Ohkay, I must say, this episode was a complete MasterChef package for me because it was perfect in terms of cooking, perfect in terms of execution & most importantly it was perfect in regards to the judges too. I am glad we got to see a lighter side of the judges this time around & as the episodes are progressing I feel that the judges are getting candid & comfortable in their seats & are actually making an effort in understanding the contestants & their mental pressures more. This episode had absolutely no drawbacks whatsoever & I thoroughly enjoyed it this time around.
The challenge itself was really interesting where the contestants randomly got the cuisines they had to work upon. They were told to check the drawers & their reactions were honest, where some were excited & the others were lost.
Azam & Saad got Pakistani Cuisine.
Iqra, Rayyan & Madiha got Chinese Cuisine.
Gulnaz, Ammarah & Sidrah got Thai Cuisine.
Khurram & Amna got Italian Cuisine.
Maryam, Zain & Mudassir got Arabic Cuisine.
It was once again a 60 minute challenge with a semi-open pantry. The dishes that the contestants came up were amazing & the judges were a bit more elaborate in explaining which dishes they liked & what they didn’t in certain dishes.
Amna presented Fettuccine Alfredo w/ Bruschetta. Chef Khurram liked the dish & felt that the chicken was tender, sauce was flavoursome but it was a little too creamy. According to him the dish wasn’t what he expected from Amna at this stage. Chef Zakir felt that the pasta was too thin to fit the mark of fettuccine & also told her that fettuccine is not supposed to be cooked with the sauce & just because she did it, the pasta was over-cooked. Chef Mehboob also commented that the pasta was thin & the sauce was too creamy with no accurate ratios.
Khurram made Beef Lasagne w/ Garlic Cheese Bread. Chef Mehboob felt that too much was going on in the dish & a lot of ingredients were used unnecessarily. Chef Khurram also felt that he could taste a lot of flavours & told him to stick to the basics. Chef Zakir felt that the sauce was too rich & the marination of the beef wasn’t great too.
Gulnaz came up with Thai Green Curry. Chef Mehboob loved the dish because as per him the flavours were in perfect harmony. He felt that the curry had a very mild but a great flavour. Chef Khurram also liked the dish & said that the flavours were balanced & the chicken was great too. Chef Zakir commented that this was so far the best dish that she has cooked in the competition. He also liked the fact that she kept things simple & pointed out that especially.
Sidrah made Thai Red Curry w/ Sautéed Rice. Chef Mehboob appreciated her especially because this was the first time she attempted a Thai dish. He said it was a little bit on the spicier side but perfect for him. Chef Khurram liked the presentation & also the dish because it was flavoursome.
Azam came up with Zaffrani Qorma. Chef Zakir felt that the onions were giving a little sweeter quotient to the dish & said that if the flavours aren’t balanced, the dish doesn’t taste good. Chef Khurram said that the chicken was a little undercooked but he liked the curry & said that he could still taste the saffron which was a good sign.
Maryam presented Mandi as an Arabic dish. Chef Mehboob felt the whole dish was too dry. Chef Khurram thought that the dish tasted like Pakistani Pulao & not at all like Arabic Mandi. Chef Zakir questioned her choice knowing that she was attempting this dish for the first time.
Rayyan made Charred Beef w/ Veggies. Chef Zakir didn’t like his cutting techniques. Chef Khurram liked the flavours but found it too dry.
Irqa made Dry Beef Chilli w/ Garlic Rice & Beef Mince Filled Cabbage Rolls. Chef Mehboob commented that the rice tasted good but the beef was a letdown of the dish.
Madiha presented Cashew Chicken w/ Raisin Fried Rice. Chef Khurram felt that too much flavours made her dish into something else & it wasn’t a proper Chinese dish. Chef Mehboob said that the dishes should be simple. Chef Zakir asked her again if she didn’t get what was asked of her.
Zain presented an Arabic platter of Parsley Chicken with Hummus, Tabouli & Peta Bread. Chef Khurram felt that the Hummus was a bit too thick & he thought his dish wasn’t Arabic enough in terms of the flavours. Chef Mehboob told him the right way of making Tabouli & commented on his cutting skills too.
Mudassir made a Deconstructed Chicken Shawarma. Chef Zakir felt that the chicken had no flavour & also the cutting wasn’t right. Chef Khurram felt that the chicken lacked the shawarma-like taste. Chef Mehboob commented that the chicken should’ve been sliced thinly & also the sauce had no right flavours.
Ammarah made Thai Red Curry w/ Prawn Soup. Chef Mehboob commented that the balance wasn’t right & just because she tried to balance it out, the flavours were lost completely. Chef Khurram liked the presentation but he said that the overall taste of the dish wasn’t that impressive.
Saad made Shahi Badaami Qourma. Chef Khurram loved his dish too & felt that there was no need of changing the name because the flavors were spot on & this dish was the best one in Pakistani category. Chef Zakir shook hands with him & appreciated his effort. Chef Mehboob said that he has picked up a pace & has started to perform ever since the last team challenge & this dish was amazing too.
So, these were the dishes & I am glad they covered everyone’s cooking, dishes & then the tastings in this episode. Zain broke down because he couldn’t perform & we got to see a friendlier side of Chef Mehboob because he made Zain understand how he shouldn’t take these comments to his head & rather take them as a guideline for improvement. Chef Mehboob also told him & the other contestants about a story of his struggles & he said that the contestants will be put up with physical & mental pressures & whoever will survive till the end by putting the act together will become a MasterChef.
The judges had to select the top 5 & said that the one who will win the challenge will get the immunity. The winner will perform in the next elimination round but will be safe. The top 5 were Azam, Amna, Saad, Sidrah & Gulnaz. I feel for the very first time the judges did a justice to the winning dish with their remarks because they didn’t hold back & didn’t fish for unnecessary flaws in the dish. Going by their remarks it was pretty evident that Gulnaz will be the winner & she actually was. She was ecstatic, happy, humbled & overwhelmed & the judges praised her wholeheartedly to boost up her morale & encourage her to perform similarly in the upcoming challenges. I feel this is the exact vibe that we; the viewers were expecting from the judges & I am glad it wasn’t too late & they have redeemed themselves.
On a personal note I really like how Madiha always adorns her scarves with matching girly accessories, it looks really really cute. :) I enjoyed seeing the personal VT’s of Mudassir & Ammarah. It’s good to know that the ladies do get support from their families to work on their passion. Gulnaz is a sweetheart & her innocence is a treat to watch. I am actually really happy that Gulnaz proved herself & Saad is also working towards a winning streak.
So, for the first time in MasterChef we’re expecting a guest chef in the elimination round. I don’t know why but I have a strong feeling that the guest chef would be none other than Chef Rahat, I may be wrong but I think it might be her. Any guesses who the guest chef might be? :) Share what you felt about tonight’s episode.