MasterChef Australia All StarsSun 7:30pm, Mon-Thu 7pm, Ch10
It’s a fresh new day in the MasterChef Kitchen and the All Star Cheftestants are feeling the pressure already. Who’d have thought that competitive cooking was so competitive? Well, these guys should have, but clearly their cushy new jobs have lulled them into a false sense of their own importance.

Dani & Kate are amazed not only that they as a team won $20,000, but that Dani is still in the competition. Kate says waking up in the MasterChef House feels like she was doing it only yesterday – which she was, as they all moved in the night before the first day of taping. Julie admits it’s different this time around as she feels like she knows everyone and is able to better hide the poison in her competitor’s food.

Everyone bounds into the MasterChef Kitchen after being whisked there in some cars Aaron stole, and the judges are as excited to see them today as they were the first time they met them. “Another day, another big fat paycheck for me,” offers Gary. Today’s challenge the teams have 4 x 30 minute “showdown rounds” in which they nominate a team member and a cuisine they’ll prepare. They then must scale the tallest mountain within a 20 km radius and present the meal to a monk who will answer only three questions. Taking the answers from these questions, they then must race to Phuket airport where Grant Bowler will be waiting for them with their next clue.

As the Yellow team won the first challenge, Kate as team leader gets to pick the food the competitors will cook in the first round. There’s lots of nervous laughter as no one has cooked the books quite like Kate has. Kate will cook in the first round, facing off against Jonathan (after erroneously picking Poh, who’s not even in his team) and Julie. It’s the original rumble in the jungle, but with two ladies and an awkward dude.

There’s all sorts of smack talk between the first three contestants until Kate reveals the first round cuisine will be Lebanese food. Kebabs for EVERYone! Kate picked it because her husband has a Lebanese background, but forgot that Jonathan’s dad is Moroccan and that Julie has, according to Matt P, a Lebanese aunty somewhere that has taught her a special dish just for this challenge. Let’s call her “Aunty Producer”.

Kate’s making a spice-rubbed lamb with a parsley salad and sweet potato crisps. Jonathan is making Lamb Kibbeh but he has no idea what the recipe is. Julie is making Kofta, Tabouleh, Tahnini and a flat bread – A KEBAB! Gary, George & Matt P nick out to slug 13 beers in quick succession to prepare for the judging.

Jonathan feels well out of his depth and it’s not helped by the spanish inquisition from Gary – “What are you doing?” asks the judge. “No idea,” says Jonathan. “Me neither,” says Gary.

Kate seems to have it all in hand for this one – it’s just another night in the bookshop kitchen. For once Julie doesn’t have the messiest bench… this time it’s Jonathan. Aaron reminds us that when Jono is on song he’s devastating, and when he’s not he’s devastated. I think your pony tail is too tight, dude.

The time flashes by (thankfully) and all three chefs manage to deliver reasonable looking dishes for the judges to taste. Julie dances the dance of joy at the completion of her meal, and Jonathan looks to have made deep fried bull’s testicles. Kate’s dish is tasted first, and naturally the judges fawn over the meal. Sorry, “faint” over the meal – Kate’s accidentally used anthrax as her spice rub. There’s a short pause as the clones of the judges are wheeled out but nobody notices as it’s done during a cut to the balconistas clapping.

Jonathan presents his crunchy balls and he can’t hide how disappointed he is. He jokes about taking his food to “the next level – down”. George sums it up in one word: “Shit”. Jonathan smiles, and is told to go back to the house tonight and do it properly. Julie’s deconstructed kebabs are a hit with the judges – Matt P loves it, as does the jangly guitar soundtrack. After mere seconds of discussion, the judges agree they saw some amazing food… “and Jonathan’s dish”. Julie again dances the dance of joy as she wins the round and $5,000 for her chosen charity.

The Blue team now have the advantage in picking the cuisine, and in selecting Poh their confident they’re on a winner. Marion represents Red and Dani for Yellow. The choice this time is Chinese – and all three contestants are keen as. George declares it multicultural day for no real reason other than he’s hungry.

Dani’s stoked and stressed to be cooking against Poh & Marion because “they’re Poh and Marion! I don’t know if I even deserve to be on the same planet as them!”. The anticipation is heightened by the judges telling us that they’re excited (we can well see).

Poh’s going to make dumplings and would love it if George left her alone. Marion thinks it’s a little overwhelming being back in the kitchen and having to dodge George in the pantry. She’s making salt & pepper prawns, noting it’s a dish that’s easily done badly and she hopes to show how not to do it badly. She thinks. Dani’s making lollipops, missing the point entirely.

“15 minutes down, 15 to go, Chinese is the theme, who will become the cooking Queen?” asks George in an attempted rhyme. Also, Jonathan’s mightily upset he wasn’t included in the race for Queen.

Dumplings are stuffed, prawns are being cooked, lolliops are sucking… it’s crazy down there. Poh’s worried her dumplings aren’t gonna cook, and Dani’s worried her complete inability to cook anything might be found out. Kate loves watching Dani cook because it makes her feel so much better about herself.

With time up on the second round, the judges are hesitantly expectant when it comes to tasting. Poh’s called forward first – “For real?” she asks – and she watches as George places a dumpling dipped in her very spicy sauce in his gob. George thinks they’ve come up a treat: “A dozen of them and then another dozen, followed by another dozen and I’m happy,” he says.

Marion’s next and Gary is quite taken with her presentation style and gives her the eye, and also thinks her food is quite nice. Matt P praises it as a delicious dish, and the food’s not bad either. Dani presents her lychee toffee pops after gushing over how Poh & Marion are her inspirations. “It all comes down to my toffee pops,” says Dani. “In the whole world, no one has ever said that ever – you continue to be a completely loopy fruit bat,” says Matt P. The dessert Dani’s offered has come up a treat and everyone really likes it.

The judges declare the fireball to be the winner, but after he rules himself out of the competition the judges settle on Dani as the victor – winning $5,000 for her charity. This hands the power back to the Yellow team as they can now select the cuisine to be cooked for the third round. The assertion that winning allows them to pick who cooks next is somewhat false as every other team gets that chance too… but at least the winners go in knowing what they’re cooking.

The Yellow team put Kumar forward, Red nominate Aaron (who admits to taking a bullet for the team) & Blue “the old dog” Chris. Kate offers that the Yellow team have nominated Indian as the food they’ll be preparing, and Aaron feigns surprise at the announcement. “It’s the battle of the blokes” wherein the battle will be identifying the bloke in the three Cheftestants competing in this round.


Chris is offering he’ll do the best he can but knows he’s out of his depth – so dives in by making an Indian spiced salmon with a raita. Kumar couldn’t find everything he wanted, but given he could only find 487 of the 512 ingredients he wanted he’s relented and is not making a South Indian dish, because let’s face it – those South Indians are lazy bastards.

Gary lines up with Aaron and blows smoke up his arse about how well he’ll do in this challenge. Not even Gary believes himself. Kumar’s loving being back in the MasterChef Kitchen, even with Kate asking him if the beards were all off the mussels and Justine. Chris knows he’ll be crucified if he delivers poorly cooked salmon, because that’s exactly what the Jews did to Jesus in the same circumstance.

As it’s a landslide victory this challenge is over in nanoseconds and so the tasting commences. Gary delivers a rookie mistake by asking the best food to come for tasting first in Kumar’s dish. Gary likes the look of the mussels as they’re super plump, but there’s still a few beards on them though (like so many female TV presenters today). Kumar is amazed at the statement, and Kate rolls her eyes in disgust. Gary loves the curry and the mussels, but is disappointed the mussels weren’t cleaned as they should have been.

Aaron’s next with his prawn concoction – which everyone has a good laugh about, and then they ask Chris to come up and present his salmon. Seeing George eat makes Chris “so goddamned nervous”, but George declares the fish to be cooked beautifully. What George loves most about this dish is that he didn’t choke on his own vomit while trying to eat it.

The judges offer that Chris is the unanimous winner – giving him $5,000 for his charity and for the Blue Team to pick the cuisine for the final challenge. Justine (Blue), Callum (Red) & Hayden (Yellow) all front up and Justine delivers the news that they’ll all be cooking French. We all know who’ll win this challenge, fluttering eyelids & hands-all-over-the-place down.

Matt P’s really excited about this challenge, mainly because Justine. Gary’s really excited, because Justine. George is really excited, because Hayden. Justine’s cooking something French which has George entranced – he mockingly asks if she can beat Callum & Hayden and they both chuckle confidently for a moment. Callum’s butchering a quail or two, and Hayden’s simply progressed to burning things for attention.

George questions Hayden as to why his snapper will be better than Justine’s snapper – especially since Hayden has a penis. He drops his pants to reveal a freshly tucked mangina which makes George blush and move on rather quickly (if only we knew that’s all it took before today).

Five minutes to go and the last minute parts of the dish are coming together. Dani has somehow been asked her opinion but we quickly move past that and ignore her completely. Justine doesn’t want her fish to be overcooked because the judges will slam her, which is exactly what they’re hoping for as additional web content.

Hayden’s burre blanc sauce comes together in the last 30 seconds for him to get it on his plate, and all three dishes look to have come up a treat as time runs out. Justine’s food is tasted first, and as the judges wipe the drool from their chin George reassures Justine that her snapper is cooked perfectly. Cue bells of amazement and joy. George loves the fish, her creamy sauce, her bangs, the way she fills out her apron and her new program on Ch10. Callum delivers his quail with mushrooms and Gary confirms the French-ness of the ingredients. Callum sucks up to Gary and while it doesn’t seem to work it entertains the balconistas no end.

Music of success! Gary loves the quail and all the elements of the dish come together in the best possible way – being edible. Matt P summons Hayden who, after delivering his dish, pirouettes to reveal an inch of ass crack to tease the judges with. He’s not happy with his sauce, which Matt P confirms by vomiting after tasting. Matt does enjoy the salmon with the fennel, though as a dish together the ingredients aren’t his finest moment.

The judges offer the Cheftestants offered up three dishes they all like for different reasons – Hayden’s mainly because it didn’t kill them. Callum is declared the winner and receives $5,000 for his chosen charity. The judges are glad the teams are back, and to celebrate that they’re taking the teams offsite tomorrow for a sausage they won’t forget. Sorry, challenge. Challenge they won’t sausage.