Masterchef Australia – Biggest Immunity Challenge Ever
It was the immunity challenge that was the equivalent of a Korean Moonie Wedding with 24 chefs cooking off against each other. Twelve professionals each against an All Star.
For once it was a level playing field on Masterchef All Stars, with three food critics blind taste testing the dishes in the immunity challenge. It is a pity the judging cannot be like that every week.
This was the episode to be a guest judge. Guy Griffin from SMH Sydney Magazine, Myffy Rigby Food Editor of Time Out and Matthew Evans who cooks as well being a former food critic had to taste twenty four dishes with half of being from good professional chefs. It was a mammoth job for them but it was a refreshing change from Matt, George and Gary. Also it meant they were not critiquing their peers.
The challenge was for each contestant to go head to head with one of the chefs in an immunity challenge and if they were judged to have the better dish then they were safe from Monday night’s pressure test.
It was a cracker concept but editing left a lot to be desired as we did not get to see all the match ups nor all the food, and after the judging it was obvious which of the three contestants had won.
Tonight it was the end of the team challenges and for the next two weeks they will be competing as individuals which raises the question what was the point the team challenges? As some commenter’s on this blog highlighted maybe it was to get their cooking legs back on? Or was it to give them the opportunity to raise money for their charities and it was interesting how each team won a challenge…..
They were told the eliminations were about to start with George Calombaris saying if you are eliminated they would be “going back to your glorious cooking lives”. Yes he said that with a straight face.
There were some interesting tussles, Julie v Adrian Richardson, Poh v Dan Hong, Chris v Colin Fassenidge, Justine v Jeremy Strode, Marion v Martin Boetz, Hayden v Vincent Gaden, Dani v Alessandro Pavoni, Kate v Darren Purchase, Callum v Phillipa Sibley, Kumar v Shaun Presland, and Aaron v Darren Robertson.
Jonathan was not sighted all episode except for a hopeful look at the end but on the plus side it was more air time than Callum received.
The cheftestants had to pick the ingredient either bacon or eggs. As Aaron said there were a lot of pastry chefs there it might be a better strategy to go with bacon, but no they selected eggs.
The professional chefs had 60 minutes to cook whilst the “amateurs” received 90 minutes.
Some of the previous match ups were based on history. Darren had beaten Kate Bracks in the banana dessert immunity pin challenge. A challenge she had deserved to win.
This time around she was making a twist on a Lemon Meringue Pie complete with an meringue that looks like an egg. It did look good, and Myffy Rigby called in perfection.
Where Darren Purchase made a mixture of stuff including tarragon marshmallow. The judges said it was something they would have liked to have had as dessert as a child. Was this their way of saying it was too sweet?
Dani was making a Sri Lankan Breaksfast which was a fusion of two dishes she knew how to make a curry and deep fried eggs. She also made her own roti. It was the only Indian dish out of the twenty four and the judges nearly fell upon it when they saw it. She was matched up against Alessandro who she tied with in a previous challenge in season three and ended up winning an immunity pin.
He made duck egg raviolo with truffles it looked like he over did the truffles.
Shaun Presland was cooking with duck fat, which was like a moth to a flame for Gary Mehigan. He claimed he was using it because he could not find the butter. Sponsor Western Star must be wondering where their product is.
Shaun Presland was making three types of tartare though it would not have mattered what he had dished up as Kumar was in all sorts of difficulty making a Soba Noodle Egg Nest. At first it was meant to be quail eggs however after he was having difficulty peeling them, Shaun suggested he change the type of eggs he was using.
Also Shaun was slightly scathing to Gary when he suggested he should assist him, and he said he already had shown him how to make the nest. It was not one of the best dishes of the day as the nest was described as being too crunchy which was critic speak for hard.
Kumar was having one of those days when they said he “was on fire” he actually was on fire.
Hayden was making Duck Egg Raviolo which looked pretty ordinary on the plate, not sure why he was given so much air time this episode for this underwhelming dish. Was it to highlight the camaraderie between him and Alessandro. His actual opponent Vincent Gaden made a spectacular dessert called Menage Au Trois complete with phallic symbol place inside a hole.
Justine was making a floating islands with a citrus salad whilst her opponent Jeremy Strode was making scrambled duck egg with some quail eggs with some brioche. The hero of the dish was the egg, but the judges queried whether there was nothing else but egg. The judges loved the islands but were unsure of the citrus salad in it.
Marion made a smoked duck with a duck egg salad. She over cooked the duck the first time and had to do it again.
Martin Boetz snapped at George for criticising Marion’s duck and said “she made a mistake and she is fixing it and she will be fine”. Actually she wasn’t, for once the judges did not sugar coat it and the look of Myffy and Matthew Evan’s face when they were tasting it was priceless. They said “there is something not quite right about it”. Also Martin’s dish of Fried Salted Duck Egg and Prawn Salad looked sensational.
Poh made tofu with a dressing which they said was insanely good. However we did not get to see what Dan Hong did to beat her.
In the end three of the All Stars beat their chefs, and it was easy to guess who as of the few they highlighted only three received decent reviews.
It was Kate, Dani and Justine. All well deserved, though I suspect Jeremy Strode’s dish lost it for him rather than Justine’s dish being truly spectacular for the win.
Darren Purchase was classy about his loss also throwing in $1000 from his business to Kate’s charity, and Alessandro admitted he had eaten most of Dani’s curry so was non-plussed at the loss anyway he is getting used to it.
These three avoid the pressure test tonight where two of the All Stars will be eliminated. I suspect the delightful Kumar will be one of them.