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Masterchef Australia – The Margaret River Challenge

The winning red team were showcased tonight down at the Margaret River region of Western Australia. The episode must have been sponsored by WA tourism as they mentioned the Margaret River 50 million times. But I don’t have a problem with that if it gets the viewer interesting challenges and locations.

In fact The Block should take lessons from Masterchef on product placement. Tonight there was no elimination, but the opportunity to get a double immunity was up for grabs. First you got to miss the next challenge in the Masterchef kitchen, and also grab an immunity pin in the celebrity cook off.

First the ten chefs had to draw to see which protein they were going to cook with. Kumar pulled the proverbial short straw and got the emu eggs. He was a bit unsure what to do with them. He did make me laugh after he finally cracked the egg that “It was like seeing a child born”, what did his kids look like when they were born?

Sun the former vegetarian that cooks meat did not want the venison and also for the judges to  “stop looking at her as a vegetarian who cooks meat” She was going to stuff it but Gary advised her it might be a cooking issue. She took his advice and just seared it.

Peter spent the whole 60 minutes shelling his crab. And Kumar spent all of his 60 minutes making egg crepinettes.

I loved the guest judge Jake Drachenburg – talk about saying it like it is. His views were articulate and constructive.

Rachel – Lamb rump on rainbow chard with roasted beetroot. Her lamb was over cooked.

Jake said ” beetroot not peeled, and lack of seasoning”

Jay – Garden of Marron – poached marron with baby vegetables plate looked very high end.

Jake said “Great job took a beautiful product and turned it into something better.”

Matt Preston said “Restaurant quality dish”.

Peter – Crab Salad – George said spectacular just needs a bit of re- plating.

Sun – Venison in a Red wine sauce with roast beetroots and pumpkin and potato mash.

“Simple precise with really good flavours, done it justice, ” said Jake. Matt thought it needed a killer sauce.

Kumar – Roasted Garden vegetables with an egg net. George said I like it but I don’t love it. However Gary loved it. I would have queried whether he showcased the main ingredient enough.

Adam made a lobster bisque – “lobster well cooked but flavour

Ellie  who mad pork was told “more crackling it would have been a great dish”.

Billy had  veal and he was told he had detracted from the core ingredient because the the sauce was tart.

Dani  got told from George. He said “Glad you didn’t over cook it, however never ever chop up a scallop like that again.”

Michael – “Olive oil poached goat is spectacular,” said George Calombaris

The best two dishes were Michael and Jay’s.

And after a to camera piece by Kumar predicting Michael will be the winner, Jay won.

27 comments

1 littlepetal { 05.31.11 at 7:18 am }

Where does Rachel come from???? How many times did she mention she is from WA.

Why do they tell Sun that what she wanted to do with the venison was not a good idea.

I thought Michael’s dish has more techniques than Jay and should have won. Jay is getting onto my nerves. Michael is likeable.

2 Jess { 05.31.11 at 7:45 am }

Kumar was using ostrich eggs, not emu ones. Emu eggs are a distinct blackish-green; very pretty.

@littlepetal
Totally agree. Jay is a bit annoying (though not Sun-level), and his dishes never look as good as everyone pretends they do. What is with his obviously unhealthy obsession with streaking yellow paste over a rectangular plate?

3 AnonyMousse { 05.31.11 at 7:54 am }

Note to contestants: being from a certain state does not give you mystical powers to draw upon the land to give you better cooking skills when you’re in said state. In other words, nobody cares what state you’re in/from when you’re cooking – if they did, the NSWelshers should be constantly winning when they’re in the normal kitchen.

And congratulations to Who The Hell is That Guy for coming in second. Like everyone else I’ve admired all the dishes that makes George think you could go all the way. Or I would if, you know, you or your dishes had been given any screentime at all over the past few weeks by the editors, Michael.

4 smauge { 05.31.11 at 8:55 am }

In all fairness, Kumar’s original idea was a frittata, which in my opinion would have showcased the egg mor, before being put of that idea by the judges.
But I’m putting it out there – Jay’s my favourite and I want him to win. He’s one of the few that seems to be ready to make a career out of food. Seriously, can anyone see Sun or Rachel walking into a career in food from this?

5 Culinary Boner { 05.31.11 at 9:24 am }

Poor Kumar. The first time I saw anyone having to deal with ostrich egg was on another reality show, Amazing Race (US), in which the NY Jewish Princesses Myrna and Schmyrna (I think that’s what the other contestants somewhat unfairly dubbed them) had to eat gobfulls of them scrambled. They seemed to have a sort of meaty gelatanious quality these girls found hard not to gag on (least it wasn’t throbbing gristle, girls). If I recall correctly the dwarf one managed better than her less-vertically challenged cousin. Again, if these dino eggs were any effing good as food, they’d be on the menu around the traps. So poor Kumar got the booby prize. Thought Sun did really well with the venison. Still some very weak cooks in the comp.

6 Maz { 05.31.11 at 9:27 am }

Rachel is annoying. Enough said.

7 Miss Piggy (MelbaToast) { 05.31.11 at 9:34 am }

Is Rachel from Queesland? Bwahahah!

I burst out laughing at Kumar’s line after cracking his Emu egg – it’s been the highlight of the show so far (which is a bit sad really isn’t it)?

8 auds { 05.31.11 at 9:42 am }

I also thought Michael was going to win…. and I also had to look at the website to find out his name LOL

The thing that shat me off most of all is how many times they said “The” Margaret River. Nobody calls it that (I live a half hour from there!)

Its just plain old Margaret River without a “The”

9 auds { 05.31.11 at 9:44 am }

Actually the locals just call it “Margs”

10 Rosie { 05.31.11 at 10:13 am }

I was so disappointed that Jay – known in my household as That Smug Little Prick – won/was given the opportunity to win “ammunity” again. Please Jebus, let him lose tonight in spectacular fashion!

11 Izobel2 { 05.31.11 at 10:15 am }

I was happy that they showed all the plated up meals in this episode and it seemed to be more about the cooking. Also liked how the ‘to camera’ pieces seemed a tad more genuine as they seemed to be asking questions as the contestants were cooking rather than afterwards which is what they usually do. I really enjoyed it. And Boner I thought Myrna & Shmryna were cool.

12 Injera { 05.31.11 at 11:14 am }

Ugh. Jay.

I thought this episode was okay, but really how do you assess someone who gets the dream ingredient against someone who picks up something bizarre. I agree with Smauge that the frittata was a better idea than Gary’s eggnet – but at least it forced Gary to pretend to be blown away by it!

But – ugh, Jay. Seriously, he gets lucky and picks the ingredient he identified as being his preferred ingredient. Michael is second last pick, says that out of the two remaining ingredients he’d prefer crab, gets the goat and does a brilliant job of it. But who goes through? Jay.

Sure, he seems serious about “his food journey”, but serious in that “I’ll get into my food path by hook or by crook! As long as it’s via a reality show and not, you know, an apprenticeship”. Bah. If this were American Idol, he’s the contestant that gets the pimp spot and the best choice of song, against somebody who is told they can sing whatever they want, as long as it’s by Rebecca Black.

13 Chunks { 05.31.11 at 11:47 am }

Honestly that episode was just one long, paid for ad for Sandgroper produce and tourism. Can’t believe they didn’t manage to get the Margaret River Chocolate Factory in there. Shame it wasn’t truffle season.

Jay is a serious chef, I’m happy for him.

14 davsimp { 05.31.11 at 12:15 pm }

Bloody ostrich eggs. 1001 uses I am sure. Kumar should have boiled them up in a stock pot, hacked the tops off them with a machette, and then buttered up 8 baguettes to serve as giant soldiers.

15 robbo { 05.31.11 at 12:55 pm }

Which dish would you prefer to eat. Jay’s pretty little morsel of Marron which would have tasted great or or Peter’s ugly plateful of delicious King Crab which would have left me highly satisfied. Michael should have won and Kumar was seriously dudded with Ostrich Egg. Why could they have not had Dhufish or some other WA specialty that would have evened up the playing field. I guess that would have not been as interesting television.

16 Hill Top Dreamer { 05.31.11 at 1:08 pm }

Well I have to say after the mine debacle Jay has lost shine in this house. They won the challenge because of breakfast, well actually the other team lost because of their breakfast. This show has become an Amazing Race Packed To The Rafters with Survivor being chosen by Big Brother.

17 littlepetal { 05.31.11 at 1:20 pm }

Read this on the web:

Tourism WA forked out a six-figure sum to entice producers of the show to WA. They will not reveal the exact amount because of commercial confidentiality, but industry sources suggest it is about $130,000. It appears to have been money well spent.

If you want to read the rest of this article:

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/newshome/9545965/masterchef-episodes-in-wa-a-coup-for-tourism/

18 Fides { 05.31.11 at 1:31 pm }

I’m with smauge. I’ve liked Jay from the getgo, right from Top 50 where you saw the flashback of his dejected face from S1. Really like his enthusiasm, confidence and he’s actually got the goods to match, but for this challenge thought Michael should have won for not cooking with his preferred ingredient. It’s quite a bromance though, with Hayden as the third wheel.

What is it with Kumar and food being like babies? IIRC, he also made some comment in the bread challenge about the little loaves being little babies, he was cradling it too. He’s getting a lot of love at the moment, hope that’s a good sign! I wish Kumar had just made a giant fried egg – not that it could be in any way possible but I’d love to see it. The yolk would be bigger than George’s head – though probably not as large as Matt’s.

Oh and is anyone else getting irritated by the judges saying “do you think you’ve won?/have you won?” or “has the red/blue team won?” … I’m certain they didn’t do this last year, but it’s annoying the crap out of me.

19 brain dead dave { 05.31.11 at 1:32 pm }

(“May” contain spoiler for tonight)

Maggott River Challenge…..when the hessian covers were removed from several dishes,one couldn’t help but notice the number of freeloading flies around. They must be hard to pixellate.

Those glorified skidmarks that Jay uses on his plates have really done the trick last night. For those that find Jay appealing, he might go allright tonight because Ch 10 have been running a teaser where his chef opponent screws up and cooks the wrong scallops.

20 Chunks { 05.31.11 at 1:32 pm }

It was money well spent as far as the promotion for the region goes but holidaying in Australia is very expensive these days, especially by comparison to OS destinations with the soaring Aussie dollar, so I’m not sure how much they’ll recoup. But if you can afford it, Margaret River and the whole South West is a fabulous part of the world.

21 littlepetal { 05.31.11 at 1:55 pm }

BDD – if Channel 10 is giving an indication that the chef stuff up tonight and Jay has a good chance in winning than I think Jay didn’t win. (with a sigh of relief). Jay does make his food look pretty but is that good enough to win. Just like Sun, Matt P think she has such good knife skills that her dish looks like a top restaurant dish (and maybe should be good)

Peter does admit that he has a problem because he can’t plate up beautifully. I think Peter can cook just can present his food well. I rather have good tasting food than a plate of pretty flowers. (LOL, I am not good in presentation but sometimes my food does take great)

22 Culinary Boner { 05.31.11 at 2:25 pm }

Izobel2, I also liked Myrna & Shmyrna. From my recollection they had that up-front, tell-it-like-it-is approach that makes New Yorkers in general much more bearable and attractive than your average, faux-polite but often passive-aggressive, americans. Guess this is why they rubbed the other teams to wrong way in the series they were on. The dwarf girl was also a serious competitor – never gave up or sooked they way a lot do on Amazing Race.

23 Oshada { 05.31.11 at 3:07 pm }

When it comes to presentation, I’m fine with anything that doesn’t look like a pile of dog vomit. Also when Michael told the camera that he had never poached something in olive oil I was like ‘NOO’ but he pulled it off! He should’ve won, the judges complained that Jay’s dish didn’t have enough sauce.

24 librarygirl { 05.31.11 at 4:09 pm }

I am loving Peter.
We saw EVERYONES dish – at last. After 2 and a bit seasons! Showing the less likely to win/problem dishes took all of 30 seconds. Not hard, is it? Please keep it up producers!!

25 brain dead dave { 05.31.11 at 4:22 pm }

You’re right littlepetal ,the teaser could be a complete sucker punch. Maybe the chef has time to redo the scallops.

The challenge is 2 km out to sea amongst the “alaments”, blowing a gale, no peanut gallery and up against a chef and not an apprentice. Last night Jay was tighter than a crab’s ar$e with the sauce. He needs to lift in that area.

Gary was raving about “caramelisation” again. Is it BS because a poster here the other day convinced me that meat can’t caramelise?

26 littlepetal { 05.31.11 at 4:27 pm }

Lucky Jay is on Masterchef and not MKR. Manu won’t be very happy without sauce.

27 Benji - Passionate about Margaret River { 06.14.11 at 11:19 pm }

All publicity is good for Margaret River even if they had to call it “The Margaret River”
Great to show off some local produce shame every dish was not a winner. Ostrich eggs are hard going, something like 20 odd conventional eggs in one Ostrich egg. A lot of eating.