Masterchef Australia – The First Elimination
It was elimination night with 21 of the contestants in the firing line having to cook one of Australia’s most popular cuisines Chinese.
Kylie Kwong was in there as a judge and it was great to see Asian cuisine at the forefront of a Masterchef challenge so early in the series.
Ironically it tripped up one of the Malay/Chinese contestants Steven. The first challenge was to make Chinese Fried Rice with twelve of the contestants to be made safe. Steven decided to put in prosciutto which Kylie bluntly said “It’s Italian” and also he overdosed it with white pepper. If another contestant had been shadowing him in the pantry to see what he had picked up they would have come a cropper.
Nicole the inflight manager from WA was having a fan moment with Kylie Kwong but was getting worried when Kylie queried her using in Gai Lan in her dish. After tasting it Kylie liked it and Nicole was safe.
Deepali who looks like her time will be short in the competition burnt her onions and looked like she had never cooked with a wok. But at least she was honest and admitted to the judges she had not done a good job.
Brendan who is a bass player in a band was having issues with cooking Asian, apparently his specialty is dude food. His motto was when in doubt put a lot of chilli in there.
Hipster Jamie who is mega intense was coaching Byron from the balcony. With five minutes before the end of the challenge he had to ditch his rice start again. In his rush Byron forgot to put his prawns in which might have been a positive thing as the poop chute looked like they were still in there.
Tash the food blogger from Canberra razzled out the best dish and was the first to be made safe. The biggest surprise was the Byron was safe as well even after being told they would have liked a bit more saltiness. Maybe the tearing up at the judging helped get him through.
There were nine of then left in round two which was to identify Chinese ingredients and the first three to get an ingredient wrong would have to cook off in the last round. The strategy appeared to be to pick the easy ones first. Which begged the question why were the lychees there for so long? Deepali was the first to cook in the final round as she could not identify what type of tofu she picked up. It was silken. Rachael said fish paste instead of shrimp paste and Brendan picked up a sauce and thought it was hoison but in fact it was char siew sauce. To be fair to him most of them would have said the same thing.
The final challenge was to cook a Chinese dish from the ingredients from the identification test. Rachael grabbed the crab and handled it with skill. I am really liking her. No nonsense with some good cooking skills and I am also buying into the back story of being an army wife and finally doing something for herself. She was easily safe after cooking an amazing looking Szechuan Pepper and Coriander Crab with Chinese Broccoli.
It was the other two that struggled.
Deepali decided make dumplings but she needed a lot of help. Kylie came around and told her she should not put pork fillet in it as it does not have enough fat. She asked the judges what protein she should use and George quite rightly cracked her off saying how much advice do you want? He also told her not to listen to peanut gallery. But she did and ran off to grab the duck. She took the brief of pot stickers seriously as they were literally stuck to the bottom of the pot.
When the judges tasted them there was hardly any filling inside, however apparently there was flavour there.
Lucky for her Brendan dished up undercooked pork and the issue was he thought it was cooked correctly. Kylie Kwong refused to eat it and it was no surprise he was sent packing. He can be found selling dude food out of his van at markets in Brisbane.