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Open Post: Masterchef Australia – Masterclass

Here is an open post to discuss tonight’s Masterclass starring Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Donna Hay.

Or if it gets a bit boring you can ponder this:

Whether this twitter account is really Joanne Zalm (thanks Airwalk);

Or why even though I think Gary Mehigan is a cutie my brain baulks at imagining him naked. LOL. Ok it is Friday night I thought I would bring it down to the lowest common denominator.

And for those who want to check out the spoiler thread go here, but don’t discuss what you read there on any other blog post please.

Have a great weekend everyone.


1 CG { 06.26.10 at 8:25 pm }

Pollyw: ROTFL. Ha! In addition to the belly, the little upturned piggy nose is a perfect likeness!!

RR: if this is what turns you on, you need to spend some more time on the beaches in Florida!

2 dmc { 06.26.10 at 11:49 pm }

I thought the Donna Hay thing was pretty good. I am sick of them saying ‘it’s all about the taste’. While taste is the major factor, surely presentation is one of the tie-breakers that can separate dishes of roughly equal taste quality, and I have thought that presentation has not been focused on enough until now.

3 TDK { 06.27.10 at 12:46 am }

Presentation hadn’t been focused enough on this show!! That is why MC featured Donna Hay as judge for how many times now? I’m still counting.. I’ve ran out of digits, but hey, that’s not the point, it just isn’t focused enough!!

4 TDK { 06.27.10 at 1:15 am }

Ultimately it all comes down to “art”.
Top chefs around the world would only be satisfied when their dish creation is borderlining “artistic” or “master pieces”.
Consider Heston Blummenthal’s creations in last week’s episode.
His inspiration is highly influenced by nature – consider the “Sound of the beach” (not sure of title) dish.
Took him years to create and perfect, not something you’d learnt or taught surely – this is something from within.
Art cannot be taught, but observed, felt, and should come naturally from within.
A drumstick on a clean plate vs a drumstick in my hand would taste the same to me.
A grilled dish on a spotless china and one on a banana leave would taste the same to me, but I’d go with the one on the banana leave, it looks and feels more natural.
A spaghetti dish carefully twirled in a bowl vs a non-twirl one would taste the same to me, if anything I’d prefer the non-twirl one because I’d think it had been less handled and so is less cooler making it taste better.
Presentation is quite over-rated, and often look ugly because they over-think about it. Why would they over-think about it?
Because of pressure to replicate the spotless squeeky clean image on recipes, cook books and TV.
My view is that if they cook with passion and “logic” and some experience, then there is no real need for cooks/chefs to follow a guide on presentation that would look perfect on paper or on TV.

5 dmc { 06.27.10 at 12:38 pm }

Not really sure what your point is here, whether you think presentation is important or not. My point is simply that the judges haven’t focused a lot on presentation in their masterclasses and that I thought it was timely to have one that focused on it. I wasn’t suggesting they obsess about it.
I agree that often presentation is something artistic that it hard to teach. But these guys needed someone to say, ‘Hey, don’t ignore presentation, keep it in your mind from when you first design your menu and start cooking’. All great chefs know that great cooking satisfies all the senses.

6 librarygirl { 06.27.10 at 12:46 pm }

Interestingly, Donna made that point when Jono suggested they should be given 5 extra minutes to complete presentation after cooking, and she said they should be thinking about it from the minute they START cooking.

7 Fides { 06.27.10 at 1:13 pm }

I thought Donna’s section was the most interesting part of this week’s masterclass. And some of it may have been useful to the contestants – I can imagine them trying the spaghetti twirling back in the MC house, or getting the egg yolks perfectly centred… though I wonder if they’ll all sit around the kitchen contemplating the lickability of their dishes and trying to get icing to trickle off the edges of their cakes…

librarygirl – glad you bring up the point about Jono’s comment re extra time for plating. I thought Marion’s reaction was interesting too – it stood out to me that she immediately refuted Jono’s idea by saying something like “but Jono, you should be able to fit it in…” and sounding like Donna.

I think one day they should have a plating challenge instead of a mystery box – where they’re given the cooked components and told to plate it in whichever way they choose. It would be fascinating viewing, since as viewers we can actually play judge given it’s not about the taste this time.

8 Reality Raver { 06.27.10 at 2:22 pm }

Pollywaffle – I don’t need therapy after that. LOL

9 Airwalk { 06.28.10 at 6:08 pm }

Has taken me a while to watch MC from Friday night: not really bothered about watching it when I get home from home every night: low care factor as the series has gone on. Liked seeing DH animated and smiling but other than that-meh