Saturday, October 3, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 5: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 5

Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • This episode features an invention test with a twist. The MasterChef Asia contestants had to re-invent the classic Singaporean Chili Crab. It's going to be a very tough challenge because crab is very easy to overcook but I'm excited with some of the creative dishes each contestant will cook. 
  • The judges were nice enough to invite Celebrity Chef Eric Teo - Singapore's most famous chef and Executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental Singapore - to have a cooking demo of the Singaporean Chili Crab for the MasterChef contestants. A lot of the contestants were clueless on how to make this dish so it was a lucky break for them to see one of the best chefs in Singapore, with over 21 years of experience, whip up such a delicious dish.  
  • The Chili Crab that Chef Eric Teo made looked absolutely stunning! He makes it look so easy.
  • Modsin (Modern Singaporean) is such a funny name, isn't it? Haha!
  • The contestants had unlimited access to the MasterChef pantry throughout the challenge. I found this to be a bit unfair and I don't think I have ever seen a MasterChef episode in the past that offered the contestants unlimited access to the pantry.
  • There were a lot of different crab varieties in the pantry that our cooks can work with. It's a bid sad that they didn't seem to have the option to work with live crab, that would just take the dish to a whole new level. 
  • Vonny was so afraid of the mud crab and that crab wasn't even moving! I wonder what she would do when faced with a mystery box challenge with loads of live crab inside that will dance around as you lift the mystery box. 
  • Rico was so melodramatic in the pantry. If he had one of those challenges where he had only 2 minutes in the pantry, watching him would be a nightmare. He was in the pantry for a full 10 minutes and he still didn't have any idea what to cook. I'm not sure if that shows a lack of culinary knowledge.  
  • A lot the contestants were making an Italian-stlye Singaporean Chili Crab. Ha and Leong were making Gnocchi, Lennard was making pasta, and Priya was cooking up a ravioli. 
  • Rico and Lica were making Filipino-Singaporean fusion dishes - very risky. I'm not sure why Lica was making a second non-crab dish with the Tamago and Fried Rice, it sounds a bit off to me. 
  • I was very excited with Blanche's Gua Bao - I love the idea of a Chili Crab filling! That is going to be a winner!  
  • How can Vonny screw up boiled eggs? I'm not quite sure myself...
  • In typical Marcus fashion, he made a very complex dish which was a bit too much. Man, sometimes he really does need to pull back a bit. 
  • Ha was very critical of her dish when she presented it to the judges, but it all turned out alright. The judges received it pretty well and Audra loved the dish. She really is one of the front-runners of the competition. 
  • The judges were really happy with the dishes made by Ha, Blanche, and Lennard. It's good to see Lennard step up in this episode, he stumbled a bit during the past few episodes and I wondered if he still had what it takes to win it all. 
  • The top three for this episode were Blanche, Ha, and Lennard.  Blanche won the challenge, she made a really delicious dish and she deserved the win. 
  • The bottom three were Rico, Lica, and Priya. Marcus made it out of the bottom three this week despite making a pretty bad dish. Lucky for him that there were three people who did a worse job.
  • Rico was finally eliminated! For the past few episodes I felt like his food wasn't up to par with MasterChef standards and I kept on saying his days were numbered. He's a fellow Filipino and he seems like a nice guy but he has made crucial mistakes in every challenge so far. 
  • We're down to the top ten MasterChef Asia contestants and two Filipino contestants have been eliminated so far! I think Lica has a pretty good chance to be in the Top 5, so I'm really hoping she bounces back in the next few episodes. 

Here's a list of what each MasterChef Asia contestant cooked in the invention challenge. 
  • Philippines
    • Rico Amancio - Thai Curry Crab
    • Lica Ibarra - Kare-kare Chili Crab & Miso Butter Crabmeat
  • Singapore
    • Lennard Yeong - Chili Crab Pasta
    • Woo Wai Leong - Chili Crab Pate e Choux Gnocchi
    • Sandrian Tan - Peranakan-inspired Chili Crab
  • Malaysia
    • Marcus Low - Chili Crab 3 Ways
    • Jasbir Kaur - Curry Crab with Bhatura
  • Indonesia
    • Vonny Lestari - Crab Scotch Eggs
  • Taiwan
    • Blanche Chu - Chili Crab Gua Bao
  • Vietnam
    • Doan Phuong Ha - Crab Meat Gnocchi
  • India
    • Priya Barve - Crabmeat Ravioli
MasterChef Asia Recap and Thoughts for the week's episode will be released every Saturday at 7:00pm PHT. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the episode, so please do leave a comment. Who do you think has what it takes to win MasterChef Asia?

Further reading you might like:

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Chef Jay

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