MasterChef – Thurs, July 14 – US elimination challenge

The losing team from the Food Truck Challenge now faces elimination. Under the mentorship of Curtis Stone, they must cook a dish that symbolises what they’re going to do once the competition is over.

They get to cook at Curtis’s LA restaurant, Maude. According to the website, it only seats 25 people. Each month the menu focuses on a main ingredient that’s in season. At the moment it’s zucchini and next month it’s plums.
Curtis explains the seasonal concept to Mimi, Brett and Harry and says Maude (named after his Nan) makes him happy, but not rich. Luckily he does ads for Coles and is on every US cooking challenge show ever made.
The contestants have to cook “their dreams on a plate”.

Harry wants to do a lobster crudo with a smoked fennel, coriander and cucumber sauce. He draws a sketch of the finished product.
Mimi wants to show off her technique with her dessert of choc aero mousse with honey ice cream, whiskey jelly, honeycomb and lemon curd. It sounds like quite a lot of sweet elements. Curtis tells her it’s a lot for 90 minutes.
Brett tells Curtis of his dream to run a “simple” gastro pub in the country, and says his dish is inspired by something his mum used to make. Except she didn’t have a sous vide machine to do pork with roasted fennel and soil.
Mimi is having mousse drama, despite wanting to do “everything perfect” [sic]. Batch 2 works.
Brett is getting a lot of talking head time – he’s a goner. He’s making his soz last, when usually you’d do that first. And, guess what, we have yet another incident of people not looking in the fridge to see if the ingredients they need are actually there. Last night it was IM’s team and the crab (luckily that turned out ok) and tonight it’s Brett hunting, fruitlessly, for bones for his soz.
Harry is doing burnt lemon puree AGAIN! Why not chuck a brookie on there, too? He decides he needs some more elements for “a flavour explosion” as his dish is simple. These “explosions” are apparently pomegranate, microherbs and enoki mushrooms.
Uh oh – what Mimi thought was a freezer drawer seems to be just a cool drawer. She has a rapidly melting dessert on her hands.
Brett’s pork isn’t sous videing properly and now, almost at the end of the challenge, Gaz comes over to shake Brett’s soz pan – and his confidence – my suggesting he add some pork belly to add flavour to his jews. Brett’s head almost explodes and he decides to concentrate on getting his protein cooked instead. We get a lot of air time of him talking about his “okay” soz. Totally going home! Even though we get a fake out of Harry talking about how he forgot to taste his other elements with the burnt lemon puree.

The judges taste
“It comes down to the food,” George reminds the judges. Really, George? Really, George?

Harry’s lobster: First we get Harry talking about his childhood growing up near the Barrier Reef, and how the dish is his homage to coral. Curtis likes the “romance” of the food: “I think he’s done a really good job.” Gaz says it’s super creative and he loves it but the burnt lemon puree is too much. George says just the lobster and the soz would have been perfect. Matt says, nonetheless, they have a clear vision of his food dream.

Brett’s pork: He says his food dream is to serve meat and three veg in a modern way and gives a nod to his mum, who fed four kids with little thanks. Gaz loves the vibrancy of the carrot and ginger puree. The pork is cooked perfectly. Curtis says the soz has a residual bitterness.

Mimi’s dessert: Mimi says she wants to work in a professional kitchen to gain more experience. George says she’d have to start at the bottom, washing pots and picking herbs, and she’s up for it. Good to see realistic expectations. The judges like the look of it. Gaz and Matt can’t stop smiling once they taste it. “I think that’s the best dessert we’ve had this series,” Gaz says. Curtis is impressed and says if a chef wanting a job cooked that for him, he’d hire them. They agree Mimi is safe.

And the eliminated contestant is …
But first, Mimi gets some great feedback and is thrilled. She gets to join GE, Trent, IM and Elise in the finals week safe zone.
Brett, the “old man” of the cop is eliminated – oh so close to finals week. He takes it with good grace. Bye, Brett! You were good for a one liner and you never got frazzled or served up poncey food that needed tweezers.

Where is he now?
Brett has returned to his job as an airline captain. He still plans to open a gastro pub with his daughters.

Beetroot alert
It is now two episodes since a contestant cooked with beetroot. Hopefully they all got some to snack on on the plane trip home, so they didn’t get withdrawals.



  1. “… they must cook a dish that symbolises what they’re going to do once the competition is over”

    A dish that disappears into obscurity? That glaze better have a glisten on it.

  2. So Curtis couldn’t make it down the road to Intercontinental?
    Oh no, Australian Tourism and food. Harry wants his own TV show. Sounding like Hayden.

  3. Thank goodness Matt is not cooking tonight. He would be cooking truck food znd then judges will say it is not cheffy enough

  4. I find it really offensive that some people are commenting on FB that Brett should go as he is too old. It’s a cooking competition – what does age have to do with it?

    • I think the people on FB just saying what the producers are thinking. Generally the fans of MC are the younger demo. So the producers will want to pick a younger winner.

      This show had winners that were a surprise

      • Yes, but in another 20 odd years some members of that younger demo may find themselves in a situation where they want to change direction and try something different.

  5. Ahhh the Bachelor ad comes on. I can’t decide which girl is more annoying. Cinderella stuck on the couch waiting in vain for her shoe to be returned. Bacon roses – wtf ? The drama queen scared at how Richie will react to her “secret”.

  6. Love how Harry prefaced his litany of ingredients with “fresh” as MC is readily associated with stale food (not).

    • Harry and the judges love to say beautiful., beautiful lobster, beautiful dish, beautiful this beautiful that

  7. If the judges ever want a career change, midwifery could be the go. Push push PUSH !!!!!!!

    Imagine George when his wife was in labor. C’mon push !! Yes George !! yeah ?

  8. Why do they provide a freezer but not turn on?

    If there is chicken stock in Curtis’s kitchen, it should be o.k to use. By critising the chicken stock mean critising Curtis

  9. Of those that are left, GE and Trent have grown on me the most.
    Maybe the producers/editors designed it that way. After all they would know who are in the top 3 and they would want us to be personally invested in the contestants (and not over it).

  10. Mimi will be safe. She is too happy.

    Harry who said his dish has too few elements then don’t have enough time with all the extra elements.

    I also noticed Harry didn’t taste the burnt lemon puree

  11. I wish it had been a service challenge with actual customers. They’re “advertising” Curtis’s restaurant but they could have been anywhere.
    LP I missed what Mimi said – she called that fridge a pool? Maybe holding area for cold dishes, I’m not sure.
    Looks like it will come down to burnt lemon puree vs imperfect jus

  12. Right, so its not about the taste but how the contestants ‘sold their dreams on the plate.’ Didn’t realise this was Gruen Transfer.

  13. Now Mimi’s dessert is the best on Masterchef. Next week we will have another one better than Mimi.
    By the end of this we will have a dish that is the best in the world

  14. Well, we all saw that coming. Difficult to know whether it was fair or not, given that George never hid his dislike.

    • Hard to know – what is worse in the end – a bland sauce or an overpowering puree. Certainly shouldn’t rest on selling the dream.

  15. What a surprise?! It was such a BS criterion that no matter what Brett cooked he would have been eliminated as he could not sell the dream.

    • Same here, I hate cucumber. And you can’t just pick it out, the flavour goes through everything, it’s all you can taste. And I like my lobster cooked.

    • If there is a link, it wouldn’t be between these two based on my experience – love cucumber, but coriander makes me ill. Wondered if there was a link to chilis, as I can;t actually taste any flavour to chili.

  16. With Mimi I can’t see her dream on the plate but she cooked a faultless dish.

    We don’t know how bad is the burnt lemon puree. We just have to accept the judges critiques. We all can see Brett will be going

  17. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Just when we think Mimi has everything under control, she checks her things & they have all melted. Lucky she found that freezer & they froze in time.
    Brett cooked his pork in the sous vide machine. Don’t they leave any juices in that plastic he cooked them in? Why didn’t he put that into his sauce? Or even the pan juices after he fried it.
    Lobster raw. No thank you. I like mine with a mornay sauce.
    In the master class after George made his ‘famous’ oyster ice cream. He said it’s good for people who are a bit funny about oysters. Um no, if you’re a bit funny about oysters the last thing you would want is oyster ice cream. It makes me gag just thinking about it.

    • Nearly worth freezing (watching the Swans lose – insert sobbing here) to miss oyster ice cream.

      I’m one of those people who are funny about oysters. Finding one in an ice cream would not make me change. I’m pretty clear on that one.

      • It’s like when they try to cure someone’s fear of flying by taking them up in one of those tiny planes. That’s not going to cure it, it will make it worse. Take them up in a jumbo jet, you barely know you’re in the air.

      • Missed the show last night, because we were at the game. Amazing atmosphere with 42,000 at the SCG.

          • Yes. I thought it unfair of the Hawks players to wear umpire shirts, but it was such a good game. The atmosphere trying to get out of the car park afterwards – Less Good. 45 min later. . .

    • There wasn’t much that was masterful in that class. They should have just driven through In ‘N Out burger for a classic American burger with fries and a shake.

    • I thought most of the “residual bitterness” comes from George and Gary. Poor Brett , there wasn’t “anythink” he could do to save his boring jus…

      Oldest “winner” is Julie Goodwin, she was younger than Brett. Oldest contestant Kumar, 62. Iirmgaard was no spring chicken, either.

      We’re stuck with Ma$terchild.

  18. Setting aside what I think of Harry, I still think a too-strong burnt lemon puree would detract more from a dish than a wussy gravy would. As for “the dream”, seemed as though Brett’s idea of pub food lifted by quite a few notches was what he presented.

    But, Brett was likely to go before finals week, as apparently he is too old for the target demographic. He’s 43. Poor old crock, it’s a wonder he managed to hobble around the kitchen.

    Wonder if Mimi will apply for a chef’s job at Maude if she doesn’t win MC. I would, just for the pleasure of watching Curtis Stone stammer his way through a retraction of tonight’s bs.

    My throat closed up at the thought of oyster ice cream. The colour of the liquid that was in the sous vide bag surely would have made a grey ice cream – a visually unappealing dish with an unappetising taste.

  19. Brett flies away and Harry remains. 🙁
    Bitter tasting burnt lemon puree vs a less than punchy sauce = Brett’s demise BUT I would think that the bitter lemon would pull a dish down more than a light sauce OR that both dishes would be equal. Of course since Brett is older he gets eliminated. Don’t get why Brett didn’t just add some of the pan drippings from the pork but don’t think that would have saved him. Does anyone 40 or above ever have a chance to win?

  20. I’ll make no bones about my disappointment that the late blooming Brett has been eliminated. Still, IMO, there was insufficient time for bones to make any significant contribution to a soz. I think it was Matt Preston who suggested that Brett’s soz required some jamminess. At the time, I was enjoying a slice of duck breast that I had roasted along with vegetables, finished close to the end of cooking with a good drizzle of pomegranate molasses. I bet that would have been great in the soz for Brett’s pork dish. Whether that would have been found in the pantry is an unknown. Surprisingly, Curtis was pleasant, perhaps because he wasn’t in the role of barking orders. Right, well I’m off now to renew my seniors card (it’s expired before me).

  21. Mimi’s dish might’ve been good, but it hardly fit the brief.
    With Harry’s and Brett’s, you could see their concept – but seeing Mimi wants to start at the bottom in a restaurant, did her dessert represent washing pots and pans?

    Didn’t matter anyway. She was safe from the start and could’ve put a Freddo Frog on a plate. And Brett was a marked man, so up, up and away.
    Have to begrudgingly say that, for a 22 yr old, Harry is extremely talented.
    Most 22 yr olds would struggle with toast (oh like another MC winner).
    Aside from the burnt lemon, his coral creation looked brilliant.

    George should be locked up for that oyster ice cream rubbish.
    Not creative or ingenious, just pretentious and stupid and another example of trying to be Heston-like.
    If he has small man’s complex, don’t take it out on an oyster.

    • I think if Harry can improve his kitchen hygiene and avoid sunburn he could go a long way. But will $hineEndemol let him win , fearing the avalanche of copyright lawsuits a Harry’s cookbook might bring with his beautiful , fresh but albeit stolen recipes?

      Mimi would have been safe with a Semi Freddo.

        • Harry’s going to struggle with a column when his vocabulary seems to be limited to “like” , “sort of”, “beautiful” , “:fresh”, “love”, “passion” etc. I guess he’ll have to plagiarize food blogs and reheat Ma$terchef cliches.

  22. I think Kate and Julie were both close to 40 when they won, not that it should matter. Poh also competed in late 30’s. If you can have a career change in your 20’s and 30’s why can’t you have one in your 40’s? Theresa was 46, I think.

    Brett seemed to know his jus/sauce/gravy wasn’t right. I must admit, I wasn’t quite “getting” his problem. Camera kept showing a pan of bubbling off-cuts. In the cutaways he kept waffling on about it. His overly “flat” performance was a dead giveaway that his time was up, IMO. I think there was only about 5 minutes to go when Gary suggested using the pork belly – probably too late to extract the “depth” they were looking for.

    • Yes, Julie and Kate were both in their late 30s and they do have contestants over 40 but not one of them have won. I’m not saying that they deserved to win BUT I think that Brett should have moved on and Harry should have been eliminated. Sounds like Harry’s sauce/puree was inedible whereas Brett’s did not have enough flavor. Brett knew his sauce was “off” but Harry knew he had not tasted that puree and he was concerned about it. It has become predictable that no one over 40 seems to have a chance. Maybe that will change and we will see a “senior” winner.
      As for Kate and Julie, I never thought either of them should have won and it had nothing to do with their age 😉 just because there were contestants who were more talented and skilled.
      I think Harry has talent but seems to be arrogant and has a tendency to be a copycat.

      • Maybe they should have a Senior MasterChef like they had junior MasterChef a few years ago. Only over 40 or 50 can apply.

  23. After the cook in Curtis’s kitchen, Harry has a distressed look and also teary. We could have tasted the puree after the time stopped and he knew the puree was not good. For Harry to be teary, the puree must be bad

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