Sunday, December 6, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 14: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 14

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 14: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 14
Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • We're down to the final three MasterChef Asia Contestants! In this MasterChef Asia episode, the contestants had to cook a dish that's a often cooked by their mom but elevated to a MasterChef level with everything they learned in the competition. 
  • The contestants had some inspiration at the start of the challenge with heartwarming messages from their mothers. The home, and especially our moms, serve as our first inspiration with the food we love to cook and eat so it's fitting that the contestants had to recreate and elevate their mom's signature dish. 
  • The contestants had 1 hour to cook 4 portions of the signature family dish. They also have full access to an open pantry.
  • It quite surprising that Leong chose to make Rack of Lamb, which speaks volumes of much Western influence he had in food growing up. Marcus and Jasbir, on the other hand, were cooking Asian dishes, with Bubur Cha Cha and Nasi Lemak, respectively. To no surprise, Marcus is making dessert. 
  • Marcus wasn't satisfied with his first batch of ice cream, so he went ahead and made another batch from scratch. A lot is riding on this challenge so that's a pretty smart move. 
  • It's no surprise that Leong began cooking with alcohol again, adding mirin and red wine to his pan sauce. The pan caught fire, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
  • Marcus is making a coconut cake to absorb some of the melted ice cream. A very smart move so they he can make sure that the ice cream doesn't melt all over the plate, ruining the presentation.
  • Leong was having issues (again, no surprise) during the challenge - his oven was off when he put in the rack of lamb! He always has major issues in every challenge but somehow he gets by with flying colors. Hopefully, he doesn't serve rare (or worse, raw) lamb racks to the judges. 
  • Chef Susur mentioned that Jasbir's dish might look too rustic, and that's definitely a risk for her in this challenge. Jasbir has the worst plating skills out of the remaining contestants.
  • Leong burned his browned butter and he doesn't have time to make another one. That browned butter nuttiness would have been perfect with those lamb racks. 
  • Marcus made crumble....again.
  • Jasbir's eggs look horrible and her plating will suffer because of that. 
  • Leong's final plate looks amazing but hopefully that the lamb rack is cooked all the way through to medium rare. Jasbir's plate looks a bit pedestrian, and she wasn't able to get any of the fried anchovies or fresh coriander on the plate. If Leong's lamb rack is cooked perfectly, I think Jasbir is going home for sure. I'm not worried about Marcus, he made dessert. 
  • That was a beautiful moment seeing the their mothers enter the MasterChef Asia kitchen to have a meal with the judges. I hope they all enjoy the plate that their talented children prepare for them. 
  • Marcus' mom, in particular, was very cool and supportive! She seems like such a great mother. 
  • The judges tried Jasbir's dish first. Sadly, her mother is now a vegetarian so she couldn't taste the dish. The judges all loved the flavors of the Nasi Lemak although her brother mentioned that she missed out on the ikan bilis (anchovies). Overall, it was a delicious but incomplete dish that lacks the finesse of an elevated MasterChef meal. 
  • Marcus was next up and that plate looks gorgeous! His mother loves the addition of the pumpkin flavor in the Bubur Cha Cha, which showcases the creative side of Marcus. The judges mentioned that the flavors of the dish was so delicious and that the flavors of the original Burbur Cha Cha was there. The proportions of the elements of the plate was slightly off because the cake was too large relative to the other elements. 
  • Leong has the best plate among all of the dishes presented and his mom even said that he took such a home-cooked dish to a whole new level - with the sweetness, saltiness, and doneness of the lamb fitting perfectly together. The judges really loved the dish, and with so many elements in the plate that fit perfectly they all agreed that it's an amazing feat in just 1 hour. He didn't need that browned butter at all! 
  • Leong was the first contestant through to the finals and the judges remarked that the plate he put up was the best dish he served in the competition. I think he deserves it and I have been rooting for Leong to win it all for a while now. 
  • Between Marcus and Jasbir, the Bubur Cha Cha was the more elevated dish and that's why Marcus is going through to battle it out with Leong in the MasterChef Asia Finals. Jasbir had a dish packed with flavor, and she might have gotten through if she had presented the dish better with all the components there. Too bad! 
  • I'm rooting for Leong to win it all. I think both Marcus and Leong deserve the title of the first MasterChef Asia Champion because of their creativity and the amount of effort they put into every dish they cook. Marcus has a bit of an edge here because he does everything with so much perfection that it's difficult to root against him. Leong makes a number of mistakes in each challenge and it might lead to his undoing. If Leong brings his A game and executes with perfection, he can win it all. 
  • A few weeks ago, I was expecting Ha to battle it out with Leong or Marcus in the finale. Unfortunately, she got eliminated early on. That would have been a great battle! 
  • This bromance battle will be very interesting to watch next week. I can't wait for next week's episode! GO LEONG!  
Here are my picks for MasterChef Asia (in order):
  1. Marcus - Winner
  2. Leong

Here's a list of what each MasterChef Asia team cooked today. 
  • Singapore
    • Woo Wai Leong - Honey Mustard Rack of Lamb
  • Malaysia
    • Marcus Low - Modern Bubur Cha Cha 
    • Jasbir Kaur - Nasi Lemak
MasterChef Asia Recap and Thoughts for the week's episode will be released every Saturday at 7:00pm PHT. 

Who do you think will win the very first MasterChef Asia? Are you rooting for Marcus or Leong? Please do leave a comment!

It would be great to hear your thoughts would you like to see improve in the show for MasterChef Asia season 2.  

Further reading you might like:

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Chef Jay


  1. Hi jay! I haven't seen the episode yet...but i'm excited...since your betting on Marcus...i'll go for may the best man win! hahaha....

    1. Oh, I want Leong to win! I think he makes too many mistakes in the kitchen that he might lose against Marcus - the very precise dessert master - if he screws up a bit! Go Leong!

    2. Ha! Our boy won jay! Lawyer, bartender, now a certified masterchef! beat that!

    3. Yes Ruben, he didn't make any mistakes this time around!! :D He brought his A-game and he was rewarded for it. My thoughts on the final episode has been published! I thought it was closer than what the scoreboard indicated. That was a crazy finale!

  2. Yay! Leong won! A lot of sour pusses in the FB page though.

    1. I didn't see a lot of sour pusses in Facebook. Haha. Leong won it fair and square!