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Masterchef Australia – The Top 24 – Are They Really The Best Amateur Chefs In Australia?

OK hands up who has rushed to the Masterchef Australia website to see if Kate’s Chicken and Potato Pie recipe has been up loaded on there yet? I wonder if they will give both the microwave cooking time, as well as the convection oven time.

I really am not sure why they rate her as one of the top 24 amateur chefs in Australia. If someone can enlighten me please do.

Tonight the top 24 contestants moved into the Masterchef house in what looks to be the suburb of Double Bay, which looked fabulous, as did the Masterchef kitchen.

There is a restaurant and a cafe as well, I hope this year they have to use them, last year the judges were the only one that used it.

The first challenge was to cry when talking about a childhood memory or family. Callum, Claire, Adele all were choking up. Though this was not a negative thing for Claire as she has been so cool during the previous episodes that it was good to see some emotion.

Oh Masterchef Australia you got me tonight. Confession – I teared up when Callum Haan  was talking about his father dying. By the way I really think Callum can cook, and won’t be surprised if he is on the show for quite some time.

But seriously they need to tone down the contestants crying it was becoming irritating and tedious.

And then they got to the cooking challenge which was to create a dish which reflected their childhood. The winner would go into a beat the chef challenge with the possibility of gaining an immunity card that they can play anytime during the show. I presume it cannot be used in final’s week.

This is one of the changes from last year. Previously the person who beat the chef was fast forwarded straight to the finals week. The immunity card makes much more sense. As even though going to the finals seemed like a great prize it really wasn’t as you were taken out of the high pressure competition, and also missed out on a lot of fun. As Julia Jenkins would know.

The first top 24 challenge and some were feeling the pressure.  Adam Liew did not get the rice for his rice dish, which was a pity as it would have been sensational.

George was horrified that Kate was not going to make her own mayonnaisse for her chicken and potato pie. She seemed to imply she wanted to keep the integrity of the original dish. But she says she did change it by NOT microwaving it. Just as well because they would have had to revive George.

Did she put the mayo in the dish and then it was cooked? If so that is the first time I have seen that occur. I bet one of her favourite cookbooks is the 4 ingredient ones. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Jake also wanted to keep the integrity of his dish by using jar oysters in his Oyster soup canapes. But his dish appeared to work out ok.

They contestant’s obviously are told of the challenges before hand, as something like oysters in a jar would not just be stocked in the pantry. Nor would all the asian ingredients required. I actually don’t have a problem with that.

Alvin cooked drunken and bruised it is chicken in chinese wine and mirin (I think), and snake beans. It looked devine. Go Alvin.

Jimmy whose mother is not going to be happy with his impersonation of her again looked like he was going to be sticking around for awhile. His prawn pathia looked divine. I will definitely be checking that out on the official website.

Adele’s crostini looked great – as I have said in previous posts she can cook. However I wonder what she will be like when she has to diversify out of the comfort zone of italian food.

The lovely Alvin won the challenge, and he teared up with pride. There must be nearly some peer pressure to start crying on set, otherwise you look like an unfeeling bastard.

Alvin will be challenging Luke Nyguen who is a great vietnamese chef, so should be an interesting challenge.

27 comments

1 KC { 04.27.10 at 12:22 am }

YOU GO ASIAN COOKING! Alvin’s dish looked so yummy and Gary was SO cute (I know its weird saying cute but it was! :D) when he rushed over to handshake Alvin and had this funny omg-so-yum expression on his face 😀

I was actually kinda sad that they didn’t show all the tastings even though that would have taken an extra hour because there were a few dishes that I would have really liked to have seen.

No 1 – SKYE’S DISH! What was with the green liquid in the martini glasses? I was thinking mmm…green tea latte LOL
No 2 – Marion’s dish only because I’m biased and she’s my favourite and I love Asian food (biased again because I’m Asian :D)

I know I’ve said a few times I don’t like the cryers but I have to say that I’m a big hypocrite because I cried a few times during this episode…I even cried when they announced the theme and everyone started crying because it was so touching. Callum’s story and dish was really touching but I have to say Clare’s dish which was the last dish she had with her gran really made me tear up.

But alas this episode has its downers for me too. Adele, as sweet as she is, really needs to be more confident. She seemed so nervous and had such a GIVE ME GOOD NEWS face when she is such a good cook. It wasn’t a downer but it just made me want to tell her SHE’S GOOD! And Kate. Oh dear. She seems worse at cooking than most people even on both seasons and dear me SHE COOKED A MICROWAVEABLE DISH??? She’s on MASTERCHEF and she cooked something I COULD COOK??? (This is a big insult as I am known through all my friends to lack any kind of cooking ability) I have to say when Matt Preston was praising her choice and then she had that camera time thingy, I bet you she was thinking, only Matt gets my cooking. Gary and George just aren’t as great. I know its a childhood memory but there has to be a dish that you remember from childhood that’s at least more complex than that! Ugh…I have a sneaking suspicion Masterchef will keep her on till near the end though…

2 saffronlie { 04.27.10 at 12:24 am }

‘The first challenge was to cry when talking about a childhood memory or family.’ LOL!! It was so true. Far too many sob stories tonight, and it seemed like anyone who didn’t cry or have a dead relative didn’t get to have any airtime. I wanted to see everyone’s finished dishes, not just the top few! Kate’s looked terrible, I think some of her chicken was still pink when she was layering it in the dish.

The real problem with this challenge is that comforting home food is not cheffy. Jake was so right that he needed to be a bit tricky and glam his dish up a bit. Too bad Kate didn’t get that memo.

3 corrie { 04.27.10 at 12:34 am }

oh dear, kate’s dish! when I heard it I thought what!!!! at least use some inspiration from your childhood if your recipe is that ….ummmm……un-masterchefy! it didn’t look anything special!

so glad alvin won as his just won me over on looks and I bet it tasted delicious too!!!!!

loving your commentary!
Corrie;)

4 wallah { 04.27.10 at 12:46 am }

Um yeah. I believe Kate may have been reading one too many That’s Life recipe tips at the checkout. But hey, that’s entertainment….I say everyone should do something that makes George pull a face like he’s got a 50 kilo turd bursting to get out.

5 CG { 04.27.10 at 1:57 am }

When the tears started a few minutes into the episode I almost turned it off. I will turn it off if they don’t STOP IT!! Enough DRAMA…get COOKING!!!!!!!!!

As for the change to the pro chef challenge and the chance for immunity, this still doesn’t work for me. If you get immunity then the judges know you have immunity and it can’t help but be factored into their thinking as we get further into the contest. Rather than immunity from being voted out I think the immunity should be used to excuse yourself from a challenge. This way any unconscious bias in the judging doesn’t factor in: the holder of immunity can choose to sit out a challenge they think they will be weak in.

RR: I think you should take bets on picking someone to win. It is early, yes…but lets see who can pick ’em from the top 24. My vote will go to either Adam or Aaron. I think a guy has to win this time given MC’s formula and that they will either go with an ethnic pick … or “bad boy” pick… someone “bad” but not as “bad” as Chris B. from season 1… Aaron would fit this profile. Can you bet on the MC winner…seems you can bet on almost anything these days… if so, would be interesting to see what odds the bookies have picked for the various contestants!

6 Laura { 04.27.10 at 4:35 am }

Yay for Alvin! I love him. This is probably going to sound really insulting but he reminds me of the Ricky character from We Can Be Heroes. Only because he is so funny and animated, and their storylines are similar (scientist with a passion for acting/cooking)… It’s more a credit to Chris Lilley’s acting than making fun of Alvin but once you make the comparison, you will agree with me!

My early favourites are Alvin, Adam, Marion, Skye, Callum. I think I’d like Damien too but I’ve barely seen him at all (much like Carrie, Devon, Daniel, Courtney, Matthew). Least favourites are Kate (due to lack of talent) and Jonathon (irksome personality). I find Claire and Adele annoying but they seem talented and nice so I feel mean saying that!

7 Renee { 04.27.10 at 8:47 am }

glad it wasn’t just our household that was cringing while watching Kate describe her dish – eek! It sounded so so bad! So, have they put the recipe up yet? 😉

8 lydal { 04.27.10 at 9:10 am }

Didn’t like the first part of the program at all. Too much crying, I just want to watch “amateur” people cooking though I don’t think Kate should be included here 😉 Her dish definitively looked something I could do and believe me, I’m not into cooking at all.
Adele makes me feel a lot of nervous because she is so anxious every time… I’m not sure sure she will survive if she stays longer in the competition 😉

9 TDK { 04.27.10 at 10:44 am }

Kate – do us a favour, actually, do yourself and your family a favour and quit like the other female contestant did.

10 Culinary Boner { 04.27.10 at 10:52 am }

While there is no doubting Kate’s sincerity and somewhat misplaced enthusiasm, that dish was the sorta meal that would make one want to run away from home. Guess this just goes to show how people can cherish food at a psychological level, rather than for taste. And I suppose her dish was really no worse than a philadephia cheese steak type concoction – some of the versions of this I have had in America resembled doner kebab savings on white bread with cheese melted over the top, making Kate’s dish seem positively gourmet. Well in concept, anyway. Can’t see her competing for too much longer once the challenges become more about restaurant flavours and presentation.

11 TDK { 04.27.10 at 10:59 am }

Actually, it wasn’t her food that I dislike. We the viewer can’t really judge the dish, because we can’t taste or smell it.
However, her attitude just sucks, seems too try hard – which is what turned me off.

12 I like food { 04.27.10 at 11:10 am }

In the first 10 minutes of the show I counted 4 crys and 3 cook from the hearts. After I finished throwing up I turned it off. Give me a break…it would want to improve.
Saffronlie…….you’re first comment…..GOLD !!!

13 TDK { 04.27.10 at 11:34 am }

Can’t wait to see how Alvin goes vs Luke Nguyen.
Luke is very entertaining on screen, but if his food’s taste parallels his Vietnamese coffee making skills, then I think Alvin may win this.

14 TDK { 04.27.10 at 11:49 am }

Oh, and to answer on this entry’s question – well, it’s a rhetorical and sarcastic question, so I won’t answer, but I will comment.
The best chefs are the ones who does it at home day in day out for their family, no time to come on a TV show. 😀

15 akris { 04.27.10 at 12:02 pm }

Have to agree Alvin’s dish looked delicious! and I wanted Adele’s as well.
CG: i don’t think Aaron looks like a (semi) bad boy at all despite the long hair maybe?? He reminds me a little bit of Kirk Pengilly (spelling?) On his official profile it says that he studied Classical Ballet.. how cute is that!

16 CG { 04.27.10 at 12:14 pm }

Akris, In one of the profiles of Aaron where they talked about him being a band manager, he came across (to me at least) as a scrubbed up, acceptable “bad boy”. I don’t think he is “bad” at all…but provides an alternative profile that will be marketable to the masses…which is what MC producers are probably looking for to contrast with mumsy Julie.

17 akris { 04.27.10 at 12:18 pm }

okay.. i understand… i do agree.. don’t think a mummsy person will win again..

18 TDK { 04.27.10 at 12:31 pm }

Oh, and to continue from my last comment – there is a reason why Alvin says it will never be as good as his mom.

19 Fides { 04.27.10 at 12:40 pm }

The most embarrassing thing about Kate is that she is so clueless. She thought her dish looked good with those vomit colours, and the fact she announced the best way it should be cooked is microwaved suggests she has NO IDEA what the standard of being in the top 24 is. She should have done what Jake did to improve that dish ; it’s too embarrassing that she thought her dish would pass muster as it was and “but I didn’t microwave it” justifies that there was some degree of complexity involved on her part. Grit and determination may get you so far, but you actually need talent.

I really like Claire – think she is a sweetheart. I noticed the other night when Kate withdrew from Top 24 that you could see Claire crying in the background so she’s not the cold fish people have thought she was. It would have been so hard to cook her gran’s last meal – if it were me, it would be like I could never eat that again.

Go Alvin. I was good as drooling when Gary, George and Matt devoured his snake bean salad. I’ll definitely try making that if they ever put the recipe up.

20 kate { 04.27.10 at 1:31 pm }

The first challenge was…! Oh dear. This is the first Masterchef epi I’ve sat through while saying I’m going to turn it off every five minutes. I kept going – but in the end asked myself why I’d bothered, and whether I’ll bother to turn on again.

Half an hour before we even got to the cooking. We didn’t see many of the dishes. And didn’t get much of a clue as to how the decent ones were made – all the focus was on uncool ingredients and (very uncool) recipes.

I assume this was all a not very subtle pitch for Julie’s cookbook.

But if anyone else invents/presents some cutesy story to justify a dish/the way it is presented/why they are crying as they make it I’ll scream. And that’ll be it for my MC viewing.

Yes food can evoke memories and emotions – but I’d prefer real actors to this over-the-top fakery.

Stop emoting and start cooking.

21 kate { 04.27.10 at 1:33 pm }

And PS what’s with the ridiculously short amount of time in the pantry? I would have thought some agonising over the ingredients might be quite a nice source of drama, not to mention a chance to push the subtlely products of the sponsors!

22 TDK { 04.27.10 at 1:56 pm }

kate – what can I say? More time for tears and personal stories 😛

23 Wurstsemmel { 04.27.10 at 2:27 pm }

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It annoyed me that I sat there for half an hour before the cooking even started, I wanted to see all the dishes taste tested.

And all the tears? Kleenex should sponsor this show.

Love that Alvin won. He is my favourite. Has a sense of humour, seems to be able to cook…I hope he goes far. After seeing what Kate served up, I might try out next year. I should at least make the top 24 on that basis. Really, why is she still here?

24 I like food { 04.27.10 at 2:32 pm }

I think I under estimated when I said 3 cries per episode.
I might have to up it to 5 with this early pace.

25 Fides { 04.27.10 at 2:34 pm }

Oh it would have been so perfect if it had been about product placement and Kate had made tacos. And if Kraft, Praise or Tomy had been sponsors, would they be slamming the use of pre made mayonnaise? It’s bad enough with the stock – they’re never going to teach us how to make a good stock in Masterclass now are they?

26 charades { 04.27.10 at 3:12 pm }

I do not want to see everyone crying… nor do I want to hear their family history. I love MC because it is a fun , informative and happy show to watch. It makes me want to eat more , sure… but then I live in a cold climate and we are allowed to eat more in the cooler months :) Bring on the fun !

27 Georgina { 04.27.10 at 6:23 pm }

When Matt Preston tasted Adam’s dish, he said something like, “You realise that if this were an elimination round, missing an ingredient would mean you’d be out.” Except if you’re Sharnee, I guess.

I suspect Kate used the jarred mayo because she doesn’t know how to make it from scratch.

I’m with Fides in liking Claire. I don’t think she’s stuck-up, just reserved. Marion, Alvin, Adam and Jimmy are also early favourites, and I like Sarah even though I haven’t yet been wowed by her food.