Masterchef – The Recipe Challenge
Dani sighed “I am completely out of touch with the home cook”. I loved how Dani tried to blame the home cook for the dish disaster, when in fact her recipe was poor in concept and badly written.
In fact I would argue her home cook had been following the recipe correctly she should not have plated up the pork belly in her pork belly and wanton soup. They only had 90 minutes to cook and her recipe said the pork belly was to be cooked for 70 minutes, then grilled for 10 – 20 minutes, and then rested for 10 minutes. However the home cook must have missed out on one of those steps as there was pork in the dish presented to the judges.
The challenge for the first day of final’s week was a cracker it was to develop a recipe for the home cook. It had to be something they could cook in 90 minutes. They were judged on quality of idea, how good the recipe tested and how good it tasted. The special guest judge/mentor was Curtis Stone.
Curtis advised that it had to be clear, concise and to the point.
He also said that if they were going to say it would take 30 minutes to give a bit of leeway to make it fit into the timeframe.
Was Curtis having a go at Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals, where the time frame is only achieveable if you are a professional chef?
The challenge was interesting as it gave an indication on what direction the remaining four were taking with their cookbook concept.
Kate was going for a bit of a Donna Hay look with her Hazelnut and Chocolate Torte with Ganache and boozy oranges.
Dani was going for an asian theme with her soup, Michael was like a outdoor fresh feel with his chicken and cos lettuce dish, even though it was cooked indoors. Alana cooked a dessert of apple and rosemary tart tartin which reminded me a bit of Maggie Beer. Alana when she has a choice does tend to cook desserts.
Once the home cooks hit the Masterchef kitchen the contestant was when the episode got really interesting.
The home cooks had to make the dish exactly how the recipe told them to, which is why I query how Dani’s cook could have got the pork belly in the soup.
Dani’s recipe looked like a Christine Mansfield one. Lots of ingredients and a lot of elements. In fact the person who would make that recipe are the types that won’t be buying Dani’s cookbooks. One of Dani’s mistakes was to put four litres in the soup recipe, whereas she had only used two litres. This mistake meant there was not as much flavour in the home cook’s stock.
Curtis loved the flavour of Dani’s soup. Gary was not so kind, he liked the soup but made a jibe about it being a weekday meal that the homecook would not make as it was too time consuming.
Michael’s lady produced a dish that looked exactly like the recipe. However she did get help from George Calombaris to break down her chicken. Which I thought was unfair, as the recipe should have been more specific in how to break it down, whether it was into four or six pieces and skin or off. The recipe did say to get your butcher to do it for you – but who gets a butcher to break down a chicken?
In fact every butcher in town probably thinking great now every customer will be expecting this service.
Michael’s home cook produced her dish to look like the photo, and Michael cooked his lettuce to get a more smoky flavour. In fact Matt Preston said if it had been an immunity pin challenge, the home cook would have won the immunity pin.
Alana’s recipe did not have any obvious faults, however her home cook’s prototype was not cooked all the way through nor was the puff pastry 100% correct. Apparently it did taste delicious. Also her cook made it in the wrong size frying pan. George liked the taste, and also liked the fact Alana was making people at home make pastry.
It was no surprise that Michael won, and his advantage was going into the pantry with Maggie Beer to see what the four would have to cook tomorrow. It was a chicken terrine and he was also given the recipe to take home to examine. Poh in season one also got this advantage in the final’s week, and she made it through to the finals.
Here is an interesting article in the SMH by TV writer Greg Hassell where he talks about how he would ‘fix’ Masterchef. A lot of what he writes about has been said on this blog by you guys the commenters.
Also The Gruen Transfer advertising “guru” Todd Sampson was in the Sun Herald today talking about how Masterchef Australia “‘the most effective advertising vehicle in Australian history”. Also how this is how advertising will occur more in the future.