Elimination round was good & so was Chef Shai’s appearance in the show. She really lit up the kitchen with her presence & more importantly her positive attitude & the encouragement she extended to the contestants BUT, the best moment of this episode for me was when Saad said as far as Zubaida Apa ain’t the guest judge, he’ll be fine. LOL! I couldn’t stop laughing at that.
Once again we got to see some great dishes but I have an issue like they do tell generally as to how a contestant is chopping the veggies or how are they using the machines but I am kind of missing out on the ‘techniques’. I want to see what techniques they use & how do they plan the execution of the dish. I am missing the while-cooking conversations of the contestants where they talk us through to their thinking process & how are they planning to work on a dish, what problems are they facing & stuff like that. It seems that the contestants only speak when the judges question them but other than that I kind of miss knowing the techniques they are using in their dishes & the talk-throughs.
First challenge was to create a salad in 20 minutes which only Chef Shai would taste so that she could pick a winner. Those salads looked delicious & I am sure any salad-lover like me would’ve drooled over the sight of them. The list of the salads is as follows:
Bean Sprout Fish Salad – Maryam
Ceasar Salad w/ Prawns – Amna
Rocket Leaves Salad – Rayyan
Prawn Salad w/ Honey Glazed Veggies – Khurram
Greek Salad – Gulnaz
Ceasar Salad – Azam
Lettuce Salad w/ Bell Pepper Dressing – Sidrah
My Fresh Salad – Zain
Deconstructed Ceaser Salad – Iqra
No Fat Salad – Mudassir
Italian Dressed Salad in a Nest – Madiha
Walnut Bacon Salad – Ammarah
Mango & Avacado Salsa – Saad.
The winner was Saad because Chef Shai felt that the portion size was just perfect for the entrée as well as the presentation & the grilled prawns. Saad won the advantage of getting a help from Chef Shai that too for 10 minutes in the upcoming challenge.
The last & the elimination challenge was set by Chef Shai where she brought a dish created by her & it was more like a recreation challenge where she provided the contestants with the recipe & they had to come up with a dish exactly like hers but it could vary in the presentation. The dish was Tenderloin Medallion w/ Lemon Chilli Prawns & Curried Quinoa. The contestants got 90 minutes for it with an open pantry & the resulting dishes were good to see. Chef Shai did make it clear that in the culinary world people follow a KIS rule which refers to ‘Keeping It Simple’, so she advised everyone to follow it throughout.
Maryam was the first one to get the feedback from the judges. Chef Shai felt that the Quinoa was under-cooked, the curry was a bit spicy, cheese bowl was a bit thick that’s why it turned soggy but the prawns were good. Chef Mehboob commented that the prawns were good but the sauce was overpowering. Chef Khurram didn’t like the presentation & Chef Zakir felt that the steak had a burnt flavor to it.
Amna got her feedback were Chef Mehboob said he couldn’t eat the under-cooked prawn. Chef Shai also commented that the cheese bowl was too thick & soggy but she liked the steak & felt that the sauce was well seasoned. Chef Zakir commented that raw food is a big no no & it a massive problem.
Rayyan was the next in line for the judges’ remarks. Chef Mehboob liked the prawns, the beef but felt that the sauce was a bit too strong but when combined with the whole dish, it worked really well. Chef Khurram told him that he could do well with the presentation.
Sidrah got the comments where Chef Shai felt that the steak was dry but prawns were good. Chef Mehboob commented that she tried to do well on her part & she succeeded, he told her to keep up the good work. Chef Khurram felt that the sauce was a bit more sour & spicy but if she had improved she was the only one who would’ve gotten closer to the actual dish.
Khurram came in to get a feedback on his dish. Chef Mehboob said that the quinoa was raw, prawns weren’t good as they were overcooked but the sauce & the cheese bowl were right. Chef Khurram didn’t like the presentation. Chef Zakir was as usual stern & said that this sort of food won’t earn him respect (!?!?!?!).
Azam got some great remarks as Chef Shai liked the sauce & Chef Mehboob commented that the beef was well cooked & well-seasoned.
Gulnaz got appreciated as well. Chef Mehboob liked the plating & felt that the dish was ideal because the prawns, the steak, the sauce were cooked perfectly. Chef Shai liked the seasoning of the prawns & commented that if she seeks knowledge of this art, she can become a great chef herself. Chef Khurram felt she gave a good response to her competitors. Chef Zakir named the cheese basket as Chitrali Basket.
Zain was next in line. Chef Shai felt that the steak was dry. Chef Khurram didn’t like the sauce. Chef Mehboob said that the sauce was over-reduced that’s why it lost the flavour & the beef as well as the prawns were over-cooked. Chef Zakir commented that the beef was so over-done that it had no flavour.
Mudassir came to get in his remarks. Chef Mehboob said his beef was a disaster as it was over-cooked. Chef Zakir said because the steak was so thinly sliced it easily got over-cooked & was giving a burnt flavour too & the sauce had a totally different flavour.
Saad was the last one but he got some great comments. Chef Mehboob felt that he chose a wrong plate for the presentation but other than that the steak, the prawns & the quinoa were good perfectly. He felt that by far this was the best dish he had tasted. Chef Khurram commented on the choice of plate to but liked the flavours of his dish. Chef Zakir said he enjoyed eating the dish a lot & also said he has high expectations of him.
So, these were the comments & now it was time for the bottom 5 & someone’s journey to end. Zain, Maryam, Mudassir, Amna & Khurram were in the bottom & Mudassir was eliminated from the competition. Every contestant had some great things to say about him & we wish him good luck too. & once again I feel the judges remarks didn’t do justice to how weak Mudassir’s dish actually was that he was eliminated because going by the remarks that were shown, Khurram had the weakest dish where the 3 main ingredients were bad but Mudassir had only stuffed up the beef component. Not too sure what were they thinking.
On a personal note, I liked how Chef Shai was pointing out the positives in all the dishes even after the contestants had made some massive mistakes. She was being positive about everyone’s attempt & was impressed too. I feel she contributed greatly as a guest judge.
& yes, the thing we all dreaded was covered in this episode & that was the politics & the rift between the contestants. I so wish they had settled it off the camera & had kept the dignity of all the contestants intact. No doubt Gulnaz got some great comments & she won the challenge but that doesn’t mean she comes up with her personal behind-the-scene issues in front of the judges. I think the editors should have edited the whole thing ‘because’ we’re more interested in seeing the cooking & not the drama. I really like Gulnaz & also I like Saad, not too sure about Amna though but then to see Gulnaz taking names of the people involved & later getting the remarks by the judges on them wasn’t something good to see. The judges based Gulnaz’s dish remarks on the rift too where Chef Khurram said ‘this dish was an answer to her competitors who had questioned her’. I feel it’s a cooking competition & it should remain that way. The judges tried really hard to fetch something by stirring Rayyan-Madiha controversy but when they saw that Rayyan & Madiha tackled it brilliantly & didn’t give away much, they picked just the rightly naive person for it. I hope we don’t get to see more such issues that the contestants may be experiencing off the camera because this is MasterChef we’re interested in.
I am kind of curious as to why the clip of Chef Zakir was removed from the previous episode where he was being rude to Madiha when she asked a question. In the preview last week they did show something but when the actual episode went on-air I think that clip was deleted purposely. If they didn’t intend to show it then they shouldn’t have shown Chef Zakir’s remark in the preview too. I hope they don’t do such things for the ratings as they are getting enough already.
Can’t wait to see the upcoming episodes. Share what you felt about the elimination round & then the elimination.