Masterchef Australia – The A380 Challenge, And is Claire Lying?
Sorry to be a pedant but what was the sob story about Claire having nothing to go back to? That she doesn’t have a practising certificate. Huh? A bit of research revealed that in Victoria you are registered as practising legal practitioner from July to June (ie the financial year). They are meant to reapply each year by 30 April, otherwise you incur a late fee. But even if she had not re-applied she would currently still be able to practise until 1 July. (For those interested or anal like me you can see here the Victoria’s requirements if it is correct.). Anyway she must have resigned from her job as the Clayton Utz website has no trace of her, but if this story on the website Firmspy is correct her current partner’s information has been removed from the site to protect him and his family.
Maybe there is an entirely different explanation, but I think she may have exaggerated the position she was in.
Anyway back to the episode, tonight the challenge was for both teams to reproduce a three course meal for business class in a Qantas A380, and when I saw the advertisement later in the episode I was definitely feeling envious of those people who are able to fly in that section of the plane!
However a greater challenge for them would be to cook a meal have it in a refrigerator for 12 hours and then heated up and see how edible it was then.
Jonathan was captain, and he strategically picked Joanne to head the other team.
“Since I always pick blue and lose in blue I will pick blue,” said Jono as he picked up the blue apron, clearly using my Anzac Day two- up strategy. (For the record I once lost all my money on seven heads in a row.) He picked Marion first, then Claire, Matthew and Alvin.
Whereas Joanne picked Callum first which I thought was interesting, she must rate him or think he is a judges favourite. She also picked Adam and Aaron.
They had 15 minutes to menu plan and 90 minutes to cook before the food was carted off to the airport. Lucky for the teams there was a lot of quail in the Masterchef pantry on this day.
Did anyone else think it was strange that both teams picked quail for main? Also they both had poached prawns for entree. The show went to great lengths to try and show the similar menu was a pure coincidence. Jonathan was shown considering changing his menu but didn’t as they did not have time, and Matt Preston also asked Joanne about whether she was worried about the similarity.
This challenge was the same as the one on the US show Top Chef, however on that episode the people were served their food in the airline seats. However in a sense this was better marketing for Qantas as we had the slick plane in the background burning the brand into our brains as they tasted and judged the food.
I thought with all the chat about the importance of not forgetting anything, that something was going to be left behind, but it was not.
The blue served first to the judging panel of Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce , and Neil Perry. Personally I did not miss George Calombaris sneering at the food and the contestants.
For entree they served lightly poached coconut prawns with an asian dressing made by Marion. The dish was now sans fresh herbs, because Neil Perry had advised her they would need to be washed in chlorinated water. Neil was not happy with presentation. It did look bland and a big serving of prawns.
Gary said it was missing vegetables, and Matt Preston thought it was disappointing dish.
Next was a confit of quail in a five star jus with a chinese salad, made by Alvin and Claire. The quail looked grey, and the sauce oily.
Alan Joyce thought it was disappointing. Neil Perry thought the wow factor was lacking considering they were five contestants at the pointy end of the competition.
Dessert cooked by Matthew was a chocolate caramel fudge cake with ginger anglaise sauce. I hope that recipe gets put up on the Masterchef website. Alan gave it the ultimate accolade and said he would be happy to have it served on Qantas.
The red team was next and for entree Aaron had poached prawns and served them with yuzu mayonnaisse and baby vegetables. He was more restrained about the amount of prawns he served up, with only two a plate.
Matt didn’t like the preparation of the beets, whilst Gary loved the yuzu mayo, but was not that enthusiastic about the prawns.
They all gushed over the main of teriyaki quail with soba noodles and grilled vegetables. Alan who was concerned about the lack of mass appeal of quail as a main meal, named this the dish of the night.
I thought the red teams main looked a bit more high end.
For dessert was Callum’s pistachio cake with a chocolate mousse and a raspberry coulis. Neil did not like the presentation ie his attempt at high end plating, and Gary agreed he thought it was a bit try hard.
The next day when the teams were facing the judges, Joanne’s vegetables were criticised, and she said she would take it on board for next time. Also Callum who was also criticised about his dessert said “I am battling to find a medium between what I want to do and what I can do.”
Matthew was the only one getting any judge loving when he was told his dessert was something Qantas would serve on the plane. Matt Preston told Marion her dish was the worst of the day. She said since she could not use herbs she should have asked about using other vegetables like cucumber. Exactly if you are serving a salad with your main, it would be logical that you would be able to use similar ingredients in the entree.
When red team was told they had won Joanne claimed victory as her own she said “I feel I have done something right” and “I am taking my team to a reward lunch” instantly forgetting her vegetables nearly put them in the elimination challenge.
All of the blue team will be up for elimination when they go through a taste test, which concerns me as one of the good cooks could go because of a brain snap. Jonathan just looked stunned that he was in ANOTHER elimination challenge. Marion was crying as she felt like she has the rest of her life riding on this, Claire thought she better one up Marion by going for the sympathy vote with her “I don’t have much to go back to….. I don’t have a practising certificate so I can’t go back to being a lawyer”. And you all know I think that is bollocks.