Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Master Chef Not Masturbate Master Chef Season 3, Episode 11

Tonight's Mystery Box challenge on Master Chef upped the ante yet again and the home cooks were faced with the challenge of cooking a live sea urchin.

I automatically felt for Christine - I mean, these things have poisoned spikes! But she got right in there - fearless as always - and got cooking.

Chef Ramsay, who gave a demonstration on how to humanely butcher and clean a sea urchin made it look easy, but I was skeptical, wondering what on earth I would put together if faced with such a challenge!

But while the cooking went on, drama began to flare up between Monte and Becky causing Monte's inner poisonous spikes to come out because Becky had a lot to say about her and why she should go home.

This is interesting because, even as I wrote this, I had to go back and look up Becky's name - she has been that memorable - Monte, on the other hand, and her son Danger, have been indelibly etched in my brain because they are interesting. However, I missed last week's episode due to a crazy work schedule and wonder if I've missed something because the other competitors don't have much to say about her that is positive. There was lots of talk tonight that she has a wide variety of recipes in her head to refer to but doesn't come up with her own original ideas.

That said, don't haters usually be hating the people they are most threatened by?

Another competitor I remember from day 1 is Felix who I was thrilled to see stepped back into the ring tonight and created one of the judges favourite dishes of the evening: Uni Risotto. A piece of artwork on the plate that Gordon Ramsay called breathtaking and "absolutely bloody delicious."

Josh also came up with a beautiful dish: Homemade noodles and rock shrimp in a uni cream sauce that honestly looked so delicious I wanted to reach through my screen and grab some. Especially the hand made noodles around which Joe Bastianich said Josh just might win this whole thing on the basis of his instincts alone.

But don't make any decisions just yet because the season's dark horse, Italian cook Stacey made a rock shrimp sushi roll with uni aioli that all of the judges loved.

At the end of the day, though, Felix and her absolutely bloody delicious uni won this round and had tonight's huge advantage: to choose from a variety of nine fish; Rock Fish, John Dory, Salmon, Catfish, Halibut, Arctic Char, Yellowtail, and Sardines and match each fish with one of the cooks.

Felix had the opportunity not only to choose for everyone else, but to choose for herself as well and surprised the judges by opting to cook halibut because it is a trickier fish to have a home run with. But Felix, feisty as ever,  stuck to her vision in order to challenge herself.

She strategically gave Becky and Monte the most difficult fish, Rock fish and John Dory, and gave Christine and Tali the two most most forgiving: salmon and Arctic Char.

As the cooking got underway, it became apparent that Monte wasn't about to let the haters be hatin and pulled out her fish filleting big guns preparing a perfectly cooked John Dory, ditto for Frank and his catfish, the judges favourite dish of the night.

On the other end of the spectrum was Tali, who, while comparing himself to Da Vinci, sous vide the flavour right out of his salmon, David, who overly complicated his dish, and Christine who apparently lost her ever loving mojo with a panko crusted salmon.

Thankfully, though, this evening the universe rebalanced itself and Tali - to whom Gordon Ramsay muttered the immortal phrase "It's Master Chef not Masturbate" - was sent home.

And what would I make if faced with a fish cooking challenge?

How about Grilled Lemon Herb Halibut and Creamy Lemon Rice?

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