MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
When we last tuned into MasterChef, Tregan was sent packing quicker than you could say “We’re all going to Kangaroo Island for master class – nothing suss!”. Andrew somehow survived both the questions of his sexuality and the elimination. Tonight, the Cheftestants are in for a treat as Heston Blumenthal turns up to amaze them with smoke and mirrors (made of out kidneys, peas and an old shoe). But before anything else, Crazy George announces this week three people will be eliminated and as all oxygen is sucked from the room we need to get on with tonight’s episode. Which, in Julia’s case, means she’s hot then she’s very, very cold.
It never rains on the MasterChef house as the picture postcard stock footage reminds us, and as the slow risers decide to get out of bed Andrew has a very strong discussion with Julia about who put on green first that morning. They can’t both leave the house looking the same – how WILL the judges tell them apart?! Wade walks past in the background shaving the gap into his eyebrow. Andrew declares he “doesn’t want to lose today” so decides to stay at home and pretend nothing is happening.
The Cheftestants arrive at the MasterChef kitchen to see… no mystery box, even though they banged on about it for the first 5 minutes of the episode. Crazy George reveals the three person elimination news and the faces tell us everything we need to know – though Julia still reminds us in full recap mode anyway. WE’RE NOT STUPID, JULIA! IF WE’VE FORGOTTEN BY NOW WE CAN JUST REWIND OUR DAMN PVR’S FOR OURSELVES AND SEE.
This is no ordinary day. He of the cravat announces that they will now face a mega-challenge, a mega-invention test, directed by “OMG OMG OMG OMG Heston Blumenthal”. To put it technically, the Cheftestants lose their shit (though that might have also been Andrew preparing his dish for the invention test). A select few are asked for their impressions that the great Heston is standing before them and it’s all gibberish.
For the invention test, the Cheftestants have to pick a pair of ingredients teamed by Heston himself and prepare their dish from that. They only get to see one of the ingredient pairs when selecting (they’ve six to choose from) so Gary cautions them to choose wisely. One pair of ingredients may delight; another cause a disruption in the Matrix so big that whole farms of humans will die. Gary is so impressed with himself he starts speaking slowly, allowing all of us to come to the only natural conclusion that he’s already attempted the challenge and is now stroking out on national TV.
Heston reveals one half of the 6 pairs of ingredients: bacon, vegemite, cauliflower, beetroot, caviar & blue cheese. He did offer one other pairing that the producers had to knock back because nobody would eat Joseph Kony’s toenail clippings. The Cheftestants pick off their ingredient teams and we’re almost ready for battle – but first his Royal H-ness gets to reveal the paired ingredients: bacon & chocolate; vegemite & chocolate; cauliflower & chocolate; beetroot & chocolate; caviar & chocolate; blue cheese & chocolate. IT’S ALL CHOCOLATE!!!
Heston’s final advice to the contestants: “This is to be a celebration of food, so have some fun and don’t fuck it up.” As a parting shot he shows them all how to make ice-cream in two minutes with a shotgun, some crude oil and dry ice. “It’s the best thing you’ll ever do,” says Blumenthal, before nodding his head and winking and then vanishing before their very eyes like the food pixie he is. The real question is: where can we get large chunks of chocolate such as what are displayed on the plates on screen. Purchasing that needs to happen.
Mindy has developed a horrid case of verbal diarrhoea and spewing forth random Heston facts and fantasies as she gathers her ingredients. There’s a pow-wow at the front of the kitchen between the three hosts and Blumey where the one who has a Michelin star tells them of his fears, his failures and his concerns for his children when he finally turns into a carrot. It’s confusing but riveting, because this is Heston Blumenthal, people! Gary hopes most of the Cheftestants will nail the dishes (what show does he think he’s on?!).
There’s lots of hushed whispering over Amina’s choice of caviar and all the judges nod their heads and cluck their tongues at the advice that pairing it with the right chocolate is key – so Matt P & Hessy pop in to have a chat and force feed her some black caviar and white chocolate (the original yin-yang pairing). Amina offers that the chocolate really reduces the horsey taste and makes it quite palatable.
Kylie decides to directly copy HB’s ice-cream method, but only manages to make a bowl of steam. It’s as if she’s not even trying. Beau’s working his sexual chemistry as he knows his idea of deep-fried cauliflower with chilli chocolate sauce isn’t gonna cut it let alone his white chocolate and cauliflower sorbet. The important thing in all of this is that Crazy George still manages to mispronounce the guest’s name in some way (Heston Bloomin’thall?).
When Blumes & Matt P pop in to see how Beau is doing, he simply points them to Wade who announces he’s making a Dark Chocolate Tart with Vegemite pastry. How he’ll make a woman out of pastry is yet to be seen, but he’s got Gary’s attention. “What a hoot,” says Andrew flatly, “Chocolate and Blue Cheese – I like Chocolate, I like Blue Cheese… let’s make it a sham of a marriage, just like mine.”
If it can be pureed, spooned, spouted, dropped, squirted or whizzed, it’s happening. All in the name of intercut footage so that we all don’t get bored by how long it actually takes to cook something. Julia’s confident her dish of white chocolate and vegemite macarons will take out at least one of those judges who are always cornering her in the ‘green room’ container they all are corralled in between filming passages. Mindy had Gary at avocado ice cream but lost him then a chocolate dipped bacon. The man clearly knows nothing about food.
Amina’s flummoxed but powering on; Jules is risking it all with her Vegemite caramel which Matt P has already declared a winner, but could confuse things by presenting it as something close to being edible. She also can’t say ‘allaments’ right either.
As the Cheftestants all hit the last 15 minutes the audience cries “Where’s Audra?!” yet no-one asks where Alice is. So very, very telling. The judges all recap the dishes we’ve just seen them discover as they walked around the kitchen. But wait! What’s that sound of a slamming oven door?! Wade’s just removed his chocolate tarts to discover part of his eyebrow has taken root on the edges of the tart and it looks burned! Ooooh! Two minutes and what will he do??? The footage is so good it’s re-used from a different angle as after time runs out so we know how frustrated Wade is with his over-powering testosterone now causing problems with his cooking.
Wade is called forward as the first dish to taste, and he nearly trips over his bottom lip as he walks up. “Weird, but good weird, and by good I mean horrible,” offers Matt P. Hestonia breathes it in deeply before devouring it and proclaiming he’s done a good job except for the burnt edges.
Of course Julia is called forth, and of course Crazy George flirts with her. They all find the little surprise she placed in the macaron for each of them – a raspberry for HessyBlumes, Gary & MattP, and a raspberry looking turd for Crazy George. “I love that little surprise in the middle – it really cleanses the palette and helps you to swallow the other crap,” offers the balding semi-Greek.
Beau’s moment of truth is upon him. He’s not happy with being labelled a pipe layer, but what else can you do after a good curry? Matt P questions Beau’s sanity at the creation he offers, and compares it to being “between the stools”. Beau’s branding is paying off.
Fans of bacon everywhere celebrate Mindy’s inclusion of chocolate covered bacon with some other crap and yet Gary still doesn’t get the joy of bringing sweet, sweet bacon to delicious chocolate and casts her aside like so many wanna-be sexually harassed former MasterChef contestants.
A confused Alice blushes when HBlume offers her food is also confused, and he didn’t mean in a good way. Debra’s chocolate and beetroot cake is “gutsy and refined”, but all pales in comparison to Jules’s white chocolate mousse with Vegemite and citrus caramel that Matt P & Thally tasted and fell in love with before it was constructed. Eureka! She’s done it! Everything has come together nicely, though the H-Bomb thinks the portion size is too big. all the other judges fawn over it too, if only because their super-important guest thought it was awesome.
Amina’s judgement falls against her – “everything’s too… mushy…” says Gary. “Mushi mushi,” responds Amina, scurrying back to her bench. When Andrew is called forward there’s an expectant hush, and lots of whispers about how he’s wearing the same thing as Julia and how embarrassing that must be for him. Crazy George tries every allament on the plate and questions everything about Andrew’s existence. “You like it, and then you don’t like it,” he says of Andrew’s attempts at the cooking. As it’s so bad, so we get to hear from all the other judges as to how bad it is too, including His Hestonidge (“Great effort”).
Kylie’s blue cheese icecream sundaes come alive in the judges mouths, thanks in most part to Kylie seductively undoing a button as she presented it. “Heston, do you love this dish?” asks Crazy George. “I love this dish, and the food’s not bad either,” replies the Brit. While all of this has gone one, clearly Andy, Ben and Audra delivered middle of the road dishes not worth mentioning as we heard nothing from them tonight. At least that’s the cover story as at one point right at the back you can see Ben removing a cowl and Audra still wearing a cape as leftovers from some kind of operation that must have taken place under the cover of the challenge.
With the dishes all tasted (allegedly), the judges retire to their concubines to decide whose dishes were best, whose were worst, and who are those three people that keep turning up that we rarely see on camera? The top three dishes are considered to be those of Kylie, Julia (duh!) and Jules, and the Sloop Heston B declares Kylie to be the winner with her ice creams OF DOOM. She’s ‘so jolly excited’ at the chance to go for her own immunity pin and that Heston crowned her winner makes it the icing on the cake.
The three least impressive dishes belonged to Andrew (duh!), Beau and Amina. Amina’s not surprised but notes the odds are against her with it being her 8th time in an elimination challenge, while Beau just shrugs and Andrew tries to man it up by telling them “the black ninja is coming tomorrow”, though I think that’s just a euphemism for when he gets his period.
In saying farewell, Heston places his thumb in his ear and a piece of truffle on his tongue as he takes off and exits the MasterChef kitchen by flying through the roof.