MasterChef Australia – Mon-Wed 7pm, Ch10
Last night on Masterchef, Andy, Audra, Mindy and Julia shot through to the final four as Ben went home with Wayne Cow. Tonight, another one falls by the wayside, as four of Australia’s best chefs mentor the final four’s brains out.
It’s dark outside as the contestants huddle around the warmth of an analogue clock. Everyone is packing bag related bags, as Julia compares the top three to winning a gold medal at the Olympics, though more like the Special Olympics. Mindy says winning means having her whine bar sooner rather than later, as she contemplates building a haven for societies incessant complainers. Andy misses Ben as he talks about missing Ben. You can tell he misses Ben by the way he misses Ben. Then they all run the gamut of photos of previous contestants hugging, fearful that a similar fate may befall them. Audra believes that they used to be regular people, just like her, but now they’re superhuman. Andy says he wants to stay in the competition, even beyond the finale, because now it’s the only home he knows.
At HQ Gary says “You must be wondering how the hell you got into the top four”. Plenty of viewers are asking that as well. “7000 people applied” says Preston, though most of those were from greater western Sydney. Julia talks about her vision of her cake store, which came to her in a dream and foretold this week’s lotto results. Andy wants to travel and incorporate that in his food, basing recipes around Bali belly and travelers constipation. Audra says she’s a lot older than Andy, and also a lot more Asian, and she’s already done everything. Mindy just wants to kill zombies.
Finally George speaks, which is what we’ve all been looking forward to. But it doesn’t last long before Preston butts in and tells them they can cook their signature dish and use whatever they want from the pantry. But there’s a catch. They have to allow some walk-ins off the street to cook with them. In walks Shannon Bennett, Jacques Lamond, Mark Best and Popeye Doyle as played by Gene Hackman.
Andy gets Mark Best because Mark used to be an electrician until he started cooking at age 25. Andy is 24 and IS an electrician! OMG! But that’s where the excellent matches end as Mindy gets Lamond, Audra gets Doyle, and Julia gets Shannon “Gordon” Bennett. They can use their pros for five minutes at the starts and for a fifteen minute block at any stage they want. They only have 90 minutes to cook.
They start, and Andy stupidly wastes precious minutes to tell the audience what they’re doing. Shannon suggests Julia won’t have enough time to do her dish, a suggestion Julia rejects out of hand. Gary questions Mindy about doing something she’s not known for, like not saying “beautiful” 100 times a day. Andy is doing a confit ocean trout and yabbi with a yabbi oil. He’s never cooked with yabbi and has picked the absolute best time to incorporate it into his signature dish.
Julia talks about the pressure points in her dish as a greasy haired pressure point looks on from above. Bennett questions the premise of offering assistance to someone he’s only known for five minutes. With one hour to go Audra admits she wants to blow the judges away, which is a common enough sentiment. Gary questions Audra’s technique and suggest its too simple as he looks directly at George. Audra says she’s treating her fish with the utmost respect but Gary and George aren’t convinced. Audra remains unmoved and a stalemate ensues.
Speaking of stale mates, Gary, George and Matt talk amongst themselves, as Gary says he’d use his 15 mins at the end, Matt says he’d use it when he got in trouble. George provides no answer. Suddenly Matt is next to Jacques as they look down on Mindy. He likes her “enthusiasm”. Andy describes his food for Gary and George as he calls Mark in to help with the yabbies.
Julia struggles putting together the ice cream machine, but from above Bennett says its all too much to do. Jacques sidles up next to him and is amazed she made her own puff pastry, so much so that he walks away and comes back in wonder. Julia says she’s cutting it fine and wonders if she’s been too ambitious, thinking she could ever run for Premier of Queensland and cook this dish. She says she’s trying with every carbon fibre of her being to finish, and some of her spare fibers too, but says she will wait until the last fifteen minutes to call Shannon down “because he’s a bit creepy what with that hair”.
Mindy calls down the “beautiful” Ramond to help with the “beautiful” barramundi. But she’s not convinced it will be cooked in time. With 15 minutes to go, Shannon and Peter are forced into the game. Julia says she wanted to be organized today so badly, and she succeeded because no one’s been organised this badly since the National Socialists Party’s Munich Bier Hall putschz in 1923. Jacques is sent back to the balcony, punished for discreetly farting, while for everyone else there’s five to go.
Mindy’s fish is not cooking in the oven so she throws them in a pan, cursing the name of Jacques Ramond. Shannon implores Julia to get something on the plate, so she decapitates him and jams his head down. The judges count down and everyone puts things on plates which is the style of the time.
At the tasting table, Gary expects nothing less than brilliant food, setting himself up for round after round of disappointment. Audra comes out first but she makes the rookie mistake of serving the dressings at the table from big bulky bowls. Matt suggests they should have been served in small delicate bowls, for small delicate customers like himself. Gary says “I look at this dish and I thought is it a signature dish from Audra?”. Matt says “I look at this dish and I think 90minutes, this better taste amazing”. George just looks at the dish and reminisces about a romantic weekend he recently spent with Manu Fieldel. But to a man they are unimpressed with the flavour. Audra runs the risk of becoming a one trick pony. And that trick may well be juggling.
Andy serves next, with his salmon confit, with yabby dabby doo. Gary says “it looks sophisticated”, and George says “it looks natural as well”. After they taste, Matt calls it a whispering dish, while George says its clean, refined and restrained. Julia follows and adds things to the plate after putting it down. She says it’s a deconstructed salad. Gary says “running out of time smacks of running out of time”. But when they taste, the ice cream and raspberries are delicious and contrast well with the caremelized puff pastry.
Finally Mindy arrives with her caremelized barramundi and daschi broth. Mindy tells them she’s scared the fish is raw in the middle. But she needn’t have worried. It IS raw in the middle, but there was no point in worrying about it. Still the judges can enjoy the soup. Matt says there are “the bones of a great dish here, and underneath my floor boards are the bones of a great chef”.
The judges reveal the results, but thank the so called mentors first. Matt says “it was painfully obvious three of you ran out of time”. But not Andy who is “rolling like a steamroller through the competition”, which means slowly and with plenty of warning. Andy says he owes it all to Mark, who is his new BEST friend.
The other three are told their faults. But Julia wasn’t faulty enough so she goes through to finale with Andy. Bizarrely Mindy is criticized for serving raw fish, whereas Audra, who served raw fish, is criticised for lacking flavour. But Audra’s rawness was intentional, whereas Mindy’s was down to poor urban planning, and so she is the one to leave. Mindy hugs everyone goodbye like she was a contestant on MasterHug. She leaves and suddenly Gary is rudely celebrating the final three.
Mindy arrives home in Brisbane. The end credits tell us she is refining her food to prepare for her wine bar. In other words, nothing.