MasterChef – Sun, June 5 – Maggie Beer

It’s Maggie Beer, popping in from the Barossa for her usual MC appearance and to make us want to run out and buy verjuice and pate (actually, her pate IS delicious).

It’s the usual mystery box/invention test deal. Last year the Maggie mystery box contained secateurs and gardening gloves and they had to raid the MC garden. The subsequent invention test resulted in a top three of Jessie (the young SA cook), John (who did many Filipino dishes) and eventual series winner Billie.
Here we go with a rolling recap (SA time).
Matt Preston is wearing a cream suit that makes him look like a giant vanilla thickshake. It’s very distracting and makes me wonder how many back-up versions there are, for when he eats food that needs to be slurped.
Maggie Enters and Nose Ring Chloe tears up a little in excitement. The twist today is they are cooking the invention test first. The judges reveal three cloches with three core ingredients chosen by Maggie. The contestants get to pick what they want to use. It’s abalone, silken tofu and lemongrass. Miles should be cheering at this Japanese-inspired selection.

Will anyone choose abalone? Ooh, Anastasia and Trent are ballsy and Elena is a late third. And she gets to speak! Only Miles and Zoe pick tofu. So all the people who picked lemongrass only have a teeny chance to get tasted, as obviously they’ll pick one person from each ingredient to try.
Can’t say I’ve tried abalone. Have any TTVers? What does it taste like?

Miles is doing tofu two ways and meat on a stick, based on meals he ate while living in Japan for two years.
Harry is doing a Thai-inspired smoked lobster with coconut lemongrass broth.
Elena speaks again! Her parents owned a dive shop – holy moley – is this back story? She’s making a an abalone and mushroom green tea noodle salad, with gluten-free noodles. Gary responds to her dish description with “good”. He’s such an encouraging chap.
Chloe is doing a savoury lemongrass panna cotta (ABPC!) with cold prawns while Zoe (who should never, ever be team captain again after that Hellenic Republic schemozzle) is making a tofu cheesecake. And yet she’s still adding cream cheese so it’s not much different to a normal cheesecake – plenty of recipes for good vegan tofu cheesecakes out there. At least she decides to add a chilli cherry jelly topping after Vanilla Matt told her she needed to do more.
Back to Harry again. And back to Elena. And back to Miles.
Come on – can’t we at least see what the other abalone pickers are making? Or Intense Matt.
Matt and Maggie put the frighteners on Chloe about her ABPC so she switches it to red curried prawn salad. Boring (by MC standards, anyway). Just do the ABPC anyway, Chloe.
Elena doesn’t eat gluten so she’s making GF noodles but we don’t hear what they’re actually made from, other than green tea. They look brown – buckwheat, maybe?
We get a glimpse of Trent and Elise (I think) doing some creative plating, but who knows what they cooked. It sucks when we already know at least nine people who have no chance of being tasted. No doubt it will be Harry, Zoe and Elena. Predicatble.

Time for judging

Harry’s lemongrass tom kha looks pretty and you just know George is dying to try the lobster head butter. (And what is with George’s ugly black and white bamboo shirt? Is that supposed to match the Japanese ingredients?) The judges love the dish and say he’s kept lemongrass the hero.
Elena’s green tea GF noodle with abalone and mushrooms dish looks pretty and George loves the noodles but they wanted her to serve the dashi broth from the pot, too. She needed the obligatory carafe of soz!
Zoe’s dark chocolate and silken tofu cheesecake with chill cherry jelly looks tasty and Maggie loves the texture. Zoe’s getting the triumphant too-loud music. They love it.
So, a predictable top three and I imagine Harry’s got this one. Oh no, actually it’s Zoe. Look for a tofu cheesecake recipe in Maggie’s next book.
Zoe’s advantage is a big one: She gets to pick all eight ingredients for the mystery box. So, will we see lots of Greek stuff, or lots of dessert things? Or something offaly?

Mystery box time
Zoe reckons the contestants will be surprised. She’s picked simple stuff ricotta, pork mince, thyme, chilli, pancetta, tomatoes, garlic and basil. Is she cooking meatballs? She says it’s a dish she cooks for her husband – oh, she’s married? Have we seen any Zoe back story?
Yes, Zoe is making meatballs with papparedelle. They are very homestyle ingredients are having abalone in the previous challenge.
Everyone’s making pasta, it seems, so we’ll have a return of giant ravioli. Can’t someone at least do ricotta dumpkings. Chloe is not doing pasta. Instead it’s a pancetta fat parfait with a caramel soz (she loves her caramel sauces). But we’re getting voice overs about her hoping she’ll pull it off, so maybe it will fail.
Trent is getting air time! He’s making his own brik pastry for a spring roll wrapper. That’s hard yakka, Trent. Good luck.
Elise is standing out by making dessert. A thyme biscuit with a caramel parfait, which may not set in time.
Harry is doing steamed dim sims which are a take on one of George’s dishes. Risky. (By the way, George charges $10 for four dimmies at his Jimmy Grant’s joints, which I hadn’t heard about until now, but they look more downmarket than his fine dining restaurants jimmy grants.)
Brett doesn’t care everyone is doing pasta; his will be the best. And he’s doing ravioli.
Nicolette is making a ricotta parfait with a chilli salted caramel.She already has an immunity pin so she is making a riskier dish. “It has a weird sort of grainy texture, but I want that in my dish today.” Really? No-one wants grainy texture in their parfait, Nicolette.
Charlie’s fringe is flopping all over his flatbread and he’s already talking about how he doesn’t have his usually ingredients but is making them anyway. So, Charlie for the elimination challenge, then?
Both Elise and Chloe are having trouble getting their anglaise to thicken for their parfaits. Urgh – enough with the parfaits, girls.
Harry gets more air time because he’s using Maggie Beer verjuice in his tomato sauce. And Trent chucked verjuice in the chilli jam to go with his spring rolls.
Still no Intense Matt this episode and Karmen has also fallen off the face of the earth. Charlie is having flatbread dramas and Elise’s frozen dessert is melting before her eyes. Nicolette is having dramas with her grainy parfait, also.
Brett gets more air time for his plump ravioli and his is the only pasta dish getting airtime – not even Zoe has made the edit.

Time to taste
I’m barracking for the little-seen Trent on this one. They look fab and no-one else did anything similar.



Trent’s pork and ricotta spring rolls with chilli jam: Maggie loves the pastry and Gaz asks Trent to make him a jar of the jam. George says he pushed himself.
Nicolette’s ricotta parfait: Maggie is too polite to say she doesn’t like it. Matt says it’s lucky she has the immunity pin.
Zoe’s meatballs with pappardelle: The pasta is great but that’s all we get.
Heather’s deconstructed smoked tomato tart: They like the soz.
Intense Matt’s pasta with pancetta and smoked ricotta: Maggie would like to eat it at home.
Karmen’s pancetta and ricotta croquettes: Gaz says it’s a crowd pleaser.
Elise’s lopsided caramel parfait: It’s not a total puddle. Gaz likes the parfait texture but Maggie says it needs more flavour.
Harry’s dimmies: With the cockiness that comes with being a 22-year-old bartender, Harry is just dying for the judges to say his dimmies are better than George’s. “I think you’ve used too much verjuice,” says Maggie – words we never thought she’d say. And the other elements suck, too. Stick with your bookies, Harry.
Brett’s ravioli with tomato sauce: Brett calls a spade a spade and you can tell the judges love the dish as they’re eating it. “Yum,” says George. “That’s one of your best dishes that I’ve tasted.” See, you don’t always need a smoking gun or nasturtium leaves to garner praise.
Charlie’s pork rissoles with flatbread: “It just doesn’t look good, mate,” says Matt of the turd-like rissoles. Matt says the bread is dry. Charlie’s definitely bottom three.
Chloe’s pancetta fat parfait with brik pastry: The judges love the look of it. “That is incredible,” says George. Maggie is in raptures. Matt says she’s an A1 contender.
So we missed Miles, Anastasia, Elena and Mimi’s tasting.

The top three
Chloe, Trent (yay) and Brett. No surprises there. They get to compete for a chance at immunity on Tuesday.

The bottom three
Charlie, Nicolette and Harry. Just when I’m think it’s disappointing only two people will cook, as Nicolette should use her immunity pin, we learn the fourth-placed person will take Nicolette’s place. Way to give Nicolette the guilts, but of course she should play the pin and live to fight another day instead of creating a dessert which has a 74-step recipe.



  1. Just watching the opening credits. Did you know there was an Adam? Where are we, week 4 and these strangers keep popping up.

  2. Heard the word “amazing” and from Harry, “super amazing”
    Awaiting to hear “heroed” . . . it’s coming .

  3. You did Maz, Chloe metal nose is cooking it, as she gushes how much she loves Maggie. She makes me gag as much as watching Zoe and Mimi

    • Thats what i was going to say. I thought it was somewhat common. Notice Gary’s subtle *cough* push towards ‘well what one do you want another spoonful of’…

    • Agreed…not new at all and not really a true tofu cheesecake since she used cream cheese. A real tofu cheesecake uses only tofu and is a vegan/vegetarian alternative.

    • Wouldn’t this only be a nice dish because the flavour of the tofu is totally masked? Not exactly “heroing” the tofu.

  4. I don’t understand why the producers don’t do something about Harry’s hair. The girls seem to have been pulled into line but Harry just gets messier and messier.

  5. Zoe sets my teeth on edge. I hope she bombs in the next round. That immature girly voice and the swinging ponytail doesn’t help her cause.
    “All eyes are on me” -she says as she prances out of the pantry.

    Yes, did you see Mimi and Chloe rush up to grab camera time with the claytons congratulations for Zoe.

    • Yes! I was wondering how genuine all those congratulations are. Gone off Intense Matt, he’s got tickets on himself.

    • I enjoy watching Intense Matt’s sheer joy at cooking and creating something tasty (not that we saw him tonight). Plus he does’t get distracted by his fringe falling in his eyes.

  6. Thanks for another great recap Juz.
    Well I would not have had a clue what to cook with that lot. Never had abalone so have no idea how to cook it. Not a fan of tofu or lemongrass.
    There were some interesting dishes. Would be curious to try that cheesecake with the jelly. It did look yummy.
    I felt sorry for Elise. When she pulled her parfait out of the blast chiller it looked set then when she added the caramel it started to sink.
    Lobster brain butter. No thanks. The looks on the judges faces when he said that was priceless, but they ended up loving it.
    If Nicolette doesn’t use her immunity pin she will kick herself when she sees what she has to cook.

  7. Please do yourselves a favour and follow Adam Liaw! He tweets hilariously and self-deprecatingly. And his Masterchef observations are especially fine.
    Tonight: “Maggie said something had too much verjuice in it and now I need to reassess everything I know about Maggie and verjuice”.
    I cannot imagine reading a Tweet from the current crop of contestants that would make me smile let alone laugh.
    Other than maybe Chloe “I realised I am a crap cook and a deeply insecure human being” or possibly Mimi “I had to cut off my hands after seeing the show as I looked like a smug idiot”.

    • Yes, I follow Adam, he is hilarious. There’s always a few funny comments on Twitter. I’m always in stitches.

  8. So Maggie loves Japan, eh – maybe that would explain why she looked like a Pokemon tonight. What the hell was she wearing, a deconstructed kimono?
    And I never thought I’d hear these words from her: “too much verjuice.”

    Is it possible to watch an ep which doesn’t feature Chloe, who has firmed as the biggest pain in the a? Maybe a nose-ring infection? What’s the big deal about her cooking? She just likes making big round things on smaller round things, with a syrup.

    And Zoe’s another one who seems to get a lot of airtime for no reason. Is it cultural nepotism from George? Turns out she’s married, after all. He has my condolences.

    I hope poor Charlie doesn’t meet his Waterloo tomorrow – his hair is way better than Dim Sim Harry’s. And Elise hasn’t even had a chance to reveal her backstory …how she was raised by wolves in Tibet.

  9. Zoe makes a very innovative and original tofu cheesecake….LOL. I’ve eaten tofu cheesecake but it was a REAL tofu cheesecake with no cream cheese added. It was delicious. I thought that Elena should have won that challenge with her clever green tea gluten free noodles. Had no idea Zoe was married.

    Too many parfaits, too much pasta. Chloe’s parfait looked and sounded horrible and I can’t believe the judges really liked that. Brett made ravioli with tomato sauce and although it looked good it was boring. Harry is arrogant…his infamous Brookies and now Harry’s dimmies and he was sure they would be better than George’s Jimmy’s dimmies. Did he even taste them? A big fail. Charlie’s dish looked like turds on flat bread.
    I was glad to see Trent going to immunity challenge since he thought out of the box.
    Would have liked to have seen everyone’s dishes.

  10. I’d love to know what makes the fools at Endemol$hine think Zoe, Chloe, Harry, Mimi and Charlie are remotely interesting people. There are other people competing, right?

    I don’t want to see people shitting themselves when they meet a “celebrity” cook. I’ve met people much more famous than Maggie “Verjuice” Beer and , and no , these weren’t the greatest days of my life. No tears to shed, no ar$e to crawl up.

    The behaviour of these cookstruck amatas is just embarrassing. Really embarrassing.

    I don’t want to sit on the couch hoping the gantry will collapse and kill the lot of them. Worst season of Ma$terchef evah. Worst cooks. Oh. so you;re doing a parfait again? Zzzz.

    • Bad direction, not the contestants’ fault. They get told to react to every star chef as if they walked on water. Reality directors always do it. Example: Do you really think Survivors do all that oohing and ahing over pretty basic food unprompted?

  11. Heaven help me, it’s getting harder and harder to handle Zoe and Chloe…

    Zoe not only continually finds new ways to scare the hell out of me… but what is it with her constant touching of her face.. also with that ponytail she is reminding me of a shrunken head creature I saw on tv once. Took utter joy in her not being one of the chosen 3 in the end… she thought she had it in the bag.

    Chloe…. I wonder if she’s another Belle Gibson??? doctored her story about being bullied… because surely with that ego she’d be the one bullying people.

    Worried Charlie may win the thing now…. very much Julie Goodwin-esque… getting into many eliminations and pulling through. At least Julie could cook.

    And that pilot guy is Quagmire from family guy.

  12. They shouldn’t have got rid of Nidhi and Jimmy. Apart from Charlie, who is clearly not long for this competition, I have no-one to root for – and the rest of them, even the ones I like who are left (Trent, Matt, Harry, Karmen, and I don’t mind Brett) are just not very engaging or interesting and all sort of blend into one. Miles is okay… The rest are like a custard of annoying and samey.

    • The earrings could easily be cropped out with Photoshop but Matt’s intense “serial killer” eyes could be problematic.

      Trent has abs and guns. Could be the one.

  13. Charlie’s flatbread turds don’t look much better on the encore. Only one thing worse than dry bread, Charlie~ no bread.

  14. Can’t see Harry with the mini top knot / scraggly hair on the cover of a cook book either .

    They would take those discs out of his ears with the makeover finale if Matt got to the end. Apart from his choke up with ‘the power of food’ monologue- I don’t mind intense Matt.

    Brett is so like Quagmire – spot on hewhohasnoname

  15. I know its not a popular opinion but i like Brett. I liked that he said what it was. No need to ponce about and pretend it is a floating pasta island with a moat of tomato sauce nor do you need to list every ingredient as some people do. It is what it is.

    Can we also add caramel sauce to the banned list – there has been 8763 versions already (and yes i counted 😂).

    • I agree, Kylie. The trend of listing every ingredient drives me up the wall. Just leave some elements as garnish, people.

      And I wish they would stop adding caramel sauce to savoury dishes.

  16. Juz, abalone is scrumptious. The flavour is mild, kind of buttery. Texture I think could be described as similar to squid, or pearl meat for anyone lucky enough to have tried that.

    I haven’t had abalone for years, since it is a little like unicorn steak and priced similarly these days, at least here it is. I am a purist about cooking it though; it should definitely be the focus of the dish and not mucked up with green tea and crap. I used to pound it, lightly crumb it, and then quick-fry it in butter.

    I had the sound off mostly, since I am not a MB fan and I was pissed off at Elena committing sacrilege on the abalone. Did Maggie really tell that smug little twerp that he used too much verjuice? You’re pulling my leg, gice, yeah?

  17. I think MC is now popular with the young viewers. They don’t care whether they can cook, just please the youngish female viewers.

    Brent, the former MC winner cant cook but popular on the twitter and FB world.

    This year they will focus on Matt and Harry. Both young and eye candy to some.

    No cookbook now for the winner. The last few just didn’t sell. Imagine cookbooks from Brent, Emma and Andy. Why bother buying from those winners.

    Also it will be funny having Matt or Harry writng for Delicious Magazine. Just not right

    • I think Matt is actually a very accomplished cook and, together with his boyish good looks, probably the favourite to win.
      As for his ‘dream’ of selling food out of a van with his girlfriend … I don’t believe it for a second. He has higher ambitions than that.

    • I agree with Lulu about Intense Matt, but I cannot see Harry lasting much longer, even if he survives tonight. The guy just does not cook very well.

  18. Harry will serve brimmies, a cross between brownies, cookies and dimes, They will taste as bad as Harry’s bright ideas usually do, but Harry will think they are the bees knees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *