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Masterchef Australia – London To Paris

I am sure the five million spoiler boards for The Amazing Race now have a post that goes like this.

“I saw the final four teams running through Paris with different coloured aprons. The teams appear to be a cougar with her young boyfriend, a gay asian couple, a funky guy with a beanie with a Stepford wife, , and an uptight married couple.

The challenge tonight was to go from London to Paris buy ingredients including truffles and cook two dishes in five hours which were french inspired. Considering the Chunnel takes 2 hours 15 minutes this did not leave a lot of time for them to do a lot of cooking once they got to their cooking stations beside the Seine.

Oh by the way if I had an Amex card I probably would not have left the Champagne Bar at St Pancras station.

I thought it was interesting that the judges got to pick the teams. Did they team up one strong contestant (Marion, Claire, Jono, and Adam) with a weaker one? This would mean that a strong player would be able to avoid elimination.

The Amazing Race theme continued when it looked like Alvin’s and Adam’s taxi driver was going to cause them to be behind in the challenge.

And Marion also joined in the theme with her comment “Half of them don’t speak english”.

What I could not understand was why the teams wouldn’t go and ask a shop keeper where the freaking truffle store was on the street. I noted that after Adam and Alvin asked a bistro and they then found it.

After the truffle shop the contestants had to go to a market to buy the rest of the ingredients for their french themed dishes. By the way how do you use Amex cards at markets? If anyone spotted any of them doing that please tell me and I will send you my Top Chef On Tour magnet.

Marion and Callum had to dump the chocolate fondant idea as there was no chocolate there and go with a Pain au chocolat baked custard. Ok that is the extent of my french, unlike Claire who we had to be told over and over that she spoke the language.

Marion and Callum were the first to arrive at the amazing location by the Seine. Gary whilst inspecting her ingredients nearly dropped half of their morel mushrooms.

Meanwhile back at the market with Jonothan saying the butchers had a nice cock! (Thanks Wurstsemmel)

Jonothan and Joanne were the last to arrive and to me it was unclear how long they would have to cook their dishes. You knew when there was the shot of the fishmonger removing the scallops from their shells there was going to be issues.

Also Jono was having a bad day with 80% of his sauce being spilt on the bench. I don’t know why he didn’t just put it back in I have seen worse hygiene on the show. Callum’s sweat or George’s fingers?

Claire and Aaron were first to be judged and their Foie Gras with Macerated Strawberries and toasted Brioche looked disgusting, what was the white blob between the foie gras and the brioche.

Frank Poupard from Le Corden Bleu liked it he said “the combination of strawberry and foie gras is nice… perfect”.

“Strawberry on the side reminded me of a nouvelle restaurant,” said Matt Preston, and I think he meant that in a positive way.

There other dish was glazed pigeon with pomme puree and truffled jus, which Gary Mehigan thought the jus was horrible “it is just a bit of brown glue” as did Franck. However they both loved the pigeon.

The glue theme continued when Matt Preston said Adam’s prawn vichyssoise was like wall paper glue. “It has got to be like satin and beautiful and run through your fingers.”

Alvin knew that if they were in the elimination challenge that Adam would use his immunity pin.

With the sombre music playing whilst they were eating the gilded chicken I thought it was not good news for Alvin

“Missed out on the crispy skin and the saffron crust” said Gary Mehigan. “You cooked the chicken well”.

However Franck liked the flavours.

Joanne and Jonothan’s  pan seared saint jacque with Frisee salad, was panned for the badly prepped scallops and having to much vinegar over the salad. Also they were underwhelmed by Jono’s Roasted coquelet with truffle apricot glaze.

“Chicken nice a little sweet” said Franck.

“Funny combination of flavours for me,” said Gary Mehigan. “I question whether truffle and apricot goes, yes just odd.”

Marion and Callum made ballotine of chicken stuffed with truffles and foie gras butter. Marion’s dish looked great particularly with the truffle slice just under the chicken skin.

Gary Meghigan said  “Needed a jus, but loved the technique”.  George Calombaris also gushed “Restraint and elegant.. Well done”.

The chocolate croissant custard  was queried whether chucking a croissant and mousse into it was actually french, however because it tasted great they got past that technicality. George confused me when he said “I want to get up and dance and be happy, that dish was beautiful”.

Top two teams were Marion and Callum, and Claire and Aaron. George again was getting floral with his comments by congratulating them and saying “French inspired food, and had to use truffle in it and you did that with respect, restraint and above all sexiness.”

Not surprising that that Marion and Callum won the lunch at two Michelin hatted restaurant Pied De Terre in London.

Jono and Joanne will be going head to head in the elimination challenge, and he looked gutted that he had botched up the cuisine he prides himself in being an expert in.

Hopefully Jono’s eliminator reputation will continue.


1 Fides { 06.24.10 at 1:25 am }

Raver, I love your Amazing Race reference. Too funny. Jono and Jojo really did seem like an uptight married couple with Jono as the more laidback of the pair.

I’m about to post a spoiler on the spoiler thread about tomorrow’s elimination with info gleaned from MC forums.

2 NT Kate { 06.24.10 at 2:18 am }

RR – loved your line about St Pancras Station. But hey its Paris, far better than London. I mightn’t have left that market though….

3 Jasmin { 06.24.10 at 3:17 am }

haha love your amazing race scenario! well…is my marion a cougar? what does it mean by that? a tiger? lol!

I’ve been reading your review for about a month now 😉 It’s amusing! I’ve always wanted to post something back to you but just afraid of my bad English as I’m not a native speaker. What a shame!

4 Airwalk { 06.24.10 at 7:20 am }

Wow a lot can happen in a few hours-a challenge for PM, Australia are still playing Serbia in the World Cup 2-1 atm and the Js are cooking off tomorrow….no say it ain’t true Fides…
Thanks RR for your recap
Here’s the latest daily article link

5 I like food { 06.24.10 at 7:56 am }

and people say this show isnt rigged ?

6 AnnyB { 06.24.10 at 8:46 am }

How many times did Frank Poupard describe a dish as being “nice”? Such a bland adjective.

7 I like food { 06.24.10 at 9:11 am }

What are the chances Jono gets rolled tonight ? Does his run finally come to an end ? I’m gonna say in the tradition of reality tv ‘upsets’ he might be rolled. I hope I’m wrong.

8 librarygirl { 06.24.10 at 9:48 am }

I found the whole time restriction thing ridiculous. Unless they were getting the train at 7.00 a.m. on a Sunday in London, they would have done better to run the 3km from the hotel to St Pancras – the traffic would have been horrific on a weekday. And in Paris, ditto. All those places look close together on a map but factor in normal traffic and you are stuffed. Poor Jono, please don’t go tonight.

9 MelbaToast { 06.24.10 at 10:32 am }

Urgh…this episode stressed me out to the max! I thought (like librarygirl) the time allocated totally totally STUPID! Five hours???

This really had nothing to do with cooking and more about amazing racing! I’m impressed that they all managed to race to their benches without having a heart attack (glad Aaron is with me)!

Did you notice the looks for the crew when Marion won again! A few eyes rolling back in their head.

10 Rusty { 06.24.10 at 11:00 am }

Like Melbatoast, I got more and more annoyed as the show went. that running up and down the truffle street was the last straw for me. I went of to do something more interestingly like pay bills, until they were all actually cooking – then, for what – 5 minutes?

I didn’t mind Joanne til tonight. Did she cook anything or just get off on Jonathan’s nerves? and why didn’t he just mop up the sauce, wring it out into the dish and carry on?

I f he goes tonight, and it seems like it’s beng set up that he will – I don’t think I can be bothered to watch any more. Without him , the group has no depth – too bland or neurotic.

Callum’s can be cute but paired with Marion, it’s like watching Bananas in Pajamas.

11 Ellie (Almost Bourdain) { 06.24.10 at 11:04 am }

This is one of the best recaps I have read. I couldn’t sto laughing agree reading the first two paragraphs about the amazing race spoiler. Well done RR!

12 wallah { 06.24.10 at 11:26 am }

Very good point librarygirl, but I don’t think Amex can show how you can pay yourself to walk. Also, did they get anybody refusing Amex? Or whacking on a nice surcharge?
Also, RR, when did St. Pancras get a champagne bar? Just showing how out of touch with London I now am…..I have to live vicariously through photos of all of my bright successful friends. I just remember a train station with IRA bomb threats.

13 librarygirl { 06.24.10 at 11:47 am }

wallah- of course – the sponsor shot! Wonder how much Amex have paid……

14 Paul { 06.24.10 at 11:48 am }

Cracked the 2 million mark for the first time this series last night.

IIRC, Masterchef didn’t hit this mark last year until the last week so they are on track for monster ratings in the next month.

15 I like food { 06.24.10 at 12:38 pm }

I’m with you Rusty…if Jono goes, I go. Make it 2 million less one viewers of MC. Was anyone else getting annoyed at the fact Joanne was getting annoyed at the fact the cab driver wasnt driving nascar style, or that he didnt understand her ? I’m with you Cab driver dude….I dont understand her either.

16 Culinary Boner { 06.24.10 at 1:42 pm }

They were clearly not impressed with Jono’s aptly named coquelet. Does this term designate the chicken equivalent of a chipolata? Agree with you Raver that the team construction would appear to have been rigged to remove one of the weaker cooks. Expect Joanne to go tonight on this basis. Claire’s sad-sack act is really starting to grate. FFS ya sad ranga, you are in Paris, lighten up and at least try to crack a smile. No wonder the French seemed to have problems with her French. They were probably expecting her to ask for directions to the best bridge to jump into the Seine from. Marion again showed that in terms of food concept development, execution and ability to handle pressure and maintain not just calmness, but a sense of enjoyment, she is the standout contestant. Hopefully she doesn’t win the season so she can instead be picked up by a leading chef to start what should be a successful culinary career. In career terms, winning MCA is a bit like winning Miss Universe. How many such Misses have actually had successful, high-paying and long-running modelling careers? Ralph spreads of course do not count.

17 Paul { 06.24.10 at 1:49 pm }

Jen Hawkins has done okay for herself, CB.

18 Reality Raver { 06.24.10 at 2:40 pm }

Yeah Fides and I Love Food -I am with you guys if Jono goes I am not blogging until he is back on.

19 Reality Raver { 06.24.10 at 2:42 pm }

However, it could be a way of the producers getting sympathy for Jono, by him being turfed and everyone going WTF, and then fans backing him in for a second chance and being happy he takes out the title?

Conspiracy theory #552

20 CG { 06.24.10 at 2:52 pm }

RR: is that tweet about Jonno and Jojo at a cafe in Sydney today legit ?

21 Reality Raver { 06.24.10 at 2:54 pm }

CG – I don’t know. You know twitter take it with a grain of salt.

22 CG { 06.24.10 at 2:58 pm }

RR: I know it takes a lot of work and time to maintain your blog -and we are all grateful! but just wondering if there is any chance you can put a button or link to spoilers thread on the front page…hard to find now that it goes back a few weeks?

23 Paul { 06.24.10 at 3:16 pm }

The contestants are allowed out to eat.
Its not a Big Brother compound where everyone is locked in.

24 Reality Raver { 06.24.10 at 3:16 pm }

CG – That is like asking me to solve a rubiks cube, I am IT fail. I will link it in tonight’s blog post.

25 Culinary Boner { 06.24.10 at 4:07 pm }

Paul, fair point, forgot about the ex-Knight’s high-kicking, cheerleader. Though in terms of world modelling recognition, Jen’s the equivalent of a bright and breezy SMH-reviewed trattoria rather than than a Michellin hatted global gastro-temple.

I still think Marion would be better off working and learning in a quality Australian or London restaurant than wasting time publishing a cookbook that no one will want to read (let alone own) after Xmas 2010 and making guest appearances on crappy mid-morning tele shows and the local Westfield mall.

26 Airwalk { 06.24.10 at 4:33 pm }

I google reality ravings spoiler and its the top search result…:)

27 Airwalk { 06.24.10 at 4:47 pm }

And here’s a link to the ‘vote’ in todays Ahe Masterchef article

28 CG { 06.24.10 at 4:54 pm }

Whilst they were filming (we are assuming filming is now wrapped up until the finale), were the contestants allowed out in the middle of the week to stroll around local cafes?

Given MC goes to great lengths to embargo information about each elimination, I was under the impression that during filming contestants still in the house were not able to go out freely during the week, especially during the latter weeks of filming when the contestants are known to the public.

In fact, isn’t this one of the complaints from many contestants last year and this year? I recall reading they got Sundays off later in the competition but there movements were still somewhat restricted.

This issue aside, the report that Jonno and JoJo were in a cafe today is not remarkable as a potential spoiler (the UK episode was filmed almost two months ago). It is remarkable because I can’t imagine that the two enjoy spending time together socially. Of course, I could be wrong and maybe the editing is so sly that we have been completely mislead and JoJo is the most sincere, fascinating and enjoyable person in the competition?

29 Paul { 06.24.10 at 5:04 pm }

Even though we’ve moved closer to Nth Korea today with the appointment of Ms Gillard (joking, joking), I believe it is still illegal to imprison or confine someone without their or the states permission.

If contestants want to go to a cafe, then they can go to a cafe. The front door isn’t locked and bolted and they are grown adults.

30 CG { 06.24.10 at 5:07 pm }

Ummm, the contestants “permission” would be in the form of the contract they signed prior to entering the competition. Why the hell do you think some of the contestants quit last year (the weepy guy who was way too dependent on his wife) and this year (the policewoman)? They couldn’t stand the isolation, limits on communication and limits (yes!) on access to their families.

As explained in my last post, the interest in the latest J-J citing is not a spoiler as filming has now ended. What is noteworth is the fact they would hang out together.

Must you challenge/disagree/oppose/ridicule everything I post? I know RR is not technically minded but an IGNORE function would come in handy on this board. And I am quietly confident that I would not be the only one with a stack of ignores against my name.

31 Airwalk { 06.24.10 at 5:10 pm }

CG You are right regards the isolation, even someone I know who was in last years final 50 had a horrific time as she had a newborn who she couldn’t see for weeks and had to express milk etc…
I just hope the rumours regards who goes through to the top 4 ain’t true…but the show is a joke anyhows…

32 Paul { 06.24.10 at 5:13 pm }

You can’t just up on a plane and leave midweek for a day or two. That is completely different to going around the corner or to the next suburb for a cup of coffee.

And sorry just answering your question from an earlier post.
“Given MC goes to great lengths to embargo information about each elimination, I was under the impression that during filming contestants still in the house were not able to go out freely during the week, especially during the latter weeks of filming when the contestants are known to the public.”

If its a rhetorical question or you just don’t want to know the answer, then kindly let everyone know.

33 Airwalk { 06.24.10 at 5:23 pm }

CG Here’s a link to Hannahs blog who was in the last 50 last year…fyi :) I woud be interesting o kno what limitations are put on the participants as the show progresses!

34 Reality Raver { 06.24.10 at 5:25 pm }

Paul – It would appear the ’80’s are back, as I think that was the last time anyone equated Labor with communism…..

CG – maybe there is a jono/ jo romance going on? only joking.

CB- Miss Universe is now de rigeur on any aspiring reality star or MTV VJ.

35 Fides { 06.24.10 at 5:33 pm }

CG I’m with you re Jono and Jojo choosing to spend time together outside of the competition. So unlikely given the way they’ve been portrayed. But there was weird chemistry between them last night paired up as a team so who knows? I’m not suggesting anything untoward, but maybe they meet up from time to time and Jojo stresses about the pace of life, and Jono looks for poultry to compliment.

Whether or not they get let out of the house, I also want to know if they get to watch TV ( I read that they do) and more particularly, do they get to watch Masterchef? They’d have still been filming when the season started… wonder what they think of their on-screen selves.

36 CG { 06.24.10 at 5:33 pm }

AW: Thanks for the blog link. a quick read of the first few entries suggests to me that the way MC contestants are treated is just a notch above living conditions in North Korea (I’ve been to North Korea by the way and know of what I speak). The former contestant also laments that had she made it thru to the top 20 she would have been away from her young child for 2-3 months without a single visit.

37 CG { 06.24.10 at 5:34 pm }

Fides, did Jono compliment the cock or the cockmaster last night? I thought it was the latter?!

38 Airwalk { 06.24.10 at 5:43 pm }

CG Yeah…these couple of paras in particular(and remember its only Top 50 series 1):
One of the producers asked if I would be back next year and I responded positively, then I made a mental note that I could not put myself or my family through this process again, let alone 3-4 months of absence for Top 20 challenges. There is so much I would have missed in my little boy’s development: saying ‘mummum’ for the first time; his first crawl; his first ‘high five’; baby cuddles everyday. I would have missed half of Xander’s life so far.

The briefing is an experience all of its own. Outside of rumour, this is the first time I hear that the final 20 will be a lockdown. They say this like we should have known this already; I am not the only one who gasps at this information. This is also the time that I discover that MasterChef Australia is no cooking contest. Welcome to reality TV, sweetheart. It is now blatantly clear that this is not just about the food and I clearly am not in Kansas anymore.

We receive our per diem, which is hardly sufficient to dine decently in this fine city, and, finally, I am expressing (again) and eating a chicken, avocado and salad roll for lunch. It is 3:45pm.!

And RR…labour=communism wtf?

39 Fides { 06.24.10 at 5:48 pm }

CG : yes I think you are right. I still can’t believe I missed that comment last night!

40 GeelongDeano { 06.24.10 at 10:13 pm }

Soooo funny. The J’s as an uptight married couple. Especially on the train and in the taxi… Au revoir Joanne.

41 spend a penny { 06.24.10 at 10:31 pm }

Now tell me who brings along a photo of THEMSELF to inspire them in an elimination challenge – wacky!

42 rusty { 06.25.10 at 12:10 pm }

spend a penny

I think is was a photo of her family and she (funnily enough) happened to be in it.

I don’t know what he big deal is about carrying round photos of your kids and putting them out so you can see them when working – lots of people do it.

I ‘m sure if it had been Marion, people would have thought it sooooo cute.