Andy Allen on foraging, bromance and the great Australian food road trip : SBS Food
IT'S been three years since Andy Allen and Ben Milbourne lit up our screens in series four of MasterChef. So how do they feel now the show is. 3 more. Andy & Ben Eat Australia. S1, Ep9, Victoria (PG). SBS Food NSW. Saturday pm - pm. Andy & Ben Eat Australia. S1, Ep10, Andy And New . Passionate Coaster Ben Milbourne chased his food goals since he was on Bromance continues: Masterchef winner, Andy Allen, and finalist, Ben . Over the last five years we've developed good relationships with
Gary now describes the final three's cooking as "courageous", which I suppose is accurate — the stove gets pretty hot and they are risking nasty burns.
Masterchef Australia – Andy Allen Has A Cookbook Out. Who Knew?
George reveals the finale will be decided over three rounds — in round one, the amateurs must cook over a hundred entrees; in round two the amateurs must divert a river to wash out a stable; and in round three they must sing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
A great challenge indeed: The amateurs also get to choose two assistants for the final, because is the year when MasterChef really rubs salt into losers' wounds. We then receive the startling news that Matt Moran has been in the room all along. Nobody offers any explanation as to why. As the amateurs begin their prep, the judges convene for a casual conversation about obvious things.
From the balcony, Sam asks Andy how he's going. He's going pretty good, although he may be cracking under the pressure, because he is making squid ink and cauliflower puree, apparently under the impression he is auditioning for a job as a horror movie make-up artists rather than a chef.
Meanwhile, Audra is describing the pressure points of her dish, which consist of combining the ingredients into something that is good to eat. Always a fascinating insight into the process when pressure points are discussed. George is very dubious, but Julia explains that her dish is both "cheeky" and "thought-provoking" — if it is cooked just right it will produce a string of saucy puns and strong opinions on euthanasia laws.
Back in the kitchen after a break, Gary explains to George and Matt the terms of the challenge, in case they weren't there earlier. Matt confesses he is a little worried about Andy, who is using his squid ink to make a tar baby and chuckling darkly about the rabbit he plans to catch. Up on the balcony, advice is flying thick and fast for Audra from a group of people who have already proven themselves far inferior to her in terms of cooking talent.
This includes three bald men who were definitely never on this show. Must have broken in the back. It also includes TK, who calls out "watch the fingers", causing Audra, just in the nick of time, to abort her plan to sever her pinky. Suddenly the doors open and the diners burst in. Andy is intimidated by the sight — "They've watched the show and they have really high expectations," he frets, not realising the utter inanity of this statement — if there is any group in society with extremely low expectations of MasterChef contestants, it is MasterChef fans.
The amateurs call their assistants down, and service begins. This is the most exciting time of the day, according to Andy. It is also the time when he gets to stand very close to Ben, so yeah. Waiters are flying back and forth, but Julia's dishes haven't gone out, because the meat has to rest, as you'd expect given the amount of time it's just spent in Julia's company. Mindy and Kylie, though, tell her she needs to get her dishes out NOW — Julia does need to consider the fact that Mindy and Kylie probably want her to fail though.
For her part Audra is sick of being harassed and yells at everyone to shut the hell up. They retaliate by setting her on fire, and after a brief glimpse into the terrifying world of sentient after-hours McDonald's cups, we are back. In the kitchen, Matt Moran wants to be very, very clear, and he gives Audra a quick maths lesson. Maths is her enemy right now, because TK can't build a tower of salad to save her own life, which given Audra's current frame of mind, is a very real equation.
Plating up is going much more smoothly over at Team Blonde, which is serving up a gorgeous tiny little lump of pretentious rubbish on a big plate, just like in a real restaurant. The judges are extremely happy with the high level of pretentiousness that Julia has achieved with her tiny unidentifiable thingumajig.
What sort of idiot would say that? However, George says he thinks it needs to be "zipped up a bit more", because he can't think of any way to describe the dish that actually means anything. Finally the judges are served Audra's thing, which is called "Eggnet", as a tribute to her favourite film, Terminator.
It looks great, but Preston is disturbed by its coldness. He just feels unable to connect with the dish on a human level. Gary has scored Audra an eight. George and Preston give her sevens, more disappointed by the lack of heat and friendly banter.
Julia gets a seven from Gary, who is still hungry. She also gets a nine from Matt, who is in a conspiracy with George to make Gary look mean. Gary gives seven again to Andy, who can cook only just as well as Gary can.
George gives Andy an eight despite the "big and lumpy" tuna, which to be fair was really an act of God. And Matt gives Andy … A fireball, what were you expecting? Knowing how Andy scored without considering the irresistible nature of Nando's fiery peri-peri chicken would just feel lame, after all. Which means handsomeness has triumphed and Ben's dream of Andy winning MasterChef stays alive. And so Audra must leave, her dream of working in the food industry crushed, to return to her job as a professional caterer.
She then gives a speech about camaraderie and blah blah blah, and finishes by leaping upon Matt Preston and trying to strangle him. After security has ejected Audra from the kitchen floor, it's down to business. Andy on 23 points versus Julia on Over the next hour or so, George says a sentence, in which he tells Julia and Andy they must cook something which could be Australia's national dish.
Well might she be panicked — she's up against Andy, who as she says is "so good with his protein", and has some skills at cooking too. Andy is making a fisherman's basket, and Julia is making lamb, both of them having decided to pay tribute to the incredibly boring nature of Australian cuisine. If they're really feeling daring, there might be some chips, or tomato sauce.
Andy now describes how he's going to make an oyster emulsion, but since he's just making up words now, it's safe to ignore this bit. Julia, meanwhile, hacks into her lamb while being urged to go faster by someone on the balcony, or possibly the tiny pilot sitting in her head. She describes her plans for the main, and if I understand her correctly she intends to start a bushfire. Elsewhere on the balcony, Andy's spirit animal, Ben, is giving him sage advice, and everyone else is sniggering behind their hands.
Andy Allen and Ben Milbourne talk MasterChef and beyond
Some old guy is also calling encouragement to Julia — no idea who he is. His encouragement won't help keep her sane, though, as she attempts to turn her lamb into a cigar and smoke it.
What will help her is George and Gary, who have sauntered over to Andy's bench to undermine his confidence. It works, his pot boiling over and flames leaping toward the ceiling. Julia sees her chance, hurling a can of petrol at Andy's stove and escaping in the ensuing confusion. Gary points out that Julia hasn't caramelised her lamb. Julia points out that she knows what she's doing, dammit.
Masterchef Australia – Andy Allen Has A Cookbook Out. Who Knew? | reality ravings
George, though, is determined to make Julia think she's stuffed up. Again, it seems to work — Andy is plating up, but Julia once more falls prey to her obsession with letting meat rest.
We all knew that sooner or later, her concern for the level of fatigue in food would catch up with her. Luckily for her, Andy has completely lost the ability to know what food looks like, and is frantically tossing foodstuffs at a plate, staring quizzically at it as if it's a magic eye puzzle. Will these horrible dishes be enough? The amateurs hope so, but the loud piano music suggests heartache looms.
Andy can't put his finger on it, but there's something not quite right with his dish — will he notice the pigeon faeces before it's too late? Also, are fisherman's baskets and lamb really that Australian? Would they not have been better off cooking something truly patriotic, like a kangaroo or a brown snake or Dawn Fraser? As we wait for the verdict we are reminded of what's at stake — the chance to get unreasonably excited about dishwashing tablets on TV. And now, the second moment of truth out of a total of three moments of truth: First up is Julia's "crusted rack of lamb", with "vegetables".
The dish was inspired by Julia's memories of growing up on a property and weeding bushes and having trees and I suppose at some point or other she ate lamb and stuff. So that's a pretty great story. Gary is worried the lamb is undercooked. George is worried the fat hasn't been rendered. Matt is worried the others won't shut up and let him eat. Ironically, it turns out Julia hasn't let the lamb rest for long enough, which we can all have a good laugh about.
It is also not an inventive dish, in that it's not a tiny medallion of raw pheasant next to a snail trail, like the judges prefer. In comes Andy with his indefinably flawed fisherman's basket. He is behind on points, but he knows he can still win because he won a basketball game once. His dish is also inspired by his childhood, when he would go fishing, so he has at least defeated Julia in the Most Boring Inspiration contest. Gary, though, thinks the dish might have steroids in it.
The eating begins, and Matt is mightily impressed with the oyster emulsion, playing along with this farcical charade, while George grunts enthusiastically. The overall consensus is that Andy's dish is delicious and we should go to an ad break while pretending everyone doesn't already know Andy has crushed Julia like a cockroach in this round.
And we're back, to hear Gary tell them that the grand finale is exhausting, so wasting more time on talking will really pep them up a lot. He explains the criteria on which they judged the dishes, because clearly the show was moving at far too cracking a pace.
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I found out and felt like an idiot, but by the end of that show, Marco and I respected each other. He could see the enjoyment I was having cooking, and we were both enjoying what we were doing.
Andy Allen won MasterChef Australia in They do create challenges that are just not meant to be achievable. There were long days with a lot of waiting around, but the 60 minute cooks you see on-screen do go for 60 minutes. There were certain challenges where the food had to be served cold, but what no one saw on TV was that the judges are constantly going around and tasting food.
They do get a pretty good idea from doing that about whether it will taste good or not. But I think very little down time is a good thing, because it distracts you from missing home. You are literally always learning, always on. Those team challenges, and how you get through them, and the skills you gain are invaluable too. I was never lonely, but I did miss the people on the outside. You just miss the people who would normally be popping in and out of your life every day.
My sister just had a little baby boy when I went on the show, there was lots happening in the outside world. We spent every single day with them and all your normal support structures are gone, so you rely on the people in that house, and that top Some people did struggle, but we were very lucky we had each other.
We became best friends in the house which was an advantage for both of us straight away. We were outed as having a bromance pretty early on! Then it was all over social media. That education and grounding you get from being on there for a year is priceless. Everything I do in my daily life is thanks to that, and it even has a credit to play in my wife and daughter.
That led to us getting married once I left the show, and now we have a little girl.