Masterchef NZ Recap: Monday April 21

My super scientific Masterchef rankings:

1st: Kasey and Karena: It will take a lot for me to change these ladies from top of the rankings. Another impressive cooking display, plus, they crack me up so that gets them some bonus points.

2nd: Nikki and Jordan: After rave reviews from their cook book inspired dishes last night, these two are sitting pretty for a finals spot unless a disaster throws them over the cliff tonight. While I don’t think Nikki would handle the stress of a real restaurant kitchen, her and Jordan definitely have an eye and the talent to create delicious food.

3rd: Jaimie and Bec: Last night was anything but a good night in the kitchen for this duo, and coupled with Josh’s obvious dislike of Jaimie, the safe money is on these two heading back to the South Island to visit their kids tonight. Side note: Jaimie’s passionate desire to make the final is the same reason I don’t want her to make it. I don’t know what that says about me. I am a bad person. There, I said it.

On with the show:

I was thinking of this season in comparison with Masterchef Australia. I have noticed that we have had a lack of ‘professional kitchen’ challenges this season and that is where a cook and a chef really show their differences. I am not sure if everyone remaining could handle the unique stresses and challenges that a real restaurant challenge would throw at them. Mastercook does sound a little daft though.

Tonight’s Challenge:

Tonight’s challenge involves the duos envisaging their own restaurants. They need to create a main and a dessert to reflect the style, location and menu of their restaurant. The judges ask what the pair’s restaurants would be named. Nikki and Jordan would call their restaurant Portion while Karena and Kasey’s restaurant would be called Birds (to carry on the family name). Jaimie and Bec are opting for the latin word for sharing – Partio, reflecting their desire to create tasting platters and shared food.

Karena and Kasey are serving a crayfish ravioli with eye fillet and a bread and butter pudding with cinnamon ice cream. Kasey is cooking using a suvi machine (a water bath) to cook her beef, which will keep the meat at a constant temperature. I wonder if sales of suvi machines will go up after this series. Kasey and Karena bluff it when Ray asks if they are on track. This seems to be a familiar strategy for them! Fake it til you make it girls! Karena is making something pretty interesting with orange and science to add to her bread and butter pudding, but unfortunately I missed the description by Simon (recap fail number 1). Kasey is nervous about plating because it isn’t her specialty, so she is winging it. What’s the bet that her winging it is awesome? I was correct. Both dishes look de-freakin-licious. Simon tries to goad them into bragging about their talent but they humbly explain that they still have lots to learn. I really like these two girls. I can imagine New Zealand really rooting for them. Simon says that it is “so damn good that it is unbelievable”. Josh calls it 10/10 and the other judges agree. With the dessert, Simon says, this is not the cooking of chef’s; this is the cooking of angels. Now that is a compliment that I have never heard. Ray says that every single thing is perfect. Go girls!

Tonight Nikki and Jordan are making eye fillet with a beef cheek cannelloni and smoked mushrooms, and a dessert with strawberry infused melon and a goats yoghurt sorbet. Nikki has 7 elements to complete for her dish so I hope she doesn’t get her usual frazzle on. Jordan is hoping that her beef cheek will cook in time, but with the pressure cooker, it should be fine. Nikki is using squid ink to create the seeds of the watermelon, which sounds interesting. She actually does some pretty fancy scientific stuff to create the watermelon seeds, but I am not intelligent enough to recap it. Just assume it is pretty fancy (recap fail number 2). I hope it doesn’t add a fishy taste to her dessert. Jaimie is stressing because her ice-cream machine isn’t working, but Nikki put hers on straight away to make sure her sorbet would be ready – winner. Simon tastes some of the shredded beef cheek and is in foodie heaven so that bodes well for them. Both their dishes look delicious when they take them to the judges. The eye fillet is beautifully cooked and Ray calls it steak and mushroom to the power of a hundred. Ray calls the dessert fresh and refreshing, but Josh is not completely sold on it. He says it needs something creamy, which is a bit strange since there is a goat’s yoghurt sorbet. That sounds pretty creamy to me.

Bec is creating a tasting platter with a variety of dishes from their restaurant, including pork belly, venison, and whitebait. As Josh says, that is a lot going on. Bec is struggling to get her suvi machine working. Simon is not impressed, which is rattling Bec. Will it be another day of technical disasters? Jaimie is creating a chocolate terrene with suvi’d balsamic strawberries and ice cream. Strangely they have their suvi and ice-cream machines on the floor. I for one would not want to eat food that had been prepared on the floor. Also, the way Jaimie runs around in the kitchen, she is sure to trip over one of them at some point. These girls are feeling the pressure to pull off amazing dishes and it looks like they have bitten off more than they can chew today. Two simple amazing dishes would have probably been better. The judges have concluded that Jaimie and Bec are chaos in the kitchen but end up, somehow, creating delicious dishes. I wonder how they would deal with a full restaurant. Jaimie struggles with the ice cream machine for the second day in a row. Why would you pick a dish with the potential for the same issue as the previous day? Simon can imagine how a group in a restaurant would share the main meal while Ray is impressed with the variety of techniques that they have shown. Josh says that the pork belly is incredible and Ray thinks that the dessert is perfect – a 10/10.

From the judge’s comments during tasting, it would seem that the duo that is definitely safe is Karena and Kasey.

Nikki and Jordan had great feedback last night and good feedback tonight, while Jaimie and Bec had average feedback last night and great feedback tonight.

If they are fairly judging over both nights’ dishes, then Jaimie and Bec must be heading home. But you never know. The producers might think that Jaimie and Bec are a more interesting couple to have in the finals than Nikki and Jordan.

Judges scoring for the cookbook challenge

Karena and Kasey: 9/10

Nikki and Jordan: 8/10

Jaimie and Bec: 7/10 (for all the harping on about how bad they were, why did they get that score – something is a bit suss).

Judges scoring for the restaurant challenge

Karena and Kasey: 10/10

Nikki and Jordan: 8/10

Jaimie and Bec: 9/10

Final totals:

Karena and Kasey: 19/20

Nikki and Jordan: 16/20

Jaimie and Bec: 16/20


Simon explains that they would usually have a cook off, but the judges have decided that all three duos will continue next week, with the scores carrying over to next week’s challenges.  Next week the top three will cook for Peter Gordon

I know who I want in the finals? Who are you hoping makes the finals and who do you think will win?

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  • Jeseta

    I have to say I was disappointed with the outcome of this episode. Next week will still be the top three so we really didn’t achieve anything this week. I think they should have sent someone home even if it was just Jaimie and Bec based on their messy, hectic kitchen habits.

    Also, the ‘suvi’ machine is spelt ‘sous vide’ – benefits of using subtitles 🙂

    • roger

      Recap Fail number 3 🙂 Good things come in threes haha. I thought Jaimie and Bec should go home.

  • Ana

    I hope the two sisters – the highest scorers from tonight – win.
    Roger, have you thought about writing recaps for other shows? I think you’re excellent and would love to read more (please).
    I love the suggestion in another thread that someone made, in that they try and secure Nigella Lawson as a judge next time ’round.

    • roger

      I am sure they could get her for a guest chef. I will be doing the My Kitchen Rules NZ recaps, which start in May. Thanks for the compliment!

      • Guest

        I don’t think anyone else would have ‘rights’ to Nigella (so to speak) due to her contract with Whittakers. Although she’s well-loved in these parts her recent scandal would either make ratings soar or have people turning off. I always wonder why news presenters refer to her as a ‘cook’ rather than a ‘chef’ – seems churlish.

        Reality Ravings have done some really funny recaps of MKR. It’s a shame we’re seeing it so many months after Oz … this series will probably appear on Food TV in a couple of months anyway.

        • roger

          Sorry, yeah I got muddled. I am going to do the recaps of MKR New Zealand, which doesn’t start in May, thats the Aussie one. I don’t think that needs to be recapped. People can find other people’s recaps online since it has already screened in Australia.

        • roger

          Whittakers must trust that her brand is still pretty solid. I for one couldn’t care less what drug she did or didn’t take. I don’t look to her as a role model. I just think she is a good cook. I think chef is someone who cooks in a restaurant whereas a cook doesn’t. That is how I see the distinction between chef and cook.

  • madamespeaker

    I wondered last night during the judge’s table if there was some kind of hate-sex dynamic between Josh & Jaimie…but nah, he hates messy kitchenwork. Having machinery on the floor & hot oil that close to the edge of the bench is dangerous- you’d think that they’d know that, with Bec being so aware of being a mum. And they don’t seem to learn- the number of times fridge/chiller doors was left open was painful to watch. A contrast to watching how Jordan, who works in hospo, organises her workstation.

    • roger

      yeah, I think in a professional kitchen Jaimie and Bec would be fired!

      • madamespeaker

        they wouldn’t get through an unpaid trial at McDonald’s organised by Student Job Search! In our house we were also bothered that they didn’t apologise to Karena for leaving the chiller open, and risking her ice cream more than once- even the very reserved Nikki commented that she “would have said something” about that.

        • roger

          yeah I would have loved to hear Nikki say something!

  • Bruce McCollum

    I have been put off this show (which has always been a favourite) by the constant nagging and yelling of 2 of the judges. T he show is not all about them and they should be there to encourage not harass.
    Go the Makatu goirls they are awesome.

  • Mara

    I am behind The Maketu girls all the way. Go Kadey and Karena!

    • Mara


  • S

    Kasey and Karena have my full backing. Another great recap Roger. Looking forward to reading your MKR recaps

  • Lali G

    Karena and Kasey definitely deserve to win. They’ve been consistent, humble and down to earth, likeable, and teachable from the beginning. If this was a show based on votes, they would have mine. Luckily, its based on talent…and those girls have an over abundance of it! So Im sure they will take it out this year. Go girls!