Masterchef Australia – The Past Winner’s Present The Mystery Box
Even Julie Goodwin must not have been feeling confident about the ability of Season Four contestants as she explained to them what type of cut of meat chuck steak was. Tonight on Masterchef the three past winners, Julie Goodwin, Adam Liaw and Kate Bracks set the mystery box challenge.
In a twist the contestants could see what was in the three mystery boxes and choose which one to cook with. Julie Goodwin knows her demographic and kept her mystery box aimed at the budget dinner. There was the chuck steak, eggplant, onions, ricotta cheese and tinned tomatoes.
These less sexy ingredients would make it hard for a person to win with, but also no one who picked her box turned up in the bottom three either.
Adam Liaw box was much more eclectic it included Kimchi, pork bell, shiso cress, rambutan and spring onions. Amina jumped up and down at the kimchi but probably was not so excited by the pork belly. In fact we did not get to see what she cooked.
Kate Brack’s was dark chocolate, figs, Vincotto, honey and vanilla bean. Yes it was a no brainer which one Kylie, Emma and Julia picked.
Just after they picked the boxes they were given 90 minutes to cook and it was revealed there was no invention test. The winner and bottom three for Monday night’s pressure test would be picked. This was interesting as normally there is no ramifications for losing the mystery box, and does mean the contestants will take a few more risks.
Wade was on of these people and he knew he was in trouble when he picked the pork belly box. The good news was seeing Wade cook for once, the bad news was it was not great.
He was cooking Salt and Pepper Pork Belly. He steamed the pork and then deep fried it. It was not good, and his roti bread also did not work out. What is it with the trend of people making their own bread this year?
Mindy was making asian, as was her bench mate Andrew who actually went outside to the Masterchef herb Garden to find some lemon grass to add more flavour to his asian dish.
Sam made a pedestrian type meat strudel using the pastry he had learnt from last Friday’s Masterclass. Always a smart move strategically and something Callum used very effectively in his season.
Gary called it a budget meal it did not look particularly exciting, but he said it works.
Audra made braised pork belly with egg noodles and soft boiled egg. She is a good cook and she always presents it well, however the question is whether her having had a catering company gives her an edge over the other contestants? The judges loved her dish even though there was no crispy crackling to be seen. Adam Liaw said he would have been happy to plate up a dish like this not just during the competition but also at the end of it.
Deb made Fig Upside Down Cake with Vanilla Custard. She is a good cook as that cake looked delicious, particularly with the custard flecked with vanilla seeds throughout. They did not bother plating up with the six judges all taking a spoon and ploughing in. Matt Preston said “Simple can be sophisticated”.
Fillipo had a disaster with his chocolate pudding as did not put in as much flour as required and it collapsed. It tried to salvage it with some tricky plating up but this did not stop him getting a flaming from the judges. Gary treated him with his usual contempt and even after George asked him if he was OK, when he looked like he was going to cry he continued to be harshly critical. George said that he should stop trying to plate up like a restaurant and to be you. He also said it could be a lot better.
We are definitely seeing more of the food, the few dishes we didn’t see was Julia, Beau and Alice’s which was a nice break.
However we got a glimpse of Andy’s slow roast beef with the chuck which apparently had a lot of flavour, Jule’s ricotta ravioli and she over cooked it. Also Kylie’s caramel tart with figs and chocolate ganache ice cream which looked incredibly rich. Kate Bracks said she loved the ice cream as it tasted like you were eating just chocolate ganache.
Emma made one icecream cone with chocolate in the side and topped with a honey fig. She was criticised for that as she should have plated up six, but I suspect she only had one decent cone. The judges said if you serve up a cone you want to eat it like one.
Mindy made Pork Belly cooked two ways. She was smart enough to do pork crackling, but Gary said she had him at spring onion pancakes. Yeah right Gary.
When it came to judging Wade’s Salt and Pepper pork belly George said there were technique issues with the pork belly. Also George pushed aside the plate to turn into an amateur psychologist and asked him what was wrong? Basically he insinuated most of the stuff Wade has been plating up has not been up to scratch. Wade said he was psyched out by time factors and other things. What is mysterious is if Wade’s food has been pretty ordinary how has he managed to fly under the radar for so long?
Andrew finally delivered on a good dish with pork belly two ways. At one stage it looked like he would not make top three with his best dish ever. However they had a top four. They were Mindy, Audra, Debra and Andrew, with Audra winning and she will get the opportunity to cook for an immunity pin. What potential contestants should learn from this is the judges love pork!
With Audra winning this won’t stop the controversy surrounding the news that she was running a catering company in Sydney and whether that gives her an advantage over the other contestants. See previous blog post here.
The three battling to stay in the competition are Emma, Wade, and Filippo, and to be honest if they flicked all three of them it wouldn’t be a problem.