Masterchef…Shannon Bennett, Vue de Monde challenge

So Laura’s got the night off and the other three are heading to challenge at Vue de Monde restaurant in Melbourne, which is Shannon Bennett’s restaurant and they have to cook for 60 of Vue de Monde’s regular VIP diners.  Mind you it is still dark when they’re walking down the street to get there, yet it’s nice and bright once they go up the lift…ummmmm must be a damn slow lift I’m thinking.

It is a three course service, they can choose between two dishes for each course and one is made by a contestant and the other by one of Shannon’s chefs…hooly dooly…that’s sounding rather serious.  It’s not an elimination service, but tomorrow is a pressure test elimination and the best performer today gets the recipe for tomorrow’s pressure test.

The entrée is “eggs on toast” with a slow cooked duck egg, finely shaved bread, truffle puree, saltbush, and a few other things and Shannon says it is the most difficult dish of the challenge.  Oh and the truffle puree is just made from truffles, so it’s not exactly cheap in any way, shape or form.

The main is Blackmore Wagyu with apple and ox tongue…it has a lot of components.

The dessert is tonka bean soufflé with warm chocolate mousse on top and it is served with smoked chocolate ice-cream that is put into the centre of it…ohhhh it looks seriously amazing.

Strangely enough they decide with the knife pull…not surprised by that at all.  Emilia picks the first knife and gets number 1, Brent picks knife 2 and Jamie is left with knife 3 and he would love to do the entree.  Emilia chooses to cook the entrée and Jamie’s slightly annoyed…Brent chooses the main leaving Jamie with dessert and he doesn’t like desserts.

They get 2&1/2 hours for preparation…I’m thinking that will still be a struggle for them…mind you Jamie’s got a temperature controlled room to work in…hell I could enjoy that.

It’s funny that the judges are talking with Shannon and straight off Shannon is worried about Jamie saying he appears too cocky and confident and thinks he’s got a lot more time than he really does…then strangely enough he’s not happy with the crème patisserie as it is too lumpy and if it is lumpy it won’t work properly.  It’s because he didn’t grate the tonka bean finely enough to start with.  Oh dear…he’s putting anglaise and chocolate together in a vacuum sealer and the bag explodes and there’s anglaise everywhere and he has to mop the floor…sorry Jamie I’m having a good giggle here.

Oh dear…Emilia’s been cutting shallots for 30 minutes then gets told they’re too big and she has to chop them again…oh honey you did choose to do that dish…and finally when she finishes cutting the shallots she regrets choosing the entrée.  Emilia’s cutting bread on the meat slicer and she’s struggling and has to throw a heap away…oh well, shite happens!  Then she’s frying it and being too rough and breaking a lot of it…honey, take a deep breath already.

Brent’s hardly been seen as he’s working up a sweat, but he appears to be going quite well…until he cuts the meat 2mm thick…or is that thin???  The poor bugger starts to stress when the customers arrive and they’re watching him.

Service has started…Emilia’s struggling from the start and has almost forgotten what the dish looks like and has to get a hand from the Vue de Monde chef as she can’t keep up and she’s not being gentle and accurate with putting salt on the egg…I get why Shannon’s worried as he did say at the start that people pay $300 to eat at the restaurant…now she has to start again as the egg yolks have gone cold…there’s four plates thrown out and Shannon’s going to get seriously peeved soon…and she’s only a mere 9 dishes behind.  Now there’s a fingerprint on the plate…oh poor love is seriously struggling.  She feels like she’s spiralling out of control and now there’s two chefs helping her and she’s only separating the eggs…she needs to be a lot faster.  Emilia has 7 dishes to go and decides to do them herself…but is seriously put under the pump…then she can actually breathe.

The judges try the dish and think it looks beautiful even though they know she’s had a tough time in the kitchen.  George says that balance is everything, yet he’s finding it very salty.

Now poor Brent isn’t cutting the beef on the skewers perfectly…good thing it’s not time for him to serve yet.  Oh poor Brent is getting ready and he’s struggling to plate up 10 or 15 dishes and is starting to feel overwhelmed…gee I don’t blame him.  Then he gets some help but he’s telling the chefs what to do and is taking control

The judges try it and say they all look spot on and great.  George says it is a delicious dish full of flavour and Gary can’t find any fault with it.

image from – click on the image to go to the recip

Onto Jamie…who hasn’t actually done a test soufflé…silly boy, he should have done a test one!!!  The first ones are in the oven and he’s back making more…I’m not liking the feeling of this…but amazingly the first one has risen lots…I wouldn’t get too excited yet though mate, there’s lots more to go.  Then he gets told there are 37 soufflés on order.  Oh no…some of them have cracks on the sides, so they can’t be used.  He needs help, so Emilia steps in to line and pack moulds as he tell Shannon it will take 13 minutes…well we can’t wait that long…next thing you know Brent’s stepped in to help as well.

The judges say that look very pretty and they can smell the smoke on the ice-cream.  Matt starts chattering away and Gary has to ask if he can stop talking so they can eat.  Matt says it is delicious amongst a lot of other adjectives.

Decision time and we’re back at the Masterchef kitchen…Shannon says all three of them could easily go and work in his kitchen, gee it didn’t always seem that way during the time at the restaurant.  Gary says it was judged on speed and consistency and it was obviously that Emilia was struggling.  The judges couldn’t split the dishes and it is up to Shannon with regards to the performance in the kitchen and he says that whilst Jamie was professional, Brent showed energy and nothing was sent back from the pass so he wins.

He not only gets the recipe, but he gets his own accommodation with a kitchen so he can practice overnight.  He opens it and says “oh God are you kidding me?” and he’s in shock…there’s 14 elements, 40 steps…holy shite!!!


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