MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 22 Recap – Team Challenge: The Amazing MasterChef Pickers Race

Wednesday night is here again and that mean’s team challenge in the world of MasterChef.  Immediately after returning from Mindy’s immunity victory, our ragtag band of cooks find red and blue aprons in the MasterChef house. They’ll be working to raise money for Oz Harvest, a charity that uses restaurant left-overs to feed the homeless. Their aim is to scrounge as many ingredients as they can in three hours from restaurants to cook a three-course charity lunch for twenty-five of Australia’s food elite (really, we have an “elite”?). It’s like American Pickers meets The Amazing Race meets Ready Steady Cook.

There are no team assignments, so it’s a chaotic free-for-all as contestants punch and shove their way toward blue aprons. Blue Team has won both challenges so far this season. It’s luck of the draw (supposedly) on captaincy as well, depending on which apron you pick up. Amina is Red’s captain and Taco Ben is at the helm on Blue. Continue reading

MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 21 Recap – Immunity: Raw Talent

Golden girl, Mindy, has another shot at immunity tonight. Gary feels a distinct sense of deja vu since it was just a week ago she was standing before them with hopes of earning the coveted gold pin. George does a great shady watch salesman impression by revealing the immunity pin on the inside of his jacket. Caught off-guard, Gary thinks it’s a suicide bomb and runs for cover.

Tonight she’s up against sushi specialist, Sake’s Shaun Presland in a challenge “with a twist” – no stoves or ovens – completely raw food. Mindy chooses the two strongest cooks in the competition, Amina and Audra. Take a good look, these guys will be the final three this year. It’s early days but my gut tells me it’ll be them. Continue reading

MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 20 Recap – Pressure Test Elimination: Cake Cook-Off

After suffering at the hands of a troublesome core ingredient in the form of cactus and prickly pear last night, Andrew, Kath and Cupcake Barbie are fighting to stay in the competition in tonight’s Pressure Test.

The ever-delightful Maggie Beer is the guest chef tonight and receives a rock star welcome. Our foodies need to recreate her grape cake, raisin wafer and olive oil & verjuice ice cream. The contestants must tip the finished cake out in front of the judges. To add extra pressure, they have just ninety minutes to complete it all.

It’s a dessert challenge, so we already know that Cupcake Barbie will go through. Between Andrew and Kath however, it’s a tough call. Kath’s a great cook but being the arty type, she doesn’t follow recipes, which may be her downfall. This is proven early on as both Andrew and CB fly through making the olive oil ice cream. However Kath misses a crucial element by not including the sugar syrup, so the ice cream will have no sweetness to it. She fixes it quickly though. Continue reading

MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 19 Recap – Mystery Box & Invention Test: A Prickly Situation

It’s a fresh week of MasterChef and that means Mystery Box and Invention Test.

Tonight our contestants face larger than usual Mystery Boxes. They are told the contents can be cooked either sweet or savoury but it must be sweet for this challenge. It’s biscuits in sixty minutes. Cupcake Barbie (Julia) and Cupcake Barbie Jr. (Kylie) high five, having a challenge playing to their dessert strengths. The red-blooded male contestants are disappointed there wasn’t more physical contact between this season’s token eye candy.

Only the top three will be judged. As per usual, the winner will choose the core ingredient in the Invention Test.

Cupcake Barbie Jr. is making a fancy tuile with lime zest and white chocolate ganache. Cupcake Barbie is making melting moments with raspberry jam. Taco Ben is making ANZAC Biscuits in the shape of sombreros. Amina’s making a Middle Eastern biscuit that I have no idea how to spell.  Continue reading

MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 17 Recap – Elimination: In For A Tough Tagine

It’s elimination time and we open with Deb not claiming responsibility for her team’s loss. Young Matty, however, takes it on the chin. Sure he was swapped to the Red team and subsequently up for elimination but he accepts his fate like a man. See Deb, that’s what a true leader does. And Matt learnt all he knows from the Hungry Jack’s School of Management.

Round one of the elimination is a taste test. Gary pulls out a tagine and asks, “what kind of tagine is it?”. Not exactly a cheap one, judging by the Scanpan logo on it, Gary. It contains a North African dish with twenty-five ingredients they need to correctly identify one by one. Andy tells us he didn’t even know North African cuisine existed. Face palm. Really, I have no words. None. The first five to incorrectly name an ingredient go into round two of the elimination.

First up to taste is Amina (purely coincidental, I’m sure), the only one in the group who knew that people actually eat food in North Africa, since her Dad’s Egyptian. She indulges in the flavour explosion a little too much while George reminds her it’s a one hour show. She correctly identifies okra. The line moves along for a full rotation until Deb incorrectly identifies peanuts, which aren’t in the dish. Payback sure is a bitch. Andrew, Matt, Emma and F-Bomb join Deb in round two. Continue reading

MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 16 Recap – Team Challenge: Yum Cha A Go-Go

It’s early morning in the MasterChef house and Taco Ben reckons that today will involve some kind of dumpling making. It’s not like he’s psychic or anything, it’s just that they got a dumpling master class the previous night. This dude gets smarter with every fish taco he eats (it is full of brain-boosting Omega 3, after all). Marble (or was it Marvel? Either way the guy’s got a rad name) of Chefs Gallery blitzes through making three types of dumplings. The whitest Asian girl in Australia, Mindy, tries her hand at Chinese to the name the morsels, because we all remember how well it went last time when she pronounced her Malaysian “murtabak” by its Arabic name, ”mutabbaq”. Honestly, did you really live in Malaysia, Mindy? Just sayin’. For the record, Marvel made char siu bao (pork steamed bun), siu mai (pork dumpling) and har gow (shrimp dumpling).

The black motorcade prominently displaying this year’s automotive sponsor logo pulls up to the Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour and our heroes and villain (I’ll get to that) are told it is indeed a yum cha challenge. Taco Ben buys a lotto ticket. The Red and Blue teams must each create five dishes and must include a dumpling, steamed bun and spring roll with the remaining two up to the teams to decide. It’s also a people’s choice challenge with the visitors to the Chinese Garden voting for the best team. This time, instead of contestants picking teams, fortune cookies will assign them.

Continue reading

MasterChef Australia, Season 4, Episode 15 Recap – Immunity: Girls vs Ducks

It’s Immunity challenge time and our favourite blonde dynamo and daddy’s girl, Mindy, is pitted against a boy band trio from the Three Blue Ducks restaurant; led by tall drink of water, Darren Robertson. There are some sparks there, no doubt.

Mindy is given a choice of either choosing her team or choosing the core ingredient, which tonight is either cheese or wine. She quickly opts for the former because she wants the best team backing her. In this case it’s Dessert Barbie and Amina. The Ducks get to choose the ingredient and go with cheese because they’re worried about their behaviour around attractive blondes if intoxicated. Continue reading