#Masterchef Recap 30 June: Blind Leading the Blind

Posted: June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

We’re back. Tonight’s elimination decides who is in the prestigious Top Ten. I thought the Top Twelve was the thing. Next week: everyone fights it out to be in the Excellent Eight.

Blog Favourite Billy, Hayden, Peter, Kumar and Michael lost the team challenge last night, so they’ll be battling it out against each other. They’re hanging out in the Masterchef lounge looking sad.Hayden’s fiddling with his immunity pin. Peter is sick of him stuffing around and demands to know whether he’s using it. Hayden’s not sure. He’s still pretty confident he can play the numbers. Well, Kumar’s still there – it’s a bigger risk than he’s used to, though.

They head down to the kitchen. Hayden uses his immunity pin! No talk of standing by his team now. The true Hayden is showing through. He flees.

Meanwhile, the Red Team are enjoying a largely undeserved lunch and masterclass at the Berowra Waters Inn at the Hawkesbury. Look upon your top ten and despair, Australia: Dani, Ellie, Sun and Cheating Goth Matt are still here.

Who's smirking now, huh?

Thank god one exit is guaranteed

Back in the kitchen. Gary brings out an enormous dish. It’s a taste test! What? They haven’t done this since top 50. They get two minutes to taste, then a minute to write ingredients down– and then they cook with the ingredients they manage to correctly name. Great challenge. Kumar’s backing himself, as usual.

Gary tries to fool them into thinking that it’s a perfectly ordinary challenge. Surprise! They have to do it blindfolded. That’s hilarious. People will actually have to know what star anise tastes like.

There are contestants who wouldn't be able to spot this

Tastes like failure

It’s a terrine! Michael is up first, hoing in with this hands. He identifies carrot.  Gary is enjoying his role as timekeeping bastard slightly too much. Michael writes ‘salt, pepper, oil – smart man.

Peter’s turn. He wastes time determining the shape of the dish. That isn’t the challenge, Peter. He was terrible at this in the Top Fifty. He writes down every protein he can think of. Surprisingly tactical.Billy’s next. Go Billy! He works out that it’s a terrine. Peter only got as far as ‘rectangle’. Matt has replaced Gary as timekeeper.

Kumar is lucky last. He is highly visual, and the blindfold panics him. Matt assists by telling him how important it is. Kumar takes thirty seconds to identify that the dish is cold, and thinks it’s a dessert. He doesn’t realise that it’s savoury until half-way through his time. He can’t fathom what it could be, and his mind goes blank. Top twelve.

Gary reveals the terrine. Kumar finally gets it. He’s allegedly familiar with terrines. I don’t believe you, Kumar. Everyone gets apple and thyme. Peter’s random guessing goes surprisingly well.  Michael somehow guesses vinegar, cabbage and pistachios. Kumar somehow gets ‘stock’. What kind of stock? That is not a proper guess.

Sell it and use the money to make gold leaf and caviar

Difficult to make something delicious out of this

Nobody guessed chicken liver, baby leek, duck fat, brandy, cardamon, celery, butter beans, tarragon or gelatin. Peter points out that nobody was ever going to guess any of them. Those are Fabulous Five level ingredients.

Michael got eleven ingredients, Billy got seven, Peter eight and Kumar got four – apples, beef, stock and thyme. He pretends to be pleased about this. Lame, they get pantry staples. They should be rewarded for remembering to write down oil and salt. And by that, I mean ‘Kumar should be punished for failure’.

Peter is making a pancetta and chicken roulade. Butter is his key ingredient. Smart man.  Michael is trying to cook an entire ham hock in forty minutes. Gary and Matt come around to waste his time and freak him out. They succeed. It’s his challenge to lose.

The other side of that coin is that it’s Kumar’s to win! He’s making herb-crusted pork neck with apple. Gary doesn’t think that he’s got time to cook the neck. Apparently the neck is considered a secondary cut. Have they considered re-naming it to something less gross sounding?

Look at his little scarf!

Almost as appealing as 'face'

Billy’s going great guns as usual. His dish is very similar to Peter’s, plus carrots in everything. This may give him the edge, as Peter has no vegetables. Gary is hungry enough to eat Billy’s raw ingredients. Matt manages to restrain him.

Kumar’s dish was inspired by a masterclass he did. We see a clip of him learning to do it, then cut back to his dish. Ok, his dish looks nothing like the one in the masterclass. The judges talk up his chances.

Ten minutes to go! Kumar’s happy with his pork. Peter thinks that his roulade is a bit undercooked and puts it back in the oven. Billy does the same thing. This is ridiculous. Michael, meanwhile, is panicking.

Kumar has failed to make a crust, and has instead coated his beef with melted play-dough.  He hopes that his plating will carry him through. Peter’s dish looks great! Gary nearly chokes on the garlic smell, though. Billy’s identical dish looks beautiful. Michael’s dish looks like an artist’s rendering of panic.

Gary laughs. Time’s up.

Still a more natural skin tone than Matt

Gary announcing that time's up

Peter’s first. He warns the judges about the raw garlic.  Matt complements his vastly improved plating skills. Gary is mean about the garlic. It’s otherwise fantastic, and his apple and parsley salad is particularly good.

Billy’s next, with his fancier version of Peter’s dish. It looks awesome. Matt thinks it’s restaurant quality. Gary makes Matt tell Billy how delicious it is as he doesn’t enjoy giving good news. Go Billy! It’s fantastic four worthy, apparently. So specific.

Kumar’s depressing pork neck is next. Matt is hiding his displeasure behind his hand, fooling nobody. The dish is swimming in melted butter, and the meat is grey. Ad break! Will it be delicious?

The pay-pass people are hitting back at the eftpos ads! This will only end in blood.

We’re back. Kumar’s pork is…largely butter flavoured. Matt makes an Ozzie Osborne joke. Topical. It’s okay, but the play-dough paste may let him down.

Michael’s feeling the pressure. He’s made a spring vegetable salad with proscuitto. He’s dumped the hock and the chicken. I think he’s actually used fewer ingredients than Billy. Gary is unimpressed. That said, it looks great and is delicious. Matt likes the carrots. Perhaps he feels an affinity.

It's a short step from striped turtleneck to cravat

Matt's style icon

Decision time. Gary reveals the winners by silently shaking their hands. Weird. Billy is safe! Yes! He’s stoked.  Peter’s through as well. He’s so surprised. They leave low-achieving Michael and Kumar to their fate. Who will go home? Flameball.

Michael is safe. Kumar’s journey is finally over. Michael can barely believe it. Kumar remains cheerful. Aw.

Back in the house everyone is sad to see Kumar go, but not at all surprised. He is welcomed home by his lovely family. Since leaving the Masterchef kitchen Kumar has started work on a self-illustrated cookbook.

  1. Sian says:

    Look upon your top ten and despair, Australia!!!
    ROTFLMAO…. You are brilliant!

  2. Rose says:

    The knowing sadness when Kumar didn’t return was hilarious. Billy, Peter and Michael has that ‘i feel bad because we beat a cute puppy’ face. Billy rocks my world though. And geez that Alana needs to personality up if she’s going to be a chance.

  3. RobT says:

    Kumar can now go back to cooking all those curries he pretended he couldn’t.

  4. betti w. woo says:

    ‘Look upon your top ten and despair, Australia’

    Yes. And I am also disappointed for another reason: can you image the hilarity of having the Reds go through that particular tasting/cooking test?! We was robbed!

  5. Sian says:

    Have you heard the rumour that the final 3 would be all ladies?

  6. Giang says:

    Peter is growing on me. Turns out I have a thing for middle-aged gay men.

  7. Hey Kumar says:

    I want Kumar back. BRING HIM BACK!

  8. carmen says:

    grrr gastrognome, where is our recap!

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