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Masterchef Australia – Jimmy’s Mystery Box

It is final’s week, the prize is within peoples grasps, and the judges including Shannon Bennett (yes we will discuss those eyebrows later) are running around dishing out a lot of advice to the contestants. At this stage of the competition the contestant’s should be standing on their own two feet.

Gary told Jimmy that his muscat ice-cream could be lumpy if left in the blast freezer rather than the ice-cream maker. All three of them repeatedly were telling Claire that she needed some crunch for her dishes, in fact Matt Preston outlined the ingredients she should use. Also they workshopped with Courtney what dessert she should do since she was having a major blank.

Tonight Jimmy had the advantage of picking the ingredients in the mystery box, so there were spices, chilli’s, besan flour, muscat, lentils and gorgonzola. The other contestants were not happy about there not being a flesh protein to cook with, and in fact I think Claire may have doubled her male fans by giving a scathing critique of lentils.

Lucky for them they had 90 minutes to cook, however in that time they were expected to do two dishes a sweet and a savoury. Shannon Bennett from Vue Du Monde was a guest judge as George as some commenters have suggested maybe at the world cup in South Africa. Shannon decided that  2 million viewers would not notice he had not brushed his hair as we would be too distracted by his eyebrows, which if he was a movie star he would have to insure. They were amazing.

By the way anyone one who did not make dhal automatically should have  been given ten extra bonus points. I thought the three who made it were the ones who probably have the weakest techniques in the competition and possibly the least imagination. Also Jimmy should have had 50 points deducted for being out curried by both Courtney and Callum.

Jimmy did make two types of dhal a Tarka & a Garlic Butter one. Both served with Paratha & Onion Rings, his dessert was a Muscat Icecream. It all looked like a puddle of plop, and the Garlic Butter Dhal looked like lard. Gary Mehigan liked both of the curries, but just thought the pakora were flashy onion rings and thought he could do better, however he loved the muscat ice-cream

Matt who has a much more refined curry palate, well it is the UK’s national dish, said “there was not enough butter or garlic in the dhal, but the Tarka was better but still underseasoned.”

Shannon did not like the presentation, but did like the icecream.

Callum made a lentil curry (not sure how that is different to dhal) with flat bread, and lemon and ginger brulee tarts. I thought Callum’s dessert was a cracker, but I thought again he showed not a lot of imagination for his main.

However, Matt Preston preferred Callum’s dahl to Jimmy, and Gary who still thinks he is still in the seven deadly sins challenge of course ate the whole tart.

Courtney made Dhal with Caramelised Pakora, and Crepe with Ginger and Lemon Curd. Matt said the pakora was undercooked but thought it was the best dhal, however he thought the “lemon curd needed more then a couple of crepes”. Her dessert looked amateurish and Shannon said the crepes needed another element.

Now Adam tonight decided to really step it up a notch and cook outside the box (pun sort of intended). He made Oeufs Molle with Soubiese, and for dessert he made candied tomatoes in a muscat  sauce with ginger granita. Shannon thought the veloute just over powered the soubise, however he thought the eggs are cooked perfectly.   Matt thought the dish was clever, delicious tasting food. Matt also loved the idea of the dessert, he thought it was brave, but he thought if he removed sauce it would be a cleaner flavour. I thought Adam really showed he was a contender tonight.

Claire  cooked Gorgonzola Mousse with a Muscat Sauce, Layered Lemon Curd Semifreddo with a crumble. After she started crying Gary had to turn into an amateur psychologist to get her though the judging. Claire sobbed “you guys don’t get while I’m here” and “why it matters”. Gary responded with empathy by saying  “there is know harm in letting your emotions out”. I was rolling my eyes. I thought both her dishes showed a lot of technique, and there was no lentil with spices in sight. For that I was giving her two thumbs up.

Gary said “Muscat syrup doesn’t work with the mousse” but he liked the mousse, but said it needed a garlic tuile.  He loved the dessert and thought it was balanced. Note to Season 3 contestant’s Gary loves cream. Part of his OH&S plan at work must involve regular cholesteral checks.

Callum was through first to the top four, and Shannon said he was the equivalent of a second to third year apprentice.

Adam was praised for his going outside the square and innovation and was put through.

Matt Preston told Jimmy he was on the edge of a precipice as he had a huge advantage and he stuffed it, but he managed to stay out of the bottom two.

Claire and Courtney were in the bottom two. Claire was there because of her lack of belief in herself and the way it made the judges think her dishes were not going to be good.

However Courtney was eliminated and deservedly so, her dishes tonight showed lack of imagination and technique.

By the way good of Callum to acknowledge Paul (the guy who does the odds on this blog) tonight when he said “even the craziest of gamblers would not have dreamed up this top 4”. My money was lost a long time ago.


1 KID { 07.21.10 at 8:25 pm }

I concluded a few weeks ago that the primary aim of the show is to serve as a long, money-spinning PR campaign for a gimmicky cookbook. I believe the producers decide early on (around the top 20 mark perhaps?) who is going to “win”, and the judges don’t really get a lot of say. Perhaps bringing people back into the competition is the only opportunity for sabotage that they really get.

For Jimmy’s mystery box choices, I personally believe he went easy on them. He chose ingredients that easily allowed for many variations for both sweet and savoury, and anyone with some culinary knowledge shouldn’t have found it the “horrible”, “difficult” “nightmare” his co-contestants did. If it was really so hard for them, they don’t deserve to be there.

I do get sick of the patronising comments that get made about Jimmy and Indian food generally, as if “only” cooking curries means you are a cook with little knowledge or skill. Curries are incredibly varied and do require a great understanding of flavour and a substantial amount of skill to prepare when made entirely from scratch.

2 Duke nukem { 07.21.10 at 9:08 pm }

surprised no one commented about Gary ordering callum to mop the sweat off his face

3 AnonyMousse { 07.21.10 at 9:52 pm }

KID – why would the producers have decided back at the top 20 that any of the now remaining contestants were the right choice for a cookbook and thus were going to be fast-tracked through? Adam was barely even shown on camera or interviewed in the first few weeks of the competition, from memory, so if they planned for him to be there they mustn’t have told their editors.

If I was a producer looking to fudge the results and make the most profits from a cookbook, I would have got them to put Marion in more elimination challenges Jono-style to make her look vulnerable (and thus not a sure-win) before letting her win the whole lot – I wouldn’t have picked Callum/Adam/Claire/Jimmy instead. Perhaps I just don’t understand Evil Producer logic, though.

4 AniMotek { 07.21.10 at 11:02 pm }

@KID The negative comments about Jimmy only cooking curries are not belittling curries or the skill it takes to cook them but rather reflecting that you’d hope that someone called “Australia’s MasterChef” would be able to cook a variety of cuisines and use a variety of techniques. The cake challenge is really about the first other type of cooking in which we’ve seen Jimmy succeed. Everyone obviously has a cuisine they’re most interested in and comfortable with but you’d hope that in a competition they’d show a variety of skills and dishes. That mostly was not the case with Jimmy.

5 Sourkraut { 07.21.10 at 11:19 pm }

Spot On!
you still have not told me how apert from the boofheads on the judging panel you hav worked out your comments on Jimmy’s cooking.
And if you are still looking for Oz best amacha chef on MC, I believe you are sadly misguided. but I could have told you that at the end of last year when Chris B got robbed of the title.
Anyhoo a good curry should always burn twice. I hope matt and co are squirming. maybe 10 will supply gas masks

6 AniMotek { 07.21.10 at 11:27 pm }

@Sourkraut ??? I never said anything about the quality of Jimmy’s cooking, I was just talking about comparative judging, variety, and challenges .

7 Sourkraut { 07.21.10 at 11:30 pm }

Angel 86
If he made the least worst cake, wot does that say about the ability of the others? Perhaps he did not include ingredients such as “sweat from brows” and “Tears from cheek” . Perhaps those ingredients made for a “bitter” taste in the other “cakes” and allowed him to be least worst. i would have loved to see him put some chilli in it just to clear the judges, especially dumbos sinuses.
Best amacha chefz in OZ wot a joke!

8 Withamric { 07.23.10 at 12:56 pm }

Georges eating habits disgusting. Can someone teach him to use a knife and fork properly

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