We’re back. Some kind of sinister supervillan is approaching the Masterchef house, shot only from behind. We see his face and it’s Matt Preston, looing more orange than ever. He’s come to tell the contestants that they’re returning to the real world for their first real catering job. Some people are more delighted at the prospect of reality than others.
The team challenge is always a difficult one. Kumar identifies that if everything goes wrong, it will be a disaster. The blue team will be catering a corporate lunch for twelve, and the red team are catering a 50-person twenty-first. Everyone who sleeps downstairs is the blue team – strangely, it’s one hundred percent dude. Peter, Billy, Hayden, Kumar and Michael. This leaves Sun, Dani, Kate, Goth Matt, Arena and Ellie as the red team. That is a risky Red team.
They get to pick their own captains! Peter is the instant pick for blue due to his age and experience, not to mention the fact that he’s a sucker. Ellie is picked for the red team as she just turned 21. Wow, I feel old. She had a rock and roll theme party in the Masterchef house. This is going to go so badly.
The blue team is off! The corporate lunch is at Allens Arthur Robinson, the law firm best known for advising James Hardie when they were setting up the corporate structure that they hoped would enable them to avoid compensating asbestos victims. Interesting choice, Masterchef.
Peter’s meeting with the chief executive partner, Suity McSuit. McSuit is all about getting people out of the building at two, and doesn’t otherwise appear to care about the food at all. Fifteen-minute timesheets, people.
Meanwhile, Ellie is meeting Amy from Cloud Nine Event Management. The 21st is for fraternal twins, male and female. Amy is really geared towards canapés that are substantial enough to stop the kids getting paralytic, a common theme of 21st catering. She also wants people to be involved in some – but not all – of the food. What?
The read team is descending into quirky hipster nonsense already. Kate is unimpressed but cannot carry the room. Peter, on the other hand, is managing the blue team’s discussion well, even with the millstone of Kumar around his neck.
After the ad break, everyone’s at Coles with a grand to spend. Peter spends less than half. Everything’s so cheap at Coles! Not my experience the last time I did my shopping. Hayden thinks Peter is a great team leader, but also clearly does not like being told what to do. There’s a reason Hayden’s never been on the winning team – he’s all about Hayden.
The blue team’s food sounds very heavy. Gary is unimpressed. He seems tired. Peter’s broken the kitchen down into sections, but is already behind time. This is largely due to Kumar’s super-slow pace, but it doesn’t help that Peter is spending time having team meetings rather than, you know, cooking.
Gary’s not sure it’s going to be done in time. George is concerned they’re going to put people into a food coma. Fair point.
An hour to go, and everyone is just stuffing around. Billy’s tart hasn’t set. Peter still thinks picking really time-consuming dishes was a good idea. He is compensating by impersonating a drill sergeant. He tries to get everyone to yell back ‘yes, chef’. They refuse to call him anything other than Peter. Close enough.
The guests are arriving! Hayden’s anxious. Fifteen minutes til entrée. George is worried about Masterchef’s reputation. It’s gone, mate.
They’re five minutes behind, and McSuit is already complaining (admittedly, encouraged by Matt). Wow. The business leaders are unimpressed by the delay. Finally, the entrée goes out. They look great. Michael thinks slow and steady wins the race. Not when the race is timed.
Ocean trout on fennel salad goes down a treat, in the sense that nobody cares. McSuit thinks it was delicious and didn’t impair the serious business talk, his priority.
The beef cheeks for the next dish are huge! It’s not what Peter thought it would be. How did he not check the size of the meat already? They’re still five minutes late. McSuit complains, but admits that the first course was worth the wait. Peter thinks this is how a kitchen operates.
The mains finally go out. Because they’re huge, dessert has even less time to prepare. McSuit thought it was delicious, but too heavy. Uh-oh!
Dessert is still not plated. Billy’s looking anxious. The tart hasn’t set! Just put it in a bowl. It is a complete mess. They serve it in quenelles. Eh, I’d eat it. McSuit is again unimpressed by how heavy the dish is. It’s over without major disaster, though. Good work, blue team.
Team idiot – I mean red – is up. I still cannot fathom how Ellie is the captain. They have to make a thousand canapés, allegedly for fifty people. Thank goodness Coles is so cost effective. Ellie has no ability to budget, however. She has brought Kate with her to be the adult. They buy pre-made terrine! Cheats.
This is a seriously swanky twenty-first. Alana is busy unpacking the shopping. As such she is the first to realise that Ellie has forgotten the food colouring. The red velvet birthday cake is screwed. They’ve also forgotten coconut for the coconut prawns. Ellie does her doofus face. They’re both Alana’s dishes – is this sabotage? I think yes.
The team wastes ten minutes on discussion before Dani offers to run to Coles. Everyone else gets cracking. Sun maintains her impassive serial-killer demeanour throughout. They have chosen some terrible finger foods. How do you eat mousse cake or terrine with your fingers?
An hour later, Ellie is worried that Dani isn’t back. Coles is ten minutes away. Nobody is shocked. Everything is falling apart. Ellie is moving to her usual standby position, quitting. George compares her unfavourably to Peter.
Dani finally returns, full of unsolicited advice. Apparently the cupcakes are the interactive element. This worked on five year olds – will it work at a twenty-first? Probably.
Ninety minutes to go. Who allows their twenty-first to be broadcast on national television? I deny that mine ever happened.
Ellie finally admits to Gary that they’ve bought the terrine and the red onion compote, which is an entire dish. He is wildly unimpressed. This isn’t MasterShop. Ellie finally gets that this was a bad idea.
Gary, sensing disaster, calls a team meeting to remind them that there are consequences for failure. George tells them to lift their shoulders. That isn’t a thing. Sun thinks they’ll get it together in the end. Who knew Sun was such an optimist?
Half an hour to go! Ellie has basically quit. Nobody likes a quitter, Elle. Guests are starting to arrive, and intense Amy brings the waiters. Ellie almost asks them to leave. These guys are so far away from being ready. This looks like the worst twenty-first ever. The birthday boy is wearing a bowtie and the birthday girl looks stressed. Ellie wants to quit on her blinis, but knows she can’t.
First dish is somehow out the door. Hang on, will these guests all be judging drunk? That is an unfair advantage. Almost everyone is wearing a tiara. They get oysters out next. This is bad drunk person food.
How do you eat those canapés served on giant spoons? Do you shove the whole spoon in your mouth, or nibble? I never know.
Dani realises that they’ve made a mistake. Three dishes need the deep-fryer at once. Nice work, Captain Ellie. They’re serving Peking duck spring rolls with a Thai sauce. Think about it.
Amazingly enough, everyone is loving the fried food. Gary and George can only talk to the adults now as all the kids are too drunk to appear on television. I think this might be rigged.
Interactive cupcakes are coming out! This seems like a recipe for disaster, or at least drunkenly scrawled obscene messages on cupcakes. That’s how I met my girlfriend, actually.
The twins are too sober for their twenty-first. Why are they on television? Depressing. It’s all over red rover. The red team, idiots that they were, seem to have met the brief, while the blue team really didn’t.
Back in the Masterchef kitchen. They are judged on taste, coherence in the kitchen and how well they fulfilled the brief. As usual, the winning team get a fancy lunch and the losing team go to elimination.
Blue team worked really hard and were organised, thanks to Peter’s strong direction. Their entrée was perfect. However, the main and dessert failed to meet the light business lunch brief. Hayden takes the opportunity to get the knife in.
Gary forces Gary to admit that Ellie was out of her depth, and has another go at the stupid terrine choice. Dani gets the boot in. Ellie talks in the commentary booth about how she feels responsibility if they lose. They clearly win. Every drunk idiot loved the food.
The red team wins. Lame. Kate is as surprised as me. HOW IS ELLIE IN THE TOP TEN?
McSuit didn’t like the blue team’s time management or the heaviness of the food. Peter’s still proud. Someone’s going home tomorrow. My money is on Kumar.
See you tomorrow for either Kumar’s exit or mass riots.