What the judges aren’t telling you on MasterChef
WE'RE down to the pointy end of MasterChef.
After what feels like six months of solid TV and harried contestants throwing every second ingredient into a sous vide, blast chilling to abandon and quinelling like scoops of ice cream were going out of fashion, the MasterChef marathon is almost complete.
The question is, who of the remaining people will take out the trophy. But there's another question perplexing MasterChef fans.
It's a perennial conundrum but this week it has taken on a new urgency.
On Monday night's show, Karlie Verkerk pressed go on her power pin, dubbed the show's "biggest ever advantage".
Well, actually, the pin's super power was merely an extra 15 minutes of cooking time to allow her to caramelise some pineapple rings. X-Men, this is not.
But the real power seemed to be delaying the judging of everyone else's food.
MasterChef fans on Twitter wondered why her dish would be allowed to be piping hot when judged while everyone else's creations would clearly be chilly.
"Does that mean everyone else's food goes cold for another 15 minutes before serving?," asked one.
So everyone else's dishes have to sit around getting cold while Karlie cheats with her dessertington? #masterchefau— Book of Bogan (@BookofBogan) July 9, 2017
It comes following a week in Japan where contestants appeared to be cooking in subzero temperatures, at one point at the base of a snow capped Mount Fuji, while the judges shivered beneath puffer jackets and scarfs.
Would the steaming bowls of warming broth be more like cold gazpacho by the time the judging took place?
Well, the answer is yes. It's highly likely the food served in Japan was indeed cold.
Have you ever seen steam rise from a dish well being judged?
Former contestant from series four, Alice Zaslavsky, has revealed the truth about the freezing food.
She says it's beyond doubt that the food is cold while judged for the cameras. But it doesn't matter because George, Matt and Gary may have already made their minds up.
"The judges would walk around and taste the food as soon as the challenge was over, while everything was still hot.
"If you were smart, you'd make a second plate of everything, so they get a complete sense of what you've cooked," Ms Zaslavsky told the Weekly Review.
Not only would dishes cool, she said, but they would even be put in the fridge between takes and while the crew go for lunch.
"Once you finish cooking, they take your plate away and shoot it with an overhead camera so it looks fresh.
"When your name was called, you'd walk up and put your dish on the bench," Ms Zaslavsky said.
"The judges put a fork in, eat a mouthful of the cold gloop for the cameras and pretend it's the first time they've tasted it."
This delay also accounts for the fact that at the end of the cook the benches are strewn with a debris of sticky bowls and filthy food processors. Yet when the judging occurs, just a second later in TV time, the benches are stripped off everything but the dish.
Judge George Calombaris has backed up Ms Zaslavsky's account.
"It has always been cold and it always will be cold but we taste everything hot off camera," he told the Daily Mail.
"At the end of the cook, [viewers] don't see that - no one sees that apart from the three of us and the executive producer.
"We will go around the room and the three of us will taste everything hot out of their pot."
Calombaris said the close up shots, overhead shots and all the other elements that were involved into making the show took so much time there was little hope the dishes were tepid, let alone hot.
"When you see us tasting at the end - it's cold but I already know what it tastes like."
A spokesman for EndemolShine, who make MasterChef Australia for Channel 10, told news.com.au the food's heat could "vary".
"The MasterChef judges taste elements of each dish throughout the challenge, giving regular feedback to our contestants. Afterwards there is often a short break before tastings begin so dishes may vary in temperature."
So maybe the advice to wannabe contestants should be serve a cold non melting dessert for every challenge.