MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, Kylie Kwong provided a Masterclass with disastrous consequences for anybody whose name starts with “B” and ends with “eau” as we said goodbye to the knockabout pipe layer who can’t decide whether he wants to be a cook or a fireman. Tonight, Zumbo returns with something ridiculous.
Julia stuffs a pillow into a pillow slip as she packs all the things she’ll need overnight. Julia and Audra have informed the rest to pack an overnight bag. Ben and andy decide to save space and share one bag, as they lament being the last two blokes in the competition, but only for a short time.
Gary explains that “at the end of this challenge three people will be through to finals week”. Preston believes that “what has gone on so far is like cutting cucumbers for a cricket team compared to what will happen now”. Little does Preston know that cutting cucumbers for cricket teams was banned in 1895 after WG Grace bludgeoned a hapless “cucumber boy” to death for cutting the cucumber outside of the internationally recognised cucumber slice guidelines. George says the first challenge is to produce a French inspired dessert. The winner goes straight through to finals week.
Julia says its a gift of a challenge, as Kylie suggests going head to head with Julia makes it hard. Andy and Ben agree that going head to head make things hard. But when they start, Mindy goes straight for the beautiful ingredients.
Alice is making snow eggs and Preston points out Gary grew up making this dessert, not having had the opportunity to go to a proper school. Julia is making an opera gateau and Preston tells her they “need to see her put up something spectacular”, when in fact she only needs to put up the least least impressive dish.
Gary says he’s not keen on the snow egg because he grew up making them and it only reminds him of his troubled childhood. Preston doesn’t believe “there is one dud dish out there”. He thinks there might be three or four.
Andy starts plating up but he can’t get his cream out. Gary wants him to whack it out straight on the plate. Ben also wants him to whack it out straight on the plate. Preston however, wants him to place it on the board and cut it. Hopefully we’re still talking about his cream.
He slams it on the board and lifts the pan to reveal that it’s been slammed on the board. Gary slams Andy for taking Preston’s advice, a mere food critic. But then Gary offers assistance by flipping his board. George counts down as Matt joins him at the seven second mark and in unison they demolish the rest of the numbers in a matter of six seconds.
Andy is pretty “devo” with his dessert, as he places a flower pot on his head and produces overrated 80s synth music. Julia’s is tasted first and it is draped in gold leaf, her own homage to the 80s complete. Gary says “it’s good cooking, there’s no doubt about that”‘ as he doubts if it really is. Gary calls Andy and Ben up together, much to everyone’s ribald enjoyment. Piano man comes in early as Andy’s dish is tasted, giving away that they enjoy it before they have a chance to say they do. Bens gets short shrift. Mindy’s sounds awful, looks even worse and no one even bothers to taste. Alice’s looks and tastes great, but Audra’s looks fantastic, and George calls it sophisticated, which is ironic coming from him. Finally, Kylie comes up proudly, only to have her hopes dashed as Matt says it lacks texture. She returns to her bench in tears, as Julia continues to be amazed at the range of human emotions she needs to learn.
The best three get to step forward, which is one of the worst rewards ever given in this competition. Alice, Audra and Julia. But there can only me winner, and several wieners, and the winner in this case is Audra. So she’s through to the finals. Not bad for a professional caterer.
So with that out of the way it’s time for the inevitable announcement of, and appearance by Adriano Zumbo. For a moment, my cooking addled mind thinks Preston says Adriana Xenides as I prepare for Zombie Wheel of Fortune. Unfortunately, it’s just Zumbo. And of course he wheels out a dessert because he’s never made a dessert he couldn’t wheel.
Matt tells them they have to mimic historical French idiot Karem, who used to cook for Napoleon and other well known historical dickheads. He apparently made some lovely centre pieces in the seventeenth century, but whether he made any human centipedes remains unknown.
Audra picks the three teams. Ben and Kylie, Andy and Mindy and Julia and Alice. Gary describes the task, which involves traveling and sleeping and making things apparently, a typical day for a mid level chef. They will then be judged by six pastry chefs, which must be everyone’s worst nightmare.
They taste Zumbo’s creation on wheels, and Alice thinks its like a tour of his shop, because it’s about the size of his shop. Then the teams go off to plan their creations. Alice and Julia want to base theirs on the life of Marie Antoinette, with a macaroon tower and a clear box on top. Alice says “High five!” as Julia orders her to “Write it down”.
After a break we are magically transported to Cordon Bleu in Sydney, where the teams meet the captain of the Australian pastry team, who will be representing Australia at the upcoming 17th Fatlympics in London.
Julia explains her creation: “basically it’s a present if we were cooking for Marie Antoinette” but wouldn’t some sort of neck protector be better? Kylie and Ben are making a French ladies dress. Will it be one of those nipple exposing dresses that were so popular in the seventeenth century? Probably not.
Andy and Mindy are doing an Eiffel Tower with a hat box, the Eiffel Tower because it’s typically French, and the hat box, because it’s big enough to hold a head decapitated by a guillotine, which is also typically French.
Julia tells Alice “it’s just in and up, in and up”, as she sharpens her knife skills. She talks about their box, and about making their box edible. As Julia tries to remove the silver cylinder from the top of of her box, it cracks, causing Zumbo to gasp effeminately. Julia says Andre sprayed it for her. Like a cat? But she manages to blowtorch her crack and all is well. Zumbo tries out for George’s role by yelling some instructions and threats but it’s not the same as he can be understood and fails to dribble.
Julia, ever the perfectionist, says she won’t sleep well with a cracked base, or at a crack house, as she remakes the cracked square. Mindy says theirs is going to have “Mindy and Andy flair”, which is commonly known as “flandy”, while everyone packs up and puts away things ready for the next day of assemblage, transportation, eating and death!!!!
Next day and they arrive at Curzon Hall and Zumbo gives them the worst pep talk since general Custer said “Watch out for them Indians”. They have two hours to assemble. Alice worries about having enough macaroons but Zumbo sets her straight, Andy renders his cake while Ben falls behind with his ganache. Meanwhile, Kylie can’t get her fondant icing to stay on the cone as she says “shit” three times. Unfortunately saying “shit” three times causes evil troll ‘Rumple-shit-skin’ to appear and cause mischief and mayhem.
Zumbo and George talk about their worries, as they worry about the isomalt box and why Kylie is putting the sugar over a nice pink cone. They also needlessly worry about Andy and Mindy’s use of a disgusting animal fat in their base cake. No one is meant to actually eat these things are they? Julia manages to skewer her cone on top of her cake, and to celebrate their success, Alice rushes in to hug her. Julia merely pushes her away.
Julia and Alice put their box together as they struggle with the intricacies of sugared walls. Mindy and Andy complete their “three fat judges” tribute cake, as the lifelike models are placed around the base of the cake. It’s the nakedness that makes them so lifelike. Julia says when she looks at the completed box she’s really excited, without a hint of enthusiasm. To celebrate their success, Alice rushes in to hug her. Julia merely pushes her away.
Ben and Kylie’s work feverishly to complete their cone which has now taken the form of a Dalek. The add to the effect by placing spun sugar atop, and it looks like the Dalek has become entangled in a spider’s web. Finally it’s isomalts and spun sugar down, and everyone is proud.
The fantastic array of famous pastry chefs who will do the judging is announced. And we all know at least two of them. Alice and Julia are up first and Alice calls the walk pushing the cart with her cake the “brown mile” because she sees a lot of dark skinned people along the way. Vincent asks why there are pubes on top, but for the most part they like what they see and enjoy what they eat.
Andy and Mindy come out next with their hat box and fat judges. Sugar Matt is quite dark skinned and could be mistaken for Kamahl. The base of the cake is considered a construction cake, meaning it’s was only there for support, and not fit to be eaten. They also find paper and a tooth pick, but regrettably no tooth.
Finally Ben and Kylie come out with their Dalek cake, but unfortunately neither chants “Exterminate. Exterminate” to complete the effect. Kylie is on e verge of tears she so excited. She says they’re the rock starts of her world, like Col Joye and the Joy Boys. The judges taste and initially love it but find the base heavy and a little undercooked.
Time for the results. Andy and Mindy are instantly dismissed for their insouciance in making fun of the judges. For Julia and Alice, the jewel box lacked finesse and threw off the aesthetic balance, according to Preston. For Kylie and Ben, there were so many techniques, and some of them even done properly. Surprisingly Kylie and Ben are announced the winners and are through to the final week. This is certainly good news for Ben who can wow us with an array of taco dishes. To commiserate their failure, Alice rushes in to hug Julia. Julia merely pushes her away
Tomorrow night, watch as the remaining contestants meet their families, possibly for the first time.