On a wet August evening a group of food critics, writers, bloggers assembled in the Summit restaurant (owned by celebrity chef Michael Moore), not to sample their new menu, but to judge the first offsite Junior MasterChef challenge. Noodlies Sydney food blog was one of the judges. To help maintain our objectivity, we did not meet the contestants until the judging was completed.
The would be Junior Masterchefs were divided into teams and had to cook a Michael Moore dish for us to judge and score. There were four teams and four dishes for us to enjoy, degustation style:
- Prawns with Goats Cheese Curd with salad and citrus herb dressing
- Olive oil poached Quail with spiced eggplant
- Brined and seared Beef fillet with creamed cauliflower and black grape mignonette
- Spiced Cherry Compote with Vanilla Mascarpone and crostini
These were seriously challenging dishes.
I went into it full of goodwill, these were the top 20 contestants, so they would be very, very good. I was determined to be positive and supportive. Even if the dishes had some rough edges, I will forgive – they were children after all. My resolve to be ‘nice’ was going to plan, at my table was Caroline (next to me), Fi and James (opposite) – the sweetest people you could meet. And we all agreed these kids need all the support and positivity from us. We kinda made an informal pact to that effect.
The first course came: Prawns with Goats Cheese Curd with salad and citrus herb dressing, we all marvelled at the maturity of the young chefs, these were complex flavours and textures to balance and they were doing an amazing job.
Then came the quail…
I can’t reveal anymore details, except the quail dish somehow seemed to set me off – I thought about sweet innocent children, good children, children that need our support. And then I open my mouth. You can see the worried look on Caroline’s face (she’s a truly angelic creature)… and you can see the look on my face… much less angelic.
What happens next? You have to tune into Junior MasterChef on Channel 10 this Sunday, 9th October at 7.30pm to find out.
Oh, and after watching this ep, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my comments 🙂
Credit: Screen grabs courtesy of Channel 10 publicity.