Well after a marathon roasting of Dancing With The Stars; It’s time for a marathon roast on MasterChef Australia…although I can’t guarantee this episode will actually have a roast in it! It will have a mystery box though; with some ingredients.
We start off with a recap of the messy week that was last week before we find out that tonight; there will be a world first! If I had a dollar for every time a reality television program promised that; bloody hell. I hope they can deliver.
After another forced sounding conversation between the girls in the house wondering about the week ahead; but the boys think it’s time for one of them to go; I don’t know if the point of that scene was to get us in the mood for another week of MasterChef, or for Craig to boast how much he wants a girl to go home. Either way, it did seem a little pointless.
So the contestants arrive as always in an SUV up to the kitchen, the first thing they notice is a lack of boxes on the benches. Hayden wonders what exactly is going on. Matt Preston welcomes the 21 to the kitchen. He reveals they will need a clear head to go into the week ahead. Matt Moran reveals that for today’s challenge; there will be seven teams of three. The contestants decide amongst themselves who they will team up with. Sun choses Craig and Peter immediately while Chelsea choses Rachel and Ellie; her two room buddies. Michael, Hayden and Jay join together. Also in a team together are Kumar, Billy and… some other guy. We are not shown who else teams up with who. Today’s challenge is a culinary lucky dip as revealed by George. It combines the mystery of the mystery box challenge and the dangers of the pressure test. They must choose a box of ingredients and a cooking style and combine the two elements. For the winning team, all three contestants will go on to compete for immunity. For the losing team, well, you know what happens! Cleo, Dani and Danielle I’ve just noticed are in a team together.
Teams from left to right choose their combination. Sun, Craig and Michael’s team are first. Craig chooses a mystery box with pork. He then choses a mystery technique which turns out to be En Papillote; what ever that means. Apparently it means ‘in Paper’. Haha, pigs in a bag; this will be interesting. Sun realises that if they succeed; it will go down really well.
Kate, Alana and Arena are next and they are a little shaken up but Alana picks the mystery box of lamb. Kate is pleased and so Alana picks the technique of frying. The team are stoked.
Adam, Billy and Kumar (Adam was the ‘some other guy who I couldn’t see before) pick Venison and the technique of roasting; probably the best combination.
Next are Ellie, Rachel and Chelsea. They pick the dish Octopus. It was Chelsea’s worst nightmare. The technique she picks is no better; smoked. It sounds just absurd to Ellie. Chelsea wonders what they will do.
Next are Shannon, Andrew and Mat who pick scallops as their dish and match with the technique of Braise. The expression on Mat’s face says it all. George adamantly says that there is nothing Braising can do for scallops. Interesting.
Next are Michael, Hayden and Jay who pick snapper as their dish to Hayden’s excitement. Jay wants to pick poaching and while it is one of the last remaining options he can pick; he ends up picking En Croute which means ‘to cook with pastry’. Hmm, fish pie.
Dani, Danielle and Cleo are last and choose Squab. They must poach the squab as poaching is the last technique left.
So with all these combinations; this is definitely going to be a smoker of a challenge. Especially for the octopus team.
Matt Preston details the advantage for the teams with the tricky combinations if they are able to make a killer dish. Matt Moran then begins the challenge.
Sun’s team is onto it while Rachel is already getting ingredients. Most contestants are already at the pantry. Ellie is having a lot of trouble coming up with any ideas while the pantry is slowly coming to a close.
As the pantry closes; the music abruptly stops and George closes the door. This is the first time this year I believe, that we have seen this happen; so missing ingredients may play a large role in this episode.
Matt Moran gives a few tips to Sun’s team on how to do En Papillote however they chose to go against advice. Michael’s team is pretty happy with their idea which is interesting as they have a tricky combination.
Billy is happy to have a great combination to work with but highlights to us why it is paramount that the venison must be cooked properly. Chelsea’s team go for smoked octopus pasta but George feels they may be overusing the sauce they want to use, so Ellie decides against it.
Dani’s team are starting and Dani says her line ‘I’m in over my head’ made famous from the commercials as there is a bit of confusion on her team with their combination.
Back on Ellie’s team; they are encountering some problems as Rachel tries to smoke the octopus more while Ellie is telling her to put it in the pressure cooker. The intensity is on! Ellie is worried that their octopus will be too rubbery. Rachel pops the octopus in the pressure cooker finally with Chelsea hoping they’ve done well.
Shannon’s team is on a roll with some creative ideas from Mat who puts some black pudding and mousse inside a zucchini flower to the happiness of the judges who are very impressed. Meanwhile, Kate is starting on her stuffed Zucchini flower.
Alana shows the judges her stuffed cutlet to the amazement of the judges while we move back to Michael’s team where there is a lot of rushing going on.
Michael’s team has something going on as they tie their pork belly into a paper bag (they have En Papillote) but time is not helping them much.
The squab team is moving along and as Dani finishes her sauce, she realises it is disgusting, so they discard it. What a waste of time.
Kate moves on to sear her cutlets while Adam works on the dew for the venison. They explode into happiness as they find out their venison is cooked perfectly. Meanwhile, there is a lot of tension on Rachel’s team as they frantically cut up the octopuses.
Meanwhile on Cleo’s team, they cut up their squab however Cleo isn’t happy with the look of the squab, however they can’t just pop it back in to cook for longer as its plate up time!
Some of the dishes look quite good; but there’s a lot of messy camera work so we’ll only tell how good they are when the judges taste.
Their time runs out and En Papillote team of Sun, Peter and Craig are up first. Matt Preston opens the first bag. It looks a little watery but Matt simply says ‘wow’. He has a lot of good things to say about the dish; saying it is a contender for best dish of the day. George loves the mints and crackling and calls it a flavoursome dish. Matt Moran calls the dish balanced and the En Papillote team can breath a sigh of relief.
Sun is happy that she has been on a team that has impressed the judges. Um, she has been on the winning team for every team challenge so far; what the hell?
Time for team Fried, consisting of Kate, Alana and Arena. They have stuffed lamb cutlets; an interesting dish. Matt Moran tastes first; he’s a lamb guy, will he like it? Well, he doesn’t know why they would stuff a rack of lamb and calls it overcooked. George tastes the brains. He tells a nice story of how his mum served him lamb brains in the guise of chicken nuggets for years. He calls their lamb brains ‘a little bit better than his mums’. The team are happy to have impressed with that part of their dish. They are still in danger of that pressure test tomorrow, though.
It is time for Hayden, Jay and Michael to come up to the bench now with their En Croute Snapper. It looks good, but Matt Preston must taste first. He calls the dish overcooked and disappointing. The dramatic musical beats suggest this dish was quite disappointing. It could be another guy going home.
Team Poached Squab is up next with a jittery Cleo with their Poached Squab breast. Matt Preston is first to taste what Cleo thinks is underdone squab. Matt tells the girls that squab can be served rare but his face looks concerned. Matt is the master of poker faces though, so this could go either way.
After the break, we get the results of the dish and according to Matt Preston, it was too raw. This clearly disappoints the girls and they are visibly upset.
Up next is braised scallop team. George did say before the challenge began that scallop can’t really be braised, but Mat’s creativity in the kitchen may get them somewhere. Matt pauses before getting to his verdict. He loves Mat’s zucchini flower and believes everything else on the plate is also quite good. Nice work for a dish you wouldn’t find on a menu anywhere ever.
Next up is roasted venison team who had ridden high all challenge due to the amazing result of their venison cooking. George tastes first and has an issue with the sauce which he calls bitty and vegemite-y. But other than that, he loves the venison and its stuffing. The soft music suggests the venison was very good.
Now for an interesting team; team smoked octopus. Not only was it a hard combination; but the teams had a lot of issues during the challenge. The judges taste and Matt Preston doesn’t like the fact the dish they have presented has three elements that don’t mix. Matt Moran can taste the smoked octopus, but says it doesn’t go with the rest of the dish. Chelsea isn’t happy with her dish; neither is Ellie, who risks a second go at elimination.
Now that the tasting is over, Matt Preston reminds the contestants what will happen if they are at the top of the list and if they are at the bottom. He then reveals that the winners of this challenge were Sun, Peter and Craig who will now go on to compete for immunity on Tuesday.
It is a happy feeling to see the three of them succeed, but now for the worst part (notice how a good part in one reality show like Dancing With The Stars is the ‘bad’ part in this one?), who is the worse.
There were definitely a lot of contenders however Matt Moran announces that in the bottom three for this challenge and therefore facing elimination in tomorrow’s pressure test challenge are Rachel, Ellie and Chelsea. Therefore, for the first time in this season, a female will be going home.
It will be Ellie’s second time in elimination after falling into it after last week’s mystery box.
Matt Moran gives them a few words before we see some genuine emotion from a teary Rachel and an even tearier Ellie. Chelsea is balling her eyes out and while some may call it cheesy, I really feel for her, for all of them. They are all great cooks and I’m going to be so sad to see one of them go. But that’s the game.
So another MasterChef is finished and it has been an interesting episode. Great task; lots of pressure, plenty of shocks. It was nice to see the amount of good dishes the contestants made today; in contrast to last week. As I said, the twist to split the contestants up into teams of 3 was also a bright idea, and picking a combination like they did tonight was definitely something new however I do feel it left some teams at a greater disadvantage though. Again, it is the aim of the game, and it was a great twist otherwise.
The camera works although messy at times, continues to capture the frantic nature of these challenges and keeps me at the edge of my seat in fright, excitement and passion, always wanting more!
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.0/10