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Masterchef Australia – Matt Preston Gives His View On The Top 12 Contestants

TV Week the font of a lot of my information has a great little column this edition with Matt Preston giving his assessment of the remaining 12 contestants.

Here is what he had to say:

Jonathan – Jonathan’s a good cook and he’s got a lot of great techniques – but sometimes he thinks he knows more than he does, and that can be his undoing.”

Marion – Marion is a great cook; she has really good food knowledge and a great palate. But she hasn’t done enough elimination rounds. It’s important to remember that this is a marathon, and we have different leaders along the way.

Claire – I think Claire lacks belief in herself, and that’s her major hurdle. If Claire believed she was as good a cook as we think she is, she’d be doing far better.”

Sharnee – Sharnee’s another one who, because she’s so young, lacks confidence. Her strength is desserts and her weakness savoury dishes.

Peter –  We love Peter! He’s got to be the warmest guy on set. There are depths to him that are quite surprising – although his plating leaves something to be desired.

Matthew – Matthew know what he wants, which is really important. He’s very strong with desserts and great at following recipes. But he’s also young, and he hasn’t cooked or tasted enough.

Jo – Jo’s really good at canape-style dishes, and she has terrific plating skills. I think she’s ruffled a few feathers, but as long as she cooks well, she’ll stay in.

Aaron – Aaron’s the king of ‘yum yuck’! His flavours shouldn’t work but, my goodness, it’s delicious! He just needs to get a move on – it’s all about momentum.

Alvin – Alvin’s in a bit of a trough at the moment. He puts up stuff that will amaze but also totally bamboozle you, and you’ll go, ‘That doesn’t work’. But he’s brilliant at Asian food and he’s got a flair for flavour.”

Callum – “I’ve had two people ask me if Callum wants a job after he finishes! he’s really focused and great at following recipes. In terms of weaknesses, again it’s a youth thing. He hasn’t seen as much as someone like Adam.”

Adam – Adam’s got a lot of life experience, and I know he’s got some cracking ideas up his sleeve. But I don’t ever want to see a three-course pizza again!

Skye – Skye’s grown a lot in the competition. She always plates well and her ideas are a little bit outside the box, which is exciting.

With some of Matt’s comments about the young ‘uns, makes me wonder if we really did get the 24 best amateur cooks in Australia. However I suppose they do need to diversify their casting to cater for the a range of audience types (I am feeling generous today ). However if they need some young cooks they should have tried to get Rachael Finch back in as a contestant she was an impressive cook on Celebrity Masterchef last year, and had actually applied for season one of the show.

Oh and Peter’s hidden depths obviously Matt Preston has also seen that photo on the internet where he is getting waxed!


1 sourkraut { 06.07.10 at 2:48 pm }

After all the monumental cock-ups nearly all of them have made at some time it makes me sad that Irmgard was not in the top 20 due to admittedly a howler, but no worse than some of these amachas have made. (eg Veal & Pork, Kidney pate and I cant be bothered looking up and naming the other MFUs)
Far too many callow yoofs in the top 20. Is 10 seriously telling me that people with 30 plus years of cooking experience would not be as good as a 20 year old kid?
Paul. its hard to convince an old fart such as I that MC is not catering to 1os viewing demographic!

2 ericg { 06.07.10 at 3:21 pm }

What was Matt P trying to imply here? What is the definition of ‘amateur’? From Wikipedia: An amateur is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without pay and often without formal training.

So, if he is worried over the ‘youth’ issue, why did they recruit young chooks like Matthew, Callum, Sharnee, blah blah blah?! It may be to spice up the whole MasterChef reality show. Oh, Channel TEN…

Arguably, we should expect them to be lacking of taste, culinary skills, etc. Yes?! IDIOCY!

PS, Anyone who have had a chance to watch last Season’s MasterChef would have known how limited the judges tastes were in Asian food. Century Eggs and Rice Congee/ Porridge are like Bees and Pollen. You should have seen the Gary and George’s facial expression when Poh used that Egg.

Century Eggs + Two other types of eggs (usually chicken eggs and salted duck eggs) + Some chicken/ pork mince + Sliced Chinese mushroom/ bamboo shoots + Rice = Yummy dish which one cannot go wrong! Put in some garlic/ chilli oil and sesame oil. Mouth watering…

3 PinkPatentMaryJanes { 06.07.10 at 3:24 pm }

Oooh, damning with faint praise…

4 Fides { 06.07.10 at 3:37 pm }

I was just thinking about dear Irmagard the other day and how I’d love to see her in the mix, more for entertainment value. They need a feisty grandma intruder in the house! It’s been a while since this was entirely about cooking anyway.

Trying to read between the lines of Matt’s comments, I think Adam will be here for a while yet (yay- he’s been my favourite ever since he imagined his grandma chastising him for forgetting the rice in the rice dish – I can totally relate to angry little Chinese grandmas!) … he’s like last year’s Andre. Could be just wishful thinking on my part though, about him going far in the comp, not about being Andre.

I think Claire genuinely thinks she puts up dud dishes, and really needs all that reassurance from the judges. I wonder if they are gentler with her if she really did serve up total rubbish, knowing her propensity to squeeze out those tears. Her reactions are tiresome though – wish the judges would comment and tell her off for that. Even Julie last year, who probably had just as many self-confidence issues, didn’t irritate as much – though no one beats Julie’s walking up to the tasting table look of terror.

Can’t tell from those comments which of the bottom 4 gets eliminated tonight. Hoping it’s Jo – maybe Callum gets to stay because Matt says he can follow a recipe well.

5 rusty { 06.07.10 at 4:05 pm }

Since when did being able to follow a recipe well mean you are a good cook? let alone one of the best 12 amatas in the country?

(when I first started in a commercial kitchen, employed because of being considered a good “amata” baker but with comparatively little experience with cakes, I was told off for wasting time following cake recipes in cookbooks)

I like Callum but recently a few too many howlers (that massive potato? unscrubbed?) and his inability to to get things approx. right the first time suggest he may be good apprentice material, but hardly up to putting out his own book or fronting a cooking show at the end – unless it’s a comedy show!

“What Not to Cook”, anyone?

or should it be “How not to Cook”?

6 megs { 06.07.10 at 4:37 pm }

Saw them filming Masterchef yesterday morning in Newtown… big black 4WD pulled up on King St and Marion and Jimmy got out of the car.

7 Airwalk { 06.07.10 at 5:04 pm }

oh dear megs i got scolded by the spoiler police for relating the following weeks tv guide on here…so gawd knows what will happen to you

8 Reality Raver { 06.07.10 at 5:07 pm }

Airwalk – LOL I had just pressed the link to come onto the post.

Megs – with spoilers please put in big capital letters SPOILER so people can opt out of reading it.

9 megs { 06.07.10 at 6:02 pm }

Sorry! No idea it would be such a terrible comment.
Apologies RR. Please delete if you like.

10 Paul { 06.07.10 at 6:26 pm }

Think its a couple of reasons.

1. They try and get contestants that are not too similar but with probably a focus on youth as that is where the audience is. Of course, they don’t want 24 under 30s (that would be overkill) but just a greater concentration.

2. Secondly, we have to take into account that applicants for reality shows are generally young (er) so maybe its just sheer weight of numbers as well.

I agree there would probably be plenty of over 50s who are qualified as far as cooking ability is concerned but trying to get them to appear and uproot their lives for 3 months is probably where the problem lies.

11 seepi { 06.07.10 at 6:28 pm }

Bugger – wish I hadn’t read that spoiler…..

Bring back Irmgard – she woudda never boiled up that football sized spud.

I think of her during some of the challenges – like George’s restaurant one, and the P & O and wonder what she would have said about it all.

12 Airwalk { 06.07.10 at 6:32 pm }

Thanks megs…spoilers don’t ruin my life :) If you see anything else let me know
Yeah they should bring back Irmgardjoin her facebook tribute page

13 Airwalk { 06.07.10 at 6:39 pm }
14 Airwalk { 06.07.10 at 6:53 pm }

And poor Irmgards grandson as killed in an alleged delibrate hit and run. She is apparently now working for Seductively Me who sell. Plus size Lingeire for the curvy women. She has her own facebook page as well and I love the comment she made on the Masterchef Dynamic Duo! page.
Irmgard Kastner I just looked at Julies Cookbook, thats is more like masterchef last year, they sure make some idiotic food this time. Nothing much to inspire the normal Housewife or hobby cook. Egos that are to big spoil the whole thing. I would never make Pasta filled with mash Potatoes, not at all inspiring, I would never order it either lol
Wish she was still on there and George got her up on a Friday night to taste his dishes, would love to hear her comments

15 Jenny Draut { 06.07.10 at 7:03 pm }


wondering whether u been my friend all along!! LOL..

great comments on the centry eggs, salted eggs etc…very delicious if ur willing to try!!!!!!!!!!

Megs…great spoilers….does it mean Jimmy will be back at a much later ep???? Hmmmmmm

16 Airwalk { 06.07.10 at 7:13 pm }

More of Irmgard: she’s great…bring her back G’s, she’s got balls

I must be very Naive, I really believed that all Contestants are amateurs that love cooking. That would be a level Playing Field, and I made a Mistake ( I do know the Difference between Pork and Lamb lol), and it was Ok. Now I realise that this show is really only to make George, and Garry and a little bit Matt Famous. before Master chef, who ever … See Moreheard of them, not me. To now find out that the Contestants that are still in there, had experience working with Gordon Ramsey, a school in Paris and two years training in a prestige’s Hospitality school, come on!
I still had a great experience, the Staff is amazing, People are amazing and you are amazing, thank you,

with love Irmgard Kastner

17 spend a penny { 06.07.10 at 8:03 pm }

Paul, networks are as about as strategic as my pet terrapin.
If weekly focus groups tell them to recruit 80 year old monks for MC2 they will.
Matt P is no spring chicken – hes got to be 50? The Gs are no trend setters either, none more current than Daryl Somers. They are no deliberate beacon for a young audience.

18 Airwalk { 06.07.10 at 8:14 pm }

SPOILER…….damn I was just trying to find a picture of the most difficult dish ever but look what came up


19 Reality Raver { 06.07.10 at 8:37 pm }

Megs – no problems, it is just different people have different views on spoilers. Some readers love them, others hate them. Personally I have mixed views. I don’t want to know but cannot resist reading.

Oh so agree airwalk, Seepi, Fides, Sourkraut, and Rusty bring back Irmguard, heading to that Facebook page now. She was a better cook than Kate and would have made better TV.

Paul – I disagree re: the not many over 50’s applying I think there would be. At that age I would not care about embarrassing myself on a reality TV show, and in fact may want to, to get away from the teenage kids.

20 Anon { 06.07.10 at 10:02 pm }

@ Airwalk – that link has been removed from SMH now?

21 pollywaffle { 06.07.10 at 10:14 pm }

Airwalk – you really leeked it, you’re in shallots of trouble now

22 sourkraut { 06.08.10 at 12:06 am }

I started something re Irmgard, but we cant have someone with a name like that in MC. Too close to a sour Kraut!
reason 2 makes logical sense. Same reason I’m too gutless, chicken, scared to apply for it myself despite the clammering for it from my adoring fan club. Hem hem In all modesty coff coff

23 sourkraut { 06.08.10 at 12:13 am }

Jenny D and Eric G
Sorry, I have to disagree re the century egg. On a recent trip to China I had it without knowing and I immediately said to My Chinese mate “I did not like that what was it”? He said century egg. EVERYTHING ELSE I HAD IN CHINA WAS FAN BLOODY TASTIC and I still don’t know what most of it was , but rest assured I’ll be back for more!
Re the egg.. Probably a bit Unfair as I don’t really like egg much whichever way its cooked, unless its fried and stuck on a burger. Yes I know I have my taste in my A@$e

24 Jenny Draut { 06.08.10 at 1:12 am }


I forgave u!!

it really does take awhile to get used to century egg!! it is best served with congee(rice porridge)

25 Airwalk { 06.08.10 at 10:59 am }

pw: a shucks really? but according to gg they are onions? maybe they don’t want to confuse youse who call spring onions shallots…nah the link eeez active

26 Masterchef Australia – George Calombaris Gives His View Of The Top Ten | reality ravings { 06.12.10 at 5:45 pm }

[…] had Matt Preston’s view on the top 12 in TV Week this week (see blog post here), and the Daily Telegraph now has Masterchef Australia judge George Calombaris gives his view on […]