MasterChef Pakistan Week 04 – Kitchen Challenge!

So, this episode began with the elimination. Ali Shah, Aneela & Adnan were in the bottom 3 & one of them had to go. Going by the judges’ remarks, I am not too sure who deserved to go because all three of them were criticized for how bad their dishes were. I think it was important on the judges part to actually elaborate a bit more about the positives of Adnan & Aneela’s dishes which gave them an upper-hand & made them safe because the way the judges gave them the feedback, it went to show that all three of them were eligible of elimination. Like I said, I feel the judges focus more on criticizing rather than appreciating & that’s a downer.

This episode was once again based on a signature dish where the contestants had to come up with their own version of ‘Biryani’. Madiha who won the last challenge got an advantage where she could exclusively pick the meat she wanted to cook with & she also had to make a choice for the one contestant she found was a tough competitor. So, going by the rule she picked Chicken as a protein for herself & gave Rayyan a fish to work with, because according to her she knew he’s a strong contender & she felt he’d have a hard time working with it.

The challenge began & I am glad a little more cooking was shown this time which made the episode a lot more interesting. The judges went to everyone & asked about their techniques & the flavours they were infusing in their Biryani. A few dishes stood out both for good & the bad reasons & those who got their verdict were:

Adnan who presented ‘Beef Biryani’. Chef Mehboob felt that the spices dominated his biryani & the rice was over-cooked. Chef Khurram also felt that the spices over-powered the rest of the dish & also commented on the lack of presentation skills.

Aneela who made ‘Mutton Biryani. Chef Khurram felt that her presentation was weak again & said she needed to pay more attention on it but other than that he liked the food. Chef Mehboob also said that she did well & he was happy for her.

Rayyan made ‘Hyderabadi Fish Biryani’. Chef Zakir said that the taste of fish wasn’t infused much in the rice, which is why the rice was bland. Chef Mehboob commended him for not letting the fish break & felt that he presented his plate well but felt that the taste of sesame was dominant. Chef Khurram said that this dish was ordinary.

Gulnaz made ‘Mutton Nuts Biryani’. Chef Khurram liked her presentation but didn’t say much about the dish.

Zain presented ‘Mince & Prawn Biryani’. Chef Zakir liked it but said that the combination of fruit wasn’t balanced. Chef Mehboob gave him an insight as to how a fusion cooking should be handled. He liked his dish but said that he needs to pay more attention to the flavors which he is trying to work with especially when it comes to the fusion cooking.

Iqra made ‘Prawn Biryani’. Chef Mehboob felt that she pushed herself a little too hard that’s why she committed some mistakes. He felt that the smoky flavour was a bit too overpowering. Chef Zakir felt that the rice was cooked well but when they were combined with the other components, the rice became soggy.

Madiha made ‘Authentic Mughlai Biryani’. Chef Mehboob said her choice was right & she did justice to it a 100%. Chef Khurram loved her dish & said he enjoyed it a lot. Chef Zakir said this is a battle & the one who knows how to play will succeed.

Ammarah made ‘Pakistani Biryani Platter’. Chef Khurram liked the rich flavours. Chef Zakir commented on the uniqueness of the flavours that she induced in her dish.

Amna made ‘Laham Majboos’ an Arabic version of Biryani. Chef Khurram didn’t like her presentation nor the dish. Chef Mehboob said that she needs to come out of the Arab taste & work with Pakistani flavors.

Saad made ‘Sea Food Biryani’. Chef Mehboob liked the sauce that he presented but said that the biryani itself was a disaster. Chef Khurram said it wasn’t his lucky day.

Azam also made ‘Sea Food Biryani’ & Chef Khurram said that his sauce & biryani were poles apart.

I must say I am totally impressed by the ideas these contestants are coming up with every single time. Being the home-cooks mostly, their ideas are just brilliant & the execution is top-notch, which makes this show a must watch. Coming back to the competition, it was now a time for the verdict of the day so for that Amna, Ammarah, Madiha, Rayyan, Adnan, Aneela, Saad & Azam were told to come forward for the final judgement. Aneela, Ammarah & Madiha were safe where Madiha once again won the challenge. This left Rayyan, Amna, Adnan, Saad & Azam in the danger zone where they’ll appear in the black-apron round to compete against each other, which I can’t wait to see because it’s going to be the first ever black-apron round & this will give a chance to the contestants to prove themselves & compete justifiably.

I must say the challenge & the episode itself was great but I am disappointed by the judges & their remarks. It looks like Chef Zakir himself is competing with the contestants & he doesn’t leave a single opportunity that he gets to let others know that he is a successful chef himself. I feel no matter how bad a dish must be, it should never be called a disaster that too on the national TV in such a big platform. I think there are a million ways to give a feedback both positive & negative but being a judge, it doesn’t mean that they have to be so cold-hearted & blunt. Once again I felt that the judges nit-picked & discussed every single ‘negative’ detail while criticizing but didn’t speak about the positive factors of those dishes they felt were great. The only thing they could say was good, excellent & ‘maza a gaya’ but didn’t tell ke kiss wajah se maza aya.

I think Rayyan himself admitted that it was his mistake for which he couldn’t perform & he generally made a comment that rest depends on the judges but the judges got a bit defensive unnecessarily & reminded him of what his position was by saying ‘ke app wahan pe aur hum yahan pe kharay hain’. I think the unnecessary stern attitude of the judges is ticking me off. ‘Hamari nazar app sab logon pe hai’, ‘2 advantages zaya ho chuke hain’, ‘hamain sab nazar a raha hai’. I think the judges don’t know the art of ‘moving on’ that’s why they are stuck in the past about the 2 ‘once in a lifetime’ advantages that weren’t utilized properly, lol!

Relax judges, it’s just a cooking competition matey. :) Share what you felt about this episode.

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Zahra Mirza.

Zahra Mirza

Zahra Mirza got associated with in 2012. After moving to Australia, Pakistani content was a way of staying connected to the roots, language & Pakistani culture because it felt home. Eight years ago, review writing began as a hobby but has now turned into a passion.