MasterChef Australia All Stars – Sun 7:30pm, Mon-Thu 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, we said goodbye to two of our greatest, as Aaron and Kumar headed to London on a mercy dash to rescue our Olympians from the clutches of the evil silver. Tonight, it’s reach arounds for everyone, as the contestants get to recreate the very first dish they cooked in the Masterchef kitchen, with the winner bound for immunity.
Dawn shows its ugly face over the jewel of the pacific, Sydney. Justine, Poh and Julie marvel at photos of themselves three years younger, as the wrinkles of pressure weigh heavily. Chris stacks the dishwasher as Jonathan reflects on his poor charity raising skills. Then they head off in nondescript black cars, the fear of assassination from the Cock lady of season 2, ever present.
Gary welcomes them with open legs. George stands next to him in his best short bald man pose. “Your Masterchef experience is gonna come full circle” cries Gary This is such a risk, as making people come in a full circle is an OHS issue and fraught with danger. A quick shot of 2009, and a brief appearance of forgotten host Sarah Wilson. “I wish someone would give me a pill so I could forget about the chicken challenge” says a much younger Poh, forgetting the pill she took to forget the pill taking challenge. George announces the reason for this vision from the past, as they will be cooking again their first dish ever on Masterchef. For Poh, it’s cubic noodles, while for Kate it’s coffee cake. And of course for Callum, when asked to cook his favorite childhood memory, chocked a chicken.
75 minutes, free range of the pantry, and all the firearms they need, to recreate their very own piece of history. They race into the pantry, Julie instantly accusing an unknown person of stealing all the coriander. “Since leaving Masterchef I’ve written a cookbook” says Kate, but I’m not sure taking photos of food and photocopying recipes is really writing.
Justine is cooking a fast coq au vin, while Poh is taking on those devilish cubic noodles, the pre-cursor to Rubic’s cube. “We want to see how far you’ve come” shouts Gary, which explains why he’s been carrying around that tape measure. Hayden has decided to do exactly the same thing he did last time, which makes sense. “I am going to show the judges the dish I wanted to show them three years ago” says Chris, looking for it in a Donna Hay magazine. .
With 45 minutes to go, Poh seems unconcerned that her noodles prove to be a disaster, noting that out of all the contestants from four seasons of Masterchef she’s the only one with her own prime time television show. With 30 minutes to go Gary confesses to being a little but confused, possibly because only moments before there had been 45 minutes to go. “I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with professional chefs in George’s kitchen” says Callum, revealing that he’s been hired to “entertain” George’s industry colleagues.
“I feel like I’m almost in my own kitchen” says Julie, as she plans her move to oust George as co-host of Masterchef. Jonathan and Gary talk as Hayden virtually streaks in the background. “I really want something on this dish that has that wow factor” claims Kate, secretly referring to her personality.
“15 minutes to go, we hope to see some wonderful food” suggests George forlornly, as Poh celebrates her set noodle batter. Julie seasons, Dani fries and Jonathan laments his failed ice cream. Poh’s wok isn’t hot enough, whereas Callum has decided to make a rhubarb powder, trying to show how far he’s come. “Something I actually picked up in George’s restaurant” he says, explaining the rash on his genitals. With one minute to go, Chris thinks what the viewers are all thinking when he says “I’d really like to beat all of them”. With a big stick no doubt. And with that, it’s all over.
“This challenge was all about turning back the clock”, says Gary, the contestants all kicking themselves that they got it so wrong and cooked food instead. Kate is first up with her rejigged coffee cake. Gary says “yum” and “hello there’s an old friend” as dementia sets in. This time, he eats it all. George says its honest cooking taken to a new level. Possibly a second level. Chris brings up his chicken tagine next. Gary and George throw the cous cous in without any regard for aesthetics. “Chris honestly you’re cooking has gone to a new level” says George. “Not necessarily in an upward direction though” he fails to add.
George tells Dani a big fluffy couch is his heaven, while Hayden and Justine get little airtime. Jonathan, lacking ice cream, brings up his dish but Gary has only one question: “Where’s the ice cream?” Jonathan can only respond cryptically, “Sure does Gary, sure does.” Poh comes up and displays her elegant eating style, basically for George’s benefit, but he fails to grasp it and shoves a spoon in his ear. “What a great role model you are Poh, teaching Australians to make it themselves. Better than buying it pre made hey Marion?”
Speaking of Marion, she follows Julie, and gets glowing praise, but when Callum comes next, Gary sharply rebukes him for not making peaches and ice cream. Callum counters with a quick mention of his deceased father, playing his trump card way too early, but all of that is forgotten when the judges taste and recognise true perfection. “Would your dad love that?” asks Gary, pointing at the blue Vespa outside, but Callum has no answer.
Justine, Chris, Kate and Callum hold the four best dishes. George announces the winner with a karate chop for each syllable. “And the winner is, Kate” he announces, boring everyone with the result. “That’s the best bit about all of this” says Kate, when George mentions the money going to her charity, “not the extra time in television spruking my cookbook and other side projects. No not at all”.
For some reason George and Gary continue to talk. But it doesn’t last long and mercifully it ends and we can all get on with our lives. Until tomorrow, when a feisty naked chicken takes on the contestants in a free for all. And in the best of cross overs, George is straight away on Being Lara Bingle talking about the best sex he ever had.