MasterChef – Mon, May 16 – The return of Reynold

As we know, Reynold is back in the MasterChef kitchen tonight, but this time he doesn’t have to worry he’ll be asked to do something savoury. He gets to set the challenge for the pressure test for the bottom three from last night’s invention test.
Here’s a link to his dessert bar, which is about to get even busier

From Reynold's Facebook page.

From Reynold’s Facebook page.

The three contestants in the firing line are Chloe, Karmen and Olivia.

Apparently running on a treadmill, reading love letters and standing on your head are just what you need to prep you for a cooking comp. I’d just be reading cookbooks, but that doesn’t make for riveting TV.
They’re ready for the pressure test from Reynold – who gets a total fangirl welcome from the contestants – which is to create “Moss”. moss
It’s a dried fennel frond, apple blossom pearl, pistachio sponge, yoghurt foam, apple sorbet, and a sphere of pistachio mousse coated in matcha with a caramel gel interior.
George asks dessert enthusiast Karmen: “What’s it like standing so close to Reynold?” Reynold laughs like a nervous 15-year-old boy and tells George: “That’s not necessary.” Ah, Reynold – you’re just a dork who likes to cook – I love it. Yeah, George – just because they’re Aussies of Asian descent who like sweets doesn’t mean they’ll have the hots for each other.
Oops – forgot to do a “what’s Matt wearing?” update:

Tamer than his usual ensembles.

Tamer than his usual ensembles but we saw this cravat on May 5. C’mon, wardrobe – mix it up!

Karmen says she is familiar with most of the techniques used in the recipe and she’s off to a quick start. Olivia is also doing well and George and Reynold are impressed, just advising her to keep her bench clean. Karmen is having trouble with her pistachio mousse and Chloe manages to overtake her, so she starts again. And again it seizes up. What’s going on – is she not reading the recipe properly? She decides to keep it and just add cream and it seems to work. Hope her sphere sets Ok.
Restaurant manager Olivia seems to be whipping through each task – hope she doesn’t come a cropper. At least with her job she’d be used to multitasking.
Karmen is catching up so the producers send Reynold over to distract her with questions that will enable to mention how her parents think she should stick with surveying.
Reynold advises everyone to make spare spheres but Chloe has just made one sphere – aargh – so risky. Yes, she’s pushed for time, but without a sphere there isn’t a dish. Better to spend time doing a second sphere and leave off something like the yoghurt foam if you have to.
It’s just over a week into the competition and, finally, microwave siphon sponges make an appearance. Poor Olivia, who’s been doing so well up until now, stuffs up her sponge because she second guesses herself, and then she leaves the gelatine out of her foam. This is what happens when George comes over to tell you how far ahead of the others you are – the Calombaris jinx.
Chloe moves on to her white chocolate cremeux, which I think is the second cremeux of the comp, following Charlie’s ginger chocolate version when he was in the bottom three. At least it’s not ABPC (another bloody panna cotta).
Karmen is having cremeux trouble so she decides to leave it off the plate so she can concentrate on other elements. Olivia is in a total flap and it doesn’t look good for her.
The contestants have to make sure each element of the dish is in a specific place (fridge, freezer, bench etc) as they have 10 minutes to plate up when it’s their turn. But Olivia has forgotten her matcha sphere, and as she runs to get it she stacks it, just like Chloe the other night. What the heck are they polishing those MC floors with – olive oil? So, Olivia’s sphere is stuck in the freezer and probably won’t ooze when it’s cut.
Time to judge
Chloe lucked out in that her sole sphere looks good. She’s done a great job to get all those elements up and she seems to have a balanced outlook on life and a laidback temperament. Reynold likes the look of the sphere but the caramel inside is too pale. The sponge and mousse get the thumbs up.
Karmen is next to don the mad scientist goggles and play with liquid nitrogen to make her yoghurt snow. She’s devastated she missed the cremeux (or creme-ooh, as George calls it) but George gives her props for what she’s achieved. Her caramel centre looks better than Chloe’s but the plate is not as pretty. She gets ticks for a lot of her elements.
It’s Olivia’s turn and the siphon gun isn’t working, so she improvises. Olivia is totally going home, which is such a shame as she’s done a few delicious-looking savoury dishes, like this one:
Please come to my house and cook this, Olivia.

Please come to my house and cook this, Olivia.

As she predicted, her sphere is too frozen and her sponge is dense. Gaz does like the flavour of the mousse but Reynold says the caramel is too blond and her matcha coating is uneven.
The judges pretend she’s in with a shot but one missing element easily outweighs three poorly executed ones.
The announcement
The judges praise Chloe for her attitude and her dish. Olivia is going home but there’s no shame in bowing out on a dish that would have been a finale test in previous seasons. Can you imagine Poh or Julie having to create “Moss” back in their season? They would have failed miserably.
Where are they now?
Olivia is working full time in The Cook’s Garden (Google says it’s an English style pub in north Sydney – wonder if this is where she was working before?), heading up the pastry section. She hopes to launch a cooking program for high school and university students.
Tomorrow night
Nicolette, Con and Anastasia have to cook a dish using popcorn. Expect a tonne of popcorn parfaits.



  1. I have yet to try some of his desserts. Just too far from where I live.

    Will make an effort to go there one day

      • Mains done by his brother. Also have read reviews that the food was good but portion too small. You need to eat something before having dinner

  2. Karmen is first cab off the rank, and talks about her dream. Definitely gone tonight.
    And I have my first drink. So soon.

  3. George trying to do a spot of matchmaking with Reynold and Karmen 💞💒💑 just hope they don’t produce any baby pannacottas 😛

  4. I was just about to post to say with all this running back and forth, I am surprised no one stack. Boom!!!! Olivia did!!!

    They should not allow this to happen in a kitchen. O h &S

  5. It’s a very drawn out episode tonight. Those interviews with the doomed contestants are excruciating before the 3 stooges taste.

  6. Also the dessert is so Reynold’s style. Just extra elements on the side, using syphon gun and liquid nitrogen.

  7. It would have been a better episode if tomorrow night’s 3 were doing Reynold’s dish. Con would’ve failed miserably.

  8. Recap is up. I wish everyone would have had a go at making that dish as I reckon half of them would have failed miserably.

    • Just had a look on line at this restaurant, it’s in Turramurra, Upper North Shore here in Sydney. And it’s not cheap by my prices!

      • Its slightly on the high side for North Shore but not the most expensive. Where the restaurant is located is full of retirement villages and people who have some spare cash.

        Did you notice in the photo I uploaded, 3 of the chefs are Indian?

        Another proof of difficulty in hiring local chefs.

  9. Yes, Olivia had to go – minimal backstory, you see.
    No husband/boyfriend/kids, no disapproving parents, no traumatic accidents, no child abuse or amputations …
    A regular girl with a regular job, definitely not Masterchef material.

    So they don’t use Reynold’s surname anymore? Fair enough I suppose, if you’re the rockstar of dessert.
    I’d love to see a novelty challenge where the 3 judges had to recreate Reynold’s ‘Moss.’ I don’t think it would be a pretty sight.

  10. I want to watch the cooking. That apple sorbet dessert looks scrumptious, but the fakery and melodrama was too nauseatingly precious and sweeeet last time I watched.

  11. Is it just me or do the returning contestants seem to minimise association with Gary and stick more with Matt?

  12. That dessert looked delicious. Didn’t Olivia say she had never used the siphon….once again, if someone is planning on applying to Masterchef then try all the techniques and equipment that have been used in past episodes.
    Getting ready for the competition with a treadmill, yoga, and reading a letter from home. LOL

  13. If they can debone a quail and scale a fish and cut the meat from lamb bones, they should be able to trim the bullsh*t. No more little kiddies bringing out the apron so we can all go “Aaaawww”.

  14. Best thing about this episode is getting the recipe! although it’s actually not that hard, bar playing with Nitro and Siphon gun, methods are straightforward and ingredients minimal, and with a blast chiller at your disposal all is good. Just the stress of having to do it in the time would’ve been the issue.

    Is it just me or is Karmen a robot?

    Anyway as mentioned Olivia just didn’t fit the bill to marketable enough… hasta lavista!

  15. Loved Karmen’s response to George’s attempted matchmaking: “Mum will be so happy, she thinks he’s cute” – immediately putting Reynold into the fogey generation. What a pity, George was so keen to bring the two young’uns together.

    Never seen pistachio paste before. How many kgs of pistachios to make that?

    • $150 per kg for pistachios paste. Buy reipe only used a small quantity. Maybe just make the paste in a food processor. Just like making nuts butter

    • Just pistacios processed real fine in a food processor with a bit of vegetable oil added to aid in viscosity. The only issue is that domestic machines can’t get the paste as fine so you’ll have little chunks of nut within as commercially they crush the paste through very fine rollers to break down the nuts to a paste.

  16. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    So two nights in a row someone falls over. Who will it be tonight?
    That dessert looked so complicated & very yummy except for the yoghurt bit.
    I thought when Olivia fell & didn’t get her discs out of the blast chiller she wouldn’t be able to use them, but she did.
    I don’t know what the problem was with the gelatin. It happened twice, but the others had no problem. I wonder if she hadn’t read the recipe properly.
    Popcorn tonight. What the hell will they do with that?

    • The frantic running has got to go. All the lip service to the alleged passion of the amatas means nothing when the deluded run hither and thither, cooking from fear….swinging ponytails through the valley of culinary darkness.

      What awful platitudes George dispenses to the vanquished. Autumn leaves.

      “If you want it….make it happen”


  17. As nice as Reynold’s dessert sounded, I found the swamp green colour of it unappealing. I know it’s called Moss, but the colour reminded me of mould. It’s the first one of Reynold’s creations I’ve seen that looked unappetising.

    George’s little matchmaking bid with Karmen and Reynold was boorish and rude. They both politely shut him down in their answers but I doubt he learned anything from those exchanges. George is such an annoying jerk this series. I think I will keep my finger on the mute button from now on, especially for Calombaris moments.

  18. Does Con not eat popcorn? Couldn’t quite catch promo. And he looks as if he,s got a bad eye infection.

    • You’re right , Con doesn’t do Popcorn. I suppose you could expect Popcorn on Junior Ma$terchef but this is the greatest cooking show evah on the face of the Earth.

  19. Not impressed with Coles running out of $8 chickens at 5.30. What kind of spon$or does that? Iggy is extremely disappointed. Fail, Coles.

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