The first episode of Masterchef Australia was the round of 50 contestants, with the top 24 getting an apron and making it into this show. The winner this year will get a cool $250,000. The contestants were each given an hour to cook a meal and if all 3 judges gave them a “yes” they were instantly through to the competition. If they only received 2 “yes” votes they will go into a second chance round. Tonight there were 12 aprons up for grabs.
Emily, from Brisbane with a degree in biomedical engineering was the first to cook. She wants to make her parents proud after being forced into a career she didn’t enjoy. Emily cooked a spicy Laksa. Gary and George loved the dish, Matt liked it but he wasn’t sure. They eventually convinced Matt and Emily made it through.
Grant, 24, from hobart was next up and cooked a Massaman curry. He was a teacher and is the brother of Ben (who finished fifth in a previous Masterchef season). He didn’t braise the meat long enough so it was quite tough and the sauce didn’t have enough punch. He received three “no” votes and didn’t make it into the competition.
There was raw fish, a “yuck” dish and a strange looking egg dish. Before Laura, 18, from South Australia was up. She cooked an Italian Stuffed Chicken Thigh with Polenta. George was “speechless”, it was “amazing cooking”. Matt thought it was delicious and Gary thought it was amazing, three “yes” votes and she was through.
Ben, 36, from Brisbane but originally from the UK and a survivor of Leukemia was next. He cooked his meal in front of the judges, a snapper on asparagus with fennel puree and orange reduction. Three “yes” votes and he was through.
Deepali, a 30 year old dentist from Peth was up next. She cooked a variety of Indian dishes including Raita, a spiced cake and papadums. She made it through. Aimee from Perth was next and made it through. Followed by another unnamed contestant.
Coling, a wine maker made a Taurine to get him through. Signifying 7/12 aprons having been handed out, Ashley was next with Crêpe Suzette. She received a “cook again” vote which means she will cook another dish in tomorrow’s episode.
Tash, a food blogger from Canberra cooked Chocolate fondant, chocolate granita, chocolate mousse, shortbread and a twirl. It was the best fondant Gary had tasted and she was through easily. Several other aprons went out and there was only 2 left for tonight. Amelia cooked an “absolutely delicious” Panna Cotta to get through.
Nick, a law student baked a lemon curd crumble, it didn’t set and was hard to plate up. The flavours were good, but not good enough to put him through straight away. The judges decided to give him a second chance and he will cook tomorrow.
Nicole, 55, from Perth was next. She made a Japanese noodle dish. The judges were impressed with the self-made noodles and ate the entire dish. She got through easily with three “yes” votes.
After giving away 12 aprons, Matt Preston announced that they will still taste everyone’s food. Cecilia from Melbourne was next. Being a teacher, she received a brain injury and required brain surgery. She lost some function of her right brain but believes she is more creative as a result. She cooked Macaroons, and George said if he was blind folded and had her Macaroons and Alexander Zumbo’s Macaroons he wouldn’t be able to pick which dish was which. She made it through.
Next was Hamish, an electrician cooked a scotch fillet. The fat and sinew wasn’t rendered leaving a large amount of tough fat in the meat. The meat component of the dish was a let down but the vegetables carried the dish. He received two “yes” votes and will cook again.
Rachael, 45 from Darwin was the last person to cook in tonight’s episode. She cooked crab wontons in bisque. There was a bit of shell in the bisque but the judges loved it and she received an apron.