The first two challenges, onion chopping and separation of eggs were not really about that. Of course everybody has to have knife skills and basic knowledge about what you do in a kitchen, but considering the level we were competing at, all 40 had what was required. No one had problems with chopping. No one had problems handling the eggs.The one thing that separated us was what these challenges were all about - how you handle stress and how you perform under pressure.
I was happy and grateful that I had moved on to the next round already when we broke for lunch. After yet another inedible lunch, unrecognisable protein in white sauce, it was time for the next challenge for those twenty people who hadn’t passed the previous challenges. Considering the challenges had followed the path of Masterchef Australia season 1 we figured it was time for the fish. Surely they weren’t going let us open oysters? That was the third challenge in the Australian version.
Sadly enough the twenty people who had moved on from the previous challenges weren’t allowed in the studio so we had to hang out in the dining room and wait. We spent the time talking over numerous cups of coffee and we just might have talked about food…
After what seemed like an eternity, the contenders came back from the studio and we listened to what had happened. They were supposed to cut out the fillets from salmons and then cut them into pieces of 160g +/- 10g each. The first five people with four pieces approved went on to the next round.
What a relief that I didn’t have to do that! Cutting out fillets is OK I guess, but doing it quickly and to make it look good… Well, let’s just say that I probably need to practise some more.
This challenge led to more drama than any of us had expected and the 15 people who didn’t make it were very nervous at this time. They knew that they had to compete over whether they would have to leave or not the following day. It could very well be the end of a journey everyone had hoped would be a much longer one.
It felt strange with this mixture of hugs, tears, relief, anxiousness, happiness and sorrow. Aprons were thrown around and doors were slammed at the same time as some were sitting relaxing and smiling, happy about being in the next round.
What would tomorrow be like?
Images from TV4Play and personal archives