Masterchef The Professionals – Episode One – The Professionals Give It An Added Dynamic
Masterchef is never without its theatrics and Matt Preston provided it when in a Hell’s Kitchen type scenario he returned his entree because there was no duck on it. Marco Pierre turned to Cameron and blamed him, but hang on wasn’t it uber chef Marco Pierre White at the pass who sent it out without realising the duck was missing? This would not have slipped by his old foe Gordon Ramsay.
This might be the downside of Marco having not cooked in a professional kitchen for quite some time, however this did not stop the eighteen contestants from being in awe of him.
These contestants are professional chefs, some with better CV’s than others, who are vying for the prize of $200,000 and a trip around the world.
The episode started with the contestant’s individually entering the new and very sleek Masterchef kitchen via an alley way set up to give the feel it was a working kitchen. Not sure what the beer kegs were doing there as there as there was no beer but maybe it is the replacement for the vespa.
The kitchen was set up with pictures of each contestant’s signature dishes. However this was not just food porn, Marco revealed that he used these photos the same as pyschiatrist’s use the Rorschach Test and the photos told him things about the chef’s.
But who needs pictures when this is reality TV and the viewer knows the contestant’s will reveal themselves on camera. There was Akuc who was a refugee, but also has some serious cooking credentials having worked at a Neil Perry restaurant, there was Cooper who had the seriously ill daughter, and Bonny the deaf cook.
There was also young Christie who at 19 years of age works for Tony Bilson. Contestant Michael who was a bit cute said “She was one to look out for,” but you wondered if he was actually talking about her cooking…Could there be a Masterchef romance occurring?
In the first episode it is hard to have all introduced, but they managed to showcase enough chefs to make it feel like we got to know some of them and not give the top and bottom three away too much. Long time fans will know the ones getting the most screen time are either cooking very good or very bad in that episode.
There was no cook your signature dish challenge to ease them into the competition, for them it was a full on service to be completed in two hours cooking Marco Pierre White dishes. They were given the recipes and split into teams of three and given either an entree, main or dessert.
Cameron who is being set up as a villain of the series, was not happy being stuck with Akuc and Matty, and for those who still missed that he was going to be a bad guy, Marco rubbed it in by telling him he looked like Gordon Ramsay.
To be fair to Cameron, Matty was a dud. In the kitchen Matty was out of his depth and even his akubra hat was not helping either. Their team had been given the Duck with Broth entree and there was a dumpling in it, and that was where the problems started.
Matty had to make the pastry for the dumpling and he had never worked with it before, but Cameron thought he had. So he went a bit freestyle with it and thought he was making pasta. As he was struggling with it he said “Did not know how long it takes”, why didn’t he just read the recipe?
Meanwhile there were some alpha chefs throwing their weight around the kitchen, Nick was insisting on doing the champagne sauce for the yabbies, he also showed sexism was alive and well in the kitchens as he relegated Kylie, who owns her own restaurant, to doing the grunt work prepping the yabbies.
Cooper’s team had the snapper and he was slow prepping it. If it turned out badly would he be eliminated? Highly unlikely as you can’t kick off the contestant who has the extremely ill child in the first episode. His poor daughter is not well and required brain surgery around the time of filming this series.
The other dishes were lamb two ways, Creme Brulee, and a Caramelised Pear Tart.
The judges for this service were Larissa Dubecki food critic for The Age and last seen as a judge on Iron Chef Australia, Simon an arts critic from the Sydney Morning Herald, and John Lethlean food critic from The Australian. John who once described Masterchef as a virus appears to have become infected the MC disease himself. Funny how that happens once you are asked to be on the show.
The worst dish of the day was the yabbies. They were undercooked, and served cold as Nick and co spent too much time prissing up the plate. Cooper overcome his earlier difficulties and cooked the snapper to perfection, the lamb ticked the boxes as it neither attracted praise nor criticism. Also the chefs on the desserts were not given a chance to shine but neither were they given an opportunity to stuff up.
At judgement time the three best were Cassie for ensuring all the dishes look the same when they were sent out, Cameron for his duck, and Coop for cooking the snapper well. The winner was young Cassie who is safe from elimination in the next round. The bottom three were Matty for stuffing up everything, Kylie for her yabbies, and Nick for his champagne sauce.
It was no surprise Matty was eliminated, however Marco let him go as gently as possible, telling him it showed great character pitching in to help get the desserts plated. Marco persona is more a tough but fair rather than the hard taskmaster that some of the early promos presented him as.
Expect to see a lot of Marco in the series, and this is not a negative thing as he is a likeable taskmaster as well as being entertaining.
As was the first episode as it revealed that not only is the cooking going to be good, but once these chef’s shed their nerves it is going to get very interesting indeed. What did you think of the show?
Masterchef: The Professionals – On TEN Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights at 7.30pm.