Masterchef Australia – Best Cook Eliminated In An Episode That Allowed No One To Cook Well
Well that sucked. Not for the first time the strongest all round cook of the Masterchef series has not made it to the finale.
But what sucked worse that the challenge tonight allowed none of the them to show case their cooking ability. Each round the contestants were given just 30 minutes to cook so it was about getting something on the plate it was not about being able to develop flavours or showcase the style they want to pursue when the show is over.
The equivalent episodes in previous seasons were:
- Season 1 – Poh, Chris and Julie had to cook dishes they wanted to put into their cook book and also outline the concept for that book.
- Season 2 – Callum, Claire and Adam had to cook for the Governor General and 30 of her guests each cooking a course each.
- Season 3 – Kate and Alana battled it out over 4 and 1/2 hours to make a Zumbo gingerbread house. For the record I did not like this challenge as it was more about assembling and decorating rather than cooking.
- Season 4 – Audra, Mindy, Julia and Andy had to turn one of their dishes into a three hatted dish aided by some three hatted chefs and we saw some beautiful dishes.
Tonight’s challenge is something you would see as a clever eliminaton challenge at the start of the top ten, but it had none of the weight it should have had for such a crucial episode.
In 30 minutes the contestants are just working on adrenalin and we saw no stand out dishes produced.
Having said that Rishi made some critical mistakes tonight.
His advantage in the first cook off was to be able to pick who to cook against, the cuisine and protein. Why did he pick Emma when he was going to be picking mussels to cook with? Lynton and Samira are far weaker with seafood. It was no surprise he picked Indian. He did put on his mussels on to cook to early and they were over cooked because they were sitting there.
George said don’t plate up too early, you would not do that in a restaurant. Unfortunately Rishi did not retort but unlike a restaurant here in the MC kitchen food is served up cold….
Rishi definitely hit the Indian brief better than Emma. Emma was in a flap and George came over and told her to calm down and fix her sauce. Thankfully he did not tell her how to fix her sauce. The judges decided the a better cooked mussel should trimph over the better sauce.
Then it was Lynton and Samira’s turn to go head to head. She picked the cuisine Middle Eastern and he picked the protein which was kangaroo. This combination meant their dishes were just going to be a crapshoot. Both pan fried the ‘roo, and Samira the middle eastern specialist made hommous and tabouli in the second last episode of the series! Seriously that is lebanese 101. Also Lynton did a yoghurt side which looked like mint or parsley stirred into it and a spicy tomato sauce. But they only had 30 minutes.
Lynton won and was through to the final with Emma.
Then it was Rishi and Samira duking it out. Samira picked the cuisine which was French and Rishi picked eye fillet. If he was being strategic he could have picked pork, but he would have looked like an asshole and I suspect they were told they were not allowed to pick that protein and fair enough too.
Rishi had another brain explosion and was cooking chargrilled leeks that George made in Masterclass, but clearly he fell asleep as he missed the bit where he had to cook the leek beforehand. He just chucked it on the flame so when it blended it, it was ash speckled mess. Not sure he should have plated it.
Samira pureed another vegetable, this time celeriac her stuff up was garnishing with coriander which was a rookie error for french cuisine.
Her steak was pink but was getting close to medium whereas Rishi’s looked a tad rarer.
The point is it was border line in both rounds for Rishi where if the judges wanted to they could have put him through as everyone had pros and cons going for their dishes. However they went with Samira.
It was a mistake. This year more then any other season of Masterchef they needed a winner that satisfied the viewer. One of the may criticisms of this year was there were few good cooks on the show and Rishi was universally acknowledged as one of them. Last year’s winner Andy was not a stand out cook and his cooking career has gone nowhere. Indeed tomorrow night he and Ben are on Masterclass cooking Ben’s standard cuisine modern Mexican.
And that is why Lynton cannot win on Sunday as he is an Andy Mark II.
However let’s not shed too many tears for Rishi as he will be the big winner of this series and could become one of the most successful contestants ever from the show. Not only will he be the one from this series to get the cookbook deal and the media and cooking appearances but he will be in demand back in his homeland India where the show is very popular. He’s good looking, smart and affable and he will capitalise on this. Already he is writing a cookbook and planning to bring out a product range. It will be sometime before we see his modern Indian restaurant.