PREVIOUSLY ON MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA: The competition’s first week wrapped up with the departures of both Brett and Metter, the former being what would happen if you opened Create-A-Character on a MasterChef video game and just hit save, and the latter coming one charmed run through the first half of the series away from being this year’s one trick adobo. Missed it by that much, Metter. But John remains the champ.
AND NOW, LAST NIGHT.
For the first time this series, Immunity is on the line, with four cooks vying for the chance to be the first chef who gets utterly rumbled by a professional hell-bent on keeping their reputation.
Three early bolters in the competition, Sashi, Chloe, and Kristen, are weirdly joined by Tim who I can only assume read the call sheet wrong and turned up to the set wearing his white apron and the producers all just went “eh.” Dress for the job you want, I guess.
Matt Preston, today dressed in a pastel purple suit and looking very much like a Better Homes & Gardens Joker, announces that the first round – pitting mate against mate – will feature “the world’s most versatile ingredient” as its hero.
Much to my chagrin, and after I yelled the word “POTATO” at my TV loud enough to draw noise complaints, Preston reveals eggs.
Sashi on the left there quite clearly thinks that’s a prank, but it very much is not.
A 45-minute cook will make fools out of even the best of cooks given half the chance, so the mountain to climb isn’t small by any means.
Luckily, they’ve got beautiful, sweet Aldo up on the gantry providing the role of hype man for today’s challenge.
Look at everyone snap to attention when he fires up. That’s a true leader, right there. Coach of the team. Get out there and play four quarters of cooking, god damn it.
Kristen begins her cook, a dessert, by grabbing berries and cream and cracking like… half an egg into it, in the hopes that one of the judges sees her doing it and believes that there is actually an egg in there.
“I used one, honest” is always a bold tactic when it comes to hero ingredients.
Sashi begins his cook with a very clear strategy for what he wants to cook – it’s a scotch egg… thing – and begins cooking with an ultra-methodical approach. He’s so focused on getting his ingredients right and tender that he takes time to give his meat a little massage.
The dainty little finger taps. That is some relaxed mince, right there. Absolutely zen.
Chloe decides at this point to reveal she’s a secret noodle wizard, cranking out soba noodles from scratch in under 45 minutes which should not be possible and leads me to believe she’s somehow capable of stopping time.
And Tim, lastly, swans into this challenge so outrageously fired up on his own chances that he suddenly transforms into a kitchen showman.
I guarantee – I GUARANTEE – that there’s outtakes of him staring down the barrel of the camera going “wazzuppppppp” from this challenge.
Tim’s outrageous, ridiculous confidence about what he’s putting together – sponge cake and fish sauce caramel? ok m8 – is at sky-high levels. He’s so fired up on this dish that he’s at risk of blasting off at any second. Hell, when he goes to present his food to the judges he tries to raise the roof.
What the bloody was he gonna do if it crushed? Dougie his way back to his counter? Good lord.
He’s so utterly convinced that what he’s cooked up is pure magic that the judges tell him it’s dogshit almost out of pure spite. “Not enough fish sauce” is not a complaint anyone, in the entire history of food, has ever seriously made about caramel.
Kristen manages to put together a perfectly fine dessert that misses the mark slightly; a few minutes short of truly setting properly. George, perhaps out of pure boredom at this stage, decides to murder it with a knife the size of which can be adequately summed up as “big fuck off.”
Look at that. He cut that dish like he cut his loss margins by wildly underpaying staff. Beautiful stuff there, Calombaris.
Sashi, who thus far has glided through the early stages of the comp like that one kid at school who conned his parents into buying those shoes with the wheels in the heel, experiences a reality check the likes of which we’ve been craving on this accursed show since it came back on the air.
He spends so much time in this Egg Challenge™ making sure all his other bits and pieces are in order that he… forgets to cook his eggs properly.
Oh, it’s the good shit, folks.
Instead of a lovely, meaty, fried-up scotch egg, the likes of which will gift you the ability to survive a winter in Glasgow shirtless, Sashi instead has to plate up…
“Yes I have made you… egg.”
Look at that mess. That’s some wonderful, horrific, gussied-up Cook Suck shit right there.
The only saving grace for Sashi is that his disaster happened in an Immunity Challenge, where there are literally no stakes. That’s a MasterChef Get Out Of Jail Free card. You don’t get too many of them.
Chloe‘s outrageously good soba noodles are enough to pass her through to round two, where she is rewarded by being served up the culinary beat down of her life courtesy of this bloke.
It’s always fun to test the limits of the amateur cook but good lord, she never stood a chance.
My man over here serving up milk skin. MILK SKIN.
There’s nothing wrong with what Chloe cooks, but old mate over here is taking the skunk film from a hot Milo and turning it into culinary art.
You can’t beat that. Not this early in the competition. Good lord.
And that’s all there is for this epis- actually you know what, before we go I’ve got one last thing to talk about:
Just WHAT IN THE BLUE HELL IS GOING ON HERE PLEASE?
THE ARM. LOOK AT THE ARM.
I know you cook with passion, Aldo, but this is something else entirely.
Eyes, my man. I’ve got them on you.
NEXT TIME: The first team challenge for the year takes the gang to the hallowed MCG, where they will cook for the playing rosters of the Melbourne Football Club, and presumably put up a better four-quarter effort than Essendon did against them a couple of weeks ago.
Get your bloody act together, Dons. You’re killing me this season.