MasterChef NZ 2022 recap: ‘It’s almost, almost inedible…’

Immunity has always seemed to me to be a bit rough on the folks that win it.

Presumably they’re there because they love cooking, and they’re excellent at it. So their reward for that is… not being allowed to cook?

It makes a little more sense this Monday, as Sam and his teammate from last night’s challenge Jason, are sent up to the Gods to watch, barred from cooking while the mere mortals below do their thing. It gives everyone else a chance to shine – hard to do when cooking opposite Sam.

It was an episode of winners...and would-be chefs who are not winners this time.


It was an episode of winners…and would-be chefs who are not winners this time.

It also gives Sam a chance to show off his future MasterChef Judge potential, delivering some great observation from his elevated position.

* MasterChef NZ 2022 recap: Judge Nadia Lim’s tears over shock elimination
* MasterChef 2022 recap: ‘The consistency is like Spam’, and other comments there’s no coming back from
* MasterChef NZ 2022 recap: Will Hana’s strategy come back to bite her?
* MasterChef 2022 recap: Hero chocolate – and make it naughty

Tonight it’s an invention test and product placement event!

First up is our old pal Kenwood who has supplied the contestants with one of those amazing machines that does everything except design the dish for you.

Then it’s on to Briscoes, who has delivered what looks like 17,000 bowls to the show. Amazing job.

The challenge is that each of the human contestants get a random attachment they have to use to create a brand-new dish.

FYI: Farzana gets a juicer, and we get to hear the single greatest giggle in the history of great giggles.

Some guy called Lance, who I could wear I have never seen before in my life despite having watched 11 hours of this show, gets a whisk, and he’s making a desert with it.

Elliot is making mac and cheese… which, yeah, bold.

Why would think making something well known is a safe option in an invention challenge? Cooking for these three chefs, it means you have to deliver mac and cheese fit for the Gods. Add the invention element, and it means you have to deliver unique mac and cheese, like they’ve never tasted before, that is also fit for the Gods.

Does Elliot have the chops? I dunno. He’s “not a precise cook”, but have at it, I guess.

Up in the balcony of competence, Sam is dishing on Amberley’s cooking. On the one hand, rough; on the other: I can’t believe this guy not only has time to create his own unique cooking style, but also has time to take note of everyone else’s cooking style.

But this is not about Sam! This is about Amberley and her penchant for mash.

Farzana is making a carrot themed dessert inspired by a dish from Iran, comprised of chilled carrot juice with saffron ice cream. BRB, booking a summer trip to Tehran.

Oh hey, Lance! There you are again. OK, so Lance is smoking cream, which is actually a fascinating prospect. I’ve tried smoked yogurt and smoked cheese, but never smoked cream. Color me curious.

He adds some spiced chocolate, tastes it and literally does a little dance. How have I not been this guy’s biggest champion since the start?

It’s right down to the wire again. Hana has 3 minutes of cooking left, Amberley just discovered some jerk left the blast chiller door open, the last thing someone making an ice cream sandwich needs, and Naomi reckons it was the hardest challenge she’s faced.

Luckily she was cooking quail and has an itty bitty quail wishbone to snap, so at least we know she’s safe this episode.

Amberley is the first delivering her dish tonight, and she is bricking it. Her ice cream is a flop, and when Lim cuts into the “blondie” on top, it’s rock hard. It goes really badly for her.

Farzana's orange odyssey, so much carrot, so little time.


Farzana’s orange odyssey, so much carrot, so little time.

Elliot’s mac and cheese is next, and judge Vaughan Mabee says what we were all thinking: “It looks boring”.

I love how Mabee always slides the food into his mouth so slowly, like he’s savoring every nuance of it. You know deliberations are going on right there.

Farzana’s carrot extravaganza is next. Some folks are of the rabbit-esque opinion that there is no such a thing as too much carrot, and yet here we are with carrot cake, juice, cream and gel all on one very orange plate.

Undaunted, Michael Dearth calls it a “gangsta carrot cake”, and I’m fairly sure Mabee is going to steal her carrot gel recipe for his restaurant.

Lance’s smoked cream dessert wafts out next, and before they even tucked in, the smell just about knocks Nadia Lim’s socks off – not in the good way. Mabee sums it up: “It’s almost, almost inedible”

Mate, that is Spam level condemnation. Pack your bags. You’ve got only one chance left, and his name is Rudi.

Rudi’s dish is meatballs and flat bread. Now, look, I love Rudi. He is a sweetheart. But I could walk out my door and get decent meatballs and flat bread anywhere in Wellington. Sure, his would probably be a match for any of them, but that’s kind of the point: He ain’t invented nothing and that’s what the judges tell him.

Lim says this is the least inventive dish they have eaten in a night of uninventive dishes. He looks crushed, and now I feel crushed for him. *sad face emoji*

Surprising exactly no-one, Rudi, Lance and Amberley are in the bottom three… I think my boy Lance is going home. Man, and he only just arrived, too.

I’m right. Stink. He goes out on a high note, however, reminding the judges of his perfect lamb back in episode 1. And then there were 9…

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