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Masterchef Australia – Jimmy Is Eliminated Because Of His Curry

Firstly I think all those botoxed, and lifted ageing women out there should take a look at Maggie Beer to be shown you can be gorgeous and over sixty.  She looked stunning tonight both with her funky necklace, and black dress, but also her general exuberance and jour de vivre. That last phrase was dedicated to Sourkraut.

Secondly finally the right person was eliminated. Jimmy showed just how out of his depth he was with him creating much simpler dishes then the other three. All the others food was much more high end which is what we should expect at this time of the competition.

Maggie was guest judge tonight on the episode where the final four had to outline what their cook book would be about if they won the title of Masterchef.

Claire’s was going to be called From The Hearth to be about gutsy, honest and timeless food.

Callum’s is to be a Cook’s Roadmap, like a Stephanie Alexander but based on cooking techniques rather than ingredients. Gary said to George that this was something they had thought of as well. Which did get me wondering if Callum’s cook book had been workshopped prior to the episode.

Jimmy’s was to be called Flavours From My Home and it is about getting people to use spices. I am still not sure why he was one of the two chosen ones to go to receive a spice masterclass by Christine Mansfield.

Adam would call his book Two Asian Kitchens, it would be about the traditional and the modern dishes. I loved the scathing look Adam gave Gary when he butted in to say that is about you being from one asian country and living in another. Uh no Gary that was not what Adam meant.

Tonight the chefs had 2  1/2 hours to produce three dishes which would showcase their cookbook/food philosophy, and all of their plates looked pretty delicious.

I loved Adam’s Heston Blummenthal impersonation with using agar, and ensuring his ingredients were not too acidic.

Claire was first to be judged she had made scallops with crispy pork belly and apple. Maggie would prefer it without the pork.She thought this was a city dish.

The judges turned up their nose at the just which was served with a stunning looking roast beef with potato gratin. All the judges thought it had too much wine in it. George said if he got the receipe from her book he would be pretty disappointed.

Her dessert Matt loved the orange blossom pannacotta, and thought it was akin to kissing a girls neck. Which actually gave me shivers down my spine, but not in a good way.

Gary for once couldn’t decide whether he liked it or not even though any ingredient mixed with cream normally gets the thumbs up from him.

Callum was judged next, and I know he was doing techniques out of each chapter, however there was no consistency of theme. He cooked Coconut Mussels. Maggie thought it was exciting and perfectly cooked. This lent weight to the rumour that Maggie knows Callum’s mother, as Matt thought the curry was unbalanced with too much fish sauce.

However his roast pork belly with scallops with celeriac and his Chocolate Fondant with Orange and Date Ice Cream was met with raptures.

Jimmy’s to savoury dishes looked great, however he was criticised that his crispy skin duck with tamarind glaze  –  was over cooked. And his prawn curry sauce tasted soapy according to Gary. I was thinking it was all going to be disasterous for him, as his Chai Latte Brulee was not even set, however the flavour was apparently fantastic. And Matt Preston thought it was the best dish flavour wise.

Adam’s dishes were probably the most unusual and complex. He cooked  Haianese Lobster Rice which Matt thought was rich and sophisticated but had not lost the soul of the dish.  His next was a smoked Kingfish chirashi su. Did he smoke the fish himself? I did not see him do it but that doesn’t mean anything. George said “He is a legend.”
But Matt didn’t like the square of green tea jelly.

His dessert was a disaster, he was told his Chinese churos with salted duck egg custard did not appeal to the western palate. By the expressions on the judges faces as they were tasting it you would have thought they were eating cows lips.

It was a no brainer who was going it had to be Jimmy who has been out of his depth since he returned to the competition.

UPDATE: Jimmy to open an Indian restaurant. The press release says:

He plans to open his dream Indian restaurant later this year in Surry Hills, Sydney.

“I’ve already found the premises, I have a head chef and I’m devising menus,” he says. “My favourite part of any day is walking down the street and someone coming up and saying they want to taste my curries – they’ll soon be able to come to my restaurant.

“The benefit of being eliminated the first time was that I had some time at home and I knew that I really wanted to open up a restaurant. When I was cooking in the competition, I wasn’t thinking about winning or beating the others, I was just thinking about my restaurant.

“It’ll have a cocktail bar, nothing pretentious and good quality Indian food. I’ll be mainly doing front of house work but also in the kitchen and dealing with the menus. I can’t wait!”


1 Culinary Boner { 07.22.10 at 12:12 pm }

“From the Hearth”: a book specially for people with the Ita Buttrose speech impediment.

When I heard it last night I started laughing so hard I was ‘thor’.

2 CG { 07.22.10 at 12:13 pm }

Liberty: Good insight re the Circle interview tomorrow – might mean something, might not. But yes, Claire lives in Melbourne. Callum and Adam are both from SA (but they could be staying anywhere at the mo).

3 Ellie { 07.22.10 at 12:41 pm }

RR good job! Thanks for a great blog and everyone who has contributed on the forum that have given me hours of entertainment. post Sunday, I will miss RR re-caps and this forum more than the actual show.

4 Matt { 07.22.10 at 1:28 pm }

Strategy thoughts…

And what a barren strategic wasteland this was last night.

If you’ve got this far, this is the one challenge you absolutely know you’re going to get. This is the challenge in which Julie nailed the competition last year, with her cookbook idea that was streets ahead of everyone else in marketability (even if it should have been called “What do ya call these darl? Rissoles…”). This is the challenge which if you think you’re a shot at winning the comp, you’ve ben practising for every night.

And what do our four doofuses do? (well, three of them)Yep, stuff it up.

Claire at least had an idea of what her recipes were. However her strategic mistake was picking a piss-poor cookbook idea. (I actually thought she said “heart”, and that it was just her funny little lisp…, but no…). Completely unmarketable. Claire’s best strategic move was in doing enough to get through. She’ll be banking on the fact that the producers may not want to have an all-male final. Once Courtney left, she’s got an edge over the remaining men – not much of one, perhaps, but you need every advantage when it’s two of you sitting in front of the judges waiting to see who’s in the final two.

Adam’s mistake wasn’t in his cookbook idea, which wasn’t too bad, but in trying stuff he’d never tried before. Bad move and it could have backfired.

Jimmy – what can we say. I actually thought that this was the night where Jimmy had the huge advantage and wasted it (not the previous night when MP the bully said he was “on a precipce” – try that in a real workplace big boy and you’ll have a HR on your back…). Part of me wanted Jimmy to really let rip and say “bugger you, I’m not doing three dishes – I’m doing 12 tasting plates to showcase the best Indian food…” He would have knocked it out of the park.

Jimmy’s known he’s on borrowed time, so this was the chance to advertise himself – and maybe, just maybe, squeak through. I thought Jimmy should have tried something really simple to showcase his restaurant, not weird-ass Mc stuff.

And the best strategy? Callum. He’d clearly thought out his cookbook idea, and it’s pitched at young people who want to learn the techniques, not slavishly follow recipes. Nice one, with pretty good food to back it up.

Not sure if he’s pulled a Julie with this cookbook idea, but if you remember back to last season, Poh was pretty much the favourite at this point, in terms of “best amateur cook”. Pretty much where Adam is now.

5 CG { 07.22.10 at 1:42 pm }

IMO the only independent “strategic” thinking last night was (i) Claire kissing up to Maggie Beer; and (ii) Adam being smart enough to differentiate himself but I think he went too far by trying stuff he had not tested and as a result, almost blew it.

Jimmy’s failure to use the opportunity to showcase his new restaurant to 2million+ viewers was a strategic failure. His restaurant would have been well underway prior to the taping of this episode in mid-June. He now owns the building so the restaurant idea was a “go” prior to him returning to the show.

As for Callum’s cookbook, as I mentioned earlier, the idea smells of MC producers/judges/Forum5 working with him well in advance of last night’s episode to come up with a viable concept. A themed cooking book – ie homecooking, Asian cooking, etc. – would never go over – the guy is only 20 years old and has very limited life experiences. The techniques-based cookbook is a briliant idea for Callum. Hasn’t it already been announced he is going to play a role in Junior MC which would just reinforce a basics cookbook although the recipes he used last night were not exactly kiddy fare (except perhaps the dessert). So Callum’s only strategy was/is to go along with what the producers and Forum5 tell him to do. The glowing comments about the “Barossa Boy” from family friend Maggie Beer didn’t hurt, either.

Based on the above and the judge’s swipe at Adam’s dish not being attractive to the “Western palate”, I have a sinking feeling that Callum may be the winner.

6 Anonymous { 07.22.10 at 1:52 pm }

Well its long been about other things than finding the best amata cook in Ozzztraila so I expect Callum will win(although I was worried Jimmy was going to win until his many chats to camera last night-and his no idea what cookbook I am going to o as I have the restaurant opening up soon). I wouldn’t bother with his restaurant myself-plenty of good curry houses I ould rather give my money too. I keep imagining on Sunday that they will bring out Jono and Marion for the final cook off…thank god its almost over.

7 Liberty { 07.22.10 at 2:10 pm }

Matt – so right! If I was going on MC, the very first thing I would be thinking of would be “If I got to the end, what would my cookbook be and what dishes would I cook”? I guarantee that Jono and Marion would have been better prepared. As soon as Jimmy said he had no idea (OMG – I can’t believe they’ve asked me to cook three courses, wot kinda curry am I gonna cook – shock!!), it was obvious he’d be finished in the comp.
I wouldn’t buy any of their cookbooks. In saying that if I found an Adam cookbook in the $9.95 cheapo bin at the bookstore, I could be tempted.
RR – best thing about the show is this forum!

8 Anonymous { 07.22.10 at 2:19 pm }

New Poll-what do you prefer: MC the show or the forum? I vote forum

9 Chuck { 07.22.10 at 3:05 pm }

Re Callum’s techniques cookbook idea. Justin North (Becasse Restaurant in Syd, also celebrity chef earlier on in MC2) has a very good book called French Lessons (sure Sourk has one at home###). Comprehensive, great presentation and keenly priced at $45.

It was interesting to hear Maggie Beer say she has published 7 cookbooks so far and sales of over 400k. If Julie can get 100k+ sales for her book without the cred of a Maggie Beer, what do it say about the present marketing power of the Masterchef brand to move product?

10 Matt { 07.22.10 at 3:27 pm }

Chuck – agree with you re the Justin North cookbook.

It is by far and away the best cookbook I’ve ever had – I bought it following his appearace on MC, which says something about why the celeb chefs go on…

Buy it from, which has free delivery and will cost your about $30, NOT from his publishers who want $80 plus postage…

We need a separate thread on best cookbooks perhaps.

My choice:

Justin North, French Lessons – all the basics and some awesome recipes. I’d also recommend his “Becasse” cookbook, if only for the Blood Orange Tart with caramelised sugar.

Woman’s Weekly Italian Cookbook (only because it’s the one which taught me to cook).

Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef – for the “hey, it’s ok to cook if you’re a 20-something guy” factor. Also Jamie at Home and Jamie’s Italy.

Longrain – when you really want to step it up. Every MC contestant seems to have pinched the pork hock in masterstock recipe out of this one.

Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. Because any cookbook which uses (liberally) the word “mother f**ker” in a recipe has to be respected.

I’d be interested to see what others think.

Also, for some excellent cooking advice, especialy for those in Queensland, check out .

The girl who writes it is shortlisted for the next My Kitchen Rules and is a pretty awesome cook.

11 Injera { 07.22.10 at 3:33 pm }

I don’t need any more cookbooks. I don’t need any more cookbooks. I don’t need any more cookbooks. I don’t need any more cookbooks. I don’t need any more cookbooks. Oh, screw it, I have a book depository discount voucher… might as well check out the North book. Thanks for the rec, Matt and Chuck!

I also love the Bourdain Les Halles book. Love the way he writes so that you feel as though he’s actually in the kitchen alongside you, urging you to break open that second bottle of wine. My first cassoulet was from his recipe – very methodical. Even Callum could probably follow the instructions!

At the moment, I’m loving the Ottolenghi books (my last Book Dep order).

12 Wurstsemmel { 07.22.10 at 3:38 pm }

Missed a lot of last night’s episode so thanks for the recap, RR.

I also thought Claire’s book was ‘Food from the heart’. How unoriginal, I scoffed, only to later realise it was ‘Food from the hearth’. I can’t remember who asked her (Gary?) if she’d be cooking on the hearth and she smiled sweetly and responded in the affirmative. Yeah, right. None of what she cooked last night would work that way or even summed up that concept. I hope, I hope, she goes tonight. I don’t think it will happen though. For someone who keeps saying she doesn’t like overt displays of emotion, she’s pretty good at turning on the waterworks…just as the judging panel are pretty good at getting sucked in.

Interesting to see Jimmy won’t actually be cooking but will be trading on his Masterchef persona as ‘front of house’. Make the most of it, Jimmy, the fame is but fleeting.

13 Liberty { 07.22.10 at 3:38 pm }

Should probably be a separate post… Here’s my top five.
1. The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander (bit of everything)
2. Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson (the best corned brisket recipe EVER)
3. Sunday Lunch – Gordon Ramsay (Pork Belly)
4. Simple Chinese Cooking – Kylie Kwong (Chinese salads)
5. Edmonds Cookery Book (Basic everything) and no, I’m not a Kiwi.

14 Matt { 07.22.10 at 3:44 pm }

Injera – too true – best way to get drunk is to open Les Halles and start cooking.


15 Fides { 07.22.10 at 3:45 pm }

Not quite related to the above cookbook posts, but does anyone think Callum’s cookbook (should he win) will be pretty much ghost written?

Wurstsemmel – thanks for reminding me of Jimmy’s front of house experience on the show. It’s telling that when he was team leader at Press Club challenge, he chose to be FOH, which didn’t impress Gary. Wonder what “eye candy” he’ll have working there at his restaurant.

16 Chuck { 07.22.10 at 3:47 pm }

Continuing with cookbook line. Myer often have 30-35% off cooking books on regular basis (usually over weekend) which is good value for the more expensive ones such as Steph Alexander. I did see the Justin North book there after I had purchased my copy.

17 Injera { 07.22.10 at 3:52 pm }

Good tip, Chuck. I picked up the Bourke Street Bakery book at a Myer sale. In fact, I have to say I would never pay full price for a cookbook! They’re a want, rather than a need, so I can wait for a sale or a Book Dep delivery…

18 pluck a duck { 07.22.10 at 3:53 pm }

CG (at 55) – I have the same sinking, sickening feeling that Callum is going to win and your notion of the MC producers, judges and Forum 5 workshopping with him in advance sounds plausible. Plus wasn’t it a bit coincidental that the GGs were thinking of doing something along the same lines?

Chuck (at 59) and Matt (at 60) – yeah, Justin North’s book French Lessons is tops. As we know, he’s been on MC 2, so maybe that’s where Callum regurgitated his idea from?

19 Matt { 07.22.10 at 3:55 pm }

Plucka – Justin’s cookbook has a slightly different format.

But (and don’t get me wrong here, I rate Callum and will gladly buy his cookbook – in 15 years time after he comes back from his two-star restaurant in London) – but, I reckon Justin North will be sick when(if) Callum’s cookbook outsells him.

20 Kaylen { 07.22.10 at 4:43 pm }

Has Callum ever cooked an original dish? No.
The only things Callum has cooked he’s either taken from Masterclass or other contestants? Yes.
Has his cookbook idea been done before, and by a lot more talented people? Yes.

That’s why he shouldn’t win.

Which, unfortunately, is probably why he will.


Blinky Bill to win! Yay! /sarcasm


21 Chuck { 07.22.10 at 5:21 pm }

Matt. Have Enjoyed reading your bits on contestant strategy.
I think the key strategic player is the MC producer/s. While I appreciate the marketing potential of the show, the key goal is to give Ch 10 a top rating show, which in turn helps the network’s overall sales revenue. Without that all the other (top dollar for spots in show, product placement, cookbook sales and so on won’t happen.
(My argument is too much is at stake rating’s wise for the producer to be a passive particpant in the process. Don’t believe results are rigged but certainly jigged or strategically setup to maximise viewer ratings.)
I’ve had a bit of fun for the last 6 weeks or so playing producer and picking who is to be sent home each. So from a ratings/entertainment point who would be the ideal contestant? Someone with obvious cooking skills and the ability to generate chatter (water cooler talk /forum /twitter comment).
So I listed each contestant at the start of the week and gave each a rating out of 10 for cooking skill and a rating out of 10 for chatter. Add the two scores together and the lowest goes home. My theory: someone can go home who is a good cook but fails to generate chatter (can be positive or negative) or a poor or average cook can remain for a long time if they create a lot of chatter. I saw Joanne as a good point for the latter. Adam’s cooking skill has kept him near top but is vulnerable because he doesn’t generate as much chatter as say Callum or enen Claire.
I was able to accurately pick the bottom 2 for several weeks. The theory sort of crashed with Marion and Jono going (I reackon Marion’s was a stuff-up and Jono lost interest and wanted to go home). The model has returned to form for the past week. You have to do an update each week because as a viewer you can only make subjective judgements on what cooking the producer/s show and what contestant comments/judging decisions are show). Of course the real producer/s have the inside knowledge of who actually has cooking talent and what incidents they can highlight to generate chatter.
For what it’s worth, my take on last year’s result was that the final 2 wasn’t the predictable (Chris/Poh/Justine) outcome (producer milking the interest cash cow to the end). The winner I believe was based on who suffed up the least on the night (Julie). My hunch is it will be the same this year. As long as the finale get the ratings That is the key strategy.
Anyway that’s my take, not taking it all too seriously but along with the RR forums (thanks RR) and comments, it has added much more to the MC experience for the year.

22 anon { 07.22.10 at 6:15 pm }

Matt and Chuck,

have either of you thought of getting a life?
I hear you can get them cheap from next week on. at Bunnings.

23 Chuck { 07.22.10 at 6:43 pm }

Anon, Yes you’re probably right. I’ll have to go early because there’s certain to be hugh queues.

24 Ruffys { 07.22.10 at 8:49 pm }

Matt and Chuck: thanks for the cook book tips

25 Duke nukem { 07.22.10 at 10:05 pm }

The close up of MPs cow skin boots was funny.
I think the editers were taking the piss!

26 new { 06.19.13 at 4:42 pm }

With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d genuinely appreciate it.