Life’s a Peach for the First Cook to the Semi-Finals (And Finally It’s a Popular Choice)


After surviving Tasmania with only minor cases of frostbite, the final four return to MasterChef HQ, where they find four home kitchens set up for them, and a large black curtain, hiding the torture device in which they will be placed if they stuff themselves in the kitchen of the house.

Kitchens are stocked with all the usual household paraphernalia: common appliances, utensils, ingredients, a young family of five, a pushy debt collector pounding on the front door, and more. Cooks have one hour to cook something with these simple items. , like a dirty peasant. The top two dishes move on to round two, where they’ll go behind the curtain to find a professional kitchen where they can cook real food like good people with self-managed super funds. They will have 90 minutes to do so and the best cook will go straight to the semi-finals next week.

The four fabulous finalists – Keyma, Billie, Sarah and Dan. Photo: Supplied

“I’m thrilled with this challenge,” Sarah says, once again bringing out her beloved catchphrase. “I’m happy to make a sick meal,” Dan says, trying to generate his own catchphrase with questionable results. But one thing is certain: everyone is very excited.

Dan asks Sarah what she’s up to. “A white pudding,” she replies. “What is that?” Dan asks. The tension of the class struggle hangs heavily in the air. It turns out that a boudin blanc is a chicken sausage, “boudin blanc” meaning in French “I’m too fat to call that a sausage”. Jock comes into Sarah’s kitchen to tell her that one sausage alone isn’t enough and that he’s had enough failed relationships to know what he’s talking about. Sarah decides to add a cassoulet, which in French means “I like to say French words”.

From left to right, as always, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo.

From left to right, as always, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong and Jock Zonfrillo. Photo: Supplied

Dan is in a fever of excitement. He sees bacon and is thrilled beyond his wildest dreams. He sees Vegemite and becomes weak in the knees. He decides that the Vegemite will be inserted into his cottage pie. “It’s alive!” he cries ecstatically.

Keyma cooks up a Caribbean chicken curry, and everything goes well, until she runs into MasterChef’s most terrifying obstacle: Andy comes over for a chat. He tells her that her chicken curry must be the best chicken curry ever, lest she be denied a place in heaven in the final judgment. After making sure he’s wasted Keyma’s time enough, he moves on to Sarah and distracts her with pointless poaching questions.

In Dan’s kitchen, the word “candle” is used with suspicious regularity as he tosses his pie under the grill, the three judges on the balcony looking down on him, waiting to clean his bones once he’s dead. Meanwhile, Billie waits for her parfait to take. “I think I cut it pretty well,” she worries, which is definitely not what you’re supposed to do with a parfait: no one likes their julienne parfait.

Keyma tastes her curry and is happy with the flavors, which is always dangerous because being happy with the flavors is usually the cue for the judges to invent some stupid reason why the dish is bad. She then realizes that while tweaking her curry, she has completely forgotten her rice, which is now overcooked. She will have to leave the rice outside. Luckily, nobody cares about the rice, so it won’t make any difference.

Billie takes her parfait out of the freezer. “Is this settled? Jock asks, in the voice of a man who can only achieve sexual arousal by seeing the perfect fail. Unfortunately for Jock, the perfect is – more or less – fixed, and he will have to make do with someone else’s failure.

Time is up and the judges taste the crummy serf food. Sarah’s sausage is fine. Daniel’s shepherd’s pie is almost good. Keyma’s riceless chicken curry is good but Jock complains about the lack of rice like some sort of fascist Rice Absence cop. Billie’s apple crumble with a hopeful parfait is gorgeous because it’s Billie’s.

This is how Billie and Sarah go behind the black curtain and learn the truth about what happened to Laura Palmer. They find the whole range of professional kitchen utensils there: rapid coolers, liquid nitrogen, machine guns, Kevlar vests, everything in between. After an hour or two of wandering around making wondering noises in the kitchen, the women start cooking.

Billie decides to nod to the cakes that her grandmother bakes, but do it in a very sophisticated and elaborate way so that her grandmother really belongs in her place. Sarah, on the other hand, immediately thinks of French gastronomy and thinks fondly of how much better she is than normal people.

Sarah compresses her cucumbers in the cryovac machine, then candies her scallops, while methodically perusing the Dictionary of Pretentious Cooking Methods. The judges visit her to ask her what she is doing. Sarah doesn’t really know, but anyway, she’s doing it with very expensive equipment, so she hits the spot. Meanwhile, Billie makes a crumb, which isn’t exactly impressive: I make a crumb every night at dinner without even trying.

Sarah simmered her shrimp shells for reasons no one can fathom. Melissa pops up to try to extract a confession from him. Sarah begins to explain her dish, but Melissa quickly takes over and explains her own dish instead. Sarah agrees that the dish Melissa decided to cook is about right.

Billie has finally broken it down, and now has to assemble her spheres, a task only the Westinghouse Sphere Assembler™ will do. Meanwhile, Sarah is elated that she managed to give her white butter the perfect shade of poo green.

It’s time for Billie and Sarah to be judged, as cooks but also as people. Billie serves up her pink scoop of mousse and jelly and all that. “I thought it was delicious,” Jock said, as if what he “thought” was so important. “She has a lot of ticks,” Andy says, but to be honest, Billie’s level of personal hygiene is neither here nor there.

Sarah serves her candied scallops in a pool of smelly green liquid. Melissa cracks a quick “glossy”, but in the end the sauce is like Aquaman: too heavy and too shrimpy. The scallops drowned in baby poo and Sarah failed. Billie is through to the semi-finals and Sarah has lost her sixth straight immunity cook, proving that MasterChef really is comedy.

“Holy shit,” Billie says, earning an instant disqualification from the show for obscenity.

Tune in tomorrow, when the final four contestants finally learn to cook.


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