MasterChef recap: Who flounders and who makes waves during Andy's surf and turf challenge?

Andy at Three Blue Ducks at URBNSURF.
Andy at Three Blue Ducks at URBNSURF. Photo: Supplied

TWO chances to win immunity? What sort of looking-glass world have we entered? But yes, Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Jock and Andy) have confirmed that this week there will be two shots at immunity from the next elimination, and the first one is coming up today, by a dark and foreboding sea that isn't actually the sea but a man-made fake surf park that deliberately mocks God. The sky is grey, the air is chill, it's a glorious Melbourne summer day.

Melissa, Andy and Jock get gnarly at UrbnSurf.
Melissa, Andy and Jock get gnarly at UrbnSurf.  Photo: Supplied

The amateurs are at Andy Allen's own restaurant, Three Blue Ducks at URBNSURF. "This week is going to be like nothing you've ever experienced," says Jock, suddenly starting to hurl live mice at them to prove his point. Andy explains that the first chance for immunity is a service challenge. The amateurs are split into two teams: the blue team must cook a "surf" menu, based around lycra and salt. The green team must cook a "turf" menu, made up mainly of soil and grass. Overseeing both teams will be Andy, who is risking his restaurant's reputation as the place that guy from MasterChef owns, by bringing in MasterChef contestants, which the usual clientele will really hate.

The green team immediately gets to work shouting about beef cheeks, while on the blue team Depinder has a revolutionary idea: Mexican rice. How do they come up with this stuff? Andy tells the blue team that they will have to work as a team, dashing their hopes.

A truck arrives to deliver a commercial for Coles, in which the amateurs enthusiastically participate. Kishwar then begins the important work for the green team: getting the beef drunk. She pours wine over it until it starts singing, then puts it in a small metal cell to sober up.

Scott is stressed out. He's peeled a fair few prawns in his time, and it's 2021, why shouldn't he admit to this? But he's never peeled so many in one day, and he's afraid of running low on electrolytes.

Andy starts harassing the green team about the beef cheeks. "Get them in the oven, get them in the oven," he barks, but what if they're doing the beef cheeks in a special way, a non-oven way? You can't help but feel that the blue team are his favourites, especially when Pete starts preparing octopus, Andy's most loved gastropod. Meanwhile Scott is trying to butterfly his prawns, a task that is much easier than the other way around.


Justin calls the green team together, shows them his meal plan and explains why they are all failures.As for Minoli, she is vigorously chopping up her ribs. Well not her ribs: some lamb ribs that she is currently in charge of. "I'm going to be like Popeye by the end of this," she laughs, as her craving for spinach grows ever more urgent. The green team is a little behind time, and pretty soon they'll have to make an important decision: should they just go away and find better things to do with their time?

Over on the blue team, Andy walks around looking confused. Elise speculates that if they do a good job Andy might give them jobs in his restaurant, but why would he do that when he can just keep bringing in amateurs to do everything for free? As Sabina works hard removing debris and small toys from the flounder, an emergency becomes apparent: Scott, despite his best efforts, is nowhere near finishing butterflying all the prawns. He's only about halfway through and he hasn't even de-veined the ones he's cut. Elise joins him to help out, her dreams of employment fading fast. Meanwhile Pete's octopus leaps from the pot and clamps onto his face, laying its eggs directly in his mouth.

Andy is stressed about the prawns. Elise is stressed about the prawns. Elise decides to do an avocado crema instead of a grapefruit salsa. Somehow this makes things better. Nobody explains how.

Over on the green team, Justin notices his beef cheeks are like hockey pucks. Some quick research on Wikipedia reveals that beef cheeks are not supposed to be like hockey pucks, and they need to be cooked some more to de-puckify them. Suddenly Pete nearly drops his octopus, but then he doesn't, narrowly averting a moment of entertainment.

Diners have begun to arrive and both teams have their issues: the green team isn't ready to plate their entrée; while the blue team's entrée is octopus and will make diners vomit.

The octopus arrives at the judges' table, where each dish will be assessed according to criteria that in no way include the contestants' ability to run a kitchen or deliver a strong service for a large number of customers, thus rendering the challenge fairly pointless. Jock and Melissa are delighted with the octopus, declaring it one of the tastiest monsters they've ever eaten.

Several hours later, the green team's entrée of lamb ribs begin to be sent out to the diners, who will eat anything as long as they get to maybe be on TV. Jock and Melissa tuck into the ribs, which Melissa declares "moreish". Or possibly "Moorish"? Hard to say. Melissa thinks it's neck and neck at this point. "You couldn't put a piece of paper between them," says Jock. But then, why would you want to?

After 18 days' prep, Scott has finished all his prawns. This good news is tempered by the discovery that some of the flounder still have guts inside them, despite Sabina's efforts to deliver terrible news to them over the last few hours.

Time to plate up mains. Justin checks his beef cheeks. They still aren't soft: they've simply seen too much misery in this world. Andy points out that the ones down the bottom are actually cooked, so Justin can stop wetting his pants. Justin has a lot to learn about beef cheeks, but then don't we all? They truly are a beautiful mystery.

Andy has a big smile on his face as he observes the green team's kitchen is starting to look "somewhat like a kitchen", the only real difference being the high levels of good mental health.

The green team's mains arrive at Jock and Melissa's table. The beef cheeks are magnificent. The chicken is lovely. Melissa says it smells and tastes like teamwork, which doesn't sound good. Teamwork would taste kind of sweaty, I think.

The blue team is a little behind, but later that month they do manage to get their mains out. The flounder is beautiful, right up to the point when Jock discovers its guts still in it. Which is really, when you get down to it, disgusting. Also the avocado cream on the prawns is, according to Jock, "beige", which is dreadful because avocado is supposed to be green.

The two teams were neck and neck but leaving in the guts has really knocked the stuffing out of the blue team, and it will therefore be the green team heading into the pressure test to get one step closer to immunity tomorrow. And it will be Scott wondering why the hell he bothered with all those frigging prawns.

Tune in tomorrow, when the green team gets to write their own pressure test in a sort of monkey's-paw scenario.