MasterChef Australia Season Five – The Contestants Head to the Barossa

This week, the top 21 will be heading to the heartland of South Australian cuisine- the famed Barossa Valley. However, not everyone will make it out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with a place in the top 20!

The contestants have already arrived in the Barossa Valley. It’s early on the first morning and the contestants are hustled awake by George for their first challenge. They’re still in boys vs. girls teams.

Outside, the judges welcome them to MasterChef boot camp where they will find any culinary flaws the contestants have. They’ll be fighting ‘two fronts’- the battle for their survival and for the survival of their sex.

Matt tells them that by the end of this week, the sex with the most members will be the winner of the boys vs. girls challenge. And there will be a clear winner as a double elimination looms for them. Today will decide which two people will go first into the double elimination at the end of the week.

They all head off to their first challenge. They head to a winery where the three judges, a butcher and a…testament of his work… await them. The butcher is Gary and he’s third generation in a family of butchers.

Today will consist of rounds. In round one, they will work in their sexes to break a lamb down. The winners will be safe for the day. The losing sex will compete in round two as individuals cooking a dish. The contestants to present the two worst dishes will head into elimination.

The contestants then get a demonstration on how to cut the lamb down. He is super quick. Anyone who could follow this through exactly from his instructions would have some serious skill.

The contestants then begin their challenge. It’s a relay, so each team member will work individually for three minutes before the next team member takes over with the task. Lynton is first for the boys while Pip is first for the girls.

They get a lot done in three minutes before the next contestants come in. Xavier is up for the boys and he struggles to move the tail bone. Emma meanwhile does very well.

Michael is up next and he cuts into the meat unfortunately. Meanwhile, Clarissa manages to lose the girls’ momentum. She manages to hack through the shoulder AND her arm! It slows everyone down.

The girls’ loss is the boys’ gain! They are now rocking it. The boys end up finishing their cuts first. When the judges inspect, they pick up on some shoddy rib work and an alright rump. The girls do a better job on the ribs but those shoulders are done. In the end, the boys win and the girls move on to round two.

Here, they will be given a huge array of Barossa produce that they can use to cook a lamb dish in 90 minutes.

Jules wants to make a Thai curry but none of her ingredients are available. She tries to make it work anyway.

All of a sudden, Clarissa steals Faiza’s bench despite Faiza having put all her stuff on it beforehand. Faiza is obviously annoyed, as are some of the other contestants.

Liliana is doing a lamb ragu to remind herself of her father. Noelene is making a very intricate dish some contestants think would look better on a kid’s plate than a judge’s plate. When Gary questions her on it, she gives him a scolding.

Clarissa is making a tagine however she struggles to turn her stove on! With half an hour left, she still struggles to hold a temperature.

Noelene finishes with 25 minutes to go. It’s quite funny to watch- I’ve never seen anything like it.

With three minutes to go, the contestants struggle to get things done. Clarissa needs help opening her pressure cooker. When Kelty tells her how to do it, she doesn’t trust that he is giving her correct information. When she gets the lid off, she finds her meat isn’t cooked alright. She gives it a quick fry up before time runs out.

It’s time for judging.

Noelene is first with her stir fry. Gary says it’s hard to like and George thinks it’s full of chilli. He’s overwhelmed with flavours. Noelene is still happy with what she cooked.

Next is Liliana with her Ragu. Matt says she’s done her dad proud and calls it a perfect dish. George tells her well done.

Next is Lucy with her lamb cutlets and salad. Matt says it’s yum. Pip presents her Indian spiced lamb and potatoes and George calls it a great dish. Christina has Lamb Rump which Gary says has bad polenta. Emma’s dish is panned for the lack of gravy. Faiza has marinaded lamb chops. The lamb is beautifully cooked.

Next is Jules and her lamb Massaman curry. Gary doesn’t want her to go into the pantry ever again wanting to make a dish work. He thinks she should try harder.

Clarissa walks in with her Lamb Tagine. She’s not pleased with it. Neither are the judges.

In the end, Liliana, Faiza and Lucy are commended. However, it’s elimination time for… Noelene & Clarissa.