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Masterchef Australia – Go Shuck Yourself George – The Oyster Terrine Elimination Challenge

What is with George Calombaris and potato garnishes is he or the show sponsored by that machine that curls them? Tonight’s elimination challenge was George’s Oyster Terrine. On first glance I thought it looked disgusting, but after he went through the “alaments” of the dish I was really curious to try it.

Tomorrow homeware stores will have a run on those potato curlers, as well as the Le Creuset terrine dishe to be stacked besides peoples unused croquembouche tins.

It was fantastic that Gary Mehigan is back he gives the show a bit more structure and tones down the soapy melodrama except for his farewell speeches, but more on that later. I note on a poll on the official Masterchef Australia Facebook page that the favourite judge is George Calombaris, followed by Gary and then Matt Preston. Things have changed from last year.

Oh and Gary would not be caught saying that stupid shuck joke.

I also loved Damien Pignolet as the guest judge, smooth, witty, and actually gave some good advice about needing concentration in the kitchen as well as showing them how to shuck an oyster properly.

Which does raise the issue should he have done so? Joanne would have been stuffed if he had not stepped in to show her the technique. Personally I think it is an elimination challenge so firstly I don’t think the judges should be anywhere near the kitchen and it should be a blind tasting, but that is never going to happen. Also no help should be given.

Also Callum really needs to learn to wash his vegetables, two challenges in a row makes his hygiene practices suss. And I so did not believe him when he said he always washes his leeks at home.

I also knew there was going to be one contestant with a shell or grit issue as Marion signalled it when she was talking to camera during the episode. Surprisingly it was not Callum.

The contestants had three hours to cook the dish, and there was a hell of a lot of prep, not just shucking 48 oysters which must have taken most of them at least an hour. There was the bowl full of french shallots or onions as Gary called them.

All contestants finished within the timeframe but some presentation was better than others.

Skye’s was the best presented, however her shallots were too crunchy. The judges also said they were surprised she finished, but I didn’t feel any tension when I was watching the episode that she was outrageously short of time.

Callum’s presentation was poor, George said his terrine looked like it had been” hit by a submarine.” However they thought it smelt better than Skye’s. Gary thought the flavour was sensational, and the oysters were kicking in for Damien as he called it orgasmic.

Peter’s slice was huge, and I agree with George it did look like a doorstop.  Damien said the oyster’s were overcooked, and onions undercooked. You knew there was problems when Gary was praising the herbs and the quenelle of cream.

Gary nearly broke a tooth on a vongole in Joanne’s dish, however Damien thought it was the best of the four, if you took apart the structure of the terrine, which I think meant looking at each “alament” individually.

Skye and Callum were told they were safe first. With Peter being eliminated because he got the oysters completely wrong, apparently he over cooked them by 30 seconds. I was disappointed, but I really did not need the speeches at the end by Gary and Callum which left me praying for the Oscar band to chime in to shut them up.

Again when the three contestants got back to the house the other contestants sat there in shock for the allotted time before being allowed to stand up to welcome them back.

Peter has said he is going to open a providore.

He had this to say about his Masterchef experience and the challenge:

“It was a doozy and the biggest nightmare of my life,” says Peter. “We had to shuck 48 oysters and lightly poach them. Making a terrine in three hours and serving it up is a pretty huge task. Ultimately the whole challenge went well for me until I over poached my oysters by 30 seconds.

“Those 30 seconds out of three hours of cooking cost me my place in the competition. Because the oysters were the hero of the terrine, the judges considered it an unforgivable mistake. I’m kicking myself, but that’s the rollercoaster of MasterChef!”

With his oysters overcooked and his onions undercooked, the judges told Peter his time on the show had come to an end. But while the Melbourne lawyer was shocked, he was pragmatic about the decision.

“I was really disappointed,” he admits. “When it finally hits home that you’re out, it’s quite a gutting experience. Sometimes you get on a good roll and you get it in your head that you can keep going. My mind was going a million miles an hour, thinking about how far I’d come, what I wanted to do moving forward, and what it’s been like going through the whole MasterChef experience.

“I was disappointed but I was thinking ‘how am I going to make sure this changes my life?’ I didn’t come on MasterChef because I had to change my life, [but] this was an opportunity for me to break the conservative mould and do something that I absolutely love, in a forum that gets the best out of people.”

I am hoping that he gets an opportunity to return to the show.


1 sourkraut { 06.08.10 at 11:30 pm }

Polly w
Or they could say “it eats”

2 Culinary Boner { 06.09.10 at 10:45 am }

pollywaffle, George’s ears are indeed a mystery. It’s well known how meathead forwards in league and union get theirs, but what’s the genesis of George’s? Hopefully, it isn’t from scrumming down behind Matt and Gary.

Off topic, but still related to tele and my obsession with Marxian sprays – Jack’s not Karl’s – his commentary about Hey Day is a doozy…

“I feel strongly that the entire cast and crew of Hey Dad! should be brought to justice for the psychological torment their terrible program rained on an entire generation of Australians. I know I’m one who has suffered because of it, and I’m sure there are others out there like myself, who’ve been content to remain silent all these years – perhaps have even forgotten all about it – until the appearance of the program in the news of late brought all those dreadful memories flooding back…

…Hey Dad! twisted me up in so many ways I don’t know where to start. I drink too much. I smoke a packet a day. I’m pathologically distrusting of Australian comedies and allergic to certain chocolate bars. I still, on occasion, fall into the trap of openly questioning some strange utterance of another, only to have them respond with something so absurd as to bring laughter descending upon us from nowhere. I sometimes see the signs of the damage Hey Dad! has done to others. I’ll be chatting to some stranger at a party when a door will open to reveal someone whose appearance has been altogether anticipated, but nonetheless elicits hoots and applause from everyone in the room. I’ll see that sinking look in my stranger’s eye and I’ll think to myself: “You too? Mother$&@#er!” “

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