MasterChef starts tonight

Tune in to Ten from 7.30pm for the “best season evah”.
How many episodes before we see a red silicone mould?

It finishes at 9.10pm. Tomorrow and Wednesday it runs from 7.30-8.40pm and on Thursday we get a whopping 2 hours. The blurb for the mega episode says: The top 24 contestants enter the kitchen for their first mystery box challenge. Later, the bottom four will cook off in an elimination challenge. Who will be the first to leave in 2017?
Sunday is the good ole mystery box challenge, from 7-8.40pm.

We start with a montage of what lies ahead, including Heston (hope he’s happier than he was last year), a trip to Japan, return visits from Anna P (death star chocolate dome maker), Maggie Beer and Curtis Stone etc. Looks like some cool challenges ahead.
The would-be contestants arrive, clutching their Coles bags, and here are the judges. Not sure about Gary’s purple paisley tie, and Matt is wearing a subdued grey long suit coat, but his burgandy cravat has a bit of sparkle in it, because it’s the premiere. George doesn’t have to wear a tie, but his shirt is buttoned to the top – because he’s the young ‘un.
George gives them the inspriational speech and makes them do the “Yes, George”. Ick. (Next year, add “hire a good accountant” to your speech, Georgie.)
Ok, let’s cook! These auditions are never much to write about but we get a challenge on Thursday.
Three yesses and you get an apron; only one and you get a chance to cook again.
Up first is Mich, who’s 19 and from Melbourne. Here hero is Reynold. She’s the golden ball girl and she’s using red silicone moulds. Bingo! But she cooks with Cadbury chocolate! Hmm, product placement? She taught herself to cook by practising stuff she saw online.
Pia, 48, is making gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce with a parmesan crisp. That’s a lot of richness.
Meanwhile, Mich is assembling her golden ball – I like her trick of melting the edge of the half dome by pressing it on the base of a hot saucepan. She’s studying nutrition, so I love that she wants to open a dessert bar. The judges are suitable impressed, as the producers knew they would be, sending her in first.

Please tell me she can cook mains, too.
Here comes Italian Pia with her gnocchi – she’s giving me a Julie Goodwin “cooking for the family so ordinary people can relate” kind of vibe. No gels or foams here. She starts tearing up when they praise her. I hope she can make it through the fancy pants cheffy-type challenges.

Here comes a blonde girl with Chinese dumplings. She’s in.

Fifty-seven-year-old Benita gets the “older lady who’s quite a character” slot for her pork belly.

Here’s a bloke with a pretty yuzu dessert. (From memory this is about as much airtime as Matt Sinclair got in the audition last year.) Ah, his name is Bryan.

A roo dish by headband-wearer Samuel is through.

A professional singer with Persian heritage makes a chicken and rice dish with “stock spheres”.

We hear mum mentioning she cooks it a different way, and is questioned whether the rice is cooked enough. Daughter brushes her off. And then tries to flirt a bit with Presto. She mentions how she is modernising it for MasterChef. They are totally going to tell her she should have done it the old-school way. She starts begging for her life before they’ve even tasted it.
She’s the first one that makes it to air as being rejected. Maybe a redemption story next year?
Uh oh – someone else makes a parfait that doesn’t set.
A girl with a white punky do is getting a lot of commentary time, and she was in the opening montage, so we know she’s through.
A string of people is knocked back.
Pete from Perth is making confit salmon. He’s the laidback Aussie bloke crane operator (remember Brett the bobcat driver, who went on to win?).

He knows how to make a foam and a is a George-style plater with nasturtium leaves. The judges love it. Onya, Pete.
Muscle-bound Ben leaves the gym and cooks a dish that’s a nod to his Ditch heritage and gets through.
They like the girl who made a dish she describes as tasting “like a burning pirate ship”.

Here comes handsome Dr Ray with “bacon and eggs” – a bowl of soft-poached egg and yummy bits, covered in a smoked potato foam. And he has two cute kids.
A blonde ponytail girl who looks a lot like dessert queen Kylie from a few seasons back presents a pho-paccio. It’s clever plating but unfortunately.
Oh no – another contestant with a brain injury! Following on from dessert specialist Karmen from last year – who was injured in a skiing accident – we have a young fella whose car was stolen the night before last year’s auditions and he was “injured in the process”. What does that mean? He chased them and was beaten up? Is it before the courts and he can’t say more? He was in hospital for nine weeks. Josh’s dish is the Japanese “Duck in the Wetlands” and they lap it up.
Poor Emily is trying to talk to the camera but Nanna keeps stealing the limelight. She’s doing the first panna cottas of the night, but they are mini ones that are just one element of her lychee dessert. Gary says she’s made a few errors. George says there’s too much sugar. But Matt likes her creativity so he sends her through to the second chance cook. Perhaps she’ll do better without a well-intentioned Nanna yelling at her.
We get a few more second chance cooks.

Here comes cheery, punky-looking Jess, a 29-year-old Melbourne nurse. She should cope well in the stressful reality TV environment. She’s created a Japanese-style savoury dessert using matcha (take note, Hashtaggers) and beetroot.

The judges love her handwritten collection of recipes, with pretty watercolour illustrations. So if she goes far in the comp, we already know what her cookbook will look like.
As Presto tastes, George uses the cover provided by his giant coat to mouth to camera “It’s amazing!”. Jess is through. “You are the textbook contestant we dream about finding,” Presto says.
Saffron-poached pears with smoked vanilla ice cream man has a cute, cheeky kid who’s brought in to the judging station to give Daddy his apron.
Salmon man gets through and, like the others today, he’s learnt MasterChef likes it when you talk about family memories and inspiration.
A few girls get the nod.
Beardie WA lawyer Ben makes “Sunday roast”, with 18 aprons already gone. He’s brought along some native WA wax flowers to go with the dish. He’s suitably emotional about the prospect of a food career and does a big “Oh What a Feeling” leap as he leaves the room. He has a Matt Sinclair vibe with his sincerity and passion.

To top that we have a molecular gastronomy/theatre guy, who once made lickable wallpaper for a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed school project. Dammit – there goes the theme for Heston week! Callan is doing a Japanese salmon tartare. He’s only 18. You seem lovely, but you know you can just do an apprenticeship, right, Callan? You’re not 40 and with a mortgage to pay.

George is doing the hiding behind Presto thing again so he can make faces at Garry. They think it’s sensational. Cue the orchestra! Sneaky Callan gives his family a heart attack by hiding the apron behind his back – there’s that theatre background.

Tomorrow night it’s the second chance cook, and they get to impress Maggie Beer.
Well, that went for far too long but at least they whipped through the contestants. And while we had some emotional back stories it was all delightfully restrained after MKR’s excess.
I do love that MasterChef posts lots of food pix to social media, which MKR annoyingly stopped doing this season.



  1. First red silicon mould spotted.
    And first Nonna incantation.
    And George lusting after the 19yo.

    • Alas, Ma$terchef, we know thee too well.

      There is nothing new under your culinary sun.

      George beats Gary to the 19yo. He eats with his eyes. Boom boom ,stake the room.

    • I know. No suspense at all- red mounds, passion, means so much, dead rellies and unset parfait all in the first Ep.
      Where to go from here?

  2. The golden ball girl seems to be a delight. Good television.
    George is slightly OTT. Less George, more contestant would be good.

  3. I will watch because I like MC, but I could have used a break after the interminable MKR. If there are too many references to dead inspirational rellies, or tears, or any over- the-top emotionalism, I’ll turn off and wait for the cooking. Please let this cooking show be about cooking.

  4. So far i like the Dutch boy (i have the same heritage) and the crane driver….who seemed so honest and the plate looked delicious.

  5. Emily has the trifecta, red silicon moulds, a cheering grandma and the departed grandfather card but only gets a second chance. (Guess she is not photogenic enough for Gary and George).

    • I know. Can’t. Bear. More. Poppy.
      But despite that I kind of liked Jess – she seemed chirpy and fun, so I’m not currently holding it against here that she is the contestant they dream about (Market) or that she had a cook book in hand. She’ll probably turn into a total dud and I’ll be whining about her attitude before the end of the week!

  6. The good thing with this show is that they have to be able to cook to get on the show….MKR should be a a lot more selective and get onn people who can cook….we had to go thru weeks of bad cooking till we got to the real cooks😣

    • Yes, not much difference between a one trick pony and a one trick phony.

      Humanity cannot live on balls alone

    • He could have just said he was raising money for charity, without parading his gran’s illness. I wonder how she feels about it.

  7. George gives them the inspirational speech and makes them do the “Yes, George”. Ick. (Next year, add “hire a good accountant” to your speech, Georgie.)

    Is that why there are no accountants this year on MC? I was hoping for an accountant contestant to be asked “Why do you want to be on Masterchef?” and answer, ” To understand the minutiae of the labour costs in running a restaurant.”

  8. Recap is up. I don’t see theatre-loving molecular kid lasting a long time but he might get an apprenticeship at a fancy restaurant. Just have a lawyer check your contract if it’s with George, Callan.

  9. Hi folks, had anyone had trouble accessing TTV lately? One of our regulars has been getting weird 403 access denied messages

  10. Why is always the grans who are venerated by these young cooks and not the mums and dads? I felt bad for the mum standing to the side while her daughter (gnocchi lady) raved about the gran. It is likely that the parents did all the unglamorous teaching, like how to chop vegies, how to wash up, not to mention providing all the ingredients for the young cook to experiment on, and probably has just as much skill as the gran anyway.

  11. Thanks Juz. We knew Callan & some others got through as they showed them in the preview of what’s coming up. They showed Callan opening the door to Heston, so we know he makes it till that week.
    At least they didn’t make us wait too long to find out what was in that bloody golden ball. They had it first.
    That girl with all the beetroot. Yuk yuk yuk.

  12. They get so excited with the golden ball. She just piped the ball with some cheese etc etc. A good presentation but really not in the calibre of Reynold

    • I’m just agin her because of the red silicone mould. But she seemed okay other than that crime against originality.

      • It’s not her fault that George called her “darling” and crawled up her arse. Wasn’t sure if she’d created a golden ball or a golden calf.

        Personally, I’m disappointed that someone so young is being a sheep and getting tattooed.

        The sacrificial older contestants that Maz referred to will get much shorter shrift.

    • I must admit I was impressed until I read you comment. You are quite right, it was more dazzle dazzle than good cooking. So we are giving her six weeks?

    • I thought there were quite a few decent looking fellas in the top 24, but I think they showed wives and girlfriends for all of them. Lucky cooking skill is the only criteria for this show – isn’t it?

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