MKR Wed – semi final 2

It’s semi final 2, with Beardies versus Mum and Daughter.
The final starts Sunday at 7.45pm and goes for 135 minutes!!! There will be ads galore, so flick over to Doctor Who on the ABC or House Hunters on 9Life.

Manu has donned his favourite bedspread for the challenge, the black double-breasted brocadey number. Ugh. 1/10 for you, Manu.

Beardies Tim and Kyle are making a classic entree: scallops with celeriac puree and pancetta. I wish Brown Beard would ask Amy and Tyson how to pronounce celeriac properly, because I figure they and Pete are the only people in the room who know it’s sell-air-ee-ack, not salary-ack. Main is confit duck with coffee pumpkin – ooh, interesting! Tim announces he is making dessert and Brown Beard channels Bachelor Richie with “cool bananas”. Hot on the heels of his success with his trio of mousses, when he thought all three would suck, he is making another mousse. This time it’s chocolate stout mousse with a brownie and coffee syrup. So, two dishes with coffee? A good idea to perk the judges up given how long it can take to film these three-dish episodes.
Valerie and Other Courtney’s entree is peppered chicken livers with fennel and tomato chutney. Smart – the judges do love their offal. Main is oxtail stew with pickled onion mash and eggplant kasundi (a type of relish). Dessert is cardamom dumplings with saffron creme anglaise. Hmm – could be a bit heavy after the main. Coles has supplied Valerie with whole oxtail so she has to smash a cleaver with a rolling pin to slice it up. Hard work!
Bring SA boys the Beardies are using Coopers Stout for their dessert but Tim is not happy with his mousse so remakes it.
Mum is mixing the spices into the livers bare handed – she is never going to the turmeric out of her nails!
Everyone’s a bit flustered – Tim over-reduces his soz and, smelling burning from somewhere, Valerie flicks open the pressure cooker valve too early.

The boys decide to smoke their puree for their entree, so the MKR editors start playing reggae music. Whatever are they implying?

Brown Beard is leaving it late to cook his 40 scallops. They are a quick cook but fiddly. By the end of it he is flicking scallops out of the scalding hot frypan with his bare hands! Ouchies! Their plating is not as pretty as it should be.

The judges taste
The judges like the flavours but there’s not much on the plate, and the presentation could be better. It’s middle of the road.
They love Mum and Daughter’s liver dish. “It awakens the palate,” says Karen. Manu has polished off all of his entree.

Tim is roasting pumpkin for his puree and – take note, Hashtagger Betty – he has chopped it into small chunks so it cooks on quickly #SoLongBetty
They are tipping the equivalent of a short black into their puree. We get several minutes’ footage of Valerie umming and aarghing over whether her oxtail is ready, while dramatic music plays. It is NOT that exciting, MKR editors! Just show more footage of Brown Beard burning himself and going *bleep*.
The boys’ dish looks much prettier this time round.

The judges taste
Liz (The Other One) says Beardies have redeemed themselves. Colin loves the duck and the coffee pumpkin puree is clever.
Guy raves about the oxtail stew and Liz also likes it but Colin thinks there is too much cinnamon and cardamom. On the sidelines, Amy and Tyson agree with Colin, so it must be true.

An hour has passed and we have only just reached dessert cooking time. Urgh – Sundays final is going to be excruciating. The most interesting moment is when Amy makes a comment from the sidelines and Tim absentmindedly calls her “darling”. So the reports of them dating must be true.
Kyle starts bashing up pretzels to sprinkle on their somewhat dry-looking brownies and kudos to the MKR music editors for playing the Seinfeld theme music in the background.

Valerie and Courtney’s looks pretty much like gulab jamun – basically balls of sugar-soaked dough – with a saffron custard. Courtney complains the anglaise isn’t thickening but she has it all in one giant pot. #Dontbeabetty. Split it into two pots, Other Cout! That’s two soft, sweet elements on the plate and no textural element. Oh, they’ve put a tiny sprinkle of nuts on, and some passionfruit coulis and fresh mango to give some tartness.
The boys’ dessert doesn’t look that impressive, either. Chunks of cake aren’t really a finals-type dish.

The judges taste
They pull a few faces when tasting the bitter stout in the mousse. Guy says it’s a good brownie. Karen says she “surprisingly” enjoyed the dessert. Liz slams them for using pre-brought pretzels but Karen defends the Beardies and says it’s on trend, but she’s overruled by Guy. “It’s not a dealbreaker,” says Colin. Guy says it’s not hard to make your own pretzels. Umm, I found several recipes online that say it takes 2 hours to rest the dough and an hour to cook. So, no, Mr Grossi – just no. Yes, Liz, they could have done a salted bickie crumb instead.
Karen loves the Indian dessert but Guy and Colin find it too sweet. Liz likes it.

The scores

Liz 7 Karen 8 Guy 8 Colin 7 Manu 8 Pete 8 Total 46
OMG – the girls are going to win!

Valerie and Courtney
Liz 9 Karen 9 Guy 8 Colin 8 Manu 8 Pete 8 Total 50

Well, that was a surprise but well done, ladies. Tim and Kyle shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a media gig or a job spruiking for Barbeques Galore or similar. Nice to have some blokes in the comp who weren’t dicks and who could cook.



  1. Anyone else think the semifinals results are completely predictable? I’ve been half watching since the idiot was eliminated, and I could foresee who was going home each night since then. Tonight I expect mum and daughter to go, and then Amy and Tyson to take out the grand prize against the Beardies. At least there are some interesting dishes being presented.

    The judges’ overacting over the pickled cucumber last night made me laugh. The menu specified pickled cucumber, so there was no need for all the raised eyebrows, coughing, and Karen grabbing for her water glass. What a bad soap opera this series has been.

  2. I too am half-expecting and half-hoping that the Beardies win tonight, and the mum and daughter get eliminated.

  3. I think the boys bombed out on the entree. The girls got “fairytale indian” and all the judges loved thier entree….and i have to agree they did a good job….even tho i can’t stand liver๐Ÿ™„

  4. Was it me or did Liz look quite secretly excited when Karen choked briefly on Court and Valerie’s main?

    I’m starting to worry about those judges.

  5. Mmmm now its getting interesting as they loved the beards flavours and the duck..will creativity win the night for them?

    • If the boys dessert works they will win.

      It will be an interesting finals with 2 teams cooking creatively. Bring it on!

    • Doing it for poppy…. that and the possible book deal, of course. Got to remember, nobody is there for the $250k ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I live for the day when Pete and Manu are talking to one of the teams, and the team reveals that their motivation to be on this grand adventure is nothing more than, “to win a shitload of cash.”

  6. Beards are out…it was the entrรฉe that did it. ๐Ÿ˜ have to say that the girls did put up great looking food.๐Ÿ˜Š I just thought the boys are more creative but food not as good tonight๐Ÿ™„

      • Teams who’s entire schtick is name-dropping their poor elderly relatives always set my teeth on edge. And Val made the rookie mistake of walking into the kitchen talking about cooking with her heart … as opposed to, y’know, ingredients and utensils … and that’s another strike.

        • Yes I was just messing with you.
          However I don’t think you would have minded quite so much if Courtney had been an aesthetically pleasing young man ….. a certain Mother and son team from last season springs to mind.

          • The teams I like keep getting knocked out in the semi-finals.

            I keep trying to picture what the Beards look like without their actual beards. I can’t picture it at all. I imagine Kyle was born with a lumberjack beard.

  7. I think LP mentioned yesterday that in previous seasons the pairs with sponsorship deals didn’t make the final.

  8. Actually MKR should changed the rules for next series. Get teams cooking only food from their culture. Then we will have the battle of the cuisines.

    • Build a wall to stop pretzels, I say.

      Kyle had already lost his $hit doing main yet there were no shrieks of “stress on ze plait” just praise. I didn’t get that.

    • With the judges secretly plotting each others’ demise, I think they’ve got more important things to worry about than a bunch of crushed up pretzels.

    • They were “deconstructed” pretzels used as a garnish. Manu and Karen thought them the heroes of the dish.

      The great thing is, I know Coles will have pretzels.

    • Great recap, thank you Juz. I was also wondering about the tumeric under nails. Never again will I store anything with tumeric in tupperware…. crappy stains!

      • Yes, I love turmeric but I just cant use fresh turmeric. My chopper will get a yellow stain. I just use a good turmeric powder.

  9. Tim has been reported as saying he and Kyle will set up a food truck this year here in SA. Speculation is it’s with former MasterChef runner up Callum, who’s a mate.

  10. One more episode of hearing about Poppi. ๐Ÿ™
    At least TK didn’t cook a steak.
    Will VC cook curry & rice, stew & rice or stew and potatoes for the final? Will they make another chutney?
    Didn’t matter to me which team won since I am rooting for Tyson & Amy to win the whole thing.
    The blind judging continues to be a farce. As if the judges didn’t know who made the Indian dishes.

  11. Well, so much for me being able to predict the outcomes. My whole world is turned upside down now. *cough*

    All the palaver over the pretzels was stupid. A few pretzels were smashed up to be used as a garnish – that hardly warrants the effort of making pretzels from scratch. No one suggested Val and Courtney should have grown their own coriander.

    Blonde judge needs to stop using black nail polish. Yuk.

  12. I was genuinely surprised at Tim and Kyle losing last night. I for sure thought they were going to take out that cook off. Either way, I wasn’t fond of either team. T & K had annoyed me from the beginning and Valerie and Courtney are a repeat of so many teams that have come before – the stereotype team that constantly references family members and tradition and sticks to one type of cuisine. Which is fine if you are running your own restaurant or cooking for your own family, but seeing the same food cooked each week on TV is not inspiring to viewers or gaining new skills for themselves. For instance it would get you kicked off Masterchef within a matter of weeks. But then again, MKR has always chosen casting over talent.

    Barracking for Amy and Tyson all the way.

    • Agree with you. Yes the curries were delicious but the judges and the producers did not say anything about not cooking similar dishes all the time.

      Before the judges will criticise the teams for playing it safe. They were pushed to cook something different.

      This year they just want them to cook traditional food.

      Most probably CV will win but I dont care. I have enough curries recipes to last me a lifetime.

      • Yesssss, LP, that ‘playing it safe’ tag always annoys me. Variety is the aim of the game in a show like this.

        I would be really surprised if Valerie and Courtney win. They get far too stressed under pressure and I really think that will be their downfall rather than the cooking. Plus the theatrics eg. arguing, spilling, time management, mess etc. I’d say Amy and Tyson have this in the bag.

        • Theoretically Amy and Tyson should win. But factually it all depends on who Ch 7 want to win! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

          At this stage white jacket usually win but if CV stuff up too badly, the editing and peoducers cant save them.

          Previous series you will be crucified if you just serve a bowl of rice with curry over it or mash with stew over it.

      • I also think that mother and daughter and pops will win. Isn’t it lovely to sell to magazines and tv shows? They basically have their schtick and that’s easy to sell. There is nothing like that for Amy and Tyson.

        • That is true. Amy and Tyson’s lack of schtick is an issue. The girls have the Indian cuisine, family ties home cooking thing to appeal to the mass market. Plus their sauce is back in stock in Coles this week. Hmnn, the more I think about it the more I can see them winning now. I would still prefer A and T though, it’s time for a more modern team to win.

  13. Amy and Tyson should win but agree that it depends on who the producers want to win. Amy and Tyson are innovative and they introduced the judges to some new taste experiences and flavor combinations, some good and some bad. Courtney and Valerie are just cooking the same thing when it comes down to it. Where is the experimentation? Where is the WOW factor? The producers probably think that cooking for Poppi is the draw….family, love of food, the recipe book.

    Amy and Tyson, though, are the real thing. They are talented and are willing to try new things. Not saying that VC can’t cook. They can but it’s become very repetitive. At least Tim and Kyle did not cook another steak for the semi-final. As for the pretzels, much ado by the judges about nothing. How many cooks have used packaged nuts in their recipes? Maybe if they had coated the pretzels with a little bit of chocolate the judges would have been happier but pretzels/no pretzels, more scallops (judges thought there weren’t enough), wouldn’t have made a difference. VC were going to the finals unless they totally messed up.

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