Masterchef…mystery box déjà vu

The contestants walk in and the mystery boxes are up the front and not on their benches and they’re worried and confused.  Then George starts going on about how the contestants are like family to them because the judges have gotten to know them and that it’s important to reflect on the past and where they’ve come from since starting on Masterchef.

The mystery boxes are about where they’ve come from…they’re mystery boxes that they have already tackled and they’re all different, but they won’t know what the box has in it until after they choose it.

They have to walk up and pick a box and take it to whichever bench they want to work at.  They then get to lift the lids and they all laugh about the boxes they have chosen.  Jessica got the mystery mystery box that was done the week before.  Reynold got Heston’s history box.  Georgia got the ingredients from week 2 with all the cheap ingredients.  Ashleigh got Marco Pierre White’s flavour box.  Sara got Maggie Beer’s garden mystery box.  Matthew got the put everything into the dish mystery box.  Billie got Poh’s mystery box.

They have 60 minutes and the pantry of staples that they can access and they’re only tasting three dishes as they usually do.

Billie’s doing a similar dish to last time, but isn’t doing an ice-cream as it messed up her dish last time.  Sara is doing a vegetarian dish with the ingredients rolled together.  Reynold did a savoury dish last time with the same box, this time he’s doing a dessert.  Matthew has decided to make a better version of what he did last time and has to work out how to incorporate the figs better this time.  Georgia is doing a churros that includes coconut, but Gary thinks it doesn’t sound very exciting.  Jessica is not sure what she’s doing and it lost and confused…oh honey!!!  Even George tells her to fire up as 15 minutes have gone and she still has no idea what she’s making.  Then she starts to get a bit teary talking to George, he tells her to think about stuff she loves to eat and tells her to have no tears…oh bless Georgie Boy, you are too sweet.  Finally she has some ideas.

Gary, George and Matt talk and Mat is super impressed with what Matthew is making.  George and Gary quite like Billie’s ideas.  Matt thinks Sara will have better produce to use in the Maggie box than she had available when they first did the box.

Matt goes up to Jessica and she says she now knows what she’s doing.  Billie gets her parfait out of the freezer and it’s set so she thinks it is a set up on the last time she did that mystery box.

3 minutes to go and Georgia gets the churros into the oil, same with Jessica with the yams.  Sara gets her vegetable parmigiana out of the oven with seconds to go and removes the skewers and it is standing on the plate.

Tasting time…first to be tasted is…oh we have to wait for an ad break…but it is Matthew with mystery tortellini with rosemary burnt butter sauce, half the tortellini are filled with grilled fig, the other half are filled with blue cheese, apple and star anise.  Gary loves it and is full of flowy adjectives.  Matt thinks it is a dish without flaws and Matthew can’t stop laughing at himself.

Next tasted is Reynold with macadamia and salted caramel ice cream and quandongs, but he’s not really pleased with it and doubts the quandongs.  George loves the quandongs and thinks they make the dish.

Next to be tasted is Billie with curry leaf and lime parfait with pickled and roast cucumber.  George says Masterchef is all about ordinary people doing extraordinary with food and that her dish is extraordinary.  Matt is almost gobsmacked, especially by the amount of techniques used in the dish and the things they’ve never seen before.

Billie wins the advantage for the invention test and it is a little bit different.  She goes into the pantry with Gary and George and there are three huge boxes.  The choices are earth, wind and fire.  It is a conceptual challenge and she’s slightly confused.  She chose earth which the others seem to like.  They get 60 minutes and the dish must celebrate earth, top four are in the immunity challenge, bottom four are in the pressure test.

They all seem to be starting well and Jessica’s on track unlike the first cook because she’s never been in a pressure test before.  Georgia wants to make red soil because of where she comes from and mixes beetroot powder into it and it looks rather purple, George says it looks like his kids playdough.  Then she tries using blueberry powder in a batch and bakes them to see which colour looks best.  When it is cooked the blueberry tray has gone brown, but the beetroot tray is perfect in her eyes.

Tasting time…Georgia is up first with Georgia’s strawberry patch and Matt loves that it is lovely not to see brown earth.  George say it is delicious and it has taken him to her home and Matt loves the dish, so much that he says “I love it, love it, love it”.

Next up is Billie and she feels all deflated, oh honey!!!  She made pan seared duck breast with turnips and blackberry vinaigrette.  They weren’t too positive about the dish…ohhhhh.

Next up is Sara with her dish that has split custard…can’t be great as they went to an ad break.  Anyway she made eye fillet with smoky leeks and black pudding crumb and straight up they notice the parmesan custard looks grainy.  But the beef is cooked perfectly.  George says if she knew the custard was wrong she should have done something about it.

Reynold is up next with chocolate, hazelnut, coffee and vanilla cremeux with mousse…or as he put it “I made a pile of dirt with a couple of rocks”…oh bless him.  George really loves it.

Ashleigh is up next with duck breast with carrots and dill.  But the duck skin is too cooked and the duck breast itself is rather under cooked.

Jessica goes up with smoked duck breast with beef and mushroom broth.  George asks if she likes the presentation, but she doesn’t respond and Matt says he doesn’t like it and it looks very old school and the poor love can’t look at the judges and looks set to cry.  Gary says there’s a great dish in there with the winning elements, but it is the small details that hold it back.  Then she does get teary while they talk about the dish.

Jessie goes up next with a dish that she struggles to explain.  It is cold winter ground with smoked frozen yoghurt.  Gary loves the flavours of the dish as does Matt.

Last up is Matthew with borscht gazpacho with mushroom, bacon and dill.  George says he can tell Matthew has pushed himself and it is the best presentation he’s done but the soup needs to be refined.  Gary’s got a metallic taste in his mouth and Matt thinks there’s too much vinegar.

Righty-o decision time.  Gary says there were three outstanding dishes, all desserts, Georgia, Reynold and Jessie, so they’re all safe straight up.  Then Mat says the other safe place was down to Matthew and Sara.  Finally he says that Sara is safe.

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