MasterChef – Mon, July 11 – restaurant challenge

Contestants must work in teams to recreate two of Dominique Crenn’s signature dishes. Dominique is a Michelin-starred chef and was recently voted the world’s best female chef.
They learn Atelier Crenn has two Michelin stars – this could be the swankiest restaurant in which MasterChef has been allowed to cook.
The contestants do a knife pull to decide teams.
Elise is with Brett and Harry; the other team is Glowing Elena, Intense Matt and Mimi.
How fabulous to have a female chef on the show, besides regular Kylie Kwong.
They will be replicating two of Dominique’s signature dishes.


The first is Walk in the Forest, which is an elegant tumble of mushrooms and herbs on a wooden board.


And dessert is a beetroot on a crumble and herb soil. Ah, there had to be beetroot or it wouldn’t be MasterChef. No fennel or parfait, though. The beetroot is actually a sorbet. They look stunning but the plating is that fancy pants style some of the contestants at least are used to. They have almost three hours to recreate the dishes, then 15 minutes at the end to plate up.
Brett the protein man is in charge of mushies for the blue team while Elise, of course, gets dessert (despite George saying last night she needed to do savoury more) and Harry lends a hand as needed. Hopefully they will use Elise to plate up both dishes as it’s more her style of plating.
On the red team Mimi offers to start dessert, and she and Elise head off to the separate dessert kitchen. They need 1kg of beetroot juice for their sorbet – that’s a lot of beetroot that needs peeling.
Mimi is panicking so much about how much beetroot she has to peel she peels a big chunk out of her finger. Ouch. She looks a bit woozy but after medical attention, powers on.
Both teams seem to be going ok but it’s kind of boring watching them just follow a recipe. I wish they’d tasted the dishes and then been told: Ok, now make this without a recipe. It would be much more fun.
Elise, trying to take a shortcut, says she is not going to wait for her beet juice to cool before she blitzes it. Noo! Haven’t you seen the stories about Thermomix lids blowing off (allegedly) and burning people, Elise! She sets the scene in a talking head and I can barely watch. Beet juice spurts out but luckily she’s not burnt.
Poor IM and Harry got the short straw of trying to remove hazelnut skins from their roasted nuts. I always thought rubbing them in paper towel would do the trick, but they need every speck off.
Domenique pops into the dessert kitchen to tell the girls they need to ask for help. They don’t even have their sorbet in the churner yet. Elena heads in to help Mimi but Harry can’t yet lend Elise a hand. Brett should be bossing Harry around to get him into the dessert kitchen, especially since Elise has stuffed up her choc crumble and needs to start again.
Harry then stuffs up the mushroom “paper” by not checking the oven temp before he puts it in, so Elise isn’t getting help any time soon.
The “beetroot” is formed by piping the sorbet into a water balloon and then freezing it more. With less than half an hour to go Harry finally arrives to help Elise. Will her sorbet balloons set in time?
Thanks to IM, I now know how to flute a mushroom, a skill I will never need (which is exactly what IM says).
Uh oh – Elise is crumbling under the pressure and has stuffed up the chocolate crumb again. Brett and Harry have to shoulder some of the blame here. Not much point getting out a perfect main if you have no dessert at all.
Oh, god – here’s George with his “Yes, George!”. And it gets worse: “Melt the chocolate; melt the chocolate.” You are not helping, George!
In both kitchens the contestants are going through their checklists and Mimi realises they’ve forgotten the beetroot glaze. They’ll have to make it in their 10 minutes’ plating time.

The judges taste
When it’s time to serve the savoury dish, all three members of each team work together to get the dish out.
Blue savoury: Elise seems to be doing most of the plating for blue. It looks good but not as pretty as Dominique’s dish. The judges like the look. Dominique thinks it’s well balanced. Nothing is missing. George does the “remember these are only amatas” speech.
Red savoury: Mimi pipes on a lot of meringue and doesn’t spread it out like Elise did. Matt likes the crumb and the textures. They like the other elements but there is too much meringue and it’s not been blowtorched enough. So, blue has won this round. Which judge will be the first to say “it all comes down to the dessert”.
Blue dessert: They have to pipe their chocolate twigs now, which the other team did earlier. Again, Elise does the bulk of the plating up, including using the choc crumb when she knows isn’t quite right. The sorbet is melting before their eyes as they got it in the freezer late, due to Elise doing most of the dessert on her own. Gaz points out the melting sorbet. “I’m not crazy about the texture of this dish,” says Dominique. The soil is too muddy and there is too much “wetmess” on the plate. They like some of the flavours, just not the textures.

Red dessert: They sprint to try and make their beetroot glaze in their plating time. How are they going to get it cool? Honestly they’d be better off leaving it off, if all their other elements are good. The girls ask IM if the glaze is working. He replies: “It’s going all right. I think. I’ve never seen a beetroot glaze before.” Me neither, IM. It looks like they’ve pulled it off. Dominique gives a little smile when she sees it. “They captured the essence of what the dish is about,” she says as she looks at the dish. “Wow – delicious.” This is the most praise we’ve heard from her of any dish tonight. “If you blindfold me, I would think my pastrychef did it,” she says. Surely this outweighs the drama of too much meringue in round one.

The winners
Three of them will win the opportunity to cook with Trent for a shortcut straight to finals week. Matt tells the contestants Dominique’s comments about her own pastrychef not being able to do better and Mimi, GE and IM do the hands over the mouth thing to stop their screams of joy.


Their team wins on the strength of the dessert.

Tomorrow night
It’s off to Napa Valley, where Trent, Mimi, IM and GE do battle, with what looks like three mains and one dessert, presumably for a wine-themed challenge. That’s three of our favourites right there, so fingers crossed one of them gets the shortcut. I would hope that we could go one episode without beetroot, but it seems unlikely.



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55 Comments

    • He was there on the sideline looking uncomfortable more from sunburn than anything else. The producers are really, really irresponsible not to ensure that the contestants were protected from the sun.

    • Oh my God, can you imagine going to a fancy restaurant & getting served those piddly little servings? You’d go home starving. And the prices would be exhorbitant.

      • 15 -18 courses cost $298 ( at least tax and tip are included)

        Menu is a poem, no description of dishes!!

        Summer has come with its cool breeze
        Oceanic feeling of white dust, but crunchy
        The sea began to roll and swirl, in the exotic tide
        Its whimsically ebullient red umami
        Meeting pretty pink lips, eyes so big
        Come with me and look into the green light
        Strolling on, in the orchard,
        The rawness of those soft-footed creatures
        Singing, the wild bird will fly away into the smoky sky
        Sipping slowly on the sweetness of the earth
        Walking deep in the woods,
        As the earth might have something to spare
        A precious token
        Summer has come and is full of sweet surprises
        Sweetness, bounty, thanks

        • Thanks Littlepetal. I like to know what I’m eating. I guess that explains why they are such small servings.

      • Only way to avoid the starving is to keep asking for bread rolls, which used to happen a lot in the last restaurant I worked in~ a very stuck up Adelaide heritage listed venue. The portions were tiny.

  1. MasterChef 2016 – the season of the beet. Even when we don’t have beetroot, we still manage to have beetroot.

  2. Haha.

    1. Want to bet that water balloons will be the new silicon mould next season.
    2. The guest chef observes the team work is not there and the Gs try and justify the contestants’ pending failure while Matt remains silent.

  3. Melt the chocolate!
    Melt the chocolate!
    Melt the chocolate!
    Yes, George!
    Yes, George!
    Yes, George!

    Has no one told George he is not Marco?

  4. That’s it, show that lovely lady what utter bogans you are, hope she doesn’t think all aussies eat like that

  5. Now we know what these contestants do once MC finish.

    If you can’t get cheffy than become a host on a cooking show.

    How many cooking shows can Ch 10 have.

    Now there is another one from the worst ever season of MC, Season 5.

    Emma Dean and Lynton Tall hosting My Market Kitchen!

    The Queen Victoria Market last week announced a partnership with Creative Media Productions, who will produce the show airing weekdays on Network Ten.

    Titled, My Market Kitchen, the new cooking series will celebrate fresh produce and Market life and will be hosted by 2013 MasterChef winner, Emma Dean and runner-up Lynton Tapp.

    Set under the historic Market sheds, traders will feature in some of the segments to highlight seasonal produce as well as share their tips and tricks for everyone watching live at the Market and on TV, as Emma and Lynton will film โ€˜on the spotโ€™ segments throughout the Market precinct.

    Locals and tourists alike will be able to be part of the action. They can watch the show being filmed with recipes featuring an abundance of fresh Market produce available from traders daily, including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy.

    Filming starts on-site at the Market later this month.

    My Market Kitchen launches in the third quarter of 2016.

    • So it’s basically an ad for Queen Vic Market then – or funded by Tourism Vic. Will be interesting to see the end credits.
      That’s one of the reasons I like Intense Matt. A food truck seems a modest, achievable dream.

      • Yes. A food truck is achievable. Not like some, still learning how to walk but want to run their own dessert bars or restaurants.

        They saw Reynold doing it and thought it will be easy.

        Reynold family already has experience in running restaurants. They already know the ropes.

        • I’m sorry but it’s a bit unfair to judge people based on one piece of information. I’ve been in hospitality for many years and my partner 10+ years so we’re pretty comfortable with how a restaurant is run. Plus we’ve got experienced people to help us with the business side of things. I know I’m just a home cook but that does not mean I can’t be a business owner; chefs can be hired. No one said it would be easy and it’s a risk that we are taking, as with any other potential business owners. If it doesn’t work, then at least we tried to do something that we want to. Please, give us more credit than that.

          Juz I like your episode summaries, thorough and objective.

          • I live in a popular restaurant area, for every one that opens, another closes. The main street alone, has at least 5 closed / boarded up restaurants. Even the best cooks/chefs can have failed business ventures. Starting with something like a food truck or random pop-ups is certainly a way to build a following before making a massive investment in a restaurant.

          • I am glad to hear that you have people to help you and you are giving it a go.

            Its a big investment with setting up a food business and so many businesses have fail due to bad management. It is not easy running a restaurant.

            All the best to you.

            I wish you all the best.

    • It’s a problem when your host can’t cook chips and mumbles. Captions can cover the mumbling but……those chips aren’t going to cook themselves. I don’t know if Mumbling Market has a big future.

  6. I can’t see Brett doing all that fiddly stuff – which is why they barely showed him.
    I think Harry did most of the work for him, which is why he was delayed in helping with dessert.

    Elise is so ditzy – can’t believe she’s 28. She was bamboozled from the start when she couldn’t find any silicone moulds, just for comfort.
    The right team won.

    • That’ s interesting, I thought Harry was wasting his time and not pulling his weght. I thought Brett was quietly getting on with it. Who cares at this stage, I noticed Trent at the end, looking bright pink and then preview for tonight shows them cooking outside again, no cover, no hats.

  7. Harry’s rather peremptory directive that Brett does this, Elise does that, and he’ll float, was fine in theory. But he didn’t float. As usual, he listens to no one else and persists in believing, and showing by his facial expressions, that no one can do anything as well as he can. Elise was begging for help and Harry is futzing around with the mushroom goo for ages, muttering “one millimetre, one millimetre”.

    While I acknowledge the pressure that’s on the contestants at this point, they are still making a lot of dumb mistakes. Trying to blend hot liquid, not checking oven temps, not reading recipes properly so components of a recipe are overlooked…it’s exasperating to watch.

    If George were yelling at me, I might give him the courtesy of one “yes, George.” Then it would be “fuck off, George.”

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t see another beetroot, in any form, for a long, long time.

  8. Great recap Juz. Agree with you that it would have been much more interesting for the contestants to taste the dishes and then attempt to recreate them without a recipe.
    Harry…boss of the kitchen, passing out assignments. Don’t think he wanted to let go of the savory and help Elise.

    Glad that Elena, Trent and Matt are in the fast track to the finals challenge. As for Mimi…would prefer that she does not win that challenge.

    Pretentious dishes but I would take a walk in that forest. Love mushrooms and it looked delicious.

    George attempts his MPW imitation again and is very irritating. Von, when George kept repeating himself all I thought, too, was f*ck you George, go away, you are not helping and you are NOT MPW.

    Do the contestants get to eat in any special restaurants? Do they actually get to visit the city without being told where to go as in the mystery challenge when they supposedly explored the city on their own (LOL) and by luck (more LOL) found the various food shops? Fun to come and cook in San Francisco but even more fun to actually experience it.

    No cooking in Chinatown. ๐Ÿ™ That would be more relevant to SF than Atelier Crenn. It’s one of the largest and oldest Chinatowns in the US.

  9. Wow, Harry really starts to irritate me as much as Chloe. I am all for young people having confidence and trusting in themselves – I say that because when I was 22 I stood infront of a group of first graders and tried to educate them and was told afterwards: Not confident enough to ever become a teacher in like forever.^^ But it’s just too much and I fear he will be the third in the final 3 (alongside Elena and Matt). That’s why I voted for him but truly hope that it is Trent instead of Harry. :/
    I actually wouldn’t mind that Matt or Trent end up being the winner. But I kind of fear it will be insufferable Harry with the disgusting weed growing out of his head pretending to be some kind of hair.

    PS: Someone mentioned in the older thread that they would like to see the US Masterchef judges on the show and think they won’t because the 3 Stooges are above them. I somehow cannot imagine Gary and George being above Gordon “You donkey!” Ramsay who was more Michelin stars than Georgieboy can say “Yeah!” within 60 seconds…

    • Much as ‘our ‘ judges are irritating, Gordon is a less than helpful human being. I would prefer not to see him on any show.
      I appreciate that a change is as good as a holiday but perhaps we could ‘change’ things up by focusing on some decent cooking of some decent food.

    • (Someone mentioned in the older thread that they would like to see the US Masterchef judges on the show and think they wonโ€™t because the 3 Stooges are above them.)

      I said the above but sarcastically. Meaning the 3 stooges don’t want anyone of those chefs on the show in case they are better and in their own little mind they are the best.

  10. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Bloody Beetroot. We can’t get away from it even in America. And why do they keep ruining desserts with it? The only place for beetroot is in a hamburger.

    Poor Elise stuffed up her chocolate crumb twice.
    Those hazelnuts looked like a bastard of a thing to do. Of course for them they all had to be perfect, not like if they were doing it at home, then it would be, yeah that’s good enough.
    George reminds them it’s a Michelin star restaurant, yeah but they’re not Michelin star chefs.

  11. That seemed like an incredible waste of produce – carving the tops of the mushroom is absurd.

    George and his table manners: he seems to fling the food off his fork into his mouth. As though he was worried it would fall of his fork if he slowed down.

    I don’t get him. Him and that Yeah Yeah, and hugging contestants who are crying. What if they don’t like to be hugged – I mean, it’s not the Oprah show? What if they’d like to be spoken to in complete sentences that don’t end in a question all the time?

    Yeah, I think he’s getting on my nerves.

    • That is why they charge you so much in fine dining. Cook a piece of meat and then serve you a tiny square out of it.

  12. Beet It

    They told him can’t you ever cook around here?
    Don’t want to see your face, you better disappear
    The fire’s in their eyes and on their plates there is a sphere
    So beet it, just beet it

    Yeah?

    Just beet it, beet it, beet it, beet it
    No one wants to be defeated
    Showin’ off your parfait and strong is your fight
    It doesn’t matter if Jowl$y’s wrong or right
    Just beet it, beet it
    Ain’t gonna eat it
    Yeah?
    Just bleat it, bleat it
    Just beet it, beet it
    Just bleat it, bleat it

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