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Masterchef Australia – The Judges Did Not Like Season Two

The Masterchef Australia pre-show media frenzy continues, and now the judges have revealed to the Daily Telegraph they did not enjoy Season 2 of the show.

The Daily Telegraph writes:

Preston makes no bones about the fact that he, Calombaris and Mehigan didn’t enjoy the second series of MasterChef.

The trio’s displeasure wasn’t just with some of the contestants – it was also aimed at themselves.

“In series two we were all overly dramatic,” Preston says. “We were all ‘performing’ for the first half (of the series), and as soon as we saw what it was like on the TV, we went, ‘Oh my God, that is so ridiculous, so overblown’.”

Last season’s Country Women’s Association challenge was an embarrassment. Many of the contestants couldn’t even bake a simple sponge, scone or fruit cake.

“We’ve become better at picking contestants that we think will grow through the course of the show,” Preston says.

“We’ve stripped out some of the dickhead factor. This year a lot of contestants are cooking for their family and friends. They’re not cooking their way through the complete works of Heston Blumenthal. They are people who cook as part of their lives rather than as an extreme sport.”

I take it this is code for no plate throwing this season thankfully.

The article also states there will be no second chance re-entry into the show, as there was in the first two seasons.

“We decided to remove things that don’t feel right,” Preston says. “Hopefully, it will feel more natural.”

Personally I don’t mind the second chance re-entry, as sometimes there are people who are eliminated due to having bad luck on the day or if your favourite goes early you keep watching on the off chance they will get back in.

The other thing they reveal is there will be less bitchiness and crying.

MASTERCHEF Australia judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan have vowed to stamp out the bitchiness and blubbering that plagued last year’s season of the hit series.

This year, they say, will be back to basics.

Last year, contestants including Jonathan “The Terminator” Daddia (IT consultant) and Claire Winton Burn (lawyer) fell out of favour with the judges and viewers for their perceived arrogance and repeated crying.

There was a lot of wailing on screen last year, however I actually thought the crying by Jonathan Daddia made him human to the audience. Also Claire Winton Burn being out of favour with the judges? She made top three, does that mean if she had been in favour she would have won. I thought the reason Claire Winton Burn did not get to the final was related to personal life issues.

 

 

 

April 27, 2011   24 Comments

Claire Winton Burn’s Masterchef Dream Is Over

Third place getter Claire Winton Burn has returned to work in the law, signalling her career in the food industry is over.

Talking to TV  WEEK she said:

“I have gone back to law, but I don’t want to make a song and dance about it,” Claire says. “I’m still doing freelance food writing, so I haven’t thrown in the towel, but I have to make a living.”

Claire also acknowledges that the press interest in her personal life last year played a part in her wanting to step back from the spotlight.

“I got the butt end of some really negative publicity and I’m not interested in going back that place. It wasn’t pleasant,” she explains.

She’s a nice girl – good on her for giving it a go,” says Claire’s former agent, Lyall Mercer.

The article does not say whether she went back to the law firm she had previously been with.

Personally I found her Age articles impenetrable, but that could say more about me rather than her. Also her From The Hearth restaurant dream must be not eventuating either.

February 8, 2011   8 Comments

Masterchef – Adam Liaw Turns Down TV Show

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Masterchef Australia winner Adam Liaw has apparently turned down offers for his own TV show according to TV WEEK magazine.

The articles states Adam is not in the fame game and that is why he rejected offers for his own TV show.

Busy working on his first cookbook, Two Asian Kitchens, Adam reveals his feet still haven’t hit the ground.

“I don’t have a base – I’m spending next month in a hotel in Sydney,” the 32 year old says. “It’s been crazy!”

In other Masterchef alumni news Claire Winton Burn looks like she is trying to get an endorsement from PETA with this article in the SMH about eating baby animals.

UPDATE: Adam Liaw will be cooking at a sustainability fair this weekend in Brisbane with Sharnee more details here.

October 14, 2010   8 Comments

Masterchef Australia – We Have Our Two Finalists

Ironic this Masterchef episode should be set in Canberra the week the election debate was moved because it knew it would be pulverised going up against the Masterchef final. Tonight the final three were cooking for the Governor-General and 30 guests, so a classy setting for one of the penultimate episodes of the show. I just wish George Calombaris had shaved for the evening and not been hunched over his food.

I am not the only one having problems with this as News.com.au got an etiquette expert to talk about the judges eating techniques.

Now I don’t want to take over Matt, the blogs new resident strategist, but why didn’t Claire and Adam take the chocolate fondant dessert. Whether they were comfortable with desserts or not, giving Callum the dessert course was just about handing him a spot in Sunday’s final. Christ he had cooked the said dessert a few days ago to perfection.  In fact I think they should have had to randomly pick out of a hat which dish they were going to do.

Claire picked first and selected the main, which was I thought had far too many risks involved. Too many components, and if you over cook the lamb it is hard to rescue. Because she got to pick first I did not have much sympathy when it all started going pear shaped.

Part of her task was to french the lamb, and  I think this is where Claire’s perfectionism set her back. She was probably trying to do it too well. Then she had to peel shallots, and broadbeans. As Matt Preston said her dish was a lot of grunt work, and would really love to know her motivation for picking it.

I immediately thought the entree was the best bet, and lucky for Adam he got it. Yes there were some tricks in it and it was time consuming, however it was not reliant on having anything cooked to perfection like Claire’s lamb and Callum’s fondant did.

Adam had a few hiccups along the way, a slow smoker, found fish bone, and burnt tomatoes, but all his issues were rectified. He did require assistance from sous chefs to plate up as they all did.

Claire also required a lot of assistance to get her plates out, and they were still late. Matt Preston mouthed “Thank heavens it is here,” as he was clearly getting sick of the harpist. George said the dish as a whole was fine, however when you examined the components some were not quite right.

Callum was in is element in this challenge, and declared it was the first time “he had felt like a chef”. A bit strange considering the show is called MasterChef. George clearly told him to find a juicer as he was squeezing the blood oranges by hand. Duh!

He is a talent cooked and very precise as they all are and the judges clearly like him. The dessert plate looked gorgeous. Unlucky for Callum, Georges fondant was over done. However Matt Preston thought his was done perfectly, but I thought his looked over done as well, it certainly did not have chocolate oozing out of it.

It was a bit of a no brainer that Claire was going, and not just because of her cooking but also as someone had mentioned on the blog the 7pm Project (or was it The Circle) had said the next person eliminated would be in the studio, which meant they had to be Melbourne based, and therefore Claire. Seriously I know the Masterchef viewers are smart and observant, however there have been so many spoilers this season on the show.

The thing that depressed me about Claire was her saying “Cooking’s my happy place, as simple as that”. Which implies she is not real happy with much else in her life. Let’s hope for her sake I am wrong.

Do I think the right two from final’s week are in the final? I think Adam deserved a spot, but not sure about Callum. A very talented cook, but the best amateur chef in Australia?

It is a real pity Marion and Jonathan didn’t make it too the final’s week, as it would have created much more suspense to see who would take out the title.

Claire is going to continue to work in food.

The press release states:

Now back at her Melbourne home, Claire is determined to turn her back on law and instead forge a career in food. She is planning a concept where she caters for Sunday lunches and wants to follow her dream of delving into food writing.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of food writing and reviews, and I just love it,” she says. “I’m looking at establishing a food column and I’m currently working on a book proposal which combines my two loves of writing and cooking. If I can do that, how good would that be?

“I’m also starting a website – www.cookingfromthehearth.co – and ‘hearth’ is the name of the restaurant I want to one day open,” she says. “The website will be all about delicate, delicious food that people love. It’ll be everything food and will also talk about a Sunday lunch concept I have.

“It’ll be more discreet than a catering company – although I’ll be doing catering by appointment as well – but one day I’ll find a permanent home for a restaurant.”

Good luck to her she was certainly one of the more technical cooks in the competition and hoisted herself on her own petard in this challenge.

UPDATE: I will have an Open Post up for the Final episode.

UPDATE UPDATE: Callum to win!!!! I came across my Masterchef Form Guide here, which I wrote early on in the season, and I emphatically state “Callum won’t win” which with my picking form so far this year, must mean he does.

July 22, 2010   90 Comments

Masterchef Australia – Heeelllllllooooo Adam Melonas

Hello Adam Melonas the charismatic Head Creative Chef, of La Terraza del Casino in Madrid. Call me jaded but terms like progressive cuisine and sensory restaurant’s make me roll my eyes. However even though I was not enamoured by the dish I did like Adam’s energy and personality.

But first some housekeeping, tomorrow night there will be an Open Post up for the army episode, as I am out with my trusty stand-in Injera. Unless of course someone would like to write the post – hint Sourkraut hint.

Tonight Claire was taking on Adam Melonas in the Celebrity Chef challenge and seriously she must have known she would not be able to win this challenge of making his Green Peas and Egg. Maybe this was why she was looking so relaxed, she decided just to enjoy her moment in the sun. Claire we need to see more of this side of you.

And obviously we won’t be able to make the dish at home unless you have a vacuum machine, a litre of liquid nitrogen and a water bath.

Claire had an hour and 45 minutes to complete the dish which was 30 minutes more than Adam, and he was very generous with his time and tips. Also Gary came in and gave some advice as well with the pea gel lid.

Adam’s dish was presented first, with both Matt Preston and George Calombaris both complaining about the lack of seasoning on the dish. It is a wonder they didn’t complain about the lack of oil as well. I know some chefs refuse to put salt on the table because they think their food is perfectly seasoned, hopefully this pair do not eat at those establishments.

Claire’s presentation was not as refined with big mint leaves, more soup and her lid was leathery.

Donna gave Claire a seven, as did George and Matt for a total of 21.

Matt gave Adam a seven, but George gave it him an eight, they both told him they had seasoning issues. Whereas Donna Hay had been hit with the Adam Melonas charisma stick and coughed up a nine out of ten, ensuring Claire was not going to get an immunity pin.

July 6, 2010   44 Comments