With last night’s elimination over, we are left with twelve contestants for MasterChef Australia Season Three. Twelve is such a nice number for a reality television program, so let’s celebrate this milestone with a good old fashioned MasterClass- with George’s mum!
The contestants walk in to the backs of the judges George & Gary before they turn around with those big cheesy grins. They welcome the contestants to the MasterClass before revealing that two contestants will be meeting up with Vincent Gadan in Patisse for a MasterClass. Alana & Peter will be attending this MasterClass by presenting two great dishes in last night’s elimination.
Peter is happy about this, needing all the pastry info he can get.
George looks back at the Pressure test challenge on Monday before reintroducing his mother, Mary Calombaris. The first dish for the day, moussaka, is Mary’s own dish. A funny scene ensures as Mary tells the contestants that George has completely modernised and changed her cooking and through one of his cookbooks shows how he’s changed all her recipes. She even says this annoys her, the lovely lady she is! Gary throws George’s book on the floor in support for Mary which is quite funny as well. George actually looks a little hurt.
Mary then introduces her Moussaka (the traditional one) as George professionally tells the contestants that the first thing they need to do is the meat sauce before Mary corrects him, telling him the first thing they need to do is prepare the egg plant. This causes a rupture of laughs as George is put in his position. Quite funny seeing the tough mean judge being told what to do by his mother.
Mary now cements her role as excecutive chef before cutting up her eggplant after peeling them. George, today’s apprentice, salts the eggplants to his mum’s satisfaction. She puts a ‘Chux’ (the brand name of a cloth) on top of the pan before going to a pan and putting in some Olive Oil (not too much). She adds some lamb, pork & veal to the mix and as George gives some tips on how he does his onions, his mum just shuts him down before telling him to peel some potatoes. He’s just getting owned today!
She adds some garlic and a few spices (Oregano, thyme, cinnamon quills & Rosemary) before adding some tomatoes and tomato puree with tomato paste! Wow, a lot of tomato!
George gets on to frying the potatoes before quickly taking it off quickly. It doesn’t take long to cook.
They then take their eggplant pieces and put them on the frypan to simmer. She doesn’t have the eggplants on for too long in case they burn when she cooks them again with the rest of the moussaka.
After the break, we move on to the béchamel sauce starting with adding butter to a pot before adding some flour and milk. George asks if he can help her mix the mix up but she tells him no and very funnily tells him that it isn’t his kitchen today; it’s hers’ and he better listen to his mother. Haha, very funny indeed!
She gets it very fine and mushy, just perfect, before adding kefalograviera, a type of Greek cheese. It is very hard to pronounce but she tells them to ask for ‘head cheese’ if they ever need to use it. She also tells them that parmesan is a good substitute.
She adds some more milk and an egg to richen up the mix. Now, it’s time to assemble the elements.
Mary takes some sauce and creates a thin layer at the bottom of the pot. She puts the potatoes on top of this before adding some more mince, telling George that she show regularly and hates how he changes the flavours so much in all the dishes, especially the Greek dishes. Haha, it is so funny, I’m absolutely cacking myself as George tells the audience that ‘there’s gonna be some serious chats after this show’. So funny!
She adds the eggplant and more mince as George tells them that having his mum around means he doesn’t have to make his bed! This creates more laughter!
More potatoes go in the pot before some more eggplant (so not to waste anything) before a last layer of sauce. George now puts on the béchamel mix and licks the pot!!
She grates a bit of kefalograviera on top to finish the dish before popping the mix in the oven for 45 minutes. After this time is up, Gary comes back and before he gets to taste her moussaka, he picks up the wrong spoon and Mary hits him in the arse with it. Haha, she definitely owns this show tonight!
Today is special, so all contestants get to come up and try the food! The contestants seem more impressed with the food than ever before. By the end of the tasting, the plate is empty! George wraps up this very funny segment with a few top tips!
After the break, Peter & Alana arrive at Patisse for their private MasterClass where Vincent Gadan is happy to welcome them to his restaurant. He decides to call Peter, Pierre and Alana, Alana (of course) before telling them that today they will be making three tarts; a lemon tart, a chocolate tart & a frangipane & Pear tart.
They then go to make some sweet dough. He wants the contestants to do all the work today as they are all hands on. They add some butter and sugar to a bowl with a pinch of salt before Blanching the mixture. They add some vanilla beans and some egg with almond meal and flour before mixing it all in.
They transfer their mixture to some cling wrap and Vincent wraps it up and throws it in the fridge. After a while, he takes it out and gets them to flour up a bit of their bench for the second part. They roll out their dough mix and when they get it thin enough, they put some holes in the tart.
They then cut up the tart dough as a mould base and lay it in the mould before trimming it up and letting it set in the fridge. He also bakes the tart afterwards before handing them back to the contestants.
He adds the zest of lemon and some cream to a pot and lets it simmer before adding egg and caster sugar to bowl, blanching it, adding some of the lemon cream mixture to it, mixing it again, and adding the entire concoction to the pot to cook. On the boil, he takes it off the stove before straining the mixture and adding some butter.
After a while, he works on the meringue by whisking some egg whites and caster sugar. After a bit of whisking, he adds some of that curd from before to a piping bag before taking the meringue off the whisk. He pipes some curd to his tart base before piping the meringue on top in a nice looking pattern. He blowtorches it for effect.
To finish up this first tart, he adds some decorations to the tart and they taste the first tart, a lemon tart!
When we return, we go back to the kitchen as Gary unwraps a lamb, telling us he will be showing them how to butcher the lamb and cook up a lamb three ways. He talks about the problems people face when opening and butchering an entire lamb but tells us it is what we eat so we have to deal with it.
He briefs us to what he will be doing before telling us he will be taking off the shoulder first. He teases away the shoulder before taking away the hips and cutting off the legs. He moves on to the preparation of the saddle and the rack.
He carefully cuts near the spine and uses a hacksaw to hack through the central bone of the lamb to expose the ribs and takes away the breast of the lamb.
There’s a few more techniques shown before we finally get to the rack of lamb as he takes off the skin and some of the meat and we have a French rack of lamb.
He takes the loins of the lamb and takes away the fat before hacking off some fillets. They identify the central bone again and tease away the saddle and the loin.
He takes the fat away from the loin, shoves the loin in some cling film, hammers it a bit to make it thin and sprinkles some herbs on it before rolling it back up into the fat.
He ties up the fat & loin parcel before telling us that he will teach us how to cook this loin plus the French ribs and breast.
First up, the breast of the lamb. He shoves it in a pan with some shallots and thyme, but no oil. He adds salt and pepper to the meat along with some more herbs (they aren’t specific). They put it in the oven for a few hours and take out a frozen breast of lamb that they prepared earlier.
Now time for the other two cuts of meat. He seasons the cuts before adding some oil to a pan and putting the rack and loin in the pan as well. After a while, he puts the meat in the oven for further cooking.
George now takes us through the preparation of the cooked breast of lamb. He chops it up, places it on some grease free paper in a pan. Meanwhile, Gary is still working on the ribs and loin. Now it is time to prepare some Jerusalem artichokes. He cuts them up and adds them to an oiled pan with some garlic and shallots.
Gary gets his lamb loin and ribs out of the oven and puts them to side to rest. With the Jerusalem artichokes nearly done, George adds the garlic and shallots from before (I thought he did it before but not) and adds some butter and thyme for extra flavour.
Now it is time to plate up. Gary takes the string off the loin and cuts up the loin to the gasps of the contestants. They look so good.
He smears some eggplant puree (prepared earlier) and describes how to prepare this before resting the lamb ribs on the plate with the shallots, garlic, loin piece & artichokes before adding some breadcrumbs and herbs for presentation purposes.
Gary invites Michael, Hayden & Danielle to come and taste. They love it as usual before Gary gives them some top tips to finish off the segment.
We return to the private MasterClass as we move on to the chocolate tart. Vincent begins by making some salted caramel. He takes it to a cool room to cool down before adding it to the tart base they made earlier. He adds some peanuts before putting them in the cool room again.
Now to the chocolate Ganache. He adds some dark and milk chocolate to some cream and puts it on the stove. When the chocolate is melted, he adds some butter (or ‘love’ as he says’) before pouring the Ganache on the cooled tarts. The tart is quickly done and adds some caramelised nuts before letting the contestants try the lovely, delicious tarts. Wow, they look absolutely breathtaking.
Now for the frangipane tart. He adds some wine to a pot and adds honey, sugar, bayleef, anise and pepper to the mix. Once it boils, he adds water and pears. He covers the pot and as it boils, we move on to the frangipane. He ads some butter and sugar to a bowl to blanch before adding some egg yolk, almond meal, flour and rum! He mixes it up to produce the frangipane mix.
He then takes out the pears and takes the inside out of the pear with a scoop before cutting up the pears without breaking their shape, and flattening it a bit.
He adds some frangipane to the tart before placing the pear on top. He adds the tart to the oven before they taste the last tart.
To finish off this lovely private MasterClass, he gives them some tips! He then wraps up the class and wishes them a good farewell.
Now it is time for the judges to teach the contestants how to balance their spices. To do this, Gary introduces the next guest, the spice queen herself, Christine Manfield. She wants to spice things up.
She is going to show them her top 10 spices before she uses them to create a Stir-fried Turmeric Squid.
Her top ten spices are saffron, black pepper, green cardamom, cinnamon, Szechuan (or Szechwan) pepper, chilli, fennel, turmeric, cumin & vanilla. She gives a very detailed and interesting description of all ten spices (especially some facts I don’t think any of us would have known about unless you were an avid spice maniac) before she chooses Kate to be a volunteer to dry-roast whole spices.
They put a pan on a low heat before taking the whole spices (Cumin, fennel, pepper and the coriander seed) and putting them in the pan before giving them a slight mix.
The camera closes in to try to pick up the colour change before Christine puts the spices in the grinding bowl and Kate grinds up the spices into a powder. With that, Kate’s job is done.
Using fresh turmeric, Christine starts on the paste. She chops up the turmeric and adds some lime zest and coconut milk and puts them all in a blender to mush into a puree. She adds the spices Kate grounded up and the other spices that weren’t whole to begin with.
She also adds salt and palm sugar before blending the whole mix a little bit more.
Up next, she cooks up the puree a little bit in a hot pan to let it bubble and that’s the satay paste done!
After a quick break, we return to score the squid and Christine gets Billy to help her in the kitchen.
She takes the first bit of the squid and cuts it in half like fillets. She scores one half of the squid before cutting it up into ribbons. Billy does the other half and the ribbons of squid from each person are added to a bowl. Billy’s job is done!
Christine explains to us what tamarind actually is after we’ve seen it a few times on the show during challenges.
Now, to the squid, she adds her satay paste before adding garlic, chillies and turns on a wok. She adds oil to the wok before adding that squid and paste.
She adds the tamarind and sweet soy before adding coriander and mint before plating gup the dish. And with that, she is done.
George comes to taste before Billy, Ellie & Dani come to taste (what about helper Kate?!). Again, some more good compliments before Kate is allowed to come up and taste before everyone else then gets to taste!
With that, Christine gives some top tips for the dish before Gary tries to cornily sell her bottled paste.
With that, MasterClass is done and the contestants begin to feast. Like usual, the judges summarise the week and the judges shower them in compliments, telling them they are falling for them! Aww. He then throws us back into competition; asking who will be the number one contestant, the MasterChef!!
With that, another MasterClass, and another week is over with. What a MasterClass; I just loved the addition of Mary and she honestly wasn’t there for long enough! The private MasterClass was a treat; almost literally. I loved how they spread it out over the course of the episode and not in just one segment; definitely did it justice. Christine’s part at the end was also a lovely finale!
Courtney’s Verdict: 9.9/10