We’re Just Supposed To Ignore Laura Ripping Off A World-Famous Dish On ‘MasterChef’, Huh?

I feel like I’m going insane here. Honestly, I feel like MasterChef may have finally done irreversible damage to my brain. I genuinely feel like I may be losing my mind. Because unless I’m very, very mistaken, I sat through an entire episode last night where Laura Sharrad freely and openly copped to completely ripping off the very successful and very creative dish of a globally renowned Australia chef, and barely anyone batted an eyelid about it.

Last night’s Mystery Box challenge – run as a qualifying heat for tonight’s Immunity cook-off – started off well enough: An ingredient lottery determined the makeup of the Mystery Box itself, result in one of the most cooked assortment of ingredients you’re likely to see this side of a Woolies dumpster.

And yet despite the challenging array of tools at their disposal, Laura’s mind immediately goes to the famed Ripponlea eatery Attica, and the world-renowned Ben Shewry.

Shewry’s A Simple Dish of Potato Cooked In The Earth Which It Was Grown has been Attica’s trademark dish since 2008. Last year the dish was named one of the 236 dishes that has shaped the evolution of human cooking over the past 300 years by the book Signature Dishes That Matter, such is the significance of the dish and the respect that it commands.

And barely two minutes into last night’s MasterChef cook, Laura proudly declares that she will be flagrantly ripping it off.

This isn’t a Pressure Test, mind you. Ben Shewry isn’t even in the building. Laura, of her own volition, is using this Mystery Box challenge to straight-up cook someone else’s signature dish.

She doesn’t just mention this in passing, either. It’s a fact that she brings up again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

In fact, she even pauses mid-cook to consider that maybe comparing herself to a World Top 20 chef isn’t the smartest idea in the grand scheme of this individual MasterChef challenge.

Even when presenting the dish to the judges she couldn’t help herself, declaring proudly, without a hint of self-awareness, that almost directly copying a world famous dish was “thinking outside the box.”

Mate that isn’t thinking outside the box. That’s thinking very inside someone else’s.

And yet despite literally all that, we barely make mention of it. We just glide through the whole episode like this is fine. Sure, contestants are allowed to read cookbooks and everyone’s using their own compendium of acquired knowledge in their cooking, and every dish created is really just a facsimile of a hundred others that came before it. But never – not once – in MasterChef history has someone so boldly declared that they’re copying a commercial dish.

And let’s not mince any words here: This isn’t like someone fronting up to cook Nan’s sponge cake. That’s family knowledge. You can take ownership of that.

No, this is someone deciding, on the spot, to just yoink a dish off the menu at a world famous restaurant and plate it up like it was their own idea. While openly copping to the entire scheme, no less.

We booted Mat Beyer off the show in 2011 for looking shit up on a smartphone, but we’re just straight up broadcasting open IP theft now, hey?

Speaking of! How’s this big wine sip from Laura which also happened last night that I am 100% sure is an ape of Sarah Clare?

That cheeky under-the-breath swear might have a bit more to it than even I first thought.