MasterChef – Sun, June 19 – mystery box and relay

The mystery box challenge contains eight of the ugliest ingredients ever seen. The contestants must impress the judges by creating a beautiful and delicious dish in only 60 minutes.
Hmm … ugly ingredients? Maybe offal and some of the knobblier root vegies? This is also the relay challenge, which is always nailbiting to watch.

And the “ugly” ingredients are:
Chicken livers, monkfish, blue cheese, celeriac, Buddha’s hand, morels, horned melon, Moreton Bay bug and morels. Horned elon is a new one on me – Wikpedia says “The fruit’s taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini[3] or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon.” wiki
Surely for the “ugly challenge” Matt Preston should have donned one of his more startling outfits. He looks positively restrained in navy with pink highlights.
He talks them through the ingredients, giving pointers along the way. Elena is the only one who’s eaten horned melon before, because on an overseas trip her family went to a shop with unusual items and bought everything they didn’t recognise. That’s my kind of holiday – can I join the Elena family?

Theresa is butter poaching the Moreton Bay bug and monk fish while Anastasia is making a blue cheese parfait. Yep, another bloody parfait. This is making me miss the panna cottas!
Karmen is making blue cheese ice cream with a morel ice cream cone balanced in a microwaved sponge, with a horned melon syrup. It’s definitely inventive.
Elena is experimenting with dehydrating melon seeds in the oven, to be teamed with celeriac puree, butter-poached bug tail and a monk fish wing.
Brett will grill the bug, deep fry the fish tail and serve atop celeriac puree.
It’s back to Ana again, who’s having lump cheese dramas. How has Karmen resolved this?
Come on – there are only 12 contestants – can we see what the others are doing?
Ana ditches the blue cheese and will make a chicken liver parfait instead, but will it set in the red moulds of death?
George and Gaz pop over to taste Elena’s cooked melon seeds and you can tell they are impressed (take note, Harry of the poisoned rambutan seeds). They look a bit like pumpkin seeds.
Then they taste Karmen’s morel cone batter and tell her she needs to step it up. Just what she needs when she’s already under pressure.
Theresa is unsure how to cook her fish so it will probably be perfect.
No camera time for Chloe, Mimi, Trent, Intense Matt, Teeny Topknot or Headband Heather. Oops and Elise.
Uh oh – Karmen is having tuile dramas. Have we ever had an episode where someone said “my tuiles worred first time”?
The red moulds of death have had their terrible way with Ana’s parfait so she has to plop it on the plate. Just put it in a little ramekin, Ana? Poor Karmen’s nerves get the better of her and she crushes one of her cones with shaking fingers.

Time to taste
Theresa’s butter-poached seafood with morels and celeriac salad: George says “Theresa – where have you been?” Uh, you eliminated her, genius. Gaz likes the fish and salad but the bug is undercooked. George proves he also pronounces the veg “celery-ack”.
Karmen’s blue cheese ice cream in morel cone with horned melon syrup: George gets the broken cone. George dips the sponge in the syrup and creepily feeds it to Karmen off his spoon. Matt says the flavour combos are innovative and work.

Elena’s buttered bug with celeriac and horned melon salad: She explains she tried about 20 different techniques. The judges clean the plate. “That is an absolute riot,” says Gaz. He loves the textures and flavour. Matt says it’s genius.
That’s the top three, although they give Brett a shout out. The winner is, of course, Elena. Yay! So, what will her advantage be now the dreaded power apron is goneski?

The invention test
She gets to choose the core ingredients from the following combos: honey and lemon, maple and bacon, orange and fennel.Elena picks honey and lemon. Everyone’s happy until the twist is revealed: It’s the relay challenge. Cue “ooohs” all round. “It can be white chocolate veloute hell,” Matt warns. John is going to be copping lots of tweets tonight! There are three teams of four and Elena gets to pick her team.
It’s Elena, Intense Matt, Karmen and Trent. That’s a strong red team full of mostly cool heads. The other teams are (yellow) Mimi, Elise, Brett and Harry; and (blue) Ana, Theresa, Chloe and Heather.
IM goes the savoury route with pressure-cooked duck with honey and lemon. Smart move as they just have to wait for the timer to go off.
Theresa seems to reverting to her old ways, faffing a bit in the pnatry.
Harry wants to make whisky, lemon and honey trifle so each person can add a layer like a jelly, sponge or custard.
IM goes hell for leather, starting work on a sticky sauce.
Theresa finally picks dessert with a lemon and prosecco jelly BUT she doesn’t know what else should go with it. So, everyone else in her team will come in cold and waste time thinking what they can add to it, with no advanced prep? I hate to say it but she could at least have started off a parfait so it could be freezing while the others cook.
By the end of his time Harry has finished a lemon mousse and a syrup.
IM is leaving his team “a visual map” by putting the whisky next to the frypan for deglazing – smart move. He has 45 seconds to hand over to Trent.
Theresa hands over to Heather (wearing her magical headband), while Harry talks to Brett about the trifle he wants served in a martini glass.
The first lot of contestants heads to the storeroom to watch the TV and yell in frustration or, in IM’s case, grin like a maniac when he sees Trent set his whisky sauce alight.
Heather decides to make coconut macaroon biscuits to go with Theresa’s jelly. So, it will be a dessert platter, then?
Brett decides Harry has planned a very complicated dish that will be hard to communicate to the rest of the team. He decides to change the dish – OMG the producers must be so excited right now. Harry can’t believe his eyes: “Brett’s gone rogue.” Brett tells George it will now be a lemon meringue tart, with not much time left to make pastry, let alone blind bake it.
Trent decides to do honey-roasted carrots and we hear him say Karmen will have to remember to take them out at the end. So, that’s not happening, then.
Mimi takes over from Brett, Elena takes over from Trent, Ana from Heather. Brett heads to the other room to tell Harry everything will be fine but Mimi is quietly shitting herself.
Ana is making a preserved lemon syrup to add bitterness to the blue team’s choose your own adventure dessert. She hands over to Chloe who, quite sensibly asks: “What is the dish?”
Mimi hands over to a worried Elise (perhaps you should crumble it into a soil, Elise, to cook more quickly) while Elena briefs Karmen. The red team’s happy with Karmen’s actions bit those darn carrots are still in the oven.
Chloe is tasking all the elements and pulls a face when she tastes Ana’s syrup, but is determined to use it anyway to prevent hurt feelings.
Elise is running at a million miles an hour and then George comes over to ask dourly: “Where’s the invention in your dish?” Poor Elise always cops it.
Chloe drizzles Heather’s biscuit with the bitter syrup and tops it with Persian fairy floss.
In the other room IM, Elena and Trent are desperately yelling out “carrots!”, willing Karmen to hear them. With 30 seconds to go, Matt releases the hounds and they bay at Karmen to add the carrots. Luckily she tastes them and they are burnt, so she leaves them off. Good move but they may get lambasted for not “heroing” lemon and honey.

Time to taste

Red’s duck with pine nut puree: Contrary to their fears, the whisky did not overpower the dish. It’s tasty but they wish the carrots had been there. They’ll be safe.

Yellow’s lemon meringue and honeycomb tart: “Surprisingly, that looks all right,” laughs Gaz. The pastry is cooked and, while not great, they heroed the lemon and honey. But, asks Matt, is it inventive?

Blues’ lemon and honey choose your own adventure dish (Chloe calls it a lemon honey cloud): Matt loves the bickie. But they don’t like the rest of it. “That syrups very medicinal,” says Gaz. “It tastes like it’s been made by four people, rather than one person,” says Matt.

The result
The winners are obviously the reds, and they get a crack at an immunity pin. At least yellow’s team was edible, so they’re safe.
Going through to elimination are Theresa, Ana, Chloe and Heather. Theresa must feel dreadful right now.

Tomorrow night: They cook against a young gun from New York who is only 17! They have to make his beef wellington. Apparently he started a supper club at his mum’s house when he was only 12. What the hell! More on him here



  1. Celeriac? Wasn’t that the ‘in’ ingredient about six seasons ago.

    Anastatsia is getting some serious airtime.

  2. Contestants I don’t mind watching:-
    Trent. Elena, Matt and Karmen.
    The rest could be eliminated and I wouldn’t miss them on my TV.
    Once again, too many parfaits and ice creams.

    • I think Elena picked wisely and rightly limited the rampant egos in her team. All my faves to root for in one spot. Plus they are all people that seem to be able to cook. Smart move and I was thrilled they won.

  3. Some of these people don’t know how to cook anything except desserts. And the judges are not encouraging anything different.

    • Well George did say a few weeks ago if you can’t do it then don’t bother.

      Is everyone else getting the MC ad with the tag line extraordinary food ordinary people but it only features Metal Snot?

  4. None of the desserts have been eye popping. Maybe a couple at the audition. Must have practise 101 times.

    Now is all about the parfaits and spheres.

    • The problem is that they cater to the judges’ palate rather than extending themselves.

      Though we have noticed that the judges are telling the certain contestants they are crap (Elise, Karmen) while they are cooking so no wonder they play it safe.

      • I feel super sorry for Elise – from my couch it looks like bullying. Not sure why she should be psyched out at the end, unless they thought it might bring on a white chocolate velouté to save Chloe from certain black.

  5. I just noticed Karmen has put on alot of weight. Not unusual though as they keep cooking and testing and eating

  6. Geez-bacon & fennel.

    You could cook about four dishes (and variation thereof) and get through the top ten this year.

    • I think Elena was quite clever. The dessert queens (3/4 of the competition) are all over bacon & maple syrup. So she didn’t give them a free kick. And I think Intense Matt is also over the desserts and super cleverly went savoury to stand out. I found that an interesting insight into his thinking.

    • Littlepetal I didn’t understand that either – if her team told her to go first (thinking they can fix her mistakes) then they deserve the loss because if there is one thing Teresa does well is faff around looking for ideas.

    • Harry thinks that Brett has gone rogue … just because he is not following the Harry plan? Is it all about Harry or wot.

      • And since they changed his dish, Harry disassociated himself from the team . He said he hope they have done enough to be out of pressure test.

  7. George does the mindf#@k tonight on Elise. It is bullying.

    Why concentrate on Metal Snot? Have you noticed that every fifth word out of her mouth is “I”.

  8. Gary is so disappointed that the dish turned out well. Now they are looking for an excuse to put them into elimination.

  9. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    I hate blue cheese. Too many blue cheese desserts. Blue cheese parfait. Yuk. But chicken liver parfait. Even worse. Did she think she was on I’m a Celebrity?
    Those seafood dishes all looked really yummy.
    Where’s John when you need him? I hope he was watching tonight. He wouldn’t have been able to read everyone’s Tweets, apparently he’s blocked everyone.
    Why the hell did they pick Therese to go first? She takes half an hour to decide what to cook.
    Since when is a trifle complicated? Poor Harry probably wanted to deck Brett when he came into the room. I would have been screaming ‘why the fuck did you do that’?
    Really glad Elena’s team won, that duck looked really yummy. A shame about the carrots.
    Bloody George saying to Elise is it inventive enough with only 2 mins to go. Bit fucking late now George to do anything else.
    So glad Chloe’s going into elimination. And it’s not a dessert so hopefully she’ll have trouble.

  10. For starters, if only the 3 best-looking dishes get tasted, how the hell did they pick Karmen’s? It looked ridiculous, not to mention the broken cone. And as for blue vein cheese ice cream, she should be charged with grievous bodily harm.

    Why would they pick Theresa to go first? This woman is a dithering nincompoop. It was her fault that they had no cohesion – she had no plan, just made jellies and said see ya.
    Of course, Chloe was quick to point out that she was blameless – but this genius could’ve elected to go first.

    I hope that Theresa hits the road tomorrow – she’s useless, and her phone sex voice is starting to grate.
    But I think it may be Anastasia (hope not) or the jew expert, Heather.
    I accept that Chloe will stay around to torture us for longer.

    • I have heard the contestants say on previous series that the judges taste during the cooking process so that by the time the real testing is due they have a fairly good idea of which are the best dishes.
      I also like the way they single out a fourth dish for an honourable mention. Is that new to this series? I don’t remember them doing it before.

    • So agree with you Lulu, I can’t stand Theresa, she should never have come back the second time, their were much better people who needed that second chance. Hate listening to her voice and watch her panicking every time so I fast forward through her stuff. Red team were by far the best right from the start, only ones to give savoury dish. Too many desserts this time around.

  11. Celeriac puree. pickled celeriac salad, a parfait that doesn’t work so we will go for…another parfait. Those who have shown no originality so far should be eliminated en masse.

    The relay was hysterical. Do any of them understand what “team” means? Harry wants everyone to follow his idea without really explaining it, except for his insistence on the martini glass. Brett thinks, correctly, that Harry has delusions of grandeur, but instead of toning down the 15-layer trifle does a 180 deg turn.

    Blue team, have you met Theresa? A ditherer should not be the one to go first, and it was downhill from there. One of them wanted her contribution to stand out, but didn’t really make one. Chloe “could see that coming” when blue team lost. What a charming little snot she is. Her contribution of a clot of green hair on top of the biscuit didn’t help either.

    Red team had most of the grown-ups; they deserved to win. If Trent or Elena had left a carrot on top of the stove to remind Karmen of those in the oven, it may have got the carrots out in time. I’m a big believer in visual reminders. Can’t do that in a commercial kitchen, of course, but MC is anything but.

    I think it was cruel to refer to white choc veloute hell, and show the clip of John messing up again. Yes, it was a massive fuckup, but he was trying to be inventive, or something, not deliberately screw up. He was vilified last year for not offering to be the one eliminated. No member of any team who screwed up this year has offered to take the fall either. I wonder if they will be publicly ridiculed again next year.

  12. Maybe the logic to letting Therese go first was that there would be the maximum amount of time to fix things/change direction if necessary. The second person should have been expecting it, and gone in fully ready to invent the dish from whatever Therese had managed to achieve. They would have had to face the fact at the start that she may crack, and she had to go somewhere. In hindsight, she should have gone second, like in a running relay where that is the spot for the slowest runner.

    I’m not necessarily a Matt fan but I thought he was brilliant in this challenge. Several smart decision made it almost impossible for his team to fail – using a savoury dish, using the pressure cooker, selecting an ingredient to base the dish around and then clearly communicating that, including using visual cues. I wonder if that is his normal intelligence or whether he was anticipating this challenge and had practiced an action plan. Either way, very smart.

  13. Anastasia….not one parfait but two and she used silicone molds. Neither of them sounded good nor worked. I knew that someone would make a parfait. Too predictable. Since we didn’t see all of the dishes maybe she was not the only one.
    Karmen’s blue cheese ice cream w/ cones was a fail and I don’t know why they called her up to have her dish tasted. There was nothing special about Theresa’s dish and I think she is just being toyed with and will be the next contestant to be eliminated.
    Red team: Good choices by Elena. I knew she would pick Matt and Karmen but wasn’t sure about #4. Glad she picked Trent. This team was most deserving of the win by a wide margin.
    Yellow team: As for Harry, I’m glad that Brett’s tart idea worked out since it showed Harry that they don’t need to follow his lead to succeed. However neither his trifle idea nor the lemon tart were original.
    Blue team: With Theresa’s history of indecisiveness why would anyone in their right mind have her go first. It took her 10 mins. just to get a dish started and all she could come up with was a jelly. That was NOT a team but four individuals just doing whatever they wanted to do. I am not a Chloe fan but she didn’t have much to work with when it was her turn. That being said, she didn’t do anything to improve things. After tasting the syrup and not liking it why didn’t she attempt to fix it and why did she put the ugly green stuff on top.
    Since I would like to see her eliminated I am glad that the blue team failed but I think Theresa will go and that she will be around for many more challenges.

  14. Do production adore Chloe? I can see the judges do, but is she an all round favourite in there that we are also meant to be adoring and ‘rooting for’? I am really confused about this. I dislike her so much I feel guilty, and yet I notice other people here can’t wait for her to go either.

    I was SO excited when Blue team was picked for elimination, just because she was in it and there was a chance she could flounder (I doubt it, and I doubt they’d miss a chance to talk down someone else’s mistakes over hers). But I am guessing we viewers are meant to be crazy about her?

    As others have said, what a bunch of dunderheads to pick dithering Therese to go first. It was not a relay, and they should have been disqualified on that fact alone – nothing was passed on! There was no idea to even go rogue on. But Chloe mashing up Therese’s pretty little fruits set in jellies and then covering the mess with that awful packet fairy floss stuff, eek. Anyway, I am excited for tonight!

    • Tina, there are people here who don’t mind Chloe, and like other contestants less, but in my case, I’ve given up commenting on it. There is quite an overwhelming voice against her here, but just wanted to let you know that at least one person has a different view.

      • There is no overwhelming voice against Chloe here. There might be against the favoritism being shown toward her by the judges.

        Big difference.

        Anyways, little Ms ” I’m in Trouble ” will be safe.

        • I’m with BDD. If there is anything overwhelming here, it is the perceived bias shown by the judges towards many of the contestants.
          It is possibly poor editing, but it seems that some of the comments and decisions just don’t make sense. Maybe all the eliminations should be ‘blind’.

      • I don’t mind her – she is certainly a decent all rounder. It could well be the edit but we certainly see the judges speaking more kindly to her than some of the other women, like Elise. It’s not at Georgia levels, though. I would say Matt and Elena are my faves, and I like Trent and Brett for just getting on with things without fuss.

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t say overwhelming either. Two years ago, I think I was the only one who liked Emelia (pannacotta queen). No one cares, horses for courses.

        • Actually Chloe is like Emelia in many ways. Hopefully she will do well with her desserts in the outside world once MC has finished.

          The judges are to be blamed for how we perceived the contestants. They do show favouritism and also this year Gary and George seems to shout alot and being nasty to some of the contestants

  15. I think Anastasia is gonesky… we got to see her backstory clip last night for a night where she failed….

    Chloe safe as we already see the clip of her saying she’s going to be going home tonight (= safe). Although I did chuckle with her telling her team she’d be happy to go first or last… basically I will either set us up for success… or finish us off for success.

    I still don’t get the whole concept of invention test… how can you invent something new?? Love to see Gary and George do it.

  16. The way George spoke to Elise was disgusting. Heather was the main stay in that team with her coconut maroon. Chloe’s finishing off was horrid.
    I really enjoyed watching red team and their no fuss cooking. Well done.

    • She’s got no chance then. Based on previous story lines from this series, the least deserving will go, even if the judges have to make up an excuse.

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