It's pressure test night. And after yesterday's barbecue bonanza saw the yellow team burn with shame, Chris, Laura, Tessa, Reece, Khanh, Brendan and Ben are all facing elimination. Jock has turned up in his chef whites, which means the dish in question will be off Orana's menu, his three-hatted Adelaide restaurant that you probably haven't been to without remortgaging your house.
Jock explains that for the first time ever in a pressure test there will be two rounds. The contestants are really upset by this. I don't mind so much, because, let's face it, I've got nothing better to do. The first round surprises the contestants with not one, but three Orana dishes: scarlet prawns with boab, bunya nut chawanmushi and rye berry crumpets with honey and whipped butter. Is it just me, or does none of that sound appetising?
So the clock starts and Reece hits his first obstacle: finding the on button on his mixer.
Courtney tells us she is usually pretty good at following recipes at home when Fleetwood Mac is playing and she has a glass of wine in hand, but all the technical instructions are causing her to look as stressed as Jason Bateman's character on Ozark (actually, that's something better I could be doing). Jock comes over to give her a pep talk, but unless he is also going to hand her a glass of shiraz and put on The Chain I don't think it's gonna help.
Between the Kath & Kim quotes and love of Fleetwood Mac + wine, Courtney is a #MasterChefAU fav— Andrew (@andrew_85) April 21, 2020
Nobody knows what a boab is, which I guess tells you all you need to know about our connection to native food in this country. Chris reckons it's a bit like pumice (mmm, sounds delicious), Khanh attempts to listen to it (no, Khanh, just no). Jock tries to explain it to the gantry, but actually fails to explain anything at all, so I guess we'll never know!
If you can’t source the inner fruit of the rare Boab tree... then store bought is fine. #masterchefau— Dean Nye (@Dean_Nye) April 21, 2020
I guess I better address the elephant in the room. The lush-lipped, hair-flipping elephant that is Ben. I don't know what to tell you guys. At this point, I have no friggin' clue whether he has been arrested or not. Are the feds just gonna bust in mid-crumpet and drag him away? The suspense is killing me.
Ben needs a head band, that hair is a liability waiting to happen #MasterChefAU— Kiera (@UnderYourPorch) April 21, 2020
Reece has hit a roadblock in that he's scrambled the eggs for his chawanmushi. For those who need a little translation, chawanmushi is a traditional savoury egg custard in Japan, and a real thing on fine-dining menus. Anyone who is anyone has a damn chawanmushi on the menu. Personally I think they taste like slippery farts, but what to do I know?
Courtney is looking stressed as hell. Her hibachi grill is smoking the place up so much that when Andy comes to visit he looks like he's at one of my old high school discos when you could barely spot the fluoro outfits behind the smoke machines.
Everyone begins flipping their crumpets (is that a euphemism?) and turns out it's not just Courtney's grill causing the smoke. Khanh flips his, and it's totally burned. Reece flips his; also black. Ben flips over his second attempt. Charred to oblivion.
I wish Chris’s fedora had burned like that crumpet #MasterChefAU— Lone Vlogger (@Nardeen_92) April 21, 2020
The clock stops, and despite them literally decimating his recipes, Jock proclaims that his "heart is filled with pride".
Chris is first up to the judging table. Luckily no meat was involved in the making of this pressure test, so he's seemingly safe. Jock sucks at Chris' prawn head in a visceral way I hope never to see or hear or read about again. Chris looks like he might cry from happiness. Awww. Happy for you.
Courtney is up next and Jock discovers a poo chute in his prawn head. Don't you hate it when that happens?
Totes fine to suck the brains out of a prawn head, but we draw the line at the poo shute #MasterChefAU— Brianna Farrell (@_HelloNorah) April 21, 2020
Tessa, Khanh, Brendan and Laura fly by with full marks.
Ben's prawn, however, is undercooked and his crumpets were not holey enough for Jock (bless him father, for he has sinned). Reece has also left poo chutes in his prawns, and after a very annoyingly timed ad break (thanks channel 10) it's revealed Reece, Ben and Courtney make up the bottom three.
Second round begins and hey! Whaddya know, more complicated Orana food on the menu. We've got damper attached to gum trees served with lamb butter and a dome of pickled kohlrabi cones. Mmm mmm mm my favourite!
Jock asks everyone if they know what kohlrabi is. Reece says it's a vegetable. Loving the input.
The contestants start making the lamb butter by frying up the lamb fat and it looks truly incredible. 100 per cent would eat this on everything, please make a jar of it Orana.
Hope Coles is well stocked with 2kg of lamb fat and baobab fruit #MasterChefAU— Jay (@the_eatventures) April 21, 2020
To keep the kohlrabi cones structurally sound, the contestants have to construct a burrata foam for the centre. Reece and Courtney nail theirs, but Ben's looks watery like some insipid almond milk (seriously, how do people drink that stuff?). He adds a buttload more xantham gum much to the gantry's shocked mutterings and hopes for the best.
Jock asks Reece how many cones he needs to roll, and come on, Jock. 4/20 was yesterday!
Courtney has not started her cones, and decides it's all to much, leaving the task to her seven-minute plating time.
Reece is on fire, no literally, his tea towel is actually on fire, but also he has truly blitzed this challenge and finishes up looking like the best out of the lot.
As he plates it up for the judge, Reece's emotional spiel is extremely cute and forget all my sass about him in my first episode recap – I love him. "I'm just waiting for my moment to shine".
When it's Ben's turn to plate up he has a fight with his gas canister, bangin' it here and there to try and get his xantham gum-heavy burrata foam out. He manages to scoop it out instead and tells the judges he wants his second chance. He gets it – they seem happy with all his dishes, and not at all concerned with his unfoamy burrata foam. Sigh, why do we even bother?
If Ben goes, whose biceps will we look at for the rest of the season? #MasterChefAU— Jake Lee Murnane (@jonnyvain) April 21, 2020
Speaking of bothered. Extremely not-chill Courtney enters and still has a million things to do as she plates up. She has to roll all her cones, char her damper and dress her kohlrabi. That's more than I achieve in 24 hours these days. She can't get the bottle open in time, so serves it up without dressing. Courtney's emosh speech involves girl power and how things have changed for women in the past 10 years. You go girlfriend. But, like, seriously, you need to go. The missing dressing and unfinished kohlrabi cones gets her booted outta here. I feel genuine sadness, I really liked Courtney. Have I become emotionally attached to this show? I don't know, but whatever, Ozark's calling.