Sunday, November 05, 2017

Masterchef 14

This was the relay episode - I’ve seen some disasters with this, where cooks forget to be team players and really screw up the dish. It depends on the first member setting things up, then all others following along. They need to use a special ingredient - we're told it is something harvested from a tree for over 500 years “magic water” i.e. maple syrup. Volunteers are needed to start the cook - they jump in quickly - but are they up to designing a good dish? Benita is Green, Tamara is Blue, Benjamin is yellow and Diana is Red. Benita - chilli crab and prawn with maple syrup as sweetener. Judges “very interesting” when they get to hear - they don’t look convinced. Tamara - Asian sticky pork belly, slaw and bao buns. Benjamin  setting up idea not full dish - maple ice cream, others can add own idea. Gets the ice cream in the blast chiller in his time, couple of minutes downtime. Diana maple syrup ice cream, maple glazed bacon, jelly and crunch.

Second team:
Eloise is yellow, she cools ice cream over ice bath - but what is she adding? She sees it as the perfect centrepiece but wants complementary flavours - smoke the ice cream! Add white chocolate foam. Sarah is blue - really happy with choice made, portions the dough for the bao buns and she’s “all over this”, gets slaw under way. Tamara is watching from another room and is also happy - says Sarah is "a machine". For the green team, Ben is a “little bit perplexed - completely wrong dish” no maple syrup used yet - Benita frustrated, wants him to put more in. But he can taste the maple. Red is Trent - puts jelly in fridge, his team wants in freezer.

Third Team:
Bryan makes some inspired choices for yellow - adds crispy maple bacon crisps and pickled apple (includes bourbon) to the maple ice cream and his team mates are happy. For the blue team, Michelle hoped she would be working on something sweet but the dish is savoury, she gets very lost and stuffs the dish up. The pressure cooker confuses her, Sarah is worried, more so when Michelle puts bao in steamer too early, without shaping and not on paper - has she ruined them? For the red team ice cream dish, Samuel adds almond and maple syrup biscuit for texture and flavour. Will he put jelly in freezer? Sees is runny, but thinks the next cook can sort it. Poor Nicole in the green team: she can’t see how the dish will work, losing flavour of sauce because heating maple syrup destroys its flavour. Back to Michelle: she is chopping the pork belly up, but when it is deep fried, it will dry out, buns on too quick. Will the next cook fix it?

Fourth team:
New yellow member Eliza seems to get it, don’t really see her much. Michelle can’t explain her dish to Karlie, which leaves her a lot to sort out - “what a mess”. Buns - really odd and gluey, fried pork drying, soggy slaw - nothing that will work. Poor thing. Ditch two, start again. Now Michelle realises has taken team backwards. Karlie - goes rogue, adds crispy pancake - Sarah happy. Sticky maple sauce as well. This is tense! Red man = Callan. He finds the jelly, which is still liquid and finally puts in freezer. Green - no maple flavour in dish, maple syrup prawns. Jelly drama over - has set.

Fifth team:
Jess is blue - team happy with that. Finds some pork crackling for salad - banging! Dish has little resemblance to what was intended but looks tasty. Eliza does good hand over. More confusion for green team with Pete. No maple flavour in sauce - heating kills flavour. Yellow man Sam eating lots, forgets tuille - is a bit dark. Maple comb made - makes team mates very happy. Ice cream has just made it. Teams all shouting at their player - who can’t hear them! Ray on Red, dithering over plates.Does he even know about the jelly? After all that? Nope, it does not get plated.

Yellow up first - I think they like it! Yep. Amazing clarity - despite the way the dish was put together. Blue - judges like original idea. Clear expression. What of the finished product? There are things to love, but little mistakes - pork a bit dry. Green - is it about maple syrup? ”We used a whole bottle.” Nice dish, lots of flavour, but maple syrup lost. Red - “where’s the jelly?” Bacon sails - like ancient pirate ship. George - really enjoying it, flavours connect. Biscuits make it for Matt. Special mention for Diana in her set up. Got to be green which goes into elimination. Yep.  


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