Masterchef Australia – Days Of Our Knives
“You either survive or you die,” says Audra revealing that she has acquired Masterchef’s version of Stockholm Syndrome which has made her lose all sense of perspective after being locked in the Masterchef house for over six months.
Masterchef Australia was like a soap opera tonight with tears, heartache, melodramatic statements and drawn out scenes. Seriously how long does it take to taste and judge food? Did I mention drawn out tastings with complete with cheesy music?
The first challenge for the final five was to cook a sauce to go with a steak and they had twenty minutes to do it in. Ironically the contestants did not have to cook the steak, which considering it is the super pointy end of the competition they should have shown they knew how to do this.
In fact the last steak cooking challenge in Tasmania turned into a bit of debacle with only Jules a former top 24 contestant, cooking the steak to the required medium rare.
Mindy and Andy were both cooking mushroom sauces . “Are you sure it is not too creamy?” asks George of Mindy’s Five Mushroom sauce. Since when have the judges ever baulked at a bit of fat? I thought Gary had instigated a mandatory fat quota in the competition.
It was Andy who won the battle of the mushroom sauces. However it was Audra after waiting for what seemed like ages for the judges to give her any feedback who won the challenge with her Herb Vinaigrette sauce.
Lucky for Julia it was not an elimination as she would have been gone as the reviews of her Garlic and Truffle Aioli were scathing.
Julia who has been so stoic throughout the competition was starting to crack.
Thankfully she was not so emotionally fragile that she did not totally freak out when she saw the live bull in the pantry. What was the point of it? The contestants did not have to kill it or ride it. It was an unnecessary bit of dramatics in the episode and it took the attention away from the introduction of guest judge Masterchef UK’s host/judge John Torode.
The final five did not need to be shown where beef comes from, nor did the viewer.
The elimination challenge unsurprisingly involved beef. They had to cook a beef dish in two hours. Audra because she had won the previous challenge had the advantage of selecting a cut first. She chose short ribs, Andy chose shins, Mindy the chuck, Ben the rib eye and Julia was stuck with the rump.
In the final week how much assistance and advice should the judges give? Andy’s original dish of braising the shin and placing it on quenelles of mash potato was met with some underwhelmed looks by Gary and John. They advised to him to grill the marrow and cut up the shin, which he promptly did.
They did also advise Ben. Gary caustically asked “Where did you get that recipe for your onion soubise from?”. Unfortunately the answer was not “From one of your cookbooks Gary”. He did then change it to onion jam.
The judges even before the tasting said that Ben and Julia were the ones in trouble and they were. Audra’s Short Ribs in Master Stock were thought to be “yummy, yummy, yummy”, and Mindy was told she was safe after the judges tasted her Pepper and Szechuan Braised Beef, even though John Torode said it had not showcased the beef. It would have been interesting to know which ingredient he thought was being showcased as most of her platter was condiments.
However it was Andy who took out dish of the day with his Braised Shin with Mash Potato and Vegetables, something on paper that sounded unappetising but the judges thought was brilliant.
Julia’s Rump Steak with Caramelised Shallot Tartin split the judges, Matt thought it was a sophisticated dish whereas Gary thought the sauce was too aggressive.
Ben’s Roasted Rib-Eye with onion jam and fondant potatoes was said to have no direction and in the end the direction he was heading was out the door.
This also meant it was the end of the bromance of Ben and Andy. Andy paid him homage saying “He really has blown me away and I can’t wait for the next stage in our lives to start.” And there was the happy ending.
Ben plans to open a Mexican restaurant with Andy which is kind of ironic considering he never received that many accolades when he cooked the Central American cuisine.