MasterChef Australia – Sun 7:30pm; Mon-Fri 7pm, Ch10
Last week on Masterchef, we said goodbye to a group of people we had all come to know and love over the course of season four. Wade, whose never say die attitude, stiff upper lip, and love of life captured our hearts, fell by the wayside when his superb dish at the pressure test was served containing one single eyebrow hair. Normally, no one would have noticed an eyebrow hair, but this was one of his own, and covered the entire plate. Then there was Beau, whose never say die attitude, stiff upper lip, and love of life captured our hearts, but it proved insufficient as he was sent packing to chase his dream of starting and/or putting out fires professionally. And then there was Alice, whose never say die attitude, stiff upper lip and love of life was no where near enough to capture our hearts, who went out with a bang when her long lost boyfriend arrived on set.
Tonight, the beginning of the end, as finals week takes us on a journey of discovery, heartbreak and love through the romantics streets and canals of Paris, Venice and Wagga Wagga.
Kylie fills in her diary as she and Julia discuss the week ahead without the benefit of a mirror. Julia says its going to be the biggest week they’ve ever seen. Meanwhile the boys discuss being against girls and how to avoid the dreaded girl germs.
Downstairs are chefs whites with their names embroiled on them, manufactured in the CWA endorsed sweat shops of Lithgow. Then they’re off to the Opera House, known by virtually no one as Sydney’s food hub. The remaining six are quizzed on their dreams as Gary desperately scrounges for images to deposit into his ‘wank bank’. But then George gives them a reality check: “from now on you cook for yourself”, but this ill thought out development will only result in everyone giving themselves perfect scores. Preston quickly references Utzon to flaunt his knowledge of all things 1967, then introduces Guillaume Brahimi, who apparently is a big thing in the restaurant world. Guillaume says his style is French: “follow the seasons, inspect the produce, don’t cut corners (unless the corners are sharp and are an OH and S issue)”. He rounds out his opening statement with a bit of customer bashing, saying they are picky.
The challenge is to not only cook French cuisine but also do everything French. Need to talk? Speak French! Going through a door? It has to be a French door. Going out for the night to see a portly female British comedienne? Better be Dawn French! But mostly it’s about cooking French. Gary tells them there will be three components to the challenge:performance in the kitchen, guests expectations, and the judges judging.
They enter the kitchen where everything shines. They have to cook six dishes between them, to serve to sixty customers. Who cooks what will be decided by THE KNIFE! Unfortunately for desperate viewers this doesn’t mean that the contestants have to engage in a knife fight, but that who cooks what will be decided by drawn knife.
Guillaume lays down the law: “Cook the fish to perfection that’s what I’m going to ask today. Cook the meat to perfection that’s what I’m going to ask today. Also wash your hands. I’ll probably ask that every now and again.”
Kylie wins the knife fight and chooses first, taking the peanut nougatine. Mindy is second and takes the king brown mushrooms with gnocchi. Audra is third and decides on the raspberry sorbet, earning Julia’s everlasting enmity. With no desserts left she chooses the scallops. Ben and Andy are left with the mains between them, and Ben selflessly chooses the beef because he knows Andy wants the snapper. With the dishes chosen Gary tells the to strap themselves as he wheels out a medieval torture device, before an explosion consumes the screen to reveal the angst and heartache that we all must go through as teenage girls growing up in the 1970s.
When we come back Audra says she is “shit scared” and confirms that she’s not really a fan of fine dining when she says “I know I’ll never be standing in this restaurant again”. Julia tops and tails her potatoes while conversing with a pair of hairy arms, while Mindy gets her mushrooms ready for steaming, starting with a quick exfoliation. Ben works on his Paris mash, adding the essential ingredients of “skank” and “ho” first.
Audra deftly opens a pack of Masterfoods vanilla beans, before she begins separating a kilo of egg yolks. Guillaume checks on Kylie who angles for a job, while Guillaume stresses the importance of getting the job done quick and when Kylie gets to work he stops her to stress the importance of getting the job done quick.
Gary asks them a couple of questions about their stomachs as there is an hour to go and he’s bored. Both Gary and Guillaume are confident with Kylie’s progress, whereas Audra is really slow, and is not even up to her pistachio cake, so Gary and Guillaume stop her to suggest to her she needs to hurry up. George replaces Gary as he joins Guillaume to worry about time, as now Andy falls behind. “There is nothing worse than overlooked snapper” says George, before adding “It tastes like wet cardboard”. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of things worse than wet cardboard though, like wet cardboard smeared in dog poo, or smeared in KFC potato and gravy. Andy says he’s being ridden by Guillaume and George. And they wonder why he’s running out of time. Guillaume moves on to ride Audra and discovers that she’s left the pistachio nuts out of the pistachio cake, before her embarrassment is hidden by a convenient fireball, leaving us to wonder if The Shire’s Mitch and Gabby will rekindle their romance once again.
When we come back Guillaume repeats the thing about the nuts and says its not acceptable. Oblivious to the bullying in the kitchen, Gary and Matt luxuriate in the restaurant. Back in the kitchen, Ben says he’s in trouble because he hasn’t cleaned his area, but notes he has a few minutes up his sleeve tattoo. George and Guillaume chat and George says all six of them have to be at their best because one of them will be pushed out. But that sort of logic would suggest that at least one of them shouldn’t be at their best.
Orders start rolling in as the timing between starting and serving becomes all important. Mindy says the challenge is bizarre because they have to cook all the components but Guillaume plates up, taking all the credit. Julia fails to caramelize her scallops, a hanging offence in France, as people wait impatiently in the restaurant, unable to fathom how six amateur chefs cooking in a high end restaurant could fail to serve on time. George joins Gary and Matt, while in the kitchen Guillame’s sense of humour bubbles to the surface as he slays three kitchen hands. At the tables, Matt and Gary taste the scallops, but for George the thought of putting something salty in his mouth instantly causes him to recall the romantic weekend he recently spent with Manu Feildel
After a break, Gary says the scallops are “slightly undercooked which is they way they’re supposed to be”, which, in other words, means they were not undercooked at all. In the kitchen Guillame wants more color in the mushrooms as he advises Mindy the mushrooms are “king brown not king beige”. Her dish is served to the judges, but unfortunately the lack of colour confirms that the mushrooms are undercooked.
In the kitchen Ben and Andy are cooking the mains as Andy carelessly leaves a pot handle out. Ben lets Guillaume know he’s ready even though he’s not, which causes Andy to have to hold back his “snapper” in anticipation of Ben’s “meat”. Andy says the snapper can’t be overcooked and it can’t be undercooked. It’s like the superman of fish. No matter what you do it’s always cooked perfectly. Ben says the steak he is cooking is worth its weight in gold before he drops two steaks on the floor valued at about $10 000 on the floor.
Andy’s snapper is served on the judges, as Gary enjoys the waft. George thinks its a cracker dish as he notes Andy has even removed the dirt from the spinach, a display of skill never before seen in a Sydney restaurant. Next up is Ben’s is “deboned rib eye”, followed by the rest of Ben, as his dish is placed before the judges. Gary says it melts in your mouth as Ben has clearly mistaken ice cream with steak, while for Matt, “it chronically lacks seasoning”.
In the kitchen, Guillaume has almost lost his voice but has saved enough to tell Kylie to put her dessert in the blast chiller. Audra has caught up as she plates her dessert, before the plates are taken out of the kitchen forever. The judges enjoy Audra’s dessert almost as much as the enjoyed her trials in the kitchen.
Kylie plates up her nougat as she matches Guillaume on self-reflection. The dish is served to the judges, who marvel at the plating. Preston says the flavor of the ice cream is amazing, while Gary says the ice cream is “goood” the extra vowel indicating his joy. But Guillaume thinks the caramel is too sweet, and the judges think something has gone wrong. How right they are, as a preview for this week’s episode of the Shire appears on our screens, with Bekka and her father and/or boyfriend. When we come back it’s clear Kylie has overworked the meringue, as no one can stomach her parfait. Undoubtedly, from here it’s hers to lose.
Guillaume tells the six strangers he had never met before today that he’s “proud of them”. Matt reminds them of the three pillars of the challenge, before he starts calling out names. Andy, Ben and Julia. All three are safe, forcing Ben and Andy to uncomfortably hug Julia, her cold metal chassis chilling them to the bone. Matt congratulates Andy for having the best dish of the day, stating that “snapper is the most abused fish in the kitchen”, confirming it is the red-headed step-child of the culinary world. He then makes the faux pass of the century when he compares Guillaume’s eldest daughter to mashed potato, before deftly covering his tracks by saying they all fell in love with Julia’s scallops. Who the scallops will choose out of Matt, Gary and George to be a long time companion remains to be seen. Then Mindy, Audra and Kylie are asked to step forward, before a fireball consumes them and we are transported back to the 70s and puberty.
When we come back, all is revealed. Mindy had one of the least popular dishes, Audra struggled in the kitchen, but Kylie’s curdling nougat one was enough to kick her out for good. Audra makes a short uninspiring speech about her team mate, before running out the doors and decapitating several Cityrail workers in an understandable fit of rage. Kylie reminisces about Jamie, pop up restaurants, and working with Adriano and Andre, but the best is yet to come. Guillaume asks her to join his team, as he takes that final essential step in forming his own touch footy side. However, Kylie rejects him in favor of launching her own self saucing lingerie range.
Kylie returns home to mass bottle opening, before coming back to the scene of her demise, for what she thought was a job, but was actually a paid tour. Instead she’s currently doing work experience with pastry chefs, proving that Masterchef experience is viewed in the industry as only one step above abattoir experience.