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Masterchef All Stars – The Croquembouche Is Back

The difference between an All Star and an non all star Masterchef contestant has been revealed –  the All Stars don’t believe in listening to the professional chefs anymore.

The conundrum tonight for the All-Star contestants was whether to listen to the professional chef, Adriano Zumbo, or to the team mates standing up on the balcony. Some did and some did not with differing results.

The All Stars series sees contestants from the first three seasons of Masterchef Australia vying to win the title of best of the best. The season one has Julie, Poh, Chris and Justine. Season two has Callum, Marion, Jonathan and Aaron, and season three has Kate, Dani, Hayden and Kumar.

The winner will get a trophy, so clearly they are getting paid more then the $500 a week the first time they were in the house. Yes they are also raising money for charity.

The first challenge was the iconic croquembouche challenge, but this time with a twist. It was a tag team – only one team mate cooking at a time. The first three had 30 minutes to cook, and the final member had 45 minutes.

There was no elimination, just the chance to win $20,000 for the team.

The strategy was in deciding the running order. Who would kick it off making the choux pastry and who would go last as they would have to assemble it.  From Season one Julie Goodwin started and Poh was to assemble. For Season two Callum started and Marion finished, and season three Kate made the choux pastry and Hayden was the last one in.

Callum who has been making a lot of macaroons apparently looks like he is focused and there to win, something that cannot be said about all of them. There was lots of laughter and smiling which was fun, though I expect when the eliminations start it should get a lot more competitive.

Callum was pumping out perfect sized profiteroles and he was fast, whilst Julie’s choux pastry was far too thick. By the time Justine had swapped in with her it was very claggy.

Zumbo and George came over to give some advice, telling her to scoop up the raw choux pastry up, put it back in the blender and add some more eggs to it. Poh yelled down not to worry and the others concurred.

Aaron from season two showed he was brought back for his narration of the show, as not sure if his cooking skills are up to scratch. He did get a lot of air time. However he was smart enough to ignore his team mates yelling out and took the advice of Zumbo in relation to dipping the pastries in the caramel before filling them with custard.

Aaron said that Jonathan Daddia had jazz hands and he did indeed. It looked like he did not know how to separate eggs. In fact when the judges were describing the texture of the red teams custard was it wonder they did not find egg shells in it.

His multi-tasking was impressive, but at this stage the eliminator is not looking like a contender.

Kumar is as delightful as ever, but he may need to pick up the pace if he wants to survive in this competition. He was left with some of the piping  of the choux pastry and was having difficulty. He too was a bit jazz hands when making the custard, however he proved his motto of being the turtle rather than the hare works. Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and Zumbo liked this custard the best.

Season one’s dish can only be described as a disaster. They ran out of custard, they had much less caramel then the others, and it was unstable. So it appears not only don’t they listen to the proper chefs they can’t read a recipe.

In the end Poh had to build the dish with some unfilled choux pastry shells which at the time seemed like a good idea, but as a foundation they were not firm enough and it ended up collapsing.

Also Zumbo when he was tasting it had served himself an empty one. They were never in the hunt.

Hayden was looking calm and managing to get a lot done and unfazed by the task. However he did reveal he had done some work for Vincent Gaden and one of the jobs was to assemble the croquembouche. He did a great job of it.

In the end the yellow team proved you could mention Vincent Gaden name to Zumbo and still win a challenge with each season three team mate winning $5000 for their charity.

It was a great start to All Stars with the contestants having a lot of fun, but hopefully it won’t all be frippery and they will all get their game faces on. The show will be a nice respite from the Olympics, and even after the first episode who I thought would be there at the end has changed.


1 Dunbi { 07.27.12 at 12:27 am }

Really enjoyed that. Fun, lighthearted and just what we needed after the final last night. Very pleased to see Adriano take part in the tasting. Had forgotten how long Matt P’s hair used to be!

2 gia { 07.27.12 at 1:06 am }

This was so much better than the regular edition – fun, light-hearted, with people who have an actual personality.

3 Kate { 07.27.12 at 1:38 am }

I work shifts and was looking forward to watching MC allstars online after work tonight! Not online! What’s the go? Emma you seem to be the go to girl so help!

4 Jess { 07.27.12 at 3:35 am }

Yeah, it’s not online (yet). Try after Sunday, since they might put it up with the new week. Or maybe even tomorrow.

Really loving All Stars so far (though it could do without the overdone shots of George dividing the food).
But here I was thinking that Season One’s Blue Team would just steamroll the competition. Not so much, apparently.
The next episode will be good. Four different cuisines, which hopefully means a Poh vs. Marion “Asian” cook-off! Damnit, Adam, you should have been here for this! (Audra would have been an interesting addition, too).
Who will be Yellow Team’s Asianish cook? Dani? Kumar? Kumar, lest we forget, did live in Hong Kong for quite a while. Yay, Kumar’s back! x )

This show makes me all giddy with glee~

Oh, and did anyone else just realise that Poh is older than Kate?

5 Isabel { 07.27.12 at 6:45 am }

Jess, I was really surprised last MCA season to learn that Kate was only in her early to mid 30’s, to me she seems to be so much older.

FFS George, do they really need such HUGE helpings …. Matt is looking even fatter, his face wobbles when he’s tasting. And how long was his hair in season one, that must have been when he arrived from the UK and was trying to look trendy!!

It was all a bit silly and light hearted last night, I’d like to see some serious cooking to show us ‘how far they’ve come’ !

6 Daze { 07.27.12 at 7:07 am }

Yes, I really enjoyed seeing old ‘friends’ back again – something very comforting not having to get to know, new people (ie when a new season starts) and I liked the banter, which was light, between the judges/All Stars. Much lighter and hopefully this show isn’t rigged as it’s for Charity.

I really admire young Callum. Both he and Hayden are so calm.

I think the strongest team is Marion’s Red Team. Poh & Julia are a bit giggly? Well, they’ve done the hard yards I guess.

It was quite amusing to see then hear, how laid back they were when they first arrived into the kitchen, then all the stress buttons got pressed and the return of the pressure took over – and Im sure the orders from the Gallery didn’t help at all, how confusing to listen to so many people saying different things. It should be mandatory to take a Prozac before one sets foot into that kitchen me thinks! lol

7 Dunbi { 07.27.12 at 7:42 am }

Kate and Jess – It is online. I watched it at 11pm last night. However, it wasn’t in the playlist, it was underneath the small black screen but so frustrated as the episodes weren’t in order and I had to watch a little bit of each section to sort out the running order. I ended up watching part 5 last.
Anyway, I have just had a quick look and it is now in the playlist.

8 JKo { 07.27.12 at 7:43 am }

Love it! It was very lighthearted with heaps of personality. It’s fun to watch because I keep laughing at their jokes and humour. This is going to be so much better than the kiddie masterchef.

I wonder if Sun is still posting on the vogue forum? (username Alice30)

9 Joseph Skyrim { 07.27.12 at 8:25 am }

I really liked last nights ep! Good to see all the familiar faces again and how they’ve changed. Felt slightly sad for Jono and Julie when their hands were shaking like mad but its good to see that outside the MC kitchen, their lives are relatively stress free.

In contrast, shakey-hands Hayden was cool as a cucumber and bloody awesome due to his training – and I think he is main reason yellow team pulled through. Callum was another surprise for me because he was just pumping out those damned pastries so quick! Also glad to have Aaron back, his narration is fantastic and colorful. :)

Matt’s croquembouche intro using lord of the rings references was hilarious too. As was blue team bringing in Zumbo’s display piece trying to pass it off as their own! 😀

Doesn’t look like Poh has changed much. She reminds me of my little cousin, she doesn’t listen. Got her comeuppance at the end tho. As Marion put it “Usually the best thing to do in an Adriano Zumbo challenge is what Adriano Zumbo says.”

Also props to Dani for wearing a lego-man necklace. Always liked you Dani. :)

Maaaan what a good first episode. Because of the cooking for charity dynamic there’s like, less stress? Different stress? Dunno how to put it! It’s just good! I’m going to definitely be watching on Sunday. ^_^

@Dunbi – yeah I also forgot about Matt preston’s long hair! Hehe so funny! Funnier still is watching really old clips (other cooking shows) of George with hair. He’s a curly top but still good old George! :)

10 Paul { 07.27.12 at 8:46 am }

Like the others, I really liked the episode although I think if they continued in a similar vein for more than 4-5 episodes in a row it might get a bit jaded. It needs to have a clear competitive element to it.

Does anyone know how the competition works by the way?

Do you accrue points every night depending on how your team goes?
Its not really clear to me.

11 Paul { 07.27.12 at 8:57 am }

Decent ratings too last night – 1.25 million.

That will drop off of course during the Olympics but Ten would be happy with that I would have thought.

12 Reality Raver { 07.27.12 at 9:21 am }

Joseph Skyrim – Here is Matt Preston’s form guide and he says Callum has been pumping out the macaroons. hence why he seemed so adept at it. I think the person that is working with food the most will win. As we can see Jonathan looks like he will struggle. I was surprised at Julie thought she would have had her basics better. Can’t really blame Poh for alot except for yelling out the dud advice as she just assembled.

Daze – Agree team two is looking strong though I suspect Aaron is their weakest link. On paper season one should be the strongest. It will depend on the challenges.

JKo – Sun also has a blog I have not been on there for quite sometime but it could be interesting.

Isabel – I am a bit over the watching them eating scenes. Yes we know you taste it. I did enjoy the episode more for the contestants, but would have loved a change of judges, it was good they gave a lot of screen time to Zumbo.

Kate – did you manage to find it. It is well worth a look. I wonder if croquembouche tins will sell out in Australia again today.

Jess – the cook off should be awesome. BTW Marion must be doing well with her products she said 100,000 are eating them a month so that must mean 50,000 packets or so are sold. Do they come in servings of 2 or 4 people.

Dunbi – The hair was hilarious of Matt P he truly did look like he had dropped out of an Austin Powers film.

Gia – agree

Paul – glad the ratings are good it deserved to be.

13 Paul { 07.27.12 at 9:29 am }

Marion’s sauces come in servings of 4.

They are really economical and taste great.

14 The Obituary on the Judges' Tombstones { 07.27.12 at 9:43 am }

Would Sir just like one more series?

15 Culinary Boner { 07.27.12 at 9:58 am }

Much snappier and faster moving than the standard series format and therefore much more enjoyable viewing.
The relay idea – pinched from Top Chef – really helped build some drama.
Good to see Callum has progressed by actually doing some cooking grunt work.
Julie Goodwin’s inability to make a decent batch of choux pastry was no surprise. How will the producers get around the fact that her status has nothing whatsoever to do with cooking ability?

I voted for Justine in Raver’s poll. She just seems more savvy than the others.

If I recall series one correctly, Chris Badenoch saved his best work for meat challenges with a beer in his hand. Someone buy that man a six-pack of James Squire Porter, so we can see him truly come to life. I was waiting for him to mutter that he’d rather do the cockinbush.

While I rail against pointless OTT desserts and confections, the croquembouche is just a the tipping point where form (the architecture and ‘artistic’ concept) hasn’t entirely over-ridden functionality (it’s still meant to be food, FFS). Zumbo needs to improve his mumbo if he wants to be a media star.

16 Suit { 07.27.12 at 10:01 am }

I agree CB, I struggle to understand why they keep putting Zumbo on the show. He doesn’t have a lot of TV pressence, and his desserts are quite often too far fetched, and not something I would like to eat.

17 littlepetal { 07.27.12 at 10:02 am }

I will say someone from the Yellow team will win the title

18 Reality Raver { 07.27.12 at 10:05 am }

Little Petal – if you get that right you will be a hero on here as you are standing out of the pack. Have to say Hayden looked very confident.


Suit – SBS did a series on him following him around etc, and it was not great. Thought last night and the Careme night was the best we had seen him. He is at is best as are all the chefs when they are in the kitchen.

19 Chris W { 07.27.12 at 10:24 am }

I bought Marion’s Singapore Noodles a couple of weeks ago when Woolies had them half price, as I’ve always thought of them as being seriously overpriced at $7 a pop. They tasted nice, but no way are they worth that much for a small amount of rice vermicelli, curry powder, baby corn and sauce. And as for 4 serves – maybe 4 MC-sized tasting portions!

20 Paul { 07.27.12 at 10:34 am }

Fair point Chris – I’ve got 2 young ones so it fed the 4 of us !!!!!

When I bought her Pad Thai I think they were $4 or so – must be that dammed carbon tax…. :)

21 Chris W { 07.27.12 at 10:34 am }

I didn’t watch the first three seasons, and I wasn’t expecting to find All-Stars particularly appealing, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found the interactions and commentaries very entertaining. I’ll be going for red team and Jonathan Daddia. I doubt he’s going to win much, but he reminds me of S4 Andrew and myself!

22 Reality Raver { 07.27.12 at 10:40 am }

Hey Chris W – you can cook with two hands??

23 Chris W { 07.27.12 at 11:16 am }

I can’t cook with two hands, but my split eggs look much like Jonathan’s!

24 JaniceG { 07.27.12 at 11:27 am }

I’m with CB – I was very disappointed when Julie won and I still don’t think that either her skill or her style of cooking deserve to be called MasterChef level.

25 Dooba { 07.27.12 at 12:02 pm }

That was rather enjoyable, and glad to see the money going to a good cause. Just seemed to be less pressure and more fun.

26 Chunks { 07.27.12 at 12:36 pm }

How does the format work? Do they get eliminated or do all the team members stay to the end? Very impressed with Callum and Hayden. Aaron is the master of commentary though. And god bless Dani.

27 Groobs { 07.27.12 at 12:38 pm }

I found it really boring.
Just more of the same old same old.
The makers really know how to over saturate a market.
I just cant watch it at all anymore. Its just wallpaper now. :(

28 brain dead dave { 07.27.12 at 12:57 pm }

Why the ru$h on the Croquembouche tins?

Could just go out and pinch a witch’s hat off the local council, line it with foil and Bob’s your uncle.

To hell with the Ma$terchef juggernaut.

29 Paul { 07.27.12 at 1:00 pm }

Yes that’s what I want to know as well.

It seems a bit scattered to me.

30 Chunks { 07.27.12 at 2:29 pm }

Funny you should say that BDD. Friend of mine did exactly that and it worked like a charm.

31 Culinary Boner { 07.27.12 at 3:09 pm }

Should Zumbo find it too hard to self-generate a dynamic media personality then perhaps he just needs a gimmick like this:-

32 brain dead dave { 07.27.12 at 3:22 pm }

Thanks Chunks, since the online price of Croquembouche tins is in the $50-$60 range , I have to ask myself if $hine is riding the gravy train -or the crazy train?

33 Oshada { 07.27.12 at 4:42 pm }

It was much better than I expected, both the show and the ratings. Thought it wouldn’t get above 800,000.

34 Mike { 07.27.12 at 7:23 pm }

Felt it ran a little long. Series is clearly filler for during Olympics.

35 Troll { 07.27.12 at 10:22 pm }

“Thanks fellow bloggers. This website is no longer fun for me.
I wish you well dealing with bullies and trolls. Even legends get tired of it.”

What could have been the highlight of the week just proved to be a childish, fake and attention seeking attempt by BDD to stroke his ego (even calling himself a ‘legend’).
Of course his comment triggered numerous requests to reconsider his retirement and to continue delivering his verbal (described by some as witty) diarrhea across this site.
And he is back, feeling better about himself without having to grow a pair of balls….

36 Dr T { 07.28.12 at 12:32 pm }

Troll – rest of us have moved on

37 Anonymous { 07.28.12 at 1:22 pm }

Troll you rock

38 lulu { 07.28.12 at 3:42 pm }
39 lulu { 07.28.12 at 3:44 pm }

For what it’s worth …. Rowan Atkinson for Masterchef ’13

40 Joey { 07.28.12 at 9:16 pm }

I find Julie far too nauseating and Kate commenting that it was the best thing she had ever cooked, I thought it was a TEAM effort not a dictatorship of one because you won last year. The others are OK though. Doubt it I will watch again……

41 naked thang { 07.29.12 at 12:08 pm }

lol? This show is stupid and unnecessary

42 Morgan { 07.29.12 at 9:00 pm }

Another great episode of All Stars tonight with some interesting matchups. But…

How did Dani win over Poh and Marion (two of the greatest cooks to ever be on the show) in the Chinese round with a dish that wasn’t even Chinese? Ugh! Judges still have a raging hard on for her!

Callum seems to have really improved since his time on S2. Justine, Chris and Kumar were great as usual. I’m warming up to Julie, she’s been hilarious so far.

43 Jess { 07.30.12 at 4:00 am }

Nah, Dani’s dish was pretty Chinese—toffee fruit is a popular street food snack in China. (Putting them on chopsticks, however, was tacky).
It was at least “more” Chinese than Marion’s dish, which didn’t occur to me as being Chinese at all. And I was surprised that the judges, besides a quiet discussion over whether salt and pepper prawns were Chinese, didn’t call her out on it.

It was clever of the Blue Team to choose Chinese, though. Poh’s greatest strength is Malaysian cuisine, but they probably figured that Marion might pose a threat there, and so avoided it. Little did they know that Dani would win, yet again, with novelty food.
Poh should have won that challenge instead of Dani. But I have to say…Audra’s potstickers looked better than Poh’s.