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Masterchef – cook versus chef

Opening sequence: Marion leaves the Langham, is wished luck by the doorman, crosses the footbridge and then… gets lost? Because she’s suddenly walking south down Swanston Street towards Flinders Street.

Matt is doing his best to blend in with the graffiti, with his lurid pink pants, purple cravat and other odd bits. I’m guessing the announcement of the challenging chef can’t have been that much of a surprise, given that they are all standing outside his restaurant.

The dishes

Bomba with chorizo filling
Cornets filled with chicken liver pate

I fancy ditching this recap and heading down for some tapas now!

The worst thing that can happen with the first dish is exploding bombs.

Frank echoes what a lot of us have thought, that combining mentor and competitor is tough. He’s trying to be helpful, but Marion is feeling intimidated. She chops the onions neatly  – Frank tells her that she’s a better chopper then he is – and then it’s time for Frank to hit the stoves.

He was being kind about her onion chopping skills, as he shows when he massacres his first bulb. Gary tells her not to overcook the livers and she checks with Frank as to the cooked-ness of what’s in her pan. He tells her to give them a bit more. With 45 minutes to go, Marion wants some advice on losing lumps in the chorizo filling. The cornets are made from brik pastry, and Marion is hoping that hers all work out, as she hasn’t cut any backup rectangles.

Frank checks in on Marion and tells her that she’s miles ahead of him, so he heads back to the processor. Joanne reminds him to put on the deep fryer, which raises eyebrows on this couch. Fortunately she disappears into a fireball.

Frank’s bombas are sizzling away, so perhaps Joanne has managed to help him in that regard. Marion – so confident a few minutes ago – is starting to doubt whether she’s going to be able to pull it off. Jonathan is offering encouragement, and is joined by some of the other spectators.

Marion’s plating looks pretty good, but I’m wondering if extra draining for Frank’s bombas falls under the definition of “replating”.  Or maybe those Handee towels really are super absorbent.


Plate 1

  • Donna: rough edges
  • Matt: the centre bomba is split
  • George: the livers are quite iron-y, but the caramelisation is lovely
  • Donna: the bomba is so comforting
  • George: the ultimate beer food

Plate 2

  • Donna: the cornets are daintier
  • Matt: the sauce is orangier
  • Donna: the bombas are denser
  • Matt: the cornets are crispy, crunchy, creamy in the middle


Gary tells the judges that the challenge was the most tightly contested ever. He asks Marion how she did and she doesn’t think she’s done it.

Frank’s score:
Matt gives him an apologetic 7
Donna 8
George 8
Total: 23

Marion’s score:
Donna: 8
George: 8
Matt: 8
Total: 24

Wow – Marion beat the chef! Matt calls her cornet a “tour de force” and says that the parfait got her over the line. Now, can we find out how the gold pin works? Obviously not.

Frank is gracious in defeat, as he was during the challenge.  Tomorrow night? The Press Club.

Further thoughts:

  • When was this filmed? Claire is so rugged up, and the cold weather didn’t start here until the last few weeks.
  • The exchange of knowing looks when the cooks of each plate is revealed is really smug and annoying.
  • Why do we get previews that remove a lot of what could be interesting reveals during episodes, but still nothing on how immunity works, even now that it could come into play?


1 wallah { 05.25.10 at 9:28 pm }

Is Handee Ultra happy at their product being lit on fire with regularity?

2 Wurstsemmel { 05.25.10 at 9:58 pm }

Joanne, Joanne, Joanne. Someone needs to give you one of those bombe to shove in your mouth. Seriously. I’m surprised you didn’t step up and claim responsibilty for Franks bombe. After all, he had a helping hand from you. I hope you go home next elimination.

Matt looked like a big wad of bubblegum in those pants

Frank seemed very generous with his help. Nice guy.

3 Pollywaffle { 05.25.10 at 10:00 pm }

Not da bomb but Marion won and good on her, but the challenge of tapas x 2 seemed containable and familiar, was it comparable to others to date? ( Or am I just adapting to the supremely high standards of this show, the everest of cooking shows blah blah).

There doesnt seem to be any sense that the cooking is getting more challenging as each episode reveals, just more like they make it up as they go. The immunity badge will be workshopped no doubt before the next episode.

Shouldnt take them too long to whip up the plates in Georgies place tomorrow, he serves lilliputian servings – funny would thought it might work the other way for a small man?

Even the graffiti looked lame against Matt Ps lurid pink pants

4 Rusty { 05.25.10 at 10:04 pm }

I guess Marion deserved to win …

But I wonder what Callum thought of her challenge, compared to his dessert one?

5 sourkraut { 05.25.10 at 10:12 pm }

Frank Who? At least that’s who he will be now!
SPANISH… WELL DONE MC something different at last!
The cornet looked bee yoo tee fool. Ever heard of the word Delicious?????
Mashed potato balls with spanish snag meat SEEMED less so. The tapas I tasted were probably far better than that.
The judging…. yawn and outside Matt is standing there like someone shoved a cornette where the sun dont shine. Relax buster, try to remember you are only a glorified fod journalist, not president of Zimbabwe.
Anyhoo Marion wins proving 10s assertion that the entire class of MC2 is superior to MC1
Back to that crappy show survivor (more cheats bullshit deception and Naiceness)

6 Paul { 05.25.10 at 10:27 pm }

MoVida is amazing. I doubt any local tapas you’ve had could come close to it. Actually I know they couldn’t come close.

7 lydal { 05.25.10 at 10:32 pm }

The “bombas” aren’t any difficult thing to cook. It’s easy to find them in most of the “tapas bars” in Spain. Cheap and yummy. These dishes didn’t look very difficult comparing to other weeks celebrity challenge.

8 Airwalk { 05.25.10 at 11:12 pm }

MC police-all knowing on tapas now too(yawn)…anyway looking forward to Stephanie Alexander eating a chair tomorrow night(Matt will be jealous she bet him to it)(love the Zim prez comment sour)

9 Pollywaffle { 05.25.10 at 11:15 pm }

Tapas, schmapas – tapas is spanish for $15 olives

10 crabtech { 05.25.10 at 11:19 pm }
11 crabtech { 05.25.10 at 11:27 pm }

The bombas they showed at the start had sauce on top as well as well as sitting on them but neither Camorra’s or Marion’s had it at the plating. How come both forgot it?

12 Chuck { 05.25.10 at 11:28 pm }

“Geo outlined the immunity bit approx 3 mins into the show.
“It allows you to avoid one elimination of your choice right up to the final week of the competition.”

13 Pollywaffle { 05.25.10 at 11:39 pm }

Still a bit vague. Will depend which reality show bible they’re digging from…
Can you only chuck the eliminationonly before you know what it is?
If you stay in the elimination and lose can you then use the immunity to save yourself ?
Can you give it to someone else?
I’ll be up all night worrying about this

14 TDK { 05.26.10 at 11:29 am }

A friend of mine says Frank (the executive chef) doesn’t cook anymore.
May be that’s why he is so out of touch with his cooking?
The friend said when they become excecutive chef, they stop cooking and just directing?

15 MelbaToast { 05.26.10 at 12:06 pm }

Joanne Joanne! Not only did she help the chef out by telling to put him to put his oil on she was totally condescending telling him it “takes awhile to heat up” – surely as a Chef he knows this (maybe she’s hoping for a job in his restaurant by being sucky – or trying to be his friend as surely all the other contestants hate her as much as Brussel Sprouts by now)!
And I’m sure she called him something like dear & darl as they fireballed her. Condescending much!

16 Muru { 05.26.10 at 12:26 pm }

I honestly don’t mind Joanne. You need to remember that the producers are underscoring her snide side to try and get us, the viewers, to hate her – and they’re succeeding. Yes, she’s said some pretty irrational things, but it’s very interesting how we haven’t heard ANY of the other contestants say any foolhardy or snide things about each other – the focus is all on Joanne. The way she’s being treated by the producers pretty much guarantees she won’t win.

I still think Adam’s the biggest tool in the house based on various e-sources.

17 Jenny { 05.26.10 at 1:13 pm }

Oh yeah the smug looks between the judges (George’s is the best or worst depending how you look at it) at the revealing of the chef’s plates is getting a bit tiresome. Getting too big for your boots Georgie! However, even though I find George a a bit irritating at times with his shouting, his manglish and bad acting, I also still like him for some reason. I think it’s because he is being himself warts and all. At least he’s not a boring cardboard cutout I suppose.

18 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 1:23 pm }

I don’t think anyone is themselves on MC, its all scripted and over edited with the ‘hosts’ being fed lines through ear pieces some of the time (george especially)-George being himself is more like the smutty schoolboy character he appeared on GNW

19 Paul { 05.26.10 at 1:36 pm }

Yes, its all scripted. George Calombaris is not actually a well known Melbourne restaurant owner and chef but a NIDA trained actor who has been living a lie for 25 years.

Matt Preston is not actually the Matt Preston the food writer but an imposter from the UK who is a star of the stage.

All the contestants are not actual contestants but classically trained actors who are so good they have the ability to cry on cue. They have been preparing for Masterchef all their lives hence why we have not seen them perform on any other Australian productions.

Nobody on the show actually cooks. Its really a mirage placed by the producers to make the audience seem like people cook.

The sequence of who gets eliminated when has already been pre-ordained. Its obvious that since Marion is being made to look like the best cook that she will win. She is not actually the best amateur cook though.

However the producers have decided that she should win as she is like Justine from last year (who didn’t win – yes I’m confused as well !!!!!).

It all makes sense now.

20 lovethatfood { 05.26.10 at 2:09 pm }

I loved what Marion did last night, she seemed so calm and collected. It’s obvious she has put a lot of work into her cooking and that really came through in the bout last night with Frank. I’m a member of the online wine store that she runs with her boyfriend Tim, so I’ve tried some of her home recipes before and can tell you they are fantastic!! Check it out at if you’re into a good tipple!

21 sourkraut { 05.26.10 at 2:15 pm }

I didn’t want to brag but as you mention it thr tapas I tasted in Madrid were very tasty. I have no way of making an actual comparison other than my feeble imagination

22 sourkraut { 05.26.10 at 2:22 pm }

i agree. same thing happened to the evil one last year

23 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 2:42 pm }

Oops think Paul took my ‘it’s all scripted’ a bit too literally-its largely scripted as in edited and produced as its a tv program…Duh! (…even one of me old head chefs who was on the lovely Italian Food Safari the other week was putting on his TV face…and thats without C10 producers in his ear…and BTW my mate who was one of the MC final 50 last year has given me an insight AND I am actually not saying anything new in relation to ‘reality’ progs.) But I will bow to all knowing MC police as apparently George has been either an actor or chef since he was 6 – I can’t work it out as sarcasm is a bit below me…still looking forward to seeing Ms Alexander eating a Press Club chair tonight.

24 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 3:18 pm }

The producers are doing well with Jo’s image with viewers(see poll results) No not saying there is a conspiracy or anything-just thats its a tv show which can be edited any way the producers wish…unless NIDA is Jo’s Alma mater? (and in the comments section of this article – I agree with spaniards comment

25 Paul { 05.26.10 at 3:30 pm }

There is a big difference between ‘scripted’, ‘edited’ and ‘produced’.

Of course, its edited and produced in such a way to get an audience reaction.

However to jump from that and assume its all scripted is a big leap in logic. Besides which if it was all scripted then there would be no need for it to be edited or over produced, ie why edit something when the ‘actors’ are already saying what you want them to say anyway.

And I agree, you are not saying anything new.

26 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 3:32 pm }

😉 My lack of logic explains wy I didn’t do IS at uni … changed to Marketing. Take the all out of my posting if you ant to be so literal and pious…going back to sleep now…yawn

27 Muru { 05.26.10 at 3:44 pm }

Airwalk – Well, that poll result confirms what I thought. The producers have set Joanne up nicely. I don’t think they’ll eliminate her anytime soon though; I reckon they’ll keep her in for quite a while so she’s established as the true villainess of the show, which will obviously increase viewer interest. There’s absolutely no chance she’ll win now; after all, who would want to buy cookbooks from the show’s villain? I doubt anybody would’ve wanted to buy Chris Badenoch’s cookbook had he won.

Marion’s my bet to win. Everything has fallen perfectly into place for her – she’s on a path to victory.

28 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 4:02 pm }

Muru … Yeah I agree Jo may be around for a bit longer especially as she has audience interest…I expect Sharnee and a few others to go first(not that I don’t like her) and its hard to judge some as we still haven’t seen much of the food of a lot of them (and no doubt the judges haven’t tasted many of their finished dishes despite walking around and dipping spoons during cooking). Yeah I like Marion, she lights up the screen and she appears to be happy when others win challenges too (she seems genuine and she has already taken steps to a food career so not having one of these annoying false food dream career changes) and appears to be able to actually cook unlike last years ‘winner’. Would be nice if she won-if only the grassy knoll wasn’t there.
Paul-you haven’t rebuked(told off) sourkraut regards the tapas comment yet. And excuse the spelling mistakes in my previous posting, this flu is getting the better of me (oh no, I’m wagging work tonight-I AM sick but I’ll also be going to see Rickie Lee Jones) and I still stick by my non-original observation that it is largely scripted (in addition to the strategic editing)…the music is what gets me the most, such a giveaway during the tastings don’t you think?

29 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 4:54 pm }
30 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 4:58 pm }

Actually loving this one so much more (veranderon is an insider)

31 Airwalk { 05.26.10 at 5:04 pm }
32 KC { 05.26.10 at 5:37 pm }

^Thank you for the links 😀 It was really informative and the industry insider has really interesting stuff to tell 😀

All this conspiracy theories about reality TV and MC has made me so scared that Marion is being depicted in a very positive light (and might not be like that in real life T___T) but seriously, she seems like such a nice person and an incredible cook and also that interview where she just humbled herself completely and said that her win was all thanks to the other chef and how she’s so bad at desserts and how she’s getting help from Callum, its just impossible not to like her. I really hope its not all a facade T____T

33 sourkraut { 05.26.10 at 11:40 pm }

believe it or not I would happily buy a cookbook by Chris B

34 sourkraut { 05.27.10 at 5:44 pm }

The handy towels must be super absorbent otherwise there would be verbal dribble all over the benches from GG&M

35 Whipcrackaway! { 05.28.10 at 12:03 pm }

Yes, Airwalk, boring as Paul is, he does like to present himself as an omniscient god on this forum, doesn’t he?

IRL, though, he’s a supplicant.

“God, oh God,” he moans, as if I offer him my pistachio-studded duck sausage.

Then he swallows.