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Masterchef – steak’n’sparkling

Gary reminds the blue team that they lost at The Press Club, which is probably just as well, since last night George seemed intent on telling them that they were all winners. Jimmy decides it was the food that let them down, which is lucky for him, since he was on the floor. Of course, they’re all equals, now, in the elimination. The team is sent out into the fresh air to clear their heads.

Marion leads the red team off towards their lunch, while Claire and Jake get into their chopper. They rejoin the team for a wine-food matching tutorial, which is something the blues are going to have to learn through trial and – most probably – error. Alvin is today’s designated “our joy is tempered by thoughts of the blues” line today.

Back in the cellar, the blues are confronted by a mystery box and Joanne feels unprepared. They have “an array of fantastic local Yarra Valley produce”. Red onions, baby radishes and zucchini flowers are some of the things Jonathan notes. Gary gives them the “sting in the tail”: they have to make a bew-ti-ful dish and match it to a zesty sparkling wine. I’d like to see a whole raft of them eliminated for failing the “bew-ti-ful” requirement.

Cooking – 30 minutes

Fiona would like to do something sweet, but doesn’t see enough in the box to achieve this, so chooses the steak instead. Aaron is trying to make pasta. Good on him, if he can make a decent pasta in the time.  I doubt that even Lindelof and Cuse have a plot device that would make this work.  Jimmy is doing a simple fish, but Matthew is being a bit more ambitious with a lasagne with ceviche of the fish. Joanne’s doing a tartare, which the Gs think is courageous. Matthew is not exaggerating when he says that his pasta dough is a disaster. He interviews that you need to rest a dough, so if he knows this, why did he choose to make it? He becomes the latest victim of the fireball.

Joanne is smearing her tartare over the plate and she seems to have made a paste, rather than chopping it. I’m a bit suspicious of her garnishes. Matthew has managed to pull together something like a pasta – an unsealed ravioli, by the looks of things. Joanne is convinced that she’s done enough to impress the judges.  As for the others? What others…


I hope that George saying “we would like to taste…” doesn’t mean that they’re not going to taste them all. There are only seven of them, aren’t there?

  • Jimmy’s pan fried trout: Gary notes that the trout is dry and the wine is needed to get it down.
  • Fiona’s steak: It’s a lot of meal and she starts to weep when George asks if she’s out of her depth. He tells her she’s one of the country’s top 15 cooks and if I was typing this on my old PC it would be out the window by now. The verdict is that the beef and the wine don’t work, but the accompaniments would have been good.
  • Joanne’s steak tartare: Gary’s face says some ugly things, but I fear he’s using the fireball to do a Ryan Seacrest level fakeout. I hope not.  Back from the ads, we rejoin Gary as he completes his statement: “I’m afraid to say… that’s beautiful”. Looks like she’ll be going through! Fiona looks a bit pissed off that cooking the beef took the dish away from a match.
  • Matthew’s open trout lasagne: Gary knocks on the plate with the pasta. Not a good look. In fact, Gary says the pasta is terrible, but he likes the combination of the fish, tomatoes and roe.

Okay, so they have tasted all the dishes. Thanks for telling us, Gary.

Bottom three

Jimmy, Matthew and Fiona. The only surprise there is that it took so long to make the announcement.

In case they didn’t know why they were there, Gary reminds them that they were the least impressive in the challenge. A Vangelis impersonator is busy behind the scenes, but fortunately is taken by a fireball.

Fiona is going home. But first she has to talk about the journey ahead. She would like to get involved in the Kitchen Garden program, which is a noble goal and one she would be well placed achieving as a teacher. Unfortunately George has to take it into fantasy land by predicting she could be the next Stephanie Alexander.

She’s going to miss Jono, so obviously she’s forgiven him for leaving her on the shelf a couple of weeks ago.

Adam’s sad that Fiona’s not there, but has high hopes for her future. And with that, our wannabes are on the plane back to Sydney.

Other thoughts

  • We have a Stephanie Alexander – why would we need another one?
  • Did the wine matching play a big enough part in the decision making today?
  • I wonder if any of the dishes we didn’t see were bew-ti-ful, or were they just adequate?


1 Rosie { 05.28.10 at 12:38 pm }

Oh Christ, I hope you are wrong about Joanne being safe next week, Anonymous. The girl is irritating my every last nerve.

About the selections of food to suit the sparkling wine – don’t the makers of champagne say that champagne goes with everything? I certainly drink it with everything. Well, okay, I drink cheap sparkling wine rather than actual French bubbles, but I enjoy it while eating medium rare steak. Note: I don’t drink anything while eating raw meat splattered across the plate. But that could be because I’d be too busy heaving up my toenails.

2 Pollywaffle { 05.28.10 at 12:51 pm }

Injera, so sorry you are sick.
A George- inspired pick me up 4 u

Chicken soup granita served within a dried baby-worm casing bowl with straw incense burner

3 Injera { 05.28.10 at 2:53 pm }

Pollywaffle – that is fab! I’d totally buy ALL of George’s cookbooks if there was a chance of a recipe for a dried baby-worm casing bowl!

4 Fides { 05.28.10 at 4:01 pm }

This is totally unrelated to the episode, and apologies if it’s been posted before. But if you want to hear Marion’s radio voice, go to her page on wikipedia

At the bottom there are references and if you click on references 4,5 and 6 – you can get to the audio of her ABC reports. I was amazed how smooth and ABC-ish her voice was.

The link to the Master of Gastronomy page (reference 14) is interesting too.

5 auds { 05.28.10 at 5:25 pm }

she has got a food blog hasnt she? that would be interesting to check out, does anybody have the link?


6 Injera { 05.28.10 at 5:28 pm }

Fides – thanks for the links!

auds – I wish I could remember who originally tipped us off to the link so I could give them credit, but here it is:

7 auds { 05.28.10 at 5:32 pm }

great stuff thanks – going for a look now :)

8 Pollywaffle { 05.28.10 at 5:53 pm }

Bearing in mind the danger of spiralling out of control in a food blogging vortex here is a provoking link – yes, why do the MC contestant gastroscenti seem to know bugger all about how to poach an egg

9 Pollywaffle { 05.28.10 at 6:40 pm }

Yeah, I know , time on my hands…

‘My old mate olive oil ‘– ancient Grk lifestyle philopher origin Aristos the surprise chef, recently claimed by George as his turn of phrase

‘Bew-ti-ful’ – cop out catch all phrase when have no other vocabulary

‘Thats where I cook from ‘( add chest thump with close up of stubby fingers) – wogging it up for visual effect

‘Now this, it takes it to the next level ‘- vague reference when no particular words come to mind to describe the point of an additional ingredient or the point of taking it anywhere

‘Excellent, the best, sensational ‘- Modest Reference to any good George creates and cooks

‘Everyone won today ‘– a praise smokebomb to hide the observation there at at least 3 complete arses who shouldn’t have won today.

‘This is the biggest challenge to date’ – hyperbole used when there is likely to be a bigger challenge next week

‘Everything is perfect for my customer, in my restaurant’ – Parodoxical term originating from white pepper shortage harking back to Press Club ReLaunch 2010

‘Baby vegetables, thats the magic Im talking about’ – Wry technique using addition of small ingredients to make people crane towards their plate to see what is actually on it, if anything, creating the illusion the food is really good looking

‘You use everything, include that little leaf’ – I’ve worked out Im paying $189.kilo for microveg

10 Wurstsemmel { 05.28.10 at 7:51 pm }

Pollywaffle….time on your hands?

My conspiracy theory….are you ready Paul?… is that you are Matt Preston dishing up on George to boost your sliding popularity following the Handywipe debacle and the embarrassment of the ‘make your own Handywipe cravat’.

Now THAT’S what you call too much time on your hands.

11 sourkraut { 05.28.10 at 8:09 pm }

Ok we’ll bury the hatchet.
Hand on heart … I could not say. All i could go on was what was cooked last night and Mathew’s pastry and NON ceviched ceviche looked so utterly abominable compared to Fiona’s steak which looked to be cooked to the way i like it. AS I DID NOT TASTE EITHER OR ANY OF THE OFFERINGS i have to go on the appearance which is a shame because if i was a simpleton (which some would say i am , including mrs K,) then I would have to rely on the pearls of wisdom delivered by the judges to make up my mind. Also I would be lead along by the way the characters are portrayed out of a several day filming of an ep (as you pointed out) during ONLY a 45 minute show, with perhaps 5 minutes max per character. Finally the appearance of the characters has a lot to do with whether they are liked or not, so honestly to say one is a better cook than the other given all these factors is a difficult call at best of times. (course access to their recipes does help as you get a pretty fair idea of how a thing will taste, at least that’s how I decide what to cook from the millions of alternatives available.
Hope that answers the Q. bit long winded, but as you asked politely I am happy to politely reply.

12 sourkraut { 05.28.10 at 8:12 pm }

Why on earth would anyone want to know how to poach an egg. bit like wanting to know how to cook that other culinary delight… rice pudding!

13 sourkraut { 05.28.10 at 8:14 pm }

I’ll trade you 7 of my thesaurii for one of your geothaurus. split my sides open again. Well done (not rare or blue)

14 Pollywaffle { 05.28.10 at 8:18 pm }

how does one check if anyone was Matt P on a blog?
3 Nos perhaps….

… can you name a ridiculous colour combination that wouldnt work as an outfit?
… is there any item you wouldnt promote?
… has naming your cravats created a niche limited edition collectable industry you will be able to retire on?

15 Injera { 05.28.10 at 8:22 pm }

Pollywaffle: Zoe’s blog is wonderful, isn’t it? And I hope you continue to have time on your hands, because that Geothaurus is superb!

Wurstsemmel: Best. Conspiracy. Theory. Ever.

Sourkraut (and others, of course!): I’ve put up an open post for the Masterclass, since a glass of wine is calling and I can’t drink and type effectively. But I can (and do) drink and comment…!