MasterChef Aus S12E11 – Recap

It’s Monday, and that means it’s a team challenge, right of the back of Sunday’s elimination, which sent Ben M home.

The contestants rock up to The Timber Yards in Port Melbourne, and I got a really good bit of info about this from Johnson Leung on Twitter. Thanks for the tip!

The contestants walk in, unaware of the frenzy that is awaiting them.

Inside the warehouse, three benches are set up. The judges are waiting for the contestants at the front, and there are three big sections of people watching and cheering.

Andy riles the crowd up.

“Are you ready to meet our contestants? Because here they come!” Andy yells to the crowd, who cheer and clap, as the contestants start to make their way in.

Reece, Simon and Khanh cover their faces in surprise, hiding their grins, as they’re met with cheers

As all the contestants get to the front, Poh starts getting emotional and begins to cry a bit, thinking about how much of an impact MasterChef has had on Australia. Everyone’s quick to cuddle her.


Once it’s all calm, the contestants are told this is a team challenge, and Mel goes around with a black bag for the contestants to pick out their aprons.

Team Grey: Tessa, Bun (Ben U), Callum, Brendan, Dani, Jess, and Tracy.

Team Pink: Emelia, Reynold, Reece, Simon, Chris, Carah (Sarah C), and Rose.

Team Teal: Sarah T, Khanh, Hayden, Amina, Laura, Poh, and Harry.

Jock yells at the teams.

Jock tells them what the go is. Each round will have a theme, and theme one is ‘From the Sea’. But they’re not all cooking in round one, only one. They need to decide in a team who the best seafood cook is. The champion will face off with the other two champions, and the winner saves their team from the pressure cook tomorrow.

It’s time to chose round one champions.

Grey: Tessa.
Teal: Harry.
Pink: Reynold.

For round one, they have 60 minutes to make the best fish or seafood dish. Andy riles up the live audience again, and time starts.


The champions head over to the little pantry and getting their ingredients.

Everyone else is standing at the end of their benches, watching their champion and riling up their section of the audience.
Mel, Andy, and Jock have little microphones on so they can effectively yell at the audience.

I actually woke up early this morning to write this recap, so I’m even less caring about the cooking than regular haha but they’re all doing good, and I’ll let you know if anything changes.

The judges taste the foods as the champions are cooking, and when they get to Reynold, they voice concern for the bold flavours and them overpowering the scampi.

Time ends and it’s eating time, and I’m just about ready to get my breakfast.


Tasting time!

First is Tessa for the Grey Team.

Calamari and Scallops with Pickled Cauliflower

Mel loves the dish, and Andy likes the clean dish.
Jock tells the audience he’s going to try and describe that he’s eating and all I really take away is, “It’s like a sea shanty in my mouth,” and I’m getting real Iron Chef vibes.

It’s Harry’s turn for the Teal team.

Kingfish with Herb and Cheese Cream Mousse

So inside the kingfish is the herb and cheese cream, and he made chips for the side.

The judges say great execution, but the fish just doesn’t quite go, it needs to be a fattier fish. They say it’s a great idea, but it’s just not there yet.

It’s Reynold’s turn.

BBQ Scampi with Cauliflower, Smoked Tare Gel and Pickled Apple

The judges love the way it looks, and call it beautiful.

Mel starts with, “Wow.”
She loves it and calls it a beautiful dish.
Andy and Jock say it’s technically an excellent dish, however other elements take away from the scampi.

It’s time for the winner of round one.

Tessa, a stand out dish, which means the entire Grey team is safe from tomorrow’s pressure test.

Pink and Teal team are into round two, and also have to choose a champion.

The theme is ‘Quick Cooking’ and the champion only has 30 minutes to cook. However, the champion can’t have already cooked.

Mel lays out the stakes. The winner is safe from tomorrow. The losing team goes to round three.

The champions for this round is Poh for Teal team and Simon for Pink team – first season vs last season.

Poh said she volunteered and loves a time challenge.

The thirty minutes start and Simon and Poh run to the pantry.


Jock, ever the gentleman, grabs a blender from Poh as she carries a basket full of ingredients and bowls and stuff and carries it over for her.

Jock grabs the blender as Poh juggles all her items

Honestly, not much happens. Simon powers through, but Poh has a bit of a harder time. Her potatoes just weren’t cooking, and while this is normally a dish she can knock up in about 20 minutes, it just wasn’t feeling her much today.

Nonetheless, although she endeavoured to get up five of her Sardinian potato dumplings, she served up two.


It’s tasting time, and Simon’s first.

Burnt Cucumber with Preserved Lemon Caramel and Smoked Cream

Mel says this dish sings, and everything is perfectly balanced.
Andy is shook that this took him 30 minutes to do.
Jock calls it a, “sexy, vegetarian dish.”

It’s Poh time.

“Ladies first,” Jock says.
“What if she has a whole one?” Andy asks with a laugh.
After the boys try it, “Well in that case, I will have a whole one,” Mel says, and goes for the last of it.

She loved it, calling it silky perfection.
Jock says it’s perfectly seasoned and the butter has just the right amount of lemon juice.
“I feel like there’s going to be a ‘but’,” Andy says.
“There is no ‘but’!” Jock yells, and high fives Poh.

It’s time for the judges to decide.
Mel says that if she had to inch, she’s feeling Poh just a bit more.
But Andy is going Simon. It’s all up to Jock.


“Who would have thought those two dishes would be such a close decision. Seriously! In fact, a split decision,” Jock says to the contestants, before saying that Simon had won, but that Poh did amazing and it was a tough decision, and thanking her.

That means that Pink team are safe tomorrow, and Teal team are in round three.

“No more champions,” Andy says, saying they’re cooking against each other. “We’re only looking for the best dish. Cook this, and you’re safe. Everyone else, you’re going into tomorrow’s pressure test.”

Sarah T, Poh, Amina, Harry, Hayden, Khanh, and Laura have 60 minutes to use berries in whatever dish they desire, sweet or savoury.

The contestants run to the pantry and get ready.


Nothing particularly interesting happens again, except Jock and Andy question if Khanh’s dish is too sour or not, so he does his best to fix it with ten minutes to go.
He bangs his spoon against the pot, holds it up, and says, “There it is.”
I love Khanh, what a blessing.

I skip most of the cooking because I have other things to do this morning before work, like getting ready, and having breakfast, etc.

It’s tasting time, and Mel reminds us the stakes.

First is Amina.

BBQ Quail with Blackberry Balsamic Glaze and Bulgur Salad

I hope they turn off the mics for the judges as they eat, otherwise it would just be a chewing catastrophe.

Mel eats some, walks over to Amina, hugs her, and says, “You. I want you in my family.”
When she returns to the others, she says, “I could eat this for the rest of my life and be happy.”
The boys also enjoy the flavours.

Next is Sarah T.

Seared Venison with Berry Sauce and Macadamia Cream

She’s a bit worried about how the venison is cooked, aiming for medium rare.
It ended up being more medium well.

“If only you had nailed the venison,” Jock says, telling her that everything else is perfect, but the meat just needed a bit of redness. “It’s a shame, because it’s such a great dish.”

God, what I would give to be a judge on MasterChef for a week…

Next is Poh.

Marshmallow Pavlova with Balsamic Caramel

“Can we call it Poh’s Pav?” Andy asks.

“What a plate of berries,” Jock says, calling it her kind of dessert.

It’s Harry time.

Moreton Bay Bug with Gooseberry Curry

Andy loves it, but the only negative is the bug, it’s got a weird burnt sort of taste.

Next is Hayden.

Confit Coral Trout with Burnt Tomato Riberry Sauce

Laura next.

Crostoli with Lemon Custard and Macerated Strawberries

My girlfriend is Italian, and we caught this tasting last night, she was so excited to see crostoli.

The judges enjoy it, everyone’s happy to eat it.

Finally, it’s Khanh.

Rasam with Coral Trout.

He says it’s like a south Indian soup.

Mel says it looks so sexy, and Andy agrees, albeit not in those words.
Straight up, Jock says the flavours were perfectly balanced, and it screamed berries, which is what they asked for.
Mel said that even though the trout was so perfect, the berries was still the hero, which was excellent.
Andy said each berry did their job and it was perfect, he would pay serious money for that dish.

It’s decision time.


The judges thank the crowd for being wonderful, and then kick them out for the results.

Two dishes were exceptional: Khanh and Amina, however only one can be safe tomorrow.

Jock goes over what was amazing in each of their dishes, but says ultimately, it was a berry round and one dish celebrated it the most.

Whose cuisine reigns supreme?

So Amina, Poh, Laura, Harry, Hayden and Sarah T are all in the pressure test tomorrow, and Khanh is safe. I’m nervous because all of them are amazing, and I love Poh, Sarah and Amina the most.

Andy gives them a run down of what will happen tomorrow – no guest chef bringing a dish, they’ll be bringing their dish. So tonight they have to write a recipe for a dish that blows the judges minds and tomorrow they’re cooking their own pressure test.

I’m wondering what the twist will be if they have to give it to someone else, or what.
Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow (well, tonight, if all goes to plan), with the recap!

Stay safe!

Oh, also before we go, MasterChef Aus Kids is now casting for the first time in almost ten years. (Thanks Johnson Leung for another tip!)


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 herecatch up on this season here, and watch this season over here, at

If you have a Hot Tip or want to suggest a show for recaps, tweet me, leave a comment, let me know what’s good on Facebook, or head over to my contact page and send me a messageAlternatively, the next time you see a tall man wearing a big orange coat wearing dark sunglasses and carrying around a cat carrier emitting an odd, low pitched screechy noise that sounds a bit like a duck and an elephant combined, tell him the tip and I’ll incorporate it into my next recap.

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