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Masterchef Australia – Matthew Was Eliminated Because He Went For The Obvious

I am not going to be a hypocrite so I will point out that it is ironic that for the second week in a row the person who cooked the best dish in the losing team of the Wednesday night challenge has been eliminated. For that reason I do feel sorry for Matthew who cooked a delicious looking spiced chocolate fudge cake for the Qantas challenge, is going home.

However out of all the ones on the blue team that were up for elimination, I thought he should have been the one to go. I know Callum is the favourite with George, but out of the two I think Matthew was better.

Anyway tonight’s challenge was a taste test of a cake that George Calombaris’s mum used to make which was an Aussie dish with a Greek twist.

Again it was the usual long drawn out waiting for the judges to say yes to the obvious ingredients – of course there were eggs and flour in it, but of course we had to wait the compulsory 40 seconds to find out.

The cake had 16 ingredients in it, so it would have been very interesting with the five contestants if the challenge had gone on for longer.

However Matthew over thought it and said apricots as he could see them on top of the cake, he then clarified  it by saying dried apricots, it was then you knew he was in more trouble then the early settlers. The Channel Ten press release states the judges asked him to clarify it, which we did not see on screen.

It was then revealed that it was in fact apricot jam. He looked gutted as he said he knew 13 of the 16 ingredients.

What was great was the judges revealed for the first time what the other ingredients were. Was this due to people bitching about this on the social media?

He is currently doing work experience with Neil Perry at Spice Temple. It appears he is now following his own dream, not his family’s wishes.

By the way what were the quenelles on top of the cake made from?


1 Anonymous { 06.17.10 at 10:45 pm }

Did anyone else notice in the Opening shot of the Show tonight Matt Preston YAWNED under his breath!! I laughed for at least 5 min!! who in the fremantle editing suite missed that?? LOL

2 seepi { 06.17.10 at 10:50 pm }

What was with the black olives in the cake? Does George’s mum put them in everything she cooks no matter what?

At least Matthew can now get a haircut.

I think he is mad to give up accounting for cheffing. I think a nice quiet desk job is great, and he could cook desserts to his heart’s content on weekends.

Working in restaurants is busy, stressful, grimy and poor hours. Masterchef lets the contestants experience working
in restaurants on exciting opening nights with celeb guests, and they think this is how it will be.

Like Claire, peacefully wandering in a country garden and talking of using seasonal produce in a winery restaurant. If she really did that there would be no time for quiet walks in the garden to pick one perfect lettuce – it would be food as a production line. I have sympathy with her wanting to get out of law though. Small law firms are very much old school boy’s clubs, and the hours are ridiculous.

3 Anonymous { 06.17.10 at 10:54 pm }

I think Claire’s old firm, Clayton Utz, would be very hurt to hear you dub them a small law firm ;-).

4 Angel86 { 06.17.10 at 10:57 pm }

It was interesting that Marion didn’t have to specify the type of flour (eg plain, self-raising) but Matthew had to specify the type of apricot, plus in a previous test they had to specify the oil. He should’ve gone for olives or something instead as they were more obvious to him.

5 Ursa { 06.17.10 at 11:04 pm }

They kept saying it was a carrot cake, and yet nobody said carrots. I would think that the most obvious ingredient in a carrot cake would be carrots.

6 Airwalk { 06.17.10 at 11:12 pm }

Ha ha so they were quenelles? Obviously George got his love of quenelles from his Mum? Haven’t seen the episode yet but its sounds bloody boring…

7 rusty { 06.17.10 at 11:36 pm }


yes, I think contestants can get unreal ideas about professional cooking on MC. It’s about your organisational skills – time, order, cleanliness, competency at reproducing the same taste and appearance every single time. Creativity, choosing produce and styling are someone else’s job, someone much higher up the hierarchy. Unless you’re in a very small kitchen, or you own it. Then it’s about what you can budget.

Two seasons in a commercial kitchen and I got tired of the pressure, the shouting, the drying heat and 10 hours on your feet, every day.

8 sourkraut { 06.17.10 at 11:49 pm }

Claire do you have even the vaguest idea how hard it is to grow your own vegetables, particularly when you have to grow enough to feed your dream restaurant continuously. You cant sue the lettuces for not hearting, or the carrots for growing a fork.
Matt so you are from a long line of accountants. How interesting. You should be able to recognise beans in the mystery test.
Aaron i far prefer Chris B’s greasy hat to that b%$#Y annoying beanie of yours.
Claire the cloche won’t bite!
Alvin cant see the ingredients. better get a new optometrist sunshine. Even Jose feliciano could have made out the walnuts and pistachios.
Marion…. flour/flower ME…”wot sort. wall, sun, corn” no wonder she used the pin last time.
Well Matt I cant say I have sympathy. You wanted to be a typical smart-arse Gen Yer and hold back what you knew and show off your devilish cunning. Tough apricots. Byee.

All the above

9 Anon { 06.18.10 at 12:16 am }

What no witty commentary from regular contributors regarding Callum’s devastation at losing his best friend?

Did G’s mum really use to make that cake or are they jerking the contestants’ chain.

Seepi-rumour has it that the hours in accounting can be equally horrific…

10 pollywaffle { 06.18.10 at 12:30 am }

Geos 10th birthday party, where it all began:
…Chicken oysters
…Chlorophyll Crackles
…Black Kalamata Cake ( Muuuu-uuum,you said Black Forest Cake !!!)

11 pollywaffle { 06.18.10 at 12:35 am }

Airwalk – the quenelles were obviously tzatiki

12 sourkraut { 06.18.10 at 12:50 am }

only when they run out of fingers and toes!

13 CG { 06.18.10 at 1:50 am }

Matthew and Callum are too similar in terms of their demo profile. One had to go. I think Matt is a better cook than Callum but he was on the losing team.

RR: great point re the quennelles…if it was a carrot cake were they made of cream cheese? either way, whatever they were made of was not covered in the ingredients reveal!

Claire should GROW UP! Unless she has her own cash (which she could earn if she stuck it out at Clayton Utz for another few years), she won’t be owning a restaurant at a winery and strolling around her garden. Then again, maybe she has another plan: find a sugar daddy! Ha!

14 youngmel { 06.18.10 at 3:40 am }

Matt was lovely but silly to think he had a whole lot of ingredients “up his sleeve” which Marion, Claire, Jono and Alvin wouldn’t know!

15 Pinto { 06.18.10 at 8:16 am }

Totally agree with youngmel. Sixteen ingredients, five people. Basic maths should have prevailed here, the maximum number of guesses he needed to make would be four. Getting the most obtuse ingredients out there would have been the best way to go. Did his maths let hi

16 Real cheffing { 06.18.10 at 8:40 am }

Rusty – I agree with you. I wonder how George or Gary would go in a head-to-head if any of the tests were administered by the contestants. The current evaluations are so poorly standardised that it wouldn’t be too hard to trip up a challenger to produce a designated outcome e.g. this is Alvin’s Vindaloo (but it doesn’t contain vinegar as the souring ingredient – haa…haa…haaa)

17 David Allen { 06.18.10 at 8:55 am }

Ripped off. Poor Matthew. How on earth is Apricots wrong? Did you notice when the cloche was lifted the “apricot jam” showed no apricot pieces?
I wondered about the flour type too. What about the brown sugar? Would “sugar” have required qualification? Can white sugar be separated from brown sugar in a cake?
This elimination was the worst I’ve seen. Perhaps they could just do a Russian roulette next time.

18 AnnyB { 06.18.10 at 9:03 am }

Switched between an excellent programme on SBS on Tsetsye and Masterchef, only long enough to see who was eliminated. I think the contestants with all their lofty aspirations should be made to watch how this great cook (as he calls himself, not the great but ‘cook’) worked his way from dishwashing, fish cleaning etc. to become what he is now. A man with great talent but little ego.

19 librarygirl { 06.18.10 at 9:13 am }

Now I understand why George is such a salt addict – olives in Mum’s carrot cake!
Matthew’s Dad looked lovely – very emotional and trying to hold it in. I’m sure he won’t mind if Matt gives cheffing a go.

20 TDK { 06.18.10 at 9:16 am }

Just a thought.. from a very lazy person who doesn’t cook, or know much about cooking.. but.. if the contestants, who are fine cooks themselves couldn’t identify all the ingredients in a paticular dish, does it make that ingredient quite redundant in that dish?
Aren’t ingredients in dishes supposed to “contrast” or “enhance” each other therefore be obvious to the palette?
If the tongue can’t tell what the ingredient is, do we question its existance in that dish?
Don’t all chefs say to keep things simple? Then why so many ingredients in one dish to confuse the palette?
Just wondering.. that’s all..

21 Amata chef { 06.18.10 at 10:20 am }

TDK – sometimes someone cooks a dish that everyone else does but has ‘something’ special that makes it taste different. Perhaps some ingredients chemically combine so that it is impossible to distinguish their components. Why can’t anyone reproduce the 11 herbs and spices?

22 seepi { 06.18.10 at 10:57 am }

I think Matthew was a bit ripped off. Surely there are apricots in apricot jam.

Also, where was the cream between the cake layers in the cloche reveal. (And the quenelles – tzaziki – love it!).

I would have loved to see George’s mum presiding over this test. I could just imagine her rushing up to pinch Matthew’s cheeks, and asking Claire how come she had no children yet – ‘have you met my son George!’

23 wallah { 06.18.10 at 11:01 am }

AnnyB, between Devo on Colbert and the Tetsuya programme I kept flicking to MC as well. Why do I persist in watching it?

24 spend a penny { 06.18.10 at 12:11 pm }

Dried apricots are common in both commercial and home made jam recipes – according to season. So yet again a dubious decision from Mr G, and I suspect if his mum really made that recipe she would have used bulk greek apricot jam which can use either….so put that in your briki and boil it G

25 Wurstsemmel { 06.18.10 at 12:29 pm }

By the reasoning of MC that Matthew had to be specific about the apricot form, I agree with everyone else that Claire should have been more specific about the flour. If not or if she’d got it wrong, she should have gone.

26 MelbaToast { 06.18.10 at 12:57 pm }

Ok…I didn’t watch last night’s episode, but were there really olives in this cake (please say it isn’t so)!

27 Paul { 06.18.10 at 2:46 pm }

I’m married to a person of Greek heritage

You’d be surprised what foods they can dare put olives in…..

28 Reality Raver { 06.18.10 at 3:26 pm }

It is so arbitrary these taste tests, and unfair. If apricots had not got him, someone would have gone flying on the sugar that is for sure.

Maybe the quenelles were butter and Icing sugar?

29 seepi { 06.18.10 at 6:11 pm }

i actually thought claire was silly to say walnuts – i find them hard to tell from pecans, but as it turned out the cake had both – another wierd thing about g’s mum’s cake. i’m amazed the ewaited so long to say pistacchios, which are unique and clearly visible.

claire really looked like she was up for the firing squad – i think she needs to chill out a bit.

30 crabtech { 06.19.10 at 12:42 am }

Pau and MelbaToast, I have hundreds of Greek recipes (in Greek) and I have not come across a single one that uses olives in a dessert. Either George’s mother has no taste(!!!) or G made this recipe up and put the olives in to trick them. I noticed that no-one commented on “how it tasted.

31 sourkraut { 06.19.10 at 5:26 pm }

The comments were probably similar to the one made by Croc Dundee

32 duke nukem { 06.20.10 at 1:31 am }

the taste tests are pretty bogus.
notice the order in which they were standing….
Matthew, Alvin, Claire, Jonathan, then Marion
it totally gives away the heirachy of favouritism.
being first in the line up has to be a disadvantage as you’re more likely to have the more guesses and chances to fail.

the “thai green curry” was obviously designed to favour Marion, and play to Jo’s weakness- only despite george’s urging, Marion used her immunity and Jo got lucky.

33 alma pretorius { 06.28.11 at 3:36 pm }

I’m so intrigued by this carrot cake – I even tried to contact George to get the recipe, but no luck. I’ll have to try it out, but the quantities may be tricky – also I can’t remember all 16 ingredients.