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Masterchef Australia – A Big Backdrop For A Big Challenge

Again Masterchef Australia showcased Hayden as the young hottie. Tonight he was filmed running, he just happened to be the one who came across the envelope after his “run”. The envelope told the teams to pack their bags as they were off.

They ended upat the Sunrise Dam Gold Mine in Western Australia. As they were standing in the middle of the mine (awesome shots), I thought this better be a proper cooking challenge. And it was as George Calombaris said one of the hardest challenges yet. They were to work for 24 hours, in shifts and produce dinner, breakfast and lunch for the miners. In the intro they said it was 3000 meals, but the figure they gave at the end was not as high as that.

What I did not understand about the blue team was why in such a big challenge you would make the Captain and Vice Captain the two young people of the team Jay and Dani.  I would have wanted someone with a bit more life experience. As some of the mistakes they made were due to lack of work experience. I probably would have put Peter in charge.

Firstly Jay’s consensus approach was a problem. Giving everyone two minutes to have say about the menu was just time wasting. Get people to brain storm and then refine their ideas. Gary had to step in and say hurry it up otherwise they would have no time to prep. Also they still did not have breakfast or lunch menus decided.

The red team put Danielle as captain and Kate as vice captain, and they appeared to have a better work plan and menu.

Matt the goth food blogger thought Rachel had an advantage because her husband had worked at the mine for 10 years and she had eaten there. Not sure I agree.

Rachel who I really like came up with one of the best lines of the night when showing Ellie a photo of her husband at the mine she deadpanned to camera saying “I am really impressed to be showing a photo of my husband… in a rubbish bin.”.

Both teams had to do soup, salads, roasts, dessert and one short order item.

One  of the issues the teams appeared to be having was producing the large amount of portions. They ran out of food pretty quickly. I thought Gary and George would have guided their teams better in that regard.

It was heating up in the kitchen,  Sun who gets pretty tense for a Hare Krishna was getting uptight accusing the red team of turning of their burner under the curry. She needs a tambourine to use as a stress release.

Kumar  who was on her team, then ‘fessed up and said it was him who had turned it off.

Danielle was probably wishing for someone  had done that for her chicken cacciatore as it burnt. After some tears, Gary told her it was not totally ruined and they managed to plate most of it.

The issues surrounding lunch were:

  • Red Salad’s were not ready at the start of lunch service;
  • Broccoli for the blue teams salad was raw.  Jay tried to back Dani in but I interpreted that they ended up flicking the salad;
  • The grilled fish on the red team being frozen in the middle because Andrew just did not have the griller on – Cleo would not have made that amateur mistake;
  • The blue teams fried fish was sent back as it was raw, at one stage the show had appeared to have morphed into Hell’s Kitchen with the dishes sent back and Matt Preston at the pass ticking off the team.

Dani had a really bad challenge, she had stuffed up the roster and the only person rostered on was Rachel for cleaning, compared to the many red team members. But Rachel did make me laugh when she said “I have never seen these pots, what ever happened to washing as you go?”

I found it ironic when Dani was doing her shift doing the pre-breakfast prep she was whinging “It is really fun working one against four”. Well you were in charge of the roster!

And the Blue team were in chaos as their consensus approach didn’t create a menu for breakfast or lunch. So it was very disorganised. Dani had to go and wake Jay up to discuss the menu. I note the cameramen only gave a head shot of Jay, but when in the previous evening Jay had to wake Dani they made sure they tried get the full body shot of her in her knickers.

Even though the blue team were badly organised with their menu they managed to get their food ready on time.

Unlike the red team who fell behind, when the miners arrived they did not have any food out. So they were unable to vote for the red team. I think this cost them the challenge. The blame really had to go on Kate who didn’t keep on top of it. Maybe their menu was too ambitious. The spiced porridge was late and then she burnt it as she was not able to continuously stir it.

In the other culinary disaster of the day Jay deep fried the bacon. I was surprised Gary Mehigan thought this was a negative, I thought he would have applauded the innovation of making fatty food even fattier.

It did look pretty disgusting.

Matt from the red team said “I think it helped us get some votes.” Unfortunately he was wrong.

However surprisingly the blue team won. It was very tight, however Matt Preston thought Kumar’s mushrooms would have pulled in some extra votes.

In one of the dumbest lines of the night Matt Preston said “If this was an election it would have been a hung parliament” I am not really sure I agree with that, as there were only two teams which means whoever got the most votes would get the power.

The winning team goes on a two day trip to the Margaret River, and the losing team will battle it out again and someone will go home.


1 Jess { 05.30.11 at 6:29 am }

I don’t get why they had to throw out the entire pot of porridge. Only the bottom was burnt, and the rest could have been salvaged.
But I think this was the first episode where the contestants actually showed some hostility towards each other, which is an interesting change. Except for Sun, of course. She’s always grumpy.

2 SaintsDeano { 05.30.11 at 6:33 am }

Great epidode. Felt sorry for Jay. Getting woken up by Dani at 4:00am. Dani needs to make her own decisions. Sun bullying Kumar was to be expected. Kumar won the battle.. Serving raw fish was a fundamental stuffup. Andrew (red) and Michael (blue) should hang their heads in shame.

3 littlepetal { 05.30.11 at 6:59 am }

Love tonight episode.

Ad break was short which was great.

Love it when Kumar told Sun (who was complaining about not being told when he turned off the stove) that he will stick a note next time.

Dani spent HOURS doing the roster and still couldn’t get it right and also didn’t get the menu for breakfast and lunch. They were lucky to pull through.

RR-Rachel was not roster to do the washing. She happened to be still in the kitchen and Dani got the job !!! She wasn’t happy.

Blue team has 10 members and Red only 9. Slight disadvantage for Red team.

Not sure there will be an elimination for the losing team as it was not mention at the start of the challenge. Their only penalty is to do another shift (which I am sure did not happen) and be sent home.

4 AnonyMousse { 05.30.11 at 8:03 am }

It’s a miracle – Kumar spoke! I was beginning to think that he’d suffered an offscreen cooking accident that had burnt away his vocal chords or something.

It’s pretty funny that the team that was most disorganised and was not preparing ahead actually won the challenge – I guess you could say that desperation is the mother of quickly prepared meals. I suspect that if that porridge had been out on time, Blue would have lost.

Dani’s reaction to seeing a camera when she woke up (as well as Jay’s definitely-not-faking-it just-woken-up face) seems to underline how scripted some of the other scenes we’ve seen have probably been, such as the bread-making wakeup.

I’m surprised the captains haven’t learnt a fundamental lesson yet – don’t let Andrew cook meat. Although, I have to point out that Jay is two years older than his opposing Team Captain – age is less of a factor than the experiences you’ve had (some 50 year olds have never managed a team at work, while some 25 year olds may have led 30 person teams for a while).

littlepetal – I thought they did say there’d be an elimination out of this. I was only half-watching at that point though, maybe I misheard.

5 NT Kate { 05.30.11 at 8:11 am }

I turned off the tele when I saw what the challenge was – what happened to the idea of actual cooking of good food?

Cooking for vast numbers of people challenges are fun in their place, but I actually want to see innovative ideas, interesting produce, not endless angst.

Why is suddenly MC going for the bogan audience – sausage sizzles, sweet and sour, miners, whatever next?!

6 NT Kate { 05.30.11 at 8:13 am }

PS I did turn on just to see what happened at the end, and thought sending the losers back to the mines was cruel (to the miners as well!) – these people are not professionals.

7 Richard { 05.30.11 at 8:32 am }

I found it strange there was no spiced porridge at 5:30am yet miners had started arriving at 4:00am – surely that would prompt you to start cooking it and have it ready.

8 Fides { 05.30.11 at 9:29 am }

They’re really painting Dani to be such a fake. Like when she spoke about how good it was to just be on her own in the kitchen and not having mindless conversations with other team members, then next shot she’s hugging the blues who’ve come to join her with breakfast. Was she the one who in the Mean Fiddler challenge also preferred to work without crazy women?

Was Rachel really left alone to clean all those pots? I thought there were a few blues left lurking in the kitchen when she was given the news.

Loved the little lines Kumar had – telling Sun that next time he’d stick a note on his curry re turning the pot off (Go Kumar!), then when Matt P came and told him the women are loving the mushrooms and it was his seduction dish he said that he would keep it in mind. So cute.

Also amused seeing the battle of the BILFs trying to sell their product/team. Apart from Rach the miners wife, Ellie with her apple pies saying how popular it was, Arena getting all cute and asking which team was better looking(??), Hayden was chatting up girls too.

I don’t think Peter would have made a good team captain for this challenge. I don’t know why, he seems like he procrastinates. I thought Jay was a reasonable choice given that he comes across as decisive, organised and competent but yeah, that menu planning was painful.

And I finally watched the opening titles properly and have only two things to say. Thankfully there’s no Kate doing the erotic mortar-pestle dance this year, but there is Shannon doing a shimmy, and Arena giving bedroom eyes. And I’m liking the look of Adam…

9 Maz { 05.30.11 at 9:31 am }

Wouldn’t classify all people who work in the mines as bogans.

Perhaps the ‘bogan’ inspired challenges may have more to do with the culinary skill of this year’s contestants.

Andrew’s time in the contest surely must be running out.

10 Injera { 05.30.11 at 9:41 am }

Great recap, RR – you managed to fill in all the bits I missed while I was swearing at Andrew.

Fides – you’re right, Dani was the one in the Mean Fiddler challenge bagging her team-mates. I am not warming to her in the slightest.

Not a huge fan of the cook-massive-amounts-of-food challenges but at least this episode seemed to have a decent amount of pace to it. Loved Mat imitating Rachel “My husband’s a miner!”.

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew. Whenever I see him I am just reminded of the fact that HE SHOULDN’T BE THERE.

This was probably all in the editing, but did anybody notice how when George was asking “who did the porridge” they cut to Kate and she was definitely keeping her mouth shut! Her explanation for the length of time it took to make porridge was that she was cooking it with milk to make it creamier. I can understand that you would then have to cook it at a lower temperature, but maybe she should have soaked the oats overnight. And an hour and a half seems extreme.

Did anyone else think it was annoying that the judges told them to have breakfast prepped for 4.30, and then at about 3.45 decided to tell them that there would most likely be breakfasters in and expecting food by 4.00? Stupid manipulation.

11 Reality Raver { 05.30.11 at 10:14 am }

God sorry about the mistakes in the recap – all fixed I think, tired last night I will get it together tonight.

12 Culinary Boner { 05.30.11 at 10:17 am }

Did anyone notice the very underwhelmed look on the face of many of the miners coming in for the first sitting? Was this because they had to endure close ups of Matt, George and Gary ponce’n around? Or because, after a hard shift, they knew from previously viewing MCA that they’d be either by eating shite or would be going hungry as the amata kitchens go into meltdown? The first crew just looked totally underwhelmed to me.

13 littlepetal { 05.30.11 at 10:33 am }

AnonyMousse- You may be right about the elimination. Look like there is only 1 elimination this week (from TV Guide). Wed according to the guide is returned contestants has to cook only with frozen or can food and bottom 2 will go into an elimination challenge. Thus not sure about the returned contestants mean the losing team or everyone.

Again the challenges are really not up to standard. Usually I look forward to see what the contestants come up with and tempting me to cook the dish. Not so this season

14 Panda { 05.30.11 at 10:44 am }

I think these challenges of cooking for large numbers of people are realistic. It seems some of the amatas have unrealistic dreams of having their own restaurant where they think it’ll be all lovely and they can make lovely dishes. However the reality is it’s more about turning over hundreds of dishes and fast. It’s not as glamourous as it looks unless of course you are a 3 hatted blah blah blah but if the amatas can’t get the alaments right that will never happen.

15 Culinary Boner { 05.30.11 at 10:45 am }

You could brew a batch of oat stout in the time it took Kate to make porridge.

16 Sooty { 05.30.11 at 11:02 am }

I can’t see why they couldn’t have scooped the bulk of the porridge out into another giant pot and added some more spice. It was only the very bottom burned. Kate had it on high heat and left it while she made the genius move of putting dressing on the salads instead of delegating either task. I eat porridge every single morning. Burnt-schmurnt, who cares. They’re miners! Tough. Hungry. The breakfast is what lost the reds the comp, one of the Gs said. I say it was the porridge!

I got all excited reading above eliminated constestants doing a challenge on Wednesday – Dan is coming back! But, no. With any luck Andrew, who turns out to be obnoxious and misogynistic as well (not that that is a problem if you’re a poster on this site :))) will go home.

17 Injera { 05.30.11 at 11:03 am }

Mmmm, oat stout.

It’s 11.00am – I started the day with duck rillettes so I guess pouring myself a stout around about now would be okay.

18 Sue { 05.30.11 at 11:53 am }

Did anyone else notice the comment that Peter made to Dani after she’d told him something about time – he said “you’ve got a little bit of black there” and indicated above her lip. I wondered whether it was a Hitler reference??????? – it’s at 5:35 on video 5/8

19 littlepetal { 05.30.11 at 11:57 am }

I have a feeling that Hayden win the immunity or the chance to go into the immunity challenge tomorrow night

20 brain dead dave { 05.30.11 at 11:58 am }

I don’t quite know where you’re Goering with that one,Sue.

I did see that incident and thought Peter was just being a kitchen bitch.

21 brain dead dave { 05.30.11 at 12:15 pm }

Grilling barramundi without the burner on. Here I was thinking this guy couldn’t dig any deeper than serve unscaled sardine.

Andrew deserves his own show and “cookbook”.

22 Sue { 05.30.11 at 12:16 pm }

LOL, I had to Google to check I got that there brain dead dave. 😉

23 Culinary Boner { 05.30.11 at 1:10 pm }

“Sun who gets pretty tense for a Hare Krishna was getting uptight…”

Correct me if I’m not up to date here but I recalling reading somewhere that Hare Krishna devotees believe in sex for procreation only (strictly only when married, as well). Speaking as a ‘snipped’ male, this’d certainly make me tense, uptight and a bit snarky, to say the least. Especially as chanting and bashing bongos whilst bouncing up and down just doesn’t do it for me. By the way, where did the Krisna’s go? I remember as a schoolkid that they were a regular feature on Sydney streets in the late 70s/early 80s. Did they defect to the Bagwan Sri Rashnesh so they could get more nooky?

24 Lily { 05.30.11 at 2:15 pm }

Entertaining episode! More so then say that stupid bread making episode.
It was good to see some of the drama that I had missed so much. I started going for Jay in the first episode when he described how he made it onto the other season of Masterchef but never got through and bla bla, emotional music. Was glad to see that the blue team won today.
Is it just me but does last seasons contestants seem like better cooks then this seasons? (with a few exceptions since I am enjoying the fact Hayden, Billy and Jay exist)

25 Culinary Boner { 05.30.11 at 2:34 pm }

Here’s one for this blog’s bunny boiler regulars (oh and any guys – gay or straight – who like sharing opinions on such matters). Which of the following would not be in contention for Matt’s “hung parliament” – Matt himself, Matt Moran, Hayden and/or Manu Fiedel?

26 Courgette { 05.30.11 at 2:54 pm }

Kumar deadpan and under his breath to Sun, after saying he had indeed turned off the heat on the stove, “Next time I’ll leave a note on the pot”.

27 JC { 05.30.11 at 3:16 pm }

In the opening credits, Andrew is shown against a backdrop of raw hanging meat that he just can’t wait to serve to the judges, in an upcoming challenge, to prove that he is one of Straya’s top amata shef. Can’t wait for Andrew to show Straya what he has in store for us in a future Japanese challenge.

28 auds { 05.30.11 at 3:46 pm }

I loved this episode but was a bit confused – I didnt see the start – dont they usually do a mystery box on a Sunday?

I absolutely adore Kumar – especially the deadpan “I will put a note on it next time” – regarding turning off the curry.

They are definately sharpening their claws now….

I hope Kumar stays in the comp a bit longer even if its just for entertainment value.

29 littlepetal { 05.30.11 at 4:20 pm }

There is no mystery box on Sunday. Straight to a team challenge

30 Thomas { 05.30.11 at 4:21 pm }

Poor Hayden.. fourth time he’s going into the immunity challenge. At least he’s keeping his cooking skills sharp. Cleo seemed to have the jitters last week and it got her kicked out.

31 littlepetal { 05.30.11 at 4:22 pm }

I made a mistake. I forgot that Hayden is in the losing team and he can’t be in the immunity challenge tonight. Wonder what is this double immunity tonight?

32 Thomas { 05.30.11 at 5:10 pm }

Oops I meant elimination round..

33 librarygirl { 05.30.11 at 6:14 pm }

I laughed out loud during this ep. Peter’s comment to Dani I thought gold and did anyone else notice Arena HONKED after she laughed when she was doing the awful flirting to get votes.
And the whole Jay and Dani waking each other up was entertaining too.

34 StuMont { 05.30.11 at 7:29 pm }

I thought Shannon performed wonders in the kitchen again – she’s such a world class cook and a brilliant personality – and so good looking on camera – her food just looks awesome! I wish the producers would show her even more!

35 Masterchef Tragic { 05.30.11 at 7:40 pm }

If we are talking about putting someone older in charge who has more life experience Rachel is a mining wife as she kept telling anyone and everyone so how come she wasn’t captain of the Blue Team? Also I wonder how come the blue team wasn’t given some sort of penalty for serving raw barramundi. I am really confused about how that team won the challenge overall especially if Red team won 2 out of 3 shifts (1 of them by a landslide).

36 davsimp { 05.30.11 at 8:27 pm }

I actually really enjoyed this episode. Good to see some sparks fly and a few quips from the miffed ones. Sorry BDD, but your tv girlfriend was giving me the irrits last night. If she told one more person she was a miners wife from Perth I would have had to switch off. Loved Mat’s impression of her with high pitched voice and hand movements to boot. Heheheh, I am quite liking Mat’s pissed expressions and continual state of annoyance.

Masterchef Tragic, Rachel was a team leader in a previous episode and was shite. Don’t blame anyone for not wanting to go through that again. And speaking of shite, Dani has to go. It was obvious she woke Jay up just to piss him off as in tit for tat because he had woken her previously. Difference is Dani ballsed up the roster twice!! Once for the cleaning, and once for not sorting out a menu for the next day’s breakfast or lunch.

Thought the red team had the challenge in the bag but alas, it was a blue win. Hope Jay or Kumar get the immunity pin tonight as I would like to see both of them stick around for a bit longer.

Pissed off there is no weakest link/elimination round to send another sucker home tonight. Every other time there has been a team challenge there has been one. I feel robbed. It’s the highlight of my week. Scaly-sardine/grill- not-turned-on guy has to go. He is irksome. It’s a toss up between him and Dani. My current masterchef fantasy is a double elimination where he and Dani both have to go.

37 Culinary Boner { 05.31.11 at 9:13 am }

I also heard Arena’s HONK-SNORT-GUFFAW thing.
Hopefully for her boyfriend’s sake she doesn’t replicate whilst ‘on the job’.

38 Lou { 05.31.11 at 10:14 pm }

Cape Lodge competition. How obvious and rude were the Masterchief judges not to include the Cape Lodge chef with judging all of the dishes. Looked really bad!!!!!!!

39 littlepetal { 05.31.11 at 10:25 pm }

They have to Cape Lodge chef in the immunity challenge.