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Masterchef: The Professionals – Reinventing The Pavlova Judging Was A Bit Arbitrary

It was a bit rough that Akuc was the one eliminated from Masterchef: The Professionals last night because her pavlova was not deemed to have been re-invented enough. Coop should have been gone the moment the words Pavlova Pizza were uttered from his mouth.

Also Bonny reinvented the pavlova with very little meringue as she had burnt her first batch to a crisp. Interesting that this blog was highlighting the sexism in the Masterchef kitchen, but sexism was alive and well last night. If one of the boys had mangled those meringues like Bonny did there would have been quite a scathing critique of their skills. But for Bonny there was sympathy and in the end she was safe mainly because her flavour combination of lychee and coconut was good. Or maybe the tears did work.

Akuc has re-invented the pavlova with cardamon and kaffir, so it looked like a traditional roulade but maybe the flavours did not work together. It looked nicer on the plate then some of the other dishes. Considering Coop’s pizza base did not work and Matt Preston said kids would only eat the top bit of the meringue and the fruit I would not thought there was much re-invention going on there. Also it was bizarre he had cooked neither pavlova or pizza before. Also what was with the tea ice cream to go with it. Who drinks tea with pavlova? There is a difference between re-inventing a dish and bastardising it completely.

However Coop mentioned in the episode that his daughter was just coming out of recovery of her operation so maybe they did not want to kick a man while he was stressed. To be fair his daughter is extremely ill and has been for some time.

Also some of the other pavlovas did not look like huge reinventions. Luke and Nick added biscuits to theirs. In fact Luke reinvented his without fruit!

The winners of the challenge were Sarah, Cassie and Cameron all of whom had deconstructed the dessert. Cameron looked like a five year old boy who had pleased his father, when Marco told him it was the best dish he had presented him. He had made a yoghurt foam and his plate did look good. Matt Preston told him he did not know if he was a contender or a pretender in the competition, but tonight his dish made him a contender.

Cassie continued to use gastronomy, giving a little gloat that she was the only one using those techniques, but again it landed her in the top of the pack. Sarah also deconstructed the traditional pavlova recipe of her grandmothers but adding a lemon twist.

Again this challenge did show that these chefs have some serious technique, if this had been the amateur version a pavlova roulade would have won!

Who do you think should have been eliminated?

Also last Friday I did a podcast for Media Week Australia with Nathan Brindle, the hipster with a beard contestant from Masterchef: The Professionals.Β If you want to hear me have a classic case of foot in mouth disease with the poor guy listen to it. I also managed to insult Dawn Fraser. Β Nathan is interesting to listen to about the show and about working in a professional kitchen.

31 comments

1 brain dead dave { 02.11.13 at 10:35 am }

If a so called “Professional” hasn’t cooked Pavlova or pizza before, there’s no excuse for them being on the show.

Ditto Akuc with fish and chips and Pavlova.

More shizen from $hine. Thumped ratings wise by the cricket again, I’ll bet.

Jowl$y was in a foul mood last night. Constipation or some kind of digestive ailments perhaps.

2 Anonymous { 02.11.13 at 10:38 am }

It seems Masterchef lost its own Spice Girl the same week that MKR got rid of theirs!

3 Littlepetal { 02.11.13 at 11:01 am }

Can’t see how any of those dishes are considered a reinvention. Its more of how to present a pavlova.

BDD-Only between you and me. I have never make a pavlova! I find them too sweet, so I am not a fan of pavlova but I do make macarons. They are still sweet but I like the pretty colours.

4 Joseph Skyrim { 02.11.13 at 11:04 am }

Another knife pull episode and you know that Akuc was in trouble when Marco said “classic desserts” and her piece to camera is “She doesn’t do desserts”. Oh, good thing she wasn’t hit with the sexism card early on and sent to do them in the team challenges then! πŸ˜›

Other than that some highlights for me:

Cameron talking the talk again in the locker room: “Someone like Cassie could knock someone like Nick out of the competition. He’s been cooking for 25 years, Cassie’s been cooking for 2 minutes.” (not sure if that’s insulting to both of them actually)

Cameron talking the talk in the kitchen, saying something like: “I love reinvention, it’s my forte because it requires intelligence – something not all these other chefs have”. (pretty sure he’s insulting everyone else this time! ^_^)

The two, tall bearded fellas calling out to Bonny about her thing burning in the oven. We don’t really see a lot of Rhys and Nathan but you get the sense they know their stuff and are “good dudes”. Rhys does seem more animated though while Nathan often strikes his “thinker” pose in the background.

Bonny disposing of the “evidence” while Marco and Matt quickly come to inspect it, and to play with her emotions. “Now all we need is the killer,” says Marco looking straight at Bonny. Wait no, my mistake, that was an ad for Elementary.

Sexism swings both ways? I say that because Marco helps Bonny (“make it thinner”). Marco helps Cassie (“use a blowtorch”). Marco helps Akuc (“you could make it a square *hint roullade has been done hint*”). Marco and Matt inwardly laugh at Coop and leave him and his pizza plan to fail. πŸ˜›

Tasting time and Michael’s dish, whatever it was – looked YUMMY.

Cameron’s puppy dog tail was wagging again with Matt’s praise. πŸ˜€

Akuc is eliminated! This threw me a bit because we saw backstories for Coop and Bonny. The editors are learning!

Sarah(?) with tears saying “there goes my roomie”. I forget that these people are in lockdown just like the amateurs, and that’s because we get no house shots. (which to be fair, many people wanted to get rid of)

Tonight! Mystery box is back with something gross. Maybe dead nazis.

5 brain dead dave { 02.11.13 at 11:07 am }

I haven’t made Pavlova either, Littlepetal but neither of us are on television , packing a back story and pretending to be a “professional”

Yes, you should see the colours on the macarons in Nic and Rocco’s shop. I was drooling there at the window only yesterday.

Joseph, I interpreted those comments from Cameron as sledges of Cassie and Nick. Mr Tempered Chocolate talking through his hat, I’d say.

6 Joseph Skyrim { 02.11.13 at 11:15 am }

As an aside, I don’t make or eat pavlova either. No chocolate involved. πŸ˜‰

As for RR’s question I think Akuc was rightly sent home, though Coop would have been a close second. Dang, I really want to see them reinvent spagbol though!

7 Moonstruck { 02.11.13 at 11:27 am }

Most chefs specialize so no surprise about never having cooked pavlova. However pizza? You don’t have to be a chef to cook pizza. But if you haven’t why choose pizza? For the shock factor? Anyway it worked. He’s still in the competition.
It was time for Akuc to go. She did not have the knowledge or experience to keep up with the others. Cultural cooking and tears can only take you so far.

8 Daze { 02.11.13 at 11:31 am }

Yes Joseph Skyrim, thinking the same about Rhys and Nathan – maybe they are the dark horses? We didn’t see Andy a lot and he went onto win last year. Yes, Cameron is a bit full of himself – smart a*se comments – what does it all prove, just turns the viewer off. As with Akuc, she said she’s only been in this profession 3 years and didn’t have a large range of knowledge. I hope she goes on to better things….

9 brain dead dave { 02.11.13 at 11:38 am }

I cannot believe that during the course of a four year apprenticeship, those studying to become chefs aren’t required to have a go at a pav at some stage.

What’s next? Carpenters who haven’t worked with wood before?

10 Anna { 02.11.13 at 11:39 am }

Joseph so would I! We still might see that happen

Missed the part where Cameron insults others … Will have to catch encore.
My guess is that Cameron Souse Chef is jealous of junior Chef Cassie. Cassie has been trained by one of the worlds best. She learned a lot by the looks of it.

Akuc yet again was like fish out if water. Was surprised that she couldn’t roll the roulade

Jowlsy is talking how the dish does nothing for him but still continues to inhale the dish.

He didn’t irritate me as much when George was around, but now he bugs the crap out of me.

Sadly Marco is not rubbing of on him…

11 Isabel { 02.11.13 at 11:50 am }

I hope Coop isn’t getting the kid gloves treatment because of his ‘back story’ – there was another article about him and his family somewhere at the weekend – might have been a magazine. His dish was rubbish last night.

And Cassie is giving me the irrits, she’s smarmy!

I can’t remember the name of the one who left last week – the one whose boyfriend was killed in a motor accident. Well, in an article I read – probably another magazine at the supermarket – she’s engaged to someone else, and the accident was over 3 years ago.

Perhaps I’ve got a touch of Mondayitis!

12 donae { 02.11.13 at 12:02 pm }

De-constructed desserts, little blobs on the plate, how do you eat that without becoming cat face. I thought the skill was in the construction, to be fair Sarah’s blobs did look big enough to put a spoon in but it just seems lazy. The pavlova roll has ben around for ages and the recipe is a regular in the Women’s Weekly but that was the one I would want to eat
if the spices worked out—we weren’t told, isn’t taste part of it

13 Dunbi { 02.11.13 at 12:54 pm }

I’m over these re-invention tests. None of the dishes picked so far have been easy to do and I don’t think any of the results have been better than the original dish. I desperately wanted someone to quickly grab all those knives to have a look at what was written on them! Yes, agree, let them re-invent spag bol, one of the most popular home made meals in Aussie. Would love to see what they would do with it and might even try some of their recipes. So far I would not bother to try any of the invention recipes.
I have just assumed that when training to be a chef you would learn all the basics – pizza base, batter, chips, fried fish, pavlova etc. and then go on to specialise in what you like doing the best. I actually thought Coop or Bonnie should have gone last night, but really feel that Akuc should have gone a while back so was quite happy with the decision.

14 Joseph Skyrim { 02.11.13 at 1:21 pm }

Actually the other challenge I want to see back (just once though) is the one Kumar got eliminated in. It’s a taste test then they have to make a dish with the ingredients you tasted, you must use ALL the ingredients.

Ofcourse I’m guessing this will be hard to do since pro-chefs should be able to name most of the items anyway. Even the old “name that noodle” (Gary) or “name that nut” (George) will probably be aced.

What do you think? Any old challenges you’d like to see the pro’s go through? I don’t think the Dalai Lama is available though. πŸ˜‰

15 A.P { 02.11.13 at 1:25 pm }

I love pavlova, have made it a few times but prefer to buy it, much easier. Don’t know why they mess with these classic dishes, leave the pav alone, leave Yorkshire pudding alone, simple!
Feel sorry for Coup but we do seem to hear about his back story every episode which might make the other contestants feel they don’t have a chance. Some seem to be completely ignored.

16 Dunbi { 02.11.13 at 2:04 pm }

I liked the cake one where they had to choose from an amazing array of cakes, slice and try it and then name what sort of cake it was, but then I probably liked this one as my mouth was watering so much! I also liked the ones where they tasted a dish, say a curry, then had to guess what ingredients were in the dish.

17 LB { 02.11.13 at 2:20 pm }

I’m with you, Isabel, Cassie is utterly irritating & smug.

I actually yelled at the TV last night when she pronounced something along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing here) “The most important thing about dessert is how it looks on the plate”.

No it isn’t, you pretentious teen, it’s how it tastes!!

18 Dr T { 02.11.13 at 2:23 pm }

My wife was wondering if the finals were going to be like Hell’s Kitchen – last two contestants lead a bridgage of eliminated contestants

Those dessert plates look very pretty… but not as good as the Eton Mess I got on Saturday night :-)

19 Peter A. { 02.11.13 at 2:31 pm }

After Matt pulled out 2 knives to show the contestants ( or maybe the viewers ) examples of what’s in the Knife Block , I am of the opinion that the rest of the knives would have been labeled PAVOLOVA. Matt must have learnt this trick from Cosentino.

20 Peter A. { 02.11.13 at 2:32 pm }

After Matt pulled out 2 knives to show the contestants ( or maybe the viewers ) examples of what’s in the Knife Block , I am of the opinion that the rest of the knives would have been labeled PAVLOVA. Matt must have learnt this trick from Cosentino.

21 Reality Raver { 02.11.13 at 2:52 pm }

Peter A – Yep agree.

Joseph – Love your comments. I don’t see how if Akuc had taken Marco’s advice and made a “square” pavlova how that was more of a reinvention then a roulade!

LB and Isabel – I like that Cassie is smacking those boys down. I bet when they saw her they would have thought, hmm no chance and she has shown some of the contestants with bigger reps that she his getting more wins then them.

Don’t think it can be expected that Akuc had cooked or even eaten pavlova. Though do expect Coop to have made frigging pizza.

22 Anna { 02.11.13 at 4:07 pm }

RR, I think if Akuc would have served up pav in a square with minimal crap thrown around might have been see as re invention. Rulades have been around for ever. I used to make them in the 80’/90’s Not Pav ones though

Then again I think it was her time to go

Peter, Matt makes a huge deal when he pulls out the knives. Every week I wonder whats with the theatrics….

If Pav wasn’t on all of the knives then one or two other dishes that require the use of a LOT of eggs were.

For now I don’t mind Cassie being smug, she can back it up. She just needs to learn not to gloat after she is praised

I find it interesting that Mr Raw Brains hasn’t been seen since the incident.

Jowlsy didn’t like Michaels dish. The crap he spewed out made no sense. I can see Summer Pav, Winter Pav, Spring Pav.. it’s not a re-invention… seriously WT?

Michael served up pav a few different ways… it’s a re invention!!!! Poor guy looked crushed.

Hope next year they bring a chef to co host it with Marco, that way the feedback will make sense & pompous behavior will be gone from my teevee

23 Joseph Skyrim { 02.11.13 at 4:30 pm }

Hehe thanks RR! As for the “square” suggestion, it didn’t look like there were many square Pav’s out there last night. Reinvention? Maybe. Bonus points for listening, surely! πŸ˜‰

The knife conspiracy can probably be stowed if Matt pulled out the other knives -after- the contestants have drawn theirs. Or better yet, for more drama – only the last knife counts/is what they cook!

24 Carole { 02.11.13 at 5:10 pm }

These guys are professional chefs. The minute they applied to be on the show, they should have started practicing all different styles of cooking.

I was fooled too, and thought it would be Coop or Bonny, when they showed their back stories at the start.

It really annoyed me how Matt & Marco pounced on Bonny when she was throwing out the burnt pavlovas. I felt sorry for her when they burnt, after last weeks fiasco.

Matt & Marco standing over Akuc when she was trying to roll up her roulade, I was thinking just leave her to it. That would have made her more nervous. It annoys me when they stop and talk to people, holding them up, then tell them to hurry up. If I was the contestant, I would want to say to them, well you’re the one who started talking to me and interrupted me. Go away!!!

It’s a bit annoying that we don’t get to see all the dishes, and sometime only one judge comments on the dish. I like it when they disagree. Just because one doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean the other one won’t like it either.

There’s an article about Coop & Cassie in TV Week this week. Coop’s daughter is not doing too good at all, and his family had to drive back to Sydney and he had to go back to the show, and he is a bit stressed about it. And Cassie is apparently going to crumble, her confidence is going to be shaken. A judge’s comments is going to leave her in tears.

25 Bolders { 02.11.13 at 5:40 pm }

With the amount of mood muzak, time devoted to back stories and tears (I’m almost postive that Marco’s eyes misted last night when Bonny was crying) I am starting to think that this show should be called MasterChef Therapy .

Or Days of our Knives.

26 Littlepetal { 02.11.13 at 5:45 pm }

Someone also mentioned that Nathan may have to leave the show for family reason. Not sure why Coop went into the comp with so much going on in his life. His mind will be on his daughter and it must be difficult to concentrate on what he is doing.

27 Daze { 02.11.13 at 6:34 pm }

Bolders – Days of Our Knives, good one! lol

28 Daisy { 02.11.13 at 8:44 pm }

I thought the show was a bit average. I couldn’t decide between the bottom 3. I think if I had to eat them there would be a lot more left uneaten form the pizza. So by that guage I suppose Coop would be my last choice.

Idon’t mind the prefect types. At least they can cook and have good ideas. I enjoy Cameron for saying whatever pops into his head. I don’t think it’s his puppy dog tail that’s wagging when he gets praised. It looks like like he needs an afters cigarette.

29 Joseph Skyrim { 02.12.13 at 10:37 am }

@ Daisy (28): “It looks like he needs an afters cigarette” – LOL! =D

30 Daisy { 02.12.13 at 11:03 am }

Thanks, Joseph. I think I’ll call him “Wags”.

31 Littlepetal { 03.11.13 at 9:37 pm }

Beth, thanks for clarifying some issues. I have read about the help given to your family by your families and friends and both of you have stopped working so that you can maintain the whole family together while your little girl is going through her surgery.

I did suspect that the money will help with paying off some of the help you get from families and friends. Its a hard decision for Coop and also hard for him to concentrate in the kitchen while being away from the family

I hope all goes well for your little girl.