Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Masterchef Recap: Who Came First?

Immunity Day begins with George explaining to Billie, Matthew and Georgia that they were the top cooks in the invention test, but that was a couple of days ago, and that today is a different day. The three amateurs nod wisely, fully understanding the concept of today not being the same day as other days. This could be key.

Marco lifts a cloche to reveal an egg. One gets the feeling he's done this before. "Everyone can cook an egg," he murmurs threateningly, "but can they cook it well?" He tells a story from his boyhood, about the insane chef who asked for eggs he didn't want. "One piece of advice," he adds. "Don't crack under the pressure." The great thing about that sentence is that it is a joke about eggs. Pretty clever.

The first thing Billie does is get her egg on the boil. This is almost certainly a good move - she'll have an edge over any contestants who forget to cook their egg. Matthew had started wrapping asparagus in bacon, so he might have misunderstood the challenge.

Georgia is doing "everything I wouldn't normally do" - standing on her head, taking off her pants, shaving her friends' pubic hair while they sleep. She has placed her egg as far away from herself as possible, because she despises it. 

Shannon tells the story of when Marco taught him how to crack an egg - Shannon was quite inexperienced when he began his apprenticeship. Marco never, however, taught him how to brush his hair.

"Push, push, push!" yells George, voicing this season's Official Masterchef Catchphrase and being no help to anybody whatsoever, because what on earth does "push" mean when you're cooking an egg?

Distracted by George's inane blather, Billie has undercooked her egg and it's all gone kablooie. But they only get one egg! What's she to do? Clearly she will have to try to lay a new one. We cut to an ad break - when we return we'll see how she's getting along.

"How long did you boil the egg for?" asks Gary.

"I don't know," says Billie.

"You don't KNOW?" spits Gary in the manner of someone talking to a convicted dogfight-runner. Gary and George advise Billie to not put her egg in the water until it's already boiling, which is great advice to get after it's too late.

Georgia has never felt this nervous about cracking an egg, but to be fair that's not a high bar to clear. She's testing her pan to see if it's hot enough. "It can't be not hot enough," she informs us, getting a little over-technical.

Meanwhile Matthew is poaching his egg, incurring the wrath of Kenyan government patrols. Gary is surprised at the way Matthew is poaching his egg - he considers it an abomination, but Matthew sticks to his perverted guns.

With just a few minutes to go, Matthew realises that he's pulled a classic Billie, and undercooked his egg. His egg white breaks. It's an unspeakable tragedy. His dish looks like a vandal has thrown an egg at someone's breakfast. Anyway, time's up, he'll have to deal with his horrible horrible flaws.

Billie serves up her egg. Marco can't see the egg. He eats some of the egg. He can't taste the egg. The egg has disappeared, as if rescued by a chicken liberationist front. Her dish is tasty, but not eggy. Her chances are not good.

Matthew's pathetic mess is next. The judges find his broken egg repellent and offensive. Marco thinks he went wrong at the start - pre-school, perhaps.

Georgia's fried egg looks dodgy, but at least you can see it and it's not dribbling down the sides of asparagus. Marco lectures her about pan temperature as if he's some kind of supervillain monologuing to a hostage. He then stares at her, and stares at her, and stares at her some more. "Why do you look so worried?" he asks, Joker-style. The fact is he doesn't know who Georgia is, or why he is wearing a white jacket, or what all the cameras are for.

Anyway Georgia's egg didn't revolt the judges' soul quite as much as the others, so she goes through to the immunity challenge. George holds up the immunity pin. It is unimpressive.

To win the immunity pin, Georgia will have to out-cook someone whose name, according to Matt, is something like "Joffpeddle". Nobody knows who he is. It's very doubtful that even the judges do.

Georgia's choice of pantry is "above ground or below". Above is things like beef, poultry, fruit, spices and so forth. Below is potatoes, seafood and cicadas. She chooses below due to her devotion to the nether realms. 

Shannon gives Georgia some advice - cook what Marco would eat at home. But where will she find crushed cigarette butts and flakes of Marco's dead skin? Georgia, driven mad by ambition, begins chopping sweet potatoes with no particular aim in mind. Shannon calms her and tells her "less is more", in keeping with his official role as Giver of Pointless Advice.

Georgia is flustered to the point of thrombosis, but Shannon cunningly hypnotises her with his magical eyebrows, and she calms down enough to plan a seafood broth. 

Meanwhile Joffpeddle says he's going to be "blanching marrons", so there's no point listening to him as he clearly doesn't speak English. Someone on the balcony asks what he's doing with his truffles, as if it's any of their damn business. He hurls truffles at them. The atmosphere is tense and violent.

The first thing Georgia needs to do is get her broth perfect. Shannon advises her to have a think about balance. But Georgia is beyond thinking. She is a being of pure broth-instinct. She adds in fennel, like a mad woman. 

Joffpeddle is teaching the balcony about marrons. The main lesson seems to be that marrons are hideous monsters that you only eat to absorb their magical powers.

On the other side, Georgia isn't cooking her scallops, a brave move, although not in the context of what firefighters and police officers do every day. Who's the real hero here? She hopes the scallops will cook in the broth. Shannon has a really good feeling, but this is mainly because Joffpeddle is faffing around with salmon eggs like some kind of weird fish husbandry professor. Also his potato and leek soup isn't doing what he wants it to, ie turn into something better than potato and leek soup.

Time is up, and both competitors have put onto a plate things which could possibly be food, but it's pretty hard to be certain. Georgia looks at her dish and can't believe that she made it, before realising she's actually looking at the cover of Taste magazine.

The judges try Georgia's scallops and prawns, covered in her hot sexy broth. Marco says the broth is full of flavour. George thinks it tastes like the sea, which actually sounds disgusting. Gary has problems with the prawns, which is just typical.

Next is Joffpeddle's dish, which the judges pretend they don't know whose it is but it's pretty damn obvious. It's very good but Marco hates salmon roe. He is a roe-cist. Will his bigotry cost the professional chef the meaningless prestige of winning a Masterchef immunity challenge against an amateur?

Judging time. The judges are big fans of both dishes, but Georgia suffers from having an uncooked prawn and for not being a highly-paid professional chef, so big frigging surprise, Joffpeddle wins, despite Marco's vicious denunciation of salmon eggs as counter-revolutionary. It's always a shock when someone who does something for a living is better at it than someone who doesn't it, isn't it?

Tomorrow: running!

Georgia reacting with astonishment to the contents of her egg

No comments: