Previous Episode: MasterChef Australia Season Four – The Semi Final…
This is it! Andy, Audra and Julia will go head to head tonight for the massive prize including $100,000 and a book deal and bragging rights as Australia’s fourth MasterChef! Who will win?
The episode begins with a bit of a look at some home video footage of this year’s contestants at home before a lengthy recap graces our screen.
As the contestants wake up, they robe up, reflect on their time on MasterChef and head for that kitchen!
The past contestants are waiting for them on the mezzanine.
The judges are also there, and after the usual ‘you’ve made it to the final’ speeches, it’s time to get to the first challenge. This will be the first of three rounds.
Challenge 1 Brief: They will all cook over 100 entrees all together. The customers coming to eat the entrees are fans of the show. They will cook for 35 people each and may cook what they like. They can also pick two eliminated contestants to help them. They choose:
Julia: Mindy and Kylie
Audra: TK and Amina
Andy: Ben and Beau
Matt Moran will be their mentor to make sure their dishes are restaurant quality.
Conditions: 3 hours prep time and half an hour service time. Free pantry reign.
Progress: The judges want the best cooking they’ve done so far. With three hours, they better. Andy is going for a Seared piece of tuna with an apple and radish salad. He is also making a cauliflower and squid ink puree, which he begins on.
Audra is doing an eggnet Ma Hor with supper prawns. There’s a lot to do, so she has to push it this time. Julia is doing quite a few things with a fillet of beef the hero of the dish. The judges call it a main course. With an hour to go, Audra is feeling the pressure when doing her forty egg nets. She’ll do one good one and then three dud ones.
All of a sudden, the fans walk in and cause a bit of commotion and distraction. It is only now that the helpers for the three finalists can help. A minute remains until service time.
Service begins and all hell breaks loose. Julia needs her meat to rest, but she’s running out of time. Luckily, when she does cut it, the meat is cooked perfectly. Audra begins to yell at her helpers after a stressful plating session.
Tasting & Results
Cooking: Seared Beef with Horseradish Cream and Baby Turnips.
Comments: They call the dish pretty. They call it a banging, restaurant quality dish. George says she’s hit the nail on the head. Gary calls it a lovely combination of textures and flavours. They would have liked more seasoning.
Score: 25 (7- Gary, 9- George, 9- Matt)
Cooking: Seared Tuna with Cauliflower and Squid Ink Puree.
Comments: The judges call it a big starter and wonder if there is enough garnish on the plate. Gary thinks it tastes delicious despite thinking it will be a disaster. They love the puree and Matt calls the dish flavours complementary to each other. George wants it zipped up a bit more.
Score: 23 (7- Gary, 8- George, 8- Matt)
Cooking: Eggnet with Ma Hor and Sambal Prawns (Sorry, I got it wrong above!!)
Comments: They call the entrée fresh and lovely. They love the textures and freshness of the plate. George loves how she’s cooked the prawns and also loved the cooking of the prawns.
Score: 22 (8- Gary, 7- George, 7- Matt)
Result: The person leaving MasterChef Australia in third place is… Audra.
2009 had Julie and Poh, 2010 had Adam and Callum, 2011 had Michael and Kate and 2012 will have Julia and Andy.
Challenge 2 Brief: It’s an invention test with NO core ingredient. They ask for one thing- a main course that could be Australia’s national dish. What that dish is, is up to them.
Conditions: Free reign of the pantry. 90 minutes cooking time.
Progress: Well if they had to come up with an Australian dessert, Julia would be walking home as the winner NOW! But that isn’t the case, and Andy may get the upper hand here. Andy will be doing a seafood basket, claiming those who haven’t eaten one before isn’t Australian. I must be a Kiwi! He will be using flathead, oysters, marron and abalone in the dish. Julia is making a smoked rack of lamb.
Matt doesn’t think it is inventive enough. But what would Matt know…
She’s going for it any way.
They’re going about this very methodically. The judges think Andy’s fisherman’s basket is more English than Australian. I’d agree with that.
Andy can’t seem to plate the dish up properly. Julia is still to get her lamb on the plate.
Time is up, and they both question their efforts.
Tasting & Results
Cooking: Modern Fisherman’s Basket.
Comments: Gary is convinced it is Australian. He thinks he’s nailed it. They do like it.
Score: 28 (9- Matt, 9- George, 10- Gary)
Cooking: Crusted Rack of Lamb with Vegetables.
Comments: They like most of the look of it, but they do find some negatives, like the fat on the lamb and whether the lamb is cooked. They absolutely love the potato. They call the lamb undercooked and Gary blames her not resting it long enough.
Score: 21 (7- All Judges)
Result: Julia sits on 46. Andy is on 51.
The final round of MasterChef Australia 2012 is upon us…and it may go to Julia- it’s a dessert!
Challenge 3 Brief: Christine Manfield will be setting them a dish for them to replicate. She’s already featured this year. It’s a pressure test. Under the cloche, Christine reveals that they must replicate… A Gaytime Goes Nuts.
Conditions: 3 Hours cooking time + some assemblage time.
Progress: And here begins the final challenge of MasterChef 2012. They begin on the honeycomb mixture. Andy then gets onto his crème anglaise. Then, it’s onto the Hazelnut mousse. Andy is just following the recipe letter for letter. He does his mousse wrong when he finds out he forgot to put the gelatine leaves in it. He can’t really make any more mistakes.
I don’t know about you, but all the emphasis they’re putting on Julia being the dessert queen is a little unnerving. Usually, this would indicate Julia will do something wrong and the underdog will win. Will this happen? Julia’s feeling comfortable at this time.
And here we go- Julia finds lumps in her mousse. Christine tells her this is because the gelatine hasn’t been dissolved properly. She too will have to make more mousse.
They then have to make the wafers, which looks hard. Andy is overwhelmed straight away.
Christ, only fifteen minutes remain! Julia is pretty much neck and neck with Andy. Her wafers aren’t working properly, causing her to lose time.
How it is that Andy is able to do well in the exact times he needs to; up against people who are in their element surprises me! But then, his caramel splits! Not good. Only one minute remains.
Soon, time is up, and they’ve all done all they can! No more cooking. Only results stand in the way!
Tasting & Results
Julia: They do like the structure of the wafers, despite some mishaps. They think it tastes delicious but varies from the reference. They do like the textures and Christine loves the attention to detail. They think she’s done a great job.
Andy: They complement it for being like the reference dish. They don’t quite like the mousse, calling it a bit dense and Christine calls the caramel hard.
So here are the overall scores:
RESULT: THE WINNER OF MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA 2012 IS… ANDY ALLEN!!!
And there we have it, our fourth MasterChef. The beauty of this show is, last year, Kate Bracks went from just being an extra in the MasterChef crowd to winner of the show in blazing glory. Andy may have just done the shame. Someone who didn’t seem to have a snowball’s chance in hell in winning has increased his food knowledge and his performance and has won in what has been a very exhilarating finale. It shows that when the 24 contestants enter the kitchen for the first time, literally ANYONE can win.
The episode ends with Julia also getting a paid apprenticeship with Adriano Zumbo and Audra also getting a special something.
Now, as we head into an All-Stars special, we reflect on this season…and begin our wait for MasterChef Australia 2013. Who will be Australia’s fifth MasterChef?
This is the final episode of MasterChef Australia Season Four.