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Masterchef Australia – Nigella Lawson Cameo And Gen X versus Gen Y

“I have grown up having facebook on, texting, studying so that makes us good multi-taskers” said Ellie who thought these “skills” would give the Gen Y team an extra edge. What? I would call that quasi- ADHD.

Sun called it when she said Gen Y’s are not known for their concentration spans.

Rachael described the challenge as “old farts versus young tarts” . She loved joke so much she said it twice in the episode.

Tonight was a good episode where the challenge was to cook recipes from Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks. However the twist was it was a tag team challenge. Each person only have 20 minutes in the kitchen. The team captain who was first in kitchen got 25 minutes and a look at the recipes. The rest of them had zip.

Unfair? Setting them up to fail? Who cares it was entertaining. And considering the parameters of the challenge I thought the dishes they stumped up were pretty good.

Obviously Nigella Lawson was the guest judge for this episode, and she was fabulously articulate. I did wonder if part of her contract was that she stipulated she had to sit behind a table for the whole episode. For the record I think Nigella Lawson is a sex bomb.

The down side was she was only in a quarter of the episode.

Alana was captain of the Gen Y’s, and Adam was the captain of the Gen X team. The Gen X team had to put one person into the kitchen twice, and Adam chose Billy because he is good at presentation.

The six dishes were red velvet cup cakes, Devil’s Food Cake, Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, potato gratin and brussel sprouts with bacon, and Game Pie.

Alana’s strategy was to measure out all the ingredients, and I think that is what Adam did as well.

Adam when he was giving his one minute handover had a brain explosion and forgot the sixth dish so Billy had no idea what he was meant to make.

Adam’s strategy was to put Kate and Rachel back to back as he thought two mums would communicate and sort out any messes. And they did. Kate had worked out there was some sort of chocolate cake to make and Rachael just made her own recipe for the cake.

I thought Danielle was a machine in the kitchen and was very impressive the way she whipped up that suet pastry and did a squillion other things.

Also I thought it was a bit rough that Alana was having a go about Ellie sticking the chunk of veal into the game pie.  Apparently it was for flavour when cooking the filling, and was not to go in the pie. How the hell would you know that without the recipe.

Another highlight of the episode was the look on Shannon’s face when she hit the kitchen. She just looked shocked.

By the time it was Dani’s turn she walked into a dogs breakfast. she pulled out the over cooked beef, and the sunken red velvet cup cakes. At one stage I thought she had mistaken the yorkshire puddings for the cupcakes.

She started remaking the cup cakes, and I was impressed she could do that without a recipe. I suspect she re-did them as she really had no idea what else to do. I loved the way she flicked the making of the yorkshire pudding onto Matt. “He’ll know how to do it”. He had no idea.

The blue team was going along ok, no major disaster except when Sun yelled out “No” to Kumar who was icing a hot cake. This resulted in a three minute time penalty. I noticed no one turned around to comfort her when she made that mistake.

Billy busted his arse getting everything plated in the last 17 minutes.

When they walked out to be judged and they saw Nigella Lawson and there was much squealing. I must confess I would have given a little squee as well, the lady is an international icon.

Shannon cried” Domestic Goddess is like my bible”  with tears rolling down her face.

They judged the Gen Y team first:

The rib roast was over cooked. Nigella was polite about it, but Gary and George were not.

Apparently the gratin would have been better if it was “slightly more voluptuous” according to Nigella.

“The Devil’s Food Cake was dry, but the flavour is fine.” she said.

Dani was stoked that Nigella thought the Red Velvet Cupcakes were “fabulous”. Gosh that girl gets lucky.

The Game Pie that Hayden made was very good also.

The Blue Team (Gen X) were then judged:

The beef was good, however the Game Pie pastry was criticised particularly the pastry. Rachael’s chocolate cake, Nigella thought it was a knockout and wanted the recipe. However she thought the red velvet cup cakes were in the oven too long and were a bit dry.

Personally any Red Velvet cup cakes I have ever had have been dry.

Gen X were pronounced the winner and they are off to lunch at Tetsuya’s, and Gen Y face an elimination, and it looks like the red team will have to stump up a couple of the team members to go head to head. My bet is Alana versus Arena.

45 comments

1 Oshada { 06.09.11 at 1:16 am }

Aaand Dani continues her streak of slagging off teammates post-challenge.

2 CJ { 06.09.11 at 7:03 am }

I came to make the same comment as Oshada – maybe Dani used Strat Matt’s WWERD advice. It was a classic move – finish the challenge and immediately plant the seed that Arena had stuffed it up. I think whoever was in the kitchen for the third and forth 20 minutes of the beef should go up. That grey lump of meat looked inedible.

3 Chookpea { 06.09.11 at 7:04 am }

Why is Dani getting so much airtime? Her voice is really starting to grate me.

4 PollyB { 06.09.11 at 7:28 am }

Go Gen X, can’t wait to see Tetsuya tonight. Geez, I reckon Kumar is lucky to still be around. I’m not really into Nigella, but Rachel has some bragging rights I think. Had enough of Dani’s face, voice and opinions.
Ooh, and Matt’s back for the 2nd time this week. Those two jumping beans look like gnomes next to him.

5 librarygirl { 06.09.11 at 7:48 am }

I LOVE Nigella. Sat there like a complete fool with all her books in front of me referring to the recipes while this challenge was on.
I thought she was unbelievably kind about the beef, given that she is pretty much a vampire – just about eats it raw.
I would have squealed, and cried, too. And been like Johno last year with Heston and Jamie. My sister saw Nigella at the food festival and said she is much slimmer (very hour glass though) than she appears on television and jaw droppingly beautiful.

6 AnonyMousse { 06.09.11 at 7:50 am }

Having Team Captains for this challenge was pointless, since they couldn’t actually lead. And putting your hand up for elimination just because you were a captain is pretty damned stupid because of that, unless you’d actually done something wrong like forgotton one of the recipes, like Master Ninja Adam did (what? It took us several weeks of the competition for us to know he existed – only a Master Ninja could remain hidden in plain sight for that long).

I never realised that gratin is meant to be shaped into something resembling the female figure – that’s the only way that making it “slightly more voluptuous” could make sense to me. Perhaps you’re not seen to be a famous chef until you borrow a word completely unrelated to cooking and insert it into your commentary somewhere. I’m off to make sure my jam is more ‘rowdy’ and my toast is as ‘gregarious’ as possible.

7 Crabtech { 06.09.11 at 8:00 am }

Masterchef was never about the food but more about the people – reality tv after all. But at least it pretended to be about food. This year food is becoming a very distant cousin to the theatrics of the challenges which don’t allow for much real cooking. I know we have been complaining about the cooking knowledge/skills of contestants, but have they really been given opportunities to cook instead of running around like headless chooks.
Communication skills were supposed to be the key yesterday. Red communicated better but blue team’s food better even though blue team’s communication not as good so they won. What was that supposed to prove? Nothing. But it made for good tv. If it was about cooking then it would not be shown at prime time as cooking shows rarely rate in the evenings.
Despite my grumblings I rarely watch cooking shows or even reality shows but i do watch masterchef so the producers were doing something right. The question is are they doing enough to keep viewers watching given the strange mix of contestants that they have this year?
The answer is probably yes. What did having to go buy the food in Hong Kong and Paris make the food they cooked any better? It didn’t. But it was great tv to show them running through those cities.

8 BenSmith { 06.09.11 at 8:32 am }

Alana did have a bite at Ellie for sticking the huge chunk of veal into the game pie, but that wasn’t Ellie’s only brain explosion. She also sked Arena if she should put the sprinkles on the top of the icing of the red velvet cupcakes before they went in the oven…!?!?!?!
So I think as team captain, Alana’s frustration with Ellie was justified.
Arena and Ellie should go to elimination.

9 smauge { 06.09.11 at 8:32 am }

Oh PLEEEEEEASE put Ellie up for elimination!! Shame Dani saved the cupcakes. I want her gone.

10 zibb { 06.09.11 at 8:40 am }

I think it probably will be Alana and Arena tonight, based on the promos, which will make it hard to tell who’s who and who’s cooking what. But I don’t think it should be Alana, as a captain and the first person she seemed to do a good job, within the fairly restrictited limits of what she could do. I think maybe Shannon? was in there and didn’t take the meat out, and she said she should have known to take it out, so maybe she will put her hand up?

11 Paul { 06.09.11 at 9:09 am }

Can never understand why the judges just don’t pick the two weakest links themselves and be done with it. This process of letting the contestants choose is a farce and inevitably it ends up with the captain sacrificing him or herself. And more often then not, its not their fault and they are one of the better cooks.

With each episode Kumar is looking more and more hopeless. I’m actually wondering why he is still there as I cannot remember a dish which he hasn’t basically stuffed up. Forget Sun, Mat and co. He is easily the weakest link.

Think there’s a very good reason why Nigella was seated the whole time. It would be her publicity machine I’d imagine.

12 Dash { 06.09.11 at 9:13 am }

I love Ellie, but honestly sticking a big lump of veal in the middle of a pie?!!? wtf!? So Alana was right about having a go at her. Alana did a great job as a captain!

13 Fides { 06.09.11 at 10:02 am }

i enjoyed that episode…always been pretty indifferent to Nigella but she won me over last night. Thought she gave some great constructive comments as a judge.

My dislike for Dani seems to know no bounds. Her laugh and the way she opens her mouth too wide were bugging me big time…and her comments and attitude about the cupcakes didn’t help. She did show some judgement in getting the cakes and beef out of the oven though.

Think Shannon and Ellie should be bottom 2. Ellie gave a terrible handover which stressed Shannon out, but Shannon should have checked the oven! Don’t think Arena is to blame for the first batch of cupcakes, at least she made them. Ellie put them in the oven and Shannon didn’t take them out. So that would be around 40 min already by the time Dani got to them.

I did notice Ellie removing hair from the pie filling before she closed it in the pastry. Assumed it was Danielle’s…maybe it was the hair which distracted her from the veal.

And i’m glad Gen X won. Thought it was smart of Adam to put Kate and Rachel together…the mums did sort it out. And loved Billy too.

14 AT { 06.09.11 at 10:08 am }

Is it official to confirm that the red team is cursed this year? They only won one team challenge so far this year. (Note to Matt the strategy dude: you may need to change Rule #8 about choosing red all the time this season…)

15 Suzanne { 06.09.11 at 10:14 am }

I actually like Dani – she tells it like it is, and doesn’t buy into the groupthink of being nice. Surely in this competition it’s better to point out other’s failings before they focus on yours?
@Anonymousse – good call on Ninja Adam. I think it’s Arena that I have never seen before, or as my daughter calls her – Pippi Long Stocking.

Loved how everyone totally ignored Sun when she called out, and then when they won (or finished?) she put her hand up to high-five and it was awkwardly left un-high fived. I was hoping her team would lose, as she would definitely have been up for elimination.

16 EH { 06.09.11 at 10:16 am }

AT, I reckon Hayden is more cursed than the red apron. He has been in every single team elimination round so far.

Dani is giving me Joanne’s vibe. RR, you might be right predicting her as the villain. She wasn’t making friends with the way she was slagging off Arena’s cupcakes and talking herself up as the hero.

17 Thomas { 06.09.11 at 10:30 am }

Yeah Poor Hayden. At least he probably won’t need to cook in this elimination challenge.

18 scruffnkelsmum { 06.09.11 at 10:54 am }

methinks Nigella’s use of the word “voluptuous” was a very polite way of saying some cream/sauce to go with the potatoes- the red team’s gratin looked very dry. I loved her, and think she is a stunning woman, not a stick figure like many these days.

I am glad the blue team won- I just wish SUN was 29 and could have been on the red team- then I would put her up for elimination for sure! I would really like Dani to go, but given she was such a “hero” with the damn cupcakes I guess she will be safe! I am thinking Ellie and Arena, or maybe Shannon???

It was a great episode tho, even if the challenge was not strictly about each person’s cooking. Communication is important in a kitchen too! I am not sure why the judges said blue team had poor communication- except for boofhead forgetting the cake recipe thing, they all passed on info pretty well i think- that’s how they won!! (plus I think they are mostly the better cooks)

19 Gillian { 06.09.11 at 11:15 am }

I too was a bit confused about all the publicity about Nigella’s weight. I thought she was gorgeous! There is too much emphasis on women being stick thin.

20 littlepetal { 06.09.11 at 11:28 am }

I always believe that Ellie is only as good as the recipe. Without recipe she is a goner. Ellie is good at following a recipe and I am afraid that she may be in a few more elimination challenges but she will blitz them.

Silly challenge tonight. How can you communicate to the next person in 60secs? If communication is the key they should be given more time to do that.

Agreed that team captains can’t do anything to save the dishes.

Wonder if the blue team has lost, which 2 will be up for elimination? Adam, Billy, Kumar, Sun (for her big mouth)? We didn’t see what Craig or Peter did.

21 Emma { 06.09.11 at 11:40 am }

I love Nigella! Pity she wasn’t in it for long :(, she was lovely and gracious as always. I was really looking forward to her judging and she didn’t disappoint.

Hayden is looking like the kiss of death somewhat! I mean every team he’s in loses … poor guy.

I thought this was a pointless challenge really – communication is important yes, but they only had a minute to communicate 5 dishes to each other, most people wouldn’t have been able to do that including the judges methinks.

22 Sooty { 06.09.11 at 12:17 pm }

I saw a version of this on Top Chef where the contestants are actual chefs. They had to guess with no communication (and no recipes) the intentions of the original member of the tag team.

So some communication breakdowns occurred, which was why they made up the challenge as they did, for that chaos and fun for us. But it’s also a challenge about commonsense and observation skills a normal cook (household) has to use. Check the roast, keep an eye on or at least check the progress of the cupcakes, etc. Smell the burning! I enjoyed it and loved Nigella. Wish she’d been on for longer.

23 brain dead dave { 06.09.11 at 12:18 pm }

I don’t mind if Nigella calls stuff voluptuous. It’s been her schtick for years to do that. It’s got to be better than “sex on a plate”…..

Her classy prescence dragged Ma$terchef out of the sewer for a good twenty minutes or so.

24 Fides { 06.09.11 at 12:24 pm }

10 seconds to communicate each dish – that’s ridiculous.

I don’t see why reds were said to communicate so well when three of their original oven dishes ended up overlooked and overcooked. And just because NinjaAdam had a brainfreeze and said red devil cupcakes doesn’t mean the team didn’t communicate well.

Someone mentioned the other day (sorry, can’t remember who) about how Hayden has a rather effeminate running style. I did notice that last night.

Wish the judges would select the weakest links, or instead of two facing elimination, they should vote on two who are exempt from the elimination challenge. Would like to see Dani, Danielle and Hayden fight that one out for pie and cupcake superiority.

25 Emma { 06.09.11 at 12:32 pm }

By Sooty – “But it’s also a challenge about commonsense and observation skills a normal cook (household) has to use. Check the roast, keep an eye on or at least check the progress of the cupcakes, etc. Smell the burning!”

True that. I hadn’t thought of it that way, I guess most people just do those things without thinking about it too much. Common sense comes with life experience which explains why blue team won perhaps.

by brain dead dave – “Her classy prescence dragged Ma$terchef out of the sewer for a good twenty minutes or so.”

So true, like a rose between two … thorns. 😉

26 Pollywaffle { 06.09.11 at 1:09 pm }

Nigellas contract clause 10567.2…. Tactile offense strategy in situ @media events

If there is a remote chance of being groped front on by sleazy chef types Nigella must be placed in a parallel seating situation preferably in the middle seat to fend off multi angle groping when said chefs reach across her chest for the stuffing.

27 David Allen { 06.09.11 at 1:33 pm }

I love Nigella. That is all.

28 AngelSN86 { 06.09.11 at 1:37 pm }

We missed whole chunks of what people actually did. Like we never saw Arena until she handed over to Ellie. She mentioned that she only had time to mix the cupcake mix so what else was she doing in the 20 minutes? We didn’t see who made the potato gratin or brussel sprouts dishes for either team. Other than seeing Billy slice the potatoes.

Alana shouldn’t have to go up for elimination just because she was captain, not in this type of challenge. Alana did everything she could, she measured out the ingredients for all the dishes and seemed to communicate them well to the next person. I wouldn’t pick Ellie for elimination either, she did a decent job of putting the filling into the pie etc. Putting in the veal as well is not a deal breaker for me. Thats something that should’ve been communicated to her, that it was for flavour. She hadn’t seen the recipe, maybe it was supposed to be like that for all she knew.

It should be whoever didn’t pull out the beef and possibly Matt for the failed yorkshire puddings or Arena for the cakes. Or possibly whoever stuffed up the chocolate cake. But that wasn’t made clear why the chocolate cake wasn’t right. Was it the ingredients or was it over-cooked?

What did Shannon actually do? She didn’t take out the beef, or the cupcakes. Maybe she did the chocolate cake?

29 Culinary Boner { 06.09.11 at 1:56 pm }

To paraphrase Yoda:
Quivering mess be I if Nigella brushed against me, I would.

That said, with all her voluptuous milky goodness and ravishing raven hair, I still can’t fathom why she has to play the coquette with those silly hair flicks and eye flashes. Guess it’s an integral part of her act now and can’t be dispensed with.

She did add to the episode immensely and it was a just a pity that she was only on for a short while and that, as appears clearly stipulated in her appearance contracts, her ample arse was super-glued to a chair.

So, so glad the Gen Y bubble-heads lost. Dani appears perfect for the PR industry for me. She clearly knows the name of the game is the art of graciously throwing your colleagues (a.k.a. to many on-the-up, stereotypic genY’s as “them blood-sucking rivals”) under the bus, whilst avoiding the need to display any real talent of your own. I predict that she’ll go places regardless of how many more weeks she’s on our screens.

30 donae { 06.09.11 at 2:04 pm }

Voila says Mat, my Yorkshire Pudding while opening the oven door.
Michael with superior cooking skills on show couldn’t close the door
fast enough but too late. Mat for the elimination, he’s been skulking in
the back row for too long.

31 Fides { 06.09.11 at 2:35 pm }

i’ve been rewatching and Shannon’s shown doing the too salty sprouts. Also noticed that Arena tells Ellie that the beef and potatoes are done, but to watch them. I guess Ellie and then Shannon just took it literally, so I suppose Arena should have been more explicit.

Ellie makes the choc cake and puts it in the oven. When Dani takes it out, it’s looking pretty burnt. I reckon she took it out late in her 20 min stint as you see the choc cake still in the oven when she puts her cupcakes in.

Right that’s it for me. Have rewatched this ep too many times! Now i’m off to work to do something productive,

32 littlepetal { 06.09.11 at 2:40 pm }

I know I jump the gun. I find it quite funny that they wouldn’t have Neil Perry on the show (after what he said about MC) but the contestants will have to cook his dishes in the coming Sunday night challenge.
Sunday episode:

‘Tonight the remaining contestants invite 24 very special Qantas guests into the MasterChef restaurant for an 8-course feast based on Neil Perry’s first class menu. ‘

Wonder Neil Perry will be one of the guest? :)

33 TMC { 06.09.11 at 2:58 pm }

Nigella is the sort of Bomb I’ld love to go off in my face

34 smauge { 06.09.11 at 3:18 pm }

aaah Nigella…Men want her and wonam want to be her…
I remember something being said about no bicarb in the cupcakes? So maybe it will be the baker who get pushed out, rather than someone later who didn’t take them out?

35 Emma { 06.09.11 at 3:25 pm }

The cupcakes were made with self raising flour apparently so wouldn’t need a raising agent. I think they were overfilled and just left in the oven too long.

(I know this because I’ve made many cupcakes, some of them quite spectacularly bad because I’ve made the same mistake ;))

36 Joseph Skyrim { 06.09.11 at 3:29 pm }

I’m actually pleased Dani did well as I find her fun to watch (she reminds me of someone I know). Not so pleased with Arena and Ellie doing poorly though (as I like watching them too :P), but did like Hayden’s “Its a piece of veal, George.” when Ellie was stammering with her answer.

Also felt Goth Mat wasn’t at fault with the yorkshire things he needed to make, it was really his team’s fault for simply assuming he would know how to make em. Like RR I’m thinking it will be Arena vs Alana tonight via self sacrifice.

Poor Hayden being in every single losing team up till now, but you have to hand it to the “old farts”, they kicked butt. I actually think the 3 minutes Billy was restrained from doing anything worked in his favor as that was 3 minutes of sitting there and planning exactly what needed to be done, rather than jumping in and overlooking something.

Also who is this Nigella person!? Why haven’t we seen more of her? She’s so nice! ^_^

37 smauge { 06.09.11 at 3:33 pm }

The judges indicated that bi carb was part of the recipe. If it’s a particularly heavy recipe it may need the extra kick from Bicarb or baking powder.
Joseph! Where have you been that you’re not familiar with the Domestic Goddess? I also agree about the 3 minute thing. I thought he can sit back and assess the situation. Billy’s a smart cookie, he would have had it all together when his 3 minutes was up.

38 Emma { 06.09.11 at 3:47 pm }

Self raising flour is plain flour with baking powder added. I’ve never heard of using s.r. flour and raising agents in a cake recipe.

Nigella’s original recipe uses plain flour plus raising agents – perhaps this is why the judges asked about the bicarb.

39 Culinary Boner { 06.09.11 at 3:51 pm }

all this talk about cupcakes is shrinkin’ me ‘nads

40 littlepetal { 06.09.11 at 4:13 pm }

CB-don’t read. I am still talking about the cupcake. Emma is right. Nigella’s cupcake uses plain flour and baking soda. Alana said she weighed everything. So did Arena use her own recipe and used SR flour and no bicarb? I guessed so.

41 anonymice { 06.09.11 at 5:12 pm }

Nigella was awesome. Sucked in Gen y’s. Think you know everything. Nothing like experience and focus.

42 brain dead dave { 06.09.11 at 8:22 pm }

Dani- Ma$terbitch.

43 smauge { 06.10.11 at 7:10 am }

I’ve used cupcake, muffin and cake recipes with both SR flour and raising agents, but they have been special recipes for sweets with vegetable and fibre content, and for that reason maybe the exeption to the rule.
I’ve never done Nigella’s recipe so I’m prepare to take your word for it. Did they give Alana plain flour to throw a spanner in the works?
I wouldn’t have brought this up again but I really wanted to see how much we could make CB’s nads would shrink.

44 donae { 06.10.11 at 1:51 pm }

to Joseph (who is Nigella ?) She is absolutely gorgeous, English,
cooking shows have been on channel 2, has sold 6 million copies
of her books, I’m sorry you have missed her in your previous life.

45 Joseph Skyrim { 06.10.11 at 3:13 pm }

@donae Hehe if I didn’t watch MC I would have missed her in this life too! =P Glad I didn’t though! Thanks for the info, I’ll keep my eyes out more for her works and appearances in the future.