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Masterchef Australia – The Three Hatted Challenge

Is there any restaurant critic who hasn’t been on a reality show? I knew it was only a matter of time before Sydney Morning Herald Terry Durack cracked and was a guest judge on Masterchef, as was the delightful Joanna Savill.

It was a great challenge for the final three tonight. Each went to a different three hat restaurant in Sydney to make either an entree, main or dessert.

Kate and Alana did rock, paper, scissors to see who got dessert, and Kate won. While that was going on Michael grabbed the main course. Alana then had to do entree. She was to go to Marque, Michael to EST, and Kate to Quay.

Their challenge was to make a three hat standard dish which fit in with the aesthetic of the rest of the menu.

They went with their favourite ingredients and techniques  – Michael went with beetroot, Alana likes smoking her protien, and Kate likes coffee.

Alana was told at the end of the episode that she was nervous in the kitchen. I don’t blame her she had the toughest chef to work with Mark Best. If there is ever an Australian version of Hell’s Kitchen he should be host. He was a tad scary but he came out with some cracker lines.

Some of his best (no pun intended) lines tonight were:

  • “It is a bit vomit like” looking at Alana’s entree dish. In fact that maybe the quote of the series.
  • It is pretty acidic at this stage…. I’m not really sure how we are going to repair that.” said Mark about the truffle vinagrette. Alana suggested sugar or reducing it. Mark responded bluntly “Your going to have to start again”.
  • “At this level we don’t try it – at this level it is not 90%, it’s not 95% it is 100%” said Mark to Alana about the cutting of her tuna.

Three restaurant critics were judging the meals tonight. Matt Preston, Terry Durack and Joanna Saville. Obviously they went to Marque first for the entree of smoked tuna.

Terry thought Alana’s entree had a spring feel. He also said “It is lovely undercurrent of flavour of smoke and everything is beautifully executed.”  Matt Preston thought there was too much going on which was his same criticism of her entree last night.

Terry also said on appearances the dish was a Marque dish, but flavour wise there was not a razor sharp flavour that you normally get with a Marque dish.

Then it was off to EST for Michael’s main.

Micheal cooked veal with beetroot, a chestnut puree and a juniper jus. Terry Durack thought it looked worthy being on the table at a restaurant of that quality. Joanne thought the best thing on the plate was the venison. She slightly questioned the chestnut puree, but loved the dish. “Everything works,” said Terry.

However Peter told Michael he dropped his bundle at the end of service and he was disappointed with the last three plates he sent out.

Coffee and Cardamon was Kate’s dish. “A fair whack of alcohol in it,” said Joanna, and I don’t think she found that a negative thing.  Matt Preston thought the hero of the dish was the ice cream. Terry was wondering whether there is an element missing from the dish.

Back at the Masterchef kitchen the judges gave a wrap up with Kate and Michael getting the best feedback. Michael won and gave the Toyata jump when he found out.

No surprise that Alana was up for elimination tomorrow, and Kate must be a bit disappointed that she is duking it out to see who will be the other person in the finale.

Tomorrow we finally see Zumbo, with some Gingerbread House creation. I hope Kate gets through, as I think Alana has played it far too safe during this season, particularly in Tuesday’s night elimination challenge where she cooked twists on dishes she had already cooked. I lost the Alana love then.


1 brain dead dave { 08.04.11 at 6:53 pm }

Kate might have watched a lot of The Price Is Right and Deal Or No Deal.

Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that bike for a few weeks myself. Can’t be another shitty product placement.

Three more sleeps til….Lobes, maaaaate.

2 alicia { 08.04.11 at 7:09 pm }

OMG and I thought i was the only one who noticed that bike
Yeah whats with it anyway cant imagine any of the judges especially matt preston using it

3 brain dead dave { 08.04.11 at 7:15 pm }

The bike has been one of the highlights of S3,I’m surprised there’s not a cheapass ammunity pin hanging off it.

4 brain dead dave { 08.04.11 at 8:19 pm }

C’mon,post the “winner” someone please. 15 mins in here and the contestants are just running to their benches. Snorefe$t.

5 AnonyMousse { 08.04.11 at 8:31 pm }

Come on guys, we covered the bike months ago – it’s meant to symbolise Masterchef’s ‘coming of age’ by replacing the scooter that used to be there. That, or the scooter manufacturer didn’t come through with the royalty check this season.

6 brain dead dave { 08.04.11 at 8:33 pm }

Don’t bother….from the pieces to camera Alana looks real happy.

7 brain dead dave { 08.04.11 at 8:51 pm }

I really wanted to see Alana’s freckle.

8 ange { 08.04.11 at 8:57 pm }

I thought both ladies did a fantastic job tonight, given the complexities of the dessert. I do think Kate did a better job, as Alana’s roof was burnt. I am hoping Kate beats Michael in the finale.

9 Reality Raver { 08.04.11 at 11:17 pm }

Lulu – I think it is interesting that these days food critics are no longer anonymous. I am a bit of a fan of Joanna Savill’s since her days of doing Food Safari with Maeve.

Little Petal – Alana lost me on Tuesday night with her menu of revisisted items she had already cooked.

Anonymouse – LOL about the bike theory – what will it be next year then? A smart car?

10 Culinary Boner { 08.05.11 at 3:06 pm }

Raver, next year will be either an ass or a rickshaw