Masterchef Recap: Matt: Portrait of a Malcontent

Ben Pobjie
9 min readJul 8, 2019

Previously on Masterchef: the amateurs found themselves in the centre of an empty football stadium, in order to experience the loneliness and isolation at the centre of every professional chef’s experience.

Tonight on Masterchef: the West Australian Tourist Commission stumps up a bit more dough.

It’s a sunny day in Perth and the savage man-eating herons are scanning the waterfront for fresh prey. The five amateurs who are not Tessa or Anushka are having to pay for their failure yesterday by walking around in public wearing stupid chef costumes like idiots. They arrive at Wildflower, Perth’s only restaurant. They are greeted by the three judges and a small malnourished homeless man. “Today is going to be a marathon,” says Gary, even though he knows full well that it’s actually going to be a cooking competition.

The homeless man turns out to be called Matt. He works at Wildflower, but is not paid well enough to afford an adult diet. Or maybe he just spends all his money on tattoos.

Today the amateurs must prepare a five-course “degustation”: a culinary term meaning, “a thing we don’t really know what it is”. Each amateur will be responsible for a different course. Matt lets the five amateurs decide amongst themselves which course they want, which is a terrible idea because who the hell is going to want the fourth course? The fourth course isn’t even a real thing.

Nicole chooses first course because she’s lazy, Simon chooses second course because he’s hesitant, Christina chooses main course because she’s controlling, Tim chooses fourth course because he is weak-willed, and Larissa chooses dessert because she has no imagination whatsoever.

“You each have to make enough for twenty diners, plus the three of us,” says Gary. As usual, Matt will not be fed today. The winner of the challenge today will join Anushka and Tessa in whatever is happening later in the week. “I’d love to join Anushka and Tessa,” says Tim, lecherously.

Nicole heads into the kitchen and discovers that the first course must involve beetroot, which is a pretty hard blow for a self-respecting cook to suffer. As she prepares to hero the beetroot — a task which is literally impossible — Matt watches her silently, the camera crew making sure he is framed in such a way as to suggest that he is planning to murder her.

Ben Pobjie

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