Masterchef New Zealand: Sunday March 23

Before we get into tonight’s show, here are my updated rankings:

6 (down from 4):  Jaimie and Bec (Purple aprons): These two are good cooks, and work pretty well under pressure, but as they said themselves last week, they are running out of middle.  They haven’t regularly been near the top OR at the bottom, but squarely in the middle.  Time is running out for them.

5 (no change):  Trudie and Shelley (Teal aprons): I find it hard to separate this duo from Jaimie and Bec.  The same arguments could be made for both pairs.  It comes down to who does better on the night.

4 (up from 6):  Glynn and James (Light blue aprons): These two have proven me wrong time and again with their cooking.  Dark horses in the mix?  I would like to hear less surprise about still being in the competition and more cooking to prove why they should stay there.

 3 (no change):  Nikki and Jordan (Dark Blue aprons): Last week was not their week, by a long shot, but these two have had an excellent run in the previous weeks.  Can Nikki bring back her confidence and cooking mojo?

2 (no change):  Tanisha and Venera (Green Aprons): This is the time in the competition to cement their front-runner status and psych out the competition.  They seem to be growing in confidence.

1 (no change):  Karena and Kasey (Pink aprons): These two have hardly put a foot wrong.  Still top of the class for me.

On with the show:

In tonight’s pressure test the contestants are cooking veal* three ways (the loin, tongue and sweetbreads) for Australian Masterchef judge, and culinary legend George Calombaris. Last year George offered Masterchef winner Aaron a job after seeing him cook on the show.  I wonder if he will be equally impressed with any of the duos this evening.  On the line is a spot in the top 5 and a chance to head overseas!  This would be the worst week to be eliminated! So close yet so far!

It seems like the producers can only afford two of the three judges each week.  Last week Simon was gone, and tonight we have no Ray.

The dish they are replicating looks quite intricate and should cause a lot of issues.

Jaimie and Bec (Purple aprons): The girls are feeling empowered by George but they aren’t getting much screen time tonight.  The girls tongue is undercooked. It looks gross.  George said he could tell they are a great combination.  The judges complement them on their beautiful cooked veal, great oyster cream and refreshing tuna watermelon.  After tasting other dishes, George realised just how good their veal loin was.

Trudie and Shelley (Teal aprons):  The tongue grosses out the ladies (I tried beef tongue once and it wasn’t too spectacular).  Shelley and Trudie are certainly straight up with each other.  They are faffing around a bit tonight and squabbling with each other. Straight away when you see their dish, you can see it doesn’t look anything like the other dishes, and far less restaurant quality.  George gives them a bit of a telling off about fighting in the kitchen, and reminds them that their future customers are watching right now.  George says the flavour is dull and that the fighting in the kitchen today has come across in the food.

Glynn and James (Light blue aprons):  These two seem to be working well together tonight.  Glynn said that the smoker reminded him of his youth – it looked like an elaborate bong, so take from that what you will!  The boys seem to be ahead of others and George is impressed.  They are the first ones to begin to plate up – it seems to have been a smooth night for them.   Simon says that this looks like the best dish they have put up in the competition.  The judges give them a bit of a rark up about their attitude.  Fair call.  The happy music comes in on the back ground so you know the judges comments will be positive.  They have the best tongue of the night so far and really punchy oyster sauce.

Nikki and Jordan (Dark Blue aprons): Nikki is looking for redemption today after last week’s disasters.  George is chatting with the ladies, wanting their life stories.  It must be so hard to concentrate on a bunch of tasks AND have to answer irrelevant questions.  They seem more of on track tonight than last week.  At least they have a recipe and have seen what the finished product looks like.  George said it isn’t identical to his dish, but it still looks nice.  He can see that the tongue is undercooked and that the flavours need more grunt.  He compares it to a set of headphones where the sound is on but they are not loud enough.

Tanisha and Venera (Green Aprons): George is hounding the girls for not having enough done.  The viewers wouldn’t know because they haven’t shown us what they are up to.  Simon said that it was a great looking dish, while George said it was a good dish but not amazing.

Karena and Kasey (Pink aprons): George is giving them some good tips on how to cook their veal and has heard good things about them.  The pressure of being the favourites doesn’t seem to get to them.  The girls are getting a lot of compliments from George – on their bench cleanliness, and on some of their processes.  I think their family dynamic – the extended family all eating dinner together each night – sounds amazing.   Unfortunately, the girls didn’t add enough of the vegetables and the veal is dry.  Josh adds that their dish isn’t polished.   This is their worst feedback so far in the competition.  Could this be the shock elimination of this series?

From the judges comments, it sounds like Jaimie and Bec had the best dish and Trudie and Shelley or Karena and Kasey would be the bottom dish, but it sounds pretty close.  It would be rough if someone missed out of the overseas trip because of tonights cooking.

The elimination will take place tomorrow night, and it looks like another challenge for everyone.

Quotes of the night:

Glynn: ‘These oysters are shucking hard’

Shelley: “These look like kaka, but they taste good”

Trudie: “Give each other a cuddle? Well F**K that’s not us.”


*I had to google what veal was – baby boy cow.



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  • Mara

    Another stallar review. Thanks Roger

  • S

    Glynns comment was shucking hilarious! 😀

  • Georgie

    Thanks Rog. Great review