MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, Andrew proved the old adage, “he’s a lucky f**ker” when he cooked the better replication of a Christine “Charles Manson” Mansfield dish than Sam and Amina. For Sam his inability to represent the death of Sharon Tate in soup proved to be his undoing. Tonight, Tregan gets her turn at the fabled immunity pin, against another in the cavalcade of celebrity chefs!
The scene opens over the waters of Sydney Harbour, where lies the body of many an informant, as well as all remaining copies of all episodes of ‘Yasmin’s Getting Married’. Tregan readies herself for the challenge ahead as she gets dressed in front of the cameras, oblivious to the millions of hungry eyes watching through televisions and other media devices. She embarks upon the journey to headquarters in a black car. She arrives all smiles to cheers from the gallery, made up of history’s most evil people. Gary says she looks mighty fine, while Tregan says Gary sounds mighty creepy. Moran asks her what she’s learnt and she says she’s learnt to go to bed at night or something.
George says she’s that close to getting an immunity pin as he demonstrates for everyone the length of his penis with his fingers. She’s up against the master of dude food according to Preston, Daniel Wilson, who is also the fourth and least known member of the Wilson Phillips. He explains to us that he cooks a lot of Asian food, preferring not to leave it to the Asians. He’s brought Matt and Jenny with him for support and also for the odd sexual favour. In fact the sexual favours are particularly odd.
Preston then hands Tregan an axe and presents her with two barrels, one possibly containing his latest shipment of cravats from Bohemia, the other possibly a very excited George who got himself stuck in the barrel when he chose to partake in the sport of kings, apple bobbing. But in fact the barrels contain ingredients. Tregan batters the first barrel and it contains rum, proving this challenge is quite rum indeed. The second barrel is hammered open and contains raisins, raisin the hopes of everyone that this challenge will involve some inspirational cooking. Tregan is given a choice: choose the ingredient and have 30 minutes more than Daniel’s team, or let Daniel choose the ingredient and have 45 minutes more. Daniel reminds us again that whatever happens, he cooks a lot of Asian food.
Tregan chooses to choose, and then chooses raisins. Speaking of dried up fruit, Tregan doesn’t choose Andrew as an assistant but does choose Jules and Julia. The judges leave, ready for whatever a blind tasting will bring.
After an ad break, things get underway. Tregan has decided to do a goats cheese tortellini, while Jules is doing a chicken Maryland with raisin purée. Moran jokingly suggests adding anchovies to the raising purée, but bizarrely they think he’s serious and do as he says. Julia is making a frangipan tart, while Jules struggles with the idiot proof hand held blender.
Daniel thinks if they don’t have flavor they have nothing. This ignores the obvious fact that you can have a dish without flavour. Pizza Hut has been getting away with it for years. Moran thinks the purée for the Maryland is too wet, and needs more body. As Tregan and Jules debate whether to add some more bodies or start again, Moran tells Tregan to take control, so she does by telling Jules to “make it more like he said”. Then Daniel starts and he runs to the pantry, collecting salmon, duck, ricotta, honey and figs.
Jules fashions her chicken Maryland into a sausage and Matt implores her to get it into the water, but to make sure the water is only simmering. Creating a distraction, Kylie quizzes Daniel about his menu from above. But the distraction, like large portions of this show, has proved pointless as Tregan makes a tortellini that looks nothing like tortellini while Jules’ chicken sausage has split because the water was boiling too fast.
After a break Tregan orders Jules to serve lamb in the chicken dish but Moran restores sanity and tells her to stick with chicken. Daniel’s team is having no such problems, as Jenny delightfully explains something about cauliflower.
Tregan makes the stunning revelation that this is the first time she has made and cooked tortellini and with 30 minutes to go Moran is so embarrassed by Tregans performance that he decides to hang out with Daniel instead. Jules, still smarting after stuffing the raisin stuffed chicken, asks if there is any more she can do for Tregan, but Tregan asks her to remember that “it’s all about the sultanas”, even though it’s actually all about the raisins.
With 20 minutes to go Julia wants the full tart in the oven but Deb won’t get in. Matt tells Tregan to make sure her prawns are translucent, ethereal or ghost like, as Daniel talks up his chances. His team appears comfortable, and as the minutes tick by, Jules chicken comes out of the oven like Lazarus out of a particularly modern and hot tomb, and Julia puts the finishing touches to her dessert.
Suddenly there are thirty seconds to go and Moran reminds them he needs to see some food, desperately in fact, to feed his sick, depraved desires. There is frantic putting food on plates before they finish and look at each others thingies.
The dishes are served to the patient judges. Slow cooked salmon with cauliflower salad for Daniel and ravioli for Tregan. Gary’s eyes are drawn to the salmon, which he thinks looks beautiful, but Matt loves the sound of the ravioli, which pleads for its insignificant life. They taste the ravioli, and the pieces they put in their mouth melt away. Matt loves the use of different types of raisins. Then they try Daniels salmon and cauliflower and they express joy at the cauliflower salad but wonder why the salmon was included at all.
Next come Jules chicken with raisin stuffing and Daniel’s duck with raisin and verjuice purée. Maggie Beer skulks in the background, hoping to get a taste of that sweet, sweet verjuice, while at the tasting table the judges instantly recognise the chicken as a typically “Jules” dish. They taste, and the overpowering flavor of the raisins is, well, overpowering. “Jules chicken is raisin, raisin, raisin” says Gary, but unfortunately he doesn’t mean raisin the roof or raisin the bar. Daniel’s duck is well cooked and the verjuice purée (or what’s left of it after Maggie Beer mauled the waiter) is a delight, but the accompanying cous cous is, well, just cous cous.
Finally it’s dessert time and again, though it’s a blind tasting, the judges know who’s dish belongs to who. They can tell Julia’s tart belongs to Tregan’s team because it looks like a home cooked dessert, being burnt and all, while Daniel’s grilled fig with ricotta and raisin cream looks “wanly”, although those aren’t the precise words used by the judges. As to the taste, Daniel’s dessert was lovely but simple, kind of like Alice, except for the lovely bit, while Julia’s tart lacked the presence of the raisins, which for most would be a plus.
With the eating out of the way, it’s time to reveal who won what. The entrees are first as it is revealed who cooked which dish. The salmon is again criticised for making its way onto the plate, and as a result Tregan’s ravioli tortellini thing wins. For the main, Daniel’s duck is a clear winner, notwithstanding Gary’s assurances that it was closer than they think. Finally, it’s down to the last dish again, and without much fanfare it is announced that the fig and ricotta cream dessert was best, giving the win to Daniel, who mocks the recently departed Sam by pretending to wipe his brow.
Tomorrow, the contestants are let loose in private family kitchens and on unsuspecting families, as the governments infamous carbon tax begins to bite and Masterchef is forced to sell it’s professional state of the art kitchen and the premises which hold it.