It’s Rick Stein time! And 10 (or more) years later, we finally get our top 10
The sun shines brightly on the MasterChef kitchen as the contestants arrive, ignoring the stench of death clinging there. It’s Elimination Day, and only Dan, who managed to create an Abomination last week, is safe from the Judges’ deadly attacks.
The judges present tonight’s guest conductor, one of Australia’s most beloved personalities: it’s Alf from Home and Away! Everyone is happy to see him. For contractual reasons, because Home and Away is on another channel, Alf goes by a pseudonym, calling himself “Rick Stein”, but it’s a real joy to have him here, no matter what he calls himself. .
Today’s challenge is to cook a dish that transports the judges and guest chef to a special destination. In other words, contestants have to cook some kind of ship or plane. However, before that happens, “Rick” goes to cook a Madras Fish Curry, or as it has been officially called since 1996, a Chennai Fish Curry. He asks Montana for help, and she’s thrilled, because it was the chef who, more than anyone, first inspired her to try and monetize a social media presence.
Alf cooks the curry while telling a long and slightly interesting story about how he once met a man who had fish. Everyone is riveted because the show doesn’t allow them to have phones in the kitchen so they have nothing better to do.
A dramatic twist occurs when Sarah unexpectedly reveals that she is cooking an Indian dish.
So let’s go for the challenge! Keyma decides to make pasta, fly the judges to Italy, which surprises everyone because she’s Venezuelan and generally speaking MasterChef’s iron law is that if you have a foreign accent, you cook food from where your accent is from. Producers are frantically checking his contract to see if Venezuelan baking dough is even allowed.
Meanwhile, Michael prepares a fish stew from San Francisco, in remembrance of his time at Alcatraz and his daring escape. Jock and Andy take a spin to remind Michael that he failed the last time he made fish stew and came second last time he was on MasterChef, so wouldn’t he be incredibly ashamed to fail today? It certainly would! After delivering this helpful reminder, they leave.
Julie makes coq au vin hoping that it will remind her of a trip to Paris where she learned the pleasures of the coq au vin. “Rick” comes in to engage in sexy banter with Julie, who quickly gains a reputation as the ultimate guest chef seductress. He points out that another name for coq au vin is “love in a truck”, which elicits great cheer because hey, we’ve all been there.
A dramatic twist occurs when Sarah unexpectedly reveals that she is cooking an Indian dish. Apparently — and kudos to her for keeping that quiet this whole time — she’s had some time in India. It is therefore a huge honor to cook for Alf from Home and Away, whose restaurant is renowned for its Indian cuisine.
I haven’t seen Sarah cook anything yet that isn’t from India yet, so why start with Rick Stein, right? #MasterchefAU
— Erin Van Krimpen (@erinaree)
June 12, 2022F
Montana thinks about Christmas in New York. She had turkey, but there’s no turkey in the pantry. Why is there no turkey in the pantry? What kind of lame pantry is there no turkey there? Poor Montana is forced to cook chicken instead, her only consolation being that the chicken is objectively better than the turkey.
Half an hour from the end, the pressure begins to mount on some competitors. Julie is sweating in her mashed potatoes, fearing she won’t have enough time to cook her chicken properly. It’s a tense period: she knows how much it’s mounted on this cock.
Sarah feels much more relaxed: her sauce makes her cough, that’s exactly what she’s aiming for. She gets more nervous when Andy comes to tell her that her crab has to be perfect – a blatant lie considering that whatever her crab has to be is slightly less bad than whoever’s dish is worse. Nevertheless, the thought of an inappropriate crab begins to haunt her.
The judges meet to discuss the contestants’ dishes. They all agree that each competitor takes the risk that if he cooks badly, his cooking will not be good. Melissa asks “Rick” if anything is bothering him. Besides the occasional appearance of Ailsa’s ghost, he seems fine.
Montana is in trouble. Her chicken does not look like what she expected: it looks a bit like a pavlova. Her pumpkin has steamed and made her chicken skin soggy, so she removes the skin to serve on the side. It’s unnecessarily cumbersome: the smart thing to do would be to change the destination to a country where soggy chicken skin is a traditional delicacy. There must be one somewhere.
In the meantime, “I feel pretty good,” Julie says, before remembering that she’s on MasterChef. Next to her on the bench, Michael is nervous because his fish is overcooked, although that seems appropriate enough for prison food.
With thirty seconds left, Michael’s fish still sucks, but what’s he supposed to do in thirty seconds, right? Meanwhile, Montana has managed to cause massive grease stains, so his confidence is sky high.
The time has come for the moment all judges dread: eating. Billie serves up her Spanish Seafood Stew (why are MasterChef contestants so obsessed with putting fish in broth? Perverted if you ask me). “Stoning flaming crows is damn wonderful,” Alf said enthusiastically. “I haven’t tasted such a good Spanish fish stew since filming in Spain,” he adds, telling us all how he got to Spain and on TV.
Next: Aldo, whose homesickness becomes one of the most harrowing elements of the series. The judges, however, feed on his pain. “I need Aldo,” Alf says, before accusing Melissa of inventing eggplant as the other judges begin to fear for her well-being.
Then there is Tommy, who is fine. Then there’s Alvin, who is just as well.
Then Keyma, who is nervous about bringing Italian food to Jock, since he is half-Italian and knows what Italian food should taste like. Unlike the other judges who have never eaten Italian food before. His destination, like Alex Gaudino, is Calabria, but Jock soothes his nerves. “You could line up a hundred Italians and have them make tomato sauce with pasta,” he says, and yes, you could. Something to think about when deciding how to spend your next vacation. Either way, Keyma’s pasta is, for all intents and purposes, food, so that’s fine.
Keyma don’t be afraid of Jock, his name isn’t even Jock for God’s sake. This is Barry from Aberdeen. #MasterChefAU
— Ash (@ashlesz)
June 12, 2022
The time has come for Julie to bring out her coq au vin. She tells the harrowing story of how it rained all week she was in Paris with her husband, so the rooster was her only consolation. “It’s flamboyantly excellent!” Alf cries, before bragging a bit more about being a big TV star, then noting that compared to Julie Goodwin, the French suck absolutely in the kitchen.
In stages, Michael, who feels like he’s “overthought,” which is a technical culinary term for “poorly cooking fish.” Today, however, after worrying so much about overcooking his fish, he actually overcooked his fish. The music takes on a mournful tone as Michael’s fate hangs in the balance.
Enter Sarah, who has, as you may have heard, restaurants in India, and for whom it is, as always, an incredible honor. His dish is a huge crab that explodes and goes all over the place, but apparently tastes good. “She was brave,” Alf said, erroneously. “I don’t think we’ve ever been happier,” Andy said depressingly.
The tour of Montana and his Christmas dinner in New York without turkey because MasterChef is shockingly poorly prepared. Either way, she checked “cook for Rick Stein” off her to-do list. She also ticked “disappointing Rick Stein” so it was a productive day. The judges are unnecessarily harsh, though: who could deny that a disappointing meal does indeed transport you to a family Christmas dinner?
The point was to transport those who ate, to a destination and a memory, so I guess the Montana dish transported the judges to Coles’ frozen lunch section and their freshman days at college where the food was n was not a pleasure but a cheap refill before another night of drinks
June 12, 2022
When it comes to crunch, shitty chicken beats shitty fish, so Michael has to go home, his dreams shattered for the second time. He says he is happy to have made so many friends, without convincing anyone. Unlike most kills, this one looks really sad, but the silver lining is that Michael will now have more time to learn how to cook fish.
Tune in tomorrow, when Keyma shakes her maracas.