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Masterchef Australia – The Frozen and Canned Challenge

It was funny in the frozen and canned challenge that Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris were saying how good and tasty canned and frozen food was, and then the contestants in their set to camera pieces bagged the ingredients out.

The one thing that did annoy me about the intro, the repetitive way the judges kept on going on about the contestants having access to the whole pantry – you knew there was going to be a twist.

I wonder how many takes they needed to do to get the requisite amount of gasps and looks of horror from the contestants when they went in for the big reveal.

Kate from Season 2 was probably watching the episode last night and was peeved she was not doing it as she would have excelled at this one. What that girl could make with a chicken tonight jar.

Not much drama occurred on this episode except for Shannon burning her caramel twice, Alana exploding her dessert, and Andrew mangling another dish. Actually the latter is not that dramatic as there is no tension with his cooking you know he will stuff it.

Those who picked who went the dessert way were smarter said George. Clearly the judges will deign to use frozen berries in their restaurant kitchens. And four of the top five were desserts.

Judges comments:

Alana’s Exploded layered Lychee and chocolate cake got good reviews from the judges.

Andrew made crab and clam mousse tart – Gary was dubious as he thought the food was over handled. Gary said the mousse was “Ghastly, gag material”.

Billy made coconut pannacotta with chocolate mousse – Matt Preston said “Delicious freshness of the guava sorbet, and the mousse with the milo crunch at the bottom.” Did George double dip into the chocolate mousse? George thought it was sex on a plate. I did laugh when Billy who is gay said “Sex on a plate, that is not something I expected from George.”

Kumar did not fare as well his spring roll – “Wasabi and lemon mrytle  is not one of the greatest flavour combinations,” said Matt Preston.

Arena made Blueberry and Custard Tart with mango sorbet – she got the happy music therefore was told really good cooking.

Adam made Thai seafood curry with satay prawn spring rolls – George said the curry has a lot of spice to it, though he loved the spring rolls with the corn dipping sauce.

Rachel did salmon on encroute with cannelinni beans puree – George did not like it at all, “fish overcooked, and pastry undercooked.”

Dani present Tom yum soup and a Guava Custard Tart. “Is it a happy Dani or a sad Dani?” said Gary which is like talking to a 7 year old.  But at times she does act like one. Dani plated up food that was pretty basic compared to some of the other dishes. Gary said” the Tom Yum isn’t right, but prawns cooked well.” About the tart he said you have taken shop bought pastry and cooked it badly.”

Dani turned on the tears – no surprise there and it appeared to help with making her safe from the immunity.

Shannon made chocolate and cherry ice-cream sandwich and salted caramel, George said ” this is the day that you shine”,

Top five  were Adam, Alana, Arena, Billy and Shannon. The top two were Billy and Shannon.

Bottom two were Andrew and Kumar, and let us hope that it is rigged  and Andrew is flicked as he has been in the competition far too long. Hopefully Kumar will be the eliminator of Season 3.


1 Suzanne { 06.02.11 at 10:23 am }

Missed the beginning and didn’t realise until the judging that Sun, Michael? and others whose dishes we didn’t see were actually in the competition.
Instead of focussing on comments from two judges for each “featured” dish, why not show one comment for all the dishes?

2 Injera { 06.02.11 at 10:24 am }

Oh, how fun to watch the judges having to talk canned and frozen food up so that the segue to the matching Coles ad would be nice and positive. Those poor contestants. They’ve been fed a daily diet of “FRESH! SEASONAL!” and were clearly discombobulated by this.

You’re so right – Kate would have been in her alament!

We had already seen the shocked pantry-faces in the ads so all that build up really was excruciating. Having read the piece that you linked to a week or so ago, I’m also constantly wondering how many times they had to try each reaction for that “perfect” shot.

3 Marian Wiltshire { 06.02.11 at 10:29 am }

What happened to the elimination challenge for the losers of the mine challenge- did I miss it? Or are they saving it up for later?

4 Miss Piggy (MelbaToast) { 06.02.11 at 10:32 am }

Yawn! They should’ve just filmed us making dinner at my house – would’ve been about as interesting and as tasty.

5 Maz { 06.02.11 at 11:00 am }

Snap! Exactly what I thought-Kate would love this challenge. Just needed the mircowave.

Did they have access to the usual staple ingredients they keep under the bench for this challenge?

Andrew should have just heated up the Campbells soup. Gratuitous use of sponsor’s product can extend your stay in the “Masterchef Kitchen”.

6 Rosie { 06.02.11 at 11:01 am }

If only Kumar could have squeezed out a tear!

7 wallah { 06.02.11 at 11:09 am }

Wow, hearing Dumb and Dumber talk up the virtues of canned goods has caused this show to jump the shark, whale and Busselton Jetty all at once. In Matt P.’s motorised scooter for the 2 k journey. Oooof. Does this mean that packet gravy is now ok to use? I’m pretty sure that that technology has been around for a few decades. Possibly Coles asked them to make it a true sub $10.00 meal that they can advertise? So many questions.

8 Fides { 06.02.11 at 11:17 am }

Hmmm, wonder how mums and dads across Australia explained what “sex on a plate” means.

It was fairly obvious from the moment Shannon was even shown back at the MC house that she would feature in the challenge… but I found her pieces the most boring ever – and I LOVE ice cream sandwiches! When she talked about burning caramel and being all invested in this ice cream sandwich, I couldn’t have cared less, and this is why MC has been a struggle this year.

Did Jay help Dani when she asked about cooking time for the crab? I thought he held up 2 fingers, like 2 minutes? But I read a recap which seemed to think he ignored her.

It’s gotta be Andrew tonight, right. His lack of insight into his abilities and how revolting his food tastes is mind boggling. I get why he and Kumar are in the bottom 2 but Kumar hasn’t shown us his best, whereas with Andrew, he has and it is woefully deficient.

9 littlepetal { 06.02.11 at 11:19 am }

@Maz I think they can only cook with can or frozen food. Can’t use sugar or salt etc. That is why I think Shannon caramel will be soo.. sweet. I don’t think I could eat that.

It would be a better challenge if they could use some staple ingredients. Just like what we do at home.

Never knew you can get frozen soft shell crabs or chocolate pastry from Coles.

10 seepi { 06.02.11 at 11:48 am }

I could’ve won this challenge – I can whip up a fantastic baked bean dish from all sorts of tinned beans, and some bacon and honey etc.

Chocolate pastry sounds fantastic – might have to seek that out.

Here’s hoping Andrew goes tonight. I will be gutted if Kumar goes and Andrew stays.

11 Chunks { 06.02.11 at 11:57 am }

I thought that was a great challenge. There are zillions of delicious things that can be made using canned and frozen food but the contestants that went for desserts were the ones with a real clue. The duds are realy starting to reveal themselves now and Andrew, Dani, Rachel and (yeah I know he has fans here…) Kumar are not long for this season. I’d love to know where North Perth Coles hides the frozen egg whites and soft-shell crab….

12 Johngalt { 06.02.11 at 12:06 pm }

The best move would have been to serve these windbags humble pie of the raunchiest in canned goods mixed together. It would have been worth a trip to elimination row to watch them have to choke it down after talking up frozen and canned goods after they spent 3 years stressing fresh prawduce and ingredients. (it was funny to watch George and Gary have to stumble over the praises for this stuff, from “nothing wrong with it” to “sometimes it is actually better”.) (It seems they let Matt off the hook for that humiliation, he would have choked on his own cravat)

13 AnonyMousse { 06.02.11 at 12:14 pm }

Did anyone watch this and NOT think that Coles had used their power as a major sponsor to twist the show’s arm into showcasing the 50% of the stuff that they sell that the judges would normally poo-poo?

As much as I like Kumar, I have to admit he doesn’t seem to be cooking well enough to be there, beyond a couple of dishes where he teamed up with others to make it (the mushrooms at the mine site and the dessert from the tavern). Then again, he’s up against Andrew, and my pet cat could probably cook a steak better than him (and that’s with my cat having been dead for ten years)

14 robbo { 06.02.11 at 12:27 pm }

I believe they have to fix a watery Massaman Curry tonight. If Kumar can’t beat Andrew doing that then he deserves to go. Having said that I would not be surprised if that is what happens to totally shock viewers. Would be as bad as Marion’s satay sauce elimination.

15 Injera { 06.02.11 at 12:34 pm }

I’m a bit worried, robbo – in the ads they do seem to show Kumar looking very panicked…

Pleasepleasepleaseplease let it be Andrew.

16 brain dead dave { 06.02.11 at 1:02 pm }

The ads have Kumar saying “I don’t know what goes into it!”

In spite of this, I just can’t see Andrew winning. Expecting a lot of sweating from him while he effortlessly makes the curry worse.

A lot of children do watch Ma$terchef, George should just STFU with the “sex on a plate” repartee.

17 Sooty { 06.02.11 at 1:15 pm }

“Then again, he’s up against Andrew, and my pet cat could probably cook a steak better than him (and that’s with my cat having been dead for ten years)”

First laugh of the day. Thanks for that, Mousse.

Oh please god may Andrew go now. It’s painful.

18 brain dead dave { 06.02.11 at 1:24 pm }

“Oh please god may Andrew go now” ….Ha ha

Sooty, Andrew was crossing himself a couple of weeks ago before plating up. He’s already been asking God for help to stay in the “competition”and here he is producing “ghastly gag material’…

19 brain dead dave { 06.02.11 at 1:49 pm }

What Andrew will add to improve tonight’s curry-
* unscaled sardines
*raw barramundi
*scorched prosciutto wraps.
*burnt steak
*profuse amounts of sweat.

Served in a sob story sauce and garnished with nebulous accidents and shattered dreams.

20 Pollywaffle { 06.02.11 at 2:30 pm }

I hear Andrews serving Massacreman curry tonight with a proscuitto roti.

21 Pollywaffle { 06.02.11 at 3:06 pm }

The Georgasm put me off my baked beans on frozen muffins

22 kingfisher { 06.02.11 at 3:19 pm }

does anyone agree that when a masterchef contestant burns or stuffs up a ingredient it is staged , no ones has ruined a prized steak or shellfish only condensed milk ,spices or some other minor item . the camera is always there just as the mc contestant says “i just took my off of it for a split second ” and bang the camera is there . amazing !!!.
also coles paying megabucks for sponsership pulls it’s weight and says hang on we want you make a episode where everyone has to make something from our products ! how dumb do they think we are , this years contestants are pathetic where as last years mcs there where ten excellent cooks . kumar give me a break hopeless , andrew sweaty and hopeless , if a drop of andrew’s sweat falls in the curry tonight i barf all week !!!!!!!! go jay .

23 Suzanne { 06.02.11 at 3:23 pm }

Dani did drop her bowl of soft-shell crab – i don’t know how much they sell that for in Coles, but I don’t think it’s a minor item.
I thought it was an interesting challenge – a little hypocritical in that if they had used frozen raspberries in another challenge instead of fresh they would have been slammed, but as an exercise it was pretty interesting.

24 Joseph Skyrim { 06.02.11 at 4:05 pm }

Hi all! Long time watcher, first time poster. Thanks for all the awesome and funny recaps RR. :)

My guess is if they tell us about Andrew’s work-place accident flashback tonight, then he’s a gonner. But that’s only if they’re using the old manga method of “once you know everything about a character its time to kill them off”. 😛

Could be wrong… but – go Kumar! ^_^

25 Jasmin { 06.02.11 at 4:25 pm }

“Then again, he’s up against Andrew, and my pet cat could probably cook a steak better than him (and that’s with my cat having been dead for ten years)” Hahaha, AnonyMousse. :)

It wouldn’t surprise me if Andrew managed to make a steak taste like a cat that had been dead for ten years.

In regard to the frozen/canned food challenge I have a CWA Soups and Stews book that uses lots of tinned ingredients in the recipes and the food is delicious. Making the best of what you’ve got at the time, rather than making mediocre food from expensive ingredients.

26 Emma { 06.02.11 at 4:37 pm }

Ick ick ick at sex on a plate comment. I gagged I really did.

Also haha at the shocked and scandalous looks on everyone’s faces at having to cook what most ordinary people at home use, frozen and tinned food. I mean, come on Masterchef!!! We can’t all afford fresh seafood and bloody truffles.

Please god Kumar gets to stay – I felt so sorry for him last night! I know he hasn’t done fantastically well poor bloke, but I’m sure he’ll have his day if they give him a chance.

Good for Shannon and Billy in the top two :)

27 littlepetal { 06.02.11 at 4:43 pm }

I think you can make some delicious meals with can and frozen food but you have to add in some staple ingredients like salt, sugar, eggs, herbs, flours etc. Last night challenge was different. They can only use can and frozen food and nothing else. Also some good stuff are in bottles and they can’t use !!!!

28 robbo { 06.02.11 at 5:08 pm }

littlepetal, they must have been able to use some of the basics. Shannon had salted caramel or at least that is what I heard several times.

Chunks. The frozen eggwhites and soft shell crab are behind the sausage casings and bulk bags of gelato stabiliser. You must look harder.

29 librarygirl { 06.02.11 at 5:19 pm }

What’s the next challenge: pantry is full of ” You love Coles brand” stuff only???
If the show was called “MasterHomecook”, OK, but…. Masterchef?

30 Fiona { 06.02.11 at 5:41 pm }

I am a little disillusioned with this crop of contestants, I do believe that previous seasons we would have seen a better stab at creatively producing something out of the ingredients available. Save for one or two the efforts were very pedestrian and definitely “amata”. I did laugh when Alana exploded her raspberry foam, definite banana peel moment.

I hope Andrew goes home tonight, he is way out of his alament here, the grey clam goo looks gross, loved Gary’s miniscule taste I wouldn’t have wanted to try it. Kumar hasn’t had many moments to shine and I fear his number may be up. I am keeping my fingers crossed as he is so sweet.

31 Fides { 06.02.11 at 5:52 pm }

@ kingfisher – re the camera filming all those mishaps – I heard an interview last year with Adam who said the cameras filming at their benches were really useful, because if the camera suddenly started focussing on something which you had cooking while you were doing something else, it meant something bad was happening. I think Adam said that was what alerted him to a few things which were about to go wrong.

Oh and one other thing from last night – Matt forgot to throw Billy’s mousse on the ground when he said “disgustingly good.” I know he said he wasn’t going to do it this year, but when he said it, I did have a flashback of poor Aaron having his pasta chucked to the ground. Maybe he should make it his thing – a supposedly great compliment, like a Mark Holden touchdown.

32 PollyB { 06.02.11 at 8:20 pm }

You know, we all agree Andrew is a shite cook, but I still don’t agree with the way Mehairgone treated him in this episode. At the beginning they said it wasn’t about being delicious, it was about creativity, imagination. Mehairgone was sooo rude to Andrew, very immature in the way he communicated that his dish was shite. Imagine the judges speaking to one of the females like that. I want Matt Moran back now. I think when he criticizes it doesn’t come across as a personal attack. It was like Mehairgone just took the chance while he could to be nasty. Year 9 stuff. Perhaps acceptable from a contestant on a reality program but not from a judge who is supposedly a professional, regardless of the television role. Pathetic.

33 Cue the music { 06.02.11 at 8:42 pm }

The Alana explosion moment was one to cherish – not so much the food, but the wearing of it on her face. Hey – I like food slapstick so tonight was a winner, with the soft shell crab hitting the deck topping it off.
Jay def. put up 2 fingers to Dani. Shame it was to help. They treat her with kid gloves.
I think Kumar deserves to get through tonight, but neither are Masterchef winners.

34 JaniceG { 06.03.11 at 6:24 am }

I was surprised that Kumar’s admittedly lackluster dish was picked over Rachel’s, which was actually inedible – her fish wasn’t cooked through and neither was her pastry. You only get points for ambition in my book if you pull most of it off. Inedible food seems worse to me than bland food that’s might not be texturally appealing.

@CueTheMusic – I think the Alana explosion is my favorite moment in the competition so far :->

35 JuneK { 06.03.11 at 6:42 am }

Oh please, just what was Shannon wearing when she took her helicopter ride??

36 littlepetal { 06.03.11 at 7:58 am }

Shannon thinks she is a baby doll but she forgot that she is not 3 and now toddlers and children actually wear dresses much longer than her.