MasterChef Australia All Stars – Sun 6:30pm, Mon-Thu 7pm, Ch10
Last night on MasterChef Australia All Stars, we lost some good people. Good men and women who stood by their benches and fought the good fight. Tonight, we’ll do the same but only because 100 of the Royal Australian Navy are subjected to a seafood feast prepared by not only our remaining All Stars, but 4 of the latest batch of MasterChef contestants. More news as it comes to hand.
No start at the MasterChef house today – the Sydney Fish Market beckons because they paid the sweet sponsorship cash. It’s now only Kate, Chris, Justine and Callum, and Chris fondly remembers it at the site of his first failure on MasterChef.
Gary welcomes the four All Stars, and waxes lyrical about the Fish Markets and how their sweet sponsorship dollars will springboard one of them through to the All Stars finale. Today’s challenge has them cooking for 100 Australian heroes, and each All Star has to purchase and cook enough seafood for 25 people. George continues to emphasise every word with his hands, so much so that it distracts everyone and nobody knows what they have to do after they get onto to boat. Will they need a fare? Where are they going? Why are they feeding seafood to heroes?
Matt P knows if it swims, scuttles or hangs on a rock you can buy it here and then have your way with it. The All Stars have to pick a lobster from a pot, and that determines what their key ingredient is for the challenge. Callum picks salmon, Justine gets crabs(!), Kate gets squid and Chris gets prawns. Kate’s worried as she can’t think of any squid dishes she can incorporate into a cake.
Now that they know what they’re cooking they have to go and select and purchase their respective seafoods. First one to the boat doesn’t have to answer awkward questions from Tony Abbott on arrival at the other end about their boat. Purchases made and Callum’s first, followed by Chris, Justine and Kate. Kate hates being the slowest except when it comes to ‘special cuddle time’.
For Callum this is the coolest challenge he’s ever done, but he doesn’t get out much. In a rare moment we see Chris without his hat and we’re all worried. They pull up at a large Navy ship and are surprised to find the cast of Sea Patrol inside (so THAT’S where Channel 9 left them).
The Commander of HMAS Choules wins the award for the beast beard AND moustache combo. Ever.
HMAS Choles was purchased from the UK Navy last year as a trade for eleven more seasons of Neighbours, he explains, and then tells them their exacting standards for grub are high. “What else are we to worry about during peace time?” he says through his hairy face covering.
There’s lots of nodding from Justine as Matt P explains that the motto of the ship is “face difficulty with zeal”. So the All Stars are being given extra zeal in the form of a contestant each from the 2012 series of MasterChef – either Andy, Ben, Amina or Humanoid Julia.
For some reason Channel 10 persist in promoting Everybody Dance Now. Apparently it’s still a thing.
As the finale for this year’s MasterChef proper hasn’t been run at the time of taping, nobody knows who is going to win, so there’s no mention of it. “Well this is weird,” says Chris as politely as he can. George admits they’ve probably never met each other, and completely omits to introduce them. He just simply addresses them individually though refuses to speak with Amina because he’s a racist turd to boot.
The order in which they arrived at the boat allows them to pick who they want to work with them. Callum picks Amina who reminds us she’s not awesome at filleting salmon (awkward!). Chris was going to pick someone but George interrupts and, essentially, picks Ben for him. Justine picks Andy to help her with her crabs(!), and Ben gets a touch of the green-eyed monster. Julia-bot ends up with Kate by default.
The All Stars and their proteges have two and a half hours to prepare their dishes – lunch is a 1pm sharp – and whoever wins is excluded from the elimination challenge tomorrow. But first, Commander Cowan has a special presentation: a Navy camouflage (DPNU – Distinctive Pattern Naval Uniform) cravat to replace the pirate one Matt P was wearing. You can never trust food critics.
The crew are dismissed, as are the All Stars – the galley awaits! As do 100 hungry, hungry heroes!
Kate’s worried be cooking in a foreign kitchen for people she doesn’t know with food she doesn’t like – it’s like a perfect storm. Chuck Berry puts down his guitar long enough to hand over the kitchen to the All Stars, and then face a grilling from Gary and George. It means naught as it takes him but 60 seconds to silence them both.
Justine and Andy exchange phone numbers before racing off somewhere to cook something. Chris and Ben are busy prepping their prawns, and Chris is concerned about needing to do some practices so it’s not screwed up. Kate and Julia-bot are making a chilli and lime squid cake with a fresh creme brulee and squid ink something. Amina starts into filleting the salmon and declares it to be “not so good”, so she tells Callum to get into it as well. They’ll prepare a salmon with lots of different flavours – which changes as soon as the judges tell them they’re over-thinking it (first time for everything, Callum).
Ben’s just happy to be out and about, but admits that Andy has a crush on Justine. They’re the original Tom Cruise/Kelly McGillis of this episode.
Gary pops in and reminds Callum that the fish needs to be scaled – which it hasn’t been – so now he has to do it after the fillets are off. CURSES!
An hour has passed and each team is in various states of preparedness. Gary & George pop over to harass Justine and tell her she should be preparing chilli crab and not the stew she’s working on. “Everyone does chilli crab,” says Justine. “Everyone is right,” says Gary.
Kate & Julia-bot are working hard on their squid dish – the aoili, onion and not much else is done, but with 45 minutes to go(!) they’re on top of it. Callum’s spending a lot of time playing catch up on the salmon while Amina is frying off the skin and they’re pretty much OK. Except for Callum’s bit.
Kate & Julia-bot have prepped their varieties of style, and checked with the ship’s chef as to how chilli the crew like their food (“mild – very mild”), so they’re right to go. Chris is on form, and Tom & Kelly are working hard on sharing their crabs(!).
George isn’t concerned about flavour, he’s concerned about the size of their dishes. Gary thinks Justine’s dish is more of an entree, as is Kate’s. Chris’s dish is lighting their fires, but Callum’s dish seems to be the smarter of the four dishes – but the proof will be in the pudding that no one is making.
The crew assemble for lunch as the final sizzles and panic sets in. Justine thought they had a LOT longer than 5 minutes… and we nearly score a hissy fit. Kate is still testing while Chris and Ben are ready for service. It’s a plating frenzy.
Tom & Kelly work out how to plate their dish quickly while all the other meals are also flying out the door. Matt P asks some of the sailors what they make of the food – “It’s a bit different… there’s not the volume but it looks nice,” says one. I smell trouble afoot.
Chief Petty Officer Berry is all over the the All Stars – he’s got a crew to feed. The crew generally are pretty happy with the quality of the food but what they think isn’t worth squat. It’s time for the judges, including the Commander to taste the dishes.
Kate & Julia-bot’s squid is first up, and the size of the portion is the big concern. They know it tastes good (especially after they’ve eaten it) and it’s pretty impressive. George loves the herb salad and the Commander loves it when he shuts up.
Justine & Andy’s crabs(!) with cous cous hits the spot with the bisque flavour. Lots of big flavours, depth, complexity – all claims that won’t be made about The Shire.
Chris & Ben’s prawns have got everything a good sailor needs when in port – body, flavour and a small bit of head on the side. The Commander loves prawn and chorizo, so it’s if favourite so far. Gary scored the undercooked prawns, and dodgily cooked potatoes. Matt P declares it to be the the best prawn head he’s had in a long time, but then prawns are pretty easy when it comes to giving head.
Callum & Amina’s salmon looks good (“There’s a little bit of garnish which is surplus to requirements” offers the Commander), and the judges all dive in. There’s concern that the salad with the salmon don’t work in the harmony that’s expected. It’s confused, just like Callum’s long held love for fellow 2010 contestant Matt Caldicott.
The Commander declares his top dish to be the squid as the other judges give knowing looks as if to say “We know he’s wrong but it’s his ship and he could kill us before we leave the table”. The announcement on the deck of the Choules in the early evening in sprinkling rain is declared a perfect ending by Gary for contestants who “have not entirely met our expectations”.
George tells all the contestants their food was good, but there was drawbacks with each dish. It’s of no consequence as the Commander’s favourite dish is declared the winner – Kate’s squid wins! Kate & Julia-bot embrace and there’s a moment where real emotion may be observed.
Kate is now straight through to the grand finale of MasterChef Australia All Stars, while the other losers have to battle it out tomorrow night. The green team of 2012 contestants are thanked, spanked and sent on their way, and the Commander is thanked for allowing MasterChef onboard HMAS Choules to create havoc for the day. All are dismissed and sent home to prepare for the Callum, Chris and Justine three-way.
Sorry – the Callum, Chris and Justine three-way cook-off.