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Masterchef Australia – Maggie Beer And There Will Be Verjuice

It is a truth universally acknowledge that if Maggie Beer is a guest judge on Masterchef Australia there will be verjuice.

Last night Maggie set the mystery box and in there with the octopus, chocolate and Japanese plums and there was her verjuice. Also in the pantry staples there was Vino Cotto which won’t be a pantry staple next week. It is clever of Maggie to ensure she does get product placement when she is a guest and even cleverer if she does not have to pay.

The cooks had 60 minutes to cook a dish from the mystery box and most used the octopus to showcase their skill. But any contestant who was smart realised by using Maggie’s products would give them a better chance to be one of the five to get their dishes tasted.

Scott at first said he was making  Chocolate Ganache Tart which he served with a Japanese Plum Sauce. The whole dish was praised from the pastry to the sauce. This guy could be a contender.

There was a lot of pummelling the octopus to try and soften it. To be honest I had not realised that needed to be done so who said Masterchef was not educational.

However for all that pummelling only two of the octopus dishes were tasted probably because the judges knew they were going to be rubbery. As Maggie said as she surveyed the room “Some of it just won’t work”.

As soon as Emily mentioned she was going to make a traditional Malaysian Egg Yolk Sponge with verjuice you knew she was going to be picked. The judges told her there was too much cream but Maggie did praise her saying ” What you did with Verjuice, umeboshi and Vinocotto was great.”

Sam aborted her octopus dish and made chocolate fondant. What was the point of that? Chocolate Fondant are to cooking shows to what tantrums are to a toddler. All too common.  Her fondant collapsed but doubt they would have tasted it. 

Sarah showed she has some serious cooking skills by extracting the chlorophyll from the parsley and turning it into Farfalle. She served it with pan seared octopus. Unfortunately for her the octopus was not quite there as it was undercooked.

Kira was making a  was balsamic but then changed Vino Cotto Poached Pear with a chocolate ganache. To be fair the ingredients are very similar. The pear looked a bit tough but Maggie said it was tough to spoon but fine once in the mouth.

Rachael who made Octopus on Pear was told her octopus was not cooked so the seafood queens crown just went a bit askew.

It was not surprise that Scott’s stand out dish was the winner. He then chose chorizo to cook in the Spanish theme invention test. His other choices were rabbit and citrus fruit. And it was hello Frank Camorra as a judge.

This time there was an incentive to be in the top three as they would get a chance at an immunity pin. It was Amy with her Potato Bravas that Frank thought were as good as he had ever had, Tracey’s Chorizo’s Stuffed Squid and Laura’s Paella that got them into the top three.

Jamie can be thanking the Masterchef God’s that he was not in the bottom three as he dished up Paella with flowers on it, but they were poisonous ones at that. Also his rice was undercooked.

Renae after cutting herself badly managed to plate up her mix of dishes of Potato and Chorizo, lamb and seared squid proving you don’t have to be the best you just don’t have to be the worst. She was safe.

The three that were not were Nick, Sean and Sarah as all of them undercooked their squid, apparently there is no great sin.

Nick proved he will have difficulties with savoury as he could not gut the squid properly and it was yucky and under cooked in side. Sean who admitted Spanish was not his thing squid was raw and Sarah’s squid with pumpkin and chorizo crumb was raw. It was interesting that they did not criticise her for the burnt pumpkin that was also on her dish.

Did you agree with the top and bottom three?



1 Culinary Boner { 05.19.14 at 1:07 pm }

Hey Raver, perhaps the readers on this site could club together and help Nick get out of his tragic state of Manesia with a year’s subscription to the following – – as well as an intervention to remove all cushions, doilies and tea-pot cozies from the living room while he’s watching Dog & Beth, Hardcore Pawn and Urban Tarzan?

2 Shellbot { 05.19.14 at 1:20 pm }

I think Sarah was hard done by considering there were poisionous flowers and chalky rice on the menu! surely those are a greater sin then undercooked squid?

3 Smythe { 05.19.14 at 1:22 pm }

Since we didn’t see all of the dishes it’s hard to say who were truly top 3 and bottom 3 but based on what they showed I would have to agree w/ the top 3 and question the bottom. Raw squid vs poisonous flowers. Shellbot, I agree w/ you. The person who added that poison should have been in the bottom 3.

As I posted in another thread, why cook the octopus if you don’t know how. The thought process amongst the contestants was that if they cook something more challenging then their dishes would have a better chance of winning. I just think this is stupid thinking. If you don’t know how to cook an item then don’t.

4 Ari { 05.19.14 at 1:32 pm }

Well I’m happy with the bottom three because I wouldn’t want to of my favourites – Sarah and Jamie both in the bottom. :( I really like Jamie and it was a shame he didn’t perform up to standard, same with Sarah, but I guess she can’t be the best at everything.

The poisonous flowers were a mistake (why are they there in the garden anyway). It’s easy to just push them to the side, which is what the judges did.

5 Jas { 05.19.14 at 1:38 pm }

I heard Matt Preston on the radio this morning and say it was an old tale that tomato flowers were poisonous, nobody’s actually tested out the theory. And that they wanted to make an example out of Jamie, by highlighting that you need to know exactly what you are serving up to people. Fair enough I thought, but you always know when they’re shown to be super cocky, it either works or it fails.

6 Smythe { 05.19.14 at 1:39 pm }

Sure it’s easy to push the flowers aside and they may or may not be poisonous but if you are unsure of something don’t put it on the plate. If they were poisonous, he was lucky that Matt recognized what they were. The same might not be said for someone else without that knowledge. :-(

7 daisy { 05.19.14 at 1:39 pm }

CB@1, you wouldn’t expect him to give up bingo nights and the after orgy of hot cocoa and nannas in incontinence pants.

8 abc { 05.19.14 at 1:49 pm }

Who is colin? What does he do? What does he like to cook? What exactly does he look like? Any idea anyone?

9 Reality Raver { 05.19.14 at 2:02 pm }

Smythe – I reckon cooking the mystery box is the time to experiment as there is no penalty if you stuff up. Why burn a good recipe that you know you can cook well then when you may need it later in the competition to get you out of a tight spot. Which is another reason I thought it was stupid Sam made it.

10 brain dead dave { 05.19.14 at 2:03 pm }

I think Frank Camorra criticised the pumpkin on Sarah’s plate , describing them as “black”

Lol at Sean calling it “churrizio”. Looks like he faints or has a black out tonight.

Thought like some other posters that the bottom and top three were quite predictable. There’s Byron, still flying under the radar.

11 Evan { 05.19.14 at 2:03 pm }

I guess the Byron haters would be happy, he has hardly been featured at all in the last few episodes LOL
Colin is the winemaker guy, who is 50 something years old, correct? He is one of a few people who we have seen barely anything of – Brent is another one that I don’t think has appeared much so far.
Jamie will always be able to play the “doing it for my family, especially my sick baby” card with the judges – how far will it get him?
Nick I like, but his weakness stood out last night like a sore thumb…..if it isn’t a dessert, he is in some trouble.
However, I bet Sean gets eliminated tonight, because Channel 10 have promoted the hell out of Nick and Sarah is the cute model

12 daisy { 05.19.14 at 2:13 pm }

Well they delivered on the tears and, “Doing it for the kids” last night. And that was followed by a group hug.
It was funny that also following the tears and backstory, the celeb chef was saying something like, “Yeah, it’s a tough job and you need to be tough”.

13 Smythe { 05.19.14 at 2:38 pm }

RR…makes sense what you wrote re: #9 but w/ something to supposedly help w/ the invention test you would think they would want to try their best and something known to them. I would hope that most of them have multiple excellent dishes but I do think several of them may only be “one, two or three trick ponies”.

14 nibehlung { 05.19.14 at 3:35 pm }

Sarah and Jamie fucked up big time last night. They are talented but it’s nice to know that even they can mess up big time due to their inexperience. Nick clearly can’t do anything other than desserts and unless he shapes up, he’ll be gone soon.

15 Culinary Boner { 05.19.14 at 4:18 pm }

MasterChef Australia delivery truck –

Why, oh,why did they give the contestants godzilla-sized octopuses that would have been better slow-cooked to tenderise instead of being grilled/braised to the point of rubberisation? Why not pre-tenderised baby octopi?

I gave up watching last night’s Maggie Beer advertorial once it became clear the contest was doomed to fail and the judges were looking to pig out on desserts anyway.

16 Ali { 05.19.14 at 5:23 pm }

I missed the super-obvious Maggie Beer product placement – Doh!

Too busy being distracted by how quickly Gary can get it up when it comes to Sarah.

(I mean when he raised his hand in response to the question, who thinks Sarah is a threat – and Gary’s not even a contestant!)

I thought they were going to have a beard-off between Sean and Jamie, but it would have been too confusing for the viewers.

The judges had better not push Jamie too far; there are a lot of sharp implements in the MC kitchen and he looks like the sort to start “running with scissors”.

They are creating brand differentiation with their rivals. MKR = very tolerant of raw food. MC has shown thus far, that they will punish it.

17 Sandii { 05.19.14 at 6:01 pm }

Ali, I think everyone is petrified about over cooking food they are going the other way and not cooking it enough.

18 Carole { 05.19.14 at 6:32 pm }

That was funny Ali, then her dish wasn’t up to scratch. Maybe he should have waited till he tasted it before asking. I have never cooked with octopus or squid and nor will I ever. Would definitely not try it on MasterChef with limited time not having a clue what the hell to do with it. Seafood is always dicey, you can undercook or overcook it so easily.

I don’t think the flowers would be too much of a threat, they would be for decoration and not meant to be eaten.

19 lulu { 05.19.14 at 7:29 pm }

So the tattooed wonder has had a gazillion ink needles jabbed into her body, yet has a conniption when she cuts her finger. Ok. I guess adding slices of lamb and crying about the kids helped.
Do they test for substance abuse in that house?

Given that people have been running out to the garden for years for herbs/flowers etc., does anyone seriously believe there would be anything deadly at the ready? Unless they’re trying to turn the show into a whodunnit … Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Masterchef?

20 Littlepetal { 05.19.14 at 7:57 pm }

I hope Nick get eliminated tonight. He is young and if food is so important he can still start and work parttime in a patisserie. He thinks by doung well in MC he is a chef!!

21 Morgan { 05.19.14 at 8:12 pm }

Please cut Nick loose tonight. I’m sure Sarah is safe, she’s been shown the least tonight which usually means you’re safe.

22 Littlepetal { 05.19.14 at 8:17 pm }

Sean dish looks the best. Hope he is safe.

23 Littlepetal { 05.19.14 at 8:20 pm }

Sean and Sarah will be safe. Nicky boy cant be in the food industry.

24 Sandii { 05.19.14 at 9:07 pm }

Did I hear Sarah say that the little boy was her partners son.

25 Sandii { 05.19.14 at 9:09 pm }

He is a goner but he did a pretty good job in my opinion.

26 Littlepetal { 05.19.14 at 9:13 pm }

The little boy is their son.

27 Sandii { 05.19.14 at 10:06 pm }

Hey Littlepetal where is everyone else these days.

28 Littlepetal { 05.19.14 at 10:12 pm }

Not only this blog, Sandii. The other blog that I follow also very quiet. For some reason, viewers have turned off MC even though this season is better than last year. But there is still too much back stories and tears.

29 Sandii { 05.19.14 at 10:19 pm }

A lot of people seem to watch the encore.

30 daisy { 05.19.14 at 10:42 pm }

Hi gels. Dinner tonight: cat food. Yuk.

I guess I am no fine diner.
Here Puss Puss. Your dinner is ready.

Yep, Puss likes it.

31 daisy { 05.19.14 at 10:47 pm }

@30refers to that raw fish geschmozzle they had to replicate.

32 daisy { 05.19.14 at 10:49 pm }

Littlepetal, I would make Nick stand up straight. He is going to have an elderly hunch by the time he is 35.

33 Jaycee47 { 05.19.14 at 11:00 pm }

Daisy…same goes for Mel on My House Rules…she is a bit hunched over as well. Must be working on the tools too much!

34 Evan { 05.19.14 at 11:09 pm }

Well, I was very wrong about tonight!
I bet if this had been MKR, Pete & Manu would have desperately found some way to keep Nick in the competition – the Masterchef guys on the other hand seem to be judging eliminations on the merits or standards of the food presented, regardless of the personalities of the people offering up the food.
Nick is a nice young man, he has many admirable qualities, but at the end of the day, because he is just a dessert or baking person, that counted against him when it came to doing a pressure test involving a savoury or main course dish.
And we got to see a little more of Brent tonight, in the Nick cheer squad.
Yes, Byron got his 5 second cameo too.

35 Maz { 05.19.14 at 11:41 pm }

Even though the standard of contestant is higher this year, MC drags itself down by the sob stories. When bleach tattoos started sobbing and dramatically wiped away their tears while hiccuping about leaving the children with their father we switched channels and gave up on the episode.

We tried again tonight but Nick decided this wasn’t MC but literacy chef by reading a letter from Nan. We assume Nick can read as he is studying a law degree so we didn’t need that skill demonstrated…again we gave up watching. So if the producers read this….WE DON’T GIVE RATS ABOUT THE CONTESTANTS’ FAMILIES. Don’t care about people’s children. Don’t care about their grandparents. Don’t care about their medical history. Don’t care about their broken dreams. If we want that then do a reality docu at Centrelink.

Sobbing should be grounds for automatic elimination.

36 Eliza { 05.20.14 at 12:23 am }

My posts are getting eaten but I will take a risk.. here goes!

I caught the end of the encore today of the Sunday episode and all I got was crying and back stories! Totally agree with Maz #35! As I have said before, I am by no means a mean spirited person and I do have empathy for people but quit shoving it down my face, MC! It’s not that we don’t care.. it’s just that we don’t in the context of a COOKING SHOW! If they were our friend, then yes, we’d want to hear our friend’s trials and tribulations.. to an extent 😉

Maz, I agree about Renae’s (think that’s her name.. the other model with the transformable face) little sob. Like seriously? No one forced you to do what you did. Plus, doesn’t she have that business that RR linked us to? I have not seen much but can tell she is a pet of the judges?

@LP and Sandii – yep, too many backstories. I honestly get exhausted watching this, plus HR, plus The Voice so I sacrifice MC out of boredom. I tend to usually get more involved once we get to fewer contestants. Each time I watch I feel like I see someone I have never seen before. The magic of season one hasn’t been replicated though for me. Plus, I think that was when it was fresh, shiny and new.

37 daisy { 05.20.14 at 1:19 am }

It was a bit annoying when Renae rolled her eyes at having to use chicken. Hellooooooo.

38 Andrea { 05.20.14 at 8:31 am }

Yeah, LP and Sandii, I’m still watching MC, but also watching HR at the same time its on, so catch up when I can.
It was definitely Nick’s time to leave, his skills lie in baking so he should have gone on that Bake off show. He reminded me of nice Ben from BB who talked about his mum and nana all the time. It certainly wasn’t necessary to read that letter out loud, what was the point? All contestants have to leave their kids and families behind, its a choice they make to be on the show.
Too many fish dishes so far, the octopus and squid makes me feel sick yuck!
And Maggie Beer promoting her verjuice is getting old hat.

39 Littlepetal { 05.20.14 at 8:43 am }

Nick desserts skill is over rated. I think Tash, Georgia, Emelia and maybe Kira are better with desserts. Nick is getting there but still need to polish up with the plating up and making it pretty.

Nick is the last person to have a go at MKR!!
NICK Doyle believes he — or any of his fellow MasterChef competitors — could wipe the kitchen floor with the contestants on rival series My Kitchen Rules.

Some of the others may be better than those on MKR but I don’t think Nick is much better than those on MKR.

Maybe it gets to your ego once you are on a reality show.

40 Littlepetal { 05.20.14 at 8:48 am }

First it was George, now it is Marco Pierre White who failed in food hygiene.

Marco Pierre White’s rooftop Birmingham restaurant rated zero for food hygiene

41 Andrea { 05.20.14 at 8:53 am }

Thanks LP for the Nick information, very interesting.

42 Gabby { 05.20.14 at 8:53 am }

I find I watch House Rules and tape Masterchef then I am able to whizz through back stories and any other annoying bits, like the tastings when George is painfully dishing up.
Exactly what we were hoping not to happen has happened. They have done it again.
Had a feeling it was Nick to go. He was definitely a dessert boy.

43 Maz { 05.20.14 at 9:26 am }
44 Sandii { 05.20.14 at 10:00 am }

Maz @ 35 they should have an ejector seat like Graham Norton but have it moisture controlled, so when someone starts sooking that they left their family blah blah, wah wah. Bazinga off they shoot.

45 Maz { 05.20.14 at 10:18 am }

Sandii@ 44 that would be an infinite improvement.

46 daisy { 05.20.14 at 11:54 am }

Sandii, I love your idea of the Graham Norton chair.
You could have three at the end then the judges pull the lever on the loser’s chair.
Also they could have one for G and flip him if he licks his knife.

I am amazed he still does that. Doesn’t he read social media. And why doesn’t Jowlsy clip him for it?

47 Tom { 05.26.14 at 11:56 pm }

Matt Preston doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Tomato flowers aren’t poisonous. The green leaves and stems, and green tomatoes, do contain small amounts of poison, but you would have to eat quite a lot of them to kill yourself. Small amounts of tomato flowers and leaves are a perfectly acceptable garnish, adding flavour, perfume and visual appeal to a dish. As I remember, the Masterchef contestant only had one tomato flower on his dish – completely harmless!