MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, Kylie finally broke the hoodoo on everyone’s back that isn’t named Mindy when she scored a 2-1 victory over Tomislav Martinovich and won immunity for herself. Tonight, it’s another team challenge, involving a pop-up restaurant and the ultimate dining experience, with the losers facing a DOUBLE elimination.
The opening shot shows the harbour bridge in all its glory and as no one’s packing or preparing for immunity, there is no need to show anyone at home pondering things seriously. They arrive at The Alex, which appears to be an empty warehouse, or possibly an empty whorehouse. I mean, how would you tell: it’s empty?
“This warehouse is a blank canvas”, says Gary, confirming it’s not a whorehouse but a warehouse. “The teams will create two pop up restaurants” he continues. The teams are tasked with planning their restaurants, choosing the equipment for their restaurants, decorating their restaurants, and cooking and serving customers at their restaurants, before calling in the receivers as they close down their restaurants. In this way they’ll learn the business from the ground up and back down to the ground again.
“If you forget it”, says Gary, “you won’t have it. Don’t pick forks; you won’t have forks to stab people with. If you don’t pick bin liners, you won’t have anything to suffocate Deb or Alice with. ” Choice of captain will be by the ancient Scottish method of choosing kings: picking up some cutlery. Because Kylie, Alice and Audra haven’t captained, they get to pick up a knife, fork or spoon, and if captain is written on the back, then that person is captain. Kylie goes first and thinks she’s safe but her had is covering the captain bit and is made captain of the red team. Alice and Audra go together for the last two and Audra picks up the item that causes her to become the captain of the blue team.
With the captains decided it’s time to pick the teams. Kylie nabs Mindy early, and suddenly the red team has two members with immunity pins and has become somewhat less enticing for the rest. Audra picks Amina, while Julia goes for dessert, or desert, queen Julia. Audra says she’s going for the prettiest boy in the competition, Andy, then Kylie takes Ben. Following this, Audra says she’s going for the ugliest boy in the competition, Wade, and Kylie grabs Beau. That just leaves the detritus, as Alice goes red and Deb goes blue.
A quick pep talk from Gary and then they get started. Kylie wants Mexican food, and Ben gets excited, suggesting a king fish chevice with lime granita. For blue Audra is talking South East Asian and no one can understand a word she’s saying, so she switches to English. They split up in pairs to shop, and poor Amina draws the shortest straw in the history of straws when she gets stuck with Deb. Kylie wants to go to Domayne because (a) it sells furniture and (b) it’s a sponsor. Expectedly Deb and Amina do the same. Ben and Mindy, and Audra and Beau head to Coles to collect the ingredients, knocking over innocent shoppers. Wade finds he has to bring Audra under control as she scans the shelves for that elusive ingredient.
Andy and Jules awkwardly talk in the back of a car as they head to get the equipment, while Julia and Beau stare lustfully at each other and lament the presence of the camera. When they arrive at the kitchen equipment wholesaler, Beau’s attempts at humour involving Julia and a forklift fall flat. Then everyone is returning to the warehouse and start setting up as the day ends.
A new day dawns full of endless Deb murdering promise. Kylie says deep down she’s nervous, as Gary and George quiz the red team. Their team is called something that means “house of red” in Spanish. Kylie makes the smart move putting Alice front of house, hoping it ends up being a house in another city. Audra says she doesn’t want to yell at anyone, as she explains to the judges her restaurant’s name “Sanook”. It means “enjoyment of all things” and she plans to provide a holistic dining service, not just limiting herself to the service of food, but also the provision of other ‘pleasures’. That’s where Deb comes in. As far as the food goes though, there is a raw king fish salad for entree, while for main for main it’s a rending beef check, and for dessert coconut ice cream.
Trucks from Domayne arrive to unload the furniture as the nominated team members rush to greet them. Deb begins to panic in the kitchen as she wonders how she will find the team to finish the dessert, set up the dining room AND undermine her team captain all before service starts. Red set up their restaurant as Alice suggests big communal tables are the way to go, because “people like to go out and meet people”. Which is sometimes true, but of course that depends on the people you’re meeting, and if they’re anything like Alice then a table for one is probably preferable. In the kitchen, Mindy discovers that the oven containing Kylie’s cheeks has turned itself off, rather than do anything that might advanced the career of Alice.
Suddenly Gary creams “there’s only one minute before customers start dribbling through the door” as fans from a freshly completed rugby league match start lining up outside. Deb still has problems setting up, and suspects that maybe the problem is Amina, while canny viewers suspect the problem is Deb, as Wade and Amina begin to agree. “I think Deb is used to doing things Deb’s way” says Wade. Ben says rather dramatically that beef cheeks are the bane of his existence, when in fact he should know by now that Deb is the bane of everyone’s existence. Gary says the beef cheeks need another hour, but they’ve only got forty minutes. Mindy suggests Ben transfer them to a pressure cooker, so he can leave them unattended and burn them. Ben’s unsure of the value of this approach, but gives it a go anyway.
Meanwhile, the blue team are struggling in the kitchen as they push through without the added skills of Deb and Amina. Well Amina anyway. When Deb and Amina do return, Deb is deflated that her dessert has not been finished for her and sheds a few tears. Meanwhile Alice infantilises an entire restaurant full of people. She’s stealing blue teams customers so Audra is forced out onto the floor to placate them. Wade complains about a lack of direction with the starters, chanting that he wants to see “One Direction, One Direction”. Deb decides to take things into her own hands, forcing Audra’s hand as she makes a firm decision about which side of the glass of snot the burnt brown thing goes.
Gary, George and Matt try blue teams amuse bouche with much confusion. The glass of snot doesn’t even appear on the menu and they don’t get why it is served with the burnt brown thing. The instructions for the red team’s dish are much clearer, though still the three gents struggle. Notwithstanding, they love it and George says he’s salivating, while writhing with barely disguised ecstasy. The judges then taste the entrees, with the blue team’s king fish first. It lacks sweetness apparently, while the red team’s soft taco with popcorn prawn is next and George says he’s salivating, while moaning with barely disguised euphoria.
Back in the kitchen Gary smells something burning as Mindy’s clever plan to have Ben burn the beef cheeks in a pressure cooker come to fruition. But as it transpires burning things is bad, so they try to see what they can salvage. Alice asks how long they need to fix it up as she takes it upon herself to distract the customers from the lack of food. Unfortunately, whatever she does doesn’t involve immolation. Meanwhile, Audra complains that everyone wants a piece of her, while Deb laments that no one wants a piece of her.
Back with the red team, and the shredding of the cheeks, (run annually in Pamplona, Spain) proves successful and the customers look forward to some respite from Alice. The blue team are having no such luck. Although all the food is cooked, they can’t seem to get it out on the plate as they struggle with the concept of opposable thumbs.
But finally they do plate up and the judges taste their beef cheek curry, and Matt says it’s a textbook beef rending, possibly meaning it tastes like paper. They taste the red teams’ cheeks as well, but question the sauce and also its ethnicity.
Red team plate up their dessert with precision, but the blue team struggle as Deb feels the heavy burden of going through life being unappreciated. Audra thinks she’s having a melt down and tries to restore calm. But it’s no good as Deb unburdens and chokes back the tears. Eventually an accord is reached and they get on with the job.
Red team effortlessly finalise their desserts. Alice says”when people start asking about the parfait after one spoonful, I know it’s good”, though it really depends on the question. If the question is, “Are you trying to kill me with this shit”, then chances are they’re not really enjoying it all that much. The blue team also get out there desserts, with Jules generously describing it as rustic. Matt and Gary, somewhat less generously describe it as clumsy, but taste it anyway. The ice cream is a little bit eggy, as we throw to a shot of Deb, who herself could be described as a little bit eggy. Then the red’s dessert is tasted and it’s like chalk and cheese. The difference between blue and red that is, not the flavour.
Then it’s down to the results, and from here it’s pretty obvious: just pick the team not containing a Deb. George notes that Deb got a bit emotional, forcing Deb to remind everyone that she IS a middle aged woman going through menopause. The winner is announced, and of course it’s the red team, because (a) their food was better (b) their service was better and (c) they didn’t have Deb.
For the blue team it means the ignominy of losing to a team containing Alice, and the prospect of facing a double elimination. On the bright side they will get to meet a guy called Marco Pierre White, which in English means Mark Peter White.