Masterchef – the dish that changed your life
As RR noted in her post earlier today, the top 24 – having not had time to even set properly – underwent a change prior to getting into the Masterchef kitchen. Paul the RAAF pilot was “reassigned”, so the wildcard went to Alex. Matt Moran delivered the news to him in person, telling him that he was chosen because of his “enthusiasm and passion”, but to me it seems like swapping one WA contestant for another.
The slightly-reconfigured 24 arrive at the Masterchef kitchen and we’re introduced to them, since we really didn’t see many of them at all last week. It feels like the first episode of the season all over again. The Vespa in front of the kitchen is now a big red motorbike, so Alex jumps onto it and pretends to RRRRRREV to remind me how much of a tosser I think he is. Welcome back, Lobes.
As the 24 wander around the Masterchef kitchen, Jay decides he wants to start cooking. He heads into the pantry, followed by a few others, and they choose some ingredients to start cooking. Nobody has noticed that the clock is ticking down, and why should they? It’s not as though this is really going to be “cook whatever you want” challenge, right?
Suddenly, the judges walk out onto the balcony (from the toilet, Callum suggested in a tweet during the show). Matt reminds the top 24 that they are, well, the top 24 and that they are the best amateur cooks in the country. And I thought they were going to stop such ridiculous hyperbole! Three days ago, Alex wasn’t even one of the top 24 cooks on Cockatoo Island.
George finally gets around to telling the 24 that they are to cook the dish that changed their life, and Hayden knows what he is going to cook straight away, and (more importantly) he even knows the story behind it. Gary tells them that there is no elimination today and my interest wanes immediately. Those who were already demonstrating their “passion” by cooking when the judges emerged will get 90 minutes. The rest will get 80 minutes.
George is “nervous” to hear that Alex is making another risotto, but since there’s nothing at stake, I’m not sure why. We hear the life-changing backstories from the competitors and family and travel dominate. At least, amongst those we see. Time is finally up and Matt tells the contestants that they have done fantastically well! Might as well turn off now, then. I like at least one disaster per episode.
Tasting (some of the) dishes
- Kate’s coffee cake “story is great”, says Gary [to summarise, she made it as a kid and pretended to be a TV chef while she did]. Prospective contestants, put away your knife sharpeners and start pinning down your narrative. Cooking competition? Next door, on your right.
- Alex’s risotto is too salty. Why is he there again? He got through to the top 50 on a risotto and hasn’t demonstrated to my satisfaction that he can cook anything else. Seems he can only occasionally cook a successful risotto, too.
- George loves Jay’s lamb and veg, which is just as well for Jay, who always seems on the verge of a complete loss of confidence.
- Chelsea’s salad is assessed as “delicious, good, great” and “one of the best dishes of the day so far”.
- I agree with Hayden that moules frites goes well with beer, but possibly not a Pure Blonde. The sponsor will obviously disagree. Matt says he’s “brought finesse to peasant food” and Gary is also a fan.
- Billy fails one of StratMatt’s rules when he admitted to Matt that he hasn’t cooked to the brief, rather has chosen the ingredient that changed his life. This is worthy of a fireball, but after the ad-break he recovers to explain that the pork belly that was named “dish of the day” in the desert island challenge was the dish that changed his life. This is a pretty good save as it reminds the judges of something they loved and takes the focus away from him fudging the brief.
- Michael’s black pudding ravioli was praised for it’s “aligance” (thanks, Zoe!) but George didn’t like the “borled” flavour.
- Dani’s bun cha is a hit, taking Matt back to the streets of Hanoi. She is justifiably happy.
The rest? Eh, who cares, we’re only down to the top 24. What, you want to see what the cello guy cooked or something?
The three top dishes belonged to Billy, Hayden and Kate. Hayden will cook off for immunity tomorrow and Alex will get to cheer from the balcony. Hopefully for the last time!