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Masterchef Australia – If It Is Year Of The Bogan Where Were The Rissoles?

The show that stops a nation Masterchef Australia started tonight and it really started off with a bang with the inaugural Julie Goodwin mystery box.

No the Season One winner  was not in the box that was choppered to the top 50 at Cockatoo Island but the basic pantry ingredients in it must have been a ode to Julie’s home cooking style.

The mystery box  had potatoes, onions, mint, peas, garlic, lemons, beef mince and bacon.

“Take these ingredients to make something extraordinary,” said Matt Preston.

However if it is true what Matt Preston has been saying in pre-masterchef interviews that this was the year of the bogan, why didn’t anyone make rissoles?

We had all sorts of meatballs including bad baby meatballs, as well as a couple of stuffed tomatoes, and some meals where it was impossible to tell what they were.

In the mystery box challenge the ten least impressive dishes  will see cooks in an elimination challenge, and in that challenge five will go home. This confirms Matt’s  guest blog post theory that you don’t have to be the best, you just have to avoid being the worst to continue in the competition.

The person with the top dish should be automatically put into the top 24 in my opinion.

Alana a freelance journo from Brisbane wants to be a food writer (well at least she is honest about why she is on the show) made a stuffed tomato with peas. George thought it was a cracker dish. Matt was only going to describe the dish in one word said it was “Very good” . Thankfully his palate is better then his maths.

Also Jay  a car sales manager who was in the top 50 in first season showed he had been watching cooking reality TV shows since series one, and he wanted to showcase his pasta. He made ravioli stuffed with mushroom and garlic, with a tomato consomme. Unfortunately for him the pasta was a disaster. However I would query the only ingredients he showcased from the mystery box was the tomato and garlic.

Sarah with five kids from Qld, made a galette and it was called “ok effort” but that landed her in the elimination challenge, as did Rachel from WA with her dry beef bites.

Kate a mother of three cooked a flatbread kofta with tomato and mint salsa got the judges excited and exhilarated by it.

I wondered how she got so much flavour into her dish as one of the contestants said no herbs and spices were allowed to be used.

Alex who is a machinist from WA, should have been sent home for his raw meat balls on mash potatoes. It was almost as bad as Season Two’s chicken dish by Kate.

Kate, Alana, Peter and Michael W cooked the best dishes. And they get kudos only, not even one of the sponsors Sunbeam mixers as a prize.

Alex, Tony, Nathan, Sun, Greg, Di, Michael, Andrew, Rachel,and Sarah were to battle it out in the elimination challenge.

The producers were clearly trying to mind fuck these contestants by bringing in Adriano Zumbo for this challenge. Would it be the V8 cake, the croquembouche or a macaroon tower? No it was just a chocolate challenge.

And this gave George the opportunity to imitate his idol Forrest Gump and say “Masterchef is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get…” .

Points to Sarah for being the first contestant to have tears onscreen this season.

But wow doesn’t she have the touch of the crazies about her. She carries her lucky cock around. No it is not some Heston Blummenthal food type vibrator but a ceramic tasweigan, portuguese lucky cock.

Gary Mehigan nearly had to amputate his tongue to not say something lippy back to her.

The lucky cock broke when she went arse over tit, and Gary and George were not volunteering to fill the breach for once. OK they did try and glue it. But she was cursed her chocolate granache was undercooked and she was eliminated.

Sun appears to be following the My Kitchen Rules philosophy of when you are under pressure  make something you have never made before, and she went one further she doesn’t even eat chocolate ice cream.

But there must have been other dogs of desserts as Sun’s ice cream was nowhere near set and she was safe.

Andrew made chocolate bread and butter pudding with blueberries, with a chocolate cigar. George thought they were both fantastic.

Dai made puff pastry with creme pastisserie and rose water granita. The dish was a disaster. Matt asked if she made the pastry. Because the rule on masterchef is you will be looked at with disdain if you don’t make everything yourself  except stock.

Alex chocolate and pear creme brulee was a hit with the judges but we knew he would get through as Masterchef preview editors have already started off where they left off last year by  giving away what is going to happen in the previews, with all showing that Alex was safe.

Rachel the likeable Admin assistant from WA was either  having a pre-menopausal hot flush or she just excited to standing next to Adriano Zumbo as she was very red in the face. But at least she delivered with her brownie.

The five eliminated were Michael, Dai, Tony, Sarah and Nathan.

It was a good first episode, and actually delivered on all the pre-season hype. Your thoughts?


1 Shelsta78 { 05.01.11 at 11:32 pm }

I have to say, I’ve never seen so many dishes that looked like different forms of poo in that Zumbo challenge.

Also – Sarah’s lucky ‘Cock’ didn’t tell her how to pronounce Ganache – unless the pudding was made of red wine (Grenache), which would have been weird.

Love it – can’t wait for next ep props on the fast typing RR

2 brain dead dave { 05.01.11 at 11:33 pm }

The Ma$terchef judges “core promise” that this year it “will be all about the cooking” didn’t even hold for the first episode. Earhole Alex serves uncooked meat and gets through. Okay , he redeemed himself with his second dish…but that’s no comfort if you’re dead after the first.

3 AngelSG86 { 05.01.11 at 11:58 pm }

No one seemed to pick up on the fact that Andrew’s “bread and butter pudding” looked like it was basically a rip-off of Callum’s croissant pudding that he made in France last year, and was then replicated in Junior Masterchef. He definitely mentioned several times that he was using croissant, not bread.

Yeah, as soon as Alex was in the bottom 10, I knew he was safe because we have seen him cook at least 2 more dishes (cake and fish). We’ve also seen a lot of other contestants in the promos but I can’t remember who was who now (ie who was the one with the big steak, or who gushed over Nigella etc). And its also hard to tell how far along those challenges are. They could all be this week.

4 David Mackie { 05.02.11 at 12:13 am }

Nice job covering Episode 1. Wonder if I need to watch if I read here … Again good job I enjoyed the read.

5 davsimp { 05.02.11 at 12:16 am }

Laughing my arse off here at bringing out the Zumbo on day one to help sort the shit from the clay. But on a more sombre note, there is nothing like a damaged cock to end the night on a downer :-(

6 brain dead dave { 05.02.11 at 12:22 am }

(Contains spoiler for WA)

Speaking of damaged cockheads,the night can not end on a bigger downer than Karl Stefanovic winning a Gold Logie……..Just not right.

7 Reality Raver { 05.02.11 at 12:27 am }

BDD – Oh great analogy on the Logie winner. The meatballs were atrocious.

Shelsta78 – thank you for pointing out the difference I thought it was a bit strange. Is ganache a fancy name for fondant?

AngelSC86 – that is the problem with so many promos it is hard keep spoilers out.

davisimp – LOL particularly if they talk it up.

David Mackie – thanks

8 anonymice { 05.02.11 at 12:32 am }

The best part of today’s episode was in the intro, where “the mother of all mystery boxes” is about to land:

JAY: “I have no idea what’s in this giant box”
TANJA: “Someone thought it might be Donna Hay!”
NICK: “We thought there is a live cow in there somewhere.”

I’ll leave this to the imagination…all I can say is …BRILLIANT EDITING (or lack of)

9 CG { 05.02.11 at 1:55 am }

Thanks, RR. I’m out of country and in a geo-block zone for the next month so I’m counting on your updates.

I’m trying to figure out what type/demo winner the producers and sponsors will be “targeting” for the win in Season 3.

Julie kinda took care of the female, bogan, whitebread regional Australia demo.

Adam, male, educated, inner-city, ethnic cool demo.

Need to give it more thought. A purely geographic play might be the game plan. Will have to try and have a close look at WA contestants.


10 AnonyMousse { 05.02.11 at 3:19 am }

Being the first of the top 50 to be eliminated isn’t as bad as being the first to be eliminated AND also apparently being considered so boring they avoided showing any of your interviews – that would be a lot worse. At least Dai and Sarah got enough screen time to show their personalities before they were booted. A couple of the others weren’t so lucky.

I also have a bad feeling that x (number of episodes Rachel is in) is going to be vastly larger than y (number of episodes before Rachel starts to grate on me).

11 brain dead dave { 05.02.11 at 3:44 am }

The guy with the curly Human League haircut the and nose ring. Surely he’s got to be an escapee from Conviction Kitchen. What’s his signature dish? Bread and water? Smoked Salmonella?

12 littlepetal { 05.02.11 at 7:01 am }

I thought they say no more tears and Sun is already nervous and teary from Day 1.

13 Injera { 05.02.11 at 7:56 am }

Matt’s been on twitter to defend his “one word: very good” with the hashtag msg2thosepplwhocantspotanobviousjoke. It would have been better for him to ignore it, as I think it was more flattering to him that we thought his wit was sharper than lame “dad jokes”. Ah, well, lower your expectations, folks.

I loved the piece of editing that cut from Lobes’ raw meatballs to a forlorn seagull that seemed to be squawking “not even I’m going to touch that one…”.

There were lots of contestants and dishes we didn’t see – Billy and Matt, the bloggers are two I was looking out for in particular. I did think I saw someone prepping what looked to be a tartare, which I thought was courageous, but perhaps that was just Lobes getting his meatballs ready for not-cooking.

Littlepetal – agree on the tears. The coq lady was also in tears after round one, and I think there were more.

14 JaniceG { 05.02.11 at 7:58 am }

I agree about Alex – one of my favorite moments in the outdoor cooking segment was his wondering why his potatoes were taking so long to cook, and then a shot of him trying to boil large potatoes still with the skin on whole in the pot! Duh! My cooking skills aren’t even remotely close to MC standards but even I know to cut potatoes into chunks before boiling them! I wonder how long he’ll last. Ditto Jay, whom I thought was going straight into the bottom 10 until they started calling names and showing the other disasters. (My favorite was the guy who dumped browned meat into lettuce leaves and called it a MC dish.)

Previews showing passed contestants really annoyed me last season and as you note, it’s continuing on this season, as are the blatantly obvious and redundant interview comments ([Contestant falling on to floor] Contestant interview: “And then she fell on the floor!”)

15 Fides { 05.02.11 at 8:34 am }

It looked like Alex was taking tips from Callum and the way he tried to cook that giant dirty spud in a mystery box last year. Also, why didn’t he should just flatten his meatballs into rissoles when he knew they weren’t going to cook in time? At least then the judges could have tasted it.

Did anyone else think the beef bites just looked like dog food? Just needed to dehydrate a little more and my dogs would have thought they were Tender Chunks (semi squishy dry dog food from the 80s). Or maybe just Dry Chunks the way hers turned out. But Supercoat Beef Bites sounds about right.

And why was much of the floor in warehouse for the Zumbo challenge so wet? Is that why Sarah slipped? No OHS rules apply?

16 EH { 05.02.11 at 9:31 am }

This 1st episode didn’t wow me as much as last season. I was so motivated & didmake a pavlova the day after the 1st episode aired last year. I didn’t have the urge to want to make anything chocolatey this year though.

My guess is they are going to pick a young & driven female from either WA or QLD as the winner this year. Similar to Poh, Marion type. I have spotted two potentials, Alanah & the ‘Poh’ look-alike.

Looks like they are going to stick to last year format, only to show the best and worst dishes. I hope they do show all the dishes even if it’s only a few seconds.

Thanks RR for getting the recap done so quickly :) Love it!

17 JaniceG { 05.02.11 at 9:35 am }

@AngelSG86: Andrew might have taken the idea for the pudding from others but he still came up with a solution and executed it under pressure, which I think is a big part of what they’re looking for. Doubt the other contestants had completely original recipes either, we just don’t happen to know their sources like we do MC recipes!

18 Maz { 05.02.11 at 9:46 am }

Perhaps the desserts were not worse than Sun (aka Claire 2.0) but it was an effective means of eliminating the least photogenic contestants (will not make reference to the missed opportunity of Reality Star Biggest Loser).

Agree, Fides re the OHS issues and wet floor.

CG-I think they are aiming for either a WA or QLD winner. (Also there are stratums of bogan)

19 Paul { 05.02.11 at 9:56 am }

Okay – firstly can everyone with their conspiracy theories get their predictions out of the way now so we can refer back to them during the series.
My conspiracy theory is. There is no conspiracy !!!!!

Secondly, some of the contestants should have taken some strategy tips from Matt. Why on earth would you try and make your own pasta ?
The goal is not to get eliminated. Not to impress. Making the best dish gets you nothing.

Thought the first part was a bit ‘meh’ but did like the chocolate challenge. To be honest, if I was told I couldn’t make mousse, cake or brownies and had no recipe book to refer to – I would have been completely stuck with what to do.

20 Anonymous { 05.02.11 at 10:04 am }

As for one of the contestants last night supposedly copying one of Callum’s dishes in series 2, let’s not forget that Callum himself was the master at copying in series2.

21 PollyB { 05.02.11 at 10:04 am }

This was as boring as bat … I ffwd 14 mins out of the first 23 mins. Plus heaps throughout the show. The 3 amigos are just the same, all corn, George raving over a stuffed tomato, Gary setting up Rachael re her brownie, only for Zumbo to like it. And, manufacturing some ‘suspense’ by bringing Zumbo in to reveal … chocolate. Same old, same old. I’m not interested in their personal lives, so at least spare me until we are down to the last 24. I’ve had enough of Sun already. Is she the new Claire? Red curls, going the hard road, teary. Bah. And Rachel looks liked a faired haired Marion. And yes, due to the previews we also know surfer boy is around until the scone test at least.
As other’s point out – the B&B pud was Callum’s and OHS legislation is no biggie in NSW. Loved the seagull!
Having said all that, I will be recording each ep hoping it will get better with less contestants remaining.
BDD – totally agree re Stefanovic. And WTF was Julie Goodwin doing at the Logies, with Ch 10? Why was she needed, MMmmat Moran was there!

22 Paul { 05.02.11 at 10:12 am }

Rated 1.57 million last night.

Slightly down on last season but not horribly so. Logies may have stolen some of the audience and MC is one of those shows that slowly grows its audience over time.

23 Culinary Boner { 05.02.11 at 11:14 am }

Quote of the night, if I heard it right … amazonian earhole hipster dude stumping up chef’s big black salty (uncooked) balls –
“that’s not me on the plate”…[*voice in my head*, “just place an undercooked sausage in between ’em and you’ll be right sunshine”}

24 SaintsDeano { 05.02.11 at 12:10 pm }

That was a tragedy for twitter that Sarah didn’t get through. She was entertaining. It’s not all about the cooking as RR has stated. I believe it’s about entertainment.
Could the ingredients have been more basic? Was surprised that nobody plated up gruel.
 How did Alex survive with 2 meatballs? Even the seagull was laughing. I would say he survived for entertainment value.
What’s with multiple hashtags? Last year, everyone used #MasterChef on twitter.

25 skye { 05.02.11 at 12:23 pm }

We thought it was pretty entertaining, enough so that we were groaning at the sight of the dreaded Fireball to the ad break. Alana and Rachel are shaping up to be my early irritants, Alana has villain potential, and Rachel is like a more telegenic Julie – can see the WW rubbing their hands with glee over her. Bleurgh. Sarah was clearly nutty as a fruit cake, I think it was good she went, I hate those fragile types in reality shows, it makes me uncomfortable to watch them. The sweaty youthworker guy is also giving me the heebie jeebies for some reason, reeking of desperation as someone said above.

The food in the mystery box really looked dreadful, including the stuff they gushed over, and it was very clear that the final tasting was not what they were going on for the judging, but rather the tasting they do during the cooking stage.

26 sourkraut { 05.02.11 at 1:34 pm }

For the first ep 1.5 M viewers is not much considering the poo it was up against, i mean who in their right minds watches the logies?
My conspiracy theory…. none yet as they all seem pretty amatcha, give it time, its bound to develop!
Without someone to barrack for and with all the stuff-ups the ep was PRETTY BORING. dunno if I’ll bother investing the time and emotion for this series.

27 brain dead dave { 05.02.11 at 1:48 pm }

Polly B,this might be hard to believe but I think Julie Goodwin was actually nominated for a Logie.

28 Injera { 05.02.11 at 1:50 pm }

BDD – Nooooooooooo! Say it ain’t so!!! Or, at least, tell us what category. Most asinine cooking show? Egregious product placement? Profusion of sweating?

29 PollyB { 05.02.11 at 2:02 pm }

OMFG she was, for most pop new female talent!!! Faaaaaarck, I’m in complete shock. Who would do this? She must have been on Ch 9 table then, yes? Poh was nominated too, that I can understand. Chrissie Swan won this one.

30 picnic { 05.02.11 at 2:03 pm }

Does anyone know anything about Sun? I am sure she has been on a reality show a long time ago – maybe an obscure one. Her name and face are very familiar!

31 brain dead dave { 05.02.11 at 2:14 pm }

Injera, I’m not 110% sure but seem to recall it was “Most Outstanding New Talent “,which was the same cheeseball category that Matt Preston won his Gold Logie for. Julie’s probably punching above her weight…if that’s possible. Her true category would be Most Repulsive Personality On Morning TV.

Sourkraut’s right that nobody in their right minds watches the Logies. I had the mute on for 99% of it but did listen to Hamish and Andy absolutely die interviewing Kate Perry. What a pair of dickheads.

Having watched Biggest Loser / Ma$terchef/ Logies that must have been one of the worst night’s viewing ever broadcast in this country.

Ma$terchef of course won a Logie for Best Reality TV Show,yet the judges and contestants smoke blow it as a “competition”. That’s like calling a generic meatball a “dry as a dead dog’s ar$e beef bite”.

I think Alana will go a long way,because both Gary and George think she’s hot.

32 kingfisher { 05.02.11 at 2:17 pm }

i have been waiting yonks for the next series and it’s the same old story for mc interviewing cooks who will be kicked out or just missing the cut . i want to see about 25 contestants at the start of a series so you can get to see what and how they cook . i remember last year this guy made it to the last 25 and he got no air time , i didn’t even know his name or what he cooked and please tell gary to stop trying to be cool “gimme a high 5” everytime he likes a meal .anyway lets see how this show pans out . kingfisher

33 PollyB { 05.02.11 at 2:20 pm }

picnic, it’s Claire Bear, from MC 2. She has shrunk, due to the overbearing load of drivel she lugs around, and porked up. All this is such a burden that she doesn’t bother grooming her hair, but has changed her name to Sun to bring some brightness to her bland, boringness.

34 Injera { 05.02.11 at 2:23 pm }

You said it, Kingfisher. And… that high five! So lame.

35 Miss Piggy (MelbaToast) { 05.02.11 at 3:04 pm }

I really wanted to see what all of the contestants cooked – well, at least fellow food blogger Billy cooked.

Seriously, if earlobes can’t think to chop his tatters up before boiling them he should be sent home for dumb crimes against food. Even I know that and my mash mostly comes out of a Deb packet.

I was interested that they wheeled Zumbo out in the first episode – they must have some big names planned for later in the series.

And agree re the wet floor – no wonder the lucky cock went arse over coq.

36 picnic { 05.02.11 at 4:38 pm }

Polly B, she does have a resemblance to Claire and I like your theory but she has been on something I am sure (and I don’t mean drugs)

I am surprised that there haven’t been more falls – was a classic

And on an infection control note – how come they don’t have to tie their hair back? My husband works for a company that makes aluminum trays and they have to wear hair nets and they aren’t anywhere near the food. Also, we have another sweaty cook, dripping sweat in the food

37 Culinary Boner { 05.02.11 at 4:43 pm }

Raver, I’m a bit worried Freemantle haven’t been doing enough research to properly boganise this year’s shows.

In this arvo’s cyberbludging I was drawn to many of the excellent suggestions in the following list – – not all of which involve food, mind you. But they would add immensely to my viewing. Especially, the following list items: #21 Massive Cans (I think I may have misinterpreted this though), #223 Meat Lovers Pizzas, #191 Angus Beef, #169 Mild Curries, #19 Killing Things…must admit though I was too afraid to click on #124 Anal. C’mon Freemantle get with the program and give us some #145 Hot Asian Chicks and a Chris Badenoch type beer challenge featuring #23 Locally Produced, Foreign Label Beer.

38 sourkraut { 05.02.11 at 5:30 pm }

Under killing things I aaume it means hijacking a tank to go venison hunting, but the dressing of the “meat” remaining may be problematic. Perhaps the beer challenge at the same time, with lots of sampling would enhance the Hunt, maybe even to the extent of strategically eliminating some of the contestants. NOW THERE”S A REALITY SHOW WITH BALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seeya round… like a rissole

39 Kaylen { 05.02.11 at 5:57 pm }

I don’t know. Seemed slightly contrived this first episode, so far. For me at least. I hope that it doesn’t continue like this.

Also, re: the flatbread kofta from the first challenge. The one that got in the top four?

Did anyone else notice that Gary and Matt was super-excited about trying it, running up to George before he (or anyone else) had tried it, going “Gimme, gimme, gimme!” and acting as it was the best thing ever.

Before anyone had even tried it?

I mean, what if it was bad, or awful? After that performance, you can’t really back away from the “excellent” attitude they had going on.

Makes me wonder…. and question the validity of the competition.

As I said: contrived.

40 AnonyMousse { 05.02.11 at 7:17 pm }

Chances are they tried the flatbread while it was being cooked when the hosts were walking around, Kaylen, so it’s not unreasonable that they may know that some of the dishes are better than others before they get to the judging table.

41 smauge { 05.02.11 at 8:12 pm }

Haven’t got time to wade through 40 comments because ep2 has started. But I want to see Alex though, coz I think he’s nice eye candy, and Rachel coz she shares my Zumbo infatuation. I’m pretty sure that’s how I acted when I met him.

42 red { 05.03.11 at 12:19 pm }

I think George got excited about the kofta because he recognised that it was his recipe from one of the master classes last year, with some salsa whacked on top!

43 Clever Pumpkin { 05.03.11 at 3:36 pm }

Something seriously wrong with someone who doesn’t like chocolate ice cream. Seriously.

44 Alyce { 05.05.11 at 5:01 pm }

I hope no one watches masterchef this year so that it gets cancelled. Seriously, why is it on every night during the week? I watched the first two series but can’t bring myself to watch this one. The ads showing snippets of masterchef trying to get people to watch is enough to make me not want to watch it. I can’t stand the way the judges talk about food and how ‘passionate’ they are about it. Nothing wrong with loving what you do but…it’s just food stop gushing over it like it’s going to save the world and the contestants are going on a ‘journey’.

45 smauge { 05.06.11 at 7:40 am }

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being passionate about what you do. We should all be so lucky. I don’t share you annoyance I’m afraid. This season looks to be just as good as previous and I can’t see ratings drop dramatically enough for cancellation.
Time for you to activate the off button on your remote!