Masterchef – Chang Challenge
Last week we had Heston seeing off Rachel and Shannon seeing her elimination as an opportunity to do what she set out to do, which – if I’m not mistaken – was devoting three years to getting on Masterchef. Que sera sera… But that’s all in the past. Tonight! Prepare for David Chang and some people looking clueless about Asian ingredients.
Credits: Ellie’s clumsy collapsing of the apple pile makes me hope even more fervently that she doesn’t go back to nursing.
Alana’s hoping to get to the front of the pack this week. This tells me that she’s a risk of facing elimination by the end of the episode. Peter reminds us that they all want to be there, and Hayden says he doesn’t know what’s in store. Clearly he has the short-term memory problem that the producers think we have.
George tells us that Ellie is un-able to compete because she’s sick, so she will have to go straight through to the pressure challenge.
Tonight’s challenge, Gary tells us, is a mystery box. A mystery box, “with a theme”. So it’s like – gasp! – a mystery box and an invention test all in one. Like, if you will, an “Invention Box Challenge”! Dani laughs uproariously at this, but she is the only person besides Gary who seems to think that this is at all witty. Matt stands looking imperious with his hand in his pocket.
Contestants will be cooking with one of three core ingredients – beef, pork and mackerel. The pot in front of each contestant contains their core ingredient. This news prompts Matt to take his hand out of his pocket and strike a Napoleonic pose. All the better to deliver the news about the challenge designer:
“Opening a restaurant in Sydney… numerous restaurants in Manhattan…” Contestant Mat knows who the mystery chef is before Preston finishes his sentence. I suspect Peter still might not know who he is. Yes, it’s David Chang and he is here to tell us about Korean food, as Preston is convinced none of us know what it is. Well, he’s probably right about most of the contestants. Mat is the only one who admits to having cooked with Korean ingredients, which Chang thinks is a courageous admission.
Cooking – 75 minutes
- Danielle – braised tofu in a spicy sauce with crispy beef and perilla roll-ups.
- Mat – marinated beef and rice, with a Korean inspired carpaccio.
- Michael – is lost.
- Dani – a Korean rice burger. She seems to think this is a wacky idea but the crappy food court at Melbourne Central had a Korean rice burger joint a few years ago.
- Adam – doesn’t know what 95% of the ingredients are. The fireball clearly knocked some sense into him, as he comes back after the ad break making steamed mackerel on a bed of cabbage with fried tofu.
- Peter – is making a plan. He’s making sushi, yakitori skewers and perilla roll-ups. Hang about… what’s with the perilla roll-up trend? He’s also doing a stir-fry of beef and tofu. Seems like he’s throwing everything around, hoping that something will stick.
- Alana – doesn’t know how mackerel is supposed to be cooked, so will grill it and serve it with some sides.
- Hayden – is talking in management-speak, taking Chang’s advice “on board”. He’s doing soup, beef, rice balls with perilla.
Dani is still pretending that she’s invented the rice burger idea. She’s making me angry. Gary’s totally buying her schtick, too. Mat is marinating beef and Michael is preparing his fish two-ways, hoping one will be palatable, I suspect.
“Holy mackerel, who’s got themselves in a pickle?” bellows George. He’s also making me angry.
Mat gets his hero moment with David Chang, which is good, since it seemed before the break that we were just going to get the deer-in-the-headlights edit. Adam gets advice from Chang and decides to ignore it. I believe Kumar, Sun, Billy, Craig and Kate are still in the competition, although I have no evidence to back this up.
Danielle adds more sauce to her dish “because the judges love sauce”. She forgets that the judges also like you to taste your sauces before adding them and realises that it’s now too salty. This could end up working in her favour as she seems to have forgotten that the judges are obsessed with salt.
Prior to tasting, George tells our contestants that every single one has risen to the challenge. I guess there’s no bottom three tonight, then.
We see Dani’s rice burger just before the break as she giggles to herself that she might be insane. The people at Mos Burger probably agree. I’m looking forward to Dani “inventing” something wacky with a frankfurt and… a ROLL! Maybe she’ll call it a hot-dog! I wonder what she could come up with given some potatoes, a peeler and a deep fryer? Maybe she’d be inspired by an idea to cut them into thin straws and then deep fry them! She would probably think that the resulting deliciousness might be something French people would like. French people. Fried potato. French. Fried. French fries! She’s a GENIUS.
- Peter – he’s done a LOT in 75 minutes, it seems. There’s a ridiculous “pew-pew!” sound effect that is making it impossible for me to focus on anything Preston is saying. Chang thinks he’s done a fantastic job. George has an opinion, but I don’t give a rat’s.
- Danielle – she tells Gary that it’s too salty. Silly, silly person. Gary has a taste followed by some panto staggering and water-swigging.
- Dani – still thinks it’s her idea. She is insufferable. Chang likes it when people go for broke. Clearly he also likes it when people unashamedly rip off fast food chains.
- Michael – mackerel is dry. He coulda been a contenda. George expects more.
- Hayden – Preston likes the whole feel of the dish. Chang’s a fan.
- Alana – Gary is disappointed with the fish and ambiguous about the presentation.
- Adam – Preston does a double take when he tastes. He tells Adam that he should have listened to Chang’s advice.
- Mat – Chang reassures Mat that there is such a thing as Korean carpaccio, and says he likes Mat’s version. Preston thinks the braised beef is as “boring as a 24 page double-glazing manual”. How… specific. The carpaccio is the best thing he’s tasted from Mat.
- Dani, with her totally ripped off Mos Burger. She still thinks she took a risk. This show might be half interesting if the judges had a clue.
The winner is… Hayden. He wants another immunity pin, so hopefully his challenger tomorrow will be the work experience kid from the staff canteen.
Mat, Dani, Peter and Hayden are allowed to go.
Bottom three: Kumar, Billy and Kate.
Ha! Wouldn’t that be hilarious…
Bottom three (actual):
Gary’s advice is to pull out all the stops. I hope there are some cliche books in the Masterchef house, because they will be handier than cookbooks at this stage. I wonder whether Adam smuggled a lotus root out to use as a loofah…