MasterChef Pakistan Week 05 – Black Apron Round!

Once again a very interesting episode. The black apron round was a treat to watch. I feel as we’re going along the season, the editing issues are subsiding & this episode was perfect in that regard. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the show & liked the energy of the judges this time around too.

In this round Maryam, Aneela, Rayyan, Madiha, Amna, Sidrah & Gulnaz were competing. The challenge was set by Chef Zakir himself that the contestants had to replicate his signature dish; Chicken Reshmi Karahi. What normally happens is that when the contestants are told to recreate a signature dish of any of the chef, they are provided with all the ingredients & more importantly, the recipe as well but in this round the contestants had to judge a dish based on their own capability & understanding of food, which definitely meant that everyone will be having a respective version of the dish. I feel that if they had at least given them some sort of pointers, than it really would’ve meant that the contestants were recreating Chef Zakir’s dish but nevertheless, what they all created was good to see too. The contestants had a free choice of making any sort of bread to compliment the dish & they did come up with some succulent bread for the judges to try.

While judging Madiha’s dish, Chef Zakir firstly pointed out that the cutting wasn’t the same how it was in the original dish. He also felt that the whole dish was dry. Chef Mehboob felt that she didn’t marinate the chicken long enough for the flavours to get in there. Chef Khurram felt that the sourness was overpowering the whole dish.

For Amna’s dish, Chef Khurram felt that the gravy was nice & had a great texture. Chef Mehboob liked the balance of flavours but Chef Zakir felt that the whole dish was missing a binding factor because of the lack of salt.

Regarding Rayyan’s dish, Chef Mehboob felt that salt was missing but he still liked the gravy. Chef Khurram felt that the gravy had the ratio of tomatoes more than it was required. Chef Zakir said that just because he put in a lot of spices, he had to balance the taste, that’s why he poured in some more tomatoes in the sauce.

In Aneela’s dish, Chef Zakir felt that it had no sourness, no shine in the sauce & just because she didn’t cook the dish properly, the tastes weren’t well combined. Chef Khurram liked the bread she served but Chef Mehboob felt that the dish was incomplete.

Gulnaz’s dish got a lot of compliments. Chef Mehboob felt that she recreated the dish closest to that of Chef Zakir’s. Chef Zakir felt that the balance of flavours was spot on, his only critique was that if she had brought out some more texture of the sauce then this dish would’ve been a perfect replica. Chef Khurram’s only concern was the usage of ginger but otherwise he liked the dish a lot too.

Sidrah’s dish got mixed remarks as well. Chef Khurram liked the bread & also felt that the sauce was nice. According to him, the tomatoes weren’t overpowering & because of that the spices could be tasted well. Chef Zakir felt that the chicken pieces were overcooked which made the main component of the dish a lot dry.

Maryam’s dish was average too. Chef Mehboob pointed out that the cutting wasn’t right. Chef Zakir felt that the sauce was way too thick but the taste was fine. Chef Khurram said that it wasn’t an exceptional dish.

It was now time for the results. Amna, Sidrah & Gulnaz were told that they were safe. Rest of them once again got criticized on the missing factors in their dishes. Chef Khurram said he was disappointed by the bread that Madiha made. Chef Zakir felt that Rayyan was working haphazardly & he seemed lost. Chef Khurram said that Maryam needs to work on her presentation & Chef Mehboob said that the chicken she made was dry. Aneela got the remarks by Chef Mehboob that her dish was incomplete, garnishing wasn’t upto the mark. Chef Khurram said only listening was not an option in this case, she had to practically create a dish of that standard too & just because she couldn’t deliver, she was eliminated leaving Maryam, Rayyan & Madiha safe for yet another week. Aneela’s elimination wasn’t a shocker, she wasn’t performing well ever since she stepped into the MasterChef kitchen but never mind, I wish her good luck.

One thing that I did feel once again was that the judges’ comments were confusing & misleading. While tasting & going by their remarks it felt that all the dishes were weak & the judges didn’t shed a light on any single dish that left them impressed, even Gulnaz’s dish was criticised for some factors despite it being the closest to the original one. Every single time, the judges picked one thing or the other that was lacking so it left me confused as to who deserved to stay in the competition & who didn’t. Sidrah was safe whereas Chef Zakir emphasized on the fact that the chicken was dry. Madiha’s dish was pretty disappointing but Aneela was eliminated. Chef Mehboob mentioned that she hasn’t been performing since the beginning but I think they shouldn’t have judged her cooking based on the past experiences because the clear reason they gave to her was that she remained in the bottom 3 every single week. I think the elimination was supposed to be based on this particular recreation of Chef Zakir’s signature dish & going by the judges remarks I feel Madiha’s dish was the weakest because judges didn’t like anything on that plate that she served. Chef Khurram did like the bread that Aneela served but he clearly mentioned that the bread served by Madiha disappointed him big time.

I feel that if the judges while tasting make up their minds that this dish can put the contestant through to the next round then they need to talk about the positives of that dish as well because I don’t see a reason for why Madiha was safe & why Aneela wasn’t because both of them got harsh remarks on their dish in this round especially. Even though I support Madiha & feel she is a strong contender but she definitely under-performed in this round & I didn’t hear a single positive comment about her dish that’s why I have my doubts. I feel that at least the judges should justify as to why a certain contestant is getting a chance once again like what was that ‘one’ particular factor that gave them an upper hand & a saving edge to continue being in the show.

Overall it was a pretty good episode & even the editing was great this time around too. Share your thoughts on this episode.

Keep Supporting,
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.