Masterchef NZ Recap: Sunday 20 April

My super scientific Masterchef rankings:

1st: Kasey and Karena: These girls are back on top after a few shaky weeks. It would be an injustice if they were not in the finals.

2nd: Jaimie and Bec: This duo has surprised me in the past few weeks, and they have been the most consistent pairing by far. I think they have the best shot at making the finals, after Kasey and Karena.

3rd: Nikki and Jordan: I really like these two, however I think that Nikki has become a weak link. She cannot handle the pressure as well as the other contestants, and she is letting Jordan down. I think they will be the next to go.

On with the show:

Tonight, fresh from their trip to Bali, the duos are creating two dishes that they would like to see in their first cookbook. This challenge should play to each of the pair’s strengths, as they can cook the kind of food that they specialise in. The judges will demand a clear vision of their cookbook so hopefully the contestants are ready.

The previews at the beginning of the show make it seem like the judges are going to hate all of the food tonight, but we viewers are too smart for your editing tricks producers! Tomorrow night’s previews are the opposite – the judges raving about delicious 10/10 dishes.

All three judges are back this week. Nikki has been very excited to take part in the cookbook challenge so she is rapt that it is tonight’s challenge. Karena and Kasey joke that they don’t have enough recipes to fill a cookbook while Jaimie and Bec have never discussed a shared vision for a cookbook before. Tonight the contestants have to provide the judges with two dishes and the name, theme, inspiration and style of their cookbook, and they have one hour to get that all done.

Simon is asking all of the duos about the cover of their cookbooks, and what food they will be putting on the front. Karena jokes that their photo will be on the front cover of their cookbook. Simon doesn’t like her answer, but she is right on the money. If you look at the previous winner’s cookbook covers, the contestants are front and centre and the food is an afterthought. That is the reality of a “celebrity chef’ cook book cover.

Kasey and Karena are creating coconut and fennel seafood broth and a ‘burnt caramel steamed pudding’ as Ray describes it. Their cookbook will be called ‘For the love of…‘ and will provide sections such as ‘For the love of entertainment’ and ‘For the love of family’. Simon thinks that a broth might look a bit average in presentation, but the girls are certain they can create a dish that people will want to ‘dive their head into’. Karena has a blocked nose so she can’t taste what she is cooking. Luckily she has a partner! Kasey ran out of time for the ice-cream she was going to make, so she is going with cream instead. Ray loves their dishes and Josh says it is something he would cook at home. Simon says they are on fire once again.

Bec forgot the rice noodles that she needed for her dish. She asks for a mercy run to be able to get them, but Simon says no. It’s all about creating drama. Luckily they had rice, which solves their problem. Their cookbook, called “Share” is to provide people with instructions for how to create tasting platters that are all the rage in restaurants today. I love a good tasting platter so that sounds right up my alley. Jaimie’s deep fryer isn’t hot. That is a big problem. I wonder if Jordan will offer her their one. Simon is annoying Jaimie so she tells him to piss off. Fair call! Fair call! Jaimie has another problem now! She realises that the blast chiller has been left open. Josh is on the warpath. There is a bunch of dishes on the floor and we all know Josh likes a tidy workspace. Jaimie and Bec’s dishes are both a lot different than what they began making at the beginning of the hour. These girls are getting the “not doing so well tonight” edit. During judges tasting Jaimie keeps pointing out her mistakes, and Josh admits to her that he couldn’t have her in his kitchen. Ray calls their dessert heavy and greasy…then we cut to an ad break! Oh the suspense! Back from the break…it was a trick! Oh you got me Masterchef editors. He expected it to be heavy and greasy, but it wasn’t. He loved the dessert. Basically the judges think that their food was tasty but they just had a rough day in the kitchen.

Nikki and Jordan’s cookbook is called “A perfect mouthful”. Their concept is that they are going to show people how to use coconut, corn and snapper in a variety of different ways. I don’t like corn or snapper, so I wont be buying their cookbook.  Their dishes are baked quinoa crusted snapper and thai-inspired snapper Nikki is deep frying quinoa – I have never heard of anything like that before, so I am intrigued to say the least. Simon is worried that Jordan is burning her corn, but luckily it is on purpose. We haven’t been shown much of their cooking tonight, so lets see how the tasting goes. By the time they go up to serving, Jordan’s noodles have sunken into her fish. Ray loves the perfectly cooked dishes, and Josh thinks that both of their dishes could be on the front cover. Simon wants the recipe for the crust of Jordan’s thai-inspired snapper so that he could use it in his restaurant.


Nikki and Jordan are up first. Simon raves about Nikki’s dishes and calls her fish the best tasting crusted fish that he has ever tasted.

Karena and Kasey are up next. Ray loved the presentation of their dishes and felt like they really owned their dishes (since they were family favourites).

Josh calls up Jaimie and Bec. They are worried about the abuse that is about to flow. Josh says it could have been the dish of the day but the presentation was flawed. He is not as enthusiastic about Jaimie. He loves her creativity but thinks she is a bit too crazy in the kitchen.

Tonight’s dishes are scored out of ten, and tomorrow night’s dishes will also be scored out of ten. The duo with the lowest combined scores will be eliminated.

If you were doing a cookbook like Nikki and Jordan, with a variety of recipes using three core ingredients, what would your three ingredients be?

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  • Telly Watcher

    Thank you for your continued amazing recaps.

    I’m always amazed at how many stars-in-waiting are out there in the general public for this show. There were two eliminated contestants from last time cooking on Good Morning last week and they were incredible (both in technique and working together). I think lots of people are of the opinion that they could go on MasterChef, but how many could really compete in those challenges? I think working with another person would almost be more difficult too. I’d do okay with a few of my own special dishes, but throw in a ‘mystery box’ or two and I’d crumble.

    • roger

      Thanks 🙂 Yeah I think I could do ok with a few of my own creations, but then put me in a new kitchen with less time available, cameras in my face and judges yelling at me, and I don’t think I would make it to the end of the first challenge.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Roger, Love the recaps! Very funny, you are doing a fantastic job my favourite part of the day after a show 🙂 (I am one of the contestants btw)

    • roger

      Heck I hope I haven’t said anything offensive, I certainly say it all tongue in cheek. Mad respect to anyone brave enough for that show!

      • Anonymous

        haha no haven’t been offended, you have been doing a great job. I won’t tell you who I am but we are still on the show 😉

        • roger

          Haha cool! Thanks again.

        • Name

          I’m going to guess that you’re the nice and polite blonde lady paired with the lady with the dreadlocks.

          • roger

            It wont be Jaimie or Bec, because they WOULD have been offended by someone my comments towards them hahahaha

          • roger

            love your description of Nikki and Jordan 🙂

  • Jeseta

    Someone else had a problem with a deep fryer recently. Did they just put it back on the shelf and not fix it?

    • roger

      The last time the problem was she put it on too late so it didn’t have enough time to heat up. Josh was right last night when he said, you can’t blame the fryer, put some oil in a pan and fry them that way.

      • Jeseta

        Oh I agree about not blaming the equipment, but if there had been a fault in the fryer last time (I guess I was wrong about that) I would expect that someone from production would be responsible for repairing or removing it from the kitchen.

  • Name

    Jaimie and Bec need to go home. Jaimie is doing my head in tonight – hair draping forward over her food; constantly sweating over everything (and Bec too – who tried to make her problem with whatever it was that wasn’t working tonight when the episode started, everyone else’s problem too), and as for leaving that chiller door open – bloody inconsiderate and shows a lack of respect for everyone else.

    • roger

      SO AGREE WITH YOU. I would have been furious if they kept the door open when my food was in there.

  • Mara

    I love the Maketu girls idea for a cook book. I would buy it.