MasterChef – Wed, June 8 – team challenge

Tonight, Kylie Kwong is back – thankfully just as a guest mentor as Shannon Bennett makes a much better regular mentor.
She’s there for the off-site team challenge for Chinese New Year.

The contestants arrive at Melbourne Chinatown. The sun is out and here’s Kylie to tell them she wants tasty street food. To divvy up the teams, George pulls out a bag (no, not Tim Gunn’s button bag from Project Runway) containing fortune cookies with team colours and captain roles.
Chloe captains yellow and Elise red, which is good as it’s first time for both. Gaz spells out the rules: They must do at least two dishes, with one priced at $7, the rest $5. They have to feed 500 people and have three hours to prep. The team who makes the most money wins, and the cash goes to the Smith Family.

Yellow is Chloe, Harry, Intense Matt, Miles, Zoe, Mimi and Elena.
Red is Elise, Karmen, Heather, Nicolette, Brett, Trent and Anastasia.
Harry pushes yellow team to do a noodle stir fry while Intense Matt suggests pork belly skewers with plum jam – yum!
Red team’s $7 dish is pork loin with noodles and Karmen suggests fried “wongtongs”, according to Elise. They decided to do three dishes, with a sweet sago pudding.
Kylie pops over to yellow to quiz them about their dishes and she just “hmmms” when they say they are using pork belly.
Karmen and her fellow reds have to peel and devein 10kg of prawns for their wongtongs and they are chopping 24kg of pork fillet to marinate for their cold pork noodle dish. Luckily it looks to be a hot day. Nicolette is working on the mango coconut sago pudding by herself.
Captain Chloe has been around George too much: “Gice, we’ve really got to keep motoring, yeah?” Kylie is worried about Harry wanting to serve his hot noodles to order, given the crowd they are expecting. Chloe wants to switch to a cold salad but Harry does not want to back down. Dude – Kylie Kwong told you that you needed to change it and she knows her stuff. Luckily Elena is the voice of reason and says they can do basicaly the same dish cold and just punch up the flavours. Harry seems to listen to her.
Oh god – Elise said wongtong again. Karmen, you need to tell her! Karmen is conducting a dumpling-filling masterclass. It’s labour intensive – perhaps they should have done steamed pork buns instead.
Over at yellow, Kylie is happy with Miles’s master stock. Good one, Miles. Elena is making the chilli plum sauce for the pork skewers in a massive pot.
Nicolette is freaking out over doing dessert by herself in what seems a precursor to her stuffing up her calculations.

Gaz and Kylie give reds a talking to about portion control and tell them they need to get their maths right. Brett and Trent realise winging it was a mistake and they only have half the pork they need. Oopsie! I’d be grabbing some packets of tofu if that was an option. Instead they motor through some extra chopping. Anastasia – in a rare appearance – is choking everyone with the fumes from her chilli sauce. Zoe has cooked beef for the reds’ noodle salad and it’s “cooked perfect”. Taking grammar cues from George.

Red team has fried a tonne of dumplings in advance and popped them in the oven to keep warm. Please don’t let there be a problem with the oven so they burn! Food is flying out of the stalls but yellows are worried about their choice to only do two dishes.

The judges taste

Red team: The “Wongtongs” are a bit dry due to being in the oven but they love the chilli sauce. The pork, xo and noodle salad is “moreish”, says Kylie.
sagoudding
The sago pudding is light, fresh and not too sweet, Kylie says. George gives Nicolette huge props for her solo effort on the dessert. The judges say the extra dish was a smart business decision.
Yellow team: Kylie loves the look of the pork skewers and plum jam. They start with the beef noodle salad (that was meant to be a hot dish originally) and the meat is tender but there’s not enough dressing. “We can taste the friction there,” says Kylie. Luckily she loves the pork skewers.
With half an hour to go, the yellows run out of customers, while reds have a huge line.
They decide to add a quick dish. Harry thinks on his feet and skewers whole prawns to grill on the hot plate sprinkled with szechuan pepper and brushed with the master stock they already have. People love prawns and these are monsters, so it’s a good move. They must be wishing they did this from the start as it’s probably too little, too late.
Seeing the prawns draw away their customers, Elise sends Brett out to spruik with his best bellow.
Both teams start taking trays out to the crowd. With firecrackers going off and contestants “wooh-ing” it’s a louder affair than one of Preston’s suits.

So, who won?
Together, the teams raised more than $6000 for charity.
Yellow made $2774, red made $3285. Preston tells Nicolette her dessert was $785 worth of that win, while the prawns helped yellow at least close the gap.

So, tomorrow night the yellow team contestants don their black gear for a lucky dip for protein and cuisine. Chloe will no doubt play her immunity pin. We see Gaz having what should really be a private moment with one dish – “Oh. My. God ” – he utters. If it’s the dish they showed with prawn heady things on it I’m guessing it belongs to Intense Matt.



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58 Comments

    • Yes, that’s a much better way of doing it then having one team ripping people off by charging too much & the other one not charging enough. This is much more fair.

  1. Fried wontons in the oven all sitting on top of each other. Soggy! None of the servings look very generous. That dessert looks quite stingy.

  2. So many people taking pictures.

    Chloe sulking because the crowds are at red team. 28 minutes to go and they add a dish? King prawns on skewers much more of a bargain! Surprised neither team chose them in the beginning.

  3. Has anyone ever NOT played their pin? You’d have to be stupid not to. Wonder if the dish they are raving about in the preview is Brett or Harry. It looked like something with prawns.

  4. Yay, red team. Not because I watched (couldn’t bear it tonight) but because the red team has more of my preferred cooks.
    I will be watching tomorrow.
    And having seen the previews, lamb and Thai and she can’t think of a dish? Really? For that, I hope she goes home.

  5. Crocodile tears from Chloe.
    She is so going to use her pin, her bullshit line of being the captain and going down with the ship was just that, BS.
    If Chloe is not cooking, I hope it’s painful Zoe to go.

    • Well at least this time since it’s a team thing some other sucker isn’t going to have to go in her stead if she does use it.

  6. How articulate are these amatas?

    Everything is “crazy”

    This show is dumbing it down to ridiculous levels. Can the viewers “keep pushing”? Insult to intelligence.

    Chloe was a shithouse Captain. She’ll play the pin.

    • How can you say Chloe was shithouse? I distinctly heard her saying the magic cheffy words “keep pushing, yeah”. Pure leadership right there.
      Just because she didn’t have a clue that more plates =more $$ doesn’t mean anything. Most tellingly, when Harry suggested the best contestant ever idea of throwing discount prawns on the barbie she jumped right on board and immediately starting yelling ‘push’.

      I’ve barely admired a captain more.

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  7. So what is config mango??? All I could see is some smashed mango. Also if they are smashed mango, why did Nicolette waste time dicing them??

  8. All that screaming, jumping and mass hysteria – it was exhausting to watch at the end. Also exhausting is the lousy grammar, night after night.
    Glad the Reds won, though I hope they don’t get rid of Elena tomorrow as she’s barely had a gig. Is she a real contestant or just a figment of our imagination?

    Nicolette’s missed her calling – she should be in the military. For a teenager, she’s extremely self-assured.

    • Lulu this is why I don’t watch episodes about teams cooking for the masses or the restaurant challenges. It’s over hyped, loud and relentless.

      Just like George

  9. I think they boot Elena tomorrow. I like her, but she doesn’t get much screen time and I guess they consider someone like Zoe better TV. -.-

  10. I wonder if Chloe will do what others in the past have done – not use her pin and as captain of the losing team go into elimination with them. Is she that selfish/selfless! I’m glad Nicolette was praised for her one-man dessert effort.

  11. Too much of Chloe again. Too much of Harry & Zoe, too. The editors seemed to focus more on the yellow team than the red team.Good on Nicolette for getting all of the desserts out on her own. Glad red won…good thinking to offer 3 dishes. Several contestants on the yellow team that I would like to see eliminated starting with Chloe, Harry & Zoe. Would be extremely surprised if Chloe does not use the pin.

  12. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    I much prefer these challenges where the winner is judged by the customers or how much money they made rather than the somewhat biased judges.
    I don’t recall them praising Cecilia for doing the dessert all by herself last week. But they acknowledged Nicolette doing it all by herself last night.
    Those pork skewers looked absolutely yummy. And as usual the beef was still raw, but they considered it ‘perfectly cooked’. those prawn skewers looked great at the end, but I hate peeling prawns when they are cooked with sauce all over them. The sauce goes when you peel it & it’s so messy.

  13. First we have Jews, and now we have wontonGs…

    Okay here’s my gripe.. how about some logic… you guys aren’t paying for ingredients.. yeah (thanks George)… yeah. You have already been told yeah, that you have one dish yeah that’s $7 and the others at $5.. yeah! Give the customer some damn value! Get some expensive stuff in those dishes… lobster, abalone, lamb backstrap, oysters, truffles, free range duck, goose etc etc give me a lobster truffle dumpling with a peking goose or backstrap in teriyaki/black bean or something that people would fork out $5-7 for as it’s a total bargain… and what would occur… a win!!

    $6000 is seriously piss poor… 5 dishes…. 2 at $7 3 at $5….. by my calculations if they had to attempt 500 serves of each dish… you’d expect $7000 just for the two $7 dishes.

    Anyway… Chloe even if she doesn’t use the pin will stay as she’s obviously knows the best form of flattery is to mimic/copy someone, eg how they talk… YEAH!!!

    Poorest team challenge dishes I’ve seen in a long long time…

  14. I really enjoyed it for once. My recorder’s been conking out the last few weeks so I’ve not been able to come home and watch it. Great recap, Juz.

    Thank god the Red team won. I know I am dreaming, but here is a chance to get rid of someone really annoying, plus another annoying one’s pin!

  15. Chloe called herself the top dog as captain. Top dog. I didn’t think she could be any more annoying, but I was wrong. Aside from helping someone toward the end, did she do any prepping or cooking, or just walk around being captain?

  16. I finally got around to watching this – once I realised Maggie the Beer seems to have departed for the year – and all I can say about tonight is, please Chloe, don’t use your pin so they can chuck you out. Please. But of course she’s not a complete fucking idiot, so of course she’ll use the pin.

    Which means the judges, well, Gary, will move heaven and earth next week to ensure she gets another one. 😉

  17. What a glittering night of fails night it could turn out to be.

    The only amatas I want saved are Miles or Elena. The rest can fry in culinary hell.

    I’ve watched all the promos. Not a clue of Captain Chloe on the floor so I’m taking it to the bank she’s up in the gantry. I’ll tell her to stfu in advance.

    • Yep, and I’m sure we’ll be getting all her ‘concerns’ to-camera. So it’s a lose-lose.
      …”I’m really worried about Zoe’s small intestine parfait – if she doesn’t get it into the blast chiller soon, it could be a disaster!” ..

      How many ‘pushes’ will we hear?

  18. Chloe said if she uses the pin, one of her friends is going home. What the???? So if she doesn’t use the pin, none will be going home??

  19. My first Thai dish ever was lamb and chilli and mint. It was delicious and I have been besotted with Thai food ever since. I don’t understand the big deal.

  20. George is such a shit stirrer! They are supposed to be encouraging them, not putting them off. Unnecessary faux drama, IMO.

  21. Oh, that sucks. And what bullshit – he ‘heroed’ the ‘hero’ ingredient more than that stinking pumpkin not-a-fruit pie did, or that limp lamb salad.

    oops wrong spot…

  22. Well I really enjoyed the team challenge. Those pork skewers looked delish. Now I’m watching tonight’s ep on Tenplay which is awesome as it was only on tv tonight and it’s already there.
    So I’m Pollyanna and think everything Masterchef is fab today.! I think it’s because my real life today was crappy so I am immersing myself with all of your great comments and 2 eps of MC.
    Thanks Juz for your non stop recaps. I read them all 🙂

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