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Masterchef Australia – Well At Least Alvin Is Safe

Well the good news is Alvin is through to finals week, the most deserving of the three that were in the elimination challenge tonight. However the bad news was there was another spoiler in last night’s preview. Almost Bourdain alerted me to it earlier the afternoon, saying in the preview last night someone had spotted that Alvin and Adam going head to head in the cook off. And sure enough Jimmy won the fish challenge.

The fish challenge was a good one, and I thought it was hilarious that Jimmy thought he was going to get a point for writing bait instead of whitebait.

And props to Alvin’s strategy for writing down trout a few times as one time he would get it right. Also I thought it was strange such an easy fish was one of the last ones to identify ie salmon.

Jimmy won the challenge, and cruised into final’s week. And it was up to Alvin and Aaron to go head to head over a fish and chip challenge.

Now panko crumbs are either sponsoring the episode or they are the in ingredient of the moment as both used them. Aaron was all over the shop cutting his finger, and making mayonnaise for the first time. I don’t get it wouldn’t that be something you would practice. I know he saw it done in Masterclass, but knowing the judges hatred for the the jar stuff I thought it would be something you might practice. Once.

Also the other thing he might have learnt in his 6 months of living in the Masterchef house is how to fillet a fish. Thankfully he put himself out of his misery and grabbed some pre-done fillets. Not sure about deep frying john dory anyway as it is such a delicate fish.

Thankfully Alvin’s was judged to be the best otherwise another Masterchef travesty would have occurred. However both dishes were given positive reviews.

I liked Aaron because had a persona/character, but gee I cannot remember anything of his that he cooked well in the last few weeks. Well apart from that satay sauce.

Quote of the night goes to Jimmy who said to the others back at the house”One of us is going to be the next Masterchef” All I can say I hope it is not him.


“Now that I’m at home I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and I’m developing a product line of Mexican and Italian sauces,” says Aaron, adding that his highlight during the show has been meeting all the celebrity chefs. “I’m taking some of my favourite Mexican and pasta sauce recipes and bottling them. I love Mexican food and I’m really interested in bringing some sauces made with all these unique flavours into Australian kitchens.

“I’m also doing some writing on other food projects that I’m working on, and devising recipes in the hope that one day I can release a cookbook. Life is never going to be the same after MasterChef but the best thing is, is that where my life was before [the show] was fantastic – now it’s even better!”


1 Injera { 07.16.10 at 10:50 am }

Our comments crossed – will check out the information you’ve just posted, CG. Plot thickening? (With a special thickening agent produced by an MC contestant?!!)

2 CG { 07.16.10 at 10:53 am }

Injera: yeah, that is what Jimmy does: frankenstein food. But Manildra has been target of GM protests and other dodgy stuff. Also a MAJOR supplier to Coles. So Jimmy has deal with Manildra – who has deal with Coles – who has major sponsorship deal with MC… lots of back-slapping all around. Bottom line is any existing and direct commerical “food” relationship (whether Manildra or a Subway franchise) should probably rule someone out as an MC contestant. Marion’s degree in gastronomy is, IMO, an entirely different issue.

3 CG { 07.16.10 at 10:54 am }

Injera: well Malindra is largest Aussie producer of starch and gluten!! LOL.

4 brain dead dave { 07.16.10 at 11:20 am }

To me Jimmy looks like Benny Hinn. It’s a miracle that he’s made it this far.

Now the Manilldra stuff is just hilarious.

5 Satay sauce { 07.16.10 at 12:42 pm }

Referring back to CG’s comment at 36: I think that the population numbers in the US and UK would easily produce a number of fantastic home chefs compared what Australia can get out of it’s measly 22 million. I remember watching an episode of UK Masterchef relatively early in the competition and was taken aback by the quality of dishes produced.

I think that it’s great that Masterchef is increasing people’s awareness around food; but also agree about how it’s so obvious how it is being used as a money making machine. I also dislike that Masterchef Australia demands so much of its contestants compared to Masterchef UK (i.e., living away from home for several months and producing 6 episodes per week) and this contributes to how drawn out the competition feels.

My two cents over! It’s funny, I’ve been following this blog for a few weeks now and sooner or later the urge to write suddenly hits :)

6 Chunks { 07.16.10 at 12:43 pm }

Given that Julie won last year I’m pretty confident Jimmy has every chance of winning this year. And that might just mean the death of the whoe shebang.

7 littlepetal { 07.16.10 at 12:47 pm }

Chunk – Nothing surprises me any more. I think Julie is still more versatile than Jimmy. He is a nice guy but we have enough of curries.

I am sure the winner will be either Callum, Courtney or Jimmy !!!!! I am definately very happy if they can proof me wrong.

8 CG { 07.16.10 at 1:15 pm }

Satay Sauce: Your comments about the relative populations of the USA and, to a lesser extent, the UK can be relevant to reality tv. For example, Project Runway Australia couldn’t find enough decent designers to field a third season and Aus Next Top Model also seems to have some marginal contestants (last year, don’t know about this year). But cooking is obviously a much more widely-held skill.

I think the key recruiting issue for MC Australia is like politics: the best qualified people don’t want to run. Some of my friends and indeed my husband are exceptional “home cooks” and some of them fantasize about becoming a chef and having their own restaurant but they would never try out for MC in its current form.

That said, I don’t think it would be that hard to find a field of say 15 or even 24 contestants from across Australia for MC or an MC-like show every year for many, many years. But I think for this type of longevity, they would have to alter the format of the show and have lower ratings and profit expectations. My friends and husband would be far more likely to apply for MC if it was more along the lines of the lower-key UK format which is about the cooking and without the media hype and intrusion into your personal lives, etc.

In its current format, MC Australia is more likely to attract persons who want media exposure and careers peripheral to or outside of cooking versus the opportunity to establish a cooking and/or restaurant career. Just look at Phillip this year whose only objective it seems was to get media exposure.

Perhaps the MC Australia producers know it only has a few seasons in it given the format but have decided to go for the insane ratings and massive commerical takings and milk the platform for all its worth even if it burns out the concept and the brand after just 2-3 seasons.

Do y’all realise that by the end of next week there will have been 84 episodes of MC this year? At an average of 1 hour each this means if you have watched each episode you have invested the equivalent of at least 10 and 1/2 full working days (at 8 hours per day) watching MC? I don’t want to think about all the household projects, personal improvement (reading!) and other things I could have been doing during those lost hours. Scary.

9 Chunks { 07.16.10 at 1:21 pm }

I like this comment from a reader on Andrew Bolt’s blog: They may change the name of this reality show next year to “Popular Cook”. So true.

10 CG { 07.16.10 at 1:35 pm }

Chunks: Bolt’s column and the comments are hilarious.

Link to Bolt’s column on MC:

My fave comment so far is from “cuckoo”:

“Coming soon: revelations that Daddia (who’s your Daddia?) was in secret talks with Hann (Talk to the Hann) about an orderly transition of power if it turned out his souffle wouldn’t rise. Allegations that Daddia has leaked this information to Laurie Oakes. Wants to come back in the next series as shelf-stacker in the Masterchef pantry.”


11 sourkraut { 07.16.10 at 2:13 pm }

overjoyed that
jimmy got through.

hope his next curry is a vindaloo squared brought out by the pox doctors clerks wearing asbestos gloves. the look on the judges dials when they then taste it would make it worth watching!
SURPRISE the reewaard for the alamienashun winners was to dine at a french cafe. what a giveaway
and gary, if as you say, many chefs could not have named all those fish, gawd help our seafood restaurant industry.HAH

finally, the red snapper was not a snapper. it was a SQUIRE. to be a snapper it has to have a lump/bulge on the head.

12 Reality Raver { 07.16.10 at 4:41 pm }

Hey Satay Sauce welcome thanks for commenting.

Jimmy’s company he is a director of looks like a start up. He must be pretty smart. I do wonder if the curry sauces he is flogging were made prior to his go on M/C and if so I think that should count him out.

I don’t think Marion’s Master’s in gastronomy is the same. As it is not practical training, it is theory.

Sourkraut – Pity one of the contestant’s didn’t call the snapper squire, that would have set the cat amongst the pigeons.

CG -Add to the time of watching the show, the writing and reading about it and I suddenly wondering what my life has become. Maybe next year I should spend the time exercising and enter the City To Surf.

Suziwong and injera – with the plethora of sauces to be released are they going to diminish the appeal of trying them.

13 CG { 07.16.10 at 5:01 pm }

RR: will you post what Callum said on the Spoiler thread??

14 CG { 07.16.10 at 5:02 pm }

MC is going to get lucky and rake up even more earnings when an election is called this weekend. Apparently, television advertising rules allow for an extra minute of advertising per hour between 6pm and midnight to accommodate the political parties once an election has been called. Can just imagine the two main parties slugging it out for adverts during the MC finale. Are rates set or, as in the US during the Superbowl and other big events, is the sky the limit and it becomes an open bidding war??

15 hine { 07.16.10 at 5:07 pm }

I voted for adam in your poll but i hadn’t read the question properly-i think mc want callum to win and he will. agree with cg re: jimmys ulterior motives to participate in mc(its all about the sauce)
and here’s a read: (not directly related to my comments above)–dont-mention-the-ratings-war-20100715-10co3.html

16 Katya { 07.16.10 at 5:11 pm }

Reality Raver – I agree re: making sure you know how to make basics such as mayonnaise before you go on the show – it’s like all those people who go on ‘Survivor’ without having learned how to make a fire…

17 hine { 07.16.10 at 5:16 pm }

Yeah all the contestants should get a copy of ppc and practice all the basics and mother sauces especially.(ppc=Practical Professional Cookery by HL Cracknell)

18 CG { 07.16.10 at 5:17 pm }

Hine: Great link – this article talks about the same issue we have been talking about here for weeks: how MC is getting coverage on the other networks and in particular Channel 9. Wish they had the guts to put a $$ figure on what the opposition channel promotion is worth – just in air time, it is significant and in to the hundreds of thousands. That said, Julie must really be considered a dud for Ch10 to let her go and allow Ch9 to sign her up for regular appearances on the Today Show – and now a weekly show.

RR: You need to get credit and get in on the gravy train. All these articles about MC are appearing everywhere and the more interesting ones are the ones that explore some of the money trail issues, pop culture influences and yes, ‘conspiracy theories’. Articles seem to come out 1-2 weeks after we raise and discuss the issues here on your blog!!

19 Reality Raver { 07.16.10 at 5:22 pm }

I agree CG – I am the only person not making money out of Masterchef.

I think some of the stories are coincidental, but others are not.

20 CG { 07.16.10 at 5:26 pm }

RR: That sucks. Everyone and their mother (LITERALLY – Marion’s mum, Jimmy’s mum, ??) is making a motza out of MC. You should get your fair share??!!

21 Reality Raver { 07.16.10 at 5:29 pm }

Well CG I have an idea which I am going to try and implement.

22 kingfisher { 07.16.10 at 8:22 pm }

your own line of Reality Raver’s Really Raunchy Saucy Sexy Salsa Sauces?? I know I’d buy a couple of cases!

23 Reality Raver { 07.16.10 at 8:40 pm }

kingfisher – my label would be called Spank and Fluff of course

24 angelaanaconda { 07.16.10 at 8:52 pm }

CG wrote: “In its current format, MC Australia is more likely to attract persons who want media exposure and careers peripheral to or outside of cooking” Yup. I’ve been screaming this at the TV ever since last year when I saw Miss Linda- Miss Polonia Australia and “Beep to Run” Miss Linda from Deal or no Deal and Poh Beat the Chef or something. Both just wanted a TV career. Both had agents prior to entering MC. JMO, but it makes me go hmmmm and yell at the TV 😉

25 gnomeangel { 07.16.10 at 11:09 pm }

The Panko breadcrumbs bugged me because I’m sure earlier on in the season someone (I think maybe Marion) got hammered for using packaged breadcrumbs. There’s no consistency, or if there is a legitimate reason for why one ruling one time and a different another there’s no transparency in the decision making process.

To a certain extent Masterchef should be like Olympic diving – we should all be experts on the system of scoring only after watching a couple of episodes. Unfortunately it seems to be more like the offside rule in soccer – no one really understands it, but we’ve all got opinions on it and when it’s put into play it solicits nothing but drama.

26 Pollywaffle { 07.17.10 at 5:51 pm }

Jimmy, it seems has been quite strategic with his one trick curry pots. On the surface, a limited repertoire, but the clever boy has indeed been slowly burining off the other contestants taste buds over the past few weeks with his ‘generous’ vindaloos and black chiilis. He is succeeding so far, Callum has lost his ability to taste (lack of) salt, and Adam just pops things on sticks as his buds are rooted.

27 Australian Health { 07.19.10 at 11:10 pm }

I think the best chefs have already been eliminated – those being the ones who appeared most knowledgeable about the biggest range of food and cuisines, knowledgeable about flavours and how to combine them, and skillful in food preparation techniques. Without blind testing EVERY episode, MasterChef judging is open to the possibility of all sorts of shenanigans.

A knowledgeable foodie friend has tipped Jimmy as the eventual winner. Although I’d be gobsmacked at Jimmy winning, stranger things have already happened on the show.