The contestants rock up at MC HQ and – once they get over the shock of Matt’s magenta suit and waistcoat combo (is that dupion silk) – and Gaz tells them they are feeding a huge crowd at an MC fete that’s being set up just up the road at the Melbourne Showground.
There are three teams of six, each of which must prep a savoury and two sweet dishes – and one sweet dish has to feature jam. So expect lots of jam doughnuts – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
The team captains are Heather (yellow), Mimi (blue) and Teeny Top Knot (red).
It’s a money-based challenge, so the team with the least money in the till is up for elimination.
They also have to factor in that they have to get the food from the MC kitchen out to the fetegoers, with no heating equipment at the fete. So I guess no jam doughnuts, then.
What they’re cooking
— Nicolette Stathopoul (@Nicolette_S_AU) 25 May 2016
Yellow team (who are being smart about picking stuff they can churn out in big quantities): Rocky road popcorn; corn on the cob; blondies with jam (white choc brownie).
Gaz is worried the corn will go cold (can’t they just wrap them in foil to keep warm?) and Heather thinks on her feet as to how they can use the corn they’ve already cooked. They decide to do a potato, bacon and corn salad. Heather notes Gaz has a catering company, which I didn’t realise, so he knows about feeding crowds.
Blues: potato chorizo frittata; chocolate cupcakes filled with jam; hedgehog slice. I don’t know about their decision to do three chocolate dishes.
Reds: Asian chicken salad; scones with jam; brookies (the cookie/brownies Harry made for Nigella in the midnight feast challenge). Do people really want to eat a cookie at a fete?
Gaz is worried that Harry’s recipe for 12 brookies won’t easily convert to high volumes. Dessert champ Cecilia has been put in charge of them and it’s taking forever just to melt the chocolate for the first 10 batches. Scooping each one on to the tray individually is also adding to the time – blue team has the right idea with hedgehog slice which you can just press into a tray, bung in the fridge and slice up.
I’m a bit sad no-one is doing food on a stick, which is surely compulsory fete food. Luckily for the blue team, Cecilia suggests to Harry they do choc chip cookies instead as they’re quicker to prep. To his credit, he listens, and decides the brookies they do have will be sold as “limited edition”. Way to spin, Harry.
We keep coming back to Intense Matt talking about his frittata, so you know there will be a problem. Luckily Nigella tells them there’s no way their uncooked sliced spuds will cook in time, so airline captain Brett decides they’ll deep fry the sliced spuds to have crisps to scatter over the top.
On the teeny top knot team Theresa and Harry are having maths dramas figuring out their chicken salad portion size. Luckily Cecilia – yep, the one with a brain injury – knows how to do maths. She’s been a champ this episode. Her team has picked another labour-intensive dish which requires a tonne of shredded cabbage and laboriously shredding poached chook.
It’s fascinating watching the yellow team mixing up their huge vat of blondie mixture and their bath-sized tub of raspberry jam. They are paying the price for Nose Ring Chloe cooking one huge batch of blondies rather than splitting it into more manageable quantities. So they have nothing in the oven as yet. They need to cool their bath of jam so dish it out into metal trays which they put on glass shelving in the freezer and CRACK! The shelf shatters and they have to chuck out heaps of their jam lest they injure the public. Luckily they made a humungous amount so it’s not too bad.
Time to sell
Blue team decides its prices and settles on cupcakes for $5, frittata $7 and hedgehog slice $5.
Yellow team decide on $7 for rocky road popcorn, blondies with fresh raspberries $10, potato salad $12. Wow – seems a bit exxy.
Red team will sell brookies for $6, choc chip cookies $3, scones $6, Asian chicken salad $12. They could have bumped up their scone price, I reckon, but hopefully will sell heaps of Cecilia’s cookies as they are the cheapest thing on offer.
The red team’s salad is selling well – I guess it’s the only full meal type dish on offer – so Harry has to do the sprint back to the kitchen to stock up on more supplies.
Brett is a good salesman for Blue, heading out into the queues to flog cupcakes to hungry punters.
The judges taste
Nice to see Matt and Nigella in hats, sending a sun smart message you don’t usually see on reality TV. Nigella looks like she would sizzle if the forecast was anything better than “overcast” and Matt’s fedora makes him even more pimp like – an image aided by his gold pocket watch.
Blues: The cupcakes gets the thumbs up. Nigella says her grandma used to make a similar dish to the hedgehog slice but the frittata is a flop. The quantities are out of whack but the flavours – and the crunchy crisps topping – are tasty.
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 25 May 2016
Yellows: The long-awaited blondies get an “oh yeah” from George. Nigella says “such a pleasure”. Rocky road popcorn should be a big seller, reckons Matt. The potato salad is a bit old school, says Gaz, being smushed together. Nigella thinks it’s still tasty but the other judges aren’t so keen.
— Theresa Visintin (@TheresaVisintin) 25 May 2016
Reds: Chicken salad is a winner. Miles’s scones are “a very happy little mouthful”, says Nigella. The brookies don’t look as plump as when Harry made them in the previous challenge and the judges are far keener on Cecilia’s choc chip cookies.
Over at Blues, Brett sends Matt out to check on the competition’s prices and they realise they are the cheapest stall – not really their fault – they were first to set up. It could bite them later as it’s been alluded to a few times.
With a few minutes to go prices are slashed and the teams are running out into the crowd to beg punters to take the food off their hands.
Time to announce the winners
— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) 25 May 2016
The three teams have raised almost $18,000 between them for a children’s hospital.
The winning team $6326 is Yellows. Good one, girls. They had the top-selling dish of the day: rocky road popcorn.
There is only $208 between the other two team. Red team earnt $5892.
So Blues, led by Mimi, are for elimination. The others are Intense Matt (I’d be surprised if he went), Charlie (ditto), Con, airline captain Brett and a blonde girl we’ve barely seen – I think it’s Elise.
Tomorrow night: It’s a name-the cake-challenge – that’s my kind of challenge. The first three contestants who fail to correctly name a cake go into a cake bake-off elimination challenge.