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Junior Masterchef – Well The Kids Can Cook

I really liked the way Nick aged 12, thinks. He said that Anna Gare will be the toughest judge as he didn’t know what she liked to eat. Fantastic he is thinking strategy from the start, when he is 18 I hope we can from an alliance on a Survivor series as this kid is savvy.

Also expect high fat, and it was. He cooked baklava with a cinnamon sauce on the side. George said that he would serve it in his Hellenic Republic restaurant, but it is obviously not good enough for his hallmark dining establishment The Press Club.

Tonight was the first episode of Junior Masterchef which is the offspring off the highly popular Masterchef Australia and  the top 50 were starting to being whittled down to the top 20.

Now it is fair to say all of this top 50 can cook to a pretty high standard, in fact all of them can cook better then Kate from Season 2 Masterchef Australia. Which again it must be asked how did Kate get through to the top 20? She scored well with the casting agents?

The first heat tonight was international food and the children appear to be matched in heats that suit their cooking skills.

Isabella (one of the many Isabella generation) decided to cook french and Iron Chef style grabbed the truffle. I was amazed she knew what a truffle was let alone identify it. I presume they got to tell what they wanted to cook and the ingredients were procured. Her dish was a perfectly cooked poached egg, with mashed potato and truffle.

Points to Anna Gare who was prepared to give some constructive advice and tell her more salt could have been in the mashed potato. However the only other negative comment I heard in the judging  was to do with the Chicken in Pomegranate and Walnut sauce he was told that it needed more salt. The Heart Foundation will not be happy.

Just like that child psychologist who was in the papers today saying the kids on this show may have long term issues form because of the program. Her reasoning was pretty lightweight. (Full article on SMH)

Sophia and Isabella who are twins want to open a restaurant together. Isabella cooked Ricotta gnocchi with eggplant salsa which they all loved. Sophia also wowed with her veal with fried eggplant dish. Gary thought it was the best eggplant that he had tasted all year. Well it was fried.

Taylor, Nick, Isabella and Sophia were through to the next round.

The next ten kids had a dessert challenge. Riley was making Lemon Meringue Pie, and it looked pretty good, but he put the grill on instead of the oven, and he burnt the top of it.

Also poor Tegan cooked her cake in the plastic ramekins and they melted in the oven she was bereft.

Lucy was cooking a heart shaped sponge and it looked delicious.

Angus cooked a chocolate lava pudding which had not lava in it.

However Clarrie’s rhubarb crumble was more successful and Gary thought it was delicious.

Sam who seems to really want to win cooked Quatre-Quarts and tempered white chocolate something Johnathan Daddia will be extremely jealous about his skill. George thought it was too crunchy the cake not the chocolate.

Lucy was through, as was Ashley with another heart shaped dessert. Clarrie with his crumble was through, and Sam was so overwhelmed when he made top four he was in tears.

It was a good start to the series, thankfully it is only once a week proposition at this point, as nightly it would become tedious quickly.


1 AnonyMousse { 09.12.10 at 11:29 pm }

Well, the show had a nice feel about it – the feel-good positivity does make it easier to watch. Having said that, I’m not sure how many episodes of Smiling Proud Parents I’ll be able to take before I’m stamping down my more violent urges.

I don’t know if we can take the judge’s comments at face value and presume they’re all better than the adult cooks since you wouldn’t want to be the judge who was seen tearing apart a young kid’s dreams on national television. ‘Needs more salt’ could translate to ‘I’d rather eat dog poo than another mouthful of this’.

I wonder how long before the faceless mass of the internet starts tearing into the kids for the usual stupid minor things that they rage and shout about (it’s probably already happening). The worst thing is that at their age they’ll almost certainly google their names to see if their names are mentioned, so they’ll be sure to stumble across it.

2 rusty { 09.12.10 at 11:47 pm }

It was cute, but I don’t know for how long I want to see formulaic cuteness repeated.

To be honest, it’s not the food they produce that will be interesting, but how they succumb to pressure and how the judges/producers handle it.

3 ruth { 09.13.10 at 12:58 am }

one episode was definitely enough for me! If I want to watch annoying children I can just watch my own. I thought it was really lame the way they got the kids in their little segmentsto say the same lines the adults say in Masterchef. I’m cooking for my life, I’m just going to cook my heart out….
Honestly though, they are great little cooks and very cute but it’s just not very entertaining.
btw – you spelt a name wrong – it’s Tayla, not Taylor. Parents clearly thought cooking was more important than spelling.

4 KC { 09.13.10 at 1:21 am }

I wasn’t actually planning to watch this (I don’t need any more reminders at how much I fail at cooking and especially by kids that are around 10 years younger than me) but I forgot that TAYG switched times and so I ended up watching this with my parents.

I personally quite liked it and thought not only was it cute, but it was really inspiring to see kids so young cook with so much happiness and love. And also, I was open-mouthed everytime they talked about their dish because man…I feel ashamed because they were all so incredible. Its hard to critique these kids because you always have to remember, they’re 12 and younger. I made fairy bread when I was 12 and that was it.

I also cried. I have very loose tear ducts and me and my mum were just happily teary eyed through the whole thing and watching such proud parents smile at their kids. It was just so heart-warming 😀

The only problem I have is that stupid interview thingy they have because kids at 12 aren’t usually very eloquent and the whole process is just jarring and trying to make the competition too adult-like. But I have to agree, once a week basis is enough. Its cute, I’d watch it again, I’ll marvel at the kids for a few more weeks but I don’t think I could watch it everyday like Masterchef.

5 Reality Raver { 09.13.10 at 9:37 am }

Annonymouse – good point I was going to put on my blog post that comments are meant not to be snarky towards the kids. But then again I think most of my readers are classy enough to not go there.

Rusty, Ruth, and KC – what I think will be difficult will be building the tension as they do with the “real” masterchef.

6 seepi { 09.13.10 at 9:49 am }

I watched it by accident too – it was watchable enough.

I actually liked seeing the parents.

Channel 10, hopeless as ever showed the next night’s contestants in the first couple of ad breaks, so it was clear that Clarrie, Sam and sponge cake girl were through.

I just wish they would repeat it one night a week, or a weekend afternoon, so my toddlers can watch without staying up too late.

7 Reality Raver { 09.13.10 at 10:03 am }

Seepi- Snap I agree – I would have liked a 6.30pm start time. But hell it rated 2.2 million last night so they know what they are doing.

8 Paul { 09.13.10 at 10:15 am }

Rated 2.2 million for its debut. Wow !!!!

As for the show – it was okay. Bit too sugary sweet for my liking.

Don’t like the concept of the parents being in the audience at ground level. Stick them up in the peanut gallery if they must be there.

Dare I say it but it just seemed a little contrived to me. Almost as if the judges were intent on convincing us just how good these junior cooks were and not allowing us to make our minds up ourselves.

Don’t know if I will be able to stay the distance but will give it another go next week.

9 Reality Raver { 09.13.10 at 10:29 am }

Paul – Well of course I will stay the distance on it, however it will be interesting to see if the ratings hold.

I get the feeling the X Factor should start to build if the talent is there. Whereas I am not sure how much of a build Jnr Masterchef will have. Is it going to stop during the Commonwealth Games? Or will it continue to play once a week? Hopefully it will screen through.

10 Wurstsemmel { 09.13.10 at 10:37 am }

Kudos to these kids. Any of them can cook better than me (although that’s not saying much). It’s great to see kids interested in cooking and food though.

I don’t buy the psychologist’s comments. I think this is a different kettle of fish to what kids might go through on Wife Swap. I’m sure C10 must have done good psychological screening upfront, have good psychological support in place and when kids did mess up, Gary etc. were very supportive. The parents are there too – good as long as they’re not the pushy type.

Will I continue watching? I don’t think it’s going to hold my attention.

11 ericg { 09.13.10 at 11:07 am }

Indeed the kids can cook and comparing to Season 2’s Kate, she is no where near these little ones’ cooking talent.

But, I don’t think I can follow through the whole season – I don’t like comments made by Garry and George (EVERYTHING is good and great for them – perhaps, they were asked to be all warm and nice? Blah!) last night. And the salt issue? Seriously?! On the plus side, all the judges have been pretty supportive – which I think should be the case. Oh, WHAT about PSTD?

Personally I think the age should range from 11 to 12 so that the cooking talent doesn’t vary. An eleven year old could cope better than a nine year old, having said that, it need not be the case all the time. Channel TEN should only open the competition up for that age group and those a little bit too young, too bad. Try next year or the year after.

12 Culinary Boner { 09.13.10 at 11:44 am }

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, mainly becuase the quality of the cooking was so high. I have to say that some of the dishes looked mouth-watering in both concept and the quality of cooking/presentation, which is something that generally wasn’t the case for me this year with the adult MCA. The young Italian-Aussie girls would be most welcome to open up their restaurant near me (am near Leichhardt) as they’d easily outcook the shite dished up in most of the mediocre Italian joints in the area. That said, the show is a bit saccharine sweet, and needs to be kept to small doses. Hopefully 10 keep it down to just one showing per week at definitely 1 hour, no more.

13 Culinary Boner { 09.13.10 at 11:58 am }

The one moment that had me snigerring, whilst rolling my eyes, was when George predictably dropped outta PC mode and called one of the boys “big fella” or similar, drawing attention to attributes the rest of us noted in polite silence. Hey George, the kid’s more than likely carrying a bit of ‘puppy fat’ that’ll melt away once puberty hits. As opposed to the spare tyres you, Gary and Matt are packin’.

14 CG { 09.13.10 at 12:32 pm }

Too sweet for me. I can see what they are trying to do from a commercial standpoint and I’m sure it will appeal to many families with kids and grannies but it is not for me.

That said, I’m always amazed about how mature some 10-year olds can be. I don’t remember being that poised or skilled or well-spoken at that age!

As for the psychological damage dribble, get real! Kids get picked for teams, win/lose soccer games, swim meets,science fairs, etc. etc. many times over before they are 10-years old. I reckon Ch10 is coddling the kids a little too much but understand that if they didn’t there would be even more psychologist rantings.

15 Fides { 09.13.10 at 1:38 pm }

This might sound like a dumb question, but what is the prize for the winner? Just the title? Prizemoney? I recalled them mentioning that all contestants will get a swag of sponsor products including those cool bouncy knives, but does the winner get anything else?

Also, I found Anna G really irritating. It was like she was trying too hard and talking to the kids like they were five – I thought the Gs were more natural. I’ve never seen her in anything else so perhaps it’s just her usual way. Apart from that the kids were pretty cute – loved their enthusiasm seeing that chocolate fountain and all those glistening dessert ingredients. Reminded me of Heston’s Feasts and the reactions of the diners to his Willy Wonka chocolate waterfall.

Agree with everyone else though, once a week is enough.

16 Paul { 09.13.10 at 1:47 pm }

I’m a big fan of Anna on Foxtel – she comes across really well.

She didn’t seem that different to what she’s usually like last night for what its worth.

17 Culinary Boner { 09.13.10 at 2:48 pm }

Why do Anna’s dimples annoy me so much?
Can’t figure out why, but they do….
…perhaps it’s like Nigella Lawson’s eyes. They used to annoy me too, until I decided to concentrate instead on her tits.

18 seepi { 09.13.10 at 3:21 pm }

On the melted ramekins – what was with that. Were they actually moulds or something? Were they supposed to go in the oven or not?

I am suss of those plastic cake tins, I’m sure they must release chemicals into the food, but everyone seems to be using them.

19 Fides { 09.13.10 at 4:26 pm }

Paul, thanks, I’m sure it’s just a matter of me getting used to Anna. I’m sure if I’d never seen George before last night, I’d be saying what is it with the short bouncy guy who acts like he’s a kid himself. Just glad they didn’t go with Donna Hay. Actually, I think they should have gotten Fiona from MC2 as a guest judge- she would be a hit with the kids. And I think Poh would be good too. Is it right that Callum appears on Junior MC somewhere along the line?

Seepi, I think those plastic moulds must have been for just cold things like jelly/pannacotta. ( Off topic, but the best “free” plastic moulds for the best shaped pannacotta is from one of those microwave sticky date pudding snack packs… I buy the puds just to collect the moulds). Don’t trust these new fangled silicon moulds, though after last night, I almost want a heart shaped mould to make pretty cakes with.

20 Crabtech { 09.13.10 at 6:07 pm }

I thought it was great to see Australia’s Multicultural society reflected on TV unlike what we see on Austalian dramas and soaps.
Is this a spoiler or just a mistype by Stephanie Alexander?
This is from a Facebook Post
“Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation Wow – what an effort – Nick has earned himself a place in Junior MasterChef’s top 12! Way to go Nick! Congratulations to Nick’s family and the whole Kitchen Garden Community at Southmoor PS.”

21 AnonyMousse { 09.13.10 at 8:03 pm }

Fides – yes, there was a brief shot of Callum in the next-weeks-previews video, so he’s there.

22 Reality Raver { 09.13.10 at 9:42 pm }

The prize is $15,000 in a trust fund for first prize, and then cash for second and third

23 Culinary Boner { 09.13.10 at 10:26 pm }

Callum should have useful skincare tips he can pass on to the young ‘uns. And they can show him how to make custard.

24 brain dead dave { 09.14.10 at 5:30 pm }

“I’m cooking for my life” . Whatever kid.

It’s a beauty pageant with food.

25 PollyB { 09.20.10 at 10:13 am }

This is good for the kids, but once again production insulting the audience with the scripted crap . And Anna Gare, didn’t mind her on Australia’s Best or whatever it is called, but she is sooooo condescending to these children. The 3 amigos do a great job with the kids.

26 Andrew { 09.27.10 at 10:34 am }

As someone said above .. this really is just one of those US style kiddie beauty pageants with food. Sure .. it’s shot beautifully and the food looks a treat on the HD plasma .. but the rest is vomit inducing. Where do you start?…Well, the scripted to camera pieces will do..Have they just lifted these lines from the show’s adult version?…..It’s annoying enough when we hear this from drama queen…cry at-the-drop-of-a-hat adults .. but coming from kids .. YOUNG kids .. it’s just creepy….Next: Why bother having judges? .. There’s no judging going on…Anna Gare should stop trying to be the “nice judge”… In her case that would be pronounced(Narss) .. ALL FOUR are already way too gratingly nice………Each judging moment is just another opportunity for the Show’s young parent demographic to swoon and for the rest of us to feel sick.Get rid of the parents from the set too……They seriously detract from any developing drama or conflict. For mine .. JMC is typical of the totalitarian positivity at-all-costs nonsense that’s been force-fed to our society for the past 20 or 30 years .. Don’t say(or think it would seem) anything even mildly critical for that will ruin little “Tayla’s” self-esteem….The coddling at the centre of this negativity is Satan paradigm is on full display here…….I reckon kids aren’t stupid … they know they’re being put on a pedestal and being spared hard truths….and feel as a result like they’re missing out on something .. OR they think I’m going to make the most of these nitwit..fawning adults….(granted..they night not use those words … but you know what I mean) So for goodness snake .. Let Matt be Matt….banish those bloody parents until after their children have been through their ordeal-by-fire……And Anna Gare .. loosen up on the den-mother-thing….AND on your oh-so-precise enuciation .. You can see every muscle in her face pushing out the words as she listens to the sound of her own voice…Which .. I’ve always found to be a stuck-up nasal sounding sort of thing…..My dream pick for a judge …. would be the late Sir Robert Helpmann’s “child catcher” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang……

27 sickly { 10.25.10 at 10:44 pm }

Completely agree with Polly B. I can’t watch it anymore. Anna Gare was OK in the first episode, but she soon go so condescending I feel sick watching it! I wonder who else will google “Junior Masterchef Anna Gare condescending” :)

28 aaaa { 07.08.11 at 9:37 pm }

fuck you all. Assholes

29 Nancy { 02.10.12 at 2:55 pm }

Seriously, the “goody-goody” judges annoy me to no end. Everytime they’re going to taste the kids’ food, they make those “Aah”, “Ooh”, “Yumm” stupid faces… Seriously, what’s the point? What are the judges for? I mean, those kids act and talk like little adults, every move they do (even hugging their winning colleagues) is seriously studied, so why do the judges have to talk like that? Kids really need encouragement, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a mature remark!