I’m so sorry, this was significantly more episodes than I had expected omg. Anyway, here’s this week, and then starting this coming Sunday, I’ll be back to business as usual, hopefully. Thank you for sticking with me during this hiatus, I really appreciate it.
HOT TIP: This weeks Hot Tip comes from Johnson Leung, regarding Ben U (Bun), who was arrested earlier this year, and resulted in him being booted from the show. Here is an article about the current situation, including the alleged charge.
EPISODE 25 – Sunday 17th – Elimination
Poh is safe as a result of her efforts on Thursday, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.
Today, Ben U was announced that he is no longer in the comp “due to a personal matter”, which was him getting arrested, allegedly for assaulting a 16 year old girl, source.
Today is a two round elim. Seven people will be in round two. The twist is that they’ll be competing against the other person at their bench. Most impressive is safe, least impressive into round two. Each pair has a different cuisine.
Callum and Simon have French. Tessa and Jess have Vietnamese. Emelia and Laura have Japanese. Khanh and Sarah T have Italian. Tracy and Harry have Chinese. Reynold and Sarah C have American. Reece and Brendon have Spanish. Open garden and pantry. They have 60 minutes in round one. Best dish from each bench is safe. Time starts, and I skip the cooking.
When time ends, each pair is tasted together.
Round two: Callum, Tessa, Laura, Sarah T, Haydn, Sarah C, Brendon.
For majority of the dishes, it was who would they go back for another go of the foods. Some didn’t exactly fit the brief, and those dishes that weren’t really their cuisine went into round two.
Round two has the contestants heroing a flavour pairing. Pairs: apple and cinnamon, tomato and basil, ginger and lemongrass, walnuts and dates, beetroot and horseradish. They can choose any pairing, have 60 minutes, and both the garden and the pantry are open.
Laura did a pasta dish with the tomato and basil, of course.
The bottom two were Sarah C and Hayden. Hayden didn’t really hero the pair, and Sarah did a beef tartar that just wasn’t very good, however her flavour pairs were really prominent and the hero, so she hit the brief better than Hayden, so Hayden is out.
EPISODE 26 – Monday 18th – Group Challenge
Ok, so yesterday, Hayden and Ben left, albeit for different reasons.
Sarah has been in every single losing team in service challenges, haha!
The contestants come in to find two long tables set up, and the kitchens set up behind the judges.
The contestants get to choose which team they’re on, one team making three savoury dishes, and one doing three sweet dishes.
Team Sweet (Pink): Reece (captain) Callum, Reynold, Poh, Jess, Emilia, Tracy
Team Savoury (Yellow): Brendan (captain) Tessa, Simon, Khanh, Sarah T, Sarah C and Laura.
They’ll have the help of a chef each, one specialising in sweet, one in savoury. Matt Stone (savoury) and Jo Barrett (sweet) from the Yarra Valley.
Three course meal for 30 diners. First course leaves after two and a half. The deliciousness and how the meal eats will be judged (who knows what that means?) and the least impressive team will be in tomorrows pressure test.
Meal one: Sweet team: apple and fennel sorbet with rhubarb and bay leaf oil. Beautiful, delicious, a great dish to start any course off, not just a sweet one.
Meal one: Savoury team: seasonal vegetable salad. Andy calls it very very tasty. Mel calls it a berocca for the eyeballs, because it’s bright, vibrant and zingy.
Jock calls it exceptional.
Meal two: Sweet team: passionfruit and yuzu chiboust with pineapple and coriander granita. They adore it, it’s to together and compliments very well. Jock says seldom do chiboust come to that degree, so it’s very good. Andy commends their time management and how wonderfully they’re preparing their kitchen.
Meal two: Savoury team: arrowhead squid with fennel and citrus. It smells and looks fantastic, and they’re excited to try it. In the kitchen, Brendan was worried it was too intense and had too much squid, but sent all the squid anyway. Jock says he likes it but he doesn’t love it, the squid was overpowering. Mel agrees, and Andy said it needed some freshness – so many tentacles on the plate.
Meal three: Sweet team: chocolate sponge cake with earl grey ice cream and native marmalade. The sponge cake is dry because Reynold didn’t put in enough butter to counteract the dark chocolate, so they try and make the cake moister with what elements they have. Mel says the cake is dry, but there’s something about the ice cream and marmalade that don’t mesh. It’s not their cup of tea.
Meal three: Savoury team: kangaroo, beetroot and berries. They used the whole beetroot – even the leaf. Andy calls all the beetroot fantastic. Jock calls it moreish. Mel says it’s a celebration of Australia, and it’s wonderful. This dish put them back in the game.
Tasting has ended and it’s time for the results.
The judges thank Matt and Jo, and tell the guys what was good and what was bad, before revealing their decision. Savoury is in the pressure test – sweet won!
EPISODE 27 – Tuesday 19th – Pressure Cook
After the savoury team lost yesterday, they’re in for the pressure test. It’s Brendan, Tessa, Simon, Khanh, Sarah T, Sarah C and Laura fighting to stay. Peter Gunn brings his black box challenge. It’s a black box, but underneath are layers of elements. The box is made of chocolate and shatters open when cracked. Sarah C says it’s quite Star Wars, but honestly I’m getting Star Trek Borg vibes from it.
Anyway, Peter points out what’s what and who’s who, including gingerbread, custard, etc etc, I don’t know, these words mean nothing to me.
They have two hours and forty five minutes to cook. They’ll have four minutes to plate up for the judges just before tasting.
I watched this episode earlier before writing this, but I missed the start, so I’m rewatching. The Sarah’s both struggle with the black box element, as it involves dry ice and swirling the chocolate around a silicone mould and dipping it in the dry ice to freeze and set in the square shape. The dramas mean they both end up getting behind and missing elements.
All of them are pretty good, there aren’t any flavour issues. But it comes down to the Sarah’s, which one did better with less elements?
Sarah T’s dish was better, which means Sarah C is going home.
EPISODE 28 – Wednesday 20th – Mystery Box
Sarah C went home from the Black Box pressure test, and it’s back to a lovely mystery box where no-one goes home.
The “international queen” of vegan food rocks up, Shannon Martinez, and she looks pretty rock and I love her style. It’s like a gothic version of the 50’s, I’m here for her dress.
It’s a vegan mystery box, which Simon and Reece should thrive at.
Baby cos, radish, asparagus, beetroot, dutch carrots, pencil leeks, capsicums (petite), thyme, pine mushrooms, cilaria, garlic, sweet potato.
The staples have changed today. There’s soy milk, vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast flavour, agar agar, aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas, acts like egg whites), vinegar, flour, vegan salted butter, vegetable shorting.
The 75mins starts, and as per usual, I just skim through and over to when the tasting happens, but today, I just really don’t feel like watching all the tasting, I do apologise, but I’m just not feeling it, idk why.
The top today are: Jess, Poh, Simon and Reece.
EPISODE 29 – Thursday 21st – Immunity Challenge
The winners of the Mystery Vegan Box, Jess, Poh, Simon and Reece are here for immunity.
This is the last episode to be boxed into a week.
Round one is instant noodles, making them fancy, with an open pantry and garden. Top two go into round two for head to head.
They have 15 minutes to make their dish, and time starts.
I skip cooking, of course, and vaguely watch the tasting, but instant noodles just makes me think about the time I ruined a microwave cooking instant noodles while I watched MasterChef, an event I’ll never be able to live down.
Anyway, all the flavours are great, but Simon added too many noodle packets. The top two, heading into round two: Jess and Poh.
Mel tells the two women to bring their personal ultimate comfort food. They’ll have 60 minutes to make something delis, and the best dish will be safe on Sunday. They have the usual open pantry and garden to cook the best dish.
Time starts, and they run.
The cook is crazy, and then finally, they’re done. It’s tasting time.
Again, I’m just not feeling it, so let’s just jump to the winner.
It’s Jess! So she’ll be safe from this Sunday.