Masterchef Australia – Spewing Over Seafood
Sometimes Masterchef reminds me of when you eat out somewhere fancy where there is foam on a plate with fois gras, but all you want is a steak with chips and a glass of red. In short I was yearning for the Sunday night simplicity of the mystery box and invention test. However they were off to cook in Western Australia. The Western Australian Tourism Commission policy this year must be to get on as many reality cooking shows as possible. First up they had the My Kitchen Rules crew over there and now Masterchef.
The four best cooks from the previous week were selected to go business class. It must have killed the other contestants to see Kelty the non-contender selected, but he did bust out that fig and gorgonzola pizza. The other three were Christina, Rishi and Samira. Not really sure what Samira did that was outstanding but maybe she was just consistent and performed well in the pizza challenge. Or maybe she was being rewarded for cooking middle eastern on Italian week.
The first challenge was in Fremantle with the contestants having to cook for 30 fishermen who would be deciding the winners. The two teams were also going to have to get their own catch.
Half of each team would go out on the trawlers and half would go off shopping. The budget was $200.
The teams were selected by randomly pull aprons out of a basket. Predictably Emma and Jules squealed when they realised they were on the same team. Noelene was captain of the red team and she was happy to get the opportunity to be bossy, and Samira was captain of the blue team and she was unhappy about it. Jules started white anting her pretty quickly. “Her record with seafood is a little concerning” (Ed. Note – Yes I do realise the contestants are talking after the challenge is completed).
In a blast from the past Josh from MC1 was a guest on the show to help the red team fish.
Noelene was controversial from the get go. She decided to take only three team members on the trawler to fish and prep the seafood, and Totem was not happy that he was not one of them. But maybe she had remembered how he had butchered that flathead in the relay challenge. Funny how George Calombaris did not get upset about the wastage of food in that episode!
She took Lynton and Vern with her. Samira decided to stay on dry land and sent Lilian, Jules, Pip and Rishi. Each team only gets one drop of the nets. Though Noelene was more concerned about dropping her guts into the ocean. Rishi and Pip were also both puking on the other boat. I know it is reality TV but I am sure the people eating their dinner did not appreciate actually seeing the vomit project out of their mouths.
Blue pulled their net up it first only looked like seaweed but there were some scallops, prawns and some small fish.
The red team left their nets down longer which meant they had less time for the other half of the team to shop at Coles. However the strategy worked and they got a huge haul of whitings, scallops, and prawns. This big haul and and one person down on the boat meant they were still prepping seafood unti 30 minutes before serving.
The red team were keeping it simple with prawns two ways, one grilled the other wok fried, scallops seared in a butter sauce, deep fried whiting and calamari. It should be noted Noelene told them to dump the squid as they were running out of time, however Vern decided to ignore her. He was either going to be a hero or a villain in the end he was a hero. They served it with a fennel and orange salad and potatoes.
Jules and Liliana had wanted to keep it simple on the blues team but they were not the captain. Jules thought Fattoush Salad was with fish flaked on it was too complex. It is just the standard Lebanese salad. They also made a middle eastern rice dish and a thai broth.
It was all a bit of an adrenaline rush as there was only an hour to cook.
The blue teams food looked fantastic except for the broth. Gary loved the scallops and the rice dish. The judges did not like the bread that went with the fattoush. Matt Preston said there was more things he loved in the blue team but he thought the red team had a more balanced menu.
The red team ended up winning with 21 of the 30 votes. At the start of the challenge they were told the winning team member’s would have the opportunity to win an immunity pin. However the fact is only one of the team will get the opportunity to get it in a cook off against Guillaume. They will have to pick who that will be.
Masterchef Australia on Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm.