MasterChef finale – Tues, July 26 – Matt V Elena

Finally – we’ve made it! It was a hard journey but we pushed, pushed pushed to boom, boom, shake, shake the room to get here for a chance to achieve our food dream.
Tonight the final two contestants battle it out to see who will be crowned MasterChef Australia 2016 winner and take home the $250,000 prize.
Oh, and a column in the always excellent delicious. magazine (and, yes, that fullstop is part of the proper name … yes, I know!).
So it’s the finale of which we dreamed: Glowing Elena versus Intense Matt. How lovely to have two grown ups who have shown great growth in the comp and have avoided any drama.

Glowing Elena was under the radar for a long time, thanks to the edit. MasterChef 2016 started on May 1 but it wasn’t until May 22 (Nigella Week) that she made enough of an impression for me to note this in a recap:
Oh my god – Elena speaks!! She’s doing pumpkin parfait, pancetta crumb and cumin tuille. She’s a high school visual arts teacher who wants to inspire young people to grow their own produce. This is a lot of air time on Elena. Is she the winner?
Conversely, on May 8 (MPW Week), I wrote this about IM:
Intense looking dude Matt – he of the disc earrings – is doing a gnocchi and jus with crispy chicken skin. Marco tastes his jus as it’s cooking and gets the usual flick of the eyes over the bifocals … Next up is Intense Matt with his pan-fried gnocchi with lots of crunchy elements. Gaz is in heaven: “Savoury, chickeny, bacony cereal.”
MPW loves the soz: “I don’t think that you realise how clever you are … genius in your hands.” Matt says it’s better than even his recent wedding day. Oh no he didn’t!


I reckon it will be a good 15 minutes before anyone touches a saucepan. First we have to suffer through all the talking heads about the dream, the push, the “yes, George!” and who wants it most.
Why is the MasterChef trophy a giant platter? Surely it should be a gold-plated sous vide machine or a silver smoking gun?
Gary is wearing a paisley tie in his to camera piece about the intensity of Intense Matt. It’s weird.
Ooh – George is wearing a tie, too. The other contestants are dressed up aand Matt P just needs a tri-corner hat to go with his Napoleon Bonaparte frock coat.
Oh god, we’re starting with the deep and meaningfuls. IM and GE have to say what being on MC means to them? Surely they’ll make them repeat their answers at the end. The answers are pretty much “dreams”, “thankful”, “passion”.

There will be three rounds, with each round devoted to an entree, a main and a dessert – and we know the last round will be a Heston challenge that makes series one’s croquembouche look like a pancake shaker mix.

Round one: entree
There are 10 ingredients and they have to hero one: They don’t name them oil but looks like fennel (it had to happen), quail, sea urchin, fish that could be snapper, tofu, spring onions, duck eggs, marron (remember when Nev “cooked” it on MKR but didn’t know it should change colour?, oysters, pork.

IM goes straight for the quail. GE has granny smiths in her basket – more of her signature apple batons for decoration?

After last night's show.

After last night’s show.

IM is doing both roasted and confit quail, with charred corn and chorizo salsa.
GE is doing marron two ways with a ponzu dressing, a smoked veg salad and marron crackers. It’s a lot to do – she knows it and so do the judges. She’s having soz dramas with her dashi – something she has to nail given the judges said her main in the last episode was too dry.
IM is making a Pedro Ximenez reduction for his dish and the editors must have been chortling when they decided to cut in a pan to Con on the gantry – Con who used the wine in almost every dish he made in his short time on the show, causing me to believe he secretly works for PX.
GE has tried to fix her soz and Gaz comes over to give her a confidence boost. “That, is doing nothing,” he says after tasting. So blunt Gaz is back. Send George over for a “yes, George!” and she’ll be bawling on the floor in no time. “If you want any kind of complexity you have to take the panic away … making stuff is never going to be enough.”
She decides to roast the marron shells in a bid to bump up the flavour.
They’ve both done an amazing amount of work in 60 minutes.

The judges taste

And they are eating in the dishes in front of the contestants – seems cruel.

GE’s marron: Gaz was worried about the soz but he doesn’t really say if it’s any good. The marron is perfectly cooked. She’s done something she’s never tried before in the comp. “It’s a beautiful fresh dish, says Matt. He likes the saltiness of the marron cracker.

IM’s quail: They like the look. “It’s delicious; I love it,” says George. The confit legs are perfect. Woo hoo! IM must have this round.

Round one scores
GE: Gaz 7/10, George 8, Matt 8 Total: 23
IM: Gaz 8/10, George 9, Matt 9. Total: 26 Only an 8 from George and we didn’t hear one negative comment about the dish? He’s saving up for a 10 later.

Round two

They get 75 minutes to cook any style main they want. After
After a flustered start GE has her game face on. She’s doing twice-cooked lamb with a macadamia puree and pickled veg.
IM is cooking crispy skinned barra with brussels sprouts, fondant spuds and pancetta and prawn head broth. Hopefully he’ll do a fried prawn heard garnish – the judges love those.
Gaz gives him a look when he explains his broth idea and then pretty much trashes it. Please, IM, just make it and blow his bloody socks off with it.
IM forges ahead. “My gut’s telling me it’s going to be ok,” he tells the camera. He’s doing his brussies a few different ways – it’s a bit of a GE thing to do. GE is pulling out the big guns: she’s pickling beetroot (BINGO!).
GE says she wants her nut puree to have a slightly grainy texture. Really? She’s better hope the judges get it.
IM thinks his soz is a little lacking, so he chucks in some saffron. Mmmm. He does a text piece and thinks it’s done, but it’s raw inside. Fingers crossed it works with the real fillets.
GE’s lamb looks gorgeously soft, and if anyone can make a brown braise look pretty on a plate, it’s her. Again, we’re hearing from her how pushed she is for time.
IM is happy with his broth’s flavour: “It’s fully loaded.” God love him.

The judges taste
This time the contestants don’t watch the tasting.

GE’s lamb: She says cooking now is a bit like creating and artwork (remember, she’s an art teacher) and getting instant feedback on it, which is gratifying. “It looks like a little plate of jewels,” says Gaz. “I’m running out of words to express something that blows my mind,” says George. They love the soz – and George says it’s Michelin quailty. They’re all raving about it.

IM’s snapper: This whole thing of IM not listening too Gary about the soz and wondering whether his fish is cooked will turn out to be a total beat up. IM tears up when Gaz asks him how he feels about the dish. Gaz works hard to hold back the smile. You can tell they all really like him. Raised-in-a-barn George just drinks his broth straight from the jug. “I’ve been proved wrong today,” says Gaz. George says it’s a gorgeous and clever dish. “It tastes like it’s been on a great French menu for 50 years,” sys Matt.

Round two scores
IM: Gaz 10/10 (BFF Trent lets out a huge yell), George 10, Matt 10. IM can’t believe it. He’s now on a total of 56 points.
GE: Gaz 10/10, George 10, Matt 10. Total so far 53 points.
Gaz says it’s the first time in MC history there have been two perfect scores. And then they bring in their families, because they want to see floods of tears.

IM can bareley walk, he’s laugh-crying so hard at the sight of his wife and family. Up on the gantry, Charlie has to take off his hipster glasses to wipe a tear away. IM can’t believe his folks flew back from Italy for the finale but no doubt MC sprang for their tickets.

Round three
There are 40 points on offer for this last round. Gaz talks up how awesome and difficult this pressure test will be. “It takes not one but two of the nest chefs in the world to bring it to us,” says Matt. Ooh, Heston and who? Some bloke called Ashley Palmer-Watts, a top chef who is one of Heston’s proteges. Has Ashley been brought in to look interested when H can’t be bovvered. Heston says it’s harder than last year’s dessert pressure test (remember this?).
“There’s close to 100 steps,” Ashley tells them. It’s called Verjus in Egg.

It looks like an egg atop a nest of noodles. Heston cracks the egg and it craks like a real shell. It’s filled with coconut panna cotta and a mandarin and thyme gel for the yolk. At the bottom of the egg is a coffee parfait. Parfait AND panna cotta in the same dish.
The egg shell is made of two layers of chocolate but it looks like a real chook egg. A nervy IM exchanges a glance with GE and asks Heston: “Is it possible?” Heston says it is.
They have five-and-a-half hours for the dish. IM has done quite well with desserts lately but the finicky nature of this one favours GE.
To make crystallised coffee IM has to use what looks like a jar of Nescafe Gold. As a barista, that must kill him. The mad scientist magic works for both of them. “I’ve never crystallised anything, except by accident,” says IM.
GE has stuffed up mandarin “yolk” by jumping the gun with the setting agent. She needs to do it again but she doesn’t have enough mix to do a full batch. GE is trying to keep it together as someone lamely calls out “you’ve got this”. She’s going to do a half batch instead. Luckily they have calculators.
IM takes his “yolk” over to a vacuum machine and his face watching the science of it all is hilarious. He looks around as if worried he’s broken something, but apparently it’s all good.
Oooh, they are making their ABPs with powdered gelatine, which is usually a no no in the MC kitchen. IM’s ABP mix does not look thick enough and Harry, in a bow tie, is chosen to bring it to our attention.
GE makes a mountain of honeycomb which she then laboriously stretches in nest strands. GE’s ABPs have set a treat and she can pipe in her yolk. IM’s haven’t worked and H says he has to do them again. IM doesn’t know what he did wrong – did he not wait a bit before adding the gelatine mixture to the rest? His family looks worried but BFF Trent urges “stay cool”. He will have to wait another hour for the ABP. He starts to lose it. George comes over for the pep talk. “It will be like this in the kitchen one day,” he tells IM. Yeah, but when you’re a real chef they don’t lock you in a house for six months and hardly let you speak to your family or go for a stroll to grab a coffee.
Luckily he realises it was the lack of blooming time for the ABP that is to blame. At least he can do his tempered choc for the egg while it’s setting.
GE is worried because she hasn’t done much tempering – and she’s never used a marble surface before. She does well and uses a spray gun for the first egg layer, and you can hear Elise yelling down to clean the moulds carefully.
IM is having choc dramas – he’s let the temp drop too low. He uses it anyway. IM has become the underdog now. He at least drains his moulds upside down to remove excess choc – a step GE forgot. And his ABP #2 has worked. Yay.
Oh god – more excruciating watching choc being banged out of moulds. GE’s shells look pretty good – you can still see a bit of the seam where the two halves join. IM’s shells look so delicate and he’s rushing. There’s a little gap in one and he decides to skip the final sealing step to save time. Aargh – tension!
He looks lost at the liquid nitrogen station so GE pops over to give him detailed instructions.

Good on you, GE – this is why we love both of you as final two. You’d never see that kind of camaraderie in US cooking shows.
Finally, they are done, and GE sinks to the floor in relief. And then it’s hugs all round. But IM utters a heartbreaking “Oh no!”. His egg seam hasn’t held (he missed that last step) and it’s opened up. “I’m gutted,” he says through tears. His poor wife on the gantry is trying to telepathically tell him everything will be ok. Oh dear. They finally let her come down to give him a cuddle.

So, poor IM has just lost. Aaargh. Hopefully his runner-up prize will be enough to fund his food truck. He’s gained a legion of fans and will be a huge success at whatever he does. If he wants more experience in a professional kitchen first there will be hundreds of places around the country falling over themselves to offer him a job. GE is a worthy winner but IM made himself known as a contender from the beginning.

The judges taste
IM’s egg: “It’s all good,” he bravely tells the judges. “What do you want us to remember about you as a person fro this plate of food,” asks Matt P. What the hell – who’s writing these lines? They crack the egg and it looks fine inside. “He’s shown great ability to dig deep,” says Heston. The ABP texture was perfect. The shell wasn’t tempered and the egg had split, though.
GE’s egg: The judges are impressed. The shell is a little thick but otherwise they love it. “This one just had more impact… it seems a little bit bolder to me,” says Ashley.

Final round scores

The guest chefs from throughout the season are here, too, as well as Reynold, Emma Dean, Andy and Julie Godwin. I don’t see Billie – surely they would have mentioned her if she was there.
IM: H and Ashley 7/10, Matt 7, George 7, Gaz 7. Grand total: 84. GE is going to get 9s, so it’s all over for IM.
GE: Gaz 8, George 8, Matt 8, H and Ashley 9.
GE wins by two points.

Well done to both of them – we couldn’t have asked for a better final two. GE gives a nice thank you speech and graciously says how much she’s learnt from him.
“Thank you for your friendship and support,” he tells her in return.
Matt P tells IM how wonderfully tenacious he is: “We cannot wait to get into the queue of your food truck.” IM gets $40,000 and he seems genuinely surprised. And Harry gets $10,000.

And that’s all, folks.



  1. Hi gice, Been really busy but wasn’t going to miss being here with you all for anything.

    Bob got the wine ready and here with you all the way.

    My prediction Matt for the win, but don’t mind either of these two.

    • He seemed to help Matt about the confit quail and then tried to derail Elena over her reduction. Be a bastard , but be a fair bastard.

  2. How many times have they pickles vegetables?

    This year finale is easier for the contestants. Only cooking 3 plates for R1 and R2. I thought last year they have to coon more

    • The ad ch 10 have been showing was from 2015 finale showing Billie winning – ponytail etc. It’s possible that they did show one from this year though. I read whirlpool where they talk about it.

    • I was wondering about them in last night’s show too. Did they get fed? I’d be exhausted standing for that amount of time. They should get them seats.

  3. I haven’t read any comments yet, don’t want the ending to be spoiled for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if Elena wins, since we are all sure that Matt will take it out, it being the man’s turn to win. Not sure, though, that the producers are savvy enough to do that. I hope it is a good contest. I have my drinks ready to go with most of the cliches that we will hear.

    In the ads, Heston was smiling, instead of looking as though he were under the influence of some really good/bad drugs. He might make some contribution tonight.

    Ready, set, push, yes George. Drink!

  4. No disappointment!!!! We got the pleasure of the appearance of the red mould. Thanks God Elise left them behind

    • Indeed Littlepetal! It’s a winner – red moulds, pannacotta and parfait. Wonder if they’ll serve family some lunch – five and a half hours FFS

    • After reading that, this season just gave and gave. On reflection, it was so worthwhile.

  5. So how much time was just wasted. So many 1 hour challenges and so many panna cottas He has plenty of time to redo.
    They say 90 minutes to go, Next shot 45 minutes to go. Surely it didn’t take him 45 minutes to redo the mix.

  6. Oh dear, Matt’s egg hatched. I suppose he didn’t have time to seal it.
    You can hear a pin drop in Ma$terchef kitchen. wow, Elena is a great sport!

  7. Matt = 7+7+7+7=28/40 Grand Total=84pts
    Elena= 8+8+8+9=33/40 Grand Total=86 pts

    Interesting-no job offers for any of the contestants.

  8. I am happy with the winner but more than that, I am happy it was something that was tangible. It would have been a travesty if it had came down to the difference between a soz, or a reliance on a jelly.
    And runner up gets cash. How nice.

  9. $40k – not too bad for runner up! No job at Fat Duck this year.
    Am glad Elena won. I was a Karmen and Elena fan way back (decades ago, it feels like) when this season started. Even though I wasn’t an IM fan, he would have been a deserving winner. Boiled eggs banned in his home kitchen 😉

  10. Matt is so genuine. He is so happy that he got $40K.

    Some how I think this dessert is not as difficult to make as last year.

    • We were remembering the drama of trying to ‘blow’ that gold ball last year. It certainly seemed much more difficult than the egg.

  11. Gees – some cranky people elsewhere saying it was rigged and that Elena caused his shell to break. WTF?

    • They didnt watch the show. Elena said she needed to seal the two halves, if not they may split open. Matt also mentioned that step but didnt do it and he was hoping for the best.

  12. So some people have never had a nice thought in their lives. Wouldn’t want to be them, wouldn’t want to know them. They must have sad lives.

  13. The judges were trying to brainwash us again. Just because you said this is a more difficult dessert and we will have to believe you.

    I still think last year dessert was more technical

  14. I’m furious with the outcome. Matt’s enthusiasm and passion and dedication has driven the whole season for me. I sure hope good things come out of this for him.

    • I think Elena is fabulous but I do wish Matt had won – he’s been at the top of my list from the get go (for which the edit is partly to blame, as Elena was invisible). I’m sure both will enjoy great success in whatever lies ahead. How lovely to have two strong cooks in the final two.

  15. Happy with the outcome, I didn’t really mind either way , I voted for Elena but didn’t think she would win as its a guy’s turn ( that theory has been proven wrong ) and Elena looks too much like Billie.The judges had to give it to her after Matt’s egg didn’t quite work, but at least Matt got something for coming second, no job offers though.

    • Hmm, I wanted to write more or less the same. I voted for Elena, she’s my girl crush… :D. Even though I thought she won’t win and I also stated in the past she won’t because she is too similar to Billie. 🙂 Nothing wrong here and I believe it was thankfully the second year in a row a worthy contestant won and this year’s outcome was good anyway as both deserved to win. 🙂

  16. I thought I was easy with either of them winning but I find myself quite disappointed that IM didn’t take it out. And I LIKE GE and I’m happy for her – plus i also thought they had a great & supportive relationship! Hats off to her but feel slightly gutted for him. Still, $40k (tax free) has to ease the pain.
    And I’m probably talking drivel anyway after a zillion slurps of wine – every cliche uttered gave me a free slurp.

    • I’m the same. I don’t want to take away from her win but it does feel rather like Matt lost rather than Elena won, especially since he’d done so well in the first two rounds and in the previous night’s service challenge.

      • Same with me when I wasnt even a fan of Matt. I was for Elena but I thought Matt has been cooking well and I love his passion for food. ( not like Harry which I dont believe).

        Tonight I really want Matt to win

  17. Well, I enjoyed that. Could have done without the choirs of angels singing as Elena and Matt arrived; it wasn’t a wake, but a cook off.

    I like that both contestants showed respect for each other, tears were kept to a minimum, and cliches were negligible as well – from Matt and Elena. Gary and George pulled out all the trite phrases they could think of, perhaps compiling them while they knotted their ugly ties.

    It was nice to watch those two cook against each other with minimal drama, just cooking. I think next year the format should be changed. The first two-thirds of the season could be as usual. Then, get rid of the egotistical annoying ones, the immature idiots, and the one-trick ponies in one fell swoop. Leave the last four contestants to cook against each other for the last six weeks. The final could be a one hour cook in real time.

    We don’t get to see much actual cooking or techniques anymore in among the talking heads, faux drama, and bullshit.

    Congratulations to Elena and commiserations to Matt. Both were gracious and well-mannered, in victory and in defeat.

  18. I mostly enjoyed last night, but as it went on I was cheering for a draw – joint winners. This is the first time I’ve thought that would be an appropriate ending.

    Knowing that the first 15 mins would be horrible waffle, I went channel-surfing and happened upon a group of British kids doing a rap number all dressed as the royal family. Absolute gold – it was on BGT if you want to check it out.

    There were elements missing in the dessert. The main one I saw was the little square jellies, but I think there were others in the base part. There certainly were not nearly 100 processes in IM and GE’s dishes. I suspect they were given simplified recipes, rather than forgetting steps.

    DS13 picked up a continuity error during the main course judging. At the point where Matt said something like “can we eat at this restaurant every day?”, just after that George says “well, let’s get the next dish in” and there are empty bowls sitting on the table. Having just judged GE’s dish, there should have been flat plates there, so they obviously judged IM first, then GE but showed it the other way around. Not sure what the point was, though.

    I believe that the producers would have liked IM to win, but there was no way that could happen with the cracked egg. Would the egg have survived if he had just used the time to seal it and not bother with the dry ice? It seems to me that it was the dry ice getting inside that caused expansion.

    In summary, Elena was the better on the night, but Matt would have been the most consistent winner. Both are winners in my eyes.

    • They were great, didn’t get through – neither did the choir who were awesome (big fuss about it, saying that people couldn’t vote).
      Back to Ma$terchef, yes people eat with their eyes when it suits. Flavour also beats presentation – so they say. No decent differentiator between round one and round two. IMO final two should have service challenge like in Hells Kitchen. I didn’t mind the Heston test, though I thought it better suited to final four.

  19. Congrats to Elena. I thought that Matt would win but Elena has broken the alternating male/female winner cycle. I do think Matt had time to seal the egg but stressed himself out. Could see that Elena’s egg wasn’t sealed all the way but it wasn’t coming apart at the seams like Matt’s. Elena was considerate to give him her spray and then also help him with the liquid nitrogen. I believe it was Matt’s to win but he let his emotions get the best of him. Best to both of them and hope they have successful food careers. They are both winners in my book. They were gracious, kind and considerate and also have excellent cooking skills.
    Gary….back to his rude self while the contestants were cooking. During the finale he should just leave them alone and not make his negative comments which cause them to question their decisions.

  20. Wanted Matt to win but Elena was also a deserving winner. Good luck to Matt for his food truck and cooking career.
    Maybe the channel 10 producers should rest MC for a year or two, cut out all the unnecessary drama and bullshit. Here’s a good idea, what about an Australian version of “The Great food truck race” with Intense Matt and Shannon as judges.

    Thanks Juz for all the reviews- well done.
    Also thank to all the fellow posters here, entertaining as per usual.

  21. I really wish that they would just have the contestants cook an entree, main and dessert of their choosing and not have to follow some over the top, ridiculous recipe. Just come up with something original and innovative on their own.
    Would have liked to see Shannon involved in the entire finale and not just show up on the sidelines during round 3. Finally, they should be blind tasting the dishes during the finale. JMHO
    Thank you Juz for your great recaps.

    • Absolutely agree on the blind testing. In fact blind testing all the way through. That would stop people like Chloe and Elise flying through on one recipe.
      Shannon can be hired to do the ‘push, push, push’ chant.

    • I agree re the blind tasting but I have the opposite view about the challenges. I don’t like too many ‘cook what you like’ dishes because it is too easy for them to only cook to their strengths, and too easy to pick ingredients and techniques that the judges are known to love (eg crispy skin fish). It is good to have sometimes, but I prefer challenges where the result is crucial, to be everyone producing the same dishes so that they can be easily compared. What I would like to see however, is what they do in Great British Bake Off – name the dish that has to be made eg Bombe alaska or Beef Welington, then only provide a very basic set of instructions, minus quantities and cooking times. No picture of final plating, and extra points for enhancing the dish while maintaining the integrity of the base dish.

      • As for cooking their own dishes, creativity and innovation would be part of it so if someone always does parfaits with jelly and they do that in the final they would be scored down. I like the idea of using the GBBO challenge you describe. GBBO is a favorite of mine. Like the judges, like the challenges and feel that the judging is generally very fair.

    • There is an article in New Idea saying the 3 judges are not coming back next year & Shannon & Nigella will judge next year. It said her being a guest this year was an ‘audition’. But I’ll only believe it if the judges say so. I take anything in New Idea with a grain of salt.

  22. Thanks for another great recap Juz & thanks for all the wonderful recaps throughout the series. It’s really appreciated.
    Wow, that was SO close. Both would have deserved to win, but good on Elena.
    That egg was ridiculous, bit wow it really did look like an egg.
    First I was worried about Elena when she stuffed up her gel, then I was worried about Matt when he stuffed up his panna cotta. Usually I’m rooting for 1 person so am glad when the other one stuffs up, bit this time I was rooting for both of them.
    How sweet was Elena helping Matt like that? I knew when he didn’t join the seam it would cause problems. You could see his heart breaking & everyone just went quiet.

  23. If they’d not queered the scores in round 2, when Matt’s dish was clearly superior from their responses eating it, Matt could still have won even with his botched egg. But then there’d have been no tension. I just feel ripped off, personally, as he’s been so front and centre of the edit this season – because he’s an enthusiastic cook and a goodhearted guy and incredibly telegenic. $40k is better than nothing, but I still say HE WUZ ROBBED!

    • But you see how we differ?
      I thought GE’s meat dish was better than IM’s fish dish (even I can cook barramundi – not that hard). And then only the people who actually created the egg dish gave GE a 9 – bit suss. Judges showing a bias to the bitter end.
      GE mostly maintained her calm through out the season, disappointing the producers no end. IM was a good cook but cracked under the pressure when it counted (see what I did there?). I think we can safely assume that they will both do well.
      Harry will disappear into the sunset, lottery win in hand.

      • I wasn’t talking about which dish I preferred, I was talking about the judges’ comments on both dishes in round two. They were clearly far more enthused by and appreciative of Matt’s dish.

        I’m sure they’ll both do well – but I would have rathered Matt be the one doing well with 250,000 in his pocket. And I would have preferrred Harry in second place.

  24. Uncle Fester (George), Lurch (Matt), Pugsly (Gary), Cousin It (Shannon) all put in a wonderful effort last night and almost were barracking for IM to win. Personally I think if IM’s egg didn’t split somehow magically from the 3 his egg would have had intense flavour and deliciousness causing him to just hang in. The proof was in the judging of Elena’s egg… 8,8,8 and somehow the actual creators of the dish thought it almost close to perfect with a 9.

    Elena was a more versatile cook during the series and deserved it, probably being the underdog (they love the underdog) made her nerves a bit lighter as IM was just pushing himself mentally that his focus left him for that final dish.

    I agree this years dessert was a lot simpler, am surprised by the use of powdered gelatine vs sheeted (Heston using powdered gelatine I think not)…. but again the contestant really not thinking about things… did you need to temper so much chocolate… no… halve it.. save time. Look at the big batch of honeycomb made just to gather one 100th of what was made.

    Well done to Alena, wonder what she’s going to do with the money…. but I suspect Matt will somehow get his own show… he’s got the tatts!

    • Actually tempering more chocolate is easier to work with because it stays at the workable temperature longer as it cools down slower.

  25. I find it hard to believe that both last night’s fennelists didn’t have had a heads up and a few shots at making the egg before showtime.

    I thought I. M. was going to win but he choked tighter than one of Jowl$y’s cravats. Crazy for thinking meeting MPW the greatest day of his life, his mental fragility duly showed in the last round.

    Thanks to Juz and fellow commenters. Worst or second worst season, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

    • C’mon, daisy. What’s not to like about someone saving their dish with molasses and then going on to win Ma$terchef?

      • I find that unbelievable. With less than 5 mins to go, Elena managed to run to the pantry, pick up the molasses and then caramelized the meat

  26. That was disappointing, to say the least.
    Congrats to Elena, who seems lovely, but this lovely person was the 3rd best cook imo. Harry was better than her.

    I think the big drama with Matt was a total beat-up. Sure, he was a bit emotional, but he’s not the type to have a meltdown. The producers tell the wife to go to him for extra melodrama – it was cringeworthy.

    Matt was not only the best and most consistent cook throughout the series, but also on the night. Surely the way to judge the best is on their own originality, creativity and competence … not to follow someone else’s absurd recipe. That’s just like judging them on reading a street map.

    Matt only made one mistake, with the egg opening. But according to Heston’s sidekick, that disturbs the existential balance of the universe. We couldn’t have that.
    It was a ridiculous way for Matt to meet his Waterloo – and I hope Elena can manage to make more things other than pickled vegetable discs.
    Good luck to her, but especially to Matt, who deserved to win and was robbed.

    Thankyou so much, Juz, for your great work. You’re a legend.
    And to everyone here, good health and all the best.
    I’m going to make a sour grapes parfait now.

    • If you’re going to pick Elena up for her pickled vegetable discs then why not Matt for cooking quail or crispy skin fish with broth? I thought Elena showed more versatility in the dishes she presented throughout the competition.

    • I’d rather see discs on the plate than in one’s ears.

      A verjuice parfait would probably get you onto Ma$terchef next year, lulu.

  27. Does anyone know if they will be doing another MC All-stars? Maybe if they do there will be a different set of judges, one of them being Shannon.

  28. To test their skills, there should be a dish where they have to recreate without a recipe. If it is a dessert, then it must look similar and they have to figure out how to make it.

  29. So happy Elena won, truly well-deserved. Felt like they were setting Matt up for the win but that egg at the end was his undoing. Anyway both were great finalists and will surely do amazing things in the future.

  30. Normally in the R2 they have to cook for more than 3 plates. It is only fair to present at least 10 plates for R2. I find that they are making it easier for this year finale. Both Elena and Matt are capable to do it

  31. I have had a small epiphany and realise that I am going to miss this show. How did that happen? From griping and boredom, to unfair eliminations and obvious bias, to abpc and soz, to tears and family (with no nonnas) and suddenly it’s all over and I am bereft.
    Subliminal hypnosis? Stockholm syndrome? Alcoholic dependency?

  32. Another big thank you to Juz for tenacity, attention to detail and just keeping us entertained. Must say I thought IM had it, but they’re both worthy.

    My 5 w/o baby stuffed up my viewing this season, but I’ve read every post & comment to keep up. Big fan here of many posters; some quite hilarious people here.

    I only do cooking-reality shows, so don’t know when I’ll catch up with you all again, which makes me mildly sad tbh 🙁

    Ooh ooh- that Zumbo show starts in a couple of months I think. Maybe Juz will do that one…pls pls 🙂

    • Yes I’m looking forward to the Zumbo show. It’s on after the Olympics. Hopefully Juz will recap it for us.

  33. Yeah Bel, I too only glue myself to cooking shows so will miss the cast in this show and tell forum til next time. HUMUNGOUS TAP OF THE SPOON FOR JUZ!
    And amazeballs, in the game of rock, paper, scissors, the beetroot and fennel frond dishes were equal. Moreover, the earthiness of beetroot (albeit that it was modified by pickling) actually complements lamb (Elena’s dish) and the aniseed of fennel complements fish (Matt’s dish). I thought I’d been abducted by aliens and taken to another planet. Or maybe too many sips eh, Bob, Julie, Brussellsprout and Von.

  34. Thanks for the thanks, gice. I do hope to cover the Zumbo show. Do stop by now and then and check out the general chat – I’ve been watching more SBS food shows and sometimes give them a mention.

  35. Hi juz thank you so much for your commentary and thank you guys for all the comments, especially braindead dave who i always found very sarcastically funny! I was always rooting for matt, whose dishes kept me salivating every time. I love cooking shows and love to eat but can only cook eggs if i have to, however his carrot cake made me want to step into the kitchen as it looked too good to not have in a lifetime… Also most of the other things he made! Thank you, matt, you have been an absolute joy to watch!!! Also elena, beautiful person and beautiful food, but matt’s stuff just goes places where few cooks manage to go, right at the heart if joy & savoury… Just amazing. I actually loved this season very much. Honourable mention to the other contestants, especially mimi who was always incredibly creative and also very sweet person. Lots of love! K

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