'Teacher's pet': Fans baffled as MasterChef star praised for repeating dish

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

MasterChef fans are raising eyebrows and questions as one contestant is accused of skating through the competition by repeating the same ‘safe’ and ‘boring’ dish.

Laura Sharrad made it through last night’s pressure test with a ravioli dish that may have impressed the judges but rubbed a number of fans up the wrong way.

Laura has been slammed for plating up pasta once again. Photo: Ten

The pasta chef used to work for judge Jock Zonfrillo in South Australia and already came under fire for a perceived unfair advantage in an earlier challenge.

Now fans are complaining she is cooking the same thing every single time – her specialty, pasta.

Social media was flooded with criticism and defence of the chef, who may not shake up her cooking style but has certainly shaken up a full-blown fan debate online.

Laura's ravioli wowed the judges but viewers at home were less impressed. Photo: Ten

“Can Laura make ANYTHING else but pasta?!!” one fan wondered

“Three things in life are certain. Death. Taxes. And Laura cooking a bloody pasta dish every bloody episode,” agreed another.

‘Nepotism’ between Laura and Jock?

Laura has plated up a variation of pasta for at least the last few challenges, and some are going so far as to say she is escaping criticism because of her relationship with Jock.

“Laura is the teacher’s pet this year,” one fan wrote.

“I want Laura to go purely for the multiple pastas and mentor nepotism,” another boldly declared. “There, I said it.”

Others pointed out that former contestant and now judge Andy Allen has relationships with contestants, but doesn’t seem to give them the leniency some have claimed Jock gives to Laura.

“Ok so Andy's mates are all in the firing line, and have been eliminated, but Laura just gets to cook pasta all the time,” an irate fan wrote.

MasterChef's Jock and Laura have insisted there is no favouritism taking place. Photo: Ten

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Jock has previously said that there is no preferential treatment given to Laura.

"If anything, Laura will be at a disadvantage carrying the weight of cooking for her mentor," he said.

Laura also told the publication that her having worked for Jock in the past wouldn't help her in the competition, "Jock has always been very honest when critiquing my food, and I expect nothing less from him on MasterChef this year."

Pasta, pasta, pasta

Other fans are just baffled at the repetition from the skilled chef.

“Laura’s a top contender for making pasta pasta pasta?” one wondered. “Really feels like some of the other cooks are not getting enough screen time/attention (so far).”

“Dear Laura... It's called MasterChef, not PastaChef - pls learn a new dish!” another agreed.

“I’m not disputing Laura is a superb cook, however, I think the judges seriously need to address the white elephant in the room as surely the fact Laura has cooked so many pasta dishes in a row and owns a pasta restaurant, warrants some non-WOW and too safe critique,” another pointed out.

Fans defend ‘amazing’ dishes from Laura

Some came to the pasta specialists defence, saying they loved the dishes and thought her variety of pasta made her dishes extremely diverse.

“Don’t understand the issue with Laura cooking pasta all the time,” one wrote. “She’s great at it and makes amazing dishes. I love watching what she comes up with and dream about eating it.”

“Laura smashed it out of the park again,” another agreed.

It comes as fans get more and more invested in the all-star season, demanding more of judges and contestants than ever before.

Front runner Poh has come under fire for her highly-stressful timing which sees her teetering racing against the clock every episode, while Hayden Quinn is also raising eyebrows with a number of offerings deemed below standard for his continued presence on the show.

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