MasterChef Aus S11E23 – Recap

When the contestants (literally, for no reason) run into the MasterChef kitchen, they find that today is the Secrets Week team challenge.

Standing at the front is Matt, George, and Gaz. Behind them, the benches have been set up for a service. Their outfits for today are quite simple. Gaz is wearing blue, George is all black, and Matt is wearing a blue suit with red checks. As well as a white shirt, Matt’s wearing a red cravat and matching pocket square.

“Today’s challenge is a service challenge,” Gaz tells them.

“How cool are Italians?” George asks. “There’s a reason why Italian food is delicious. They can turn three ingredients into something incredible.”

Matt starts to talk about delicious Italian foods, and then says, “the best food in the world, pizza.”

“Don’t you mean pasta?” Gaz asks, and there are a few Ooh’s.

🍕or 🍝? #MasterChefAU pic.twitter.com/YLUVKX5yr7— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) May 29, 2019

“Today’s challenge is to create a four course Italian menu for 80 diners,” George says. “Majority of them are Italians.”

“But what’s today’s secret?” Matt asks, the exact thing on the contestants minds. “It’s a secret weapon. What’s the very best thing you can have in a kitchen when you’re cooking Italian? An Italian nonna. So, today we’ve arranged for two of the best Italian nonnas in the world.”

What’s the ultimate secret weapon for an Italian team challenge? Not one, but two Nonnas 👵 👵#MasterChefAU Nonna Challenge, 7.30 tonight on 10! pic.twitter.com/pr1zOG56aF— #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) May 29, 2019

TWITTER TIP: Today’s twitter tip comes from Johnson Leung. The nonna’s today are Rosa Mitchell and Olimpia Bortolotto, one of the founders of Cecconi’s restaurant in Melbourne. He also found an article about Olimpia. Thanks, Johnson!

Joe starts talking about how he’s got this in the bag, because his girlfriends dad is Italian and he cooks with her nonna. Look, my girlfriend is Italian, and she was taught by her nonna. I can’t cook pasta to save my life, so I don’t think dating an Italian should be your claim to fame, but go off I guess.

George separates them into two teams.

“I’ve never had a nonna before,” Christina says, “and I hope I can live up to her expectations.”

Red team is: Abbey (captain), Derek, Sandeep, Anushka, Tim, Nicole, Tati and Tessa. The nonna is Rosa.

Green team is: Christina (captain), Joe, Waleed, Steph, Larissa, Kyle, Ben and Simon. The nonna is Olimpia.

Time starts, and the nonna’s and their teams start to plan the food. The montage begins

Red team starts off with wanting to cook beef cheek. Nonna Rosa says she can’t help with that, and suggests a different dish. The decide to go with what they know and play to their strengths, and choose the beef cheek.

Green team starts with Joe on dough. Straight away, it’s looking pretty dry. My Italian goes, “Yuuuuck.”
Joe talks again about how his girlfriend’s nonna loves him. Looking at his dough, and knowing I can’t cook, he and I aren’t so different.

ANUSHKA WATCH: Anushka, the 49 year old optical distributor, is wearing a grey shirt with her red apron, and her frames are looking a bit clear/golden. I love them, I love her.

All of a sudden, George starts to yell, of course. “STOP!” Everyone freezes. “LOOK BEHIND ME!”

Diners are starting to come in.

The starter for the green team is fried calamari with basil mayonnaise. The judges find the calamari is a bit floury, not cooked enough, and the mayo is too oily. Yuck.

The red starter is ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers with nonna Rosa’s secret sauce. George says it’s yum, Matt says it’s delicious, and it’s declared round 1 to the red team.

Entree for the red team is a spagetti with scampi. George declares the pasta perfect and says the seafood is cooked perfectly.

The green team’s entree is delayed because the burnt butter isn’t ready. Steph quickly fixes it. They serve pumpkin and ricotta agnolotti. The judges are very impressed.

It’s time for the mains, and red is up first. They’ve cooked beef cheeks with polenta. The judges like how the dish looks and how well cooked it is.

The green team’s main is osso bucco with polenta. The judges think it’s fabulous.

Finally, the desserts. Both of them have made a panna cotta.

Green team did a vanilla panna cotta with honeycomb and grilled fig. Gaz declares it, “Deadset delicious.”

The red team did a limoncello panna cotta, with peaches and berries. Again, the judges are loving it, and say it’ll be a hard decision.

Service is done and dusted, and it’s time for the verdict.

There was always something to love on the red team’s plates. Anushka was congratulated on the panna cotta. The green team did a better panna cotta, and everything else was delish, but they also had the one dish that didn’t come together – the calamari.

Because of the calamari, the green team (Christina, Joe, Waleed, Steph, Larissa, Kyle, Ben and Simon) are into the elimination.


As always, this recap is unedited and will contain spelling and grammar issues. I write this during the episode so I can post it as fast as possible.

Head over to southhemitv to catch up on the episodes.

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