IT ALL comes down to this, the final week of Junior MasterChef where you can cut the tension with a knife, but there is a bit of light relief to begin with on Friday with the final 12 contestants taking part in the Masterclass for the first time.
Viewers at home are invited to cook along with George, which is great fun and there’s a cavalcade of superstar chefs and their offspring. Stephanie Alexander does a mean lamb roast and it’s quite touching watching Matt Moran tiptoe around the kitchen for once and try and hold back as his son takes charge . . .
Having the final 12 there just lifted the atmosphere and they remained for the final two shows and really cheered the finalists on and gave great support. More power to them. On Sunday the final four fight for the last two spots and we have two cooks-offs, with the first one involving something the kids have never cooked before— snails.
It’s great fun to watch when one contestant is asked to taste a snail first and says flat-out ‘‘ no way!’’ It reminded me of the first time I ate snails as a child . . . mind you, mine came from our backyard.
Not surprisingly they all adapt brilliantly to the challenge and the winner goes through and that leaves three who got to spin a wheel to choose the next cook-off dish, which were specialties of myself, Gary and George. The wheel almost stopped on my white chocolate mousse but instead it fell on George’s mussel spanakopita which is a very intricate dish with lots of fiddly bits.
The final two return on Monday to be greeted by Adriano Zumbo and his amazing dessert which they have to replicate.
Then there’s one more cook-off to decide our first Junior MasterChef champ and I have no doubt the winner will have a spectacular career in food; both finalists will, they’re naturals. I’ve really loved being involved in the show. People warned me that I’d get stopped in the streets all the time with this show, but it’s kids who stop me and I love kids. In the supermarket the other day, one of them offered to carry my bags to the car, how good is that?
with ROSS BRUNDRETT