Masterchef Recap: A Dessert For Ants?

Ben Pobjie
7 min readJun 12, 2018


Previously on Masterchef Australia, the amateurs found themselves in South Australia, fleeing a homicidal maniac intent on mayhem…

Sorry, no, that’s a typo. Actually, the amateurs found themselves in South Australia, fleeing Maggie Beer, who is intent on mayhem.

Tonight, four big fat losers are forced into a pressure test to avoid elimination and I’m sorry to spring a shock that might potentially cause you to suffer cardiac arrest, but one of them is Chloe.

Yes indeed, are we all not hot then we’re cold, yes then we’re no, in then we’re out, up when we’re down? As the strains of Masterchef’s anthem to experimental sexual practices fade, we return to the crystal-green waters of some place in South Australia, where at the Pullman Hotel, Chloe is putting on her traditional loser makeup.

“This is going to be my first time in a pressure test,” says Hoda, “but losing is not in my vocabulary.” But if losing is not in her vocabulary, how did she know what it meant? Is it just coincidence that she chose a word the meaning of which she was completely ignorant, and accidentally used it correctly in a sentence? She goes on to say, “It’s go hard or go home”, which…I mean, yes. That is indeed the whole point of today.

The four losers arrive at a weird-looking building and bang on interminably about how weird-looking it is. Apparently this thing is the Cube restaurant, famous for being, in Gary’s words, “kind of like a space-age Rubik’s cube or a Tetris”, but in the words of someone who has actually seen either the building, a Rubik’s cube, or Tetris, “some crazy blocks stacked on each other”.

Anyway, the somewhat sinister chef informs them of how he will kill them with a series of elaborate food metaphors, and then Matt threatens to bake their noodles, which nobody understands. The chef lifts the cloche and reveals a lemon meringue pie. “This doesn’t look like a lemon meringue pie,” says Hoda, and she is correct: it looks like some biscuits with a plastic beer can holder on top. Also some peas.

But! All is not as it seems — it’s actually a bunch of fancy Heston Blumenthal-y crap that is incredibly complicated despite it not tasting any better than a normal lemon meringue pie. Also part of it is made with a 3D printer, which almost makes George cream his jeans, and by “almost” I mean “repeatedly”.

Ben looks at the dish and immediately identifies the fact that he will have to try to get it right. George informs them that they’ll have to be focused, but doesn’t tell them on what, so they’ll be completely lost.

“Everything you need, recipe and ingredients, are at your benches,” says Gary. This seems a bit soft. Everything’s easy if you use a recipe. They should have to just figure it out. Even letting them taste it seems rather lenient on them. Remember, these are the people who failed yesterday’s challenge: they have no earned any kindness.

“I’ve got my game face on today,” says Hoda, with the same expression she’s been wearing since the first day.

“The pressure’s ramped up a bit because it is a pressure test,” says Genene. Yeah, we rarely need to hear from Genene, to be honest.

Ben gets his white chocolate base out of the blast chiller. So what do you want, Ben, a fucking medal? “You’re gonna put it in the syringe now?” asks George, mistaking the white chocolate for heroin. Instead of injecting it into his veins, Ben puts it in the printer, which prints out some little hexagons. It’s amazing that we have the technology nowadays to make even the most complex tasks look unimpressive.

“Boom boom, shake the room,” says George, with no conviction whatsoever. He’s only saying it to fill quotas by now.

Meanwhile Genene has fucked up her white chocolate and Gary doesn’t know how she managed it. She can’t do it again because she has no more chocolate. The gracious thing to do would be to remove yourself from the competition and never enter a kitchen again, but Genene, pigheaded cuss that she is, insists on trying to salvage her horrible situation. She puts in more gelatin, dooming yet more gentle cattle to nightmarish deaths.

Flash back to Genene’s house, where she stands idly while her children do all the cooking. Her deception has finally been exposed.

Over to Chloe, currently in her eight hundredth elimination and fairly confident that the laxatives she put in her opponents’ breakfast will yet again do the job. Meanwhile Hoda is reading the recipe like some kind of amateur. Which she is. So everything is in order.

Genene is happy with all her spheres, much like God during the week of creation. Such arrogance is bound to end in tears. For example, Hoda declares that she thinks she’s got everything, but then the creepy chef points out that she doesn’t have her feuilletine — French for “crispy brown stuff” — in, and that Hoda is basically fucked. “I make the quick decision to just keep powering on and make sure all my other elements are spot on,” she says, even though whether her other elements are spot on are not is completely out of her power.

Ben, meanwhile, seems to be doing fine. I mean, he’s handling fennel, which is never pleasant, but all things considered he’s doing fine. “I blanch the fennel fronds in salted water,” he says, like that’s some kind of fucking achievement. Pull your head in, mate.

Meanwhile Chloe is trying to make little green balls for no other reason than that an authority figure told her to. It is a pointless exercise and a perfect illustration of the excesses of absolute power. Also she’s doing it wrong.

Genene is working on the candied ginger snow, which is a weird thing to make in a dessert given we were all told as children never to eat the ginger snow.

Time is running out, and the tension in the soundtrack is ratcheting up. In the audience, not so much, because to be honest we don’t care about any of these people. Now if Lisa was in danger — yes, I’d be worried. Or Loki. This lot? Meh.

Time is up and the amateur cooks who are making this insanely complex dish for the first time in their lives may not have done absolutely everything perfectly, the pathetic imbecilic losers. How can they face their families after this?

Ben plates up first. It’s amazing, when you see it all put together, what a lame pissy little dish it is. The whole thing is pretty much a single mouthful, and it brings new meaning to the phrase “this bullshit is not worth all the frigging effort”. Nobody who is not an insectivore will ever be satisfied by this dish.

Anyway Ben’s is fine.

Genene plates up next, and says again that the pressure is on. “It’s a bit like Tetris,” she says, stealing ideas from Gary now. “It’s very obvious that there are missing elements,” she frets, and this indeed is a problem, because even when all the elements are there you need an electron microscope to find the fucking food on the plate.

Genene’s dessert is missing all kinds of things. “Until we taste it we can’t pass judgment,” says Matt, which is like looking at a house without a roof and saying you won’t know whether it’s a good house until you’ve lived in it for six months.

“The lemon curd parfait balls are beautiful,” says the murderous chef, but really it’s all relative. Overall, Genene’s dish is cold garbage. “I’m missing the herbaceousness of…” says George, and then he goes on some more but I sure as hell wasn’t listening after “herbaceousness”.

In comes Chloe with her dish and a cheque for fifty dollars for each judge. Heartwarming guitar noodling plays over Chloe’s plating up, but I don’t see what the big deal is. “It’s interesting, isn’t it, how care in the kitchen translates to sophistication on the plate,” says Matt. The answer is no, it isn’t interesting at all.

Chloe’s dish is fine and she’s going to survive once again. Chequebook cookery continues to thrive.

Hoda plates up. “I’m concentrating on trying to plate up beautifully,” she says, as if we were suspecting she might’ve been concentrating on urinating on the plate, or shooting rabbits out the window or something.


Torture-chef is uncertain of Hoda’s dish. Somehow he’s managed to spot something that’s not quite right, where most people would have trouble spotting the dish itself.

They’re eating with gold cutlery. Wankers.

Apparently Hoda’s dish is OK. Not great, but it sounds like it’s better than Genene’s trash. But then Matt bitches for ages about it, so who knows?

The judges know, that’s who.

And they are about to tell us that the person being forced to return to the relentless hell of home and family is…

Genene. Predictable.

“That’s all right,” she says, having realised today how meaningless this depraved exercise truly is. “I don’t regret one minute,” she adds, which just goes to show she lost deliberately — otherwise she would’ve regretted the minutes where she fucked up her dish.

“You’ve brought us some cracking dishes and we’re going to miss you,” George lies, and Genene romps off into the distance. We are told she is working on perfecting her preserves, sauces and pickles, so don’t expect to see her again.

Tune in tomorrow, when only one contestant will live through the night.

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