After the excitement of last weeks catering challenge, what awaits us this week? A blast from the recent past, again, and a guest judge of little relevance. There’s a surprise in the eliminations as the cheftestents have to bake a pie – and most of them fuck it up spectacularly.
So first, its a mystery box. Also, a revelation. Jobless is indeed Jobless, she gave up her job to do this. So all my mocking of her was completely wrong! The name still works though as she is jobless. She worries that she hasn’t done enough to show her skill yet, and now I’m worried my pony has a spot at the top of the show. Has she incurred the curse of being mentioned?
The person who hates Tosi, and happens to dress her, has struck again today. She’s wearing what looks like a Victorian School girls dress that has been tie-dyed. Please Tosi, start looking in the mirror before walking out on set.
What did Tosi do to piss them off so bad?
First up is the guest judge Arron Sanchez, renowned Latin chef. Not renowned to me, but he’s been on Iron Chef so is no slouch as a chef. Andrea pops her cork over this, whereas Voice Over Guy realizes that if this is a Latin style cooking round, the pressure is on for the contestants who have Latin culinary backgrounds. Just to ram home the Latin theme, Claudia – Last seasons winner and all around hottie, is the irrelevant guest. It pains me deeply to say it, but what is she adding here? I could watch her all day long, but why have two guest judges? One of whom isn’t judging? I suspect its to advertise the Masterchef Cruise thing that she’s hosting later this year. Oh, no. Its not.
I just can’t think why Claudia is here today
So its a No-Mystery Box. Unless some kind of horrible joke is being played, its a bunch of Latin themed ingredients, and it proves to be so. Arron and Claudia are both cooking as well, in the usual ‘Kneel before the mighty and despair’ thing Masterchef likes to do.
Arron hands out some useful advice, ‘the seeds have all the heat’. So at least he’s being useful. Nearly every contestant is either Latin, or says ‘Where I live there is loads of Latin food, so this is a challenge made just for me’. All of them. I’m on board with it too, I love spicy food.
Alejandro is now getting a bit wobbly, worrying that his dish isn’t up to it.
The guest judges dishes are fantastic, but of course they were. They knew what they were doing ahead of time and are professional chefs. So Claudia goes now, with a ‘buy her book’ ad cropping up in the break no doubt. At least she got on camera though so I’m happy.
Three dishes get judged. First up is Voice over guy, Alejandro. He’s made pumpkin seed adalah? three ways. Seafood, black bean and white cheese, and a mango salsa and steak one. Quite an effort – it looks a bit scrappy though, and Arron thinks its a bit straightforward. Once again, this guest judge thing seems to work. Arron is direct and plain with his comments and they’re constructive. All I know about this dish really is that a lot of idiots think Pumpkin seeds are a ‘superfood’. Pumpkin seeds are fine, its the concept of ‘Superfoods’ that I hate. Fads have a lot to answer for.
Next up is Jobless. Real name Tennoria? She’s been very smart, making a dish she knows well and just added some Mexican style elements to it. She’s made Lime roasted shrimp on creamed corn, black beans and rice. Shes left the shells on the shrimps deliberately and overall shows off a lot of technique and confidence. Gordy wants the shells off when served, but that’s the only flaw. Arron is very impressed too, saying she’s married the shellfish with the Latin flavors remarkably well.
Last up is Andrea, with her well done shrimp.
This rings a note of shenanigans. chili rellenos, and she hasn’t done them exactly right either. Did they just pad out the ‘winners’ with Alejandro and Andrea so they get to meet Arron? Maybe so, and fair enough because its clear Jobless has won this. The other two dishes are fine, but hers is head and shoulders above them.
Jobless then gets a real advantage. She gets to choose what the others are cooking, and its a dessert. Uh oh spaghetti-o, its a baking round. She gets to pick out of pies, puddings (which covers everything from trifles to steamed things), or choux pastry. Again, jobless shows off her knowledge here and picks one that is superficially easy, but in fact is an iceberg of trouble. Pies.
Now, everyone can bake a pie, but to do it right takes a lot of skill. Ratios have to be exact, pastry has to cook through, and then there is the war on moisture – which is where most fail. If you just stick some apples under a piecrust, chuck in some cinnamon, you won’t get a tasty filled apple pie you’ll get apple chunks floating in apple and cinnamon flavored water, and that bottom crust will be sodden through.
Brandi, Schoolteacher, thinks she’s on safe ground here as an experienced baker. But jobless has one last advantage, she can spare three chefs from elimination after they’ve baked the pies. Terry the Manbear feels happy, he bakes with his kid. Aw, sweet. Fratboy has never baked before so he’s in trouble.
So if they’re making a sweet pie, they need to be making sweet shortcrust pastry and settle on a filling. Terry is making a Blueberry pie, my favorite, Pokerface is making a cherry pie, another ace one. Brittany is making a Strawberry and Rhubarb pie, and that should set off the alarm klaxons. Aside from the fact that its going to need a lot of sugar to make that rhubarb palatable (for most people, I love unsweetened rhubarb as its so sour) its going to be a waterfall of moisture in that pie. They only have 75 minutes so its not time to go out on a limb.
Lisa-Ann is sailing even further into danger with a blueberry, raspberry and mascapone pie. Sounds ok in theory, in practice it looks bad. Really really bad.
Its a pie Jim, but not as we know it.
Gordy offers his advice to rescue the pie. My advice would be don’t ever put cheese in a pie. Brandi commits this heinous sin too. I know a lot of people like cheese on a pie but I think its heresy. So will Gordy, and Brandi is putting cheddar cheese on it. Along with some pecans.
Manbear seems to be doing very well, and now I realize Brandi is putting bacon on her pie too? What? Bacon on a sweet pastry pie? Woman you need your palette realigned.
Tannoria, Jobless, now gets to hand out her three passes to people. She does this with a touch of theater, going up to Brittany and Fratboy saying ‘You want a spoon? Coz you’re not getting one.’ Brandi refuses a spoon, although I don’t know if she would have got it. Jobless gives spoons to Danni and Diamond as she thinks they suck, and David Pokerface as he’s not done well and is cute. At least that’s what I’m certain she’s thinking.
Brandi steps up first, brimming with confidence. I really don’t know, cheese and bacon on an apple pie? Its either going to be outrageously brilliant or a car crash. Probably the latter.
Yep. Definitely Car Crash.
Just because bacon is a common breakfast food, it does not follow that its sweet. Yes, pork and apple are a classic combination that works – but not with sweet pastry in the mix. That’s a combination too far. Ok, maybe she’s made it a savory pie and used normal shortcrust, but then its not a dessert. Although it might taste good.
Brandi was so keen and eager to share this, its going to be hard for her to hear. Gordy says ‘that scares the crap out of me.’ There’s too much liquid in the pie – she used Granny Smith apples – and it’s a disaster. He doesn’t even talk about the bacon. Arron says the apples and pastry are both underdone. Whether her flavor combinations work is now moot.
Next up is Manbear, and he turns in a fantastic lattice blueberry pie. Its picture perfect, well filled with no leaks or soggy bottoms. He even knew how to protect the lattice when baking so it didn’t burn. The man bakes.
Lisa-Ann is up and worried.
It doesn’t look wonderful, but its not a disaster by any means. Tosi thinks the crust is raw, it needs more sugar. But those Sicilian Angels she prayed too may have just about saved her.
Fratboy produces, for a first ever bake, a decent pie and is told he’s not going home. Eric’s looks ok, but when its cut open, its undercooked – and badly. Its a liquid fest too.
Brittany is up with her danger pie.
Danger Will Robinson!
It looks good, but when its opened, Gordy is angry. It tastes bland and mooshy. He accuses her of kicking him in the nuts. Metaphorically I think, but Gordy doesn’t like his nuts being touched literally or metaphorically. The rhubarb is undercooked and Gordy really, really, hates it. It commits the mortal sin of being bland.
We hear a lot of the judging for once. Manbear’s pie is feted, Fratboy’s is marked as another with potential – presumably the winners. The losers are Brandis raw bacon fest, Eric’s berry waterfest, (described as Arron as ‘soup’) and Brittanys bland fest.
The three losers line up. Its a surprise to see Brandi there but that’s life. Eric gets a roasting off Tosi, but goes back to his seat. Good, I like him. Out of the two remainers I can’t call it. They were both massively overconfident and tripped themselves up. In the end, they keep Brandi and eject Brittany. I suppose they thought at least Brandi had an idea of what flavors she was going for, whilst Brittany kicked Gordy in the nuts.
What you get for messing with Rhubarb, and Gordy’s Nuts.
Lisa-Ann owes her Sicilian Angels a month of prayers for not getting hauled in front of the judges, and its starting to look like Fratboy secretly can cook pretty well. He just hates to admit it because that’s on a par with using the library at college.
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