Masterchef…semi-final

Tonight is the semi-final…or if you believe the ads part 1 of the final, but seriously there are three left and there is this episode and one other.  We have Georgia, Billie and Jessica and just putting it out there I would be happy for Georgia or Billie to win…I wouldn’t quite feel the same about Jessica, I just haven’t been a huge fan of hers at any stage through the competition, I’m not sure why, but I haven’t really connected with her cooking.

Oh look even Georgia says it is semi-final day when she first appears on camera.  Georgia says they each have to serve 20 people main course and dessert.

They walk into the Masterchef kitchen to see applause from Gary, Matt, George, Shannon and all the eliminated contestants.

So they were told last week what this challenge was so they could plan and prepare, and it’s not just 20 guests, it’s 20 guests and the 3 judges and they have to do it on their own.  They have an open pantry and four hours of prep time.  They’ll be judged on deliciousness and Shannon will be a guide and support for them in the kitchen.

Georgia and Billie are at their benches planning onto paper first, while Jessica runs into the pantry to get her ingredients.  Jessica’s doing a roast pork belly for her main course.  Georgia’s doing seafood for her main course with about a dozen different elements on the plate…holy heck!!  Billie’s doing braised shanks for her main along with lamb backstrap.

½ an hour is already gone, gee that went quick.  Jessica says she’s keeping her main simple and refined while her dessert is the more complex dish.

Billie starts making ice-cream for her dessert.  She’s doing a version of a spider drink, sounds interesting if you ask me.

An hour has now gone, only 3 hours left.  Georgia has started freaking out as she’s doing her fish, plus her hands are shaking which is having an impact on the fish.  She needs to take a deep breath and settle the hell down, Shannon tells her they’re not the best looking fillets he’s ever seen and she says she’s freaking out, oh honey we know that!!  Then Shannon asks about portion size, Georgia says she’s doing 80 grams, he says to do 120 grams as 80 grams is entrée size…oh dear, more fish to do.

Jessica starts on her dessert, she’s doing grapefruit and popcorn domes, um okay.  Shannon’s not sure about her dessert and wants to play devil’s advocate with less is more.

Shannon talks to Gary and George and says that he thinks Billie is showing what Masterchef is all about and that Georgia is struggling.  For dessert Georgia is doing a frozen dessert with a yoghurt parfait and a sorbet.

Billie is wanting to roll the meat into a cylinder, but it’s not rolling all that well…oh dear.  She changes her mind about the cylinder idea.  Then she remembers the roast rhubarb that she had in the oven, she burnt them, oh heck honey.  Go and get some more rhubarb.

Then Jessica realises that she’s burnt the crumb in her frypan…oh heck they’re all having trouble now!!!

90 minutes to go and Jessica says she’s going to redo the crumb and now she’s added popping candy into something, oh dear.

75 minutes to go and Billie’s stressing about how to plate the lamb because the cylinders won’t work, but then she thinks that it can be done in squares instead of circles.  Thankfully this time she remembers the rhubarb that was in the oven and gets it out in time.

One hour to go and Georgia’s listing off all the elements that she hasn’t done yet, include smoked trout bones mayonnaise…what the heck???

25 minutes to go and Jessica gets the pork out of the oven and is happy with how it looks, then she does a smoked yoghurt.

The guests start walking in with 15 minutes to go.  Billie is almost ready for service, she’s got her squares of meat ready and is a lot calmer than the other two appear to be.

Matt thanks the guests for coming, while Shannon is telling Georgia to be plating up as there are only 2 minutes to go.

Shannon calls the first dockets and the eliminated contestants are screaming, gee you would hate to want to dine in peace and Georgia’s still not ready and now thinks she’s over-complicated her main course.  Billie gets her first plates out, but the other two are a bit slower.  Jessica gets some plates out, but nothing from Georgia yet.

The judges get Billie’s main course, braised lamb and backstrap with peas and pear and mint puree, and they think it looks and smells beautiful and comment that it shows that she’s a country girl, but also shows how far she’s come.  Gary can only say “wow” to start with, he thinks it is absolutely delicious and he thinks she’s clever for how she’s done both bits of lamb.  George loves both bits of lamb.  Matt loves the whole dish and how the little things take it from mum’s lamb roast.

Finally Georgia has her first plates out, just as Billie gets her last four out…oh Georgia honey, I’m over hearing Shannon saying “come on Georgia!”  He keeps telling Georgia to hurry up and the poor love starts having a teary, plate the food already darling.  Bless her for saying she’s not going to give up or remove any elements, honey you’re wonderful.

The judges get Jessica’s main course, pork belly with smoked yoghurt shiso and poached quince.  George says she’s nailed it from a visual point of view.  Gary loves the crackling, no surprises there, I mean the man has social media accounts called crispy crackling.  He’s decided he’s eating the whole lot.  George is mesmerised by the dish.  Matt says she’s made the quinces savoury and it’s the best crackling he’s had in the competition.

Georgia’s got 12 plates to go when she realises that Billie and Jessica have finished serving their main courses.

The judges get Georgia’s main course, cured ocean trout with crispy skin, cucumber and apple.  Matt counts 11 elements on the plate before they taste it.  Matt says it is a technicolour explosion of a heap of different flavours.  Gary loves the balance of flavours in the dish.  George loves it because of the chefiness of it and the flavour.  Matt thinks it is amazing that one person was able to make that by themselves.

Billie is all set to pop the champagne for her dessert and Shannon does the tester and it looks seriously good and the eliminated contestants all yell and cheer.  Jessica starts taking her domes out and they have worked.

Georgia finishes serving main course and then has a panic because of how many elements she still has to do on her dessert.

Billie’s dessert goes out first to the judges, dill and rhubarb spider.  Matt says it looks amazing and is a spider and he’s excited before he tries it.  George just says “oh my gosh” and Matt says “oh my goodness,” no other words are required.  Gary says it is sensational.  George says it’s bought the spider up to date and they all think it is spectacular and Gary says it is an adults’ only dessert with the champagne in it.  George says if you got that at a restaurant you would want to meet the chef and say thank you.

Jessica’s dessert goes to the judges, grapefruit and popcorn, and we go to an ad break before any of them can comment, what more do we expect???  Matt says it looks amazing, Gary says it looks pretty.  George says she’s come a long way in terms of presentation, understatement there.  They smash open the dome to see what’s inside it, then they’re all surprised because it’s not what they expected.  Gary really loves it.  George says the popping candy is Heston like and yummy, but he can taste gelatine in the gel in the middle.  Matt thinks the sponge is a bit heavy for him and he questions if white chocolate, popcorn and grapefruit belong together.

Georgia’s on track for a change, bless her, she’s in a good space plating up her dessert.  Her dessert goes to the judges, mango sorbet with vanilla yoghurt parfait.  Matt says it smells amazing and looks beautiful, but it’s been hard watching Georgia and they can see the pressure on the plate.  Gary says the quenelles aren’t shiny and perfect as they should be.  George says that it is his favourite dessert because he’s got creamy, icy and crunchy in it and it is beautiful.  Matt loves it as well.  Gary says that it is very moreish.

The last of the plates go out and the girls hug and Shannon says they served 46 dishes each to 60 diners and the 3 judges in an hour and 15 minutes which is restaurant time.

Gary says that right now he can’t make a decision, he needs to really think about it.

When everyone’s gone the judges stand in front of the three girls and Gary says that the six dishes were the best they’ve ever tasted in the competition and they were well conceived, creative and delicious and all three of them would be fabulous finalists.

George tells Billie how amazing she is, not just in the kitchen, but as a person and that her lamb dish was his favourite of the three main courses and both her dishes were free of negatives and she’s into the grand final!!!  Thank god for that!!!!  Bless her she has a bit of a teary and she’s in complete shock, god love her.

Now it’s down to Georgia and Jessica for who is in the grand final and who is eliminated…and of course we’re off to an ad break.  Matt says it comes down to the food they cooked today, him and Gary thought that Jessica’s pork was the best main course of the day, but they questioned the gel and the sponge elements of her dessert.  With Georgia they thought there was so much going on with the main course but it was all in balance, but the rush was seen in her plating of her dessert.

Matt says it is the toughest decision they’ve had to make all season.  He says that deliciousness always wins out and Georgia is in the grand final because of how delicious her dessert was!!!!!!! Yes!!!  She’s in shock and crying and shaking and wants to throw up, oh honey take the moment for what it is!

Then Gary says a lot of lovely things about Jessica before telling her that it’s time to join the others and she asks for a hug first, then she races over to Sara who is crying as she hugs her.

God love that we know that Heston will be part of the grand final…we all know I love a bit of Heston!!

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