MasterChef – Wed, June 15 – Curtis Stone

Guest chef Curtis Stone joins the MasterChef off-site team challenge.
Each team must prepare a six-course degustation menu for 50 guests in only two and half hours to avoid the elimination challenge.
Warning: Matt Preston’s garish outfit may offend some viewers.

The contestants arrive at Sails on the Bay (, where they have to prep a six-course degustation. They’re in teams of two. Uh oh – what if your partner sucks? Theresa gets to choose one contestant to sit out of today’s challenge – in effect saving them from potential elimination. She returns the favour by picking Anastasia (who used the power apron to let Theresa pick an additional ingredient the previous night).
The teams are:
Elena and Theresa
Nicolette and Chloe
Intense Matt and Heather
Elise and Trent
Karmen and Harry
Mimi and Brett

IM and Heather should be a force to be reckoned with but I’m still worried about Theresa’s ability to focus (my recap from the returning contestant challenge is now up, by the way).
And here’s Curtis, in town for MasterChef and to film more Coles ads, no doubt. He tells them their theme tonight is citrus. This rings a bell and (thanks, Google) it’s because when Curtis was on MasterChef in 2014 (the year of Brett and Laura) he also set a citrus-themed service challenge. So, in 2018 we can expect Curtis back with another surprise citrus challenge? This time, the teams won’t know what citrus they have until they enter the kitchen.
He takes Mimi and Trent into the kitchen to discuss their ideas for the first course. They have mandarins so pick seafood for a light start. They are making a grilled prawn and rocket salad.
Harry and Karmen are up next and get lemons. They are making salmon sashimi with a lemon zest cure with microherbs. Hopefully Karmen had input on this dish, because Topknot seems to be doing all the talking.
IM and Heather get oranges and go for duck breast with candied beetroot, roasted fennel, pickled orange and madeira duck jus.
Mimi and Brett get limes and will do eye fillet with beetroot and lime. Brett’s the meat man so he’s in charge of that and Mimi gets everything else.
Back in the kitchen, Trent is a bit worried the starter dish is too simple. As they practise their plating up, Curtis and the other judges tell them it’s not fancy enough (something that could have been mentioned at the start). Perhaps Elise could make wongtongs? Curtis flat out tells them to do a pesto.
Elena and Theresa get tangelos and they have already chatted with the final team to plan that they will make some kind of warm pud and Nicolette and Chloe will do a sorbet to finish. But Curtis reminds them that, in the real world, the sorbet comes first as a palate cleanser and then the heavier dessert. They are making Star anise crumble, creme fraiche cream, tangelo segments, tangelo granita and tangelo juice inside chocolate spheres. It sounds like a tonne of work.
Now, the first team has decided to do a cold starter of mandarin-cured prawns with rocket pesto and mandarin reduction. Will their prawns cure in time?
Curtis grabs the last team of Nicolette and Chloe, who get ruby grapefruit, and delivers the bad news that he wants them to do a heavy dessert. All the planning they’ve been doing while they waited has gone to waste. Uh oh – no it won’t. They’ve decided to ignore Curtis completely and keep doing their lighter cold dessert. Forget that a degustation is meant to flow and the team before them is doing a cold dessert. Their youth is showing here.

The tasting begins

Elise and Trent’s prawns with mandarin: The dish looks interesting but they are worried because they changed their concept the prawns won’t be cured enough. What the heck is George wearing tonight? Some spotty kind of shirt and one of Matt’s cast-off brown and navy check jackets. George and Matt says the prawns aren’t cured enough and a lot of diners won’t eat them.
Everyone seems to be going well in the kitchen. The last team – the rebel girls – are doing grapefruit sorbet, a meringue shard and grapefruit gel.

Harry and Karmen’s salmon with lemon: It looks pretty on the plate – wonder if Karmen did the plating? Gaz thinks it looked refined and had good flavours.
In the kitchen, IM and Heather are feeling great as they have 30 minutes to go, which is plenty of time to cook and rest the duck. But, no, Curtis tells them they only have 10 minutes. This smacks of a producer swifty to add drama – I can’t see both Heather and IM getting the time wrong.
Poor IM is worried he’s lost track of which duck rested for how long in the confusion.

IM and Heather’s duck with orange: “I love everything about that dish apart from the duck,” says Matt. The duck, while looking pink, is apparently “over rested”. If Heather or IM goes home off the back of this I will be even crankier than Gary on a normal day.
Back in the kitchen, the rebel girls are adding a choc ganache to their dessert to heavy it up.

Brett and Mimi’s beef with lime: The judges love everything about it.

Elena and Theresa’s tangelo dessert: It looks absolutely delightful and the choc-coated juice bursts are a hit. “Oh my,” says Matt, cleaning his glass. “It’s a thoughtful dish,” says George.

Chloe and Nicolette’s sorbet with meringue: Looks lovely but is definitely not the heavier dessert Curtis wanted. “Do you want two sorbet/granita desserts in a row?” asks Matt. Gaz says it’s refreshing but is not the memorable end to a meal it should be. “This degustation ends not with a bang but with a whimper,” Matt says. The sorbet is overchurned (which explains why it was trying to escape from the churner.

The judges decide
The judges says the dish of the day belonged to Theresa and Elena. The teams in the elimination challenge are Trent and Elise and Chloe and Nicolette. Phew – IM and Heather survived. Elise is the eternal black apronner – it could stand her in good stead if she doesn’t have a brain freeze, a la the frying challenge.

Tomorrow night: The contestants must make a dish inspired by either sea shells or autumn leaves. How vague is that! It could favour the dessert girls.



  1. Which seedy saga of power and corruption to watch tonight?

    The Roger Rogerson Story or Ma$terchef?

    Underbelly or Pork Belly? Yeah?

    Crooks v Cooks. Using ovens to weigh down bodies prior to marinating and burial.

  2. Well I’ve decided that I would like a drink tonight so obviously that takes care of the decision for me.

  3. Chloe can only think of parfaits and panna cottas – Curtis wants something more original. The amazing Chloe is stumped, so she is going to serve fresh grapefruit. Duh!

    • I know! The judges said they couldn’t see any pink.
      Pink was all I could see. Do they want to hear quacking?

      • To paraphrase one of my favourite shows (Frasier) “A duck so undercooked a skilled veterinarian could still save him”

      • I know, I thought the same thing. And over rested, what the fuck is that? They wouldn’t want to eat meat that I cook. No pink at all. I like my meat cooked not raw.

  4. Tangelo dessert looked amazing. Yummy.

    Nicorette and metal nose come across like dumb and dumber. They both annoy me. George looks unimpressed.

  5. We all wish for one of the girls to go but sadly, I don’t think so. The two frozen queens are firmly entrenched as judge favourites ad no matter what they cook, excuses will be made.

  6. A good night would be any of those girls going. Hope Trent is safe.

    Mimi saying that Curtis was like a rock star. Give me a break, he cooks for a living. Keep it real please.

  7. But we can’t eliminate Trent as he is needed to keep up the male numbers.

    Chloe looked so shock! She thought she can pull this off just because she is the judges pet.

  8. Chloe and Nicolette were totally dumb and dumber with additional helping of pig-headed flavouring served on overly arrogant crumb. Garnished with judge’s favourite jus.

    Sucked in!

    Sadly, although I am happy with any of the girls departing, (with special dreams that Chloe takes her parfait and cliched pannacotta & leaves our screens forever) … I am worried for Trent.

    • Poor Trent and Elise were told 15 minutes prior to service that they were on the wrong track but cheap tats and nicorette were told upfront but still couldn’t change course. Then acts shocked when informed they are in the elimination.

  9. Completely annoyed by the Gs tonight. Came across as bullies in their dealings with E&T. Surprised the contestants learn anything with that level of pettiness.

    • You are so right. The judges have been quite horrid to Elise on several occasions. Maybe she refused to play hide the sausage and is now being punished?

      • Yes. I agree that the desperadoes of dining, George and Gary can’t diamond cut Elise, so she’s being punished. I think Jowl$y has purer thoughts….mostly puree thoughts.

  10. So Chloe and her mate thought they could get away with doing little cold things and crumb forever. They defied the ‘rock star’ at their peril. Take away their churners and blast chillers, and they’re practically disabled.

    It was actually pretty funny to see Chloe get her comeuppance – the others sort of took it in their stride, but she was shattered and truly shocked … like a favourite child getting told off for the first time. Insta-tears.

    So irritating, which is why she’ll be safe. I think Nicolette may go as she hasn’t seen much action lately.

  11. I have a feeling Nicolette would have listen to Curtis advice. But pair with Chloe, she has no say.

  12. Arrogant of Chloe and Nicolette not to listen to Curtis. They think they know better than a professional chef.
    Duck looked more undercooked to me than overcooked. I didn’t know that pink duck was overcooked. Maybe the judges need glasses.
    What was with George? It almost seemed as if he was constipated throughout the episode. Not one smile, just a very stern looking facial expression and sometimes it seemed as if he was cringing almost as if he was in pain.
    How many more spheres/half spheres will we see during the remaining episodes?
    Power apron….fizzles again. Where’s the power? Theresa couldn’t remove herself from the challenge but got to choose another contestant who wouldn’t have to cook…doesn’t help Theresa. Will they give the contestant who cooks the best in the elimination round a power apron? LOL

    • I know. What was the fucking point of having the power apron when it isn’t an advantage to yourself but someone else? What bullshit.

      • I’m glad Anastasia rightfully got the “pay it forward” as she did give Theresa the leg up the night before. So at least earning the power apron gave Anastasia some benefit in the end.

        • Yes, an indirect benefit. Lucky Theresa did the right thing – for a minute, I thought she was going to choose somebody else!

  13. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Overchurned sorbet. Seems to be becoming a thing. It’s the second time it’s happened. I don’t have an ice cream maker so had no idea you could over mix it. It did look like it was melting pretty quickly.
    So you can over rest duck. Who knew? I would have been the same, getting confused about which had been cooked & rested longer. I’d be no good in one of these challenges, I am easily flustered.
    I knew that dessert was going to be the dish of the day by the judges reaction to it. Bet they are glad they listened to Curtis & didn’t do their original dessert. Unlike the other team. How arrogant to just disregard what Curtis told them. Knew it wouldn’t end well.
    I knew the prawn team would be in elimination but wasn’t sure if the duck team or other dessert team would be picked. But rightly so it was the dessert team.
    A shame about the prawns. I thought the original grilled prawns looked better than the cured prawns. At least they would have been cooked.

  14. How can a little dab of ganache be considered part of the dessert – enough to cut through the blah de blah of the rest of it. Curtis was quite adamant that they should cook something heavy, serves them right now. Didn’t Nicolette get a pin somewhere along the line? If she did perhaps she could use that tonight. Or maybe I just imagined it, or perhaps she’s used it already. It’s time for the judges to be removed from MKR, grumblebums all of them, except Matt who seems to encourage the cooks and give them decent feedback.

  15. One thing that contestants still havn’t learnt is that when the judges/chefs give you advice… FOLLOW IT. Can’t recall any moment where a contestant who has gone all rogue and not listened has actually been successful. Regardless of whether going rogue has resulted in a better dish… the worst thing you can do is ignore these egotistical rockstar chefs and not pay heed to their superior thoughts.

    Also the inability to think on their feet for a lot of these contestants will be their downfall… instead of doing a sorbet they could’ve done a warm grapefruit custard and served that with maybe a meringue nest and chocolate ganache… similar concepts then what they did but would of met the advice given without the deviation.

    Nicorette will be gone, snot is too loved and the other two are network eye candy.

    • I thought both Chloe and Nicolette were dessert “queens”. Yet they were unable to come up with a richer, heavier dessert. They could have baked a grapefruit cake with a grapefruit curd and presented it with some type of cream and a twill or shard.

    • Nicorette looks the unhappiest standing before the judges on the promo.

      Trent is the new Andy. I think he’ll be kept and may even win..

  16. That’s good news re no pin. Missed her using her pin, somehow. Does anyone remember who stepped in when she used it, or how it went down?

    I was stunned when they diregarded Curtis’s very clear and strong advice. Also, it’s been so long since the early favourite – a little sponge cake, with icecream! – that I quite miss it, and thought they could have done a variation on that theme, a saucy sponge or similar. Surely they have a warm pudding up their sleeves between the two of them? Just bizarre behaviour to ignore Curtis – but entirely worth it for the look of disbelief and shock on Chloe’s face.

    I guess Elise will go as they are usually pigs to her, or poor Trent. Wish they’d kept their grilled prawns and just added a couple of tiny pretentious leaves of rocket and the pesto, instead of going the raw prawn route. Anyway, thrilled to see Chloe sweat for a bit. :))

      • Thanks! What about Nicolette’s pin? I swear I remember the judges saying you won that fair and square, when she didn’t, but can’t recall it going out..

  17. Why ignore Curtis , the alpha jawed rock star who’s been on Oprah and who can feed a family for under $10?

    Because an amata promises the rogue dish will be ” beautiful”

    Fail for Chloe and Nicorette. I’m enjoying this encore.

    • Funny for a guy who loves to cook with seasonal and fresh produce… wonder the struggle of being able to feed a family of 4 for $10 using Coles seasonal and fresh produce.

  18. Nicorette ~ “Curtis says the dish should be heavy and rich”.

    Where’s Gina Rinehart when you need her?

  19. I don’t like Curtis Stone, but I’m pretty sure if he gave me a strong suggestion in a cooking competition, I would listen to him.

    Highlight of the night, for me, too, was the incredulous look on Chloe’s face at the end – sheer horror. I do hope she is eliminated tonight. I have had enough of her simpering and doing that twisty thing like a little kid. It’s nauseating.

    Matt could do with some good old common sense. If he needed to keep track of a bunch of duck breasts, he should have pictured the stove top or the frypans as a clock face. Then he wouldn’t have got his knickers in a twist over which duck was which. Perhaps he doesn’t know how to tell analogue time.

    I think the whole timing bit over the duck was so the ridiculous term “over-rested” could be introduced. What the hell is over-rested? Does that mean cold?

    • That’s what I was thinking. But they taste everything cold anyway. Can’t think of any other meaning to over-rested than it was cold and congealed.

  20. Now we get undercooked duck or over rested duck!!! Far out. I never get it right in my kitchen. I tend to overcook my duck (but still pink) and over rest my duck!!!! I guess it is a dead duck

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