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Masterchef Australia – One Person Had The Casting Vote

For the first time in four years the restaurant in the Masterchef warehouse was used. Twenty five critics came to judge the contestants in the Oz Harvest challenge. However it was packed to capacity with some of them relegated to a table just outside the room where they had to sit on the floor. This is not the table service they would normally get for a fine dining experience.

Not sure why they needed so many critics when it was one, the Commonwealth Bank attendee, who determined who won with a $20,000 donation. In a sense the other critics opinions were irrelevant.

It was a good episode with the blue and red team having to travel around to restaurants  with Oz Harvest vans to collect food from them that would otherwise be thrown out.

The red team headed by captain Amina said it was sabotage when the blue team had arrived at the Darrell Lea shop first. She thought by the red team ringing to ask them to save the chocolate meant this was fair play. If teams were just going to reserve food via phone it took the tension out of The Amazing Race type challenge.

What was amusing was the Darrell Lea shop both teams were going to was literally around the corner from the Hilton Hotel where they were allegedly coming from. But somehow the Red team went their via Wynyard which is an extremely round about way.

Both team got some great food, however the issue was having enough of something to make 25 dishes of it.

I suspect some of the restaurants gave food that was not going to be thrown out. The chef from the Four Seasons gave the red team a great looking salmon. However if the fish was going to turn would you be making Salmon Tartare?

The same could be said for the barramundi that the blue team scored. They were going to do tartare until Matt Moran suggested to team captain Ben they use their other fish as well and make fish pie.

However Andy queried whether they would have enough eggs to do the pastry but Audra who always steps up said she could do a rough puff which does not require them.

The two captains were pretty good, however the chaos came in when it was plating up time and it was touch and go whether the fish pie would be cooked in time.

The red team had to serve first to the critics who included Myffy Rigby from Time Out, Terry Durack from SMH, and his wife Jill Dupliex. Also there were chefs from Sydney restaurants including Mark Best.

They served Salmon Tartare with Wasabi Mayonnaise and Ponzu Dressing.  Myffy Rigby said she would have liked more seasoning and texture differentiation.  However Jill Dupliex thought it was good.

The Blue team served up the fish pie for entree which did not get the thumbs up for presentation but received good feed back for flavour.

The main for the red team was Beef Kofta with Cous Cous. Gary had told them to steer clear of their fancy plating up and go for something more rustic.

Mark Best and Matt Preston were not happy with the size of the serve they received and would have like one more piece of Kofta. Neither saw the irony that they were on a challenge that was promoting the fact there are some people in our society that do not have enough to eat!

Again the blue team were under the pump when it came to plating up their Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Raviolo. At four minutes to go it appeared they still had quite a few to cook. It was crazy. Ben had a Gordan Ramsay moment at the pass yelling at his team mates to stop plating up and listen to him.  Somehow they got them out…

Again the red team received some advice on plating up for dessert which was oversighted by the Julia. What was meant to be a stacked meringue dessert turned into a more up market Eton Mess but it was described as a Duo of Mousse with Plum Compote with meringue shards.

Even though the mousse looked like it was melting it did look better then Kylie’s dessert of Chocolate Fig Harvest, as it did look like a dog turd on a plate.   However probably not helped that Matt Preston pointed this out to Sally Feldman from Masterchef Magazine when it looked like this had not crossed her mind.

The judges then had to distribute the money they had to the dishes giving more to the plates they liked more.

In total $32012 was raised for Oz Harvest. However one dish was worth $20,000 donated from the Commonwealth Bank. As usual one of the big four banks wanted to control the market…

The red team received  $3056.50 in donations and the blue team $8955.50. Lucky for the blue team the $20,000 went to them for the fish pie, otherwise it would have been a tad unfair that one person could have had that much power to change what the majority of the critics thought.

The red team up for elimination and it looks like the first part of the challenge is to identify different types of poultry. Mario must be in danger of going.



1 Gidgit { 05.31.12 at 5:22 pm }

If it was meant to be a range of food critics and chefs eating the food – what was the Commonewealth Bank big wigs doing there? Oh that’s right, they are MC sponsors this year. Here is the meeting before hand:

CB: So we have been given $20,000 to give to either team – who should we give it to?

MC: Blue

CB: Oaky doaky

Could I be a tad paranoid that this entire season is as set up as possible to control who gets through and who doesn’t – yes. Can they control everything – of course not. The ‘taste what is in this meal’ trial is hard to control sure, but even then they can favour a type of food to a person eg: An Egyptian dish for Armina etc.

Tonight should be interesting. I would think before even attempting to be on this show you would doing as much food and cooking research as possible. Learning every cut of beef, lamb, pork – learning every type of poultry and game bird, studying up on herbs and spices. I would think this would just be common sense. So lets see who knows what they are doing and why they are there – and who just winged it in and is hoping to fly under the radar with massive lack of skill and knowledge.
(I have the feeling Deb is a goner)

2 Sioux Denim { 05.31.12 at 6:46 pm }

Thanks Jess – bit of strategy in the picking of the aprons then….

Would you eat swan?

3 brain dead dave { 05.31.12 at 6:55 pm }

I seriously doubt that the amatas could identify Wayne Swan or Dan Quayle. This is the show where you can fail at toasting a bun and be subsequently be fitted up with an ammunity pin.

Craig Thomson is good at identifying a shag.

Keep an eye out for the three vultures tonight-Gary , George and Jowlsy.

4 Joollz { 05.31.12 at 8:32 pm }

My mutton bird did make it on the line-up for tonight’s bird challenge. The whiff TK gave it was of anchovies. Delicious anchovies, the best.

5 Jess { 05.31.12 at 10:36 pm }

Oh, just a random thought on this episode…the totals were $3056.50 and $28,955.50. Who were the donors who added the 50c to their bill? Not satisfied enough to go a whole dollar?

6 Georgie { 06.01.12 at 9:46 am }

The irony of contestants collecting food that would otherwise be wasted, to raise money for Oz Harvest – while MC wastes tonnes of food each season. Using a whole turkey last night to get a few slices of breast meat for a stir fry is one example.

7 Planb { 06.01.12 at 10:08 am }

They don’t waste tonnes of food each season.

8 Dunbi { 06.01.12 at 10:11 am }

I always understood that any leftover food went to charity. By the way Georgie, thank you for the Pheasant Plucker song. Haven’t seen this in years. So funny.

9 Georgie { 06.01.12 at 10:23 am }

Thanks for enlightening me Planb – I stand corrected and apologise for my ignorance. It sounded good though…

Thanks Dunbi – all that talk of bird plucking brought it to mind.