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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.

83 comments

1 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 4:27 pm }

George- would need to be on stilts to talk to Marco….or at least he’d need to bounce a lot higher to be in shot.

Gary- he should be a hypnotherapist , he’s that good at putting people to sleep.

Plus they’re both pervs. Jowl$y has just the one vice.

2 Barney { 01.21.13 at 5:06 pm }

Masterchef Australia is based on Masterchef UK, though more and more UK MC is borrowing structure and production values from MC Aus.

I have never seen anyone wear a hairnet when they go into a professional kitchen on MC UK. I guess that is because it is primarily a television show, and that would be unattractive. But can’t say I recall anyone of the regular working chefs in the filmed commercial kitchens wearing one, maybe the odd little hat sometimes.

Masterchef Professionals is a UK show. We have our own version of it, as of last night. It has a different feel to the amateur cooks one, plus different stakes (although their winner only gets the title and a trophy) and ours borrows the UK’s version of one scary exacting judge/mentor and a sidekick/facilitator, with its own Aus spin on this: scarier guy, plus Matt Preston. George and Gary have not been left out, it’s not that regular MC format, is all.

Oh, and as Chunks said, what a lot of chat for people who poo-pooed the whole thing, and turned off and watched the tennis or the cricket!

3 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 5:11 pm }

Don’t stop poooo poooooing.

4 A.P { 01.21.13 at 5:14 pm }

Daisy @36, wish I had remembered Upstairs Downstairs was on, I would have switched over for it for sure.

5 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 5:20 pm }

AP I watched the first season and discovered how well done it was. I think I might have missed some of this season. I wouldn’t mind buying both seasons and keeping them in sets. Last night was really good so dl.

6 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 5:21 pm }

Let me know if you need help.

7 Bolders { 01.21.13 at 5:30 pm }

Sigh. What is with the editors, producers, charlatans, manipulators, et al’s heavy handed use of the muzak to let us know, by foghorn proportions no less, exactly what is coming up in the scene. Can’t they trust us to figure out on our own that when Big Matt says one of you will be eliminated, that the next thing he will do is announce who will be eliminated? We dont need the heavy organ soundtrack option on your playlist library dudes – we got it, it’s serious, perhaps sad to some of those folks. We get it too when someone is given an immunity – no need to bring out the flutes.

The show last night was okay but I’m not a fan of watching these pressure “challenges” and the desperate need to top themselves every year – what next, cook and serve breakfast Monday morning out of a rusty wheelbarrow to 1000 commuters waiting on the Parramatta train station – accompanied perhaps to a soundtrack of Flight of the Bumble Bee?

I agree about the backstory, it’s all interesting and sad and emotional, for one minute before I remember this is a tv show manipulated by real people thinking in 2 dimenional ways.

Oh and Happy New Year hope it’s a fine one to you and yours.

8 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 5:33 pm }

There was no cricket, “Barney”. Match was abandoned.

Good call on the heavy handed use of kitsch computer muzak, Bolders. Happy New Year to you, too.

9 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 5:35 pm }

I agree Bolders. The orchestra was well overdone, ergo poorly done. You shouldn’t be so aware when the music is being used to add to the story but it was in-yer-face last night. They could have added clashing two pot lids for cymbals.

10 Georgie { 01.21.13 at 5:48 pm }

Barney #52 – I watch cricket and tennis because I prefer to, not because I was poo-pooing MCP.

11 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 6:01 pm }

The show needed no help…it had poo-pooed itself and was well on the nose by the end of service. The cull was a formality. Chad Morgan had to go.

12 Barney { 01.21.13 at 6:17 pm }

Thanks for that tip, “Dave”.

13 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 7:07 pm }

Had the cricket been on, Barney, the Ma$terchef Profe$$ional ratings would have been interesting because the cricket usually also rates extremely well. The main reason I switched over to the tennis was that an exceptional match appeared to be unfolding – and it turned out to be so.

I’ll watch Ma$terchef tonight because I think it’s great reality tv – but as a cooking show- it’s a joke.

14 kingfisher555 { 01.21.13 at 7:12 pm }

welcome back master$hef fans I’M EXCITED !!!!!!! can’t you tell my favourite host the hannibal lecter of the food world is back!!!!! the great marco and his sidekick the great moby dick preston . at last real chefs who know how to cook . I’M SO EXCITED gotta go now the second show’s on HEE HEEE HEEEEE . Oh happy new year to RR and bdd and for paul hi ,lets have fun this season

15 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 7:17 pm }

Same to you, kingfi$her. Good to see you back.

A yabby in the pan apparently changes colour when it’s done. How tough can that be?

16 A.P { 01.21.13 at 7:38 pm }

Its great to see all our regulars back hope we all have interesting discussions.
Kingfisher, whats with the 555? I’ve got an hour to go yet, no daylight savings here worst luck.

17 Maz { 01.21.13 at 8:03 pm }

Don’t know why they casted Matty (apart from the whole Jamie Oliver connection) as he was hopeless out of his depth.

Also thought it was appalling the producers made a big deal about Bonnie giving Matt the mircrophone so she could hear. That should have been done off camera.

Like Marco. He is quotable. As for the repetition, some people are so dumb they need to be constantly reminding.

18 Dr T { 01.21.13 at 8:38 pm }

TV reception was shite in my local area tonight… Now having to put up with the shitty online adds to watch the Monday episode

On the upside with MCP, they’re all crapping on about how good they are, rather than crapping on about how much they love bread… BDD – you missing Steve Buscemi?

19 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 10:11 pm }

Not really, Dr T. Reality tv contestants are not my friends, however , Filippo/ Buscemi did make some posts here at Reality Ravings over the summer. He seemed a nice enough person.

Tonight Marco showed his class by being able to pronounce “steak tartare” correctly – a task clearly beyond Jowl$y’s and Rhett’s abilities. I’d expect professionals to be able to do that.

Some very attractive women on the tram, too. Shame about your reception, Dr T.

20 Georgie { 01.21.13 at 10:12 pm }

Wow kingfisher, tonight I saw Hannibal Lecter in Marco. I had never noticed the similarity to Anthony Hopkins before, but you’re spot on.

21 Gabby { 01.21.13 at 10:26 pm }

I don’t know what I enjoy more, the show or reading all of your 68 comments in one go! Well written everyone. Enjoy the series.

22 brain dead dave { 01.21.13 at 10:47 pm }

I’d like a nice Chianti and then watch Marco Pierre White in “Silence Of The Lamb Roast “

23 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 10:47 pm }

Hannibal Lecter, yeah! I didn’t get it but when you say Anthony Hopkins I can see it. Well spotted KF.

Have just started watching and thought the amateurs seems to do a better job of choosing food on the go. I wouldn’t go the raw meat. I think one of Amina’s or Audra had better ideas for street food. But it’s not served up yet so it remains to be seen.

24 Carole { 01.21.13 at 11:11 pm }

Marco repeating everything 4 times is really irritating. And that hat was really annoying, and looked like it was in the way. I wondered why he was allowed to wear it and since nothing was said, assume he must have got prior approval. Don’t have a favourite yet, it’s a bit too soon.

25 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 11:35 pm }

Starting to like the guy with the black bandana; pirates of the Caribbean, the African girl, and the little General. But as you said Carole, early days.

26 Daisy { 01.21.13 at 11:41 pm }

Some of you guys who live in the east should get in the draw to be a group of MC diners. Then you should write an article about your experience on this blog. They wouldn’t take a westie.

27 Marie { 01.21.13 at 11:48 pm }

Thanks Georgie, you summed up my response exactly regarding the tennis vs MC. I chose the tennis because it was ruddy good game not just so I could snub MC. Indeed, I had planned to watch MC originally.

Carole, Matt probably had to sign a contract to wear the hat at all times to cement his onscreen persona. Even if bits of it started to deteriorate and fall into the food. I definitely think I will be able to get more invested in the show once I pick favourites.

Daisy, it would be interesting to get a behind the scenes look into the show. One of my friends saw one of this seasons couples for My Kitchen Rules filming at the supermarket earlier in the year. Apparently they did quite a few takes to get the classic ‘running in the doors and grabbing a trolley’ shot perfect.

28 Reality Raver { 01.22.13 at 12:13 am }

Thank for all the comments guys. The episode 2 recap will be up shortly.

29 Daisy { 01.22.13 at 12:21 am }

So Marie, do you know how they choose these groups of diners. You sound like you’d be a good one to do. And I think it would be fun if you took BDD. But he would have to BEHAVE.

30 Daisy { 01.22.13 at 12:23 am }

The producers probably wouldn’t want anyone in there to say how contrived some of it is.

31 Carole { 01.22.13 at 7:33 am }

That’s a good idea Daisy. Watching Matt go up to those random people and ask them to have dinner, I thought, wow I live in the wrong place. I always wondered how they picked the people to eat at their challenges and if they had to pay. That’s interesting them filming them running into the supermarket a few times. I don’t watch MKR, but they have done that running in the supermarket on MC a few times. I’m naive, didn’t realise they would film that over and over. I’m always interested in behind the scenes stuff. When I see those scenes, I think I wish they would come to a supermarket where I am shopping, but I live on the Gold Coast so it is unlikely.

32 Joseph Skyrim { 01.25.13 at 3:17 pm }

For anyone that missed it (like me :P) I found this to be a hilarious read. :)

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/masterchef-makes-a-professional-hit-20130120-2d1hr.html

33 Daisy { 01.25.13 at 3:45 pm }

Thanks Joseph. That was better than the actual show. I don’t usually read long recaps of shows I have already seen but I read all of that one.