Friday, July 09, 2010


Amid the hue and cry about Marion leaving MasterChef last night, we need to realise she is very stable, very competent, is an ex ABC journalist, is respected by her peers, the chefs she has worked with and her public, has travelled widely, has a lovely blog which she can now revamp and reignite and is part way through her Masters of Gastronomy,has a warm and loving family and so she has not been robbed at all. She has now a very strong base on which to build her bright foodie future. She has all the contacts and competence to continue launching herself in whatever way she wishes. She lost the challenge last night and how that came about seemed odd to me. The night before, as we watched the army mess tent, it looked like the blue team was very able and had managed to produce some good food in a well organised manner. Certainly the comments during the show led me to believe they had done well. The red team had an extra person but they were not as efficient and Callum was stuck with his mind whiting out because he has terrible problems with anxiety and that needs to be dealt with. He cannot be berated because he cannot control his anxiety when he is put in a situation that brings it out. This is why he seemingly cannot learn and it shows just how damaging a condition  like that can be to someone who is talented, intelligent and normally very articulate and competent.That is what real anxiety is. The blotches on his face and neck are enough to tell you he is stressing badly. He needs to work through it and he needs to be supported through it.So at the end of that show the blue team sat gutted on their chairs hearing they had underperformed. I didn't think so. Maybe Adam's koftas weren't as tasty as they sounded, maybe the veggies weren't quite cooked, but nothing near the disaster of the custard. Courtney's meatballs were obviously very impressive and Jimmy had made a curry that he must know off by heart by now.Did Alvin's food turn out? Can't remember. So then we had the situation where 4 competent contestants were going to the chopping block. Them's the rules. Adam had not listened to Trent Scott who said courage and teamwork were the all important things, so he traded in his pin which he could have used at a more critical stage later. No one appeared to mind but the team is everything in Army terms and as leader he should have stayed with them. It's not about values though, it's about food and rules.When it came to the nutty show then I think there were a few assumptions which may have gone wrong. We were lost in assumption twaddle. Marion has not been consistently good in recent times. Others have not been noticed and acknowledged when they ought to have been. Claire's efforts on that molecular peas and eggs were astounding. She has come out of herself and you can see she is even more precise than Marion. Aaron mixes tastes far more subtly than Marion and that has been overlooked because she is very competent and self assured. Very calm and professional in her approach.So it's the image that she is good which sometimes blocks the achievements of the others. Courtney is consistently good and she has some natural leadership skills.Adam is very calm and competent in his approach. Jonathon knows a lot about food and just absorbs that food knowledge which got him past the candlenuts which are Asian. So I thought last night's show was set up to favour Marion. My expectation was she'd know the nuts and I expected Jonathon to know them too.They both have good food knowledge but Aaron has food flair and instinct. Then we came to the satay and I was with Aaron - how the hell was he going to compete with Marion and her mother who is expert at cooking Thai food...then I watched their approach and Aaron was just living it and Marion glugged it up and even Gary came around to give her a bit of a hint. She said it was too thick and was trying to remedy it.So her sauce didn't win and under the rules she left. What I then found very disturbing and awful was the way Aaron was treated when he got back to the house. No one should have to put up with that. He had won under incredibly difficult circumstances and he had won because of his culinary skills. So Aaron was robbed, not Marion. Courtney has been brushed aside, Claire has been sidelined, Adam copped out, Jonathon won on his knowledge, Jimmy cooked curry, Callum had a panic attack, Alvin was the inimitable Alvin...but Aaron had been robbed.

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