Masterchef Australia – The Heat Has Been Turned Up
Masterchef Australia turned up the heat and pressed the turbo button as this week three contestants will be eliminated and then one each night next week until three are left standing for the Wednesday night finale.
Tonight the mystery box enlarged and became the mystery fridge. However the challenge was really a masterclass by producers in how to get as many of the shows sponsors on screen in the space of a few minutes.
The contestants had thirty minutes to cook a dish from the “leftovers” in the fridge they had randomly selected and all the ingredients in there had to be utilised.
As per usual the judges would only pick three dishes to taste.
Julia’s baked eggs were never going to get picked as they were very undercooked with her underestimating the time required to set them.
However Mindy’s Raviolo with her left over bologanise was tried, as well as Andy’s Smoked Trout Pie, and Audra’s Roast Lamb Murtabak.
Even though Gary was thinking he was still in Italy when he described Audra’s dish as “numero uno” and Mindy’s plate had George “salivating”, it was no surprise Andy won as the judges had flagged it five minutes earlier by saying he had never won an individual challenge. There is always the not so hidden clue on who is going to be judge the best.
The win was to give him an advantage in the next challenge which was to cook a dish that could be put on the cover of the Masterchef magazine. Another clever bit of product placement. Sally Feldman the editor was the special guest and she gave them the brief. They had to make a dish that when someone looks at it they want to make it right away and it has to be achievable.
She also said there were to be no bones and it needs to look recognisably yummy. Not sure why they didn’t just ditch the challenge and just put Andy on the front cover – instead of beef put on the beefcake. It would have been a best seller.
They had 90 minutes to make the dish with Andy getting an extra 30 minutes.
Andy kicked the challenge off making Roast Beef with Root Vegetables, with Mindy being her passive agressive best saying “He actually looks like he knows what he is doing behind there now”.
Sally in an aside to Matt Preston said chocolate was always a good choice and since it would be the July cover it should be seasonable.
Something Kylie had not thought about as she used the time waiting to start cooking to flex like she was about to run a marathon. She had to change her ingredients in her tart as she was going to use unseasonable and hence over priced raspberries. She turned it into Strawberry and Apple Crumble Tart.
However the change of ingredient did not hinder the flavour the judges thought it was absolutely delicious.
Julia who was making an Apple Tarte Tatin with a Butterscotch Ice cream also had to change strategy as Sally informed her there had been one on the cover a few months ago. She changed the core ingredient to pear.
Conversely Wade ignored their advice and clearly didn’t understand what “no bones on the cover” meant. He made a Rack of Lamb on Braised Lentils. Sally and Matt Preston were quite incredulous that he was not following the brief. He thought he would be able to change their opinion. He did not and was hammered in judging with Sally saying “It has bones, it looks brown. It just does not cut it in any way”.
Brown is bad except when it is chocolate. Mindy made Chocolate Mousse Tart with Caramel Oranges and it was described as “super yum”, and Matt gave his view that it was the kind of cooking that will get you the big trophy at the end of the series. Clearly no bottom three for Mindy.
Someone who was not having such a great time of it was Julia. George Calombaris must have had a bet with the other judges about how he would make Julia crack before the end of the series. He sensed a win when she teared up over her Pear Tatin not looking how she hoped, he kept on asking hard questions until she broke down crying for the first time on the show. However after he had her on the rack, he did tell her he thought it tasted great.
Matt Preston thought it was a little ungenerous with only three tarts, he would have liked to have seen six.
It would have been interesting to know Matt’s opinion about the token offering of Beau’s which was a single small Lemon Meringue Pie served on a plate. Maybe Sally spoke for all the judges when she said “On its own it just looks a little sad and lonely”. It was polite of her not to use the word pathetic.
Maybe Matt cut him some slack as Beau’s dish gave him the opportunity to drop in the conversation that he was writing a cook book. He said he had been told there should be a lemon tart in every cookbook. So there is one spoiler from the upcoming publication.
Ben made Thai Beef Curry which was described as pedestrian. However his best mate Andy’s roast beef looked great however his vegetable were overcooked, sometimes that extra time can be a negative thing.
Alice made a Georgian Cheese Pie. George said the filling was too salty. Seriously if Georgian food was a decent cuisine wouldn’t there be restaurants making it? Also there is no market for a Russian cook book.
Audra made a delicious looking Apple Pie and Matt evocatively described it as “Looks pregnant with appley promise!” However the apple still had bite to it which apparently is a negative thing.
The top three were Kylie, Mindy and Julia’s. Julia’s was a bit of a shock as it had not presented as she had wished. However in hindsight it was because the dish had been served cold so the ice cream did not drizzle as she had hoped.
Unsurprisingly Mindy won and gave her equivalent of an Oscar speech about how she “went out on a limb” etc etc.
The bottom three were Wade, Ben and Alice. How did Beau miss out on the bottom three? Oh that is right Alice had to be there to provide the drama of will she or won’t she play the immunity pin. If Alice does play the pin Beau will replace her. Unfortunately we have to wait for Monday night’s episode to see how this plot line unfolds.