Vego to the slaughter in pudding flop
Chopping block: Akuc, Kylie and Tracey faces elimination over their poor Sunday roast 'reinvention'.
Last night's MasterChef, now in its fifth consecutive season, was about as interesting as watching Yorkshire puddings failing to rise.
Which they did. Oh yes. And you didn't think you were in for the great treat of botched gluten?
You couldn't be more wrong.
Take my hand and join me on a magical excursion where forgettable people fail to cook meaningless things for a disinterested middle-aged chef from England, whose eyes reflect nothing so keenly as the cold cash offered to him by a dying franchise.
For those not yet broken in to the go-go world of The Professional series, the form of Sunday's “reinvention” test does not have anything to do with devising a new look for Madonna. (This, if you think about it, is a great shame as the great confectioner and MasterChef favourite Zumbo is ideally placed to make a cake-bra. But. NO. There was to be no pastry lingerie.)
Instead, a competing chef is required to creatively imagine an everyday dish into an inedible glob. Serving fresh spring peas, for example, is insufficient in a world that demands foams, airs, nitrogen baths and other forms of food torture. One must KILL the first peas of spring and then spit on their corpse.
We cannot say that there was a slaughter shortfall last night as many fresh-faced hopefuls were burned like so much kumera beneath the white-hot glare of expensive import Marco Pierre White.
Contestant Rhys does a fine line in rising panic and I've begun to enjoy and hope for his regular plunges into culinary fear. He lent a little tension to the early moments of the show as he pulled the knife from the block with the look of a man destined to slit his own throat.
Participants were required to offer up a new take on an old family favourite. This Sunday roast was to be the undoing of one aspiring celebrity. (I was surely not alone in my regret as the possibility of Zumbo engaged in the fabrication of cake underwear eluded us for another week.) But, roasts. Right? Great.
Well, not so much for Kylie who, as a former vego, seemed unable to distinguish the back end of a pig from the top end of a carrot. Almost as soon as she was confronted with the hulking mass of meat, she receded into a pool of human aspic.
As Kylie found herself in a porcine pickle, UK chef Nick took another opportunity to whine about the pain of his childhood.
In his best reworking of the Monty Python: Four Yorkshiremen sketch, he complained about the bitter taste of his infancy and spoke a lot about his ardent need for horseradish.
There was to be, however, no horseradish and so he fashioned some out of the clippings from Marco Pierre White's chest hair.
His litany of injustice continued and did no stops until we saw poor Rhys return to blather about something to do with France, French lunches and claims of intellectual property theft.
Like 15th century Portugal, White and Matt Preston fused to form a single terrifying armada that floated to conquer the person of Akuc.
Neither of these chaps could conceal the fact of their midlife fascination for the unfeasibly hot 27-year-old and they talked, as they have before, utter nonsense in her direction.
“We want to taste the flavour of your home,” said Matt. “Yes. Yes we do,” agreed White. And when Akuc elected to cook chicken, they applauded her for her exotic choice.
Rhys sweated. Kylie was eaten by a pig.
Nick called the Department of Community Services and complained retroactively about his childhood full of overcooked vegetables and the tension continued to mount as roasts were reinvented.
The bloke from Queensland seemed to misinterpret roast to mean lettuce and Sarah made a pie sufficiently delicious-looking to cause me and many other Australians to absently cram day old pizzas into our lazy pie-holes.
What? You think this is a cooking program? No. It's pornography for people like me who rarely eat decent food and like to dream about doing it properly.
Marco and Matt and I rarely concur but we did on the occasion of Sarah's pastry. Her's was named one of the night's best dishes, while Akuc was subjected to a brief but head-hanging moment of judgement.
Tracey was chastised for serving sick on to a plate but in the end it was dear Kylie, whose sensible fear of pigs had felled her. Bye-bye, Kylie. May you find a happy home making cake-bras.