Masterchef Recap 30 May: Grapes of Wrath

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

We’re back. Haven’t had a chance to watch last night’s episode though, but I am sad to hear that Jay’s team won the challenge. Their reward is a trip up to the Margaret Valley to fight it out for double immunity. What’s double immunity? I cannot keep up with the rule changes this year.

The blue team are luxuriating around the breakfast table. Everyone is dressed except Jay, who appears to be naked under his bathrobe. There is something seriously wrong with this guy.

Rachel is standing in the garden putting her chef’s whites on, staring into the distance. She thinks someone from WA deserves to win. I think someone who can cook deserves to win. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Where is the red team? Are they still in the mine? Will we lose Goth Matt to black lung? Fingers crossed.

Goth Matt is acting as the canary

The Red Team

They’ve moved from the mines to the vines, as Matt Preston puts it. Bet he chortled to himself when he thought of that one. It’s another invention test using those awful outdoor stoves. Peter would rather be wine tasting. Well, wouldn’t we all.

The best dish today gets a shot at an immunity pin tomorrow. We flash back to Jay’s terrible immunity effort. He appears to feel no shame. There’s a twist – they’re also immune for the rest of the week. Game: changed.

The twists don’t stop coming. George, overwhelmed with all the local produce, has decided to blow the invention test wide open. Everyone will be cooking with a different core ingredient. How can they possibly judge this fairly? Oh wait, I forgot, fairness went out the door with Cleo.

No huge surprises as George reveals the ingredients. Seafood and red meat. After five ingredients, George gets bored and wanders off. Gary does the rest. He’s picked a special treat for one sucker – ostrich eggs. That is the furthest thing from a level playing field you can get.

The ingredients are allocated by random wine bottle selection. Everyone wants to pick first  – the judges inexplicably let Jay go. He wants marron. Then he gets marron. This is completely rigged. Why have they rigged it for Jay?

On the other end of the luck spectrum, Kumar gets ostrich eggs. Everyone claps in relief. He puts on a brave face but is clearly gutted. George is pretty clear about how the eggs were the trap.

There’s a guest judge – Jake Drakenburg, head chef at the vineyard they’re in. I couldn’t find anything about him online, so that last name is a guess. He is not a Coles patron – he has his own kitchen garden, which the contestants are getting free run of. Gary ruins everyone’s fun by letting them know they’ve only got five minutes! They are just going to destroy this guy’s garden.

Everyone’s racing around the garden. Michael feels like Peter Rabbit – more so than usual, apparently. Jay is looking for flowers and pretty things. He’s practically skipping!

I would buy this cookbook actually


Peter is cultivating an inexplicable neckbeard. He’s an account manager who dreams of moving to the country and growing heirloom vegetables. Backstory at this stage is a good sign.

Everyone’s back from the garden adventure. They’ve got sixty minutes, which starts…now! Oh, Billy’s here. First time he’s appeared on camera today. Probably the last time, too – same goes for Dani, Adam and Ellie.

Kumar is rocking a great hat, which may be why he’s getting a bit of screentime. He’s going for a frittata, which sounds like good idea. He is excited about cracking the egg – fair  enough, as he gets to use a giant cleaver. It finally splits and the yolk is the size of his head. Kumar’s delighted, and thinks it’s like watching a child being born. Gary finds his frittata idea boring and convinces him to switch to an egg net, which would be great if Kumar had any idea how to make that.

With serial killer intensity, Jay ties his marron tails to a spoon.  This is apparently the right thing to do. Jake tells him to remember what marron tastes like.

Jay sees Michael as his biggest rival, apparently. Contestants usually don’t talk about this, but Jay is not bound by mere social norms. Michael’s also growing a neckbeard. Is it because they’re in WA, or are they just trying to hide their increasing jowls? It doesn’t work.

Although it can be adorable

Not that slimming

Rachel marinating her lamb, wrapping it in foil. It smells delicious. She reckons you’d need to pour arsenic over it to make it taste disgusting. Part of arsenic’s popularity as a Victorian poison came from its lack of strong flavour, so she’ll have to reconsider that plan.

Peter is ineffectively smashing his crab. He finally cracks it open, and finds that it has the meat of three or four normal crabs. George, apropros of nothing, yells out ‘boom boom, shake those vines’. Appalling.

Gary mocks Sun’s hat. At least she’s being sun smart. She wants to prove that letting her in wasn’t a mistake, which is difficult given that it was. Gary listens to her plan, then tells her to cook something different. Sun agrees, as she realises that when she goes simple it seems to work. That is because she is not skilled enough to do complicated things.

To nobody’s surprise, Kumar’s egg net is going terribly. George mistakes his third effort for his first. Should have stuck with the frittata.

Peter’s crab salad is using whole peppers, interestingly. They talk some more about his dream and the ‘cookbook deal’ music plays.

Rachel identifies that ‘on masterchef, the judges like their lamb pink’. So, not overcooked? Breaking news.

'Well done' means 'actually on fire'

This is medium rare in WA

One minute to go! Everyone plates up without much drama for once.

Judging time! Rachel’s overcooked her lamb and failed to season anything. She feels like she’s let WA down.

Jay’s presentation is beautiful, but as usual I would be sad if I got it in a restaurant when I was hungry. Gary points out that tiny dots of sauce are totally pointless. Everything else is great, though.

As a counterpoint, Peter has brought up a big plate of crab. He doesn’t think it’s good enough. Turns out it’s cooked beautifully. He just needs confidence. Maybe the beard will help.

Now this is slimming

Look how confident this guy is

The judges make a big deal about Sun being a recovering vegetarian. Her venison is perfectly cooked regardless.  Gary loves her and by proxy the dish. Matt declares her an ex-vegetarian no longer. That’s not how that works.

Kumar hopes he can win. He knows it’s hugely unlikely as his egg net is ridiculous. Gary wants to know what the egg tastes like. It tastes like egg! It is just a giant egg.

Adam, Ellie, Billy and Dani have made competently cooked but unexciting dishes. Nice to see you, guys.

Michael’s goat is presented really nicely. It’s delicious, but the sauce is maybe too acidic. Does he get bonus points for the difficulty level? This challenge sucks. He is the first contestant to successfully poach anything.

Decision time. Sun explains that immunity will help you win. Thanks. There can only be one winner – but there were two outstanding contenders! It’s Michael and Jay, unsurprisingly. Ah, they’re friends. That’s nice. It will not stop them wanting to murder each other.

Jay wins. Goddamn it. This guy is going to take it out. I wish I could like him more as he’s clearly competent, but he’s just so unpleasant. Remember, though, that awful Jonathan had a run of success.

See you tomorrow for Matt Preston’s Brian Burke impersonation.

  1. Crystal says:

    Oh man you would have loved last night’s episode!! Watch for the hilarious moment when Dani wakes Jay up in the middle of the night. Hahaha, he looked like a squished up toad.

    That said, I really kinda like him and I don’t know why!!

    If I have to hear ONE MORE comment from Rachel about being from WA I’m going to lose my tentative grip on sanity. We get it Rachel, your husband worked in the mine, you’re from WA. Whoop-dee-doo.

  2. Bec says:

    Can I just say, I love this blog. You and your hate for jay and sun are brilliant. I hate them also. Actually, I don’t really like any of them (except Hayden, but not because he’s an amazing chef).

  3. Tash says:

    Brilliant!! I cried while reading this post, just too funny and accurate.

    And yes, agree with Crystal’s comment – when Dani wakes up Jay, Jay’s face is just ridiculous!

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