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Friday, July 17, 2009

MasterChef Finale: Who Will Win?

All good things must come to an end, and this Sunday it's the MasterChef Australia finale.

What better way to send off this television hit--one that has struck a chord throughout Australian living rooms, kitchens and soon-to-be-growing pantries--than your very own MasterChef party?

Need some help? Read on!

How to host your own MasterChef finale party
  • All guests must wear dress in costume, either by wearing a cravat or bandaging half their fingers
  • All guests must bring a dish featured in MasterChef
    • The cost of the ingredients in the dish should not exceed $10
    • You have only two minutes to get the items from the supermarket or your pantry
    • Raw chicken is not permitted
    • Cooked bait will not eaten
    • Chilli prawn pasta will not be chosen
    • There must be at least one gratuitous display of ready-to-use cooking stock in a carton
  • The food should either "fall on the plate like autumn leaves" or "stand up like they're talking to me, yeah?"
  • Emphasise to all guests that they must cook "as if your life depends on it", "like the world is watching", "like you're gonna save the world" and "to make me proud, yeah?"
  • If the dish uses mayonnaise, do not use the store-bought version, but make your own
  • Make sure the kitchen brigade knows they must keep an eye on the beef
  • As your guests arrive, get them to chop 3kg of onions. When you feel they've sufficiently demonstrated their knife skills, tap them lightly on the shoulder and allow them into the next room
  • Call George Calombaris straight away if anyone confesses to wearing velvet knickers
  • Call Matt Preston straight away if a Rubenesque woman arrives wearing five-inch stilettos
  • Arrange for your special guest to arrive last. Make everyone stand in a line with their back to the door and turn simultaneously as the door opens
  • When everyone has arrived, let me know they need to prepare a banquet for a couple getting married tomorrow on a navy ship headed to Hong Kong. The entree will be a lamb kofte which must be minced by hand from a prime leg of lamb. You will need to catch your own seafood for the mains using only a paperclip and some string. The wedding cake will be a tiered display of 200 individual Adriano Zumbo seven-layer chocolate mousse cakes
  • When judging the dishes, make sure the panel is seated in front of a crystal beaded curtain
  • Get the shortest person to divvy up all the dishes
  • Do not allow desserts to be sent out until at least ten minutes after the last savoury has left the kitchen
  • Serve dessert on a tree stump, and make sure any cupcakes are carefully disintegrated into an artful trail of cake crumbs
  • Deduct points if a vegetable has been pureed and then reconstituted using gelification to recreate its original state
  • Redeem points if the chef is wearing glasses
  • No matter how bad the dish is, if you like the person, swallow it
  • Award bonus points if the dish has been cooked in, or on, an item found on the side of the road, eg paperbark, a street sign or an abandoned hub cap
  • Award bonus points if you have been brought "the flavours of Hong Kong in a bowl"
  • Award bonus points if "the flavours are true"
  • Before deciding on the winning dish, make everyone outline their culinary dreams, including the colour of the feature wall they intend to paint in their restaurant and the preferred ISBN number for their cookbook
  • During the show, you must drink up every time:
    • There's any play on words using "Poh"
    • Anytime someone uses the word "journey"
    • Whenever someone cries.

Got some more MasterChef party tips you'd like to add? Then put them in a comment below.

Live MasterChef chat

If you don't have any friends, or you really can't be bothered to clean your house for visitors, then come join our live online chat during the show. Hosted by Chocolatesuze and cheered on by Billy from A Table For Two and I, join food bloggers and food lovers from Sydney, Melbourne and beyond for live MasterChef chat!

Sunday 7.30pm-9.30pm AEST
Just enter a username and join our chat! Please note the site may take some time to load.

Who do you want to win?

Whilst I've always had a soft spot for Julie, I think Poh has shown a lot more creativity and finesse. And can I say how refreshing it is to see a feisty Asian female on Australian TV!

Go Poh!

53 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/17/2009 02:16:00 am


  • At 7/17/2009 3:23 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    LOL! I can't stop laughing! Great list.
    It's been good TV the last few months. What will we do now?

  • At 7/17/2009 7:42 am, Anonymous Teresa said…

    Haha! nice post Helen and Great tips! Does this mean YOU'RE going to be hosting one?? :)

  • At 7/17/2009 8:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hilarious!! Can't wait for Sunday. I reckon Poh will win too.

  • At 7/17/2009 8:27 am, Anonymous billy@atablefortwo said…

    Hahaha.... where's Chop! Chop!? Surely guests are allowed to arrive with Chun Li hairstyle, or with a Hat right? At least wear Pink?!

    Oh! And whoever making a pastry dish must stroke it before eating it up! LOL

  • At 7/17/2009 8:30 am, Anonymous Trisha said…

    Hahaha Helen FTW! I thought I could hear george with the "yeah?". This has brightened up my morning!

  • At 7/17/2009 8:59 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    A few weeks ago, I was sure Justine had won. Yesterday, I was sure Chris had won.

    I hope I don't jinx her, but I reckon Julie will win. Was not a huge fan but her book idea made me teary.

  • At 7/17/2009 8:59 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    "Call Matt Preston straight away if a Rubenesque woman arrives wearing five-inch stilettos" aaah so that is why Julie won Donna Hay swayed Matt's vote by wearing those heals.

  • At 7/17/2009 9:05 am, Blogger lex said…


  • At 7/17/2009 9:10 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    I love it! Only thing is, because I get most of it, I didn't realise I'd watched so much of this show.

  • At 7/17/2009 9:22 am, Blogger Ed Charles said…


    We're also adding a special section to see who can get their head closest to the food in the bowl without actually touching it with added points for knife licking.

    We won't be actually writing a cookbook but plan to publish an exciting new book of culinary terms 'George's Cookaurus"

    I'm still in recovery from Justine's elimination when I had to drink a whole case of vodka in 5 minutes as the whole cast of Masterchef dissolved into tears. I'm really not sure I'll have recovered enough though to cope with the tears on Sunday.

  • At 7/17/2009 9:27 am, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    gee, you're funny. :D

  • At 7/17/2009 9:51 am, Blogger Unknown said…


    Don't forget to finish your dish ahead of the others, crack a beer and sip slowly and smugly whilst surveying the chaos around you.

  • At 7/17/2009 9:54 am, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    Oh my gosh, this has made my day! Can I come to your place on Sunday?
    Definitely looking forward to the finale, and waving my arms on the Poh-llercoaster!

  • At 7/17/2009 9:54 am, Blogger Bean Sprout's Cafe said…

    hahahahaha..... such a great post ! I really like this ''No matter how bad the dish is, if you like the person, swallow it'' haha :D

  • At 7/17/2009 10:26 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    lol I love it. Can't wait for the next series, but I hope they also make Top Chef Australia!

  • At 7/17/2009 10:45 am, Anonymous Gustoso said…

    Hilarous. Love your party idea.

  • At 7/17/2009 10:59 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    HAHAHA!!! This post made my morning, I love it all. Oh dear, I think there would be several admissions to hospital for alcohol poisoning if we had a drink everytime they did a play on Poh's name!

  • At 7/17/2009 11:51 am, Anonymous clekitty said…

    LOL! That's an awesome as post! Made my day :) I'm on team Poh as well :)

  • At 7/17/2009 12:30 pm, Blogger Kitty said…

    I'm going to a MasterChef finale party on Sunday. If we don't play this game, I'll be sorely disappointed.

  • At 7/17/2009 1:54 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Thanks for this, really made my day! I'm also rooting for Poh.

    My addition is that everyone must drink upon hearing any reference to our country as "'Straya"

  • At 7/17/2009 3:03 pm, Anonymous aptronym said…

    Love it :) :) I'm convinced Julie will win because it's commercial tv, they need a return on their investment in the winner & the book etc, and Julie, though not the best cook, will have a bk with a broader possible demographic reach than Poh. I'm not a cynic, just a realist :)

  • At 7/17/2009 3:07 pm, Blogger -KnT said…

    Amazingly, a bunch of us are havin a masterchef party tomorrow nite, but it has nothing to do with the finale... just a themed party where we each have to cook what best represent us and the best dished judged on the nite wins a prize... hmmm...

  • At 7/17/2009 3:45 pm, Blogger vealmince said…

    I've got a much easier (but more dangerous) Master Chef drinking game for you: just swig every time there's a product placement.

  • At 7/17/2009 3:47 pm, Anonymous Jackie McMillan said…

    I think someone needs to come as a manly man and use the line "I've never said this to a man before but..."

    Torn as to the winner... Poh for imagination, Julie for heart.

  • At 7/17/2009 4:44 pm, Blogger missy vas said…

    Love it. I am having a masterchef finale dinner. I just wanted an excuse to cook chocolate fondant!

    I think I want Poh to win - but I didnt like what she cooked last night...

  • At 7/17/2009 5:59 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    This is so funny, and so tragic that I understand ALL the jokes, I am a Masterchef tragic! One other rule, you must make only one of each dish which must be cut up into teeny, tiny samples to be shared amongst the guests!

  • At 7/17/2009 9:19 pm, Anonymous kay said…

    i say go poh!!! :) shes creative.. introducing asian ingredients too like century egg.. yum!

  • At 7/17/2009 9:53 pm, Anonymous Min Ai said…

    What a funny and cheeky post, Helen! :) I'm SO going for Poh. I too love it how she's a feisty Asian gal on TV!

  • At 7/17/2009 10:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How can you mistake fiesty for being a female version of Chris? I love how that guy gets cut down but basically the guy is Poh without a uterus!

  • At 7/18/2009 12:06 am, Blogger Jen said…

    Ah, a superb idea! You've just brought the fun "up to another level" !!!

    Have fun!

  • At 7/18/2009 12:14 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    What a great post! It literally made me laugh out loud!

    I love both Julie and Poh but I think I'm going to be barracking for Poh on Sunday night!

  • At 7/18/2009 12:50 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    GO JULIE!!!!!!!

  • At 7/18/2009 3:38 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    The word "sexy" should routinely be used to describe dishes.

  • At 7/18/2009 4:33 pm, Anonymous Tina said…

    Classic! Also, I think whoever's in the kitchen has to be bombarded with "You have 30 minutes to go... You have 5 minutes to go... You have 10 seconds left. Step away from your plate." Go Poh!

  • At 7/18/2009 5:31 pm, Blogger 2-minute Noodle Cook said…

    I'll RSVP for the party if someone brings THE mousse cake!

  • At 7/18/2009 7:02 pm, Anonymous Myriam said…

    Hilarious, I love your post!!

    I'm also all for Poh - fingers crossed.

    PS: addenda to your list: guests have to be told to focus tonight and cook for their life, AS SOMEONE IS GOING BACK HOME ON THE BACK OF THIS ; - )

  • At 7/18/2009 7:49 pm, Anonymous penny said…

    Great post! You have planted a seed in my head....
    Go Poh!! I really hope that she wins. :)

  • At 7/18/2009 9:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Julie will win because it will represent that any joe-blow mum can win a comp. She's a cat with nine-lives.

  • At 7/18/2009 10:39 pm, Anonymous potted said…

    brilliant!! Add points for the most waste when using meat ie kill a deer for just it's liver in pate ... chuck the rest!

  • At 7/19/2009 2:51 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Peter G - Glad you enjoyed it, and I know, I will be so sad when the show is over. What to do every weeknight at 7pm!?!

    Hi Teresa - Haha, we'll be hosting our party online. Come join!

    Hi Ellie - Sunday looks like a great finale. Three challenges! I wonder who will cope better under the pressure!

    Hi Billy - Ha, maybe a few scarves will be allowed, but I think bandages would have to be part of the package!

    Oh yes, you can't beat some Matt Preston-style stroking. And a few eye closures too.

    Hi Trisha - George has a very distinct way of speaking, shall we say. He always seems to orate with such conviction too!

    Hi Veruca Salt - I know, I was so shocked when Justine and Chris were eliminated.

    And yes, I think Julie's book idea is a winner. No matter what happens on Sunday, I'm sure the concept will appear on bookshelves sooner that you know it!

    Hi Narelle - Haha, well spotted!

    Hi Lex - lol!

    Hi harrip - That's a good thing! Now we know you definitely have good taste (pun included!).

    Hi Ed - Haha, why waste time transporting food to mouth when you can minimise the distance between the two?

    And watching Matt and Gary tear up during Justine's elimination was ratings gold! lol

    Hi bowb - gee, you're kind :D

    Hi Joanne - Oh yes, and the acquisition of ingredients purely for snacking/drinking purposes. lol.

    Hi Belle - You can come to our online party on Sunday! lol

    Hi Bean Sprout's Cafe - Hehe, that line was pure gold. I am sure it will go down in the annals of TV memorable moments!

    Hi Howard - I'm intrigued by the upcoming Celebrity version, and if they go through with the plans to have real chefs competing that'd be even better!

    Hi Gustoso - Thanks. Sunday looks like it'll be fun for everyone!

  • At 7/19/2009 2:51 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Stephcookie - What a shame only Poh gets all the play on words. And luckily I didn't specify "alcoholic" drinks, lest I'd be accused to encouraging irresponsible drinking. lol

    Hi Clekitty - Go team Poh! It was fun to make up - shows you how much the show has affected us all!

    Hi Kitty - Sounds like you're going to have a ball!

    Hi Hannah - Yay, another Poh fan, and lol at Straya!

    Hi aptronym - There are plenty of conspiracy theories flying around, and it's been interesting how the concept has evolved from best chef to best restaurant ambition to best cookbook concept - 3 entirely different things?

    Hi Sam - Oh what a great idea. I'd always wanted to play Iron Chef but then I'd be torn between wanting to cook as well as be on the tasting panel!

    Hi vealmince - That sounds very dangerous! lol

    Hi Jackie - lol. And I agree, I'd be happy if either won. They both have a lot going for them.

    Hi Missy Vas - Yum. Chocolate fondant!

    Poh was quite adventurous but I think it's great she's celebrating century eggs (delicious!) with the broader Australian public.

    Hi YaYa - The samples they eat are sometimes ridiculously small. I was amazed they didn't cut the macarons into thirds, although given that Andre lopped the bottom half of his, even at half they hardly got any!

    Hi Kay - I agree. She has plenty of new ideas and I admire her pioneering efforts in getting the wider public to embrace, or at least be aware of, the spectrum of Malaysian cuisine.

    Hi Min Ai - Yay for feisty Asian girls! And glad you enjoyed the post. It was lots of fun to reminisce when writing up the post.

    Hi Anon - Poh without a uterus? lol. I hope that's not the only difference between them!

    Hi Jen - lol. Sunday should be lots of fun.

    Hi Jacq - Oh I love a literal laugh out loud!

    I agree, I'm so happy that both of them are in the final. I'd never have picked it, and Poh has won me over. Go Poh!

    Hi Simon - Go Poh!

    Hi Kelly - Oh that's my favourite word when it comes to dishes! I also love it when they photography sexy too! lol

    Hi Tina - Yes I think we all need a giant stopwatch above our kitchens. lol.

    Hi 2-minute Noodle Cook - Haha, the mousse cake sounds herculean in effort. I think I'd rather attempt the croquembouche! lol

    Hi Myriam - Glad you enjoyed it, and lol, if only we all got escorted back home by a chauffeur too!

    Hi Penny - Sounds like you're going to have a "cracker" of a Sunday evening. lol.

    Go Poh!

    Hi Anon - Julie has had many narrow escapes, although I think Sam had a lot more! lol

    Hi Potted - Deer pate! Now there's a thought!

  • At 7/19/2009 2:15 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    What do you mean, "Who will win"?
    Julie is going to win. She could plate up burnt toast and still win. It's in the script. Poh is too "different" to "mainstream Oztraya" to win, having DOnna Hay on for the cookbook marketing angle made it clear.
    Papers are already running Julie interviews with no Poh mentions.

  • At 7/19/2009 4:08 pm, Anonymous penny said…

    attempted to make fish otak otak in my support for POH!

  • At 7/19/2009 4:28 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Iron Chef's don't cry, they'd go rusty!

    I'd like to see them cooking using "internal skills", cook an egg on the palm of their hand and beat the poncy judge to death with folding chairs (yes, the one with cravat)

    Much like in this movie:

  • At 7/19/2009 5:45 pm, Anonymous veg said…

    i don't want poh to win. it's no fair they brought her back again grrr
    she's a great chef but i can't stand her snide remarks!

    i was devastated when both lucas and chris were eliminated :( now i just want julie to win but only because i'm not a fan of poh's.

  • At 7/20/2009 2:07 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi David - So Julie did win in the end. There are lots of conspiracy theories floating about but I think that both have plenty to gain from media exposure and a raft of opportunities. I'm sure that this isn't the last we've heard from many of the Top 20 in MasterChef.

    Hi Penny - Oh yum, I love otak otak. A shame she didn't win!

    Hi Tim - Cooking an egg on the palm of their hand? lol. And I love Matt! His way with words is both admirable and alluring!

    Hi Veg - Looks like you were a happy camper tonight. I was happy that both were in the final. Good luck to both of them and I'm sure they will do well in whatever dream they choose to pursue.

  • At 7/20/2009 6:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well! Julie may have the title, and the book deal etc., but Poh (and André) are the ones who'll end up with international exposure. To me Julie is still a cook, Poh's definitely a chef! The mighty apohcalypse has indeed been unleashed!

  • At 7/20/2009 3:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Did anyone notice the look of "daggers" that Chris was giving to I believe Julie when she was announced MasterChef. Just jealousy or perhaps real disapproval of the actual winner?
    Am I wrong in thinking they all should have been wearing hats/hair nets, (as in Food Safety practices). I noticed a lot of face touching(nose, hair etc) and not washing hands. Picky, Picky I know, but still.......Dorothea.

  • At 7/21/2009 12:09 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Gobsmack'd - I think the entire top 20 have the chance to realise their dreams depending on how they network over the next 6mths. And given reality TV history, isn't it always the runner-up who ends up getting the better run in the long-term?

    Hi Dorothea - Haha, I definitely saw that look by Chris. Not sure if it was merely clever editing by Channel 10 though!

    I think that since they weren't serving food to a paying customer (only guests) they were exempt, and besides I don't think hair nets bode well for good looking telly! lol

  • At 7/21/2009 8:19 am, Blogger Steph Bond-Hutkin said…

    You had me in stitches with this post Helen! I don't know what I'm going to do at 7pm every evening from now on... Oh, and I think no MasterChef party is complete without all guests eating with their eyes closed and grimacing whether the food is genius or a disgrace!

  • At 7/21/2009 10:46 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Steph - lol. Yeah spot the MasterChef tragic! I'm finding I have so much more time on my hands this week. Well about an hour extra per day :)

  • At 2/19/2010 3:59 am, Blogger Kapou said…

    Congratulation Julie !
    You were worth winning.
    Poh was less good than you about stress and Poh lost all his means You really deserve win!
    You're the best Julie ! And Christ was very very good too !
    You ameliorated your technic each day throughout your course... Bravo ! I will by your recipes book if it come to sell to Canada !

  • At 3/04/2010 1:37 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Kapou - Wow, great to see that MasterChef Australia made it onto screens in Canada! The show made for plenty of mesmerising viewing and it's been interesting to track how each contestant is developing their career after the show!


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