid to break it up,” said Gary.
Pig trotters which George thought there were “Nice flavours in there, but the trotter was soft not enough”. His braised beef cheeks also did not get praised George said “Sauce not right”. However Donna Hay did give his cookbook idea the thumbs up and said it would sell. Matt Preston also gave him a great idea for the title, ‘Snout To Tail, Stout To Ale’.
Maybe Chris was trying to be too clever with his dishes cooking them in a pressure cooker which in the end cost him a place in the final. Also even though Donna Hay is married to a butcher she did not look particularly happy about supping on a pigs trotter.
Julie was judged last, and she was having a disaster. She had not plated up all her stuff even after a lingering ten seconds from Gary, so her food was going to have to be sensational. She served stuffed chicken with port and pistachio, rolled saddle of lamb with mushrooms, and flourless chocolate cake without the grand marnier sauce and truffles.
However you could tell Donna Hay loved her and loved her My Family Table cookbook idea. She probably wishes she came up with it herself.
“I felt nurtured by the chicken and mash,” said Donna, and Lamb “Taste beautiful, and succulent” said Gary. The flourless chocolate cake was criticised with a “Doesn’t have the richness I was looking for,” said Matt Preston.
I have to confess I thought it was fake editing, with the judges putting Chris down so we would think it was close when he was chosen. However I was slightly shocked when Julie was announced to go through to compete against Poh for the title. Apparently the execution of Chris’s dishes let him down.
I am not sure it is the correct decision, Chris has cooked with flair all through the competition, whilst Julie bumbled through the first half. Having said that I know which food I would have preferred to eat tonight. However if Poh does not win I will be very surprised.