Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

LOVE watch­ing the faces of our Ju­nior Mas­terChefs when a celebrity chef drops in be­cause they re­ally do treat them like rock stars. They recog­nise them in­stantly and are gen­uinely ex­cited— and this week is no dif­fer­ent.

On Fri­day Stephanie Alexan­der takes a mas­ter­class with six stu­dents from her Bondi School Kitchen Gar­den pro­gram.

She’s such a great com­mu­ni­ca­tor with the kids and by the end of the show I reckon ev­ery­one at home will want to try some of the recipes.

Then on Sun­day, the won­der­ful Peter Gilmore from Quay res­tau­rant comes along. He’s re­ally fan­tas­tic with our young guns. There’s a dessert chal­lenge and it’s worth watch­ing out for Lucy’s re­ac­tion when she at­tempts Peter’s sig­na­ture dessert, the snow egg— some­thing I’ve never con­sid­ered— while Peter looks on.

And watch out for the twist with the Mys­tery Box. Well, if I told you what it was it would hardly be a mys­tery would it?

It’s get­ting tight now in the race to be in the fi­nal four, with the two win­ners of Sun­day’s chal­lenges go­ing through. The other six have to fight it out for the last two spots on Mon­day, when they have to pro­duce qual­ity meals at a Syd­ney water­front res­tau­rant for 40 peo­ple, in­clud­ing food writ­ers and judges.

They not only have to cre­ate dishes on a lar­gish scale, they have to repli­cate dishes that are on the menu of Peter Ku­ru­vita’s Fly­ing Fish res­tau­rant. It’s a big ask and yet they all do a re­mark­able job. It’s amaz­ing how noth­ing over­whelms them now, they take it all in their stride.

At the end of the day though, only two of them can go through and it’s a very emo­tional moment be­cause they are all so tal­ented and it re­ally comes down to who pro­duces the best dishes on the day.

Nat­u­rally the ones who miss out are dis­ap­pointed to leave but they are so proud of what they have been able to achieve. I think more than once on this jour­ney ev­ery one of them have sur­prised them­selves by how far they have been able to take their nat­u­ral tal­ent.

That’s re­ally what we have all dis­cov­ered, the abil­ity of these kids to stretch them­selves and just take things to an­other level. I’ve got no doubt that we will hear a lot more of them all in the years to come. I’d be sur­prised if at least eight of the last 12 didn’t carve out ca­reers in the food in­dus­try. Even at this young age, you can just tell.


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