MasterChef – Team challenge – May 25

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


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.


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.


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


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.



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50 Comments

  1. 370g chocolates for 12 brookies (from recipe)

    Poor Cecilia need to melt kg and kg of chocolates to just make 500 brookies. Silly idea

  2. We have just seen why STEM education is dire in Australia. Please just eliminate Harry now. Unfortunately, it will probably be Cecilia who cops it.

  3. I mean Jowl$y in that fuschia suit with the Napoleonic stance. How can one take this culinary circus seriously? Nigella looks great. What could she do with one of them corn cobs, hey?

  4. The contestants find out what happens when heat meets thin glass. Did no one pay any attention in Maths and Science while at school.

  5. I find Brett, Chloe, Heather , Mimi. Harry and Nicorette all pretty annoying – some of that food looked pretty unappetising , especially the thrown together mushy salads.

  6. All that manic cooking, selling and running around is train wreck tv combined with the schizophrenic music and interminable ads!

  7. Many of these contestants, especiallty the boys cant bake a cake. They just do deconstructed desserts. Tomorrow we will know whether the new Dessert King can bake a cake.

  8. It’s a pity that Yellow isn’t in elimination because that team had all the annoying ones: Zoe, Chloe, Nicorette, Heather the ‘Jew’ and Karmen, who is so lacking in confidence that she goes on national TV.
    And if I hear the word ‘brookie’ again …

    So much for running out of food. There was so much rocky road left, they sent it to third world countries.

  9. Behind the scenes with Matt (my eyes are still recovering from the suit) and Nigella tomorrow night on The Project. Yep some strange prices from the teams – the $10 blondies – WTF? Hospital got $18k, $hine probably spent $30k on ingredients and $50k a day for Nigella.
    Thanks for the recap Juz 🙂

    • Their biggest outlay would have been for the berries that went into the jam, even with summer pricing. I thought the jam theme was a bit odd – does Nigella have a new book about preserves or something?

  10. Oh good lord, that was hilarious. Cooking for many people does have challenges, but none of the competitors this year seem to have any foresight or common sense. Harry is a fuckwit; he was determined to make his stupid brookies no matter what. I would have loved to have heard the convo over who would be captain because there is no way Harry should have been chosen. Even though Nigella warned them not to make the big blobs of the midnight special, Cecilia looked to be putting half a cup portions on the baking trays. Time, people, time…time to prep, time to cook, think about it. I thought there would be problems tearing up hot poached chicken,too, but seemingly not.

    The other team putting hot metal trays onto glass freezer shelves was possibly the dumbest thing I have seen on MC so far. Did the jam have to be freshly made? If so, that was a big ask along with everything else that had to be done.

    I wouldn’t pay yellow team $7 for a chunk of rocky road popcorn. I think blue team would have come second at least if they had priced their dishes as outrageously as some of the others.

    Usually I enjoy the team challenges, but tonight’s was so full of seriously silly amateur dumbness that I couldn’t even be bothered to yell at the tv.

    And I wish George would learn to speak as an adult does, yeah? He needn’t end everything he says to the competitors with an upward lilt and an unnecessary yeah, yeah?

    MC sort of sucks this year.

    • Yeah, I guess that’s the down side of getting there first & not knowing what the others are charging. It’s a fine line between wanting to give a decent price to make money but not charging too much that people won’t spend. No way I would have paid those prices.

  11. Was hoping for yellow or red to go to elimination. Especially red, though, because would like to see Harry gone. He is arrogant and irritating. I think Blue team would have won if they had higher prices. However, yellow team’s prices were outrageous. $7.00 for Rocky Road, $10.00 for a Blondie and $12.00 for some potato salad. Red team at least had chocolate chips for $3.00 each but the Brookies were overpriced at twice the price and $12.00 for the chicken salad was too much, IMO. BUT if people were willing to pay those prices then that is their choice.
    I would like to add Brookies to the banned/immediate elimination list.

    • Well, we don’t know where they sourced this crowd. Maybe they come from a place where those prices are reasonable. Where I live, we sell Rocky Road portions for $3 a tray at the school fete. Nobody would ever pay $12 for a salad.

      Such a pity the Blues weren’t able to lift their highest price to $10.

    • It is our civic duty to eliminate the word Brookie. I’m good to replace it with chocolate turd.
      Harry acts like he has created the cronut or been knighted by Zumba. I want him gone!
      Let’s give him zero air time!

  12. I have noticed that many of these people are so ‘star struck’ with the MC contestants. Also since the money goes to the hospital, people are willing to pay more. Blue team would have sold more but priced too low and lost.

    • At least they didn’t do what that team did last year & put the prices up half way through the challenge RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CUSTOMERS. The looks on their faces.

  13. Rocky Road Popcorn takes it out. This show is what fine cuisine is really all about. It really is the greatest cooking show on Earth. The atmosphere of fear and panic in the amatas makes for truly great dishes.

    Harry and his brookies. One hit wonders.

  14. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    If I ever go to one of these events I’ll wait till the to get my food when it’s 50c not $12 or $7. I hate salad & no way would I pay $12 for it. What a rip off, can’t believe people paid that much for it.
    Pity about the fritatta, it would have been yummy if it had cooked properly. Any idiot knows you would have to cook the potato first.
    Bloody brookies again.
    Not normally a fan of cupcakes but they looked yummy with the raspberry centre.
    When that glass smashed I wondered what it was since the containers were metal. But it was the shelf in the fridge. Didn’t realise it was glass.

  15. Imagine standing around for hours in the sun only to pay $6 for a bloody cupcake. Those poor fools.

    Apparently Matt tweeted last night that he was channelling Barney the dinosaur if he ran a Columbian drug cartel, lol.

  16. Brookies were the loser name for cookies. Quick thinking by Cecilia saved his team.
    Harry and his mini top knot needs to go soon just because if I hear the word Brookies again, I’ll scream.

    Rocky road and Hedgehog – not really amazing desserts created by the so called amazing cooks on MC. Bet Reynold would have made something more interesting.

    • The whole point of the challenge was choosing something that could be made in bulk quickly, and was visually attractive to the crowd. Taste, technique or complexity of the recipe was totally irrelevant, because all the teams needed was for the people to choose the dish. If they hated it, it didn’t matter.

      Hedgehog is a staple baking item in our house. Although we always call them Mar-ee Biscuits, not M’ree.

  17. Hoping that in 4 weeks time the show is actually watchable.

    Masterchef kinda was about real cooking to a degree but this challenge dumbed things down to MKR proportions… cooking for a fete… and obviously some really stupid ideas to boot.

    So we’ve had brookies twice now… wonder if he’ll pull them out again and make deconstructed brookies, followed by up-market brookies, and then a brookie layered cake etc etc..

    Don’t like any of the contestants this year.. hope they all lose and no one is best home cook for 2016.

    • Jowl$y is stealing my culinary thunder. I likened him to Barney in 2012 and on several other occasions. Eat it, Jowl$y, eat my dust, you fat thief..get off my cloud.

      From Reality Ravings 2012.
      brain dead dave { 05.07.12 at 2:17 pm }

      ” Poor Jowl$y -he looked like Barney The Dinosaur wearing a cravat last night”

  18. I’m surprised by the level of displeasure being expressed about the contestants, especially in this thread. I haven’t yet found anyone I really dislike, and some of them have become favourites (Trent, Elena, Mimi, Brett, Chloe), bearing in mind that they might become annoying later.

    I don’t think the quality of cooking is any more or less than in other seasons. There hasn’t yet been someone who stands out (like Marion or Reynold) but that isn’t unusual at this stage when there are so many middle-range contestants who need to be weeded out.

    I agree that what is annoying is the repetitive use of certain ingredients/dishes (see the poll!). Because of that I enjoyed last night’s episode because the rules didn’t allow them to slip into those ruts – no ravioli, “parfait”, fennel to be seen anywhere. They had to think in a different direction. On a similar vein, it was really refreshing to hear Chloe say she loves frozen peas, and that it is normal to use them, although I would never cook mine to that insipid yellow,overcooked state.

    Looking forward to tonight’s episode, because whole cakes have been quite absent so far, and it will be good to see who has some knowledge about this in their repertoire.

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