In traditional MasterChef style, the contestants arrive in their black cars and cruise up to the front doors. They exit, greet each other, and walk in, to find the three judges and Gordon Ramsay waiting for them.
Jock is wearing a stylish black suit with a pink shirt and pocket square, Andy in a simple and casual blue button down, Gordon in his chef whites, and Mel is wearing a cute white dress with a lil pattern on it. Super cute.
The contestants stand in a mass in front of the four hot shots, and look nervously at the surprise awaiting them.
Gordon tells them he’ll be running a service today.
As the contestants ooh and aah about it, Jock, Andy and Mel get stuck into the deets.
They’ll be cooking for 120 people today, and will have only two and a half hours before the food leaves the pass. Each team will have a captain. They’ll be cooking three meals – entree, main, dessert – and each team will need to split into three teams. Once the last plate leaves the kitchen, the cooks responsible for that dish must leave the kitchen as well.
They also have three ingredients to incorporate into each dish – black garlic, potatoes, and ginger – so like black garlic in entree, potato in main, ginger in dessert, for example.
The losing team is in this Sunday’s elimination.
Time starts, and the contestants rush to get the captains chosen.
The green team choses Amina as captain. Entree is Khanh, Sarah C, Tessa and Simon (potato rosti). For mains, Ben, Layton, Hayden and Callum (lamb strap using the garlic). The dessert team is Poh, Sarah T and Rose (brûlée tart using the ginger).
Ben is thrown in as the captain for the blue team. Emelia, Harry, and Laura are entree (beef carpaccio using the garlic. For mains is Brendan, Chris, Courtney and Dani (pork belly using the potato). Dessert is Reynold, Jess, Reece and Tracy (Thyme, ginger and yuzu, I don’t know – a Reynold creation).
Cooking commences and I zone out for a bit, waiting for the drama.
Gordon talks to Ben that they’ll need a minimum of 14 pieces per pork belly and will need like 5 bellies to get over 60. Ben says they’ll work to do 16 portions for each belly and go for 4 bellies.
Gordon tells the green team that rosti for entree is a bit basic and way behind what the blue team are doing.
Blah blah blah, everything keeps doing whatever they’re doing, I don’t care.
Talking in the corner, Gordon and the judges discuss how basic the green team sound and go over the menu.
The blue team shows their entree and there’s something brown at the bottom and it honestly looks revolting. Luckily, Gordon likes it.
Gordon looks at the rosti by the green team. it’s grey and gloopy.
Reynold is in his own little world mixing shit with liquid nitrogen. Savoury ingredients.
The 120 guests all walk in and Gordon says they have 10 minutes before the first entree goes out.
Blue team start with their vomit burnt shallot sauce and beef.
As the entrees are still happening, Chris starts carving up the pork. Gordon sees this and freaks out.
“It’s not a banquet, it’s a restaurant,” he tells Chris, telling him how the pork will just dry out.
The judges enjoy the blue teams entree.
Next is the green entree. The hashbrown/rosti comes out and Jock says it looks like a fish finger.
The middle is mushy, and he says it’s because they washed the starch out of the potato so it’s not meshing together. He says it’s yuck.
Mel says she likes the idea of the rosti but the execution is bad.
As Poh is preparing for the dessert, the tart shells start to break. This is drama and a half, and she’s freaking out, the others are freaking out, and Amina asks for another full tray of shells.
“We’ve broken more than we can,” Poh says, realising they won’t have enough for service.
Thinking quick, Poh has to keep making more shells as the last of the entrees go out.
The entree groups are evicted from the kitchen, sent to watch everyone from the roof.
It’s time for mains.
Ooh greens mains start going out first, and it looks really nice.
Mel says, “I’m really happy with the degree of done-ness.”
Overall, they enjoy the meal, and the lamb is well cooked.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen:
“How long?” Gordon asks the blue team. They all look up with him with a blank stare.
Finally, it’s time for the blue mains.
Ooh yum, I love me a pork belly and some crispy crackling.
Andy goes for a gob-full.
They say that while the pork is cooked well, it’s a large portion and the crackling cracks, the potato puree is not good at all.
Mel points out that this has been two bad potato dishes, this puree and the rosti.
Then, Gordon notices that the portions of the pork are getting smaller and it’s not good. He says the cut needs to be thicker, or two slices, because it’s not good enough. Seeing the big sizes earlier, you’d be pissed off when a measly piece comes out.
When you think they can redeem themselves, Gordon asks how much pork belly they have left.
Gordon calls a team meeting and says there is one pork belly for 9 more tables – 36 people, and they’ve got enough pork for eight portions.
Upstairs, the entree people are concerned, watching as Gordon demands the waste be brought out, and tries to scrape together something to serve. They’re too deep into service to cook anything else.
Ben’s sitting there regretting not listening to Gordon at the beginning of service, and wondering how Chris wasn’t cutting good portions.
“I can’t run out to a table and say, ‘Excuse me, you got too much and I need some for later’,” Ben tells us.
Reynold is now carving pork? I guess main is more concerning right now.
God, I’m so glad I’m not there. I’m feeling anxious just watching this at home, I couldn’t handle being there.
Times like this makes me glad I can’t cook – no-one can try and convince me to apply to MasterChef.
Poh tells Amina what’s happening. She’s super frazzled, it’s a mess.
Look, this isn’t a dig at Poh at all because I love her and she’s a queen, but season one is a completely different show to what season 11 was. The first challenge of season one was cutting onions and the finale was the croquembouche, and now if you can’t do a croquembouche, why are you applying to MasterChef? It’s a whole new world, I can understand why she’s frazzled to be honest.
Finally, the mains are done for blue and they’re banished to the balcony, leaving Ben to assist Reynold and the gang on dessert.
“Where are the waiters?” Gordon asks, wanting to get these desserts out. “They’re more sparser than the pork bellies.”
ICONIC!! I laughed aloud, what a blessing this man is.
The blue dessert heads to the judges.
Both Jock and Andy don’t like the thyme in there and call it too floral. Mel and Andy say the ginger is very subtle.
Aww this is a shame, especially after yesterday.
Next is the green dessert.
They like Poh’s tart, it’s “almost Christmas-y,” Mel says.
Jock likes it, although calls the custard is soggy.
“It’s a shame, because it tastes fantastic,” he says.
Andy calls this flavour town, but the blue dish more technically precise.
As desserts end, so does the challenge, and it’s time for the deliberations.
The judges critique the entrees. The rosti was yuck.
One nil to the blue.
Mains next. The pork was inconsistent and the puree was bad. The green main was delicious.
It all comes down to the dessert.
Blue team, while technically flawless, didn’t have a great taste and missed the ginger. The green team were more flawed, but the pastry was perfect and the flavours great.
Therefore the green team win.
So, the blue team will be in for elimination on Sunday.
But before they can go, Jock says one last thing…
“You guys are not quite out of the woods yet,” he says to the green team. “This week, the winning team isn’t automatically safe from elimination. In fact, only one of you will be safe. You’ll find out more tomorrow.”
They’re all dismissed, leaving us to wonder what will happen.
As usual, this recap was written as I watched the episode, so there will be spelling and grammar mistakes.
You can read last years recaps here.
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