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Masterchef Australia – Kumar The Baby Boomers Sex Symbol

Nick the wannabe Russian restaurateur and Dan the accessories designer (ok he may be gay) you are dropped, Kumar is my new Masterchef Australia crush. The 62 year old graphic designer is too too cute.  See I am not always six-pack focused. His wife Sally is going to get very jealous with the huge fan base this guy is going to collect.

Conversely half of the male viewing audience were hoping for Arena from WA to get in the top 24. She is a personal trainer with a rocking body, and her aim is to  open a restaurant and cook with organic ingredients, and make healthy meals. Ironically her Desert Island dish was a chocolate tart.

The challenge for tonight was a Desert Island one. Where the contestants had to cook a dish they would  be happy to eat daily if shipwrecked on an island. They were only allowed to use five ingredients. It must have been five key ingredients as I am sure there were more then five on some plates. Particularly Tom the general manager of a wine store in Sydney.

He made a souffle, a lamb cutlet, and a beetroot, asparagus and goats cheese parcel. Now that must have been more than five as just in the souffle you have dill, cheese, eggs, flour and butter.  Tom’s souffle did not rise because he did not butter the ramekin. A souffle is a risky dish to make as by the time you serve it it will have sunk and it was cold. George did like it however, but thought the vegetable parcel superfluous.

Sydney foodbloggers finally got to see Billy Law who is a web designer by day, and food blogger by night. He blogs at Table For Two.  An interesting strategy of his to wear a hat, as the only other Masterchef contestant who has done that was Chris Badenoch who most people have a negative view of. For Billy’s sake I hope that affectation does not become a liability with the viewing audience.

He cooked twice pork belly with apple slaw and rice cake. Smart dish to do as the judges love fat, and Gary was inhaling the crackling, which won’t do much for his man boobs.

Speaking of Chris Badenoch, Matt the other foodblogger who is from Melbourne reminded me of him as well. It was like he is Chris’s good twin. He cooked Cape Grim Beef with onion rings, truffle and ethical foie gras. Gary questions whether all the truffle and foie gras is worth it. He thought it a very expensive dish. However, he did like his cooking. Matt Preston said “I like the dish, but I question the politics.” He wanted it to be more local.

To be honest it was more of a meal you would eat for your last supper on death row.

John from WA made brownies and garnished it with the top of a pineapple. I am not sure why George Calombaris thought it was so funny putting it on top of his head.

Andrew made a rib eye that looked the size from something from the Flinstones. He served it on celeriac mash. He said he cooked it blue/rare. However it was raw. George said it was not acceptable. No top 24 spot for him.

Seamus made seared tuna with daikon and beetroot. George thought it was fantastic. This guy could be one to watch. Or maybe he just has a talent for undercooking fish.

Kumar who has such a lovely presence made prawns in a coconut curry sauce. This was enough to get him a coveted top 24 apron. I think he will go far.

Danielle made egg yolk ravioli in a rocket pasta. It was a very interesting dish.  Gary loved it, he also liked the texture. She was in.

Sun made poached egg on asparagus, the judges liked it but thought it was a bit simple. However the brief was to cook a dish you could eat for the rest of your life, and quite frankly I would be picking something pretty simple with nice flavours. I suspect fresh sourdough with cheese would not be good enough.

Alana the journalist/actress from Brisbane made soft centred chocolate pudding with raspberry and honeycomb, Matt Preston thought it was the best dish of the day.

Alana has already said in her press kit that she would like her own cooking show. I like her honesty, at least she doesn’t pretend she wants to be a working chef. Guys who think she is good looking will be happy she got through.

The six that got through to the top 24 are:

  • Kumar Pereira, 61, Teacher from Sydney, NSW
  • Arena Dunn, 24, Personal Trainer from Perth, WA
  • Seamus Ashley, 32, Graphic Designer from Melbourne, VIC
  • Alana Lowes, 30, Journalist/Actress from Brisbane, QLD
  • Danielle Dixon, 29, Administration Manager from Brisbane, QLD
  • Billy Law, 34, Food blogger from the Central Coast, NSW




1 Oshada { 05.06.11 at 12:36 am }

I’m very happy that a Sri Lankan has -finally- made an appearance on Masterchef. Hopefully Kumar can make a splash and at least get into the Top 10. On another note, Alana’s chocolate pudding looked great :3

2 EH { 05.06.11 at 12:42 am }

Worth the wait. Tonight is all about Kumar. The end. Heading to bed.

3 Joan { 05.06.11 at 12:49 am }

I loved kumar’s island-themed plating.
Loved the green eggs and ham, it looked great and was fancy yet playful.
Wasn’t impressed with Sun’s egg dish. Too simple, plus it looked like she only used one egg in the end and she put like 10 in the cooker, so she would have had to have tried pretty hard not to have at least one decent one at the end.
I also didn’t like Arena’s chocolate tart – it made my stomach growl.

4 brain dead dave { 05.06.11 at 12:57 am }

There’s a better place I wish George had shoved that pineapple end than on his head.

I’m starting to get the feeling that Sun’s signature dish is a boiled bunny. Similar creepy feelings about the youth worker with the very raw rib eye. Something tells me these deluded desperadoes will go down swinging.

5 AnonyMousse { 05.06.11 at 1:24 am }

Speaking of hats, there was a girl who’s still in the unpicked 24 who was wearing a hat – you (or I, at least) don’t see many women wearing a hat like that, it made for a curious look.

It makes sense that a personal trainer would have a sinfully fattening dish for their ‘have every day’ meal – they’re the only ones who could ever work it off afterwards, after all.

I couldn’t help but notice how photogenic the vast majority of the (picked so far) top 24 are – excluding Kumar, who seems to make up for it with a nice personality. Are we really getting the best cooks they could have picked here, or the ones who look best on screen? Perhaps I’m just underestimating the makeup artists working on this show (if there are any for the contestants) and it’s really their efforts I’m seeing.

Matt’s dish is the sort of thing you occasionally see on Iron Chef, where they break out stupidly expensive food just to seem impressive – I’m surprised he didn’t put some gold flakes on it as well to round out the expense. Preston had a point about getting similar results with far less expensive, but fresher local options.

6 OL { 05.06.11 at 1:25 am }

Go Kumar! Just curious, your link to Billy’s blog A Table For Two isn’t working. And whats with the strikethrough line?

7 littlepetal { 05.06.11 at 7:09 am }

They were asked to cook what they want to eat on the island. Matt may think he may die on the island, so why not something over the top!!! Cost should not be an issue either as the judges didn’t say you have to be aware of the cost.

If they should only use local produces than don’t have imported ingredients.

8 PollyB { 05.06.11 at 7:32 am }

I wouldn’t eat Matt’s dish but I completely agree with littlepetal. The only brief was what you would like to eat. And of course, fresh is best, but if Matt Preston’s politics rule why have those ingredients available? Love Kumar and Billy Law hope they go the distance. I might try Billy’s recipe, yum.
Judges are really getting up my goat. Preston is still grossly fat, and G & G look like squat versions of Scott Cam. Along with the hammy, corny, pantomime antics, these 3 are believing the hype. So busy with their snouts in the trough, literally, they are losing sight of reality around them. Pretty much over this.

9 librarygirl { 05.06.11 at 7:50 am }

Wasn’t pretty Chelsea wearing a hat last night?
Also didn’t series one Sam try a hat early on?

10 Shelsta78 { 05.06.11 at 8:12 am }

Yay! Finally a focus on some of the peeps we hadnt met yet – no lobes and no semi-hot mum (Rachel).

Billy was my fave – it’s the first dish I’ve wanted to cook, but I do really love Malaysian food so it’s probably no surprise.
Danielle – she’s following Matt’s strategy rules – be a character – did you see the outfits when they did her back story? Dedication to the pin-up/rockabilly/roller-derby chic look. I’m pleased she backed it up with good cooking and also stating that she’s been practicing the basics before coming to Syd – at least someone did!
Kumar – very good inclusion.

@RR – they were allowed a set of pantry items as well as their five ingredients which included eggs, flour, butter etc.

11 littlepetal { 05.06.11 at 8:13 am }

Yes, Chelsea is the one with a hat!!!

12 Injera { 05.06.11 at 8:18 am }

Mark me down as another one irritated by Preston’s “I have a problem with this” criticism of Mat’s dish. The brief was: cook something you’d be happy to eat every day. Okay, Mat mightn’t live long and prosper on a daily diet of goose liver and steak, but he’d probably die a very happy man. They weren’t asked to be locavores (even if they were, Mat might have been able to make a case for his “desert island” being close to the coast of Spain… 😉 ) so the fact that it wasn’t sourced from local ingredients should have played no part in the criticism of the dish.

Competitive cooking shows have a tin-ear for concerns over sustainability, anyway. If they want to make a point, state at the beginning of the show that the pantry will only be stocked with local, sustainable ingredients. Otherwise? STFU if somebody uses an ingredient they’ve made available.

/end rant

On a much happier note – KUMAR!!!!!! Did you notice that George was getting stuck into his curry at the kitchen bench? Looked great. Billy’s pork also looked very tasty. Made the cheese-on-toast I had last night seem very feeble.

13 JaniceG { 05.06.11 at 8:47 am }

This might be the first time I completely agreed with the judges’ choices!

As for hats, think maybe that’s really why they got rid of Alby yesterday?

Regarding the egg-yolk ravioli that Danielle made, I’ve been trying to remember the cooking show where I saw it: maybe Great British Menu? (And regarding AnonyMousse’s statement, I think she’s got a great personality but I don’t think I’d count Danielle as being particularly photogenic.)

Finally, I’m bummed because I meant to mention Kumar from the second day of challenges as someone to watch but neglected to do so and now I won’t get points from anyone for my foresight (would testimony from my husband that I mentioned Kumar at the time count? :-> )

14 Ange { 05.06.11 at 8:49 am }

Loved the look of Kumar’s dish – would have loved to have tasted that. Find Sun irritating – even taking into account the criteria for tonight – it was basically just a poached egg on toast. Thought Danielle’s dish looked fabulous – want to eat that too! Think John is doing really well but thought George looked like a complete tosser putting it on his head. Was that really necessary? I know a better place where George should put it!

15 Miss Piggy (MelbaToast) { 05.06.11 at 9:26 am }

CAUTION: Rant Warning…
The comments to Matt really made my blood boil. If MC3 is so freaking concerned about the politics and ethics of food then don’t stock those political food-bombs in your freaking stupid dumb-arse pantry. The very fact that MC3 had white truffle in the pantry hightlights how un-focused they are on the locavoire concept. And don’t tell me that G &G don’t get a boner at the very thought of using these top-notch wanky ingredients (and that Fatts Cravat doesn’t go wild at the thought of bouncing of f his Jenny Craig diet to eat it).
They totally set the contestants up in my view. .

BTW – LOVED Kumar…what a sweet & happy guy. And – go Billy!

16 JaniceG { 05.06.11 at 9:27 am }

Finally, an answer to the “wet floor” mystery from Matt Preston’s Twitter feed (@mattscravat): “The floor is wet to keep down dust from the unpolished concrete floor. Added bonus is that it reflects the lights beautifully.” No comment on O&H potential liability.

17 shez { 05.06.11 at 9:35 am }

I was wondering about how some of them got by with only five key ingredients until I remembered that they had a “basic ingredients pack” allocated to them that included things like eggs, butter, flour, oil, sugar and (from memory I also saw) bottles of lemonade?

Bizarre “basics” but I guess it was used to the advantage of some!

18 Paul { 05.06.11 at 9:40 am }

Saw a couple of potential good looking sorts in the remaining 24 who haven’t gotten any attention as yet.

BTW – Lifesaver guy is always wearing a hat.

19 Culinary Boner { 05.06.11 at 10:29 am }

Thanks for revealing the “reason” for the wet floor, JaniceG. Rather odd logic though. Why not just effing seal the floor?
I guess the added OHS concerns will definitely mean we won’t be seeing Jake for a cameo.

20 EH { 05.06.11 at 11:12 am }

My logic is that the contestant were told about the challenge in advance and they could pick any 5 ingredients they are going to use and MC had to stock them in the pantry. It’s like an open cheque, probably they didn’t think someone would suggest ethical fore gras and white truffles. They probably had to put a stop to it. Hence, the lecture & politics.

21 littlepetal { 05.06.11 at 11:50 am }

Watching the Masterchef Season Promo, you could see who are in Top 24 as they have scenes of challenges with the blue and red aprons!! I knew Kumar and Danielle were in the Top 24 and some others.

From Kumar bio, I think he can cook other dishes and not just curries. Hopefully he will go far. Love Billy and Danielle dishes. Not sure about the chocolate dishes. I think they are easier to cook and usually taste good.

22 sourkraut { 05.06.11 at 1:14 pm }

Great to see Kumar go through although with the judges limited knowledge of curry tasting it was probably a minor Murkle.

When asked a stupid question about the meal he prepared I was waiting for Matt to give a snappy answer along the lines of:
“I misheard the brief, I thought I was supposed to be cooking a meal for Bear Grylls to eat on a Dessert (ha ha ) island. BTW My piles are much better today thank you for asking”

23 Heléna { 05.06.11 at 2:09 pm }

given all the fous on Alex I wa surprised we barely saw him and didn’t see his dish at all – it has been great the last two days hearing more about the other contestants

24 Phuoc'n Delicious { 05.06.11 at 2:25 pm }

Besides Billy, I’m going for Kumar as well! He looks like a really nice and honest guy :) This plating of his dish imo was outstanding! Great use of prob and ingredients to highlight show off his dish.

I really liked the episode, I think it showed everyone’s potential in the kitchen! But Sun…? Get her off already! Wasn’t the brief also to show the judges that you belong in the top 24? Sadly her dish doesn’t show much besides she can use a water bath to cook eggs.. Just saying.

25 Sooty { 05.06.11 at 2:29 pm }

Yeah, I’ll second that. Thank God Alex has been put in the back ground for a couple of eps (in my fantasy, MC editors are reading this blog and hastily editing footage of him out!). I feel fondly towards him now he’s not shoved in my face every few seconds.

I am so happy Kumar got through, too – someone who can cook and speak in sentences, and can express his aspirations in ways other than, ‘It’s my dream! I’ve never felt so alive!’ etc.

A lot of the people featured on the fishing boat ep also seem reasonably nice to have on the screen over the coming weeks and months too. What a relief. Wonder why they put all the screamers on in the first couple of eps?

26 Dakota { 05.06.11 at 4:29 pm }

On a completely random note, as a 26yo Male in Bris, I have to confess to being slightly devastated that Nick doesn’t seem to play for my team as I seriously can’t get past how hot he is, especially his eyes 😛 – not as into Dan as you might be RR but he’s still cute. Nick’s def fulfilling my Matt (Season 2 hottie) role for the season 😛 hehe. Go Kumar & Danielle (that’s the chick from the mechanic family with the great dress sense right? Love her!)

27 davsimp { 05.06.11 at 4:44 pm }

I will be happy when they finish wittling them down to the top 24. It’s still a bit hard to keep track of everyone at the moment. As others have mentioned here it was great to see some other contestants getting camera time and the lobernator didnt even get a look in last night which was a good thing. Thinking Seamus and Kumar could go a long way here, both very likeable and both can cook.

Dakota, Nick reminds me of a young Pete Evans.

28 AnnyB { 05.06.11 at 4:56 pm }

Did anyone notice the first mention of “my mother’s recipe”?

29 Injera { 05.06.11 at 5:55 pm }

AnnyB – I’m both disappointed and relieved that I didn’t. Disappointed, because it *is* part of my drinking game and I could have done with a drink. Relieved, because I might not have resisted the temptation to chuck something at the telly.

30 EH { 05.06.11 at 7:31 pm }

AnnyB & Injera – I did and I was wondering why no one brought up this topic. lol

31 Reality Raver { 05.06.11 at 10:23 pm }

Thanks for the comments everyone and insightful and funny at the same time.
AnnyB and EH – enlightened us and tell us who said “my mother’s recipe” please.

Paul – i know that Hayden has been put in as the top 24 spunk, but to me he looks like a too. Maybe I am just anti-hat!

Janice G – Thanks for the update on the floor. It is not just damp it is saturated.

Sooty – what did Alex cook obviously not anything to merit any attention.

Obviously they are told in advance so the ingredients can be brought in. A bit like the pigs head that Chris Badenoch did in Season 1

Oh and the cult of Kumar has started. Bring it on as far as I say.

32 AnnyB { 05.06.11 at 10:50 pm }

RR, it was Billy, but he actually thought his was better.

33 JaniceG { 05.08.11 at 5:31 pm }

RR, actually, my husband says that the warehouse on Cockatoo Island is probably impossible to completely seal off from the elements and that the wet floors are more likely due to rain they can’t keep out than any cool camera effect they want!

34 Textildruck { 02.13.14 at 5:29 am }

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