Masterchef – Gary can add up in fives
A recap of the Mean Fiddler is followed by a quick preview of tonight’s action: “You can cook whatever you like” says Moran. Such a pity Alex isn’t here to cook another risotto.
Credits. Oh, Tom, you look so happy dancing in your grapes. I hope you are in a better place now…
We open on breakfast. Hayden smoothies it up in a blender that is placed next to an Australian flag. “I think it’s pretty clear where our team was let down last night” says Jay. “Boom” says the soundtrack. “Zoom in on Mat, on MAT!” Screams the editor. Mat looks up, startled.
The black aprons of doom are donned, and the men walk into the kitchen. “It looks like we’re cooking together, which is good. We came here to cook.” Oh, Peter, that schtick is tired.
Kate and her perkily? Rising? Tone? Tells us that they are having lunch? At the Manly? Pavillion? Sun thinks it is amazing that they are getting a private masterclass on risotto. I think it’s amazing that, when you can watch a risotto being demonstrated at any given time on one of the many food shows, our contestants remain clueless about a dish that is, essentially “rice. And stock.” The blue aprons all take notes, but Kate’s perkiness turns to gloom as she interviews that, as fabulous as this reward is, they know a head is on the chopping block back in the kitchen. I guess they are all hoping that it’s one of the many men we don’t really know yet.
Gary admires Hayden’s “gorgeous” immunity pin (Mrs Gary, you’d better start dropping some fairly specific hints for your anniversary or you might be disappointed in your present), which Hayden refuses to relinquish. (“What, are you kidding? Waste it against these schmoes?” seems to be his thinking here. Wise.) We finally get around to what the challenge is. All cook in round one. Those “failing to impress” cook again in round two. Round three is “the decider”. The “whatever you like” covers all three rounds, but Gary tells them there is a restriction. Ten minutes. Peter looks for somewhere to chuck, and the judges might want to take note for later, if the reaction shots we saw in last night’s previews are anything to go by. “Ten minutes. Sigh of relief.” Mat is giving us a show of bravado, or he’s just wanting this over as quickly as possible.
It’s all on in the pantry as the men jostle for ingredients. Lots of the voiceover is about how short ten minutes really is, but I’m wondering whether these are ten real world minutes, or ten Gary minutes. Seamus is doing sashimi, which seems like a fairly reasonable thing to do. Mat is doing steak tartare, which suggests he has a sense of humour. Gary and Moran are immune to that, and merely comment “interesting. He’s got steak there.”
Jay is happy with his execution, and – if he goes today – I will be, too. I’ve just recently found him to be seriously annoying. Mat’s egg yolk splits and he’s embarrassed about his plate. Michael is finished, but – in homage to the Dude – he is missing that crucial element that pulls it all together and runs off to find some lemon.
- Jay – scallop on chorizo with pine nuts. Gary thinks it needs a punch. So does Moran.
- Billy – panfried prawns with pickled cucumber. Not cooked.
- Kumar – some sort of salad. Doesn’t do it for Moran.
- Michael – salmon tartare. “Oooooh” sighs Gary. Michael’s through for sure.
- Seamus – sashimi with grated daikon. “It’s very, very simple, isn’t it.” Unspoken: And Not In A Good Way.
- Peter – raw prawns. “Bring on round two.”
- Andrew – enoki omelette. Good flavours but Gary thinks an omelette needed to be perfect.
- Hayden – scampi gets the nod.
- Craig – warm fruit salad, which seems to get approval.
- Adam – who? Open sandwich gets the nod. But seriously, who is Adam?
- Mat – tiny, tiny portion of steak tartare. Inedible. He is gutted to have served Moran “such a pile of crap”.
Round two contestants
Peter, Mat, Seamus, Kumar, Billy, Andrew
This round, fifteen minutes. The bottom two will go into the deciding round. At this stage I’m picking that Seamus will be going home tonight, only because he’s had the least camera time of any of this six.
Billy’s decided to make the same dish as round one, but with a few changes. Hopefully one of those changes will be to make it edible. Seamus is cooking, for a change, and Mat is working with lamb cutlets. Gary, counting down, demonstrates his ignorance of Groundhog Day. Then he and Moran stand behind Mat talking about how disgusting his lamb will be because the pan is too hot. Mat, to his credit, doesn’t turn around and brain one or both of them with said pan. Hopefully he turns the heat down a tad, in deference to StratMatt’s “Nice judge, niiiiiiiice judge” rule. Andrew’s confidence is returning with his sardines.
- Billy – deep fried prawns in coconut. Yum. “Basis of a GREAT dish there!”
- Seamus – snapper, snow pea and asparagus stir fry. He commits the sin of telling the judges that he’s not happy and burned the aromats, so chucked them. “Nice snow peas,” deadpans Moran
- Mat – parmesan crusted lamb cutlets with preserved lemon, spinach and asparagus. “Very dark” says Gary, who had already decided he doesn’t like the dish. Moran concedes that the lamb is well cooked.
- Peter – Thai salad of salmon and green apple. “Kick of heat” says Gary. “Perfectly cooked” salmon, is Moran’s judgement
- Kumar – pan-fried prawns. Gary makes an awful face and spits something out. A huge lump of ginger. Perhaps he could have shared with Seamus.
- Andrew – prosciutto-wrapped sardines. Gary wants to know how to eat it. Moran equates it to getting an un-shucked plate of oysters. Andrew is about to dissolve into a puddle of inadequacy. “Yuck” – Moran is looking desperately around for Peter’s chuck bucket. The fish haven’t been scaled. Andrew interviews that he felt like picking up the plate and smashing it, but he hasn’t secured his Handy Wipes sponsorship yet, so that would be a bad move.
The bottom two
Mat interviews that he’s dodged a bullet. I think the Wachowski brothers should get him into a trenchcoat, stick some wires on him and work some Matrix magic. Or we could go to another ad break.
Seamus is going to revisit his stir-fry, but without burning the aromats this time. Andrew is aiming for a “beautiful steak”. He reminds us that he stuffed this up in the top 50. Gary notes that Andrew is “playing safe”, so clearly he hasn’t remembered the earlier steak fiasco. Seamus interviews that he has given up his business to be here, and has a lot to prove.
With five minutes to go, Moran realises that the people playing cliche bingo at home might be in the weeds, so he reels off a few in quick succession. The peanut gallery comes alive for the countdown. Fond farewells, and possibly even a couple of introductions (seriously, who is Adam?) as the peanut gallery are sent off.
- Seamus – not seasoned properly
- Andrew – steak partly well-done, partly rare. Gary loves the “salsa verde, aioli, whatever” so I hope he’s not in charge of the condiments masterclass.
Seamus. Goodbye. I did predict it way back in the early days of this recap, but by this stage of the episode I was wondering if I could just go back and delete that to cover my terrible, off-kilter prediction as there is NO WAY his dish wasn’t better than Andrew’s. Really. No way. Gary couldn’t even figure out if Andrew had put up a salsa verde or an aioli!
Seamus takes it on the chin. I hope he still has his ABN.
Chelsea’s aggressive underbite betrays her disappointment that it’s not Alex in the lift.