Corner Café

March 18, 2010

MasterChef Australia 2 (2010)

Filed under: Miscellaneous & TV Shows — SeaDragon @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 (Melbourne Week),
Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10 (London/Paris Week), Week 11, Week 12,
Week 13, Week 14, Grand Finale

heraldsun100418
Don’t you love the photo of Matt Preston with the whisk, hilarious! Photos courtesy of Sunday Herald Sun.

Food, Glorious, Food! For all of you waiting impatiently for the second season of MasterChef Australia to start, here’s something to whet your appetite. This is the first sneak peek of the promo for the second season of MasterChef Australia which is due to screen in late April!
There’s also some news about judge Gary Mehigan missing some later episodes due to a fall that required surgery and Chef Matt Moran has to step in to fill his place temporarily.

Update March 26, 2010: Another promo for MasterChef Australia 2010, here’s a sneak peek of the Top 50 contestants for season 2.

Update April 1, 2010: With Season 2 just round the corner, here’s an interview with last year second runner-up, Chris Badenoch.

Update April 2, 2010: Yipeeeeeeeeee, it is now confirmed, MasterChef Australia will premiere Season 2 on Monday, April 19 at 7:30pm on ten!

Update April 11, 2010: Just saw an ad from 7pm Project that they are going to release ‘secrets’ each night this week about the forthcoming Season 2 of MasterChef Australia, can’t wait. One more week to go for the premiere, yay! A very busy three months ahead watching the series…

By the way, Season 1 winner’s cookbook, Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin, is finally out. You can download her Lemon Diva Cupcakes recipe here. It is good that they took so long to get the book out, meaning the recipes are properly tested and written instead of a rush job.

Update April 12, 2010: Ready? Here’s the list of episode guides for the first two weeks of Season 2, they certainly look exciting to watch!

Update April 14, 2010: Hooray, just read an article in The Daily Telegraph that the peer eliminations that happened after group challenges from last year is no more! This year all eliminations are determined by the judges. This is certainly good news as those peer elminations was the one thing I hated from Season 1.

Update June 21, 2010: First promo for MasterChef USA which will premiere on FOX in the US on July 27, 2010. Looks like it is based on the Australian version and not the original UK version.

Update December 5, 2010: For the second year (Top TV shows for 2009), MasterChef Australia ranks as the most watched TV programme of the year in Australia (Warning Spoiler includes photo of winner – Top 100 TV shows of 2010).

Update February 11, 2011: Have a look at this promo for the new series of the original UK MasterChef. How similar is their new kitchen compared to the MasterChef Australia‘s kitchen, the lightings, the space and complete with the balcony!

********************************************************************
Week 1 (19/4/2010-23/4/2010)
Ep 1, Monday April 19, 2010 – BBQ and Donna Hay
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Launch [Ten] 1,692,000
2 (5) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,382,000
3 (7) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,160,000
4 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 1,146,000
5 (10) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,063,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

What a great start! Thoroughly enjoyed the first episode… I’m so glad they got rid of the audition rounds (which was quite a tedious process last year) and without any fanfare, went straight into the challenges. First, cooking the good old Aussie BBQ by all the 50 contestants. Poor old Jake! Slicing his thumb and then a finger! The way they edited it, it was actually quite funny (I know it sounded cruel, but blame it on the editing). After the first accident and having seen him gone back to cooking, then suddenly seeing him back on the chair with another finger being bandaged. “What? Again!” I couldn’t help myself and let out a LOL moment! After all that drama, it was quite obvious with all the red herrings Channel Ten like to put out, I was quite sure he was going to get through anyway and was proven right!
Then onto the Pressure Test for the ten contestants with the 10 worst dishes, and five of them would be gone at the end of the episode. More red herrings with all the sneaky editings from the ads! From all the ads shown before, it looked like Donna’s dish was some sorts of a chocolate dessert, but oh no, it was actually Pavlova! And also Matt’s raised eyebrow reaction to Dom’s pavlova in the ad which made us think that he totally messed it up, but that reaction shot was for another contestant! Sneaky, sneaky. Ah, Pavlova, another classic Aussie favourite, the judges must have been on a sugar-high giddiness after tasting ten pavlovas! Was anyone flabbergasted? Of the ten contestants, only two had cooked Pavlova before! What??? Has this classic been reduced to just buying the base from the supermarkets and just putting the cream and fruits on top that only two of them had actually cooked it from scratch before. More dramas for the two that had actually cooked them before, Nicolette nearly quitting after mis-reading the recipe and thus losing valuable time and good old George came to her rescue and convinced her to finish her dish, and Adele’s collapsed as she was putting the cream on top of her pav. In the end, Nicolette’s gone with undercooked pav and Adele got to fight another day as hers despite collapsing was judged as one of the best tasting pavs. So only 45 are left. Can’t wait for episode two tomorrow!

Pressure Test – Pavlova (Donna Hay)

Ep 2, Tuesday April 20, 2010 – Signature Dish and Beef Wellington
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Top 50 Tues [Ten] 1,536,000
2 (3) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,452,000
3 (5) NCIS [Ten] 1,379,000
4 (8) Top Gear [Nine] 1,174,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,121,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

A very interesting episode. It was Signature Dish in the first challenge. The top six dishes would go on to the Pressure Test to earn the first 2 spots, 1 male and 1 female, in the Top 24. And for the first time, the contestants would judge the dishes! The female challengers would taste the male challengers’ dishes and vote for the best dish and vice versa.
Well, it was now quite clear that Claire would be one of the top contenders to take out the title this year! She was the top three last night for the BBQ challenge and voted again into the top 3, well top 4 due to a tie, for the Signature Dish challenge. I didn’t mind the contestants judging this time, which was quite different to the peer elimination of last year. At least they were judging for the best dish and not getting rid of competitions. As for the dessert dishes, the most interesting were Bel’s Fig & Mastic Bavois and Skye’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse. I only got to know about mastic during one of last year’s masterclasses when George used it, now someone had used it again but for a sweet dessert!
The top four female signature dishes were from Claire, Bel, Adele and Skye. The top three male signature dishes were from Alvin, Jimmy and Jonathan. These seven went on to the Pressure Test for the first two spots in the Top 24.
So on to the Pressure Test, and Gary revealed one of his favourite dishes, Beef Wellington, for the challenge. It really looked complicated and for a moment there, I thought they were going to ask the contestants to make the pastry as well. No such luck as they were given only two and half hours to complete the challenge. Although I have heard of Beef Wellington which is beef wrapped in pastry, I have not tasted it before so I was quite surprise there were also crêpes inside as well. Claire and Jonathan seemed to be going smoothly, except Jonathan’s crêpes were too thick in the beginning. Bel almost had a big disaster by mis-reading the amount of Dijon mustard for the mushroom layer, but luckily for her Gary came to her bench just at the right moment and averted her mistake. Alvin had trouble wrapping the beef while Jimmy had problem understanding the instructions on how to wrap. Alvin even went on to describe his Beef Wellington as roadkill which brought a round of laughter from the other contestants. Skye broke her bottle of red wine and luckily Alvin had enough wine left over to give to her to finish her sauce. Adele in the meantime went crazy and kept opening the oven door and that resulted in uncooked pastry!
I think I finally figured out why the judges helped some of the contestants but not others which was quite evident with Jonathan’s, Bel’s and Jimmy’s cases tonight. In Jimmy’s case, he was having trouble understanding the instructions about how to wrap the beef, but he had not started to wrap yet, so Gary told him he had to figure it out himself instead of instructing him how to do it. While in Bel’s case with her putting too much mustard in the blender, as was Jonathan’s case with his thick crêpe, both of them had started to do something which was obviously not correct, so Gary was able to advise them about their mistakes. Therefore I think the judges can only advise but not instruct. I will have to see if this theory is correct in future episodes! Anyway, Claire won as the first among the female cooks to gain a spot in the Top 24, so we probably won’t see her again until Sunday. Jonathan seemed very confident and a bit too cocky I thought although his Beef Wellington looked the best after he had had help from Gary regarding his crêpes and now his thin crêpes were seamless with the pastry. Anyway I was glad he didn’t win, instead Jimmy became the second to get a spot in the Top 24 beating Jonathan’s which had problems with taste even though looking the best. I think Jimmy’s going to be the dark horse to watch out for in this competition after creating two fabulous dishes in today’s two challenges.

Pressure Test – Beef Wellington (Gary Mehigan)

Ep 3, Wednesday April 21, 2010 – A Main and A Dessert
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Top 50 Wed [Ten] 1,611,000
2 (2) The Pacific [Seven] 1,476,000
3 (7) Hey Hey It’s Saturday [Nine] 1,202,000
4 (9) So You Think You Can Dance Australia – Finale Night [Ten] 1,076,000
5 (10) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,065,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

Elimination time! Tonight the bottom 10 from last night’s Signature Dish challenge faced being sent home after a cook-off in teams of two. Three teams would be gone at the end of the episode.
Oh, what a frustrating episode to watch! Well, for the first half anyway. I really wanted to reach into the TV screen and give Andrea a hard shake to bring her back to reality (pun intended). It was quite obvious from the get go that she was having a mental meltdown, and entering into la-la land after learning she was in the bottom ten.
I could not believe it when she demanded of her team mate, Philip, that why he was so interested in what she was going to cook. Hello! They were going to be judged as a team for elimination! And then she acted as if she was on a leisurely day-out visit to the farms instead of gathering ingredients for the elimination cook-off. Maybe it was just the way the editing of the show goes, but still! It was a wonder Philip didn’t just leave her there and went back to the MasterChef kitchen by himself. Maybe that’s why he was smart enough to let her sit in the car while he was picking strawberries for his dessert, in case she wondered off for a tour of the farm!
As soon as Andrea quit the challenge and thus the show, I was all for Philip to get through this round of elimination. His determination of taking on both duties and cooking both the dishes and the get-on-with-it attitude was so admirable!
Didn’t we all have a tissue moment when the judges decided to put him through for his positive attitude? Good on you, judges! Now I’m keeping all my fingers crossed and hoping he’s good enough to get into the Top 24!

Ep 4, Thursday April 22, 2010 – Mise-en-Place and Matt Moran
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Top 50 Thurs [Ten] 1,580,000
2 (7) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,009,000
3 (8) Getaway [Nine] 996,000
4 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 964,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 951,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

Again top show of the night, that means the first 4 nights of MCA were the most watched show on TV each night, read more here. Let’s see if tonight’s 90-minute Masterclass episode can make it a clean sweep for the week!
Who would have thought that the mundane acts of food preparation could be such riveting television! Well, MasterChef Australia had definitely turned these dull kitchen chores into a fine art of entertaining TV viewing. Tonight was all about food preparation, or as George so carefully enunciated it, mise-en-place, how the French would said it. First the contestants had to show the judges their skills in food preparation – separating egg whites from egg yolks; cutting carrots into julienne; shucking oysters; and finally filleting fish and portioning them into 6 x 180g pieces.
As one of the contestants told us, even everyday simple tasks became very daunting in MasterChef kitchen. I could really feel empathy with the contestants, I’m sure my hands would be trembling as much as they were just trying to crack an egg in that situation! After the first task of separating hundreds of eggs (don’t worry, if you think that’s such a waste of food, it’s actually not as all the unused food goes to the charity which feed the homeless! And all the cooked food goes to the over 100 staff members who worked on the programme, that is if they are edible 😉 ), 10 out of these 38 contestants would not go forward, the same with julienning carrots, which left 18 contestants to go forward to shuck oysters. The first ten of these to successfully shuck 12 oysters would then go forward to fillet salmons into portions and the first four to finish the task would go straight into the Top 24. Channel Ten even made the last task of weighing fish portions seemed like an Olympic contest! After all these tasks, Marion, Daniel, Adele and Courtney all got their MasterChef aprons and joined Claire and Jimmy in the Top 24.
Next the remaining contestants went into an one-on-one ‘gladiator’ battle with Chef Matt Moran. They had to cook one of his dishes, Bone-Out Quail served with Potato Gnocchi, Caramelised Pumpkin and Burnt Butter and Sage. There were four stages to cooking and plating the dish. After each stage, contestants would be judged and rejected until six who were successful would go straight into the Top 24. And they were Jonathan, Peter, Aaron, Adam, Kate Zahner and lastly I’m so glad to report, Philip who went through such an emotional day yesterday, all received their aprons and became the latest to join the Top 24 club.

Pressure Test – Pan-fried Quail with Gnocchi, Roast Pumpkin, Brown Butter and Sage (Matt Moran)

Ep 5, Friday April 23, 2010 – Masterclass #1
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (5) Masterchef Australia – Top 50 Fri [Ten] 1,093,000
2 (6) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 981,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 952,000
4 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 783,000
5 (12) NCIS – Fri Rpt [Ten] 685,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

Tonight was the first masterclass of this season, one of my absolute favourite segments of the show. The six contestants who won the Matt Moran’s challenge last night were sent to have masterclass with Matt Moran at his restaurant, while the remaining contestants had their masterclass with Gary and George.
I don’t know, I have mixed feeling about dividing the contestants to have different masterclasses. As we knew painfully well from last year that Julia and Lucas who were fast tracked to the final week went out to learn their craft in the real world in professional kitchens and what happened? They came back for the final week and promptly were the first two to be eliminated! Whereas Julie who had learnt everything in masterclasses with Gary and George, was able to apply what she had learnt and put them into dishes she cooked especially during the last few weeks, went on to win the title! So we will have to wait and see.
Another moot point, did you notice that the contestants in the MasterChef kitchen had little MasterChef notepads to use to jot down tips and hints from Gary and George, while the six in Matt’s restaurant did not have the notepads! They must have given the notepads out after those six had left the kitchen. Why didn’t they give those six contestants notepads as well before they left?
By the way, I can’t find Matt’s seafood canapé recipes (although I have previously posted the link to Matt’s Chilli Salt Squid recipe before elsewhere on my blog; and I managed to write down the first prawn canapé recipe which looked delicious – see below). Maybe I missed something on the MasterChef Australia website or are they saving the recipes for the first MasterChef Australia magazine that is due out in early May as Matt and Neil Perry are both contributing to the magazine?

Masterclass – Baby Vegetables with Carrot Purée and Potato Crisp (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Sirloin Steak with Thyme (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Raspberry Jelly with Granita and Champagne (George Calombaris)

Prawns in Powder Brick Pastry with Gremolata and Aioli (Matt Moran)
Choose large fresh prawns, Matt used King prawns (make sure they don’t have black heads when you buy the fresh prawns, that means they have gone off). Remove heads and body shells, but leave tails on. Make a slit along the back of each prawn and remove the vein by scraping it out. You may use other seafood like Balmain bugs, scampi, or even lobster that have been cut into smaller pieces to replace the prawn.
The powder brick pastry is a Tunisian brick pastry and should be available in Middle-Eastern stores or good deli – there is no substitute so don’t use filo pastry as it won’t work. Take a sheet of the round pastry, square it up a little bit by cutting a little of two sides off and then cut each round of pastry into 3 rectangular longish lengths. Pass each length of pastry through a pasta maker to get one portion of noodle-like pastry. When you work with the brick pastry, cover the unused sheets of pastry with a damp cloth to prevent them drying up.
Lay a portion of pastry noodles perpendicularly in front of you on the work surface, put a prawn on the pastry noodles nearest to you, roll up and wrap the prawn in the pastry noodles (don’t need to be too neat when wrapping, the wrapping can be quite rustic). Eggwash the end of pastry noodles before finishing wrapping to seal the ends. Set aside and make Aioli and Gremolata.
For the Aioli, or garlic mayonnaise, make your own fresh mayonnaise. You should use vegetable oil, e.g. canola oil, or grapeseed oil which Matt preferred, to make mayonnaise. Don’t use olive oil as it is too overpowering. To make the mayonnaise (this is taken from an Aioli recipe from Matt Moran elsewhere), whisk 2 egg yolks, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp white wine vinegar, a little salt and pepper until combined. Continue to whisk as you slowly pour in 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil in a steady stream. Keep whisking until all of the oil has been absorbed. Finely chop 2 cloves garlic (don’t use garlic crusher) and stir into the mayonnaise. Then whisk in lemon juice from about 1/2 a lemon (Tip: cut a lemon on one side, just a cheek like when you cut a mango, then you won’t get the seeds in the middle). Season again with salt and pepper if required.
For the Gremolata, take 1/2 bunch of continental (or Italian) parsley and remove leaves, discarding the stalks. Then finely chop the leaves. Add 1 clove (not sure how much Matt used but saw him chopping only 1 clove) garlic which has been finely chopped. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to cover, then add juice from about half a lemon and season with salt and pepper; stir to mix. A note about olive oil, a bottle of olive oil once opened has a shelf-life of about 6 to 8 weeks only, after that it goes rancid!
Deep-fry the wrapped prawns in 180°C vegetable oil (don’t use oil that is too overpowering; and if the oil becomes too hot, put a slice of bread in to lower the temperature) for about 2 minutes until golden brown. At home if you don’t want to deep-fry, you may shallow-fry instead but you have to monitor carefully to make sure not to overcook the prawns. Nicely done, the prawn should still be opaque in the middle when you cut or bite into it. The reason large prawns are used in this recipe is because small prawns cooked too quickly and can be easily overcooked. Once cooked, remove prawns gently from the deep-fryer and place on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little salt to season.
To serve, dab three little dabs of the Aioli (about 1 teaspoon each from the look of it) on the serving plate. Place one deep-fried wrapped prawn on top of each dab of Aioli and drizzle with a little Gremolata. Serve as canapés.

TV ratings for week 1 of MasterChef Australia Season 2

Week 2 (25/4/2010-30/4/2010)
Ep 6, Sunday April 25, 2010 – Mystery Box and Neil Perry
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night (Anzac Day holiday long weekend)
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,500,000
2 (4) Masterchef Australia – Top 24 Revealed [Ten] 1,282,000
3 (5) Customs [Nine] 1,182,000
4 (6) Bones [Seven] 1,122,000
5 (7) The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,107,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

It was crunch time, the final twelve spots were up for grab! However they must tackle the mystery box challenge first. The best four dishes would go straight into the Top 24, while the four least impressive dishes would be eliminated immediately, and they only had 45 minutes to make their dishes.
So, what could be under those mystery boxes? Tension, they lifted the box in front of them… Bananas, strawberries, mint, chocolates, cinnamon sticks, oranges, honey, Grand Marnier, and 100’s & 1000’s! With glee in their eyes, Gary and George had a private giggle on the side about the 100’s & 1000’s and wondering if any contestant would actually use it (one did, Jake). So for the first time, an all dessert mystery box. I was stumped at first as I saw no flour, sugar or eggs and wondered what could they make! Then I remembered they were pantry staples, so they had access to them after all, phew!
Some contestants were very ambitious and tried to make pastry in the time limit. I bowed to them indeed! Others tried to make jellies, again another miracle if they could manage to set jellies in less than 45 minutes! Maybe they might have a slight chance if they got access to that blast freezer from last year, but I couldn’t see it in the kitchen. So as expected most of them failed in their attempts, especially with the jellies where peoples were opening and closing the refrigerators every few minutes!
However those who decided to make chocolate mousses, pancakes or crêpes were more successful and some of them sure looked delicious!
In the end, Matthew (Layered Mousse with Strawberry Soup), Joanne (Whipped Cream Crêpes with Orange Chocolate Sauce), Fiona (Strawberry Champagne) and Callum (Jaffa Tart with Orange Cinnamon Syrup) had the top four desserts and went into the Top 24. Jason, Claud, Tony and Jo were eliminated.
Next the remaining contestants went into yet another Pressure Test to fight for the last 8 places. However before that could happened, Kate Zahner, who was already in the Top 24, announced that she was pulling out of the competition – it really was no surprise as we had been hearing rumours since December last year that one of the contestants pulled out in the early stages of the competition. So now there were 9 places up for grab.
This time it was a Neil Perry dish. Wow, we have been seeing a lot of Neil lately as he has been a regular guest on Poh’s Kitchen too! The dish was Fish Poached in Coconut Milk and Garam Marsala. When the judges announced that Neil Perry was the guest, we saw Dominic beaming from ear to ear as he told us he was a huge fan. I had immediately warmed to Dom since Day 1 when he told the judges that the pavlova he made was the best one he had ever made, and of course George, or was it Gary, quipped back that it was the only one that he had ever made. Hee-hee-hee. I hope he made it! Another contestant, Jake who slashed himself every which way on Day 1, was also a big fan and told us that the reason he entered the competition was to hopefully have a chance to meet Neil. So his wish was fulfilled. Now the pressure really was on for these two as they not only had to cook to secure a place in the Top 24, but also not to make a fool of themselves in front of Neil!
The dish sounded simple to make but the kicker was they had to make the noodles from scratch as well! In the process we discovered what a character Alvin was, his quotes were hilarious! Remember the roadkill comment from last week, now he described his fish filleting skill as “doing a Jackie Chan on the fish”! Then as he was waiting to be judged, he told us he was praying to every god he knew. He must have known a lot seeing the result of the day, LOL.
Alvin and Skye were first through, but what’s with that little dance? LOL. Then Dominic, Kate Nugara, Carrie, Devon, Sarah, Sharnee, and lucky last Jake all made it. So the Top 24 were in place. The real competition starts tomorrow and we may finally be able to access some of the contestants’ recipes!

Pressure Test – Fish Poached in Garam Marsala (Neil Perry)

Breaking News: If you want to know which oversea destination in the final weeks of the competition they are going to, click here.

Ep 7, Monday April 26, 2010 – Fondest Childhood Food Memory
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,693,000
2 (3) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,536,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,311,000
4 (8) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,264,000
5 (9) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,210,000
Source: TV Tonight

Tonight the Top 24 finally started to compete properly. We got to have a brief background stories of the contestants as they arrived at their mansion which will be their home for the next few months! Then it was time to go to the proper MasterChef kitchen for the first time this year.
After the welcome from the three judges, they were told they had to re-create the food of their fondest childhood memory in 90 minutes. Get ready for a teary episode as Claire started the water-tap as soon as memory of her granny flooded back to her. A few others got teary as well. I thought this would be an episode about happy memories, but obviously I was wrong!
Then Matt finally revealed the first change of the rule for this year. The winner of this challenge would go on to a cook-off with a celebrity chef, which was basically the same as last year, but the reward if they won against the chef was not a fast-track to the final week, but instead they would receive an immunity card! As we all know perfectly well by now that fast-tracking did not work well last year, so this change is definitely welcomed. They could use this immunity card at any stage during the competition to avoid elimination, but they did not make it clear whether the card could be used once only or more than once, but I assumed it would be once only.
Then it was straight on to their first challenge! They only had 2 minutes to gather their ingredients from the MasterChef’s famous pantry. Straight off the block, Adam made a serious mistake. He was going to cook the traditional Hakka dish, Lei Cha, but he forgot to get the most important ingredient for the dish, the rice! That was a big mistake!
Devon was going to cook Sunday Roast. Claire was going to cook Pan Fried Pork in memory of her gran. Alvin decided to cook something called Drunken and Bruised which his mum used to cook for him whenever he was sick. Jake cooked Oyster Soup with a twist and using oysters in jar which was how his dad made it. Adele cooked Crostoli. Callum could not decide which dish to cook so he opted for two dishes, Vegetarian Lasagna and Peaches & Ice Cream. Kate cooked Chicken Potato Slice and she decided to use pre-made mayonnaise which immediately put the judges off side. Blame it on sponsorship for stocking jarred mayonnaise in the pantry, but I though Kate should at least have tried to make her own mayonnaise which is a basic skill any good cook should have. Even young Callum was smart enough to make his own ice cream instead of just taking a tub from the pantry! Jimmy cooked Prawn Pathia which his mum cooked for him every birthday.
I was really disappointed they did not show what the rest of the contestants cooked. We got to see very briefly shots of some other dishes but that was all. I would have like to see dishes from Marion (Green Papaya Salad? Saw some hands mixing a shredded salad in a mortar and pestle, could it be hers since she has Thai heritage), Dominic, Philip (baklava?), Joanne (some sort of filo pastries?), Jonathan (he was chopping rhubarbs?), Peter, or even Skye who was spooning some green moussy thing into Martini glasses!
Alvin got a big rapt about his dish and even Gary came across the tasting bench and shook his hand so we knew what was going to happen! Adele and Jimmy got high praises for their dishes as well and so these three were the top 3 dishes of the day. No surprises in the end, Alvin won this challenge and he will face off with Chef Luke Nguyen to cook a Vietnamese three-course banquet in tomorrow’s episode! Let’s see if he can come up with more funny quotes 🙂

Contestant’s Recipe – Drunken Chicken with Bruised Snake Bean Salad (Alvin Quah)
Alvin’s Drunken Chicken is based on a recipe by Chef Teage Ezard, the only difference is Alvin used palm sugar instead of the raw rock sugar in Teage’s original recipe and maybe Alvin’s had different quantities of the ingredients also.

Teage Ezard’s Drunken Chicken
Ingredients:
1 large organic free-range chicken weighing around 1.8kg
1 litre (4 cups) Shao Xing rice wine
500ml (2 cups) mirin
500ml (2 cups) water
80g raw rock suger crystals
1 1/2cm peeled ginger, bruised
Preparation:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the chicken for 10 seconds. Remove from the water and plunge into a large basin of iced water to stop the cooking. Repeat this process three times. This will help tighten the skin and keep it intact.
Rinse the pot and add the Shao Xing rice wine, mirin, water, rock sugar and ginger. Bring to a boil then add the chicken and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid. Refrigerate in the liquid overnight.
The following day, remove the chicken from the liquid and use a sharp knife or cleaver to cut it in half lengthwise. Slice off the wings where they meet the breasts. Trim the knuckles from the base of the wings to expose the two small bones on either side, and pull them out. Slice off the legs and separate the thighs from the drumsticks by cutting through the joint. Leave the drumsticks whole and cut the remaining thigh into three pieces. Cut the breasts from the carcass (but leave them attached to the breastplate) and cut each into six pieces.
To serve: Place the cold chicken on a serving dish and ladle over some of the poaching liquid – just enough to keep the chicken moist. Accompany with salad.

Below is just an approximation of Alvin’s Bruised Snake Bean Salad recipe. I took David Thompson’s Green Papaya Salad and re-worked it based on Alvin’s description of his salad.

Bruised Snake Bean Salad à la Alvin
Ingredients:
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Good pinch of salt
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
2 tbsp dried prawns/shrimps, rinsed and drained
2 slices or small wedges of lime
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
8-10 snake beans, cut into 5cm lengths
2-3 bird’s eye chillies (scuds), or to taste
2-3 tbsp shaved palm sugar, or to taste
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
2-3 tbsp lime juice
1 cucumber, thinly shaved to garnish
Preparation:
Using a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic with the salt then add the peanuts and dried prawns and pound to a coarse paste. Add the lime, bruising it with the pestle then add the cherry tomatoes and beans to the mortar and carefully work everything together. Next add the bird’s eye chillies, barely crushing them. The more they are pounded, the hotter the dish – and how hot you want it is up to you. Add them earlier if you’re after revenge. Season the salad with palm sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Garnish with shaved cucumber. It should taste sweet, sour, hot and salty.

Ep 8, Tuesday April 27, 2010 – Luke Nguyen
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,558,000
2 (4) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,474,000
3 (5) Top Gear [Nine] 1,385,000
4 (6) NCIS [Ten] 1,370,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,241,000
Source: TV Tonight

The first Celebrity Chef Challenge for the year. It was Luke Nguyen from Red Lantern, so the challenge would be Vietnamese cuisine. Let me just say for this particular challenge, it looked most obvious something is missing without Sarah Wilson as host this year. So as soon as the judges left the kitchen, the guest chef took on the duties of host and timekeeper as well as having to cook at the same time, which was a bit odd.
But let’s not worry about that, because we finally saw the immunity card, uh, no, it was actually an immunity pin in the shape of the MasterChef logo! HEY, I WANT ONE TOO! It certainly looked shiny and cute!
To get that immunity pin, Alvin who won the rights to cook tonight, had to cook and beat Luke Nguyen’s signature dishes, namely, Hanoi Crisp Parcels with Nuoc Mam Cham Fish Sauce, Hue Pancakes, and Barramundi in Lotus Leaf with Phu Quoc Sauce. For the first time 3 dishes in one go for the Celebrity Chef Challenge! Alvin had 90 minutes to cook, while Luke had 75 minutes.
For the first 15 minutes, Luke watched over Alvin as he prepared some of the ingredients. Luke commented Alvin had good knife skill. Then very quickly the 15 minutes was up and Luke went to his station and started chopping with 2 knives at the same time. Alvin commented he was not going to look as he was too scare! LOL.
Then Alvin thought he soaked the rice papers a bit too much and they became a bit too soft for making the Crisp Parcels. Luke had told him earlier that if the parcel was too wet, it would burst while deep-frying. But he went on anyway to deep-fry and the parcels started to bubble like some outer space creatures in the hot oil. Luckily though they did not burst and still looked quite decent. As he finished his parcels, he took a peek over to Luke’s and saw his parcels which looked perfect. He told us, “bye, bye, immunity”, but soldiered on nevertheless!
Next he had trouble with making the Hue Pancakes. Luke was kind enough to come over and helped him, saying he had put too much oil in the pan. That really helped, and the pancakes looked very good after that. Luckily, he had no trouble with the fish dish and finished just in time making the sauces!
After the blind tasting by the judges it was finally judging time! First Alvin’s dishes, George scored him a 7, Gary 8 and Matt 7 for a total of 22. Then Luke’s scores, George scored him 8, Gary gave him a 9, and Matt 9 for a total of 26. Luke got over the line and so Alvin couldn’t get his hand on the immunity pin.

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Hanoi Crisp Parcels (Luke Nguyen)
Celebrity Chef Challenge – Hue Pancakes (Luke Nguyen)
Celebrity Chef Challenge – Barramundi in Lotus Leaf with Phu Quoc Sauce (Luke Nguyen)

Ep 9, Wednesday April 28, 2010 – Running Two Italian Restaurants
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,510,000
2 (5) The Pacific [Seven] 1,229,000
3 (7) Hey Hey It’s Saturday [Nine] 1,125,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,112,000
5 (9) Dog Squad [Seven] 1,101,000
Source: TV Tonight

So we came to the off-site team challenge for the first time this year. Led by Gary and George, they arrived at the Italian precinct in Sydney and in front of two Italian restaurants, Caffé Moretti and Carpaccio. The contestants were told they would be divided into two teams and they would run a restaurant each for the day until 9pm. The team who had the most money in the till, excluding drinks, at 9pm would win the challenge. However the twist was that the customers would decide how much they would pay for the meal! The winning team would have the chance to have dinner at Luke Mangan’s restaurant, Glass and then a mini masterclass with Luke Mangan himself. This looked like the sushi restaurant challenge from last year but on a much, much bigger scale!
As per usual, the person who won the Invention Test challenge, or in this week’s case, the Fondest Childhood Food Memory challenge, would become the first team leader. So that would be Alvin. He was asked to nominate his opposing team leader. He chose Jonathan and immediately someone said to Jonathan, “Oh, didn’t want you in his team!” Then Gary asked Alvin about his strategic selection and Alvin basically echoed that he didn’t want Jonathan in his team. Then he told us that Jonathan had a habit of rubbing people up the wrong way and didn’t want any conflict in the team. That made me think that something had happened in the house and reminded me of the Kiddie Mafia incident from last year. Good thing this was MasterChef Australia and they just left it there for us to speculate if we want to and didn’t go any further with it. That’s the reason I like MasterChef Australia for not going into the dirty laundry side of thing that might had happened elsewhere outside of the cooking aspect of the show. If this was My Kitchen Rules, they might have milked the incident for all it was worth I’m sure!
Anyway, let’s not dwelled on that. Alvin’s red team consisted of Adele, Marion, Daniel, peter, Philip, Jimmy, Courtney, Adam, Carrie, Joanne and Kate. George would supervise over the red team.
Jonathan’s blue team included Matthhew, Claire, Skye, Aaron, Sharnee, Devon, Callum, Jake, Sarah, Dominic and Fiona. Gary would supervise over the blue team.
Alvin chose to run Caffé Moretti, a more classic Italian restaurant, so that left Carpaccio, the more modern Italian restaurant, for Jonathan’s team. Matt told them service would start at 6:30pm and end on the dot at 9pm.
I thought the red team was much better organised and everyone was assigned a job, they also discussed about the menu and Marion suggested that they should just do a pizza and pasta night. Adele, the Italian mama of the group, having looked at the menu, agreed that cooking everything on the menu would be too hard and they finally agreed that it would be a good idea to keep thing simple and just did the pizza and pasta thing only. However the worry was whether something simple like pizzas and pastas would earn enough money for the night!
The blue team on the other hand seemed to want to make everything on the menu! Gary hinted a few times to the blue team that cooking everything might be too overwhelming but they didn’t seem to take the hint. They then kept changing the menu which caused a lot of confusion within the team.
Then both teams had the same problem of having customers arriving one hour before opening. The red team handled it well by turning the customers away and asking them to come back at 6:30pm, but the blue team let the customers in and seated them! That was a big mistake, especially for Devon who let the customers in!
George, as usual, hammed up his acting skill by making everything seemed very dramatic! I loved it! He worried that customers who turned up at the red team’s restaurant would not have grilled fish if they want that. That was so funny as the red team had a BIG sign outside the restaurant indicating it was a pizza and pasta night! He also thought that Alvin who had made Adele the head chef was the wrong decision on Alvin’s part, and he should be the head chef himself instead of taking on the job of pastry chef. However I thought Alvin had made the right decision as he then won’t be tied to the stoves cooking as head chef during service. The two desserts he had to make could be done before the restaurant opened and he would be free to mediate and make sure things go smoothly between the kitchen and front of house when service began. As we saw, the opposite had happened to the blue team. Jonathan had made himself the head chef and he was trying to juggle between cooking and keeping things going smoothly between kitchen and front of house during service. That seemed to overwhelm him as the restaurant got very busy towards the middle of service.
I thought Marion was the star of the night! Jimmy who had typed up the menu for the red team had made a couple of mistakes. First he had inadvertently put the side order of rocket (or arugula) salad for the pasta in the pizza section of the menu. So the customers started to order Rocket Pizza and everyone was confused! Marion, who was making the pizza with Carrie, immediately made a decision and told Jimmy not to worry, she would make the Rocket Pizza if that’s what the customers wanted! That was a stroke of genius as the Rocket Pizza turned out very good and seemed very popular with the customers. Even George and Matt who tasted it were both very impressed by it. The other mistake on the menu was that the prawns in the fettuccini dish were not mentioned on the menu which could be disastrous if any customer was allergic to shellfish. However I doubted any customer would be so blind as not to notice the big prawns in the dish which were clearly visible. The bigger problem I thought was that that dish would be sent back to the kitchen making more work for them as they had to cook the dish again without the prawns.
On the blue team, another drama was unfolding. Sarah, who had a tough week being away from her baby at home, was having trouble taking orders and made a few mistakes. She left her post at the front of house because she thought she would stuff it up even more for the team if she were to continue taking more orders from the customers. However, Dominic was able to talk her into coming back and finished working for the night. We knew something was up at this point. So we weren’t too surprised when she pulled out of the competition at the end of the episode.
Towards the end of service, both teams were frantic as they all struggled to keep up with the orders. Red team pushed out the desserts hoping the customers would pay after having their desserts. Blue team decided just to ask the customers to pay for whatever they already had eaten.
So in the end which team managed to earn the most money in the till? Matt revealed that the blue team had earned $1,253. Tension. Alvin had resigned to being beaten and mumbled to himself that pizzas and pastas could not beat veal and stuffed zucchini flowers of the blue team! Then Matt said that for the red team, one thousand… paused… four hundred and seventy eight dollars! Red team won and they all jumped for joy! Blue team members were all crestfallen and two of them would face the elimination challenge tomorrow. Who? The judges decided that Jonathan and Devon who made the most mistakes would be on the chopping block. So another new rule change for tomorrow’s elimination. No more contestants voting contestants off, let’s wait and see how the new elimination will be handled.

Ep 10, Thursday April 29, 2010 – Elimination #1
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,531,000
2 (4) Glee [Ten] 1,181,000
3 (6) Home And Away [Seven] 1,092,000
4 (7) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,049,000
5 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,038,000
Source: TV Tonight

After winning the group challenge, the red team were sent to Glass, Luke Mangan’s restaurant, to have lunch. They were also treated to a mini masterclass by Luke who showed them how to make one of his desserts, the Liquorice Parfait.
Meanwhile, back in the MasterChef kitchen, the blue team had to watch in agony on the balcony as Jonathan and Devon faced elimination in the kitchen below. There would be three challenges worth 1 point each. The person who scored two points first would be spared from being eliminated, meaning the other person would be eliminated. There was a theme running through these three challenges, and George held up an egg saying that all the challenges would involve egg.
For the first challenge, they had to identify six different types of egg. They both got the first two right, namely, chicken egg and quail egg. Under the third dome was a large green egg, Jonathan decided it was an emu egg, while Devon wrote down ostrich. It was an emu egg, Jonathan got it right so he got the first point. We did not get to see what the other three eggs were. Disappointed!
Next they had to separate eggs to get 300g of egg whites. Then they had to whisk by hand the egg whites into firm peaks. The test was they should then be able to turn the bowl upside down for 10 seconds without the beaten egg whites falling out. They both made the mistake of dropping one yolk into the egg whites and had to start again. Wow Jonathan was fast as he did said he loved making desserts, so no surprise he finished first and won the second point. Devon was quite funny the way he whisked, or should I say, pounded the egg whites!
And what was the third challenge? We didn’t get to see! Maybe throwing eggs at each other, that I would like to see 🙂
So Devon was eliminated and the first to go this year. Everyone were sobbing and crying in the end, especially Jonathan! I was surprised as I didn’t expect him to be such an emotional guy after seeing his cockiness in the beginning!

Masterclass Recipe version 1 – Liquorice Parfait with Lime Syrup (Luke Mangan)
Masterclass Recipe version 2 – Licorice Parfait with Lime Syrup (Luke Mangan)

Ep 11, Friday April 30, 2010 – Masterclass #2
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (3) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,139,000
2 (6) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 992,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 947,000
4 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 890,000
5 (12) Nine’s Live Friday Night Football [Nine] 733,000 (Syd & Bris only)
Source: TV Tonight

Looks like they are keeping some of the recipes for the magazine? Gary and his mum’s Roast Beef and both of Luke Nguyen’s recipes are not posted at the MasterChef website. However, Luke had done a Green Mango Salad with Prawn and Dried Whitebait recipe on 9am with David & Kim last year and here’s his Wok Tossed Mud Crab (Cua Xao Sate) recipe from Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam programme last year.
Oh, you sneaky thing, Channel 10, I found Roast Beef and Bruschetta recipes through Google on Sunday, as they are not listed under the MasterClass recipe section on MasterChef Australia website!
OK, the masterclass recipes from Gary and George are finally all up on the MasterChef Australia website on Monday!

Masterclass Recipe – Roast Rib Eye with Yorkshire Puddings and Onion Gravy (Gary Mehigan & his mum)
Masterclass Recipe – Bruschetta with Sardines and Heirloom Tomatoes (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass Recipe – Bruschetta with Lardo and Gremolata (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass Recipe – Bruschetta with Favetta and Pecorino (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass Recipe – Lasagne with Pork and Veal Meatballs (George Calombaris)
Masterclass Recipe – Roast Peaches with Zabaglione (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)

TV ratings for week 2 of MasterChef Australia Season 2 – Note that the Sunday episode is listed separately (#11 for the week), while the Monday to Friday episodes are combined as an average for the 5 days (#7 for the week), the low figure on Friday pulling the average down. If the Mon-Fri figures were not combined, Monday’s 1,693,000 viewers and Tuesday’s 1,558,000 viewers would have been the #1 and #2 shows for the week respectively.

Week 3 (2/5/2010-7/5/2010)
Ep 12, Sunday May 2, 2010 – Gourmet Burgers & Japanese Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,532,000
2 (4) 52nd Annual TV Week Logie Awards [Nine] 1,400,000
3 (5) Customs [Nine] 1,396,000
4 (6) Bones [Seven] 1,357,000
5 (7) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,357,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

OMG, Jake had done it again! Quick, could someone please get him out of the kitchen before he did any more damages to himself! After the thumb- and finger-chopping incident in the Top 50 stage, he had dropped a knife onto his right foot this time and now had a cast on his leg and hoping around on clutches… I don’t know how long he can last in the competition with all these injuries.
Anyway, back to the challenges. To start the week off, it was back to the Mystery Box challenge and Invention Test. First off, the mystery boxes contained just breads! There were plain buns, rolls and sourdough breads, and nothing else. Gary and George announced they were to make gourmet burgers today and they had to name their burgers as well. Then Gary and George went to one side at the front of the kitchen where a big piece of cloth was draped over a big bench. They lifted the cloth and revealed all sorts of filling ingredients which they could use. Jake who was hoping around on clutches had George to help him load up the ingredients he wanted, including beer! I hope he was not going to drink that and started chopping himself again!!!
They had 45 minutes to make their burgers and the judges were going to do a final tasting of only five of the most interesting burgers. Although I suspected that they would have based their decision by going round and had taste-test of all the contestants’ burgers when the contestants were making them. Courtney had a piece of salmon and she was going to make mini-burgers and also making her own mayonnaise for the first time. Adam decided on a duck, pork and beef combination and he was going to bake it. He was also making his own tomato sauce. Jake was going to make beef burger with blue cheese and caramelised onion. Matthew’s burger was going to include a lot of filling, including beef, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese and he said it was going to be massive! Marion was making a duck and pork burger, and she mused why she chose to make it now when she had never had that combination of duck and pork before. Jonathan decided on a bunny burger using rabbit. Jimmy was using kangaroo meat for his burger.
Time’s up! The judges called on Adam first with his Duck-Cow-Pig Meatball Burger. They like it as the burger was moist and they thought it was a great combination. Next was Courtney’s One-Arm Bandit Burger. She said that with her mini-burgers, you could have the burger in one hand and drink in the other hand at the same time. George thought she had cooked the salmon perfectly and he liked her homemade mayonnaise. Jonathan was up next with his Big Bunny Burger, but unfortunately it was raw inside! The judges then called Marion with her Duck, Duck, Pig burger. Gary said it was a posh burger and had very interesting flavour especially the crisp duck skin, and it packed a punch. He would be happy to eat a couple of them with a glass of wine. Finally, Matthew was called up with his Flintstone-style Megasaurus burger. It was huge and as big as George’s head when he held it up against his head! Ya-ba-da-ba-doo! George said even though it was a cliché burger, a majority of people would love it.
And the winner of the Mystery Box challenge… Duck, Duck, Pig by Marion! Next the Invention Test, and the theme today was Japanese! The judges all looked at Adam as he had been living in Japan for the past five years and came back especially to enter this competition! They all thought Adam should have this challenge in his bag! But as the advertisement for this episode before it aired announced, ASSUMPTION IS THE MOTHER OF ALL MISTAKES! We won’t hold our breath for Adam to win!
As per last year, the winner of the Mystery Box challenge would get to choose one from a choice of three core ingredients for the Invention Test. Marion went into the pantry with the judges and they revealed the three core ingredients. They were eels, tofu and Yellowfin tuna. Marion wished she had paid more attention to her dad preparing eels when she was a child. So she decided to choose based on what she’s comfortable with, and she chose tuna.
Marion then had 5 minutes to pick 10 more ingredients from the pantry, while the rest of the contestants had only 2 minutes in the pantry.
They had 60 minutes to cook! George the Greek God reincarnation himself called upon the tiny Japanese soul within him with all his might and unexpectedly called out, “Ganbatte!” (Good luck and do your best!) I almost fell off my couch! He also encouraged the contestants with his unique Georgerisms as, “If there’s a samurai within you, now is the time to unleash it!” and towards the end, he yelled, “Come on guys, finish it off like the ninja within!” Good ones, George!
Some of the dishes looked good enough for restaurant, while some others looked very pedestrian.
Gary counted down the seconds in Japanese, “Go! Shi! San! Ni! Ichi!” to end the challenge.
Verdicts?
Adam – Tuna & Avocado Timbale with Mustard Green Salad. George said the flavour is lovely. Matt said he liked it and that’s all he’s going to say. Gary said he loved the simplicity of the dish.
Kate – Tuna & Egg Rice. Matt said it was tasty for a Thursday night in front of the telly, but not good enough for an invention test challenge.
Callum – Tuna Tataki with Pickled Daikon & Wasabi Avocado. Gary thought it was gorgeous and he loved the combination of the classic tuna and avocado in his dish and gave Callum a hi-five! This dish also looked the best in terms of plating.
Aaron – Sliced Tuna & Tempura Egg Yolk with Dashi & Shiitaki Broth. Matt praised him for his inventive Egg Yolk Tempura.
Then George almost choked tasting Jimmy’s dipping sauce. Everyone laughed!
Gary didn’t like Jake’s soup.
George thought Daniel’s soup was interesting, but with a sarcastic look.
Fiona – Sashimi Bento Box with Miso Soup & Noodle Salad. George tasted the soup and paused for a long time, then said it tasted like dishwater. But he liked the crispiness of the salad.
Marion – Dashi Broth, Egg & Sliced Tuna with Spicy Japanese Sprinkle. Gary loved it, and he thought it was clever, had a depth touch to it, and good enough for any classy restaurant! She was the second contestant tonight to get a hi-five from Gary.
Carrie – Sesame Crusted Tuna with Carrot, Ginger & Daikon Salad. Tear swelled in her eyes as she brought her dish to the judges because she thought her dish was too simple compared to what the others had done. Gary said she had chosen the wrong bit of tuna for her dish and there were lines of connective tissue in the tuna which spoiled the texture.
Alvin – Udon Noodles in Mirin Broth with Tuna Cooked Two Ways. George thought the soup was a bit too sweet at first but after tasting the pickles, he thought that balanced out the sweetness. He loved the presentation and the bowl he had chosen and thought he had cooked the tuna perfectly.
We didn’t get to see the rest of the contestants’ dishes but there were a few shots of sushi and sashimi done by some contestants.
The judges picked Callum, Marion and Alvin as the top 3, and Carrie, Kate and Fiona as the bottom three. Callum won the challenge and he will face the Celebrity Chef challenge on Tuesday. The bottom 3 will go to a Pressure Test tomorrow for the second elimination!

Ep 13, Monday May 3, 2010 – Peter Gilmore and Elimination #2
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,693,000
2 (6) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,289,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,204,000
4 (8) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,201,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,194,000
Source: TV Tonight

This time last year, the contestants were cooking Tarte Tatin, and Sticky Date Puddings for the Pressure Test. But not this year, the first Pressure Test this year was created by a chef who had a 3-hat restaurant, and at the moment one of the top 50 restaurants in the world (at #27)! He was Peter Gilmore of Quay. Another change of rule, for the first time, the guest chef would be tasting the dishes as well!
The dish was Poached Free-Range Chicken with Black Truffles and Garden Vegetables. It looked and sounded simple to make but in fact very deceptive! They had to remove the skin from the chicken in one piece without tearing it and wrap the chicken breast in the skin with slices of black truffle and the whole thing wrapped in cling film for poaching. The mise-en-place of the baby vegetables was also important for the presentation. They had 90 minutes to cook it. Poaching of the chicken would take up to 50 minutes of that time.
Kate was off like a jet engine and very quickly removed the skin from the chicken. Fiona was shaking and took a long time to remove the skin. Carrie tore her chicken skin and there was a gash.
Then Kate kept rolling the chicken in numerous layers of cling film and somehow Fiona had caught up at this point. After poaching the chicken, Kate’s chicken was still raw and uncooked due to the thick layers of cling film she used. Disaster! She tried to rescue it in the last five minute by placing it in the oven! Carrie’s had all the truffle butter leaked out of the chicken roll due to that gash in the skin. Fiona almost burned down the kitchen by placing a roll of paper towel too near the stove and it caught fire!
At the tasting, Kate’s dish looked good with the vegetables, except for the raw chicken! Carrie’s chicken had lost most of its truffle flavour, and the vegetables were a bit too meagre. The best advice was from Peter Gilmore who told Carrie not to get too emotional as a cook, because really, a few of the contestants seemed to cry at the drop of a hat this season! Fiona cooked the chicken perfectly and looked the best out of the three, although the judges thought she should season her dish a bit more.
In the end, Kate was eliminated as serving up raw chicken was unacceptable.

Pressure Test – Poached Chicken with Black Truffles and Garden Vegetables (Peter Gilmore)

Ep 14, Tuesday May 4, 2010 – Philippa Sibley
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,619,000
2 (4) NCIS [Ten] 1,509,000
3 (5) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,461,000
4 (6) Bondi Rescue [Ten] 1,326,000
5 (8) Top Gear [Nine] 1,233,000
Source: TV Tonight

Tonight’s Celebrity Chef Challenge was an exquisite dessert by Pastry Chef Philippa Sibley, the first female Chef of the Year in The Age’s Good Food Guide. This dessert was the one that we had been fooled by Channel 10’s promo, before season 2 began, into thinking it was a Donna Hay dessert! And from last night’s preview, Channel 10 again played with our mind by showing a bit where Gary said he was slightly embarrassed to reveal his score! Did that mean the challenger, Callum, beat the chef? We will see!
Callum, the 20-year-old, was the youngest contestant this season and from all appearances, it looked like he was well loved by the other contestants. They had good things to say about him in the intro to the episode.
Philippa revealed her signature dessert that he had to cook, which was Caramel Parfait Glacé with Salted Peanut Caramel and Milk Chocolate Mousse. Callum had 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the dessert, while Philippa had one and half hours. Callum said he was freaking out because he had to temper chocolate which he had never done before.
In the first 15 minutes, Philippa was helping Callum by talking him through the first few steps in the making of the dessert. Then Philippa went over to her bench to begin her dessert when her time started. Many of the other contestants watching from above in the balcony were shouting down to Callum encouraging and helping him. Philippa was also asking from time to time how he was doing, where he was at so he didn’t fall too far behind.
Then Philippa had a setback herself as she thought her dacquoise was too spongy and moist. She told us her heart skipped a beat when she realised one of the elements in her dish hadn’t work. She put it back into the oven. She told us she was well awared of two contestants beating the chefs last year, so she was quite nervous herself. Meanwhile over at Callum, he pulled out his dacquoise and it looked good and everyone clapped. Later he was having a lot of trouble tempering the chocolate. Philippa came over a few time to help him. By his third try, it looked better but time was running out. Philippa told him to put it into the blast freezer hoping it would set in time. In the end, unfortunately the chocolate was still not set enough, so Philippa told him to leave out the chocolate plaques for his dessert, as the chocolate was still too soft and could not be peeled off the plastic.
Callum sent in his dessert first as Plate 1, hoping the judges would not know one element, the crisp chocolate plaques, was missing from his dessert. The judges loved it, but Matt did mention it lacked a crisp texture. Philippa’s Plate 2 then went in to the judges. She obviously had rescued her dacquoise by baking it further, as the judges did not find fault with it. However George thought he liked the mousse in Plate 1 better as he thought Plate 2’s mousse was more buttery while Plate 1 was much smoother, but he did mention he was splitting hair with his comment about the mousse.
Judgement time. Matt scored Callum 7/10, Gary gave him 7/10 too, George gave him 8/10 for a total of 22. Now for Philippa’s score, George gave her 9/10, Gary now mentioned the embarrassment about his score because he loved it so much he scored Philippa’s dessert 10/10, and Matt scored it 9/10 for a total of 28. Philippa won the challenge and Callum could not beat the professional and missed out on the immunity pin. Tomorrow it will be group challenge again and they have to cater for a children birthday party and the children are going to score them, INTERESTING!

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Caramel Parfait Glacé with Salted Peanut Caramel and Milk Chocolate Mousse

Ep 15, Wednesday May 5, 2010 – Catering for a Children Birthday Party
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,799,000 (the highest-rating episode so far this season)
2 (4) The Pacific [Seven] 1,296,000
3 (6) Hey Hey It’s Saturday [Nine] 1,204,000
4 (8) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,114,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,074,000
Source: TV Tonight

Arrrgh! Was this the worst episode or not so far this season? There were so many inconsistencies that watching it was like watching an episode of Lost. So many questions and not a single answer! Don’t get me wrong, I love MasterChef Australia 95% of the time, but it is the 5% like tonight’s episode that made me throw my hands up in despair!
First, the unbalanced team numbers! Blue team had 11 members, while red team only 10. I realised the unexpected departure of Sarah last week threw the numbers off as they had structured the show so that there would always be even numbers during the group challenge. One elimination on Thursday and one on Monday, so that when Wednesday’s group challenge came around, there would always be even numbers of contestants left. But really, this happened last year, so they should have a contingency plan should it happen again this year. If tonight’s result was to be determined by the judges like last week, it wouldn’t have mattered too much with the uneven numbers as it would be the worst 2 performances that would land them in the bottom two. However, tonight’s challenge was to be voted by the guests to the party. So taking off the two members from each team who made the birthday cakes, blue team would have 9 dishes to be voted on, while the red team only 8 dishes! One would think with the extra dish, the blue team would have an unfair advantage over the red team! All through the whole episode, not a single mention about the uneven contest was addressed by the judges! Unhappy!
Next, the four members who made the 2 birthday cakes! I assumed the two cakes were their dishes to be voted on by the guests. I thought the cakes would ensure they get quite a number of votes because it was a birthday party and they had the professional help of Planet Cake to make the cakes. That would have made these four members not too vulnerable to have no votes at all.
Thirdly, who gave those crappy ovens to the contestants to use? That made the contestants who needed the ovens for cooking their dishes to have an unfair disadvantage! I really felt sorry for Daniel and Adele especially who had to bake sausage rolls and they both had to struggle with the timing and the uneven heat in the ovens. It must have been so late by the time their sausage rolls were out that everyone would have been full eating other dishes, resulting in Adele getting no votes at all! And I can safely assumed Daniel also got the least votes in the blue team for the same reason. Although Dominic also needed the oven but he was able to change his strategy of having the kids decorate their own cupcakes after it took so long to bake the cupcakes, so I wasn’t feeling too sorry for him.
OK, rants over and I won’t even bother to write up what happened in tonight’s episode because I was so incensed over the episode. Bet you there may not be an elimination tomorrow if Adele and Jonathan were close in their attempts rescuing the bolognese sauce, or there won’t be an elimination in next Monday’s Pressure Test like last year.

Contestant’s Recipe – Vanilla and Orange Cupcakes (Dom Corrigan)
Contestant’s Recipe – Raspberry and Yoghurt Swirls (Marion Grasby)
Contestant’s Recipe – Salt & pepper seafood with lime mayonnaise (Courtney Roulston)

Ep 16, Thursday May 6, 2010 – Elimination #3
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,643,000
2 (3) Glee [Ten] 1,293,000
3 (7) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,076,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,021,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 983,000
Source: TV Tonight

May I say I’m starting to get very fascinated with Jonathan’s eyebrow! The way he raised his right eyebrow when he’s surprised, or stunned kept me entertained every episode. 🙂 It reminded me very much of Phil from that other favourite reality show of mine, The Amazing Race, with his wonderful dancing eyebrows. I can’t believe it, but Jonathan is also starting to grow on me, even though I still cannot stand his smugness, but he had started to show his caring side in the past few episodes which was great to see. On the other hand, Dominic whom I liked from the beginning is starting to grate on me very quickly with his bossiness and domineering, backstabbing efforts from last night.
So tonight, Adele and Jonathan (again) faced elimination after the farcical challenge from last night. They had to fix a seriously flawed bolognese sauce to turn it back into a flavourful tasting bolognese sauce. I’m liking the way they had made the Thursday’s eliminations interesting with very different challenges. Last year Thursday’s eliminations of contestants voting contestants off were not worth watching and I usually didn’t paid much attention until the end just to know who had been eliminated.
They had ten steps of cooking to fix the dish, adding just one ingredient every step, and once an ingredient had been used, they could not use it again in another step. The extra ingredients were provided on the front bench, they included various vegetables & meats, herbs and seasonings, liquids and oils, dairies, and even oddities like anchovies, chocolate and Vegemite. The flawed bolognese sauce looked vile, just mince swimming in a lot of stock with a little green herb (maybe parsley) scattered on top.
Below is the rundown of the steps that both contestants did:
Step #1: Adele fried off some chopped pancetta to add flavour. Jonathan added grated carrot, but he fried it off first. He also removed some of the stock from the sauce and deglazed some of it with the fried carrot.
Step #2: Adele drained the minced meat from the pot of bolognese sauce and added it to the fried pancetta. Then she added olive oil to the meat. Jonathan added fried garlic.
Step #3: Adele returned the mince/pancetta back to the pot and added garlic but without frying it off first. Jonathan added chopped celery, and he fried it off first and deglazed it with more of the stock.
Step #4: Adele added tinned chopped tomatoes. Jonathan also added tinned chopped tomatoes, but he cooked it first to reduce it down to concentrate the flavour.
Step #5: Adele added tomato paste, a lot! Jonathan queried the use of tomato paste because he said he never used tomato paste in bolognese sauce as he thought it was too rough on flavour. Jonathan added dried chilli flakes, about 1/2 teaspoon.
Step #6: Both added red wine, but Jonathan reduced his wine first and even flambéd it.
Step #7: Adele added salt and got a query from Gary as to if it was too early to add salt at this stage. Jonathan added freshly ground black peppercorns.
Step #8: Both added sugar to cut the acidity.
Step #9: Adele added cream. Jonathan added salt.
Step #10: Adele added freshly grated cheese to top off the sauce. Jonathan stirred through chopped basil.
The judges thought Adele’s sauce had a big smack of tomato flavour, and it was harsh and she needed to be a bit more sensitive as to how much tomato paste she added because the judges only tasted the tomato flavour. On the other hand, the judges thought Jonathan’s sauce had lots of complexity of flavours. Every mouthful had different flavour and texture popping through.
Adele was eliminated! That was a shame because Adele had provided a lot of dramas to the show so far. Marion was devastated when Adele did not come back to the house as she had been a good friend to her.

The politics of MasterChef

Ep 17, Friday May 7, 2010 – Masterclass #3
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (3) Nine’s Live Friday Night Football [Nine] 1,217,000 (Syd, Melb & Bris only)
2 (5) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,180,000
3 (7) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 992,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 985,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 886,000
Source: TV Tonight

Masterclass – Meatloaf Gourmet Burger with Eschalot Onion Rings (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Sausage Rolls with Hidden Vegetables (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Jam Donuts with Lavender Sugar and Clotted Cream Custard (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – White Sausage with Truffle and Caramelised Onion (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)
Masterclass (Web Exclusive) – Berry Popsicles (Gary Mehigan)

Donna Hay joins MasterChef Australia judging every Tuesday for the Celebrity Chef Challenge episodes, Gary Mehigan will take on the hosting job for the Tuesday’s episodes.

TV ratings for week 3 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
The official ranking of the weekly ratings combined the Monday to Friday episodes of MasterChef Australia as an average, but here I broke it down and listed the ratings for each episode for a clearer picture of each individual episode. As you can see, 5 out of the 6 episodes of the show took out the top 5 spots as the most watched TV shows of the week (excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Wed Off-Site Group Challenge [TEN] 1,799,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Mon Pressure Test [TEN] 1,693,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Thurs Elimination Challenge [TEN] 1,643,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Tues Celebrity Chef Challenge [TEN] 1,619,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenges [TEN] 1,532,000

6 NCIS [TEN] 1,509,000
7 Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,461,000
8 52nd Annual TV Week Logie Awards [Nine] 1,402,000
9 Customs [Nine] 1,396,000
10 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,357,000
11 Bones [Seven] 1,351,000
12 TV Week Logie Awards Arrivals [Nine] 1,340,000
13 Bondi Rescue [TEN] 1,326,000
14 The Pacific [Seven] 1,296,000
15 Glee [TEN] 1,293,000
16 The Mentalist [Nine] 1,290,000
17 The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,246,000
18 Top Gear [Nine] 1,235,000
19 Nine’s Live Friday Night Football [Nine] 1,217,000 (Syd, Melb & Bris only)
20 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,204,000

24 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [TEN] 1,180,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities. Based on OzTAM figures.

Week 4 (9/5/2010-14/5/2010)
Ep 18, Sunday May 9, 2010 – Mystery Box & Indian Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night (Mother’s Day)
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Underbelly: The Golden Mile – Ep 1 [Nine] 1,677,000
2 (2) Underbelly: The Golden Mile – Ep 2 [Nine] 1,613,000
3 (4) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,548,000
4 (6) Sunday Night [Seven] 1,296,000
5 (7) Bones [Seven] 1,243,000
* Rankings not including nightly news and current affair programmes. Rankings in brackets are overall rankings including nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 main capital cities (overnight figures only). Source: TV Tonight

Ep 19, Monday May 10, 2010 – Black Forest Cake & Elimination #4
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,670,000
2 (5) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,387,000
3 (7) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,266,000
4 (8) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,236,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,198,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Not including nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Black Forest Cake (Gary Mehigan)

Ep 20, Tuesday May 11, 2010 – Justin North
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,509,000
2 (4) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,464,000 #
3 (5) NCIS [Ten] 1,422,000
4 (6) Bondi Rescue [Ten] 1,328,000
5 (8) Top Gear [Nine] 1,279,000
# MasterChef Australia (7:30pm-8:00pm) actually beats 7’s Australia’s Got Talent (7:30pm-9:00pm) and 9’s Top Gear (7:30pm-8:40pm) during its timeslot (19:31 – 20:07) in all key demographics and total people (35.8% Primary 3-Station CSHR), and MasterChef Australia is Tuesday’s No. 1 show in all key demographics. Primary 3-Station commercial share for the 3 key demographics during 7:31pm-8:07pm timeslot are as follow:
16-39 demographic – 42.6% (MasterChef), 33.7% (Top Gear), 23.6% (AGT)
18-49 demographic – 40.4% (MasterChef), 34.4% (Top Gear), 25.1% (AGT)
25-54 demographic – 40.8% (MasterChef), 33.4% (Top Gear), 25.7% (AGT)
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Not including nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Roast Cutlet and Confit Belly of Suckling Pig (Justin North)

Ep 21, Wednesday May 12, 2010 – French Challenge with Tony Bilson & Michel Roux (Mentors), Guillaume Brahimi & Tetsuya Wakuda (Guest Judges)
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,741,000
2 (6) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,087,000
3 (8) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,074,000
4 (9) The Pacific [Seven] 1,061,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,036,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Not including nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 22 , Thursday May 13, 2010 – Elimination #5
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,581,000
2 (4) Glee [Ten] 1,231,000
3 (7) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,132,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,117,000
5 (10) Getaway [Nine] 1,003,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Not including nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Culurzones / Potato and Mint Ravioli with Burnt Butter and Sage (Giovanni Pilu)

Extra recipe – Below was another one of the dishes from Pilu at Freshwater that the winning team had for lunch apart from the Culuzones and the Suckling Pig.
Prawns with Fregola, Tomato and Chilli (Giovanni Pilu)
Fregola is Sardinian toasted semolina pasta, similar to large couscous.
Serves 4

1 cup fregola*
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 small bird’s-eye chilli, thinly sliced
16 medium green prawns, peeled and deveined
20 ripe grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup prawn stock
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1. Cook fregola in plenty of boiling water for 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in heavy base pan, add garlic and chilli. Add prawns when garlic becomes soft and sauté on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, fregola and toss together. Add stock (make from simmering heads and shells), reduce heat and allow to thicken slightly. Season to taste and finish with chopped parsley.
* Available at Simon Johnson, Pyrmont, and Accoutrement, Mosman.

Pressure Test – Genovese Pesto
All about mint

Ep 23, Friday May 14, 2010 – Masterclass #4
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (5) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 996,000
2 (6) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 981,000 (excl. Adel. which was shown on Thurs)
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 933,000
4 (9) Seven’s AFL: Rnd 8: Fremantle Vs Collingwood [Seven] 923,000
5 (11) Nine’s Live Friday Night Football [Nine] 799,000 (Syd & Bris only)
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Not including nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Roast Duck Breast with Wild Flower Salad (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Confit Duck with Lentils (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Chennai Prawn Vendaki / Prawn Okra Curry (Kumar Mahadevan)
Masterclass – Crème Brûlée (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Roast Pork with Crackling (Justin North)

TV ratings for week 4 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 1,741,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,670,000

3 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,647,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,581,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenges [Ten] 1,548,000

6 Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,509,000
7 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,464,000
8 NCIS [Ten] 1,422,000
9 Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,388,000
10 Bondi Rescue [Ten] 1,328,000
11 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,289,000
12 Top Gear [Nine] 1,282,000
13 The Mentalist [Nine] 1,262,000
14 Bones [Seven] 1,237,000
15 Glee [Ten] 1,231,000
16 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,212,000
17 Customs [Nine] 1,205,000
18 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,139,000
19 Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,132,000
20 Australia’s Funniest Home Videos [Nine] 1,131,000

32 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 996,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 5 (16/5/2010-21/5/2010)
Ep 24, Sunday May 16, 2010 – Mystery Box & International Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,671,000
2 (3) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,645,000
3 (5) Sunday Night [Seven] 1,519,000
4 (6) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,343,000
5 (7) The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,336,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

I realize MasterChef Australia is first and foremost a reality show, but it is getting really frustrating that the editing of the show this year had omitted to show a lot of dishes that the contestants cooked, especially on Sunday’s challenges. I cannot recall this being the case last year where they at least ran through all the dishes when the judges talked with each of the contestants what they were going to cook at the beginning of the challenges. But not this year, only the best and the worst of the dishes were shown, and we knew right from the start that the dishes they focused on were either going to be the best 3 or the worst 3! No suspense at all of guessing which contestants were going to be successful in their creations and which contestants not! I think this is a BIG mistake from the producer of the show this year. The cooking and showing the dishes made by all the contestants were what made last year’s show so additive, and that buzz had sort of fizzled out this year, for me at least.
Last year they also published a lot of the contestants’ recipes on the MasterChef Australia website but none had been published this year. At first I thought maybe they were saving those contestants’ recipes for the monthly magazine, but what a big disappointment. I went and bought the first issue last week and guess what, only six contestants’ recipes were published in there and they were all from the kid’s birthday party episode! What happened to the first three weeks worth of Mystery Box challenges’ and Invention Test challenges’ recipes? It seems like the producer has decided that the cooking and the dishes are not the focus this year, and at the same time they kept telling us the contestants this year are all way more skilful than last year’s contestants! How were we going to believe that statement when we were not shown half of the dishes that they had cooked?
So it was with this new editing focus that we only saw 5 dishes out of 18 contestants from tonight’s Mystery Box challenge. The mystery box contained mud crab, finger limes, a few varieties of mushroom, pasta, tin of coconut cream, Gorgorzola cheese, and radicchio lettuce. They were given only 25 minutes to cook!
They showed Marion’s, Peter’s, Fiona’s, Jake’s and Jimmy’s dishes. Peter and Jake were both cooking chilli crab. Fiona decided not to use crab and we can only assume her dish was shown because she’s the only one not cooking crab! So that left Marion, Jimmy and either of chilli crab dishes to be the top 3 dishes. Surprise, surprise, Peter’s chilli crab, together with Marion and Jimmy dishes were the top three dishes. If that didn’t drain all the suspense out of the Mystery Box segment, I don’t know what will!
Next, at least something new to the Invention Test challenge. Peter who won the Mystery Box was told he had to group trio of contestants for the next Invention challenge. He also had a choice of either chicken, beef or fish to choose from as the core ingredient (he chose chicken). The invention Test was to use that core ingredient to create dishes based on six different international cuisines, each group of three was to choose one cuisine to cook. The choice of the international cuisine was made difficult as identification of the countries were by the six flags, so each group needed to know the flags to identify which countries they were. Peter grouped the contestants as follow and they chose the cuisine from the country as stated:
Peter, Marion and Adam – China;
Skye, Jake and Carrie – USA;
Alvin, Daniel and Fiona – Britain;
Matthew, Aaron and Joanne – Mexico;
Jimmy, Callum and Sharnee – Thailand;
Jonathan, Philip and Claire – Morocco.
Well thank goodness that only six different dishes were made for this segment that we finally got to see all the six dishes! The Chinese, Mexican, Thai and Moroccan dishes all looked superb, and Mexican won. The British and American were the worst, with the British group landing as the bottom three, so they will be in the Pressure Test tomorrow. And the Pressure Test looks interesting tomorrow as for the first time ever, there will be NO recipe given! From the preview it looks like they are presented with the dish they have to cook and they only have their taste buds to depend on in order to recreate the dish on their own. Is it pork or is it veal, fascinating!
Then on Tuesday’s Celebrity Chef challenge, another first as all three contestants from the Mexican group who won the Invention Test will all have the chance to win the immunity pin. Not as one contestant against the chef as per normal but three contestants against the chef! Now the question is are they competing as individual or do they have to cook as a group against the chef?

Update May 24, 2010: Thank Goodness, MasterChef Australia finally sees sense and has now published quite a few of the Invention Test recipes from the contestants.
Invention Test (Mexican cuisine – winners’ recipe) – Five Star Taco / Chicken Tacos (Aaron Harvie, Joanne Zalm, Matthew Caldicott)
Invention Test (Chinese cuisine – top 3 recipe) – Black Broth Noodle Soup with Dumplings & Star Anise Smoked Chicken (Adam Liaw, Marion Grasby, Peter Kritikides)

Ep 25, Monday May 17, 2010 – Pressure Test & Elimination #6
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,741,000
2 (6) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,343,000
3 (7) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,183,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,159,000
5 (9) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,158,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Pork Schnitzel with Chips and Coleslaw

Ep 26, Tuesday May 18, 2010 – Celebrity Chefs Challenge
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Modern Family – Premiere Episode [Ten] 1,549,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,539,000
3 (3) NCIS [Ten] 1,489,000
4 (6) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,422,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,128,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chefs Challenge – Rack on Black

Ep 27, Wednesday May 19, 2010 – Curtis Stone
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,695,000
2 (6) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,164,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,125,000
4 (8) Hey Hey It’s Saturday [Nine] 1,101,000
5 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 1,089,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Does anyone remember a TV show called Surprise Chef from about 8 or 9 years ago? Chef Aristos Papandroulakis would badger shoppers in a supermarket and then invite himself back to their home to cook a meal for them. Then in 2006, Australian Chef Curtis Stone took that concept to the USA and made a similar show called Take Home Chef over there. Well tonight with Curtis Stone as a guest judge, what else could the concept of tonight’s challenge be but exactly that!
The two teams were ushered to a supermarket and badgered shoppers to invite themselves to their home to cook a three-course meal in just one hour. Did anyone smell a rat in the execution of that concept? What happened if they could not find a single shopper willing to invite them home? The supermarket looked empty with only a few shoppers! I bet the producers planted a few shoppers in there who had already agreed to participate in the challenge as a backup!
After hooking their prize catch of a shopper each, the teams headed home with them. And would you believe it, both teams caught a shopper with exactly the same number of family members, a mum, a dad and three kids each! What’s the chance of that? Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket and win! Anyway the blue team were having disharmony with their leader, Joanne, and also problems with their dessert. Over at the red team, their starters were falling apart because the pack of filo pastry was past its use-by date! Now, now, Coles! That was naughty of you for sabotaging the challenge!
The result, a dead heat! Both teams scored a 7 from the families. Curtis scored for the red team, while Matt went for the blue team! What’re the judges going to do with such a dilemma? Well, simple really, they ended up choosing the worst performing two from each team to face elimination tomorrow! The restaurant that’s serving lunch for the winning team is going to get a surprise with both teams arriving at their doorstep, bar the four who have to face elimination, he-he-he!

Ep 28, Thursday May 20, 2010 – Bouillabaisse & Elimination #7
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,652,000
2 (4) Glee [Ten] 1,313,000
3 (6) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,228,000
4 (9) Getaway [Nine] 1,024,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,019,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 29, Friday May 21, 2010 – Masterclass #5
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (5) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,037,000
2 (6) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,025,000
3 (7) Seven’s AFL: Rnd 9: Collingwood Vs Geelong [Seven] 1,010,000
4 (8) Home And Away [Seven] 988,000
5 (11) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 859,000 (excl. Melb)
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Braised Pork Spare Ribs (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Waldorf Salad with Gary’s Mayonnaise (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Veal Saltimbocca (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – White Chocolate Cannelloni with Strawberry Soup (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Ginger Chilli and Shallot Sauce (Peter Kuruvita)

TV ratings for week 5 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,741,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 1,695,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenges [Ten] 1,675,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,652,000

5 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,644,000
6 Modern Family – Premiere [Ten] 1,549,000
7 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,539,000
8 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,502,000
9 NCIS [Ten] 1,485,000
10 Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,431,000
11 The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,384,000
12 Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,351,000
13 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,338,000
14 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,319,000
15 Glee [Ten] 1,308,000
16 Customs [Nine] 1,289,000
17 Border Security – Australia’s Front Line (R) [Seven] 1,228,000
18 Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,224,000
19 Bones [Seven] 1,217,000
20 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,191,000

29 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,037,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 6 (23/5/2010-28/5/2010)
Ep 30, Sunday May 23, 2010 – Pizzas & Modern Australian Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,674,000
2 (2) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,650,000
3 (5) Customs [Nine] 1,332,000
4 (6) Bones [Seven] 1,293,000
5 (7) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,260,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

First challenge tonight? And not a mystery box to be seen! The contestants arrived in front of the MasterChef warehouse kitchen to be met by 8 spanking brand new portable ‘Zesti’ wood fire ovens, and of course the judges. They were told they had to cook pizzas today! Alvin was already defeated as he told us he doesn’t eat pizza! They were provided with a traditional pizza dough recipe and a bench full of topping ingredients, and they only had 45 minutes to make and cook their pizzas. Jimmy looked bewildered and mumbled that could not happen!
Pizza Dough
375g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
15g sea salt flakes
7g caster sugar
7g fresh yeast
200ml lukewarm water
30ml extra virgin olive oil
25ml milk
semolina flour, for dusting

As soon as the clock started, Sharnee and Jonathan began with the dough while the rest of the contestants were jostling to pick and choose their topping ingredients. Fiona was going to make Caramelised Onion Pizza with Pear, Proscuitto & Walnuts. Alvin, still in a daze of someone who did not eat pizza, decided to create something out of this world or something out of whack and entertained the idea of an Asian pizza. Gary and George were intrigued and wished him luck and told him not to burn the base! Sharnee loved making pizza so she was confident and was making Quattro Formaggio Pizza with Fig, Proscuitto & Red Wine Onion. Adam decided on a 3-course pizza so that you could eat around the pizza from entrée, to main and to dessert, all on the one pizza! Gary was immediately disgusted with the idea and told him that sounded awful, although with a smile and in a kind sort of way! Adam was still hopeful and told us he thought why that wouldn’t work. His pizza would be topped with goat cheese and caramelised onion (entrée), sage chicken proscuitto boccoccini cheese (main), and finally banana split (dessert). Then we got to see nothing of what the others were making, although we saw Skye baking calzones.
When time was up, the judges as usual were only going to taste the three most interesting or best dishes. They called Sharnee first and she looked pleased as she said this was the first time her Mystery Box’s dish was called up to be tasted by the judges. Gary loved the puffiness of the dark golden brown edges of the base and the good punchy flavour of the topping. George ate, and ate, and ate his slice of the pizza without speaking a word then ended with just, “Well done, Sharnee!”
Next they called up Alvin with his Potato & Onion Pizza with Chilli, Garlic, Ginger & Bacon Caramel Sauce. He was aghast, and exclaimed, “Oh my God, seriously?” Sheepishly he brought his deformed pizza to the judges. Matt told him the reason why they wanted to taste his pizza was because he took risk with his unusual pizza, and to see if he’d created something delicious or not. Matt then took a bite out of the pizza and turned to look at the other two judges behind him with a devilish smile. He then told Alvin that it had a sort of yum-yuck-ness which was actually quite nice and he understood where he was going with the flavour. However the verdict was that it was more of a rejection than perfection.
Lastly the judges called Fiona. Adam looked dejected, and told us that if he was going to push the boundary, sometimes it’s going to do well, and sometimes not. Back to Fiona’s pizza, Gary said it was a good pizza with lots of sound flavour. Matt thought it was a clever, balanced pizza.
And the winner… Fiona. Next on to the Invention Test. It was Modern Australian and they had 60 minutes to cook! Peter and Claire both looked pleased with the theme. In fact most were happy, as we all know, Modern Australian cuisine could mean anything unless the producers decided to reveal kangaroo, witchetty grubs or crocodile as the three core ingredients! But that would be too much to hope for! Fiona went to the pantry and the judges showed her the three main core ingredients she could choose from. They were prawns, lamb and tropical fruit (lychees, starfruits, mangoes, bananas, pineapples and paw paw). Fiona went for the tropical fruit which was not too surprising as she had a preference for making dessert. However her choice threw everyone off as they had all hoped they would be cooking savouries instead of desserts!
Claire told us she was going to make Mango Bavarois with Lime Curd and Coconut Rough, and we saw her picking up a block of butter in the pantry but then put it back again. Sharnee was going to make mini pavlovas for a dessert of Tropical Fruit Meringue with Ginger Ice Cream & Wild Lime Syrup. Marion was worried as she didn’t think she had a great ability to be creative with dessert. Gary and George ambled over to her and saw fish sauce with mangoes and lychees on her bench. She told them she was going to make Mango & Lychee Stack with Fish Sauce Caramel & Chilli Sugar, the sort of Asian flavours she grew up with in tropical Darwin which she associated with tropical fruit. Hmmm, I wondered if her inspiration was from Rojak, perhaps? Carrie told Gary and George hers was going to be Mango Soufflé with Pineapple Sorbet. Jimmy was making Cardomom & Lychee Rice Pudding with Crispy Banana Bread but the banana bread was going to be a filo pastry-style banana which confused Gary but got him interested nevertheless. Gary then wondered if that was more Modern Indian rather than Modern Australian. Fiona was making Coconut Pannacotta with Caramelised Mango & Macadamia Praline. She was cautious and made a few different sizes for the pannacotta hoping at least some of them would set in time. Peter was making a twist on risotto, which was White Chocolate Rice Pudding with Tropical Fruit & Macadamia Praline. Skye was making Mango Mousse with Glass Ball Lychee. She was going to make spun sugar and then formed that into a ball with a lychee in the middle.
Sharnee’s mini pavlovas did not turned out well; she did not add enough sugar and they were not sweet enough. Skye had an interesting technique of making spun sugar. She poured the hot caramel into a large tray, then turned the tray upside down and let the caramel dripped down forming tiny strands of spun sugar. Carrie hoped her soufflés would cook in time as she left them a bit late. Claire finally discovered she’d forgotten the butter she needed for making the lime curd! Disaster! Peter was fighting time to have his rice pudding cooked in time, then had difficulty plating up his sweet risotto.
Judgement time. Gary did not fancy Sharnee’s pavlovas but like all the other elements of her dessert. Carrie’s soufflé was not cooked! Jimmy’s rice pudding was gluggy and heavy, and the banana inside the filo was raw. Skye’s dessert looked spectacular. Fiona’s pannacotta was not the best and her mangoes were not cut perfectly. Marion surprised the judges with her unusual combination and Gary said the flavour went bang in his mouth, while George thought it was extra-ordinary. Claire’s dessert became Mango Bavarois with Coconut Rough & Caramel without the lime curd. And she had a teary moment as she told the judges she did not have the diverse, rich background some of the other contestants had in terms of cooking and she thought her dessert was boring. Matt said the coconut rough was a nice idea, the bavarois was light, but the caramel was a bit too thick. So not all bad after all. Peter then brought his plate of unpalatable-looking rice pudding to the judges. They were already screwing up their faces when the plate was on the judging bench. It wasn’t as bad as Andre’s Strawberry Risotto from last year, but not too far off. Matt thought it was the worst dish Peter had put up in this competition. Then as he returned to his kitchen bench, everyone hovered over to Peter to commiserate him, but Adam had a spoon ready to have a taste!
Judging time over, the judges called up Sharnee, Skye and Marion. They were the top 3, with Marion named as the winner. Gary then told Marion that not only would she had a chance to win immunity but they had something else tucked up their sleeves for her in a couple of days time, but she would have to wait until then to find out what that prize was.
The judges then announced that Carrie, Peter and Jimmy were the bottom 3 and they would have to face elimination tomorrow.
Thank Goodness, MasterChef Australia finally sees sense and has now published quite a few of the Invention Test recipes from the contestants. Now I have to find time to update the recipe links to episodes for the other previous Invention Test recipes, grrrh!

Invention Test (winner’s recipe) – Mango and Lychee with Fish Sauce Syrup, Coconut Granita and Chilli Sugar (Marion Grasby)
Invention Test – Tribute to Mango Weiss Bar (Jake Bujayer) (How come we didn’t even see this dish in the episode?)

Ep 31, Monday May 24, 2010 – Stephanie Alexander & Elimination #8
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,627,000
2 (5) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,407,000
3 (7) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,266,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,257,000
5 (10) The Mentalist – Rpt [Nine] 1,093,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

The bottom three, Carrie, Jimmy and Peter, arrived at the MasterChef Kitchen to be told by Gary that there was a jaw-dropping surprise awaiting them. Matt said they had invited a special guest to set the recipe they had to cook today, a true icon of the food industry. Who? The first lady of Australian food, Stephanie Alexander. Everyone, including all the other contestants up on the balcony, clapped and turned to look at the front door, expecting Stephanie to walk in. Nothing happened! Matt then said Stephanie would not be coming to the MasterChef Kitchen! Instead the three contestants facing elimination would have to go to Melbourne to cook for her! They were then given their boarding passes and an envelope each. George said they must not open the envelopes until they were in Melbourne, and their dish must be plated up by 12 noon.
Now this was where it got tricky. We had no idea what time it was then when all these happened. We could only assume it was quite early in the morning, but it was already daylight. The three contestants rushed out, got into their chauffeured car to Sydney Airport. Next we were shown that they had arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. A brief and quick camera shot of the arrival-time-board showed it was 10:32am. The contestants got into their chauffeured car and opened their envelopes. There were a list of ingredients they had to buy at Queen Victoria Market, AUD$100, a map and a tram ticket. This was where we all got suspicious! It was blindingly clear there was no way they could go from the airport to the city centre (at least 20 mins), buy their ingredients (say 20 mins), catch a tram to Flinders Street Station (10 mins), run across the bridge to The Langham Hotel (5 mins), cook and be ready to plate up in less than 90 minutes! Even with my estimated quick and unrealistic 20 minutes for them to buy all their ingredients, it would have taken them at the very least 55 minutes plus 5 more minutes to view Stephanie’s dish and do the tasting, before they were even able to start. That would have taken the time to 11:32am. So 28 minutes to cook and plate up! Impossible, and we haven’t even got to the complicated dish yet!
Anyway back to the action. Peter being the Melbourne boy had an easy time sourcing all his ingredients from the market. Carrie was not having too much trouble, but Jimmy was made to look like a headless chook at the market by the editing of the episode.
Peter was the first to arrive on the open-air deck area at The Langham Hotel. He was quickly introduced to Stephanie and then viewed and tasted the dish. The dish they had to cook was a Grilled Duck Breast with a Confit Duck Neck Sausage, Potato Crisps, Buttered Spinach, a small Salad and Sour Cherry Sauce. Time started, the camera panned across to the Flinders Street Station clock tower and it showed 10:05am! Wow, incredible, how did they do it, turning back the hands of time! Really, watching this year’s MasterChef was like a test to see how many inconsistencies you were able to spot!
It was now quite clear they had arrived in Melbourne the day before! Not as hectic as how the producers wanted to make us think it was. That was not a good thing as by now I was distracted from what happened next in the episode as I tried to speculate when they opened their envelopes! If they had opened their envelopes when they landed in Melbourne the day before, that meant they had the whole afternoon and night to prepare themselves with the notion that they had to cook a duck dish! They might even have time to make a reconnaissance of the market!
Back on the Langham deck, Carrie was the second to arrive and Jimmy last. Gary later revealed that Jimmy was just 16 minutes behind Peter which was not so bad as we had been made to think Jimmy would be behind for more than that time. Peter was going well with his cooking, except we saw him adding 2 tablespoons of flour to the roasted bones for the sauce. Next we saw Jimmy adding just 2 teaspoons of flour to his. Hmmm, someone made a mistake! It was Peter, as he later discovered his sauce was too thick. Over to Carrie as we watched her wasting five minutes picking whole pistachios out from the minced meat for the sausage as they were supposed to be roughly chopped first. She then forgot to plate up the buttered spinach at the end!
Peter was first up to be judged. The judges immediately noticed the thick sauce which they thought was a letdown. However they thought he cooked his duck breast impeccably and they liked the well-seasoned confit duck neck sausage as well.
Next up, Carrie. The judges queried about the missing buttered spinach element on her plate. Matt said the sauce was thin and insipid and totally lost on the plate. The sausage did not have a smooth texture and its consistency was wrong but she cooked the breast well.
Jimmy was last to present his dish and he looked really nervous. The judges loved his duck neck sausage and the sauce. The letdowns were that the spinach was gritty and he overcooked the duck breast!
Elimination… First Peter was safe! Carrie got the chop so Jimmy was still in!

Pressure Test – Grilled Duck Breast with a Confit Duck Neck Sausage (Stephanie Alexander)

Ep 32, Tuesday May 25, 2010 – Frank Camorra
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,644,000
2 (3) Modern Family [Ten] 1,548,000
3 (5) NCIS [Ten] 1,466,000
4 (6) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,449,000
5 (8) Top Gear [Nine] 1,288,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 33, Wednesday May 26, 2010 – The Press Club
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) State Of Origin Rugby League NSW V Qld 1st – Match [Nine] 2,455,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,687,000
3 (3) State Of Origin Rugby League NSW V Qld 1st – Pre Match [Nine] 1,633,000 (excl. Adel & Per)
4 (7) State Of Origin Rugby League NSW V Qld 1st – Post Match [Nine] 1,321,000 (excl. Melb)
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,152,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 34, Thursday May 27, 2010 – Elimination #9
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,740,000
2 (4) Glee [Ten] 1,333,000
3 (6) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,171,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,095,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,015,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 35, Friday May 28, 2010 – Masterclass #6
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (4) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,101,000
2 (5) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,091,000
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 909,000
4 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 893,000
5 (12) Midnight Man [ABC1] 746,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Basic Pizza Dough (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Pizza Bianca with Potato and Anchovies (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Classic Margherita (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Chicken Winglets and Oysters, Hummus and Raw Vegetable Salad (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Rice Pudding with Orange Jewels, Tarragon and Puffed Rice (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)

TV ratings for week 6 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 State Of Origin Rugby League Nsw V Qld 1st – Match [Nine] 2,455,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,740,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 1,687,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenges [Ten] 1,674,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,644,000

6 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,643,000
7 State Of Origin Rugby League Nsw V Qld 1st – Pre Match [Nine] 1,633,000 (excl. Adel & Per)
8 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,627,000
9 Modern Family [Ten] 1,548,000
10 NCIS [Ten] 1,466,000
11 Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,448,000
12 Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,408,000
13 Glee [Ten] 1,333,000
14 Customs [Nine] 1,331,000
15 Top Gear [Nine] 1,291,000
16 Bones [Seven] 1,283,000
17 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,275,000
18 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,256,000
19 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,252,000
20 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,222,000

26 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,101,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 7 (30/5/2010-4/6/2010)
Ep 36, Sunday May 30, 2010 – Mystery Box & Pasta Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,831,000
2 (4) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,672,000
3 (5) Customs [Nine] 1,454,000
4 (6) Sunday Night [Seven] 1,360,000
5 (7) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,327,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

The promo that TEN was running over the weekend of Matt Preston picking up a contestant’s dish and dropping it onto the floor, saying, “That… is disgusting!” must have worked a treat as the show finally cracked the 1.8 million viewers mark for the first time this season. And which poor contestant got the appalling treatment? Let us start from the beginning.
Callum was up early at quarter past six and doing some research from a cookbook! Then did we hear Peter said Mystery Box Monday? That threw me off slightly as TV audiences we always watched the Mystery Box challenges on Sunday nights! So that means they actually filmed the Mystery Box challenges on Mondays! Another insight…
Eeeeeew! Lamb brains! The look on Skye’s face said it all! She was not going to touch those brains! Tonight the mystery box contained the aforementioned abomination, not one, not two, but three pieces each! Thank goodness there were other more delicious offerings – bacon, pear, sugar snap peas, paprika, hazelnuts, white pickled anchovies and a bread roll.
Callum said he had never cooked or eaten brains before, but he seemed to know what to do. Early morning research must have paid off for him. He blanched the brains first so that they would be properly cooked through after deep-frying. Aaron was making Deep-Fried Anchovies and contemplating deep-frying brains as well, but he was not going to blanch the brains first. He said he was going to slice the raw brains thinly then deep-fry. George hinted, “Raw?” to Aaron, but he didn’t get it. Marion was cooking Crumbed Brains with Bacon & Pear Vinaigrette. Her crumbed brains were already done and they were nicely golden brown and crunchy looking. Peter was also cooking crumbed brains but he was pairing them with crispy bacon and grilled pear. Is that the only way to cook brains, crumbed and deep-fried? Everyone seemed to be doing just that! Alvin was making egg nets and later wrapping those egg nets around something… Maybe more deep-fried brains? Adam was busy blending, no idea what he was making… Jonathan was giving his deep-fried brains a tasting… Mmmm, yummy! Meanwhile Gary was tripping the light fantastic with the word ‘brain’ as he must have been up all night constructing all sorts of sentences he was going to utter today, and every sentence must contain the word ‘brain’!
Tasting and judging, as usual the judges were going to taste only three dishes… Marion was called up first. Matt said her crumbed brains might have needed just half a minute more of cooking as they were just that slightly undercooked and a bit too mushy, but that was a very small flaw as all the other elements of her dish were perfect. George said it was a gorgeous dish!
Peter was up next with his Crumbed Brains with Crispy Bacon & Grilled Pear. Gary loved the crumbed brains and the grilled pear but thought the crispy bacon was just a bit too thick.
Callum’s Crumbed Brains with a Pear, Hazelnut & Bacon Salad was the third to be called, and we saw the disappointment on Jonathan’s face as his yummy brains were not good enough! Matt said Callum’s crumbed brains were perfectly cooked, better than the other two they had tasted.
After deliberating, Gary said choosing the winner was like splitting hair, but they chose Marion!
Next, Invention Test and the theme was Pasta! Aaron was delighted as he told us he made and cooked pasta regularly and he hoped to open a restaurant that only sells pasta. He was under extreme pressure to perform tonight! Marion had seafood, beef and mushrooms as the three core ingredients to choose from. She chose seafood and they only had 45 minutes to cook.
In the pantry, Jake told us he had a million ideas running through his head… namely Smoked Salmon with Gorgonzola Sauce. Maybe he meant ONE idea? Aaron was looking for squid ink, white wine and butter among the vegetables, no wonder he couldn’t find any of them… Then the camera panned to the dairy shelf with lots of butter… Sharnee spooned some salmon roes into a small dish and as she walked out of the pantry, the dish had tipped over in her shopping basket and she left a trail of salmon roes on the floor. Lights, camera, action, as Matt, the action man of the Handee paper towel, was quickly down on all four helping Sharnee wipe the floor with a roll of the paper towel! Gary and George cooed! The Handee people must have been over the moon with this free publicity woven neatly into the episode!
On his kitchen bench getting ready to start cooking, Jake discovered he had forgotten to get Gorgonzola and the smoke chips and he couldn’t think of what else to make. But, but, but didn’t you have a million ideas just a few minutes ago?
Joanne was keeping it simple and was going to make Ravioli of Fennel & Prawn Mousse with a Prawn Wrapped in Sage. Jake was making it up now that there’s not a crumb of Gorgonzola to be seen. Jimmy, the curry master was trying hard to make something non-Indian and decided on Linguini & Prawns with Saffron & Chilli Cream Sauce. Gary and George came around and pooh-poohed the idea of combining cream with seafood and that confused Jimmy even more. Aaron, the pasta master, decided on Fennel & Prawn Tortellini with Chipotle Truffle Oil and he was doing the unusual combination of smoked chilli with truffle. Matthew was determined to be successful with pasta this time after his disastrous attempt last week during the elimination. He was making Kingfish & Prawn Ravioli with Sage Butter & Seafood Chowder. Marion was scorching her tortellini deliberately with a blowtorch for her Herb & Ricotta Tortellini with Prawns & Burnt Butter Sauce, and Jonathan who was cooking next to her was incredulous. Alvin was making Tortellini with Prawn & Celery Brodo. Sharnee was making Fettuccini & Garlic Prawns with Lemon Crème Fraîche. Gary reminded her to put on a pot of water ready to cook her fettuccini, probably remembering her disaster with noodles during the Top 50 selection. Jonathan was making Seafood Cannelloni with Salmon Roe & Saffron Sauce and he was the only one attempting cannelloni. Gary and George discussed among themselves that cannelloni took a lot of works to make.
Verdicts:
Sharnee – Matt praised her wonderful pasta. Gary loved the zesty flavour and he said she had laminated and cut her pasta very well.
Matthew – Oh no, not again. George said the pasta was leathery.
Jimmy – Matt thought the linguini looked like 2-minute noodles. Not good!
Alvin – Matt said, “Welcome back!” reminding us Alvin had not done anything spectacular since the first two weeks. Matt said he had infused the ready-packed stock with loads of onion and celery flavours. Alvin vowed to be more consistent from now on.
Jake – Gary didn’t like it at all and said it was like a dog’s breakfast, old-fashioned and unnecessary.
Aaron – Gary loved the odd combination of chipotle and truffle. OK, here we go. MATT DROPPED AARON’S PLATE! Matt said to Aaron, “There’re dishes that are freakish Frankenstein disaster… and quite frankly that… is disgusting!” Aaron looked devastated and everyone’s jaw dropped! Ad break! We were still all in shock coming back from the ads when Matt added with a sly smile, “Disgustingly GOOD! I destroyed that because I don’t want any of these guys (pointing to all the other contestants) to taste it because that is absolutely brilliant and inspired. That is really a clever, clever dish! You’ve hit upon a very rare thing, a unique combination of flavours I’ve never seen anywhere else before, and it works!” Matt, was this the performance that won you the Best New Talent at this year’s Logie Awards?
Marion – Gary mused whether scorching the tortellini translated into the final dish even though it might have sounded clever at the beginning. Matt checked off silky satiny pasta and strong innovative flavour but thought the brilliant dish was let down by a couple of tiny elements.
Jonathan – He strutted to the judging bench and told us he thought he could take this one. George said, “Bisque is bisquey (is there even such a word?), gutsy and full of flavour but don’t like the cheese on top. I commend you for a clever, interesting dish.” I think he deflated a little bit…
The judges then called up Alvin, Jonathan, Marion, Aaron, Sharnee and Joanne. They were the top 6. Aaron was the winner. The bottom 3 were Jimmy, Jake and Matthew.
Yipee! Rick Stein is setting the Pressure Test tomorrow with a gigantic seafood platter! Rick was at the judging table with George and Matt, and Gary was not there! Was this the time when he fell and needed the operation?

Invention Test (winner’s recipe) – Fennel and Prawn Tortellini with Chipotle Truffle Oil
Invention Test – Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Tortellini with Prawns, Capers and Peas

Ep 37, Monday May 31, 2010 – Rick Stein & Elimination #10
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,818,000
2 (3) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,539,000
3 (6) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,360,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,279,000
5 (9) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,243,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Le Plateau de Fruits de Mer (Rick Stein)

Ep 38, Tuesday June 1, 2010 – Maggie Beer
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,768,000
2 (3) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,587,000
3 (4) Modern Family [Ten] 1,524,000
4 (6) NCIS [Ten] 1,460,000
5 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,281,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Pheasant Pie with Radicchio and Jus (Maggie Beer)

Ep 39, Wednesday June 2, 2010 – 8,000 Canapés Aboard the P&O Cruise Ship, Pacific Jewel
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,968,000 (the highest-rating episode so far this season)
2 (6) Lie To Me [Ten] 1,192,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,155,000
4 (8) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,124,000
5 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 1,053,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 40, Thursday June 3, 2010 – Thai Green Curry & Elimination #11
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,869,000
2 (3) Glee [Ten] 1,402,000
3 (6) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,199,000
4 (10) Getaway [Nine] 1,039,000
5 (11) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 980,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Hit show MasterChef going through the roof

Ep 41, Friday June 4, 2010 – Masterclass #7
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (4) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,200,000
2 (5) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,158,000
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,007,000
4 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 932,000
5 (11) NCIS – Fri Rpt [Ten] 863,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Potato Ravioli with Braised Leeks and Potato Crisp (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Quail Dolmades with Yoghurt and Tahini Vinaigrette (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Spanner Crab and Corn Quesadilla (Matt Moran)
Masterclass – Frangipane Tart (Matt Moran)
Masterclass – Crispy Pig’s Tail (Fergus Henderson)
Masterclass – Pot-Roast Half Pig’s Head (Fergus Henderson)

TV ratings for week 7 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 1,968,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,869,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenges [Ten] 1,833,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,818,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,768,000

6 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,667,000
7 Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,586,000
8 Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,536,000
9 Modern Family [Ten] 1,524,000
10 NCIS [Ten] 1,460,000
11 Customs [Nine] 1,455,000
12 Glee [Ten] 1,392,000
13 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,359,000
14 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,358,000
15 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,325,000
16 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,319,000
17 Bones [Seven] 1,275,000
18 Top Gear [Nine] 1,263,000
19 The Mentalist [Nine] 1,243,000
20 The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,222,000
21 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,200,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 8 (6/6/2010-11/6/2010)
Ep 42, Sunday June 6, 2010 – Mystery Box & Vegetarian Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 20 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,890,000
2 (3) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,598,000
3 (5) Sunday Night [Seven] 1,396,000
4 (6) Bones [Seven] 1,328,000
5 (7) Customs [Nine] 1,185,000
6 (8) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,175,000
7 (9) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,169,000
8 (10) The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,159,000
9 (11) Border Security – Australia’s Front Line (R) [Seven] 1,096,000
10 (12) Merlin [Ten] 1,040,000
11 (13) Castle [Seven] 1,025,000
12 (14) The Good Wife [Ten] 927,000
13 (15) Agatha Christie’s Poirot [ABC1] 926,000
14 (16) Doctor Who [ABC1] 914,000
15 (18) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 773,000
16 (19) House [Ten] 692,000
17 (22) Doctor Who: Confidential Cutdown [ABC1] 635,000
18 (23) Scrubs – Sun (R) [Seven] 531,000
19 (24) Nine’s Sunday Football [Nine] 504,000 (Syd & Bris only)
20 (25) The Simpsons – Sun [Ten] 502,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 43, Monday June 7, 2010 – Oyster Terrine & Elimination #12
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,864,000
2 (6) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,319,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,291,000
4 (8) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,271,000
5 (9) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,260,000
6 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,037,000
7 (13) Good News Week [Ten] 1,015,000
8 (14) Desperate Housewives [Seven] 993,000
9 (16) Brothers & Sisters [Seven] 910,000
10 (18) The Zoo [Seven] 866,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Oyster Terrine (George Calombaris)

Ep 44, Tuesday June 8, 2010 – Matt Moran, Kylie Kwong & Ian Curley
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
Total People
1 (1) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 1,831,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,691,000
3 (4) Modern Family [Ten] 1,544,000
4 (6) NCIS [Ten] 1,517,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,245,000
6 (10) Top Gear [Nine] 1,170,000
7 (11) Grey’s Anatomy [Seven] 1,162,000
8 (12) Home And Away [Seven] 1,133,000
9 (16) NCIS: Los Angeles [Ten] 931,000
10 (17) Australian Families Of Crime [Nine] 761,000
16-39 Demographics
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 661,000
2 (2) Modern Family [Ten] 651,000
3 (3) NCIS [Ten] 480,000
4 (4) Grey’s Anatomy [Seven] 468,000
5 (5) Top Gear [Nine] 457,000
6 (6) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 413,000
18-49 Demographics
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 922,000
2 (2) Modern Family [Ten] 895,000
3 (3) NCIS [Ten] 723,000
4 (4) Top Gear [Nine] 675,000
5 (5) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 636,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Matt Moran’s Lemon Tart is not up on the official MasterChef site yet, but here’s his Baked Passionfruit Tartlets which can easily be converted into Lemon Tartlets or other citrus tarts by substituting lemon, orange or even lime juice for the passionfruit as per Matt’s suggestion.

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Salt and Pepper Tofu with Mushrooms, Soy and Ginger (Kylie Kwong)

How MasterChef became a $100 million industry for Network Ten

Ep 45, Wednesday June 9, 2010 – Molecular Gastronomy
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,799,000
2 (5) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,242,000
3 (7) Lie To Me [Ten] 1,215,000
4 (8) Border Security – Australia’s Front Line – Wed (R) [Seven] 1,203,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,153,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 46, Thursday June 10, 2010 – David Chang, Chicken Korma & Elimination #13
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,785,000
2 (2) Glee [Ten] 1,424,000
3 (6) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,180,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,089,000
5 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 1,044,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Bonus Recipe – Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies (Christina Tosi)
Bonus Recipe – Momofuku’s Crack Pie (Christina Tosi)
Bonus Recipe – Blueberry-and-Cream Cookies (Christina Tosi)
Bonus Recipe – Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cranberry Glaze (Christina Tosi)
Bonus Recipe – Banana Cake (Christina Tosi)

Ep 47, Friday June 11, 2010 – Masterclass #8
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,208,000
2 (5) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,068,000
3 (7) Home And Away [Seven] 951,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 943,000
5 (9) Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple [ABC1] 907,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Steak Sandwich with Kidney and Pommes Soufflé (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Stir-Fried Eggplant with Homemade Chilli Sauce (Kylie Kwong)
Masterclass – Fruit Carnival with Sugar Tuile, Aerated Fruit Chocolate and Toffee Apple (Darren Purchese)

TV ratings for week 8 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenges [Ten] 1,894,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,864,000

3 Australia’s Got Talent – Grand Final Part 1 [Seven] 1,831,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 1,799,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,785,000
6 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,691,000

7 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,599,000
8 Modern Family [Ten] 1,536,000
9 NCIS [Ten] 1,513,000
10 Glee [Ten] 1,413,000
11 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,393,000
12 Bones [Seven] 1,327,000
13 Two And A Half Men – Mon [Nine] 1,286,000
14 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,284,000
15 Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,255,000
16 The Mentalist [Nine] 1,243,000
17 Lie To Me [Ten] 1,223,000
18 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,208,000
19 Border Security – Wed (R) [Seven] 1,203,000
20 Doc Martin [ABC1] 1,192,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Wildly popular MasterChef goes live

Week 9 (13/6/2010-18/6/2010)
Ep 48, Sunday June 13, 2010 – Julie Goodwin’s Mystery Box & Aussie Icon Re-Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 20 TV Programmes of the Night (Queen’s Birthday holiday long weekend)
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,665,000
2 (4) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,384,000
3 (5) Sunday Night [Seven] 1,286,000
4 (6) Customs [Nine] 1,168,000
5 (7) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,133,000
6 (8) Agatha Christie’s Poirot [ABC1] 1,068,000
7 (9) The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,062,000
8 (10) Border Security – Australia’s Front Line (R) [Seven] 1,059,000
9 (11) Merlin [Ten] 956,000
10 (12) 60 Minutes [Nine] 944,000
11 (13) The Good Wife [Ten] 854,000
12 (14) Doctor Who [ABC1] 814,000
13 (15) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 794,000
14 (17) House [Ten] 613,000
15 (18) M-Forgetting Sarah Marshall [Seven] 601,000
16 (19) Doctor Who: Confidential Cutdown [ABC1] 579,000
17 (22) The Simpsons Sun [Ten] 469,000
18 (23) Nine’s Sunday Football [Nine] 456,000 (Syd & Bris only)
19 (24) Crime Investigation Australia [Nine] 441,000
20 (25) 2010 FIFA World Cup: Alg v Svn Live [SBS ONE] 418,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Invention Test – Classic Beef and Vegetables with Reduction and Corn Pastry
Invention Test – Wine Bar ‘Chiko Roll’ with Crispy Fresh Vegetables

Ep 49, Monday June 14, 2010 – Beef Stroganoff & Elimination #14
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,930,000
2 (5) Good News Week [Ten] 1,402,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,235,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Mon [Nine] 1,230,000
5 (9) 2010 FIFA World Cup: Ger v Aus Live [SBS ONE] 1,106,000
6 (10) Breaking The Magician’s Code: Magic’s Secrets Revealed [Seven] 1,106,000
7 (14) The Big Bang Theory – Rpt [Nine] 1,083,000
8 (15) Home And Away [Seven] 1,060,000
9 (16) The Mentalist – Rpt [Nine] 1,042,000
10 (17) Desperate Housewives [Seven] 976,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Beef Stroganoff with Parsley and Black Pepper Fettuccine

Ep 50, Tuesday June 15, 2010 – Josh Emett of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
Total People
1 (1) Australia’s Got Talent – Grand Final [Seven] 1,939,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,756,000
3 (4) Modern Family [Ten] 1,481,000
4 (6) NCIS – Season Finale [Ten] 1,444,000
5 (9) Grey’s Anatomy [Seven] 1,153,000
6 (10) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,135,000
7 (11) Home And Away [Seven] 1,111,000
8 (13) Top Gear [Nine] 1,049,000
9 (16) NCIS: Los Angeles [Ten] 938,000
10 (17) Greatest Cities Of The World With Griff Rhys Jones [ABC1] 826,000
16-39 Demographics
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 704,000
2 (2) Modern Family [Ten] 664,000
3 (3) NCIS [Ten] 500,000
4 (4) Grey’s Anatomy [Seven] 459,000
5 (5) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 444,000
18-49 Demographics
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 959,000
2 (2) Modern Family [Ten] 869,000
3 (3) NCIS [Ten] 722,000
4 (4) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 674,000
5 (5) Top Gear [Nine] 628,000
25-54 Demographics
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 986,000
2 (2) Modern Family [Ten] 850,000
3 (3) NCIS [Ten] 756,000
4 (4) Australia’s Got Talent [Seven] 721,000
5 (5) Top Gear [Nine] 627,000
Interesting to note that the final of Australia’s Got Talent beat MasterChef Australia in Total People, but looking at the ratings of the 3 demographics for audiences under 55, AGT could not even manage a third place but more that half of people over 55 were watching AGT. However during the half-hour or so that MasterChef Australia was on (7:30pm-8:06pm), MCA had 1,752,000 viewers (adjusted), while AGT (which ran for 1½ hours from 7:30pm) had 1,629,000 viewers.
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Roasted Coral Trout with a Lemon Thyme Consomme (Josh Emett)

Ep 51, Wednesday June 16, 2010 – Cooking a Three Course Meal for Qantas Business Class Menu
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) State Of Origin Rugby League NSW V Qld 2nd – Match [Nine] 2,156,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,783,000
3 (5) State Of Origin Rugby League NSW V Qld 2nd – Pre Match [Nine] 1,417,000 (Syd, Melb & Bris only)
4 (7) The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,177,000
5 (8) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,162,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 52, Thursday June 17, 2010 – Carrot Cake & Elimination #15
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,829,000
2 (2) Hamish & Andy’s Caravan Of Courage: Great Britain & Ireland [Ten] 1,749,000
3 (8) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,101,000
4 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,056,000
5 (10) Law And Order: SVU [Ten] 1,053,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 53, Friday June 18, 2010 – Masterclass #9
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (3) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,244,000
2 (5) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,136,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 975,000
4 (10) Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple [ABC1] 885,000
5 (11) Home And Away [Seven] 850,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Barramundi & Lamb Cutlet with Mushroom Sauce & Hash Browns (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Scallops with Cauliflower Puree & Bacon Crumble (Season one winner, Julie Goodwin)
Masterclass – Chocolate Ganache with Peanut & Caramel Ice Cream (Gary Mehigan)

TV ratings for week 9 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 State Of Origin Rugby League NSW v Qld 2nd – Match [Nine] 2,160,000
2 Australia’s Got Talent – Grand Final [Seven] 1,955,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,930,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,829,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 1,783,000
6 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,756,000

7 Hamish & Andy’s Caravan Of Courage: Great Britain & Ireland [Ten] 1,749,000
8 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenge [Ten] 1,667,000
9 Modern Family [Ten] 1,486,000
10 NCIS – Season Finale [Ten] 1,449,000
11 State Of Origin Rugby League NSW v Qld 2nd – Pre Match [Nine] 1,407,000 (Syd, Melb & Bris only)
12 Doc Martin [ABC1] 1,405,000
13 Good News Week [Ten] 1,395,000
14 2010 FIFA World Cup: Gha v Aus Live [SBS ONE] 1,392,000
15 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,390,000
16 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,283,000
17 Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,244,000
18 Two And A Half Men – Mon [Nine] 1,234,000
19 The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,164,000
20 Customs [Nine] 1,162,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 10 (20/6/2010-25/6/2010)
Ep 54, Sunday June 20, 2010 – Afternoon Tea at The Langham & Masterclass with Jamie Oliver
TV Ratings: Top 20 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,948,000
2 (4) Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,493,000
3 (5) Sunday Night [Seven] 1,344,000
4 (6) Customs [Nine] 1,290,000
5 (7) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,284,000
6 (8) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,250,000
7 (9) The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 1,132,000
8 (10) Border Security – Australia’s Front Line (R) [Seven] 1,081,000
9 (11) Agatha Christie’s Poirot [ABC1] 1,003,000
10 (12) Merlin [Ten] 1,003,000
11 (13) The Good Wife [Ten] 934,000
12 (15) Doctor Who [ABC1] 895,000
13 (17) M-National Treasure: The Book Of Secrets [Seven] 832,000
14 (18) Doctor Who: Confidential Cutdown [ABC1] 714,000
15 (20) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 671,000
16 (21) House [Ten] 577,000
17 (22) The Simpsons Sun [Ten] 541,000
18 (24) Nine’s Sunday Football [Nine] 491,000 (Syd & Bris only)
19 (25) Crime Investigation Australia [Nine] 473,000
20 (26) 2010 FIFA World Cup: Svk v Par Live [SBS ONE] 426,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Invention Test (winner’s recipe) – Violet Macaroons with Raspberries & Butter Cream (Callum Hann)
Invention Test – Pistachio Sponge with Raspberry & Lychee Syrup (Marion Grasby)

Ep 55, Monday June 21, 2010 – At the Hatfield House with Heston Blumenthal
TV Ratings: Top 15 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,841,000
2 (5) The Mentalist [Nine] 1,316,000
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,107,000
4 (9) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,078,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,061,000
6 (11) Good News Week [Ten] 1,010,000
7 (14) Australian Story [ABC1] 893,000
8 (15) CSI: Miami [Nine] 893,000
9 (16) Breaking The Magician’s Code: Magic’s Secrets Revealed [Seven] 881,000
10 (17) Desperate Housewives [Seven] 870,000
11 (18) Hung – Premiere [Seven] 750,000
12 (20) Hot Seat [Nine] 722,000
13 (21) Deal Or No Deal [Seven] 709,000
14 (22) Neighbours [Ten] 658,000
15 (23) Four Corners [ABC1] 634,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Cooking Heston’s 4 Signature Dishes:
Meat Fruit
Snail Porridge
Taffety Tart
Sound of the Sea

Ep 56, Tuesday June 22, 2010 – At the Vinopolis with Martin Blunos, & special guest judges John Torode & Gregg Wallace
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,836,000
2 (4) Modern Family [Ten] 1,524,000
3 (5) Grey’s Anatomy – Season Finale [Seven] 1,362,000
4 (7) NCIS – Rpt [Ten] 1,302,000
5 (9) Minute To Win It – Premiere [Seven] 1,130,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge (dessert) – Egg and Soldiers (Martin Blunos)

Food show’s changing the way we live
MasterChef sparks Coles sales surge

Ep 57, Wednesday June 23, 2010 – Paris with special guest judge Franck Poupard, Senior Chef Instructor of Le Cordon Bleu
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,039,000 (the highest-rating episode so far this season)
2 (5) The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,227,000
3 (6) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,151,000
4 (7) Lie To Me [Ten] 1,146,000
5 (9) The Force – Behind The Line – Wed (R) [Seven] 1,125,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 58, Thursday June 24, 2010 – Elimination #16
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,803,000
2 (3) Glee [Ten] 1,322,000
3 (5) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,191,000
4 (9) Law And Order: SVU [Ten] 951,000
5 (12) Home And Away [Seven] 879,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Roast Pigeon with Onions, Morels and Licorice Stick with Pigeon Wings and Heart (Brett Graham)

Ep 59, Friday June 25, 2010 – Masterclass #10
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,265,000
2 (7) Home And Away [Seven] 944,000
3 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 863,000
4 (10) Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple [ABC1] 848,000
5 (12) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 752,000 (excl. Melb which was shown on Thurs)
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Char Siu Salmon (George Calombaris & Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Scallop Loukoumades with Taramosalata and Candied Lemon Zest (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Rhubarb and Blackberry Crumble Soufflé (Gary Mehigan)
Bonus Recipe from The CircleVanilla Slice (Gary Mehigan)
Food Styling Masterclass (How to Ice a Cake) – Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake (Donna Hay)

Food Styling Masterclass (How to Plate Up) – Caesar Salad (Donna Hay)
Caesar Salad (Donna Hay)
Serves 4
Ingredients:
2 baby cos (romaine) lettuce, cut in half lengthways
4 eggs
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Croutons:
1 thin baguette, sliced (32 slices)
olive oil
Maple Roasted Bacon:
4 rashers bacon
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real thing, NOT maple-flavour syrup!)
Dressing:
1 egg
2 anchovy fillets
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
pinch salt, to taste
cold water, to thin the dressing
Preparation:
To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the baguette slices on a lined baking tray, brush with the olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.
To make maple roasted bacon, toss the bacon rashers in maple syrup until evenly coated. Place the bacon rashers on a lined baking tray and cook in the 160°C oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon rashers are crisp and the maple syrup is just caramelised but not burnt.
To cook soft-boiled eggs, bring a pot of water to the boil. With a large metal slotted spoon, stir the water into a whirlpool and gently place the room-temperature eggs into the water. Continue to stir and spin the eggs for about 15 to 20 seconds to set the outside of the egg white and centre the yolk. Cook for 6 minutes for soft boiled eggs. Remove with the slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water, peel the eggs.
To make the dressing, process the egg, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice in a blender until combined. With the motor running, gradually add the oil and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer the dressing to a bowl and season with salt. Add a little cold water and mix until the dressing is of coating cream consistency. Taste and season again if necessary.
To serve, place one halved lettuce on a serving plate, cut side up. Break a soft boiled egg in half with your hand and place beside the lettuce (To make breaking easier, nip an opening with the tip of a knife first). Place two croutons and one bacon rasher which has been torn into large pieces beside the egg. Spoon the dressing over the lettuce so that it seeps in between the leaves. Finely grate parmesan cheese over the top.

TV ratings for week 10 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 2,039,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenge [Ten] 1,950,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,841,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,836,000
5 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,803,000

6 Modern Family [Ten] 1,524,000
7 Underbelly: The Golden Mile [Nine] 1,497,000
8 Grey’s Anatomy – Season Finale [Seven] 1,362,000
9 Sunday Night [Seven] 1,340,000
10 Glee [Ten] 1,321,000
11 The Mentalist [Nine] 1,311,000
12 NCIS – Rpt [Ten] 1,302,000
13 Doc Martin [ABC1] 1,298,000
14 Customs [Nine] 1,286,000
15 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,280,000
16 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,265,000
17 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,253,000
18 Islands Of Britain [Seven] 1,252,000
19 The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,218,000
20 Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,197,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 11 (27/6/2010-2/7/2010)
Ep 60, Sunday June 27, 2010 – The Return of the Eliminated
TV Ratings: Top 15 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Underbelly: The Golden Mile – Series Finale [Nine] 1,800,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,781,000
3 (5) Dancing With The Stars – Series 10 Premiere [Seven] 1,426,000
4 (6) Customs [Nine] 1,378,000
5 (7) RBT – Premiere [Nine] 1,323,000
6 (8) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,196,000
7 (9) Merlin [Ten] 1,092,000
8 (10) Doctor Who [ABC1] 983,000
9 (12) The Good Wife [Ten] 843,000
10 (13) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 793,000
11 (14) M-Death At A Funeral [Seven] 749,000
12 (15) Little Dorrit – Premiere [ABC1] 716,000
13 (17) Doctor Who: Confidential Cutdown [ABC1] 664,000
14 (18) House [Ten] 645,000
15 (20) The Simpsons – Sun [Ten] 536,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – Crêpes / French-Style Pancakes

Ep 61, Monday June 28, 2010 – Top 7 Back to Top 10 Again
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,863,000
2 (6) Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,281,000
3 (7) The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,209,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,151,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,096,000
6 (11) Good News Week [Ten] 1,070,000
7 (13) Rescue Special Ops – Series 2 Premiere [Nine] 983,000
8 (14) Border Security – Australia’s Front Line – Mon (R) [Seven] 965,000
9 (15) Desperate Housewives [Seven] 944,000
10 (16) The Force – Behind The Line [Seven] 943,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Invention Test – Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Roti Chennai
Invention Test – Fennel, Orange and Apple Salad with BBQ Marinated Prawns

Ep 62, Tuesday June 29, 2010 – Mitchell Orr
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Packed To The Rafters – Series 3 Premiere [Seven] 1,917,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,837,000
3 (3) Modern Family [Ten] 1,601,000
4 (8) Minute To Win It [Seven] 1,277,000
5 (9) NCIS – Rpt [Ten] 1,205,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Risotto of Saffron, Bone Marrow and Prawns (Mitchell Orr)

Couch cooks rush to try MasterChef recipes

Ep 63, Wednesday June 30, 2010 – Country Women’s Association
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,012,000
2 (4) The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,407,000
3 (6) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,318,000
4 (8) Highway Patrol [Seven] 1,211,000
5 (9) Police Under Fire: The Walsh Street Killings [Seven] 1,134,000
6 (10) Lie To Me [Ten] 1,110,000
7 (12) Home And Away [Seven] 1,089,000
8 (13) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,067,000
9 (16) Hey Hey It’s Saturday [Nine] 801,000
10 (17) United States Of Tara [ABC1] 797,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

The 5 Recipes from the CWA of NSW:
Plain Scones
Fruit cake (boiled)
Neopolitan Cake
Fig & Apple Jam
Lamingtons

Plain Scones (recipe from The CWA Cook Book: Seventy Years in the Kitchen)

Sift together 450g (3cups) plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt. Rub in 1 tablespoon butter and gradually add 150ml milk and 150ml water. Stir together lightly with a knife to make a smooth dough. Roll out 1cm thick, cut scone into shapes and bake in a 220ºC over 7-10 minutes.

Fruit cake (boiled) (recipe from The CWA Cook Book: Seventy Years in the Kitchen)

Cream 3 eggs and 220g (1 cup) sugar in a bowl. Put 180g (1 cup) pitted dates in a saucepan with 125g (1 cup) sultanas, 125g raisins, 60g (½ cup) chopped walnuts and 1 tablespoon mixed peel. Add 500ml (2 cups) water, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add 115g chopped butter; remove from heat. Sift 300g (2 cups) plain flour into the bowl with the creamed sugar, then add 1 teaspoon mixed spice, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. Add the boiled fruit and mix well. Spoon into a tin and bake in a 180ºC oven for 30-40minutes. Ice and sprinkle with walnuts.

Neopolitan Cake (suggested recipe for The Land Cookery Competition)

125g butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
Pinch salt
½ cup milk
A few drops strawberry essence and pink colouring
¼ cup coconut
6 tsp strawberry jam

Cream butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Sift flour and salt, add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Divide mixture in two. To one half, add coconut, to the other half add essence and colouring.

In a prepared 20cm tin, spread white mixture on bottom.

Drop strawberry jam* in drops all over the mixture, and finally pour the pink mixture on top and spread out.

Bake in moderate oven approx. 45 minutes or until cooked.

When cold, ice with pink icing.

* When dropping the jam onto the white mixture, if it is slightly warmed and trickled across, it will result in the jam remaining higher in the cake.

Fig & Apple Jam (suggested recipe for The Land Cookery Competition)

**Fruit is weighed after preparing

1½kg diced figs
½kg granny smith apples, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ cup lemon juice
1½kg sugar
2 cups water

Place figs, apples and water in a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook with lid on until fruit is tender.

Remove lid and skim off as many seeds as possible when they rise to the top.

Pre-heat the sugar. Add sugar, stir over low heat till sugar is dissolved.

Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

Add lemon juice and continue to boil for another 10 minutes and begin testing by placing a little jam in a cold saucer. Jam is ready if it wrinkles on top and begins to gel. Remove from heat, stand 5 minutes. Fill heated jars and seal.

The Land Cookery Competition Schedule states: Points to be looked for in judging: Chutney and jam should be of good appearance and colour, and to be softly set, jam should be set, but not to sticky or watery. Fruit should be well cooked and quite soft, with no particles or crystallisation, mould or fermentation, and not over cooked. Flavour is the deciding factor.

Lamingtons (recipe from The CWA Cook Book: Seventy Years in the Kitchen)

Cream 140g butter and 140g (2/3 cup) sugar in a bowl. Add 2 beaten eggs with 4 tablespoons of milk and a few drops of vanilla essence. Finally, stir in 270g (1¾ cups) sifted plain flour. Grease a rectangular cake tin and pour the mixture into it. Bake in a 180ºC oven for 30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool and leave until the next day. Cut into squares. To make icing, cream together 85g butter and 215g (1¾ cups) icing sugar. Mix together 1 tablespoon cocoa powder with a little hot water and add to the butter mixture. Stir in a few drops of vanilla essence. Ice the cake squares all over, then roll them in desiccated coconut, or browned coconut. To brown the coconut, spread coconut on a shallow plate or baking tin and place in a 150ºC over for a few minutes.

The Land Cookery Competition Schedule states: Points to look for in judging: Daintiness of size (approximately 4cm square), texture of cake, quality of finish and general presentation.

MasterChef’s CWA cooking challenge ‘rigged’

Ep 64, Thursday July 1, 2010 – Coq au Vin & Elimination #17 or Not
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,761,000
2 (7) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,125,000
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 964,000
4 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 922,000
5 (10) Getaway [Nine] 884,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 65, Friday July 2, 2010 – Masterclass #11
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (3) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,303,000
2 (5) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,143,000
3 (7) Home And Away [Seven] 978,000
4 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 949,000
5 (10) Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple – Rpt [ABC1] 895,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Eggs Benedict with Ham Hock Terrine and Hollandaise Sauce (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Mushroom Powder (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Gâteau Opera (Gary Mehigan)

TV ratings for week 11 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 2,012,000
2 Packed To The Rafters – Series 3 Premiere [Seven] 1,917,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 1,863,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,837,000

5 Underbelly: The Golden Mile – Series Finale [Nine] 1,808,000
6 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenge [Ten] 1,781,000
7 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 1,761,000

8 Modern Family [Ten] 1,553,000
9 Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,424,000
10 The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,392,000
11 Customs [Nine] 1,367,000
12 Doc Martin [ABC1] 1,364,000
13 Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,339,000
14 RBT [Nine] 1,329,000
15 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,303,000
16 Two And A Half Men [Nine] 1,290,000
17 Minute To Win It [Seven] 1,277,000
18 Highway Patrol – Wed (R) [Seven] 1,273,000
19 The Big Bang Theory [Nine] 1,205,000
20 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,194,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 12 (4/7/2010-9/7/2010)
Ep 66, Sunday July 4, 2010 – Mystery Box & Two-Course Home-Style Meal Invention Test with Margaret Fulton
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,764,000
2 (4) Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,325,000
3 (5) RBT [Nine] 1,263,000
4 (6) The Good Wife [Ten] 1,172,000
5 (7) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,121,000
6 (8) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,105,000
7 (9) Bones – Sun (R) [Seven] 1,006,000
8 (10) Merlin [Ten] 890,000
9 (11) Doctor Who [ABC1] 890,000
10 (13) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 824,000 (excl. Per)
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Invention Test (winners’ recipe) – Green Tea Chicken Dumplings with Chilli Oil, Orange and Ginger Vinegar
Invention Test (winners’ recipe) – Fried Masterstock Chicken with Chilli Caramel and Orange Salt

Ep 67, Monday July 5, 2010 – Macaron Tower & Elimination #18
masterchef_mag1-3
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,091,000
2 (6) Home And Away [Seven] 1,108,000
3 (8) Rescue Special Ops [Nine] 1,086,000
4 (9) Two And A Half Men – Mon [Nine] 1,081,000
5 (10) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,056,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Wow, are Macaron Towers the craze this year or what? Just a few weeks ago, we saw Pastry Chef Emmanuel Mollois showing us how to construct a Macaroon Pyramid in an episode of Poh’s Kitchen. Now it has appeared again in the Pressure Test challenge tonight. Of course it was another of Adriano Zumbo’s fabulous desserts. He who brought us the Croquembouche and the Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake from last year.

croquembouche_zumbo
Adriano Zumbo’s Croquembouche from last year, taken from MasterChef Australia Cookbook Vol. One

However, I wondered if time was the factor, given they were given only 3 1/2 hours to complete the challenge, that the macarons were stuck to the styrofoam cone with toothpicks. If they had to make the genoise base, marzipan and caramel like what Chef Emmanuel Mollois did for his pyramid, they might need a whole day to complete the challenge!

Pressure Test – Macaron Tower with Kalamata Olive, and Beetroot and Raspberry Macarons (Adriano Zumbo)

Ep 68, Tuesday July 6, 2010 – Adam Melonas
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,852,000
2 (2) Packed To The Rafters [Seven] 1,802,000
3 (3) Modern Family [Ten] 1,532,000
4 (8) Minute To Win It [Seven] 1,110,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,088,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Green Peas and Egg (Adam Melonas)

Ep 69, Wednesday July 7, 2010 – Cooking for 100 Soldiers of the Australian Army
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,019,000
2 (2) State Of Origin Rugby League NSW vs Qld 3rd – Match [Nine] 1,804,000
3 (7) The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,197,000
4 (8) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,151,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,057,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 70, Thursday July 8, 2010 – Elimination #19
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,143,000
2 (2) Glee – Season Finale [Ten] 1,620,000
3 (7) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,044,000
4 (8) Home And Away [Seven] 1,009,000
5 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,008,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

What a shocker! Never for one moment I thought Marion would be eliminated with two more weeks to go! I have taken it for granted that she would at least be in the final week… Still cannot believe it. Had the same déjà vu feeling as last year when Justine was eliminated… At least the fantastic season finale of Glee that followed softened the blow a little bit… Love love love when they sang To Sir With Love. That was so emotional…

Bonus Recipe – Thai Chicken ‘Laarb’ Salad (Marion Grasby)

Ep 71, Friday July 9, 2010 – Masterclass #12
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (3) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,214,000
2 (6) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,059,000
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 944,000
4 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 908,000
5 (12) Trial And Retribution: Tracks [ABC1] 824,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Roast Pheasant with Peas, Shallots & Salsify (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Chocolate Fondant with Amaretto Milkshake (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)

TV ratings for week 12 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 2,143,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 2,091,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 2,019,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,852,000

5 Packed To The Rafters [Seven] 1,802,000
6 State Of Origin Rugby League NSW vs Qld 3rd – Match [Nine] 1,782,000
7 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenge [Ten] 1,758,000
8 Glee – Season Finale [Ten] 1,611,000
9 Modern Family [Ten] 1,532,000
10 Doc Martin [ABC1] 1,462,000
11 Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,338,000
12 RBT [Nine] 1,260,000
13 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,214,000
14 The Good Wife [Ten] 1,186,000
15 The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,180,000
16 Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,151,000
17 Australia’s Funniest Home Videos [Nine] 1,138,000
18 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,122,000
19 Minute To Win It [Seven] 1,110,000
20 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,093,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 13 (11/7/2010-16/7/2010)
Ep 72, Sunday July 11, 2010 – Mystery Box & ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ Invention Test
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 1,865,000
2 (4) Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,287,000
3 (5) RBT [Nine] 1,283,000
4 (6) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,160,000
5 (7) The Good Wife [Ten] 1,086,000
6 (8) 60 Minutes [Nine] 996,000
7 (9) Doctor Who [ABC1] 976,000
8 (10) Merlin [Ten] 930,000
9 (11) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 912,000
10 (12) Bones – Sun Rpt [Seven] 910,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Invention Test – Greed – Caramelised Pork Belly with Chilli Vinegar and Saffron Rice with Sesame
Invention Test – Pride – Mole Ravioli

Ep 73, Monday July 12, 2010 – Christine Mansfield & Elimination #20
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,003,000
2 (6) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,175,000
3 (7) Rescue Special Ops [Nine] 1,143,000
4 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 1,059,000
5 (10) Two And A Half Men – Mon [Nine] 1,031,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Well, well, well… The two contestants that looked like the best cooks in the competition had been eliminated one after the other. Following Marion’s exit last Thursday, tonight Jonathan was gone!
Although I realized the best cooks may not win in a reality show, but they should at least have the opportunity to advance to the final week at the very least for being consistently good. I think there should be an accumulation of points for winning or be in the top three during every Mystery Box or Invention Test challenges. For example, awarding 3 points for the best dish, 2 points for the next best, and 1 point for the third best. Then, say when they have accumulated 15 points, they can exchange the points for an immunity pin. So cooks like Marion who were consistently good would be able to accumulate points and have something to save themselves during a bad day in cooking. This also ensure good cooks stay in the competition while those who haven’t done anything special would be eliminated…

Ep 74, Tuesday July 13, 2010 – Shaun Presland
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 1,927,000
2 (2) Packed To The Rafters [Seven] 1,899,000
3 (4) Modern Family [Ten] 1,514,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,169,000
5 (9) Top Gear [Nine] 1,112,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Celebrity Chef Challenge – Tuna Avocado Sushi Maki (Shaun Presland)
Celebrity Chef Challenge – Tuna Tataki with Garlic Chips, Katsura Daikon Salad and White Dressing (Shaun Presland)
Celebrity Chef Challenge – Tuna Sashimi Tacos (Shaun Presland)

Ep 75, Wednesday July 14, 2010 – Signature Dish with Special Guest Chefs Alla Wolf-Tasker, Mark Best, Kylie Kwong and Jacques Reymond
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,192,000
2 (5) The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,341,000
3 (7) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,230,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,125,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 1,054,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 76, Thursday July 15, 2010 – Elimination #21
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,206,000
2 (3) Bondi Vet [Ten] 1,323,000
3 (6) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,163,000
4 (9) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 995,000
5 (10) Home And Away [Seven] 959,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 77, Friday July 16, 2010 – Masterclass #13
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (2) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,250,000
2 (6) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 1,051,000
3 (8) Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution [Ten] 961,000
4 (10) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 932,000
5 (11) Home And Away [Seven] 867,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Masterclass – Smoked Trout with a Winter Salad (Gary Mehigan)
Masterclass – Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Chocolate Gluttony with Spun Sugar (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)
Bonus Recipe – Prawns baked in Hummus with toasted Almonds (Gary Mehigan & George Calombaris)

TV ratings for week 13 of MasterChef Australia Season 2
Rank* Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 Masterchef Australia – Thurs [Ten] 2,206,000
2 Masterchef Australia – Wed [Ten] 2,192,000
3 Masterchef Australia – Mon [Ten] 2,003,000
4 Masterchef Australia – Tues [Ten] 1,927,000

5 Packed To The Rafters [Seven] 1,899,000
6 Masterchef Australia – Sun Challenge [Ten] 1,868,000
7 Modern Family [Ten] 1,522,000
8 Doc Martin [ABC1] 1,458,000
9 Bondi Vet [Ten] 1,338,000
10 The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,322,000
11 Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,295,000
12 RBT [Nine] 1,275,000
13 Masterchef Australia – Fri Masterclass [Ten] 1,250,000
14 Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,231,000
15 Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,169,000
16 Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,157,000
17 Rescue Special Ops [Nine] 1,148,000
18 Top Gear [Nine] 1,115,000
19 Minute To Win It [Seven] 1,104,000
20 Greatest Cities Of The World With Griff Rhys Jones [ABC1] 1,097,000
* Rankings excluding nightly news and current affair programmes. No. of Viewers are samples across 5 mainland capital cities.

Week 14 (18/7/2010-23/7/2010)
Ep 78, Sunday July 18, 2010 – Crustacean Invention Test with Special Guest Judge Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Challenge [Ten] 2,188,000
2 (4) Hawke [Ten] 1,606,000
3 (5) RBT [Nine] 1,448,000
4 (6) Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,327,000
5 (7) Send In The Dogs [Nine] 1,237,000
6 (8) Merlin [Ten] 1,140,000
7 (9) 60 Minutes [Nine] 1,006,000
8 (10) Hawke: The Interview [Ten] 840,000
9 (11) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [Nine] 836,000
10 (12) Bones (R) [Seven] 827,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Invention Test – Prawn Scotch Eggs with a Coconut, Chilli Sambal
Invention Test – Chilli Mud Crab with XO Sauce

Ep 79, Monday July 19, 2010 – V8 Cake (Vanilla 8-Layer Cake) by Adriano Zumbo
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,243,000
2 (6) Criminal Minds – Mon [Seven] 1,173,000
3 (7) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 1,110,000
4 (8) Two And A Half Men – Mon [Nine] 1,071,000
5 (9) Melbourne International Great Debate [Ten] 1,043,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Pressure Test – V8 Cake (Adriano Zumbo)

Ep 80, Tuesday July 20, 2010 – Jimmy’s Mystery Box with Special Guest Judge Shannon Bennett
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,397,000
2 (2) Packed To The Rafters [Seven] 1,914,000
3 (8) Home And Away [Seven] 1,104,000
4 (10) Top Gear [Nine] 1,039,000
5 (11) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 969,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 81, Wednesday July 21, 2010 – Cookbook Vision Challenge with Special Guest Judge Maggie Beer
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,467,000
2 (4) The Gruen Transfer [ABC1] 1,280,000
3 (6) Hey Hey It’s Saturday [Nine] 1,174,000
4 (7) Lie To Me [Ten] 1,171,000
5 (8) Spicks And Specks [ABC1] 1,170,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Ep 82, Thursday July 22, 2010 – Catering for the Governor-General
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia [Ten] 2,513,000
2 (7) Rush [Ten] 1,070,000
3 (9) Sea Patrol [Nine] 1,025,000
4 (10) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 961,000
5 (11) Home And Away [Seven] 907,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Claire was eliminated tonight! So that leaves Adam and Callum to fight it out for the title this year. And may I say what a ridiculous challenge for this late stage of the competition. I think this year the ego has gone into the producers’ heads, it seems they just want to do something huge for hugeness sake, rather than putting on a challenge to really test the ability of the three cooks! To cook in tonight’s setting, they all fell back to what they knew they could cook without making silly mistakes. How could they demonstrate their abilities when in the back of their minds they knew they had to put up respectable dishes for the Governor-General and her guests regardless of what happened! So they had to play it safe and practically handed the Chocolate Fondants to Callum because he had succeeded in making them just the day before, Claire chose the main because that dish’s more suited to her French-style cooking and Adam got the fish entrée which he could handle without too much trouble. In this late stage they must be allowed to succeed, or fail spectacularly. A better challenge would be something along the line of Episode 44 with no recipes given and they have to create their own interpretations of the dishes.
I don’t know, the final week this year is just not as exciting as last year. At the moment I don’t even care who win this year, that’s how much excitement I’m feeling. I can’t put my finger on it, but the only reason I can think of is that non of the final 6 contestants (note I say final 6, NOT top 6), except maybe Callum but even he can’t make a simple cake, are good with desserts. Watching them cooking savoury dishes week in and week out just doesn’t cut it for me. For example the V8 Cake episode, it would have been much more exciting to watch if we knew someone who was good with desserts was in the challenge. Last year the top 3 were all capable of cooking desserts which really made it more interesting. Callum, bless him but he is still learning, and was just replicating what he learnt in masterclasses and not doing anything innovative. And I really question if a person who is still learning about cooking, no matter how talented, should be in the final over those who can actually cook – the show is about good cooks, not looking for an apprentice! And would I be interested in a cookbook by a kitchen apprentice full of rehash from the masterclasses, don’t think so! I would better spend my money on books by Gary or George in that case…

Bonus Recipe – Chocolate Chip Bouchons (Claire Winton-Burn)

Ep 83, Friday July 23, 2010 – Masterclass #14
TV Ratings: Top 5 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – Masterclass [Ten] 1,880,000
2 (2) Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution [Ten] 1,326,000
3 (8) Two And A Half Men – Rpt [Nine] 967,000
4 (9) Home And Away [Seven] 929,000
5 (10) Better Homes And Gardens [Seven] 908,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

What a hilarious episode of the final masterclass for this season! With judges and contestants parodying everybody. Loved it.
And what an illuminating insights into the two final contestants at their own masterclasses with Chefs Peter Kuruvita and Justin North. Adam was shown as a capable cook by preparing and cooking all the 35 serves of the fish dish at Peter’s restaurant. On the other hand, Callum was portrayed as the apprentice that he should be by pulling a trolley of produce for Justin at the market and only showing him being taught to cook the first order only, and then it was thank you very much and goodbye!

Masterclass – Drunken Chicken with Bruised Salad (Alvin Quah)
Masterclass – Chocolate Ganache, Lavender Cream and Raspberry Tart (Fiona Inglis)
Masterclass – Savoury Rice Crackle with Roasted Flathead, Sweetbreads and Watercress Salad (George Calombaris)
Masterclass – Roasted Flathead with Carrot Custard and Caramel Crackle (Gary Mehigan)
Bonus Recipe – Moussaka and Cypriot Grain Salad (George Calombaris and Travis McAuley)

Grand Finale (25/7/2010)
TV Ratings: Top 10 TV Programmes of the Night
Rank* (Overall Rank) Programme [TV Channel] No. of Viewers
1 (1) Masterchef Australia – The Winner Announced [Ten] 3,962,000
2 (2) Masterchef Australia – Finale Night [Ten] 3,542,000
3 (3) Undercover Boss [Ten] 2,082,000
4 (6) Seven News: The Great Debate [Seven] 1,245,000
5 (7) 60 Minutes – The Great Debate [Nine] 1,229,000
6 (8) Modern Family – Sun [Ten] 1,118,000
7 (9) Dancing With The Stars [Seven] 1,061,000
8 (10) Rules Of Engagement – Sun [Ten] 1,052,000
9 (11) 60 Minutes [Nine] 765,000
10 (12) Life [ABC1] 624,000
Based on OzTAM Overnight figures (* Excluding nightly news and current affair programmes).

Adam has won it! He’s the titleholder of MasterChef Australia for 2010. What is it with contestants of Malaysian heritage and MasterChef Australia? Last year, Poh was the runner-up but has done very well out of it with her own TV cooking show. This year we have Alvin and Adam. Alvin was in the final six and Adam has done even better than Poh by claiming the title. Congratulation, Adam, well done!
And how good is the Junior MasterChef Australia looking! I cannot believe those food in the ad were cooked by 8 to 12 year-olds! Something to look forward to…

Pressure Test – Guava and Custard Apple Snow Egg (Peter Gilmore)

Interview with Adam Liaw on ABC Radio National, April 4, 2011
MasterChef winner cooks up some folk Liaw

More bonus recipes from past contestants of MasterChef Australia:
Seared Scallops with aromatic butter and coriander (Julia Jenkins)
Tempura Prawns and Squid with Spiced Mayonnaise (Adam Liaw)
Chicken Satay with Cucumber and Mint Salad (Marion Grasby)
Eggplant Sambal (Alvin Quah)
Beer Marinated Quail with Herb Salad (Chris Badenoch)
Beef Carpaccio with Cauliflower and Garlic Chips (Marion Grasby)
Prawn Curry and Indian Flat Bread (Jimmy Seervai)
Poh’s Sinful Scrambled Eggs (Poh Ling Yeow)
Apple Cinnamon and Pandan Coconut Crepes (Poh Ling Yeow)
Silken Tofu with Pork Mince and Chilli (Alvin Quah)
Baby Carbonade Pies (Chris Badenoch)
Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Raspberry Cream (Skye Craig)
Pesto Potato Salad (Adam Liaw)
Herb Stuffed Chicken, Roast Kipfler Potatoes and Broccolini (Adam Liaw) & Floating Islands (Justine Schofield)
Spiced Puddings with Ginger Creme Anglaise (Marion Grasby)

masterchef_mag1-6
Issues 1 to 6 of MasterChef Australia magazines.

Advertisements

11 Comments »

  1. Hello,

    I am writing on behalf of an educational publisher in Hong Kong. We would like to request permission to reproduce a photo of a Serradura dessert (https://cornercafe.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/serradura) from your website. Could you please get in touch with me so that we can discuss the matter in details? My e-mail address is frances.tsim@oup.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Thanks,
    Frances

    Comment by Frances — March 18, 2010 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

  2. faNTASTIC TOTALLY HOOKED LOVE IT LOVE CAT N DAVE LEEDS ENGLAND

    Comment by catriona — April 12, 2010 @ 5:37 am | Reply

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed the show over in England as well 🙂

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 24, 2010 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  3. Have watched every programme, now I’m at a total loss @ 7pm every evening now that Masterchef Australia has finished, an absolute brilliant show, loved every second, shame Chris didn’t go earlier, didn’t like his arrogance. When will we be getting the 2010 show? Don’t tell me I have to wait till January 2011 – Carol Darby – London – England

    Comment by Carol Darby — April 16, 2010 @ 6:33 am | Reply

    • Haha, I also had withdrawal symptom last year when the show finished, didn’t know what to do at 7pm… Hope they show season 2 soon, instead of next year, over your way.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 24, 2010 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  4. Oh my gosh!!!! That’s a great write up. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only fanatic and addict of Masterchef out there!

    Comment by Quinn — April 25, 2010 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

    • Doing my best 🙂 Don’t worry, you’re not alone, there’re a lot of addicts out there!

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 1, 2010 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  5. Hey,

    Just wondering if the show can be watched online from overseas or if there is a block on it? Cat and Dave from Leeds, do you have any problems watching it online or do you watch it on TV?

    Cheers
    Lewis

    Comment by Lewis — April 30, 2010 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

    • Not too sure, but I think the videos are blocked outside of Australia. You can try going to the MasterChef Australia website and see if you can access the episodes.
      Season 1 were shown on UK TV channel ‘Watch’ earlier this year, that’s why viewers from UK knew about the show.

      Comment by SeaDragon — May 1, 2010 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  6. Hi SeaDragon,
    I just watched a video from Poh’s Kitchen (Episode 13 – Macaroons and Rice Balls with Emmanuel Mollois) and I laughed when Emmanuel tried the Durian Ondi Ondi! I hate Durian too! I remember when my dad would buy it in Lodon and I would always know as he’d have it in the boot of the car then come pick us up from chinese school – the car would stink! He would also keep it in the spare room downstairs ’til ready to open as I would complain about the smell! Yes, I have tried it, to me it’s sweet and has spring onion notes about it. Thoroughly disgusting! I loved Emmanuelle’s description as …”eating a dead onion” Excellent!

    Comment by Lynne — June 21, 2010 @ 12:49 am | Reply

    • Yes, that was funny, LOL. Since I grew up in M’sia, I love durians and I think they smell gorgeous 🙂

      Comment by SeaDragon — July 3, 2010 @ 3:41 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: