MasterChef – Sun, May 15

It will be nice to see Reynold again – who’s been to his Sydney dessert cafe?
Tonight’s mystery box is from ingredients chosen by viewers, so hopefully there’s some weird stuff in there. As usual, the winner gets a supposed advantage going into the next round, but judging from the below it wouldn’t make that much of a difference:

What would you pick? I’m thinking peanut butter as it gives you options for savoury satay or a choc salted caramel peanut type dessert? Or I guess marmalade could be used as a sauce with duck, as well as in a pudding.
Here’s what they had to play with in the viewer-voted Mystery Box:

I’m still having technical problems with my recorder, so watching via TenPlay’s livestream. I tuned in just as Chloe (luckily they said her name) stacked it in the panic to get stuff out of the fridge.
Karmen’s dish looks great but they don’t say much about it, so she hasn’t won.

Con’s dish looks simple yet stylish, but they don’t like his foam.
Heather’s squid dish is finger-licking good, says George, and Gaz loves the crunch. “That’s a hard dish to beat,” says Matt.
Intense Matt is chosen yet again – he is on fire. It’s coconut salt squid but the judges are screwing up their noses because he didn’t provide them with a creamy dipping sauce. George says he’s torn between Matt’s dish and Heather’s dish.
I hope they give it to Heather, because if they give her more airtime I may be able to recognise her next time.
Anastasia is the final red shirt to get tasted. She has made poached maple syrup squid. The judges love it and think it’s elegant.
Gaz, George and Matt make a show of debating who the winner should be, but of course it’s Anastasia because George said it was restaurant quality. Will she choose peanut butter, Vegemite or marmalade?

The contestants mostly look horrified at the thought she may have picked Vegemite, but in fact she went with the one she knew: marmalade.
They have 75 minutes to cook.
Nicolette is doing an orange parfait – probably the first of many parfaits in this challenge.
Ranger Miles is doing stuffed quail in a marmalade glaze. Poor Chloe doesn’t want to be known as the girl who stacked it on MasterChef, so she’s hoping for a great dessert involving rice and a macadamia crumb.
But what is advantage winner Anastasia doing? It’s Spanish quail and she’s using the eggs, too. Sounds cool but there is the advantage winner curse to consider.
Is there anything more painful than watching someone deboning a quail? Perhaps watching Chloe puree her rice pudding in the blender. Noooo … She’s making baby food. She knows straight away she’s stuffed up.
Matt decides to try his first dessert of the comp, with an orange and ginger pudding and an earl grey ice cream. Sounds yum.
Karmen is making custard with sponge but it’s going to be a fancy modern-style dessert with lots of different elements.
Con’s doing another bloody panna cotta (hereafter referred to as ABPC) but we don’t even learn what “dessert king” Charlie is up to. No sign of the siblings, either. And what’s happened to Mimi? She started so strongly but is now back to red shirt status.
Miles is still hacking away at his quail but BDD will be happy – fennel is finally making an appearance.
Nicolette is going fancy with some spherification – remember back in the day when only the guest chefs did that kind of thing and it was so impressive?
Uh oh – poor Karmen is having drama with runny custard, as predicted by Gaz. He’ll be happy. Time for Plan B?
Baby food maker Chloe has not only stuffed up her pudding, she’s got her agar agar quantities wrong and her marmalade gel hasn’t set.
Con is talking like George when plating up his ABPC, going on about “negative space”. He’s happy – as is Anastasia – but Karmen is in pain because her custard didn’t set.
Olivia is doing a take on a jaffa cake but she’s not happy, either. So, we’ve only seen a few wonky dishes so it looks like bottom three will be Karmen, Chloe and either Olivia or maybe Miles.
The judges taste …
First up is Matt with his first dessert of the comp and it looks really cute. The judges love everything about it.
Karmen is devastated and George tactfully lets out a “Woah” at the sight of her dish. George and Gary kindly make her discuss all the mistakes she made. “Karmen it’s really just custard with crumbs,” says Matt.
Nicolette’s dessert looks good and gets a “Bang!” from George: “That dish makes me happy.” Pretty spiffy effort for a 19-year-old.
Chloe, of course, doesn’t need the judging to know she’s bottom three.
Con’s ABPC plating does look lovely and Gaz is swooning. “You’re on a run my friend,” says George.
Olivia ‘s almond sponge with blood orange jelly and choc ice cream does not look pretty and her textures are off kilter.
Ooh, here’s electrician Trent with a glazed pork, sister Theresa with a parfait and Cecilia with a parfait and sponge – obviously she was more decisive today with dessert being an obvious option – and Heather, who made yummy-looking ginger and orange glazed quail.
Miles’s quail and fennel looks dreadfully beige but at least it’s cooked properly. As Matt says, he struggles with finesse. Buy some tweezers, Miles.
It’s advantage winner Anastasia’s turn and it looks vibrant and tasty. Gary can’t wait to dig in. “It ticks all the boxes,” he says, letting out a joyous “laaaa”. “Everything about this dish is right,” says Matt. I hope she gets the win.

Top three
They will compete for immunity on Tuesday.

Bottom three

So, knowing it’s a Reynold test, Karmen should do well as she’s familiar with tricksy dessert-making techniques (tonight’s custard disaster to the contrary). And I like Olivia, so, sorry Chloe – it could be you.



  1. Here’s a little gem from Colin for those of you missing him from TV now MKR is over:

  2. Noooo 😵 1minute and we get Heather’s back story… car accident blah blah blah blah….😴💤💤💤

  3. Heather is very annoying. She mentioned food dream, cooking is her life and I want to be top 5 all in the same sentence in her back story. Aaah

  4. Mmm, we flip from Eurovision (my eyes) and we see a cheap Swisse inspired back story. Who the hell is Heather?

    I am worried that Con is having a ‘vision’. Which of the nameless will have the stigmata?

  5. How can an accident at 16 and you have to learn to walk again stop you from being a chef?????

    • I presume she wasn’t able to stand for lengths of time. Doesn’t seem to be a problem now, so she could be studying now.

    • Thank goodness Matt and Con are there or I might think I’m watching the wrong show. 😛

    • Karmen made the fancy-looking dessert with a kind of thin chocolate wheel on top in the first show. She is from WA, and we are getting ads telling us to support her and the other WA person, Brett (the pilot?).

      • Zoe did offer comfort when Chloe got back to her bench.

        I think there’s another fall tonight but with all the running that happens,,,,,it’s a jungle in the Ma$terchef kitchin.

        Gary was a bastard to Reynold last year. We’ll see how he goes tonight.

        Matt lost me when he said that meeting MPW was the greatest day of his life.

  6. Having worked in a restaurant, I decided to never share stories of the cleaning up of vomit and sewage I was regularly required to do.

  7. Matt gets a lot of airtime.
    Prediction – he will be top 5

    (and if another contestant uses the word ‘stoked’, I think I will scream or vomit)

  8. I think Harry is trying to channel Adam Liaw with that manbun that does not suit him at all. Adam Liaw he is not.

  9. Marmalade glaze on Christmas ham – yummmmmmmm
    Pureed rice pudding, I’ve seen it all now….

  10. Marmalade and quail sounds a bit of alright. But she running out of time -of course.
    And I want Con to go home, just because he chose Pannacotta. Again.

    • And particularly bad because it gives the judges the opportunity to talk about the lovely wobble.

        • Just checking – did we have “I’m really pushing myself” as a drinking game entrant? So many variants. .. Pushing myself, challenging myself, pushing to get it done in the time, pushing myself to do something i’ve never done before, pushing myself out of my comfort zone. . . You might need a full bottle to start a show.

      • One of the Stooges used “heroed”. Glug. Cringe.

        Yes, it’s either the delivery ward or watching TBL and Commando yelling.

  11. If only Anastacia would remain speechless!
    Unfortunately she had to pump her tyres up again, saying How awesome it was to be in the top 3!

    • Finally! They have sent 3 guys packing. Need to balance out the numbers especially this year supposed to be a male winner

  12. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Well finally the curse is broken.
    Saw heaps of people I’d never seen before tonight.
    Cecilia was everywhere last week & tonight not a peep of her. She mustn’t have had a panic attach tonight.
    That girl that pureed her rice pudding. What the hell was she thinking? And whatever else she made, she stuffed that up too.
    I only like vegemite & peanut butter on toast & hate marmalade so God knows what I would have picked there.

    • I like the harmony of peanut paste together with Vegemite on toast. The saltiness of the Vegemite contrasting with the surprise silkiness of the pillow of peanut paste underneath really takes the dish to whole new level and heroes the Vegemite. Love it. Love it. Love it.

  13. Cecilia was missing in action for the Mystery Box, then fronted up for the marmalade challenge. Issues?

    The buzz words for this year seem to be ‘crunch’ and ‘crumb,’ and parfaits are the new black. Panacottas are so last year … Con!
    It’s nothing new that many of the contestants are still invisible – they did the same last year, then some of them vanish into the ether. Billie barely got any airtime at the start, then went on to win it. Like sleepers.

    That said, I’m making an early tip for Matt making the final: he’s male, likeable/marketable, can cook ok and has the boyish good looks with his wide eyes and smile. The golfer’s cute, but an aversion for cooking savoury is his handicap.

    • When I was growing up parfait’s were served in a glass & similar to a trifle with layers of custard, jelly, fruit & cream. You could even buy special parfait glasses. Not the frozen thing they do on this show.

      • So glad I’m not the only one who can’t cope with them calling icecream “parfait”. My mum’s parfait glasses and spoons came to me, and it is a wonderful childhood memory, because parfait was a dessert for special occasions. Layers of fruit, jelly, custard, whipped cream, then repeat. All topped off with grated chocolate.

        I don’t understand when things changed!?

        If you google parfait, all the pictures show the “trifle” style. Dictionary definition says
        Define parfait: a cold dessert made usually of layers of ice cream, fruit, and syrup with whipped cream on top.
        By that definition, what the contestants are calling parfait is wrong, but also my mum’s had nothing frozen in it.

        • Judging by the Wikipedia article, parfait means different things in different places. The French version sounds like parfait à la Masterchef. The layered dish we all know and love may be an Australasian thing.

      • Amazing what you learn on the net when you go looking. Discovered that a savoury type of parfait is called a Verrine. They look yummy too.

      • Fond memories of day trips to the Big Pineapple where the parfaits would be lined up in the fridge. They would add the whipped cream on top when you paid for it.

  14. I had to laugh at some things viewers chose for the mystery box. Okra, for god’s sake, the hairiest, slimiest most disgusting vegetable in the world of vegetables. Good for you, viewers! I would have thrown it straight into the bin, it gags me to look at it.

    Aaaaannd, another sob story. Is that Heather? Okay, you’re standing now, so go on and cook.

    After Marco’s class on risotto, every one of them is using a spatula for everything, even when a whisk would be better. It’s as though none of them have ever had an original thought. Stepford MasterChef.

    Toward the end of the second challenge, George and Gary were calling out rather mean comments as the clock ticks down: Did you choose the right dish or did you make a big mistake? Are you happy with what you chose, or going to the bottom three? Certainly criticism is warranted and required, but I don’t remember from previous seasons the nastiness that is spilling from the judge’s mouths this season.

    I’m looking forward to Reynold being on tomorrow. Tonight was no fun…except for the okra.

    • I think okra is a Southern thang. Buddy Holly’s favourite food.

      Haven’t a clue who’s going home tonight. The promo during Dr.Phil is giving away nothing.

      Reynold was on Studio 10 this morning.

      • I actually love okra.!! But we don’t overcook it as they become slimy. Just cook with a sambal or add into curry.

        I also find the okra here is very slimy compared to those I am used to in Singapore

  15. When did Karmen and Anastasia join the competition?
    Con….going to immunity challenge for his panna cotta. NO! Immediate elimination for any contestant who makes ABPC. Saw some dishes that looked better than his.
    Why would someone puree a rice pudding? Was she preparing baby food?
    Matt continues to get a lot of airtime and is one of the main gantry narrators. This is the year for a male to win and he has also generally been a strong cook. I would expect him to be one of the top 3.
    Looking forward to Reynold…one of my favorite contestants evah!

  16. Matt was in the promo for Masterchef. He was shown alot on MC. Too much exposure? Every year the winner was rarely seen initially and then bang, here is the winner. Matt can cook so good chance for the last week.

  17. Hoping that Reynolds dish uses real moss…. so do we still think that Reynoldsnever got any training or experience working in his mum’s shop prior to the show….

  18. Saw some really interesting glimpses of dishes during the mystery box cook, but none of them got beyond a glimpse. I really wish that they would change the montage format, and show us a little more of the actual cooking of each plate. They don’t need to linger or insert voiceovers from the cook, just spend 5 seconds or so of footage instead of half a second.

  19. Thanks for recapping so well, Juz.

    All those people! I could swear some of them only just joined! I do think it was better when they started with 12. But they are more likely to up it to 36 than drop it back down again.

    I’m looking forward to Reynold again, too. Don’t really care if or who beats him though. Actually, on short reflection, I hope he beats them all.

    And tonight? I kind of like Karmen, so hope it isn’t her, but don’t care between the other two.

  20. Thanks for the mention and recap, Juz. I have to look away when quail etc are mutilated by amatas and the producers understand this and make sure there are Silent Witness style close ups.

  21. I was just reading that there is an Australian shortage of chefs. They blame gen Y not wanting to work hard. The comments below the story on fb talk about low wages, split shifts, lack of respect etc etc. Apprentices get $7.50/hr apparently. I know a gf of mine who is a chef took a waitressing job as she got more per hour and tips than they were paying the chef. The chef pay was $22/hr.

  22. Terrible wages and awful hours. You’d definitely want to be living at home to be an apprentice chef.

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