Unfortunately a bit of a family crisis distracted me last week, so I’ll catch up fast, right before the finale.
Waaay back in 14, the minis had a mystery box that meant they could cook with any foods in the pantry, but only using a skillet and a wooden spoon, and a few other utensils. Sort of interesting in a way, but it got very boring when everyone said ‘Oh wow this is so hard as I don’t have my magimix blender of doom/ this is easy I love an iron pan’. Brandi won. She got a free pass and the rest had to cook a picnic.
Lets be clear, Scotch Eggs have no place in romance – at all. Take my word for it, don’t find out the hard way. I like them, but you don’t want to stick your tongue where a scotch egg has just been.
Brandi gets to pick the teams for a tag team challenge. She puts Nathan in with Vegas Baby, PokerFace with Lady Traitor, Jobless with Fratboy. The only really hard element to make in the picnic would be the heart shaped cookies, as you’d have to try and not vomit in disgust as you made them. Unfortunately, Nathan cannot cope and, even though Vegas tones down his dick-ness to try and help, the stress makes him burnout and collapse. Literally (the collapsing bit, not the burning bit)
Maybe I shouldn’t have poisoned his cookies
The poor little bastard is calmed down and he gets back into it. The chaos isn’t limited to one pair, all of them mess up a bit. Nathan and Vegas lose, and Nathan gets booted. Not a surprise as he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown and Masterchef will be footing the bills if he blows.
Next ep – a pop up challenge. The final 6 got to a hotel in LA, to cater a Roaring Twenties theme party. Sounds fun, and for once I’m not being sarcastic. Its PokerFace versus Lady Traitor, and they pick the ones they like. Its a fancy old time menu, pretty hard to do right, and Gordy is on the pass. So yes, its the Masterchef Does Hells Kitchen episode. Its a clusterfuck of incompetence on all sides, and a lot of the guests aren’t happy.
Gordy ends up uttering the words ‘Lets get this party started!’ If you have to tell people to start partying, it means partying is as likely as I am to wind Olympic gold in the 100m next time. Back in the kitchen, the Blue team (Pokerface’s team) win. This leaves Lady Traitor, Vegas and Fratboy to fight it out.
The elimination test is making three chocolate desserts in an hour, which is pretty tricky. Lady Traitor thinks her ass is on the line, and she’s probably right. Fratboy makes a series of bad cooking choices though, and it looks like he’ll be out. He only made one cheesecake, and didn’t use a Bain-Marie to cook it, which means the heat won’t have been mitigated and the cook on it will be harsher. He also makes a chocolate lake instead of a lava cake, but in the end Lady Traitor gets the boot.
So really, despite the drama, its definitely Masterchef by the Numbers at the moment, with Vegas Baby increasingly being seen as the winner-in-waiting.
So the latest two eps. God I wish they’d stop doubling them up.
At the top of the show Fratboy is saying how great it is to be in the top 5. This never bodes well. Gordy reveals the ultimate Guest Judge is – Richard Blais. I’m not quite sure if that’s supposed to resonate as thunderously as it did with the contestants, but I was ‘oh him’. Not ‘ohmyfreakingawditshim!’
Hi! I’ve been on TopChef! Worship me.
The families then get wheeled on for the Masterchef Mawkish Moment. I don’t care that much about the contestants, leave alone their family. So there’s a few moments of tears and inspiration worthy of a Lifetime True Movie. Eventually they open the Mystery box, to reveal…
…a smaller Mystery Box.
What was the point of that? Inside the new box is an ingredient chosen by the families. Jobless gets Peaches, Fratboy Blackberries, Schoolteacher gets Maize, Vegas gets Parmesan, Pokerface gets cherries. Of course none of those could have possibly fit inside the larger Mystery Box, so that explains the two boxes. Why do I worry about these things, the producers probably don’t know why they did it either.
So its themed on what each cook likes best. They all are thinking ‘I have an advantage’ but really its more ‘you asked for it, don’t screw it up’.
There’s a lot of cooking and ‘how to you elevate a single ingredient’ type talking, but essentially all the chefs are on familiar ground. Richard Blais cooks carrots, then hides them under a glass Cloche, and ifuses smoke into it. The classic sign of a restaurant trying hard to convince you its modern and cutting edge, and usually serves up crap.
Smoke! Never seen that before.
So the top three are:-
Fratboy Dan, with some lovely purple pastry.
Although I don’t know what else he could do with Blackberries. Blackberry turnovers sound nice to me, if not earth shattering. Gordy loves them, Captain Irrelevant Blais loves them, its a love-fest.
Jobless brings up another dessert, I assume, as she has peaches.
Its a grilled shortcake, and looks awesome. Everyone loves it.
Last up is Vegas Baby, with a parmesan raviloi. Apparently its based on Captain Irrelevant’s own recipe, so that’s going to be a win for Vegas. Unsurprisingly, it is.
‘This going to make him an even bigger dick isnt it?’ ‘Yes.’
So, Vegas is safe, which is BS at this stage. The remaining four now get to use anything in the pantry, using up to 20 ingredients. Effectively, ‘Do what you like’. In one hour that is. Quite a daunting test, as there’s nowhere to hide here. I would also think that if anyone is actually using 20 ingredients, they might be in trouble.
Just as everyone settles down, they find out they are going to use someone else’s 20 ingredients – decided by Vegas. Schoolteachers goes to Jobless, Pokerface’s to Schoolteacher, Fratboys’ to Pokerface, hence Frat gets Jobless’. I think. He does it to upset Pokerface, who loses his rag on cue, falling into the trap Vegas Baby set. Mainly as Fratboy chose a weird basket that Pokerface cant cope with, with only packaged smoked salmon as a protein. Presumably Fratboy had a plan for it, but Pokerface doesn’t.
They start cooking and suddenly Pokerface remembers he’s a millionaire pro poker player with a lousy attitude and a bad temper. Its just so Gordy can talk him back in.
He better chase me or this is going to be hard to wriggle out of
Despite the judges calling him, he walks out. I’m not sure of the rules here, but Gordy chases him out to talk to him, in a classic Hell’s Kitchen moment. So he hasn’t left. They might as well have shipped in Jean-Paul for this, he’s so much better at it.
Meantime, Fratboy is making a Jambalaya with his basket, which is what Jobless said to do. He gets in trouble for this off Tosi, as its copying or some shit.
Pokerface is up first, and Gory declares he was dealt ‘a dysfunctional card’. Fratboy must be loving this, slammed on his basket, slammed on his dish idea. Gordy goes on about it for abit.
Considering what he got, he’s done fine. Its endives, curry sauce and trout. Gordy thinks its ok, and even better considering what he had to work with. Captain Irrelevant gives him a hard time for being a dick, which Pokerface tries to explain away. He was doing this last episode, and whilst apologizing for mistakes is great, if you keep doing every time but keep making the mistake, it gets old very fast.
Jobless is up with lamb, and she’s worried she’s overdone it.
Lamb with … nothing. Seriously, can I have the rest now?
Its a bit sparse. There is some parsnip puree, roast carrots, and Gordy likes that. Its cooked well, so its all going well for her, and Gordy is pleased.
Schoolteacher has made a ravioli.
Captain Irrelevant gets to taste it first. He loves it – well cut pasta, creamy sauce and so on. Schoolteacher seems to have coped with the high end stuff after all.
Fratboy is up with a deconstructed Jambalaya. Deconstructed food usually leaves me wishing I’d had the constructed version, and it looks like it this time too.
Piles o stuff
It doesn’t look that well presented. All the components sound great, but Tosi is still banging on about him having no ‘connection’ to it. Who cares about that? As long as it tastes ok. Unfortunately, tosi doesn’t like it, and is still bringing up the copying thing. Gordy claims the rice is overcooked too. Bye Fratboy.
Schoolteacher wins, the other three are down at the front. Sorry not Jobless. Its clear its Fratboy out now. Pokerface gets slammed, but he’s safe. Fratboy is booted.
So the final week before the final ( I think). The top four.
Its promised this ep brings a major shock. Pokerface keeps his cool maybe?
Its ‘cook for the critics’. Schoolteacher chooses Vegas Baby. She’s risking winning it on the first round, and avoiding the elimination as she fears Vegas.
They’re making a main each, and the critics say who wins. Gordy pretends to care, he’s frequently shown he doesn’t pull a hair for critics usually. Tosi him and Irrelevent say how powerful the critics are. This is to disguise the fact that its boring to watch people cook, as now no one is arguing or dicking about – its too serious for that.
So not an awful lot happens, the critics take their tables and bang on about how important the job of eating for a living is.
Schoolteacher and Vegas are doing Halibut, with purple puree and asparagus. Gordy is suspicious, but if Vegas made it up, chances are its fine.
Jobless and Pokerface are making a pan seared duck with ras el hanout polenta cake. I only heard of Ras el Hanout last year, its some African spice mix. Captain Irrelevant thinks its great with Duck – it might well be.
The pairs are working well together – but these are the big guns. Or are they? Jobless and Pokerface have under cooked the duck, making it raw. Poker panics, but Jobless calms him and they have just enough time to flash some off. It leaves the specter of under cooked Duck though.
The judges welcome their friends, the beloved critics.
We pissed in the soup
Red s dish:
Pan seared Ras el Hanout Duck, polenta cake, pomegrante and port reduction.
Hazelnut crusted halibut, lemon Buerre blanc, purple cauliflower puree and vinegrette.
By a hair, I think I’d like the Red dish better.
The critics seem to think the Halibut is overcooked, but crusted well, and the Duck dish is less adventurous but tasty. Gordy got a raw bit, but the critics all seemed to get better cooked duck.
So both teams did ok – and Gordy drops some actual news. There will be three cooks in the final, so it makes this rather important.
The winning team is Blue, or Schoolteacher and Vegas Baby. The under cooked Duck screwed them.
So jobless and Pokerface are in a cook off. My money is on my pony, Jobless. They are making three pork dishes. Pork Tenderloin, Pork belly braised with creamed onion and roasted squash, and finally pork chops on bok choi.
Three hard dishes, 75 minutes. Pokerface earns some redemption points – he’s angry again, but at himself for letting down Jobless and causing them to be in the pressure test. He keeps it level though, and its Jobless who makes a major mistake – she doesn’t cook her tenderloin in time to rest it.
The tenderloin is up first for judging, and its not good for Jobless.
Hmm, raw pork.
She’s presented it better than Pokerface’s, but raw is the autofail. Unless Pokerface has made a huge mistake he’s a winner. His doesn’t look anywhere near as good, but it has that comfort of not poisoning you.
Rarely has Catfood looked so good
Pokerface and Jobless’ ‘friendship’ unravels here, as they both slag the other’s dish off. Jobless has underdone her pork – again – and Pokerface has missed out half the dish. Tosi finds the squabbling highly amusing.
What fools these mortals be
The pork belly dishes both look much of a muchness – but they carry on bitching at each other. In the battle of the bellys, Jobless seems to have edged it.
Last, the pork chops.
Jobless looks ok, but Gordy has spotted raw fat, but she’s lucky and its a medium all the way through.
Pokerface has missed off the Bok Choi – two dishes incomplete. Its well cooked though. Pokerface thinks he’s won, as his pork cook was better in all three. He failed to deliver some elements though. Overall, I think its ‘Pony down’ for the raw tender loin.
Tosi repeats the crime of under cooked pork. Pokerface wins tenderloin, Jobless wins Pork belly and it comes down to Gordy to choose. Shocker. He says the winner is Pokerface. Pony Down! Pony Down! At the last hurdle too. Damn it. The power of the autofail is shown once more.
So bye bye Jobless, you can go back to your unemployed life.
So, after all the doubled up eps, we’re at the final. Hope they’ve made that little circle bigger for all three contestants.
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