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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.


1 Joseph Skyrim { 02.05.13 at 8:35 am }

I did really like this episode too – despite Coop and the two bearded fellas not really getting much air time (which means auto-safe). The highlights for me were:

Rhys going semi-mental looking for plates and a spoon. “You pelican!” 😛

Cameron being a puppy dog. He just wants to get positive feedback. His exasperated surprised look as Marco and Matt tasted his round 2 dish was awesome, and I was really pleased that he finally got a compliment on round 3. You could just imagine his tail wagging.

Marco asking Cameron what he was cooking for round 2 after not doing well with his round 1 duck. Cameron said something like “Perfection,” and Marco replied “Oh you’re making perfection now? I wish you did that with the duck!” Poor Cam couldn’t think of a response to that but still got the humor with a wry smile on his face. I think Marco actually likes him cause he reminds him of Ramsay.

Again Marco when approaching Nick’s dish in Round 3 (which turned out to be good), he asked “Tell us about your dish,” while picking up the cutlery and handing it to Matt to see if the white, dry “sauce” was actually edible and not anthrax.

Silly golden girl putting chocolate with veggies. Nice to see her in the fire for a change. How dare you ruin good chocolate by doing that. >:(

Akuc round 1 duck, going to her camera piece “I hope it’s cooked because it was raw just a few minutes ago.” HOLY HELL. You could at least WARN them? Or what – the secret ingredient is salmonella? Yah I know it was edited that way but it looked like she was actively hoping to poison the two judges, then cover up by repeating her sob story. 😛

Also I like this format better than finding the “best” cooks to be safe. This way you have to cook in ALL the rounds, much more entertaining. 😀

Strangely I suspect tomorrows ep will not be as interesting as this one.

2 Maz { 02.05.13 at 8:42 am }

Think certain contestants are protected species so no matter how badly they stuff up someone will always be sacrificed before them.

Think the Block was more interesting than MCP last night.

3 Carole { 02.05.13 at 9:59 am }

That waiting room in Top Chef Seattle, wish we did that here, that would be interesting.

I really felt for Tracey, when she was describing what she was cooking, I thought if she gets it right it will be a winner. When she put it before the judges I though it looked beautiful and was shocked when they criticised it. What the hell is wrong with them? The poor bugger can’t win. As for the guy who served up raw scampi, that is not cooking. I thought he would be reprimanded for that, but no they loved it. It’s bloody ridiculous.

I know it’s mean, but I was happy to see perfect Cassie cut down to size, though I did feel sorry for her, she looked like she was about to cry. But chocolate with vegetables is just wrong, though the Mexicans have a dish that has chilli and chocolate in it. It’s up there with pineapple in pizzas and hamburgers. I just hate seeing perfect dish after perfect dish. It gets boring. No matter how great you are, you have to stuff up some time.

When they showed Bonny at the start, I thought, oh no, she will be in the firing line. When Acuc was serving up her duck, I was there thinking is it cooked is it cooked, then they go to an ad break!!!!!! But she was very lucky, it was. I actually like the contestants disagreeing with the judges. Unlike the amateur ones, they wouldn’t dare, but these are professional cooks, so I guess they don’t like their dishes being criticised, especially if they don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

4 Anna { 02.05.13 at 10:20 am }

I have a feeling that Bonny might be out tonight… Still think it should be Tracy. She’s like a cat with 9 lives

Half an hour is not enough time to poach & fry meat to give it flavour… Why are they constantly saving her?

When it comes to Cassie, the bottom 6 might have been done deliberately by producers … Cannot always be at the top !!

Canneron has an ego, he should sample being on the bottom … Michaels dish looked nice , small piece if shell is not a huge worry… Happens in restaurants as well

5 Danielle { 02.05.13 at 10:51 am }

Not a very dramatic episode compared to MKR but tomorrow is usually our dramatic day.
The ad implied we would be shocked by who received top restaurant praise but it was only Nick who came out top the day before.
We finally got to see Bonny but only because she stuffed up!
Funny to see Cameron all wide eyed. I kept on wondering why the MCfacebook was so inactive but they were all over at MKRfaceook thousands of comments! It shows that MKR is good at casting and editing to make people villians and give them revenge.

6 Anna { 02.05.13 at 11:01 am }

Creative editing me things… not the worst dish is out BUT the one who producers want out.

Don’t get that logic… if I cracked it I’ll be RICH lol

7 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 11:56 am }

JS@1 LOL I am goig to be looking for his puppy dog tail now. To use a much overused RTV expresssion; you ‘nailed’ that one.
‘ Anthrax’ LOl. RR Joseph needs a guest spot after this review. Spot on and funny.

8 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 12:05 pm }

About three times now I have noticed meals being served with slabs of boring white bread. Since I haven’t seen anyone baking their own bread ala Filipo, I am wondering why they are getting away with this.
Adding all that bread is like “I haven’t got enough for you to eat so here’s bread”. Overall though I did think the finished meals looked better than other nights and that’s even with more pressure.
Go Nick you little beauty. Even if he did serve up anthrax. It was very clever. To me anyway.
Poor Akuc being forced to play the impoverished African girl all the time. Very limiting if she really can cook. She might know how to cook fabulous haute cuisine but wouldn’t be allowed because it didn’t fit her story. Of course I doubt it. But I do think she should start ignoring their restriction that her food must make them feel like they’re in a poor village. What where the people dine on fabulaous food?

9 Carole { 02.05.13 at 12:11 pm }

Those time frames are absolutely ridiculous. They did a similar thing on last seasons MC. It would take me 30 mins just to decide whtat to cook, let alone cook it. I take ages cooking, especially chopping things. Can’t believe how fast their knives move, always fascinated by that. It takes me ages to chop things. If I was on that show, I’d still be chopping my vegetables when they say ‘step away from your bench’.

10 Anna { 02.05.13 at 12:11 pm }

Daisy, Akuc keeps on saying she’s never eaten this, never cooked with this or that.. Why is she on the show?

11 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 12:19 pm }

RR According to Joseph, it was Cameron who got the boner.

12 Anonymous { 02.05.13 at 12:44 pm }

I have a feeling the judges don’t like Rheet at all. Yes, he is arrogant but they should treat everyone the same.

I don’t think Bonny will go. Not many girls left. It will be a guy and I hope it is not Luke or Rheet (I can’t believe I say that !!!)

13 Dr T { 02.05.13 at 12:52 pm }

Yes… I was surprised that they didn’t ask Akuc why she was cooking duck and not chicken in round 1

14 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 1:02 pm }

Anna 10 I am ignorant of this profession, but I thought their is a difference between, chef, cook and kitchen hand. I thought that you can’t call your self a chef without certain qualifications. So when they say MC the professionals, we don’t really know if that is pro chef, cook etc. Doc T won’t like this but I do think that some of their performances have been no better than the amateurs. I thought Princess Jen Amina and Mindi were better and more consistent. I did think they lifted their game last night though.
I’d love to do the 5 minute challenge. I’d give them a vegemite sandwhich …..with a good back story.

15 Dunbi { 02.05.13 at 1:17 pm }

With Matt and Marco not agreeing, I think both Akuc and Tracey should have been sent for elimination.

16 Anna { 02.05.13 at 1:25 pm }

I get the ‘cook from childhood ‘ ‘cook from the heart’. So far most of them got it right . Akuc keeps on serving traditional dishes & not a modern spin on a traditional dishes.

Tracy keeps on plating things that don’t look edible

In Sunday night Nick showed them how it should be done

Hope Bonny survived tonight’s episode

They are encoding The Block again today at 2pm

17 Joseph Skyrim { 02.05.13 at 1:43 pm }

@Dunbi (15) – I agree, though I think they were limited since Jacque was only contracted to bring 5/6 extra hands with him for today’s challenge (depends if he’s just heading up the pass or actually cooking during service).

@Daisy – glad to make someone smile! ^_^

@Anna (10) – A professional is a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and to complete them for a fee. I think in the Masterchef universe this also has to be their main form of income, which is what separates some of the amateurs who actually did have side cooking stuff going on other than their main form of non-cooking employment.

The short version of that is, just because they are “pro” doesn’t always mean they are good, or have ever made fish and chips before! 😛

The Age has a humorous write up about that fish and chip ep too… written by Adam Liaw!?

18 brain dead dave { 02.05.13 at 1:56 pm }

It’ll be a big Jacque -off tonight.

Rhett’s been mega boring and conservative for the head chef of a seafood restaurant or whatever he keeps bleating. The ratings should go up if he’s culled.

Tracey’s been a punching bag for the judges and fellow contestants.

I doubt if Akuc is a cook. Should have been culled after the fish’n chip fiasco.

Raw scampi. I think Cameron lacked the culinary nuts to risk cooking it.

19 Littlepetal { 02.05.13 at 2:18 pm }

# 12 Remark is from me. Didn’t realise it was posted as Anonymous.

BDD-Rhett is still the head chef of Jellyfish Rest. He had cook for Elton John but he didn’t mention his name. Not like Anthony.

Why he is in this show is beyond me. His reputation will be worse after this appearance.

20 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 2:31 pm }

Joseph did you invent this ^_^ and if so can we steal it?
Are there ny others??? I’ll have to practice some.

21 Joseph Skyrim { 02.05.13 at 3:20 pm }

@Daisy (20) – Hehe I wish I could say I did, but no. Just experienced it from years of MMORPGs. By all means feel free to use it! Some others are…

^_~ -_- O_o x_x >_< v_v Ò_Ó

Sorry for making faces on your blog RR. ;p

22 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 3:33 pm }

^ ^
. .
Damn I need more symbols on my computer.
Must stop all this silliness now and go do some work.

23 gidgetvonlarue { 02.05.13 at 3:36 pm }

Cameron is becomming one of my most hated people on a reality tv show this year. He’s a moron – he’s rude, he’s disrespectful & thinks he is better than what he is. Oh god – he is the male version of Jessie and Biswa!!!!

I think the editing of this show is AWFUL. It’s like half the contestants don’t exist and then others are focused on so much. LOTS of wasted time and it’s now effecting their ratings big time! It lacks punch – Marco seems to be phoning it in – and it all seems quit limp.

24 gidgetvonlarue { 02.05.13 at 3:41 pm }

And sorry – but Akuc could serve up a plate of seaweed and snot and the judges would find a way to pander to her and save her from being in elimination. Yep, I’m pulling it out….here it is…the race card. *waves it around*

25 Reality Raver { 02.05.13 at 3:45 pm }

Gidgetvonlarue – I think it is the judges who are playing the race card I don’t think she is. Matt and Marco are smiling when they talk to her. She probably thinks for fuck sake enough of talking about my family… She live with her partner funny how they don’t ask her questions about him! I like her she appears to have a good sense of humour and personality. I am only liking Cameron because at least he is giving good reality TV everyone else is sooo contained.

26 Dr T { 02.05.13 at 4:33 pm }

Thanks for the link to Adam Liaw’s article JS@17. It was bloody funny. I would like to know who or what has tickled him up the wrong way, it seems a little ungrateful to be bashing the show that gave him a profile in the first place.

Still enjoying MCP. I like watching people that can cook.

Hey RR – my wife wants to know, are they taking the contestants on MCP anywhere overseas as far as you know? South Sudan or Mali would see like culinary epicentres they could try…

27 Daisy { 02.05.13 at 4:59 pm }

Yes RR. By being so nice to her all the time I think the judges are being too condescending. I detect that they ARE treating her like she’s SPECIAL. It’s actually insulting not to be treated the same as the others.

28 Reality Raver { 02.05.13 at 5:51 pm }

Dr T – Good question by your wife. The answer is I have heard no rumours of an overseas trip. I think the series is only going to run for six weeks so unlikely.

29 Anna { 02.05.13 at 6:05 pm }

Daisy, all of the contestants are suppose to have a few years of experience…

Cassie would be least experienced, but she has trained with some amazing Chefs. Hence her testing waters with veggies and chocolate, you don’t know unless you try :-)

I was suspicious before trying venison and chocolate, but it works wonderfully well…

30 Ana { 03.11.13 at 8:46 pm }

Gidgetvonlarue + Reality Raver, There’s no such thing as a ‘race card’ in the context of institutionalized oppression/racism. Even if the judges were giving her special treatment (which I don’t see – her food always looks delish), it still wouldn’t even come close to evening the playing ground in a world where white privilege exists.

Really disappointing to see the person who runs the site agree with such racist rhetoric.