Saturday, November 14, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 11: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 11

Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • We're down to the top 6! In this MasterChef Asia Episode, the contestants will have to work in teams to come up with an outstanding themed 2-course menu for 2 of Singapore's hottest young fashion designers. 
  • So far, Lennard has won all the previous team challenges. Will he be able to continue that winning streak in this episode?
  • The teams had to cook for the founder of Carrie K Artisan Jewelry Carolyn Kan and the woman behind Elohim, Sabrina Goh. The teams had to sit with the designers and understand each designer's food preferences. They will be judged by how well they can accomplish the brief both in presentation and flavor. 
  • Each team will have to serve one main and one dessert to 25 of the designer's guests. They have 2 and a half hours to plan, prep, and plate food in the MasterChef Kitchen. 
  • The teams were chosen based on where the contestants were standing, which is not a creative way of picking the teams now that we're down to the top 6. The contestants in each team were:
    • Red Team
      • Leong - Captain
      • Lennard
      • Ha
    • Blue Team
      • Jasbir - Captain
      • Priya
      • Marcus
  • The Red Team has three very strong cooks in the team, two of which has the potential to win it all so I think they have a good chance of winning this challenge.
  • The Red Team's brief was to cook a vegetarian dish that's very fresh and zesty. This might be a challenge for the Red Team because they're all meat lovers and they don't cook vegetarian food on a regular basis. The dessert was a bit more open as long as the contestants go with the theme of Carolin Kan's recent collection, A Beautiful Mess.  
  • The Blue Team's brief was to cook a dish with layers of flavors, colorful (a lot of red), and with a lot of seafood that's a bit spicy. For dessert, Sabrina Go wanted something sweet with a sourness to it that's also full of layers of flavor. I think Marcus has this dessert in the bag since he regularly puts up dishes like this. 
  • Interesting strategy by the Red Team, Lennard was given the responsibility of the main, which they decided to be a salad. Ha was left to support both Lennard and Leong. It's seems like Leong is becoming more comfortable with desserts as he took responsibility of the dessert on his own.
  • Jasbir was great leading the Blue team as she immediately took responsibility of the main, which was a Otah-Otah with some curry sauce, being the spice queen in the competition. Marcus took ownership of the dessert, which he sees to be a combination of cherry and coconut flavors. 
  • Leong seems a bit arrogant to think that he can go head-to-head with Marcus and beat him with another dessert. I think Marcus is still hurting from the previous challenge, so he's motivated do his best to beat Leong this time around.  
  • Priya was butchering the fish and the judges noticed how clumsy and slow she was with filleting the fish so they stepped in to give her advice. It's a good thing Jasbir also stepped in to help Priya so that it gets done faster. 
  • Leong's blackberry mousse was not at all 'thick and glossy' so he's having issues because he didn't whisk it in slowly before folding it in. Leong always has these sorts of problems in the middle of challenges, but he does get back on track eventually. 
  • It's amazing how composed all the contestants were throughout this challenge, except for some issues encountered by Priya and Leong. You get a sense that they all deserve to be a part of the top 6.
  • Since they were having problems while preparing their dish, I think Leong and Priya might be going home if the judges found any problems on the final plate of each team. 
  • Leong was asking for help in the middle of the challenge but Ha was still busy with her tasks in the salad. From the looks of it, Leong might be in a bit of a pickle. 
  • It's amazing how Chef Susur was coaching the Red Team so that they could plate their dishes quickly. Leong is right, Chef Susur is a taskmaster
  • The MasterChef kitchen didn't have staff to serve the dishes, so the contestants had to do it themselves. I think they should have had servers so that the contestants can focus on plating instead.
  • After serving the guests, I think the Blue Team won this challenge and there's a good chance that either Lennard or Ha is going home. Based on comments from the guests, the Blue Team had an amazing main dish while the Red Team has a creative and flavorful dessert. 
  • The judges loved the colors of the Mixed Vegetable Salad from the Red Team, however it lacked the zesty flavor that Carrie was looking for. It's very difficult to create an amazing salad and the judges believe that the Red Team should have made a more complex vegetarian dish. 
  • The Blue Team's main didn't look very appetizing and didn't meet the brief in terms of presentation as it lacked the vibrant red that Sabrina was looking for. The flavor of the dish, however, was spot on and it had layers of intense flavor.
  • The Red Team's dessert looked amazing, it really was a beautiful mess and Carrie was very impressed by both the presentation and flavor. The judges, on the other hand, thought it was a bit too sweet. It seems like the Red Team's salad might send either Ha or Lennard packing because Leong nailed his dessert. 
  • The Blue Team's dessert was criticized for it's very small portion size but everyone loved the flavors. It was hailed as one of the best desserts in the competition being small, delicate, and intense. 
  • To cap off the challenge, the Red Team had better presentation but the Blue Team won in terms of flavor for both dishes. Ultimately, it came down to flavor and the Blue Team won the challenge. It was an easy decision as the Blue Team had the dessert of the series, according to the judges. 
  • The Red Team lost and Lennard was sent packing because he was responsible for the salad. I thought it was the right decision, especially because Lennard hasn't been amazing recently. I think he's a very strong cook, but I don't think he had what it takes to win it all. 
Here are my picks for MasterChef Asia Top 5 (in order):
  1. Ha - winner
  2. Marcus
  3. Jasbir
  4. Leong
  5. Priya

Here's a list of what each MasterChef Asia team cooked today. 
  • Red Team
    • Mixed Vegetable Salad 
    • Spice Sponge Cake, Blackberry Mousse with White Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Puree
  • Blue Team
    • Otah-otah with Curry
    • Deconstructed Bombe Alaska with Citrus Ice Cream
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


  1. waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ha was eliminated.... :( oh i guess it's jasbir leong and marcus on top 3 then.