MasterChef Australia Series 8- Week Two Recap

Marco Pierre White MasterChef Au 8-2016MasterChef Australia, Series 8 Episode 6-10 Recaps

Marco Pierre White Week. Gasp and Excitement and Swooning all round. 
I like Marco, but I feel like he is a bit over the top and the worship of him is a bit much at times.

He is great on this show however. He knows how to bring and it and make them cook like they never have before! I also like he shares honest stories about his failures and always seem to have a kind word for the most down and out contestants.  He almost sounds like a therapist at times, don’t you think?

Off we go. Marco says to them ” The Mystery Box has been designed to help you, not to confuse you,  I selected these ingredients for the versatility, there is no reason to not create a great dish”.

Then George tells them they only need to use at least one of those ingredients! Okay come on then, that makes it pretty much an open pantry , cook whatever you are good at option.

Mystery box week two

Mystery box week two








Top Five

  • Dessert  Making Pro Golf Boy ( also known as: Charlie Sartori) wins the advantage.
  • Nidhi Mahajan- Marco’s teachers pet and adorable.
  • Cecilla- who is back for a second time after a brain injury and seriously missing her kids badly and gets away with a puddle for ice cream.
  • Mimi- down to earth good natured young woman who cut her cake instead of leaving it whole.
  • Matthew with two pierced ears with big blue stones? I cannot quite tell what is in his ears. He seems like a nice bloke.
    Matthew Bacon Cereal masterchef au 8
    Matthew made what they called a bacon cereal dish, tons of yummy textured crunchy goodness. That looked yummy to me and seemed quite creative. Hmmm he may be one to watch.






Masterchef au Charlie Pro Golfer Dessert BoyDessert Pro Golfer, Charlie, is so happy he can make a dessert.
It goes down well and Marco says it is the best dessert he has ever eaten on MasterChef.

I have a problem with Marco saying stuff like this since he says it every single time he is on the show!
Oh well. Dessert Boy is blown away and honored and super chuffed. I myself am worried about him. You cannot win this show on desserts alone.


Dessert Boy Charlie as the winner, gets to pick the protein and veggies they have to cook with in the next segment. He is upset because there is not way he can cook any kind of dessert. “Meat and Three Veg”, as Gary repeats about 10 times over the life of the challenge.

Meat and Three Veg MasterChef Challenge

nidhi masterchef auOf course Nidhi charms the pants off Marco, he loves cumin and he loves Nildi. When she presents her delicious looking curry dish, he tells her he wishes she had a restaurant near his house because he would go everyday! That is a big compliment. Also she is cute as heck and makes me laugh. I like her.
In her little session she says, ” His personality, it melts you. He is like a coconut, that he’s hard from the outside but inside he is really a soft and beautiful person”. Well said Nidhi. I am not sure how soft he is with those ex wives of his, but on this show, he certainly seems to be just that.carrot pudding nidhi masterchef au

Then she says to him, “You know what Marco, I love you a lot”, and he says I love you too.” It would seem she is the class favorite at this point. It is early days.
Gosh her dish made me want to run out to my local Indian and get some food. Now wait a second, did Dessert Boy think there was no way he could make a dessert? Well leave it to Nidhi to pull out an amazing carrot pudding dish.
Carrot pudding sounded like it could go either way, but they loved it.

Top Three to Compete in First Immunity Challenge

Olivia MasterChef Au top dish
Olivia Robinson made a yummy looking dish that had crackers made out of quinoa and cumin. I would love the recipe for those crackers.
She seems like a solid cook. She does not seem to lose her cool.




Zoe winning dish masterchef au 8
Konikkos, who is quiet and can obviously cook is in the top three with a dish they loved.
They gave her dish of the day.
The problem with this show in some ways is the sheer amount of people they start with.
You cannot get to know 24 of them this fast, nor get a feeling for if they can really cook and make it on this show. Only more time will tell. Today the cook was hers. Good job.


Bottom Three going to elimination challenge are:

not yummy looking parsnip lamb

This looks bad

Cecilia was missing her kids so much she was thinking it was home schooling day in the kitchen.  She made a plate that looks like something from the TV show Bones after they pick up a body to dissect!
Let’s crack open this bone and see what is left of the flesh… ugh.
Even going so far and to pipe a message on it to her son in a nice blood looking color. Hey I love my kids too, and I totally get you were having a bad day and missing them a lot, but lady this is MasterChef!
You are in an intense composition with 23 other people who want this just as much as you do. 
I would have to say her dish is the worst I have seen in my years of watching MasterChef, from all countries.


Con Vailas had raw lamb-I was sure he was a goner today. He seems out of his depth to me.

failed shepard pie

Failed Attempt at Shepard Pie


Nathaniel Milevskiy made this mess of an attempt at some strange layer version of Shepard pie. I know he had a vision but it never came across.
Even when he was trying to explain it in his cooking vignette.





The First Pressure Test of MasterChef Australia Series 8 with Marco Pierre White. Episode 7

marco-pierre-white-elimination-dishThe contestants arrive at Masterchef headquarters and are greeted by Marco and the judges. Gary reminds them that one of them will be going home tonight. The contestants are told that they have no recipe, no dish to taste, instead they have to keep up with Marco. All of their instructions will come from Marco, the two dishes that come the closest in look and flavor to Marco’s will be safe.
The dishes need to be ready 10 seconds after Marco has finished cooking. The dish is John Dory alla Nicois.

The contestants get behind the benches and Marco tells them to get their fish. They begin to fillet the fish under Marco’s instructions. The boys are struggling with removing the skin. Cecilia has replicated Marco’s fish quite well. Marco moves on to the next step and the boys are left behind. Suddenly Con cuts his finger and is now even further behind. Marco gets started on preparing the fennel. Then he begins the shallots then the garlic. Cecilia is still keeping up with Marco. Con has had to leave some components out of the dish as he is running out of time. The contestants skin the tomatoes, cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. It’s time to cook the fish. The contestants are not sure how well they have cooked their fish. All the elements are now ready to be put together. It’s time to start plating up. The contestants all complete on time and Marco comes across to shake their hands. It will all come down to taste and technique.


The judges taste Marco’s dish so that they have something to compare the other dishes to. The first contestant to bring their dish in is Cecilia. Marco was very impressed with her performance in the kitchen today. The judges are impressed with the overall presentation of her dish.
Gary says she has cooked the fish really well but she has over salted the tomato. Marco says she has done a fantastic job.

The next contestant in is Nathaniel. He is not overly confident in his dish, his hands are shaking. George comments that the presentation of the dish is not quite right, especially preparing the fennel wrong. They also comment that the size of the fish is smaller than Marco’s and could be overcooked. The judges taste his dish. George says the fish has great coloring, Matt likes how well the dish was dressed. George mentions again how the fennel was prepared incorrectly, the tomato was over salted again and the fish was overcooked.

Finally it is Con’s turn to present his dish to the judges. Marco tells Con that he was pleased with how he persisted and completed the dish. The judges notice on the presentation of the dish that the blood line is still in and bones are sticking out. They taste the dish. Gary says his piece of fish is nice and moist. Marco says the dish eats better than it looks. The judges now need to decide who will be eliminated tonight.

Cecilia is safe, Marco was very impressed by her performance tonight. Now it is between Con and Nathaniel.

Nathaniel was battling from nerves before stepping into the MasterChef kitchen on Monday night.

And unfortunately hopeful Nathaniel Milevskiy was eliminated from the competition after dishing a Marco Pierre White John Dory a la nicoise dish.

Upon hearing the final verdict the 29-year-old attempted to hold back the tears as he told the judges he was ‘disappointed’ in himself.

He added: ‘But I kept on picking myself up. I kept on pushing. And that’s what you have to do, because what you have inside you has to come out. It really does.

‘Keep on following your dream and keep on picking yourself up. And that’s what you must remember. And it’s been a pleasure cooking with you.’

Nathaniel was eliminated from MasterChef Australia 2016- Do you think they made the right choice?

immunity challege masterchef series 8First Immunity Challenge 2016

Can Zoe Konikkos, Nidhi Mahajan or Olivia Robinson win Immunity ? Only Marco Pierre White stands in their way!

The contestants have 60 minutes and an open pantry to cook their pasta and sauce.

Zoe loves making pasta and puts her water to boil before running into the pantry, she has picked out pumpkin and goats cheese. Nidhi is making a mushroom ravioli with a burnt butter and sage sauce. Olivia is making a pumpkin filling with a burnt butter sage sauce and panko crumb.

With the first 15 minutes down, Zoe has finished kneading her dough, Nidhi is struggling. She has to start again. Olivia also gets her dough in the fridge to rest.

Zoe moves on to her pumpkin filling. Nidhi finishes her pasta and moves onto a crumbed bacon. Olivia puts something in the oven, the judges are confused. It’s bread. She is really trying to impress the judges.

Zoe checks on her pumpkin, but it’s not cooking in time. She’s cut the pieces too big, she takes them out of the oven, cuts them up and puts them in the pan.

Olivia has zoned out and is making her pasta, but she’s forgotten to get her water on the stove. The peanut gallery call out, but there is only 15 minutes to go, will she be able to cook them in time? Has she wasted time making bread?

Zoe tries her filling, it tastes too strongly of goat’s cheese, she decides to add some honey to sweeten it up.

Meanwhile, Nidhi’s pasta is all different sizes, they will all cook differently. Olivia’s water still isn’t boiling. She takes the bread out to make her crumb. She whizzes it up with the pancetta and tips some water out. Zoe has her water ready, she puts her ravioli in. There is two minutes to go, Zoe starts plating, her dish is looking good. She runs to the pantry to get some parmesan.

Nidhi drains her sauce, takes her ravioli out, but it isn’t looking great. With 30 seconds to go, Olivia takes out her ravioli and quickly tosses them in burnt butter sauce, it’s into the bowl with the crumbs on top. She is worries she didn’t use enough of her sauce in the rush.

First to be judged is Olivia. The judges comment on the missing sauce. Her dish is Pumpkin and Thyme Ravioli with a Burnt Butter Sauce. Marco says it is a very pretty dish. Gary says the ravioli themselves look very nice. Shannon says it matches the brief, the ravioli is nice, but it has a slight greasiness. He liked the addition of the bread. Marco says this dish tells him a lot about her. It was a very clever dish, but needed the butter to absorb the crumb.

Next is Nidhi’s dish, Mushroom, ricotta and bacon ravioli with porcini broth with some sage butter. Gary comments on the ravioli being uneven. Matt says the sauce is good but the pasta is too thick. Marco says he likes the use of butter over the broth, it is very clever but it is not her best dish.

Finally, Zoe’s roast pumpkin and goats cheese ravioli with speck, sage and butter sauce. George likes the look of the big chunks of bacon. Matt says he loves it, he absolutely loves it. It has a good nutmeg flavor, there is a good amount of butter at the bottom, its a cracking dish. Gary says when you eat it together it works perfectly. Marco likes that she hasn’t over cooked the bacon. She has won the chance to cook against Jake Kellie for the Masterchef Immunity Pin.

Zoe has 75 minutes to cook a dish and Jake will have 60 minutes. This year, the guest chef won’t see what they have to cook until it is there turn to start cooking. Zoe can choose the theme, either French or Italian. Zoe chooses Italian and is going to make a creme brûlée with a marscapone ice cream.

It is time for Jake to start cooking. He is cooking a beef dish by butterflying a steak, freezing it, then he will torch it at the end and hide the vegetables under it. Zoe is happy with her mascapone ice-cream and she puts it into the freezer. Shannon shouts out that there’s 30 minutes remaining. Zoe tastes her figs, they’re firm and sweet and delicious. Jake cuts up some olives to add an Italian element to his dish. Jake asks  Zoe what she is cooking, and he questions whether her cold brulee will set in time.

Jake starts plating up his dish, he is carefully doing it with tweezers. He torches his meat and places it over the top of his vegetables, it looks a little strange. Zoe takes her brulee out of the fridge and it is set to her liking. She starts to caramelise the sugar but she is running out of time and she worries that she melted the gelatine underneath with the blow torch. Time is up.

The first dish presented to the judges is Jake’s. It’s the veal carpaccio. Marco says it was not what he expected, he is totally shocked. George takes the dish apart and it still looks strange. The judges taste the dish. Marco says the dish is beautiful in the most ugly sense. Gary says where’s the pop? Matt says it’s missing a squeeze of lemon juice. Next up is Zoe’s dish, it’s a marsala brulee. As the dish is topped with the figs and ice-cream the runny gooey bottom floats to the top and the judges can see that the dish is not set. The judges are concerned that the brulee top is now wrecked. George serves up slop like portions to the judges. The judges like the flavors but all admit that it’s not a brulee. Marco says that was the most confusing tasting he has done. It’s hard to tell who will win tonight, both dishes had their negatives.

Jake Wins. As usual. I am not a fan of these elimination challenges with other world class cooks. They seem set up to fail. 
How many times has a contestant won, about 3-4 times? They used to win more way back when.

 Restaurant Cooking in Teams Challenge.

Masterchef AU Pub challenge

On Wednesday night the remaining 22 contestants were divided into two teams and cooked for 70 pub guests while being mentored by professional Marco Pierre White.
As a former waiter, these service challenges always stress me out greatly. I usually have to fast forward through some of the parts.
If any of you are restaurant workers, or former restaurant workers, you will understand that this follows you for life.
During stressful periods during my life, decades after I was not in that business anymore, I would still have 
service dreams, where you cannot get to everyone and you are behind, and in the weeds. 

Masterchef Au Prawns dish

During the episode the red team came up on top after serving a near-perfect three course meal.
For entrée the group dished a prawn a la plancha with fennel remoulade.

Upon taking the first bite of the seafood course, Gary Mehigan couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
‘I like it. I like it, I like it, I like it. It is really good. Massive thumbs up from me,’ he commented.
He went on to add: ‘I just think it hits the brief. It’s tasty, it’s fresh. The prawns are beautifully cooked. And I just want to dive in for more. So totally happy with that. I think they’ve done a smashing job.’
His co-star Matt Preston went on to add: ‘ It’s a really clever dish, really elegant dish, and – more importantly – consistent across every plate that we’ve seen come out. Which is great. I love it.’
For their second and main course team blue dished a beef sirloin with mashed potato and oxtail jus.

mashed potato oxtail ju masterchef au

Despite having the meat perfectly cooked, the judges criticised the team for being short on the jew supply.
‘My biggest comment, actually, is when I read “oxtail jus” I’m looking for red wine, really rich, you know, a little almost a little kind of..sticky, which makes the dish.
‘And actually, what we’ve got is hardly any, to be honest,’ Gary said.
George Calombaris simply added: ‘Oxtail jus – non-existent.’
But it was the team’s chocolate brownie with caramel sauce and walnut crumb dessert that won the hearts of the judges.

‘I like it. Absolutely love it. If this was on the menu here, it’d stand out. It’d be a bestseller. Always. People would come back for it,’ Gary happily commented.

brownie dessert masterchef au

‘What’s not to love, really? Moist, fudgy brownie. A lovely butterscotch caramel, little hits of salt. Walnut crumb echoes the walnut in the brownie,’ Matt added.

On the other end of the kitchen during the episode the blue team come under fire by the judges for their small portions which was delivered with their seared scallops with corn puree and pancetta crumb entree.

But despite changing their course serving of three to four, the team still found themselves in the firing line with judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan.

As the plate was situated on the table, George commented: ‘For me, there’s no generosity.

‘This is a pub, and if I’m sitting here having entrée, main, dessert and that came out, I’d just go, you know, “Come on.”

After taking a bite from the dish he went on to add: ‘Scallops are over cooked. I’m not excited.’

His co-star Gary echoed his thoughts and continued to say: ‘I think you’re right. It’s a lack of generosity that strikes you first.’ 

Following the disappointing serving of entree the team dished a crispy skin kingfish with roasted potatoes and saffron beurre blanc for main.

‘I’m surprised. I think it’s really tasty. It’s well seasoned. In fact, my fish is really beautifully cooked. It’s golden brown. Potatoes, really delicious. I’m pleased with it. Really pleased,’ Gary said with a smile on his face.

His colleague Matt continued: ‘The skin’s crunchy. A little bit of acid hit in the beurre blanc, which is obviously what you want to see.

‘You need that against a well-seasoned and oily fish like kingfish. Getting the crispy thing is I think the thing we all expect for their team to fail on, but they certainly nailed that’.

George added: ‘A good-flavoured, balanced main course. The idea of kingfish, crispy skin, golden brown, that light saffron beurre blanc. A pub dish that we’d come back for.’

For dessert they dished up a panna cotta, confit pineapple, coconut sago and lime gel for dessert.

George gushed about the sweet dish, saying: ‘A really beautiful, elegant dessert. Lime gel with the panna cotta, it’s refreshing. It’s quite tropical in ways.

‘It’s a good dessert. I mean, you’d be really pleased in a pub getting a dish like this.’

Matt went on to add: ‘That panna cotta was my dish of the day.

‘I really like this. The contrast with the sago texture, the ginger crumb texture, the panna cotta and the gel, that’s clever cooking.’

Despite the judges falling in love with their followed courses, the blue team were sent to the elimination cook off.

Final Elimination Challege of the Week.
It was the old identify the stuff under a cloche.
Most of it was pretty easy. I will say this group did better than most. They even made it to a round two of harder items.
The four who lost and went into elimination were:
Adam Mizzi
Cecilia Vuong (again!)
Matt Sinclair
Harry Foster

For me from the git go it was going to be Cecilia and Adam, ( Adam Who?, exactly), on the bottom.
She over cooked her tuna and was going to serve a side salad until Marco came over and gave her a pep talk.
They she made a dish in basically 5 minutes of seared tuna with eggy mayo and her side salad.
Honestly I do not know how they let that one go.
Cecilia seems to be just getting by on sympathy and luck at this point. That will not last long on this show.
Adams idea of a mixed grill was boring and they told him so, so he make a little bowl of Inca berries and bits of cripsy lamb was the only thing they found interesting.

MasterChef Au eliminated Adam Mizzi
So our 3rd eliminated contestant is  Adam Mizzi.

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