MasterChef – Wed, July 13 – food truck challenge

The contestants are split into teams to run their very own food trucks at the world famous Santa Monica Pier. There is plenty at stake with the winning team guaranteed a place in finals week.

I love a good food truck. Anyone else watch The Great Food Truck Race, the US show where food trucks drive all over the country and compete in challenges?


I didn’t think Matt Preston’s suits could any pinker, but his outfit is super musk stick-pink today.
They do a random draw and red team is Harry, Brett and Mimi, so blue is Intense Matt, Trent and Elise. (Glowing Elena gets to sit out, having won the grape challenge). The guest chef today is the founder of what is apparently a successful food truck empire, Guerrilla Tacos: Wes Avila. http://www.guerrillatacos.com/
They have 2.5 hours to prep two items for at least 200 people.
Luckily for them they are actually cooking outside of the food trucks in a kitchen bigger than some restaurant kitchens. IM suggests BBQ chicken as one dish.
Harry wants to do a soft shell crab taco and here he goes again, using someone else’s recipe, doing a burnt lemon soz they had at a restaurant in San Fran.
Over on blue, they decide to do soft shell crab as well but – uh oh – red team has used all the soft shell crab (there weren’t that many to start with). But blue doesn’t know that because they are busy chopping up chook.
Red’s second dish will be a corn and guac salad with corn chips. Chef Wes thinks it sounds more like a side dish. They decide to add prawns.
Wes like’s IM’s chicken dish but he warns them to check they have enough crab and, uh oh. They have to do seared tuna with avo, corn, jalapeno and pineapple instead.
Red team spends a bit of time discussing whether the prawns’ poop chutes have been cleaned. They decide they already have. Does this they haven’t?
The teams use the trucks to grill their chook and tortillas and fry their corn chips.
It’s taking Harry ages to peel the prawns and now he wants to skewer them. This is where Brett needs to go rogue and just tell him “no”. After the initial crab hiccup, it was smart of blue to go with tuna, which just needs slicing and a quick sear.
With 15 minutes to go, Brett steps up and allocates everyone tasks. Good one, Brett – you sort out Gen Y.
On blue team, IM wants to give everyone a quarter of a chook with some slaw, but Elise – good on her – speaks up and says that would be a nightmare for the punters to eat standing up. Too true. He listens and chops it into smaller serves. Please let the chicken be cooked.
Red team decide they don’t have time for the tacos and it will just be soft shell crab with salad – good call.
IM is loving working in the food truck and Elise is bantering with customers – nice to see happy people in an MC challenge.

The judges taste


Red’s soft shell crab with fennel salad: Wes is a bit sad they didn’t do the taco. Gaz says the crab is well cooked and the lemon soz is yum.


Blue’s tuna with pineapple and corn salsa: Matt says it’s a bit old school but suits the beach on a sunny day. George reckons it’s a bit simple and Wes says the pineapple wasn’t consistently chopped. (Two women in the crowd note the blue team chefs were “gorgeous”.)


(Meanwhile, IM is worried no-one is ordering his chicken, instead wanting the more exotic tuna. If I was offered free food I’d pick tuna over chicken, too.)
Blue’s bourbon and ginger chicken with apple slaw: “You’d be rapt if you got that,” says George of the portion size. Matt says it might be hard for others to eat. Wes says it’s juicy and delicious. They love it.


Red’s charred prawn with corn salsa and tortilla chips: Gaz loves the fresh flavours but George isn’t eating his prawn. Gaz has to drag the reason out of him, for dramatic effect. Poor Georgie has a pooey prawn. Wes had poo, too. They’d love it otherwise.

The judges decide
Well, they ain’t giving it to the in the poo team.
Matt tells them the three things that bring people unstuck in the MasterChef kitchen are: bones in fish, undercooked chicken (did IM’s heart miss a beat just then?) and leaving poop chutes in prawns.
So, yes, team poo loses.

Tomorrow night
It’s elimination time and Mimi, Brett and Harry are in black, cooking under the eyes of Curtis Stone “to keep their food dreams alive”.

Beetroot alert
Note: None of the dishes tonight used beetroot. Hopefully someone will do beetroot two ways tomorrow to make up for this glaring omission.



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67 Comments

  1. Just saw an ad for the final week.

    Again we are being brainwash. Every few weeks the judges either said it was the best dish they have tasted in this season or they have tasted ever on MC.

    Best ever contestants!!

  2. Very interesting that they both chose soft-shell crab.
    Feeling better now that fennel is on the menu. πŸ˜‰ Now that the blue team can’t do soft shell crab, I wonder if they’ll end up cooking beetroot something.
    Wonder what Elena is supposed to be doing for the remainder of the day.

  3. And Harry seems to have appointed himself leader of his team – just so he can fiddle fart around like he did last night. Time to go Harry …

  4. Harry “I don’t know if WE thought our dishes through properly at the start” Really Harry, you steamrolled them! Your way or the highway.

  5. Harry just want to cook beauutiiful food. Doesn’t matter if it take a whole day. Red team is in big trouble! Fennel can’t save them

    • They probably don’t want a law suit from a fried contestant.

      I’m very over the vodafone ad. Oh and the Stan ad for Roadies – a tv show that lost 3/4 of it’s audience during it’s first season.

        • I liked most of the first two episodes. Laughed out loud.
          But the some of the new developing story lines (eg new love interest) are just cringe-worthy. The joke of Offspring was Nina’s internal dialogue and that seems to have been lost.
          And let’s face it, we all miss Patrick.

    • But Matt said they loved the “creativity” of the burnt lemon sauce …certainly creative from the chef who created it and sadly served to topknot. But just reproducing something delicious? Not actually creative Harry.

  6. That’s the way the cookie crumbles Matt, if they don’t want your chicken. You appointed yourself as captain and chose the menu …. You are someone else annoying me tonight

    • Agree, chicken is still in big chunks.

      Chicken dirt cheap in USA. Not surprised. I’d choose a $20 piece of tuna for free over chicken too.

      lol – poop shoots still in the prawns. Had a feeling that it was “too good to be true” that they’d all been pre-cleaned.

        • For sure, it’s something they wouldn’t see or have opportunity to eat every day. They are also out of season for when they filmed. Only available in summer.

      • I was wondering how do you pre-clean them without shelling anyway? I thought maybe he meant that they had been kept in clear water at the end, so that while the shute is still there it has nothing in it.

  7. Someone has to get a picture of Harry’s face when blue team were hugging. He looked like he’d just sucked on a lemon.

  8. Thanks for the recap, Juz πŸ™‚ Looking forward to “beetroot, two ways”, tomorrow. Maybe they can kill two birds with one stone and do a beetroot parfait?

  9. What an incredible mistake to make with the prawns – surely that’s Prawn Cooking 101, removing the poo?
    Surprised George didn’t like it – I thought it was a delicacy in his restaurants.

    I think Brett or Harry will be skewered tomorrow, to even up the gender imbalance. Despite the fact that Mimi looked teary (though she will be the next female to go).

  10. Well, tonight was a good episode in which to yell at the tv and release some hidden stress. Good lord, you lot, try using your frigging heads.

    Harry is an annoying, bossy little pissant. He always has been, but the supreme annoyingness of Chloe overshadowed it. Brett left it way too late to stand up to him and pull things (somewhat) into line. Just yell at him, for chrissake; he is not your boss.

    Blue wanted to use soft shell crab. No one thought to check if there was soft shell crab left. It took all of a 10 second walk to look inside the fridge.

    Turns out, tacos were going to be too time-consuming to fit in. Surprise, surprise. Harry’s maddening insistence on his superior knowledge stuffed up his team again. All of red team should be ashamed for serving poop-tube-intact prawns. It’s not that hard to check if prawns have been cleaned; don’t discuss it, open one up and find out. Geez.

    Harry and Matt need to be taken out back to have their butts kicked until their arrogance is gone. Why the others defer to them is beyond me. Still no one understands what being on a team means.

  11. It is a sign of this season that offered a big range of ingredients, both teams chose exactly the same dish – soft shell crab and fennel slaw. I can understand the crab, if they had perused the fridge and seen it there, but surely someone can be more inventive than fennel slaw. How about using cabbage for the slaw, just to be radical?

    Seriously, these cooks need to address their addictions to certain ingredients. First person to break out and use something different wins the comp.

  12. I was so happy when the promo turned out to be yet another MC misdirect and blue team won. Seeing their joy and Matt’s incredulous wonder, and his eyes fill up with tears, when they learned they were through to finals week – I think he should win on sheer enthusiasm alone.

  13. Thanks for the great recap Juz.
    Well Matt got his dream, he got to cook in a food truck.
    I laughed when the blue team decided to do crab for their 2nd dish, knowing the red team had taken all of them. But they came up with another dish pretty quick smart & it was a success.
    So poor red team, the poo shute was still in after all. How carefully did they check? I must admit, before MasterChef I didn’t know it was poo & never bothered pulling it out. I do now though.
    That chicken looked absolutely yummy, I couldn’t believe people preferring the tuna. Not a big fan of tuna.

  14. Too difficult just to double check that prawns were cleaned… all of a couple of seconds.

    I want Harry out…. Chloe’s evil twin.

  15. How pissed was Mimi at the end – understandably, based on the judges, team lost for something her other teammates did poorly.
    See Elise yelp and scream when her team won then turn to the other team and say oops sorry?
    Why do wimmin act like little girls sometimes?

    • Elise did the wongting. I watched State Of Origin …it was just a bad night for grace in victory or defeat.

      Yeah? George wasn’t going to let the shit hit the fang. Soft shelled crap or soft shelled crab?

      I think Brett’s gone. I hope not but this is the greatest cooking show on the face of the earth and he’ll be aliminated on the basis of age and getting the gender balance for Fennel Weak right. Life’s a bitch, then you go on Ma$terchef.

  16. Harry takes over the job of head chef again and guides his team to the elimination round. Why do they defer to him? What is it about Harry? Hope that he will be the one who is eliminated. Doesn’t listen to the judges or his teammates. If he hadn’t decided to skewer the prawns he could have made tacos. Poop chutes in the prawns big fail and the sh*t hit the fan. Very creative of him to copy another chef’s burnt lemon sauce. πŸ˜‰

    Matt knows that chicken will definitely work with this crowd. Does he know the crowd? Has he spent time in CA? Found him bordering on emulating Harry in this episode which is NOT a good thing.

    Blue ocean of Santa Monica as per one of the judges….Santa Monica Pier happens to be one of the most polluted beaches in CA. πŸ™

    Will we see the return of the infamous beet root tonight? Maybe a parfait or two?

    • Yeah and you wouldn’t go walking around SM pier at night – full of derelicts and addicts and has the highest murder rate in LA.

      No no, Matt’s nothing like Harry. He just suggested his chicken dish and left it to the others to decide what to do for the second. He can’t help it if they defer to him a lot. I think he’s very modest and not bossy at all.
      Plus he knew that Americans love their chicken!

  17. Juz, I have watched the Great Food Truck Race. It’s a fun journey across the US with some interesting cooking challenges, IMO. I actually thought they were going to have theme food trucks in this challenge where they would have to cook dishes relevant to whichever food truck they were assigned. Obviously I was wrong.

  18. FB fans has Harry as the favourite to win and Brett the one who should go as too old and too slow!! I mean how old must these FB fans be? I like Brett, and hope that Harry will soon be gone, along with Matt who is rather full of himself at the best of times (in my mind anyway!)

    • So the FB fans think Brett is too old and too slow.
      Well let them think what they want but it’s time for arrogant Harry to go.
      My feeling, though, is that the judges’ opinion will be contrary and that
      they will not eliminate copycat Harry.

    • Producers will think Brett is too old to win MC. He hardly get much airtime so he won’t win.
      Matt has LOT of airtime, so may not win.

      We are left with Harry and Trent.

      Hopefully they go against the trend and have a female winner. Then it will be Elena

  19. I’ll be happiest to see Curtis Stone go home tonight. As for Harry, the Masterchef website states: “Determined to make the most of the MasterChef Australia experience, Harry is inspired by a future where he sees himself running eco-tourism experiences in remote parts of Australia and serving delicious food. His dream to combine his passions for food, nature and travel.” Perhaps he could team up with Russell Coight (“All Aussie Adventures”).

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