Crowning Every Winner From The Second Wholesome Week Of ‘MasterChef’
Yotam Ottolenghi wins the award for "most likely to marry a carrot" and that's beautiful.
Welcome back to our MasterChef Australia weekly recaps! Let’s… cook?
Week Two was Superstar Week in the MasterChef kitchen — a week much like any other week in the MasterChef kitchen, except the producers trapped several famous chefs in discrete shadow realms and put them on display in glass cages as a warning to all others.
A huge week full of stars can only mean a whole bunch of award-worthy business went down, so let’s hand out these trophies! And by “trophies”, I mean awards I have made up because I cannot bear for anyone on this beautiful show to go unrewarded.
Biggest Friend to Vegetables – Yotam Ottolenghi
On Monday, we kicked things off with a team challenge set by Yotam Ottolenghi, who revealed that he’s maybe too into veg. He declared that he has “an intense passion for vegetables” and called them his “friends” and “heroes”.
I know the last year has been hard on us all, but it’s a worry if Yotam is befriending peas and asking cauli for life advice. Phone a friend, mate. Get a pen pal.
Most Morbid – Sabina
Huge snaps to Sabina who, when given the opportunity to ask a question of Ottolenghi, immediately kicked things off with, “What would be the last dish you would eat if you found out you were gonna die tomorrow?”
Immediately after Yotam tells us his final meal (a truly delicious-sounding gnocchi his Nonna used to make), we cut to Sabina in talking head mode letting us know she thinks he’s hot and so does her mum. Legendary. We stan a queen who reminds us of our inevitable mortality but who can still stay thirsty.
Best Selection Of Dishes That Directly Panders To Me – The Orange Team
The team challenge is a tag-team relay, where they must cook three dishes, each using one of Ottolenghi’s “flavour bombs”.
In a move that I’m 100% sure was done to impress me specifically and not Yotam ‘Horny For Veg’ Ottolenghi, the Orange Team opted for an entirely vegetarian menu that I very much wanted to eat all of. Honey-roasted carrots? Yes, please. Marinated cauliflower? Hell yeah. Chipotle peanut ice-cream? Get inside me immediately.
It’s very rare I get to see savoury vegetarian dishes on MasterChef that I’ll happily chomp down, and I will always hand out awards to anyone who pleases me in this way. I’m not even gonna pretend at impartiality here. Thank you, Orange Team
Biggest Saboteur – Hibachi grills
Has no-one learned?! Must the contestants of this show be burned over and over again, both metaphorically and literally?!
In the team challenge, the Hibachi rolled Pete by first undercooking and then burning the crap out of his chicken skewers. And then on Sunday, Tommy was also betrayed by the grill when it overcooked his salmon. Enough is enough. I reckon cook each of the Hibachis on a Hibachi until they’re a pile of ash, and then leave the last remaining Hibachi to sit next to the pile of ash so it learns a lesson.
Basic Bitch of the Bistro World – Baby Carrots
Baby carrots, you’ve been called out. Melissa Leong called you “the basic bitch of the bistro world” and I don’t know how you recover from that. RIP in peace, baby carrots. Step your game up.
World Champion Eater of Souls and Emotions – Massimo Bottura
Massimo Bottura is like a sweet little old man that you come across on your travels who you later discover is an incredibly powerful wizard. He wants you to cut down on food waste and he also wants to taste your emotions.
Bottura potters around his kitchen, eating old bits of cheese, radiating friendliness, and then sets an elimination challenge so simple that the contestants absolutely wild out and forget what is delicious about mac and cheese. Half of them suddenly think it involves jam somehow. I refuse to believe this happened without Bottura casting some kind of dark magic upon them.
The White Chocolate Veloute Award for Bad Ideas – Pete
Strawberry balsamic glaze on a mushroom and pancetta mac and cheese is just yuck, Pete. That’s a nasty idea. Why would you think that and then say that and then do that? Why do you hate us?
It’s not okay. I’m not okay. And I’m saying this as someone whose lunch the other day was just hot dog condiments on a piece of toast — my tolerance for disgusting-sounding meals is pretty high. No, thank you, Pete.
The Get On The Beers Award For The First Contestant To Try And Get The Judges Drunk – Aaron
It happens every season – it’s just a matter of when. Aaron pairs his Triple Hog Mac and Cheese with a beer for each of the judges, and they’re into it. He wins the first round of the elimination and is safe on the gantry.
The “I Don’t Think You’re Bready For This” Award for Baffling Eliminations – Katrina
Tuesday was an elimination episode, and hoo boy, it was a tough one. Imagine being sent home because your bread and butter pudding wasn’t bready enough. Imagine making something that had bread in the name and also a full loaf of bread in it and an extra bread crumb and being told, “Sorry, this doesn’t hit the brief of bread.”
Katrina has the good grace of a rat king made of angels. If that were me, I would have grabbed the bread basket and crammed bread into every one of my orifices while screaming, “IS THIS BREAD FORWARD ENOUGH FOR YOU?!” Which would make great TV, but would probably also land me in gaol. Katrina made the right choice to exit with dignity.
Most Impressive Person, Just, Like, Ever – Clare Smyth
Holy shit is Clare Smyth incredible! She worked for Gordon Ramsay and was told she wouldn’t last a week, and now she’s the first Irish woman to have a three-Michelin-starred restaurant. Who’s an idiot sandwich now, Gordon?
Clare appeared on Wednesday via the large awkward rectangle to set the Mystery Box, which contained the ingredients from her STUNNING scampi and peas dish. I mean, look at this thing. It’s a work of art. What an absolute champion.
Best Use Of An Ingredient You Don’t Know The Name Of – Brent
This week’s very fancy Mystery Box contained rose geranium – an ingredient Brent had never seen before, used, nor could remember the name of. So, of course, it was only logical that he would include it as a major component of the dish he was making.
Somehow, the man pulled it off. Using his tradie’s intuition, he put together a gorgeous desert called A Day At The Beach and used the flowers perfectly. I don’t understand it, but I gotta reward the gumption.
Most Cliched Break-Up – Andy and Wasabi Bombe Alaska
Depinder went rogue on Wednesday and made a bombe Alaska with lemon curd and a wasabi-flavoured ice-cream. It’s an out-there choice, but Mel and Jock both agreed that she nailed it. Andy, on the other hand… He loved everything about it except the combination of lemon and wasabi, and went to great pains to explain that Depinder had done nothing wrong. This was all on Andy and his palette.
Most Likely To Be An Actual Supervillain – Heston Blumenthal
Of course Heston Blumenthal couldn’t just sit in one sad box like the rest of the superstars this week. No, when he appeared at Thursday’s immunity challenge, the man had to give all the flamboyant entrance vibes of The Riddler – flashing colourful lights, spinning question marks, dry ice spewing everywhere, and then he appears en masse. What a terrifying image.
The challenge Heston set was also diabolical, giving each of the contestants a breakfast food item that they had to turn into a dessert. Some of them were fine, like avocado. But some were Vegemite and that is the work of a complete villain. Also, y’know, there’s the whole wage theft thing.
Best Dressed – Melissa Leong
Honestly, Mel just keeps crushing it. Not only is she wise and profound in all things food criticism, her fashion choices floor me every night. Monday’s Pine-Lime fantasy? Tuesday’s pastel tartan jumpsuit? The pink gown?! A ONE-SLEEVED TIE-DYE NUMBER?! I can’t.
Most Horrific-Sounding Ice-Cream – Therese and Conor
It was stiff competition for this award. There were a lot of ice-creams that sounded like truly cooked units. Depinder’s wasabi ice-cream. Pete’s bacon and egg ice-cream. In Jock’s opinion, Linda’s Earl Grey tea ice-cream. (Jock is incorrect in this, however, as Earl Grey is actually the best tea. Fight me, Jock)
In the end, I had to award a tie here. On the one hand, the mere words “onion ice-cream” make me want to do a little vom. But on the other hand, pairing a Vegemite ice-cream with orange-flavoured accoutrements also makes me want to do a little vom.
Fanciest, Scariest Lemonade Stands – Poh, Callum and Reynold
Sunday’s elimination saw some familiar faces come back into the MasterChef kitchen to set the challenge. Poh, Callum and Reynold wheeled in some sample items from each of their restaurants, leaving the contestants to pick one and make an item that would complement their menu.
Not a lot of contestants opted for trying to make something for Reynold’s restaurant, which honestly is nice to see, because it shows that they love themselves.
The Pin Pals – Elise and Wynona
In the final 30 seconds of Sunday’s elimination challenge, two of the three immunity pin holders decided it was already time to play it. Elise’s basque cheesecake had set a little soft, and Wynona’s fruit gel was a little runny. Both dishes looked absolutely fine and delicious to me, but I eat like I live in a bin, so I’m probably not one to judge.
That now leaves Therese as the sole holder of an Immunity Pin for the remainder of this season, making her the Alpha of the contestants. She now has the power to just push people over for fun whenever she feels like it.
The Crying Emoji Award For Making Me And The Group Chat Feel Sad – Minoli
It’s brutal to see Minoli go so soon. Everything she made up until Sunday’s cook looked stunning as hell, but confused thinking in an immunity challenge can take out the best of them, and the combo of steak, yuzu and pickles just wasn’t it. A very teary goodbye to you, Minoli!
— Trent ✌🏻 (@trent_vu) May 2, 2021
It’s ‘How To Succeed In MasterChef’ Week, which honestly seems cruel that they’re only doing this now, after the people that need it most have already left the competition.
We will be recapping every week of MasterChef so stay tuned!
Elyce Phillips makes comics, comedy and general nonsense. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s and Funny Ha Ha, and you can see her make a fool of herself regularly at The Improv Conspiracy in Melbourne.