So to celebrate the return of Masterchef, I hosted a Masterchef Night in my kitchen. What followed was lots of delicious food, over eating and some fun and games.
Lets start with the food.
First up, we have Kevin presenting his dish. So what did Kevin make? A delicious dish of "Original Salted Crispy Chicken Wings KFC (Kevin Fried Chicken)". Well, this dish was both false advertising in that it wasn't fried or original. It seemed very much like the dish that was presented at my Christmas Party, only then it was made by Krystal and not Kevin. Hmmmm, I smell some cheating going on here. Anyway, I found the dish a bit too salty and lacking some flavour.
Next up we have the ever camera shy Dennis presenting his dish accurately described dish of "Spare Ribs with Some Sauce". I think the name and presentation might need some work. The taste and texture was actually quite good, but a bit too salty, as Dennis himself noted.
Nelly's dish to be judged not only looked good, it also contained a threat. Her "Nelly's Moro-c-c-con Pie! I Better Win or I'll Bomb You" was definitely a crowd pleaser. Once the nuts and lemon was squeezed on the filo pastry, the flavours of the lamb stuffing oozed out in rich bursts.
I helped present mum's "Crispy Skin Pork Belly" since she was not present. This too was a massive crowd pleaser with everyone going back for seconds after initial judgment.
Amy's "Very Yummy But Ugly Sushi" once again put shame to restaurant descriptions of their dishes. How much more honesty do you want. I enjoyed the sushi, especially the smaller rolls filled with seaweed. But yes, the could have been rolled a bit tighter. Irene's dish of "Cheezy Prawn Wrap", spelt with a Z for originality was very good. The oozy cheeze (sic) made for a very rich dish.
Krystal tried to use tradition to win the contest by submitting a "Traditional XinJiang Roast Lamb Skewers With?" for judging. Even she wasn't sure what other ingredients were in it. The skewers were tender and good. Elliot went for a dish inspired by the Iron Chefs, combining some rather daring ingredients to give us "Homemade Lotus Root Cake". Notice how he had to emphasize that it's homemade, in case you were in any doubt. So his dish was lotus root cakes sitting on top of roast pork. The lotus roots definitely were a flavour I haven't eaten much of in this form, and combined with the pork was an extremely interesting dish. I don't know whether this flavour combo really worked.
Ling brought, not one, but two dishes, although only one went up for judging for fairness sakes. Her first dish of "Chicken Rendang with Lace Pancakes" looked and tasted the part. The beautiful coconut lace pancakes were wrapped around this fiery rendang, made with chicken rather than beef. Her second unjudged dish were macarons. She made three flavours, Berry, Pistachio and, drumroll please, durian. Mmmmm, I loved the durian macaron as I too have made durian macaron previously.
With all the savoury dishes out of the way, it was onto desserts. First we have Kidman's "Creme Brulee in Two Flavours". She made a traditional creme brulee and also a green tea one. We all watched in fascination as she used a blow torch to make the sugar crust. The brulees were rich and creamy and tasted excellent. Minh made a "Apricot Parfait with Shoehorn Shortrcust Biscuits". Oh my goodness, the parfait was A-Mazing. Somehow, the flavours of the apricots just seeped into the dish and the whole thing was an absolute delight.
Jacky went for something simple, with his entry being "Cake". It was "inspired by Bread Top", complete with plastic containers for the cake, haha. We all forgave him seeing as he doesn't have gas at his house currently. The cake tasted ok. I think Bread Top could have done better. I went for something simple too, with my entry of "Chocolate Cake With A Surprise". I must say that I'm pretty happy with the results of how my cake turned out, and it was definitely rich and decadent. So what was the surprise I hear you ask? Well, scroll down to the next photo.
The "surprise" element was a lava of creamy passionfruit curd when you cut into the cake. Mmmm, don't you want some now?
So with the tasting out of the way, it was onto the officially score tallying. Each person voted on a dish out of ten. Obviously you couldn't vote for your own dish. So here are the results.
* Number 13 with 54.50 pts, Jacky and his "Cake".
* Number 12 with 78.47 pts, Elliot and his "Homemade Lotus Root Cake".
* Number 11 with 78.49 pts, Kevin and his "Original Salted Crispy Chicken Wings KFC (Kevin Fried Chicken)".
* Number 10 with 82.00 pts, Krystal and her "Traditional XinJiang Roast Lamb Skewers With?".
* Number 9 with 82.51 pts, Irene and her "Cheezy Prawn Wraps".
* Number 8 with 82.70 pts, Dennis with his "Spare Ribs With Some Sauce".
* Number 7 with 88.00 pts, Amy with her "Very Yummy But Ugly Sushi".
* Number 6 with 92.20 pts, Thanh with my "Chocolate Cake With A Surprise".
* Number 5 with 94.79999 pts, Nelly with her "Nelly's Moro-c-c-con Pie! I Better Win or I'll Bomb You".
* Number 4 with 95.00 pts, Ling with her "Chicken Rendang with Lace Pancakes" .
* Number 3 with 98.80 pts, Kidman with her "Creme Brulee in Two Flavours".
* Number 2 with 101.899 pts, Minh with his "Apricot Parfait with Shoehorn Shortrcust Biscuits".
*And the winner, on a score of 113.00, my Mum with her "Crispy Skin Pork Belly".
However, what is a contest without controversy. There were grumblings amongst the contestants that mum was ineligible to enter due to her numerous years of cooking experience. Hence, on a re-count, the winner was judge to be......Minh.
So, it was time to hand out the beautifully printed certificates (good work Kevin) and hand out prizes to the various category winners.
First up was "Most Original Dish", and the winner of that was......Ling, with her Lace Pancakes being a crowd favourite. Her prize were some beautiful crystal shot glasses.
The "Thanks For Coming Award" went to......Amy, for arriving a whole hour late and making us all stare at the food but not being able to eat it. Her prize was a very treasured one, the March 18th Edition of The Age's Green Guide, which I contributed from my own stash.
The "Most Presentable Dish" award went to......Nelly. Her prize was a massive wooden spoon (happily donated by Ling) that she could hit everyone with instead of bombing us.
The "Get Back To High School Cooking Class" award went to......Jacky, for his Bread Top inspired cakes. And Jacky's prize was one that everyone wanted. He got KFC discount vouchers (generously donated by Kevin), with one voucher already used for authenticity.
And of course, "Best Dish" went to......Minh, with that amazing parfait. His prize was a cookbook (very generously donated by Krystal) and the honour of getting to wear the Masterchef At Thanh's Kitchen green Heineken hat. He got to do his Miss Universe parade and wave around the kitchen while all the other contestants clapped and pretended to be happy that he won instead of them. Note that the printer decided to break down at this point and we had to write up Minh's certificate with a blue pen, classy, haha.
And that, my dear readers, wraps up the first ever Masterchef Night at Thanh's Kitchen. Thanks to all the contestants for putting so much effort into their original dishes and getting into the spirit of the night. I hope we can all do it again. Let's not eat until we can't move next time.