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Masterchef Australia – Shucking Hell, Finally A Couple of Good Dishes

It appears to be obligatory in each of the Barossa Valley episodes that the viewers sees fresh meat like lamb, chicken and Daniel’s six pack.

Tonight was no exception with three seafood experts showing how quickly seafood can be prepped.

There was an oyster shucker, prawn peeler and flathead filleter who were impressively fast. Though it should be noted that the prawns were not de-veined try getting away with that if you are cooking for the judges.

It was then onto a boys versus girls challenge which was another relay team which involved shucking, peeling and filleting.

For the girls it was Pip, Emma and Jules. For the boys it was Kelty, Verne, and Totem. Totem was concerned about Kelty doing the oysters as he hinted he is a a bit of a catastrophe. He was the first to finish shucking but had to re-shuck two oysters and slow but steady Pip passed him and took out that leg. Pip is impressive and should make top ten.

The prawn peelers were next and they had to do it with no gloves unlike the professional prawn peeler. Verne won that leg. By the way does anyone else think Emma reminds them of Rebel Wilson?

Totem who put his hand up to do the fish leg was hacking his flatheads. Jules had the lead and then she let him off the hook and started on another fish when she found a few bones. Totem ran up and was told it was not good enough. He had no more fish to cut as he had butchered all his fish. The girls won.

The guys were not happy with Totem as he had talked himself up so much about his filleting skills.

The boys were then battling it out to stay out of the elimination challenge. They had 60 minutes to make a seafood dish.

Daniel was making a fish pie which was a good idea considering he was massacring his fish, though they were wondering whether he might have time issues.

Kelty was leaving his Irish roots behind and was making a prawn laksa. Kelty was not happy that he did not have coconut milk to work with and he was having to use coconut extract.

Lynton was struggling as he did not make seafood much due to the lack of getting the produce in the outback. For someone quite young he has been through a lot. His family lost the farm last year, plus his sister had an accident that put her in a wheelchair.

Xavier was making multiple dishes, the judges advised him to do one thing well. He promptly ignored what they said. 

Daniel’s Potato Topped Flathead Fillet Pie was the first to be judged and it was not good. Gary said it was just potato and white sauce.

Rishi made Fisherman’s Curry served with Oysters. Matt Preston said he loved it.

Nicky’s Pan Fried Flathead with a consomme was far too salty.

Totem made a Prawn Chu Mai, and George thought it was delicious.

Kelty’s Laksa was far too thick but Matt said as a prawn curry it was great. Maybe Kelty needs to dump the Irish and embrace Malaysian cuisine.

Verne made Prawn Parcels and Flathead Fillets with crispy prawn heads. George liked the prawn parcels as well as the prawn heads. This guy looks like he can cook.

Xavier’s taste plate included an Oyster with sea salt. George said it was hard to criticise such a lovely person, but added it is not good cooking. The fish was overcooked and the salad was a disaster.

Lynton whose much hyped breakdown was barely a whimper occurred because he thought he had stuffed up his flathead and sauce, however he was told it was the best cooked fish of the day.

Bottom three were Nicky, Xavier and Daniel. Nicky who has been bottom three twice this week was lucky enough to be made safe again. The six people in the elimination challenge are Michael, Andrew, Clarissa, Noelene, Xavier and Daniel and two will be going home.

Masterchef Australian on TEN, Sunday to Thursday at 7.30pm.


1 JStar { 06.12.13 at 12:27 am }

RR – It’s written into Daniel’s contract to introduce every episode by flashing his abs, flicking his hair, and smiling at the camera. Rishi is also contractually obliged to be armed and dangerous by carrying those guns around in t-shirts. Lynton is apparently auditioning to be the new McSteamy on Grey’s Anatomy judging by his intro in the credits, complete with Andrew having a major fanboy moment when being served by Lynton at the fake dinner table party.

RR, you’re going to set off the Lah Brigade soon about your suggestions that Kelty should switch to Malaysian cuisine. To be fair, we didn’t see enough of his cooking (which may be a plus given we have already seen too many of his disasters). I was impressed he appeared to make a good prawn stock (after his attempts at peas and making stew) but if memory serves me right, he poured several packets of coconut extract into his broth with 10 minutes to spare. Unless his broth had a very, very strong prawn flavour already, his laksa-turned-curry would have been overpowered by the coconut flavour. It should have tasted like cheap, takeaway laksa you find at a shopping centre.

And what gives with drowning that laksa with just vermicelli noodles? Where is Poh, Adam, or Alvin when you need them? I am not sure if the three stooges are the most qualified in deciding what is a good laksa. They may have “loved it” but this is the same Matt Preston who couldn’t tell the difference between egg noodles and hokkien noodles for his “special” laksa on MasterChef Professionals. Gary and George are too ignorant to know the difference between Malaysian food and Malay food – (see Season 1 finals week to relive the shame).

2 Eliza { 06.12.13 at 1:16 am }

Daniel’s abs – the only good thing this series of Masterchef has going for it!! Seriously though, RR and JStar, I made the exact same comments about the shots of Daniel shirtless when watching tonight. I definitely think that its in his contract that they use and abuse his body as much as possible within the realm of a cooking show. There will have to be some kind of beach challenge coming up like they did with Hayden.

I like Lynton as he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He reminds me of the singer Pete Murray. It makes me wonder where they are going with this year’s series though – too many nice guys and not enough contestants that can actually cook? I know that the focus was to be on the stories, but I haven’t been enjoying all the negative comments coming from the judges when these were the contestants chosen by the production team – what do they expect?! I am hoping that as the numbers dwindle down, the better cooks will have more of a chance to shine over the promotion of the contestants physical features/back stories. Vern looks like the front runner so far out of the boys.

Can’t wait for all this boys vs girls crap to be over. Is it wrong that I am a girl but am hoping that the boys win?!

3 daisy { 06.12.13 at 2:14 am }

Eliza, you raise a good point about the judges making negative comments to the contestants that they, themselves, selected out presumably hundreds of applicants. It made me realize had they chosen the best cooks, there would be no-one to critique. And no drama.

Looking back over these and other cooking shows, I have decided l like the shows better when the contestants cook interesting, varied and new recipes and cook them well. I also prefer to like the contestants than dislike.

4 Andrea { 06.12.13 at 8:22 am }

Lynton’s meltdown was a lot of fuss about nothing wasn’t it?
he would be great on “Farmer wants a wife “, I quite like him.
Yes, Daniel is pretty easy on the eye, but why do I always think that Big Brother is starting again?
Jules is becoming the leader of the girls group, she could be annoying I reckon.
Nothing outstanding in the cooking so far, I hope Noelene and Clarissa go and keep the young guys in for a while.

5 Georgie { 06.12.13 at 8:37 am }

I’m not an oyster shucker, I’m an oyster shucker’s son
And I’ll go shucking oysters ’til the oyster shucking’s done
It is a very pleasant trade from morn ’til set of sun
So, come and shuck some oysters, for oyster shucking’s fun!

Seriously, this challenge had the potential to be an OHS disaster. Not only were the inexperienced trying these tasks, but the added pressure of doing it at a pace without protective gear was irresponsible IMO. I expected Totem and Jules to have a butcher’s chain mail glove to fillet the fish, but no! And try opening an oyster without cutting and stabbing yourself. Prawns have sharp spines that stab too – they always manage to get me.

These people are constantly cutting themselves during normal kitchen activities ffs!

6 Joseph Skyrim { 06.12.13 at 8:48 am }

“The meltdown that will have all of Australia talking,” yeah – maybe about how much of a non-event it was. Got to say I don’t want to ever go to wherever they are. The amount of flies… errrrgghhh.

Good points:
We got to see all the dishes.
Silly boys vs girls thing is almost done.
Nikki tested the knife after the team had lost. For me it means he wanted to give Totem the benefit of the doubt before casting blame.

RR – I agree Emma = thinner Rebel Wilson.

7 Littlepetal { 06.12.13 at 9:03 am }

I am still suspicious with some of the so call good dishes. Theyvsre not putting the recipes up on the website. For last night episode only recipe for Rishi’s curry is there. No Kealty laksa. BTW Fishing also used coconut milk in his curry and he has no problem.

I have a feeling Kealty is not going anyway yet. He will stay to haunt me with his comments and cooking.

Agree with JStar. I can’t see any prawns in the laksa and how can it turned out to be a good prawn curry?

8 Morgan { 06.12.13 at 9:29 am }

Kelty was even more annoying than usual last night, he certainly got all high and mighty when he managed to shuck the oysters. Mate, just cause you can shuck oysters, dosen’t mean you can cook.

9 Rosie { 06.12.13 at 10:33 am }

Count me in as another to be surprised, if not shocked, that they were not provided with a modicum of protective gear.

And dear God, please send Nolene home this week, and Clarissa, and Michael, and… Can’t we have a multi elimination? Get rid of all the ones that really have no idea how to cook. I watch this show to see good cooking, dammit, not to see people produce crap.

Maybe they’ll learn from this year’s debacle and give us something better next year. Oh groan, who am I kidding? The producers don’t seem to give a flying fuck what the viewers want to see. Maybe one of these years they’ll notice the poor viewing numbers.

Having said/grumbled all that, last night wasn’t too bad. Interesting to see that the seeming idiot Kelty found some decent Asian flavours, even if he didn’t have the nous to water down his “laksa”. And we saw all the food! yay, they did something right!

10 annajjj { 06.12.13 at 10:59 am }

Haven’t watched it yet but I’d agree with Georgie and Rosie – how stupid to make these difficult and potentially dangerous tasks be done at pace by inexperienced people with no protective gear. Gice we’re going abseiling down this cliff but don’t worry about the gear – just get down as fast as you can. On your marks, get set….

11 Emma { 06.12.13 at 11:19 am }

An Aussie Oyster farmer was disgusted I used the word ‘shuck’ when I spoke to him this January. ‘American’s shuck, Aussie’s open’ he told me!

12 sarnias { 06.12.13 at 11:21 am }

Not watching again until Clarissa gets arseholed.

13 Georgietake2 { 06.12.13 at 11:25 am }

I was kinda hoping for an injury – not to be mean, but for real drama instead of pretend drama. Usually for eliminations I am thinking “oh no, not him/her” now I am thinking the more the merrier. IMO – the eliminations should be Nolene, Michael, Clarissa, Kelty and possibly Andrew – not necessarily because they are the worst cooks, but because they will not listen or learn. And again, oh the waste of the seafood.

14 Ryan { 06.12.13 at 11:28 am }

At this point I’m questioning whether any of these people could get a job at Maccas. Have the amateurs always been this bad? I don’t recall them being so terrible.

15 Daisy { 06.12.13 at 11:39 am }

Georgietoo, thanks for clarifying the Georgies 😉

16 Jas { 06.12.13 at 12:28 pm }

I thought Andrew’s fanboy gazing at Lynton in the opening credits is funny. Doesn’t do much but perpetuate sterotypes, but really, that’s what this year’s MC has been about.
I’ll be glad when the boys v girls thing ends as well.

17 Joseph Skyrim { 06.12.13 at 1:06 pm }

@Ryan 14 – This seems to be the weakest bunch so far, with their average abilities (that have been shown on TV) equalling around about the same level as the weakest contestants on previous seasons. I think Dani (who I believe was a weaker contestant in her group) would mop the floor with most of this lot.

18 Daisy { 06.12.13 at 1:14 pm }

I wonder if what they do on these shows is cull any good cooks so they can ‘cook’ up some drama instead. It has answered the puzzle as to why contestants who don’t seem to have a basic general knowledge go on Hot Seat. The knowledgeable ones, like old Barry Jones, have been culled at the auditions.

19 brain dead dave { 06.12.13 at 1:33 pm }

Noelene is crying in the promos for tonight. I’m calling that she’s safe. Kid’s week next week.

In a Ma$terchef first, I think an amata has realized that they’re profusely sweating into their dish. Props to totem for starting his pastry again. It was a dumb idea to have the challenge in an obviously hot galvanised iron shed. Even those not attempting to cook were sweating up a treat.

Jules was hilarious belting those two gice for snoring.

Big fail for the Lynton meltdown , $hine. Confected drama at it’s most sickly sweet. Didn’t have to wait long.

20 Nat { 06.12.13 at 2:40 pm }

Kelty sure likes to get his knickers in a twist. With a mouth like that, hope he never stuffs up!

21 Anna { 06.12.13 at 2:48 pm }

I’m guessing Andrew is going home today and Noelene, or Andrew & Michael.

22 Anna { 06.12.13 at 3:15 pm }

To quote Effy ‘How embarasement!!”

We are so crap that now guardian is talking about us. Yup we are going down down down, not just the prices LOL

23 Morgan { 06.12.13 at 4:07 pm }

Just found out that next week is Kids Week. Ugh, instead of just doing one challenge where they cook for kids like previous years, they’re dedicating an entire week for it? Absolutely ridiculous.

Before this season began I thought it couldn’t possibly be worse than this year’s MKR, but I stand corrected. Dan & Steph and Jake & Elle can cook circles around this lot. Hell, I’ll take anything Ashlee & Sophia cooked over Kelty’s “laksa”.

24 Anna { 06.12.13 at 5:04 pm }

Rishi’s dish looked horrible… Made me think of baby vomit , yet Geoge & Jowlsy loved it

25 Littlepetal { 06.12.13 at 5:16 pm }

Here is the recipe for Rishi’s dish

Anyone willing to try?

26 Dr T { 06.12.13 at 6:40 pm }

Although interestingly bdd – the three little pigs didn’t appear to be drowning in their own juices…

Don’t worry Morgan – kids cooking would be a good place to start for some of these people

27 Littlepetal { 06.12.13 at 7:45 pm }

Oh please. Clarissa got to go.

28 brain dead dave { 06.12.13 at 7:45 pm }

Pigs don’t have sweat glands, Dr T. Hence , the phrase “sweating like a pig” has no base in fact.

29 Morgan { 06.12.13 at 7:51 pm }

Clarissa, shut up. Michael is so cocky for someone who can’t cook. Please let them be the two to leave tonight.

30 Littlepetal { 06.12.13 at 7:58 pm }

Totally agree with you, Morgan

31 alabaster { 06.12.13 at 8:07 pm }

I’m trying to think of the most fitting expression for what the Masterchef producers have done.
Too much of a good thing?
Familiarity breeds contempt?
They went to the well too much?
They p1ssed on their chips?

32 Morgan { 06.12.13 at 8:15 pm }

Why can’t they all have an oven to themselves? Andrew couldn’t serve his mash because Andrew got ash in it. This is ridiculous.

33 Morgan { 06.12.13 at 8:15 pm }

Why can’t they all have an oven to themselves? Andrew couldn’t serve his mash because Michael got ash in it. This is ridiculous.

34 Georgie { 06.12.13 at 8:17 pm }

For pity sake Clarissa put a sock in it, you’re f*****g painful. Thank goodness someone finally told her to shut up. Go Andrew!

35 Littlepetal { 06.12.13 at 8:28 pm }

Morgan, they do have their own oven. Noelene oven is full with the lamb.

36 daisy { 06.12.13 at 8:50 pm }

Littlepetal,we might try Rishi’s dish. But it only got 4 stars and I think we’d rather try a 5 star dish.

37 daisy { 06.12.13 at 8:54 pm }

Littlepetal, the absolutely best fish curries we ever had were the pla chu chee in Hua Hin, Thailand. It’s not the best holiday destination in Thailand but they have the best food Thai food I have ever eaten anywhere in Thailand.

38 Littlepetal { 06.12.13 at 9:16 pm }

Daisy, please try Rishi’s prawn curry. Yes, only 4 stars but from 23 voters is a good score. Also most of the ingredients used are already available from the pantry.

39 Socs { 06.12.13 at 9:50 pm }

@Anna, it’s not /that/ bad–the Guardian has an Australian site now, so smaller stories are going to make it through. I’m so happy I’m out of the clutches of the Fairfax/New Corp duopoly.

I’m sorry, but Kelty’s ‘laksa’ looked hideous. It was cracked on top (i.e. too dry & thick), and Matt Preson picked it up using a FORK. That’s not laksa, that’s some congealed crap.

40 Reality Raver { 06.12.13 at 10:29 pm }

Tonight’s recap will be up in the morning. However I am interview both of the eliminated contestants tomorrow. Anything you want me to ask?

41 Dr T { 06.12.13 at 10:48 pm }

Ah bdd… I stand corrected. You reminded me of Brick Top from the film Snatch:
(not for the faint of heart… coarse language)

42 Eliza { 06.13.13 at 12:39 am }

Too true, Daisy – poor cooking = more drama! I do prefer it when they can cook and serve up interesting dishes, too.

RR, I would be interested to know what processes they went through to get onto the show. This year we didn’t have the top 50 etc shown to us, so did they still do a similar process behind the scenes? Also, how much personal information they had to give away, as this season is more about the stories.

Another good one would be who they think are the real front runners so far and who they think can really cook.

43 daisy { 06.13.13 at 12:45 am }

RR Maybe youcould ask them about the selection process and if they thought the best cooks were chosen. They might not be allowed to say .
I am just thinking back to the previous poster who said her son auditioned and better cooks got knocked back before he did.
Another question might be who were their favourite/ nicest fellow contestants.
And do the judges fraternise with the contestants off camera?

44 fairybreagirl { 06.13.13 at 7:05 am }

Maybe they have bad cooks/dishes this year to help George keep the weight off….

45 Littlepetal { 06.13.13 at 7:09 am }

Lol, fairybresgirl

46 Rocky { 06.13.13 at 9:02 am }

I remember the days when I would so looked forward to this show a couple of seasons ago. It is now spiraling toward reality tv mediocrity.

Producers please get back to what literally brought us to the table, which is:
1) Superior cooking
2) Inventive and fun challenges.
3) Real people desserved of this exposure and opportunity not drama kings and queens seeking more camera time than the next.

That’s all. Thank you.

47 Daisy { 06.13.13 at 10:31 am }

Some of the challenges are ridiculous and desperate. Searching for food in a dark pantry….really? Come on. Just cook for goodness sake.
And the cross over into Amazing Race challenges gives me the poops too. JUST COOK and do it well. If you have a cooking challenge make it ralistic and relevant to real cooking.

48 Carole { 06.13.13 at 11:09 am }

Thanks RR, could you ask if Nolene is really as cranky as she comes across, such a sour faced old thing she is.

I’m wondering the same thing Eliza, if they went through the same process as other years, but we just didn’t see it. Makes you wonder how bad the others must have been who were eliminated.

Talk about anti-climactic. That bloody promo they showed all weekend and all this week of Lynton breaking down, and it was all over nothing. There was nothing wrong with his dish, the judges loved it.

I’ve never shucked oysters, and have no desire to, and agree with the others about how irresponsible it was to make them do it without protective gear. I love prawns, but HATE shelling them. It takes me a minute to do just one. And the professional looked like she left the heads on too as well as not de-veining it.

As for the laksa, why didn’t he just add more liquid to it to thin it out?

49 Anna { 06.13.13 at 11:15 am }

Why is everyone fixated on Laksa? Watering it down might have ruined the dish.

Since it was so thick they were able to eat it with a fork it turned into a curry dish. Nothing wrong with curry!!

Thought Andrew should have gone home last night and not Xavier. The producers made it obvious as always…