MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, a spot of home cooking was mixed with a touch of home invasion as Sydney’s crime rate took a turn for the culinary. Wade led his team to red team glory as the long forgotten curse was long forgotten. Tonight, the members of the losing team find out what’s in store, as we all sit down to view someone’s demise!
Morning has returned to the Masterchef storyboard after last night’s glaring omission. Mindy packs her toiletry bag, oddly bereft of toilets. A quick recap of what happened last night is presented, before Mindy reminds us of the consequences. She says she wouldn’t feel right using the pin, unless it she was allowed to stab someone truly despicable with it. Speaking of Julia, she and Jules say goodbye to roomy Kylie, while Tregan offers that she’s not ready to go home as she fights to keep alive her dream of helping people through cooking, though evidence would suggest she’d be helping people by not cooking.
They arrive and push through the doors, the judges starring them down. “You’re standing here because you lost out to the red team” says Captain Obvious, before leaving to rescue an entire village in Mexico from subtlety and innuendo. “It should have been a good day” says Gary, “but we designed a challenge that made that impossible”. What follows is a brief glimpse of Jules inability to cook lamb, as the relationship between heat and cooking escapes yet another Masterchef contestant.
George says there are three rounds to save themselves and keep the dream alive, unless that dream is to murder all the other contestants in their respective sleeps, in which case they’ll have to organise their own method of keeping that particular dream alive. “120 ingredients to cook with” as a dirty blanket stolen from a homeless man is pulled back to reveal 120 things that can be cooked with. Each contestant must pick eight ingredients, and must use all eight ingredients, in 30 minutes. The top three will be safe, or, rather more dramatically “live to fight another day” says Gary. Andy says if you go hard now you’re not going to be left with much, and surprisingly he’s still talking about cooking. George says cook food that represents you, so Julia will cook ice and Deb will cook one of those annoying Budget car insurance ads.
They start and Mindy compares it to a Boxing Day sale, as she picks up bargain after bargain. Andy’s got scallops because they take 30 seconds to cook and he’d like to use the remaining 29 minutes and 30 seconds to do a bit of “ground work with some of the ladies”. He informs Gary he’s pan frying them with a corn relish, as he files the corns off his feet. Amina has gone with ochre stew with coriander and garlic, as well as a couple of prawns. She says ochre is an interesting vegetable, but it can be slimy, like George around pretty, young, female contestants.
Gary yells the 15 min to go mark as George, as expected, approaches the pretty young female contestant. Julia’s making a sweet dish but she couldn’t get butter so she asks George if she can liposuction his buttocks instead. Jules is doing a duck breast but George is concerned she hasn’t enough time, while Alice is only doing a Greek salad as Greek chef doubts its impressiveness.
Tregan explains her roasted mushroom dish but George comes over and criticises her timing, as Tregan secretly criticises George’s parent’s timing. She’s feeling the pressure, mainly in her eyes as liquid begins to mysteriously leak out. To deal with this sudden dilemma she decides to set everything on fire.
After a break Gary attempts poetry as Mindy explains to everyone watching exactly what’s happening. People start plating up and focussing on presentation, as the clock ticks down and eventually, and inevitably, runs out. Alice talks up her chances as Tregan talks hers down, while Jules admits to not even remembering cooking anything.
Gary explains to them what they were supposed to do at a point in time when it is far too late. Amina is first with her ochre stew and prawns. The producers’ earlier attempt to scare us by suggesting Amina had overcooked the ochres and was likely to be eliminated is revealed to be an editing lie, as the dish is in fact perfect, at least according to a man known for wearing outlandish cravats. Mindy has also done well, but I look away for a moment and I have no idea what she cooked. Jules duck is bleeding more than Daffy after a hard day being shot in the face by Elmer Fudd, but Gary still likes it, suggesting only that it didn’t rest enough. For f**ks sake Gary, it’s resting in peace, how much rest does it need?
Shortly after Alice has her turn, and she lauds the other cooks and their dishes, even though moments before she was claiming hers was the best thing ever. The judges are doubtful and Preston suggests it’s not a top three dish. Deb follows with her rhubarb crumble, but it’s too dusty and floury, almost like Deb herself. Julia has a brown sugar strawberry short cake and Preston notes Debra had her butter, eggs and vanilla. Andy’s dish is pretty and his scallops are well cooked. Finally Tregan comes up with her eye fillet, as tough girl with attitude turns into soft cock with tears.
Mindy is the first dish selected to be safe, even though I still don’t know what it is. Andy’s scallops are selected next, but are disqualified for not actually being a contestant, so Andy takes their place instead. Finally, Amina, with her ochre and prawns is the third, and final, amateur chef who lives to fight another day.
Next round is five ingredients in thirty minutes, as they race for the food. Julia still wants to make something sweet, so picks figs, chocolate and rice noodles, while Tregan grabs a chicken roughly from behind. Jules gets pork and celery with mustard and wombok, while Alice grabs some salmon and radish. Debs got pork mince and fennel, and Gary suggests that if Deb was a vegetable she’d be fennel.
If, Gary? IF?
Tregan is cooking something that represents the cooking she loves, while Alice is confiting salmon with a beautiful radish salad. Alice says she’s never confited anything but tells George that she normally confits at 50 degrees, not only proving her total untrustworthiness, but also inventing a new verb. Julia says the noodles are a big risk, as they huddle in the corner and conspire against her. Then, mercifully, the world explodes.
After a break there’s only five minutes to go, as Julia laments that her chocolate and rice noodles are not at all pretty. Everyone still in the competition plates up as everyone who’s not plating up displays their backwards counting skills before zero is reached and everyone stops doing what they’re doing as if they were doing something wrong and were suddenly discovered, a feeling familiar to teenage boys the world over.
Deb’s fennel and pork rissoles are tasted first. Preston eats with his hands in his pockets, modelling his new stance on all things from asylum seekers to the current summer line being seen on the catwalks of Milan. He says it’s a delicious dish, but wonders how it stacks up with the others. Jules has a pork cutlet with celery and wombok salad, and Gary says caramelisation as if it means something, but can’t reconcile the wombok with European flavours, his accounting training deserting him just when he needs it most. Julia follows with her figs and chocolate spiders. Preston thinks they’re brilliant, but George thinks they look clumsy. Let’s see him walk a tightrope then.
Tregan is next and Gary asks why she chose a chicken breast instead of thigh, forgetting of course that if you have a chance to grab a breast you always take it. George says he wants more. Then he asks Alice if she’s playing with their minds, as she presents her confit of salmon, and viewers swallow their disappointment in the knowledge she’s safe. And George makes it official by saying her name. The other safe one is Deborah, confirming that the world hates me.
Gary says to the final three this is the worst place to be. Jules bursts into tears as she faces the prospect of cooking against her two best friends in the house. Preston says “don’t make it easy for your friends. Go out with the best dish.” But (insert name of hunky famous actor or perhaps writer’s name) isn’t available, so they’ll have to cook food again.
Tregan grabs lemon grass but freezes there, before a gentle fireball tries to warm her up. And it works as her friends from above suggest the fish and the soy sauce. Julia is doing an eggplant and bacon puree, while Tregan changes to lamb, potato and sage. Jules is doing bug, carrot and ginger puree. Julia says cooking against Jules and Tregan is her worst nightmare: worse than that one that involved her, Filippo and Mario in a ménage a trois! Tregan says she’s not in a good place now as she struggles with the concept of lamb and potatoes as a flavour combination. I mean, whoever heard of lamb and potatoes together? NO ONE that’s who!
Jules splits her bug with 10 minutes to go, as Tregan admires her potatoes. They rush to plate up as the time ticks down faster than normal, as if they’ve stepped into some culinary wormhole, before times up and Jules professes her love for the other two. Male viewers’ hopes are dashed as the judges intervene and ask the rest (including Deb and Andy) to join them.
Jules bug is cooked beautifully but there’s a danger the ginger overpowers the dish. Julia’s zucchini, bacon and eggplant salad tastes great, but George laments the lack of finesse. George asks Tregan if she’s going home today, and she answers quite possibly. They taste, and they love the potatoes, but the forequarter chops are on the dry side.
Decision time, and Julia is safe, before her joy is short lived as all are consumed by a fireball. When we come back, Jules is also safe, but Gary informs Tregan that she’s going home. Judging by the sombre music and the fact everyone is breaking down, Gary must have also informed them during the break that Tregan was dying. We rejoice in her time on this earth and in the Masterchef house, which seems to comprise of cooking greasy food and meeting Jamie Oliver, before everyone says they love each other and she disappears into the night.
She arrives home to a house full of weirdos but it doesn’t seem to bother here. She’s filmed cooking from a Jamie Oliver recipe book, before the final credits reveal that she has got herself a job at a bar and grill, while she plans to take over the world with her mix of socialism and forced feeding.