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Recap: Masterchef Australia 2014 Kicks Off – What Did You Think?

Maybe Masterchef Australia is all about the food this year as Ben Milbourne’s brother Grant tried out this year and he was told his Beef Massaman Curry was not up to par. Grant had earlier boasted that he was a better cook then his brother who came top five in the year Andy Allen won. The judges gave him a resounding three no’s and his time in the Masterchef Kitchen was over.

Even though last night some of the food looked delicious it was not ALL about the cooking. There were still tears, some sob stories, as well as the judges hamming it up. Though this year at this stage they appeared to have toned the pantomime down.

Also one thing that has continued is the judges disparate behaviour in their interactions with the different genders. If you are a female they are as sweet as pie, particularly if you are a good looking girl. But if you are a guy, the judges do a routine that is akin to coppers out of The Bill.

This year the show has brought back the top 50 which is great it allows us to see who/how they top 24 will be chosen and also start to emotionally connect with the contestants. Matt Preston tried to tell them that if they were not good enough they would not even be a top 24. He must have conveniently forgotten that TEN had ordered a certain number of episodes.

However later one after twelve aprons had been allocated the judges came out and told the waiting contestants that anyone that was good enough would get through.

They could either get three yes’s, get all no’s or if it was a split panel they would be coming back to cook the next day. Previous winners must have been envious when they saw that this year the winner will be taking home $250,000. It is about time the prize increased as whoever does win has certainly worked their butt off for it over six months of filming.

First up is Emily making a Prawn Laksa she graduated in Biomedical Engineering which is what her parent’s had wanted her to do. George Calombaris after years of quivering when a chilli came near him, said he likes spicy food but it makes him sweat so that is why he avoids it. But after tasting hers he said he would be happy to sweat all day. Gary Mehigan gave her a yes as he liked her story and motivation. Wasn’t it meant to be all about the food? She was the first through.

Grant Milbourne was next and he is better looking then his brother Ben, so there will be a lot of girls disappointed he was turfed out because his beef was tough and his Massaman sauce was not aromatic enough. Grant looked stunned he did not get an apron. Possibly one of his issues was telling Matt Preston as he was trying to chew the meat that the beef was nearly there. It was nowhere near done.

Laura an 18 years old from South Australia got George’s full attention. She was making stuffed chicken thigh with a caponata and polenta. Her mum was coaching her from the sidelines which made you think maybe she should have applied. That would have been an interesting twist a mother and daughter in the top 24. After George nearly eating it all and some hamming it up by the judges she was given her apron.

Ben a good looking  36 year old from Brisbane revealed he had suffered from leukaemia. He was making Pan Fried Snapper with Fennel Puree and a Miso Orange Reduction. Because he was bloke the George, Gary and Matt started to play with his mind. Matt said he does not order this fish in restaurants as when it is over cooked it does not taste good. Gary then chimed in that this dish was all about the fish. Gary at one staged looked like he had a bone in his mouth but it was a scale.  Ben got an apron and the viewers got some eye candy.

This year there are a lot of Western Australian contestants. Kippali a dentist from Perth who made a Thali as was through as did Amy who was teary as she plated up her scallops with potato puree.

Colin 51 year old wine maker from South Australia looked like he was one to watch putting up three tasting dishes which included sticky mustard wings and a terrine. In fact I hope that wings recipe is up on the website.

Ashley and older lady, possibly a Ermahgard in training, was making Crepes Suzette. She said she was retired and was looking for a second career. Her food dream was to open a cafe at night as sometimes you feel like an omelette for dinner. The judges did look confused at that one but hey at least it was different to the usual “dessert wine bar” concept.

George pretended to be a waiter to help her serve it at the table. Matt made a quip that it was hard to find good help. Maybe because the bosses are trying to do away with penalty rates. I am sure George will be stoked at the Commission of Audit’s finding to reduce the minimum wage. Ashley was told she would have to cook again as her dish was a bit simple.

Next up was Tash  who likes photographing her food, which means she is a food blogger is from Canberra. She made three little desserts which included  Chocolate and Cointreau Mousse, a Chocolate Fondant. and chocolate milkshake. Matt said it was brilliant. Gary said the mousse is amazing and the fondant was one of the best that he had eaten.

George just continued to salivate. She got an apron.

Desserts were popular with the judges. Amelia made a pannacotta which all the judges dived on and she was through.

Nick a law student from Newcastle was making a lemon curd tart. It did not set and thankfully he did not then decide to deconstruct it. His Grandmother had accompanied him so George brought her in to ask her why they should give him a second chance. Clearly she did a good pitch as Nick was sent through to cook the next day.

Nicole a 55 year old from WA was one of my favourites. Her mother died when she six so she took over cooking the family meals. She is made a delicious looking Duck with Soba Noodles as well as some calamari.  She said she wants her own catering company but cannot leave her job as she needs to provide for her family. They all said yes. and she burst into tears. The food looked that good they finished the plate clean.

Cecillia from Victoria had one of the more compelling back stories. The mother had been a maths teacher until  she had a brain injury through a snow boarding accident. She can no long teach. However she said she had become more creative. She confidently made Black Sesame and Jaffa macaroons.  The judges loved them and said they are as good as Zumbo’s. Then they go and take a selfie. Not sure why they could not just take a photo of the biscuits and send them to him. But then this is the new age of narcissism fuelled by instagram, Facebook and Twitter etc.

Hamish an electrician told them he was sick of being an electrician and his food dream was to have meat hanging in the window then cooking it while people were drinking. George looked on dreamily. He was making a Scotch Fillet with a baby beetroot and carrot puree all served on a tile hopefully not pinched off one of his building sites.  But the poor sod gave the viewer their first MKR moment as the steak once it was cut open was raw. George and Gary then continued ala MKR and were going to put him straight through but Matt Preston was having none of that and told him he would have to cook again the next day.

Rachael 45 year old a no nonsense army wife from Darwin plated up a delicious Crab and Prawn Wonton with a Bisque. George said it was one of the best bisques he had ever tasted in the competition. He forgot to add she should use a muslin cloth when straining it to get out all the grit. However I liked that she did not look like that she would crack under pressure so should be interesting to watch on the show.

What did you think of the first episode of Masterchef Australia?

By the way for ratings nerds The Voice Australia 1.99million, House Rules 1.09 million, and Masterchef was 874,000. Good numbers for Masterchef Australia but it would have gone over one million if it had started at 7.oopm.

95 comments

1 daisy { 05.06.14 at 10:24 pm }

We have the one chip one dip rule. Otherwise the grandkids would use the same chip to suck up a whole dish of aoli, sour cream or tomato sauce.

2 Rosie { 05.06.14 at 10:27 pm }

Why did they waste their time bringing Irmgard the second back for another try when all she could manage the first time was crepes suzette?

The others came up with so many truly amazing dishes, and what did Irmy give us but Quiche fucking Lorraine! And she couldn’t even think to make that in a smaller size. She absolutely did not belong there, and I was happy to see her go.

So

3 Crabtech { 05.06.14 at 10:36 pm }

I liked it. Food looked good. While there was commentary on what was happening we didn’t have to look at them, and they actually showed what was happening most of the time.
Yes it’s theatrical but prefer a bit of interaction even if scripted to the stiffness of Manu and aloofness of Pete.
A much better start than last two years.

4 Littlepetal { 05.06.14 at 10:42 pm }

They spent so much time with the acting from the judges that we didn’t really see some of the Top24. Either they will be eliminated soon or they can cook.

There are some recipes on the official website but I can’t remember them cooking the dishes. Maybe the recipes are for tomorrow night mystery box.

5 brain dead dave { 05.06.14 at 10:45 pm }

I mean George can bang on about fish filleting skills being essential to Ma$terchef but it means nothing at all because Andy totally destroyed a beautiful salmon and went on to win Ma$terchef.

Byron, you fucked up the recipe but you’re on the verge of tears and kept up a relentless hard sell of your pathetic back story so here’s your apron.

Well double dipping. if there are more bacteria in one human mouth than people on the planet, why roll the dice? Might as well kiss my arse.

No need for Iirmgard to write herself off at 66~ the inspirating Colonel $anders was 65 when he started hawking his chicken recipe. He didn’t even cry or have a back story to conquer the world with.

6 Littlepetal { 05.06.14 at 10:58 pm }

Andy let the cat out of the bag. I saw in the promo for tomorrow night- he said something like I cant even boil an egg at this stage.

7 Evan { 05.06.14 at 11:02 pm }

I like Nick and Byron already, so I was pleased both of them made it to the Top 24.
Overall a better 2nd episode than the first one, but one criticism I will give the producers – a few of the people who made the top 24 got virtually no airtime at all tonight, who are these people?
They wasted far too much on that Georgia girl, because she was friends with the other lass already in the top 24.
That lemon/lime/bitters thing – I would love to try that one.

8 Evan { 05.06.14 at 11:03 pm }

I guess the people who have been promoted heavily by Channel 10 already will be around in the competition for a while – ie. Emily, the lady with the red hair, Nick, Byron

9 Jaycee47 { 05.06.14 at 11:14 pm }

Agreed BDD…..66 maybe old for a cooking show but hey, I’m 66 and don’t consider myself old!

What happened to Judith who was eliminated…she didn’t even get 1 second airtime and they gave Irmgard heaps!

I see George’s manners haven’t improved either…still holding cutlery like handlebars! Is everyone too frightened to tell him his table manner are atrocious.

With a challenge like the lemon and limes on ep 2 I am hoping that they are setting the bar high for future ones. Just gives ’em an idea of what is to come…hopefully!

Agree RR if they cant do basic stuff they don’t belong…surely when they apply to MC they should be put through a test or given a list of stuff they will be required to know but that is elementary isn’t it? We are in Season 6 so when will they get it.

10 daisy { 05.06.14 at 11:18 pm }

I was watching a prog on SBS this week that said we in a modern western society have had our bacteria (flora) deplted and therefore people in places like Africa have healthier guts than us.

So perhaps the double dippers are just improving their flora.

Mind you if I want to collect new bacteria, I will still be selective about its origins. For instance I won’t be wanting to vollect it from a public toilet at Maccas.

11 Littlepetal { 05.06.14 at 11:22 pm }

The standard of cooking has improve this year but not sure about the manipulations to make sure some are safe from eliminations.

Just like tonight, people not happy that Byron got in.

12 Maz { 05.06.14 at 11:38 pm }

I agree RR@44 the frustration at contestants(who allegedly are the best yet) make the top fifty but don’t know how to filet, break down a chicken when they do it EVERY year.

Second rant summed up beautifully by BDD @55 para 2 especially as it came at the cost of the other 18year old from SA (Georgia). I think it would have been good to have both girls go through together.

Third rant-the treatment of Ashleigh was disgusting. MC is in the position to break down societal stereotypes of aging and what people can achieve in the twilight years (particularly in view that we are now expected to work to 70) yet they decided to go with the ageist and patronising route. Would Ashleigh aka Hyacinth Bucket been the ideal contestant? Probably not but a couple older contestants could bring a different perspective and food philosophy. Decides both the dishes she cooked have featured in previous seasons of MC so they can’t dismiss it as mere 1970s food.

Is there Masterclass this year?

13 emp { 05.06.14 at 11:40 pm }

Byron is annoying as fuck

14 Littlepetal { 05.06.14 at 11:43 pm }

I think there is Masterclass as MC is on 5 nights a week.

15 emp { 05.06.14 at 11:47 pm }

I have a feeling those 4 people with no backstories that got in will go far.

16 Evan { 05.06.14 at 11:54 pm }

I felt sorry also for the electrician, who didn’t make the cut – don’t they usually include one blue collar type person?

17 brain dead dave { 05.06.14 at 11:55 pm }

I’m already over Beige Byron as well,emp. His ex- girlfriend will be all the better for having that trembling turd out of her life. The producers will love his desperation.

Not sure about Ma$terclarse, it used to be on Fridays but as far as I know ,nothing scheduled.

18 Littlepetal { 05.06.14 at 11:56 pm }

Byron is a deckhand. Shouldn’t he be consider blue colour type person?

19 Eliza { 05.07.14 at 12:30 am }

I didn’t mind the challenge that George set tonight on the second ep. I don’t tend to find the top 50 eps too compelling so I didn’t watch all of both episodes as they are too long, get boring, and I would rather watch other things. In saying that, whenever I did find myself watching, I saw the same people! The baking guy, the electrician and Byron (although I won’t complain tooooo much about that),. The second half of the episode felt like the Byron show. Sarah did a cracking job of the challenge so looked a sure thing to get an apron after that.

The cooking does seem better so far so am hoping that it is a much better season!

20 Emp { 05.07.14 at 12:36 am }

Byron cried too much that electrician was no good too

21 Anonymous { 05.07.14 at 1:03 am }

I wasn’t aware each person had special unique bacteria in their mouth- last I remembered the same natural flora strains colonised the same body tissue type independent of who the person is? Usually healthy people swapping saliva doesn’t change much bacteria-wise…
Of course kissing someones arse would since its two completely different commensal colonies. But I’m gonna say you had the common sense to know that and were just giving an unwarranted for and obnoxious reply to me.

22 brain dead dave { 05.07.14 at 1:13 am }

#71~It wasn’t a reply of any kind to you at all.

Since I rarely bother with anonymous posters.

23 daisy { 05.07.14 at 1:51 am }

Lucky for me I never kiss arse, literally or otherwise. 😆

24 daisy { 05.07.14 at 2:01 am }

But maybe I should to improve my flora. From what I can gather from SBS, it it has to be a healthy bum, and probably third world.

25 Eliza { 05.07.14 at 2:26 am }

Daisy, I think you are smart not watching House Rules, it was a shocker reveal last night.. ughh.. soooo bad. For me, it would be like a chef watching this show and whinging at the poor quality they often deliver!

I think this site is sick of me.. again, my posts are getting gobbled up!

I hope we don’t get too many sob/back stories as the series goes on. This may sound insensitive, as I am an empathetic person, however the constant shoving of people’s sad stories every night of the week in my face makes it really hard to be sensitive to them.

26 Zhee { 05.07.14 at 3:15 am }

Eliza, I felt the same way regarding the House Rules reveal. Horrible renovation. It felt like all 10 people were colorblind and just picked the cheapest bucket with some color. The worst rooms were the entry and the laundry.

The sob stories annoy me. People think they get what they want when they come up with a sob story. I am usually this “Aww, I can understand why… bla bla”-person, it bores me seeing all that shit on TV. I know it’s done so the contestants appear more human and to connect with the viewer but how can everyone have a sob story on that show? Damn, I sometimes wish I could start crying when I want something and tell others a sad story. :) Looks like it’s working!

27 daisy { 05.07.14 at 5:11 am }

Wel Eliza, I have never been interesting in any of the reno shows. Not even the ones where they landscape someone’s yard in a day, or teach you how to do a cheesy diy make-over of a room. I’m no renovator and most of the reality shows are too predictable and lacking in reality now.
There are a few I still watch.

I have given MKR the flick and won’t return to that because the food rarely looked delicious and the competitors usually ranged from dull to annoying.

28 Zhee { 05.07.14 at 5:55 am }

Finally I remember why Nick, the gay dessert queen looked kind of familiar. There’s a famous gay German comedian who looks a bit like Nick. One of his best gags involves cakes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUeSucsrRIU). 😉

29 Andrea { 05.07.14 at 7:09 am }

I was a little disappointed to see the older lady Ashleigh go too. Even though she wouldn’t have won , she was kind of different and interesting to watch, and very polite and ladylike. The other poor old lady eliminated we never even saw , along with some others.
Young and beautiful still wins out in the end.

30 Anonymous { 05.07.14 at 7:18 am }

“Since I rarely bother with anonymous posters.”

That’s a farking lie!

31 Georgie { 05.07.14 at 8:16 am }

#80 – why so much antagonism?

32 Smythe { 05.07.14 at 9:40 am }

I didn’t think that Bryon should have been given an apron. Taste was good but he messed up the placement of the mousse. Could tell the way they talked to him, though, that he would not be eliminated.

Also aproned contestants should not have been giving advice to the ones in the challenge. Lack of good sanitary habits as usual, people licking their fingers and wiping their hands through their hair and then touching the food and/or utensils.

33 Smythe { 05.07.14 at 9:44 am }

Zhee and Eliza, agree w/ you re: House Rules. For the most part that rennovation was a disaster. You are not missing anything by not watching it, Daisy. Hopefully the teams will improve and develop some styling/design skills or at least demonstrate better taste when it comes to choosing colors, furniture and accessories.

34 Littlepetal { 05.07.14 at 9:53 am }

When it came down to the last 6 with only 3 aprons left, they must pick the 2 guys so they have 10 guys in the Top 24.

35 Sandii { 05.07.14 at 10:14 am }

Littlepetal, I thought that the guys would go through as well to even up the numbers

36 daisy { 05.07.14 at 10:42 am }

Smythe, no I am feeling no loss as I have never watched. Also Tuesday is my OB night.

Flaw: the bf could have got a good shot at the guy after he put Sarah in the car. Or maybe the bf was in on it. I still don’t trust Mr Leekie’s
French assistant.

Good Korean uptake on the Packer Gyngell stoush.

37 Georgietake2 { 05.07.14 at 10:49 am }

I find it annoying that whenever they want to get rid of an older contestant they use some comment like “old school” or 70s style cooking. So what if its old fashioned as long as there is skill, technique, flavour and presentation? The new methods are not necessarily better, just more pretentious. I like the no nonsense model that just got on with the recipe, no fake drama. And yes, anyone with education and good old fashioned manners like Ashleigh never has a chance.

38 Smythe { 05.07.14 at 11:03 am }

I liked Ashleigh and hoped she would make it through. I didn’t see a problem with her crepes. Recent competitions in various cooking shows have contestants making crepes. Yes, she did have a problem w/ the quiche but they could have put her through with the crepe.

Every time G, G and M eat it deters me from wanting to eat.

Daisy, OB, I wondered about the boyfriend, too, and I definitely don’t trust Cossima’s friend. What is going on with Helena and the farm cult? I kept thinking that the farmer dude was going to attempt to impregnate her.

39 Angeline { 05.07.14 at 11:04 am }

Byron sure as hell didn’t get this far for his cooking. Chicken and corn, really? One dish and he chose.. this? Clearly the network just wants to build up his hopes then cut him – broadcasting his weeping desperation to the world.. Pathetic, sounds as if his girl fell through his fingers. Sarah was the shining star of this episode.

40 Reality Raver { 05.07.14 at 11:37 am }

Angeline – Here are my thoughts on Byron in my latest blog post http://www.realityravings.com/2014/05/07/masterchef-australia-we-have-our-top-24-looks-good-but-still-a-contestant-who-cant-fillet-fish/

Tend to agree with you.

41 Littlepetal { 05.07.14 at 11:41 am }

Also they didn’t really show us what Byron cooked in the first audition, only showed him very nervous. But he got the second chance and Ben’s brother didn’t.

He will get to Top 10

42 daisy { 05.07.14 at 5:35 pm }

Smythe, bf is suspicious because he’s like some bio-enginneer into pollination. And he had a clear shot and didn’t take it.
And the head of the cult drugged Helena and took her off for some pollination too. And the Ali from B&B look alike was jealous.

Poor little Helena. I think the video of the dying clone was a fake. It was the boss clone and it’s a trick to get Coss to comply.Just my theory.

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