MasterChef 2011: The Weekly Serve

It’s been quite a wild week culinary excitement for the whole MasterChef crew – from the somewhat mysterious removal of Mat to the equally mysterious appearance of Hayden‘s mustache, and the gang’s QANTAS sponsored trip to the city that never sleeps New York City. Pedestrian’s MasterChef expert Katie Head has followed their every movement to give you the following update in The Weekly Serve…

Did y’all know that this week is New York Super Week on Masterchef? It was pretty hard to tell, they definitely should have had more ads about it in the lead up, like maybe three per commercial break instead of two. Grr.

So our Top 8 contestants are Manhattan-bound for a week’s worth of cooking challenges, NYC style. The eight in questions includes Billy who was reinstated after Mat Beyer’s disqualification last Wednesday night, and does not include Peter, who was sent home on Thursday night after failing to shine in the rice paper roll, rib-eye steak and apple pie capacity.

Bye Pete. Go off and become a farmer as per your dream.

The contestants are understandably excited when delivered the Super Week news by rock and roll chef and author extraordinaire Anthony Bourdain. Especially Alana and Billy, who get to fly Business Class/star in a ‘commercial’ for Qantas.

I don’t think Economy is quite as good because, while we don’t see the other six contestants after boarding, by the time they land in New York Hayden appears to have grown a mustache – possibly stress-related or due to inferior grooming conditions?

“See my mustache.”

Meeting the judges at Liberty Island, the first challenge this week has each contestant paired with a specific cuisine and/or district of New York City. We’re talking Meat-packing District, Astoria, The Bronx, Harlem etc etc. After exploring and drawing inspiration from their ‘corner’ of NYC, each contestant then has 90 minutes to cook a dish that represents all that they’ve learned plus it must be crazy-delicious and worthy of a Park Avenue penthouse.

The winner gets a black envelope. And the loser? They’ve got to go into lockdown for the rest of the week. No more challenges, no more outings, no chance of a coffee at Central Perk – just a one-way ticket into the next elimination round. Let the psychological games begin…

BEST DISH: Billy Billy Billy! Oi Oi Oi! It warms the cockles of my heart to see that Billy has pretty much being killing it since being eliminated last Monday, then coming back to take Mat-the-cheater’s place just two days later. His Clam and Pepper Spray with Squid Ink Graffiti looked cool (and delicious) as f*ck. Michael‘s food-cart inspired tacos were the actual winner of the day, but I took points of for his ridiculous use of Grandpa Hats.

Artist impression of Michael in Grandpa Hat:

WORST DISH: Sun, Sun, Sun. Oh how the mighty under-the-radar master has finally been caught out. (And why am I suddenly saying everyone’s name three times?) She tried to make a building out of bricks of honey cake. Maybe she’s gunning for a spot on The Renovators after her time on Masterchef is up? – Which will probably be Sun soon.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “It would be sucks” – Billy.
Also, did Alana call The Statue of Liberty “The Big Green Lady” for real? That is sucks.

Famous Landmark: Big Green Lady

BEST CELEBRITY CHEF APPEARANCE: Anthony Bourdain and/or Anthony Bourdain’s Cuban heels. Also he kind of broke into the Masterchef House – doorbells are for sissies and he is such a renegade.