MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night Kevin defiled a chicken before our eyes, and his chipped tooth earned him an apron. Delvindra experienced the joy of beef, or boeuf as it is affectionately known in France, for the very first time. Yukio gave us his best impression of instability. Mindy literally wiped the floor with her dish. Tonight 12 go into 6. Impossible you say? Well nothing is impossible on MASTERCHEF!
12 aprons. 6 people. Job sharing not allowed. Every man, woman or non gender specific person for themselves. This what they came here for. An apron. Yes, an apron. Years of having nothing to wipe their kitchen utensils on, memories of ruined formal wear flooding back.
The doors open and they file in after a murderous rampage through the streets of Melbourne, picking wild herbs with reckless abandon. WILD HERBS HAVE FEELINGS TOO YOU KNOW! The contestants laugh uproariously at what they already know. 6 aprons are up for grabs.
The challenge is simple according to George, and George knows simple. Cook a dish that you like and you love. However, on reflection, in it’s not so simple. They have to go to the Mornington Peninsula, with 6 hours to hunt, gather, pluck, prepare and cook; with a little bit of pillaging if the opportunity arises. Lock up your offspring farmers! Lock up your barnyard animals! Even lock up your most attractive farmyard machinery, just in case!
The contestants begin to group in pairs, a necessity as there is only one car for every two. Lucy teams up with Jules, because she suspects that blondes are good with maps. After all, blondes have more fun precisely because they always know where they are going. Audra and Delvindra discover they have something in common: an intense dislike of people named Craig, and so go together.
Wade and Sam form an alliance, their attributes complimenting each other. Sam has the brawn, and Wade has the eyebrows. Wade calls Sam a big unit, or perhaps a big eunuch. This makes sense, as eunuchs put on weight when they lose their love plums. Filipo and Amina form an unlikely pair, and an even less likely pear.
Lucy says she’s going to catch a fish and that “it’s going to be so fresh”, using the name of a cooking show from years past. Coincidence? Probably. “So Fresh” wasn’t exactly a huge hit, other than amongst single mums and the elderly. Amina and Filipo plan their day with “technical precision”, including getting lost with “technical precision”.
Delvindra and her almost relative Audra go straight for the lamb, but can’t find it when the lamb goes all silent. “Look inside yourself Clarice” booms a voice in their heads, but as neither is called Clarice they ignore it and it remains silent for ever more. Lucy and Jules head for the fish farm, where fish grow in rich, antediluvian soil, harvested by rich, antediluvian farm equipment. Jules is not even reading a map, but then perhaps she doesn’t need to, because she is, in fact, a map. Lucy yells at the fish, apologising for being responsible for ending their lives, but not apologising for destroying the film crews’ ear drums. The fish yell back “Please spare us!” But it’s of no use, as Lucy lost the ability to speak fish years ago. Meanwhile, as Wade asks the fishmonger to teach him how to gut and scale a fish, Sam asks the fishmonger’s wife to teach him how to love again. As she sidles up to him, cupping his delicate pixie ears in her hands, she whispers one word: marsupials!
Amina and Filipo begin to regret their decision not to pack a blonde as they continue along directionless and lost, failing to locate the fishmonger. Andrew claims to have fantastic muscles, but his weedy arms get stuck in his pockets. Audra, who notes that she lives in Sydney with her husband and two beautiful children, plus three ugly ones, wants raspberries, but a greedy farmer sees a cheap labour opportunity and makes her pick her own.
Lucy and Jules stop to watch a live demonstration of someone “cutting the cheese”, a rare treat in these parts. However, their brief dalliance with a purveyor of the art of “making smellies” allows their arch enemies Delvindra and Audra take the lead and storm into the Masterchef kitchen like the winged Valkyrie they in no way resemble .
Audra wants to cook a chocolate frangipani tart, but she has made a fatal mistake. She presumed there would be eggs in the dry store. The DRY store! But there are no eggs, and Audra needs eggs. Ovulate? Probably not. In fact, she decides on the next best course of action, which is to make the dish without eggs. Meanwhile, Amina and Filipo are still lost.
Lucy and Jules return, Jules’ map like reputation intact. Jules is from Darwin, which explains many things. Lucy is making trout with artichoke and abalone, and when George sees her fish he says “that is what Victoria is made of”. That and cheap labour, hey George? Meanwhile, Amina and Filipo are still lost.
Like Audra, Delvindra realises that she didn’t collect the right ingredients for her lamb curry. As a fall back, she opts for a dessert, but then she realises that her dessert will have no ingredients from the Mornington Peninsula, which was the whole point of the damned challenge. As a fall back she decides to cook a lamb curry for dessert. Satisfied that her decision making process is the sign of a healthy, well balanced, stable adult mind, she ploughs on. Meanwhile, Amina and Filipo are still lost.
Andrew runs in carrying an esky, followed close behind by Wade carrying his eyebrows, which had attempted to escape back to the sea, their natural environment. Meanwhile, the judges are deep in discussion, arguing the finer points of the game of Whist, ignoring the chaos around them.
Finally, Amina and Filipo return and jump out of the car. They only have 44 minutes, and Filipo still has to squeeze in a screen test for a John Waters film. Amina is making Alexandrian style fish. Filipo wanted to make Pavlova, but he knows he hasn’t enough time. Mentally, I’m pretty sure Filipo is still lost.
With 4 minutes to go the pressure is on, says Gary, as if it already wasn’t. John Farnham steps in to try to try and take the pressure down but to no avail. With one minute to go, Andrew is confident, Jules is messy and Wade is being yelled at by the judges, like some naughty, bald, bushy eye browed, schoolboy.
Andrew seems to be the only one confident with his dish, and he’s first up to raucous applause. Muscles with calzone. George spots a beard and Andrew admits he’s used hipster muscles. George correctly points out that as a hairdresser Andrew should know where the beard is. Beards and possible pubic hair notwithstanding, the dish shines, but is it enough?
Amina is next. If she gets through and Filipo doesn’t it will be an outrage. But in a good way. Her Snapper is questionable, but bears no resemblance to the Young and the Restless character of the same name. The judges slice it open to exclamations of joy. Classic Middle Eastern flavours, says Preston, but is that good or bad? George comes very close to referring to Amina’s Korean/Egyptian background as the best thing since ‘Monkey’, but pulls himself back just in time.
Lucy is next. Gary makes the mistake of asking her a question and can’t stop her before she answers. “This is Trevor the trout” she blurts out. Trevor the trout served on Pete the plate and ruined by Lucy the idiot. It’s undercooked. Wade brings up his seared snapper, which is okay, but Sam’s savoury muscle custard makes everyone want to vomit.
Audra presents her chocolate tart for tasting and damn it looks good. But I can’t eat my TV. Audra’s tart has no eggs, this we know. Yet George admits he is afraid of it, because he doesn’t want to cut it, it looks too good. It tastes too good. Matt doesn’t want to share it. But then Kevin comes and steals a piece and society breaks down. The chant rises to give her an apron. “Apron, apron, apron, apron” fills the air. Confused Avon ladies congregate outside, lashed by the Melbourne rain. Audra gets the first apron. 5 left.
Filipo is next and admits it’s not his best dish. It’s a berry dessert, and it looks berry berry rushed and not berry good. According to George the meringue is a failure, “like an omelette in a weird way”. Yukio’s grilled pork chop with cherry mustard confuses George, while the pepper grinder steals his wallet. Delvindra brings up another curry and needs to consider whether she needs to change her name to Jimmy or Kumar.
After the tasting George says it wasn’t an easy decision. He then calls the aprons they are about to hand out beautiful. IN WHAT WARPED ALTERNATE UNIVERSE GEORGE?
Amina gets one, leaving Filipo seething and earning Amina a lifelong nemesis. Andrew also receives an apron, as does Jules. TK is named, and finally Delvindra gets called up, even though she had one ingredient, the lamb, that was actually from the Mornington Peninsula. As she accepts her apron, she must be thanking her lucky stars that she accidentally ran over that lamb as she was returning empty handed.
Tomorrow, a basic skills test turning cream into butter and rubbing into Gary’s back. Also, walking! Then fillet and debone a gigantic fish, sourced straight from the waters around Fukuyama’s nuclear reactors. Plus Mario reveals his tender side in a tell-all to Woman’s Day.