Masterchef: The Professionals: Quickfire Challenge Made The Chef’s Fire Up
Tonight’s quick fire challenge really showed this was the Professional version of the series. There were some seriously good dishes plated up in what was a very short time frame. There cooking skills are firing up now they need to unleash their personalities. Having just watched the first three episodes of Top Chef Seattle now on Arena TV, the US cheftestants do not hold back with ego, critiquing the others skill, and arguing with each other. Whilst judging is occurring they are filmed in the “waiting room” and where they are staying and some great scenes emerge from this.
Cameron would be a perfect contestants on that show. He is quite prepared to talk himself up and given an opinion about the others. It is this that I quite like about him. Problem for him he as not really delivered.
The challenge was a three rounds of cooking with a nominated ingredient. For the first round they had 30 minutes, the second round 20 minutes, and the third round was 10 minutes. The bottom two from each round would be placed in the elimination round the next day.
The core ingredient in round one was duck. As predicted most went for the breast. However Akuc poached half a duck as she was wanting to do a scezhuan duck. The amateur fan knew at this points she would be struggling to get it cooked in time, and surprise she plated it and blood was running out of the thigh joint. However she saved it by quickly putting it in the pan and had the judges gushing over the flavour.
Bonny thought to save time she would cook the wing, and it was tough, however they did praise her flavours.
Luke needs to learn reality shows 101 when a judge in either a cooking or talent show asks you if you are happy with dish/performance, they are implying you stuffed up. This gives you the opportunity to agree and talk about where it all went wrong. This humility normally gives you extra brownie points with judges. However Luke who is a strong cook said he was happy with the duck when it was obvious it was overcooked.
Cameron was ambition and with his duck with date cigar and confit of potato however the judges complained there was no sauce Cameron looked miffed and said there was pan juices. They told him not enough.
Rhett was smart but playing it safe by cooking duck sang choy bow so no problem with cooking time there.
Cassie who declared that gastronomy was the only way she knew how to cook made a Sweet Spiced Duck with Coconut Juice Gel. It was a hit and Marco Pierre White said her fingers were like gold.
The bottom two were Luke and Bonny.
Round two they had 20 minutes and the core ingredients were vegetables and it had to be a vegetarian dish.
Cassie whose praise from Marco must have fired her up had a brain explosion and mixed chocolate with vegetables. This almost ranks with the guy in Come Dine With Me Australia a few seasons ago who put freddo frogs in his bolognaise sauce. In a sense it was a good time to experiment she knows she has the runs on the boards having plated up some great dishes. But this time she bombed.
Akuc made an Eggplant Salad which was thought to be very nice.
Rhett’s Salad of Carrots – visually very beautiful and he was told he was playing it safe again. If Rhett wants to win this, and he has the talent and skills to.
Sarah made Imam Biyaldi a Turkish Eggplant dish and Matt told her the Sultan would indeed swoon.
Cameron’s artichoke salad did not tank but it did not wow the judges either. He like Luke needs to realise when the judges say the seasoning is not balanced you just have to suck it up and nod your head in agreement.
Bottom two were Cassie and Rhett. Which meant Rhett has been in all the eliminations.
For the last round it was shellfish and they only had ten minutes.
Akuc made pippis – Marco was not happy he received a big lump of sugar in his mouth and was too sweet.
Nick was not playing it safe and was playing with gastronomy as well as he made a poached scampi tail with a dry garlic butter, Matt said it was a magnificent.
Michael’s Scampi Salad did not fair quite as well as he had left in some shell. If he was Cameron he would have been trying to pass it off as adding texture to the dish. Marco said it all blended into one and it all became a mush.
Tracey did Scampi with chilli, ginger, orange and pernod. Matt thought there were too many flavours going on and it over powered the delicate scampi.
Cameron finally managed to give Marco a culinary boner when he made Gazpacheo of Scampi – Marco told him it was the best dish he had presented to the judges.
The bottom two were Tracey and Michael. It was a close call for Akuc however Matt plumped for her to be saved ahead of Tracey. Therefore Tracey was in the bottom two. Tracey quite rightly was probably giving Matt her death stare.
Tonight Bonny, Luke, Rhett, Cassie, Tracey and Michael will be battling it out for elimination. There are some strong cooks in the bottom six, but they will be needed as it is a tough challenge. These six will have to cook off against Jacque Reymond and if they lose one of them will be eliminated.
Masterchef: The Professionals on Network TEN from Sunday – Tuesday at 7.30pm.
Top Chef Seattle on Arena TV on Monday nights at 9.30pm.