With so many dishes being prepared during each episode of MasterChef, it makes sense that the judges aren’t always going to be able to eat everything that the contestants serve up.
Instead, Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen will often just visit their benches throughout the challenge for a brief tasting before choosing only a few dishes to try upon completion.
This is what happened during round one of Sunday night’s elimination challenge where the fans and favourites were tasked with cooking a dish that would hero just one egg.
John Carasig, who ended up serving the judges his son-in-law egg, spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle about the challenge and shared some very interesting behind-the-scenes secrets.
“I didn’t think I was going to be picked to be tasted, because we had Sashi [Cheliah] and Julie [Goodwin] whose dishes looked amazing too. It was a complete surprise,” he said.
The season seven star went on to reveal what happens to all of the dishes that don’t get selected by the judges.
“I think they just get chucked out,” he laughed. "Which is a shame, because I would rather have that for lunch than the lunch that we were getting in the green room.
“We’re actually not allowed to touch anyone's food.”
While the contestants’ dishes might be thrown out after each challenge, the perishable ingredients in the show’s enormous pantry always end up going to a worthy cause.
According to 10play, MasterChef has an arrangement with the not-for-profit food rescue organisation Second Bite to help end food waste and food insecurity in Australia.
“The MasterChef pantry is replenished on an almost daily basis while the program is shooting and we collect daily from the MasterChef studios,” Second Bite CEO Jim Mullan said in 2019.
“Everything you see in the pantry that’s applied through the program, everything that we can possibly salvage, we collect and divert it to people in need, generally in the Melbourne area.”
Jim detailed that the food goes everywhere from church organisations to local community groups, including soup kitchens and mission services.
Round two of Sunday night’s episode challenged the contestants to cook with the rest of the eggs in the carton, and saw John being sent home after failing to impress the judges with his lemon tart.
“I was completely shocked because I thought I did well with my dish,” he admitted. “Especially with the time that I actually did it in, because realistically you can’t make a tart in 60 minutes.
“It was actually tasting really good, so I thought I’d be safe with it. But the thing was, there was no meringue on top and that's what sent me home.
“But compared to all the other cooks, I was the only one that actually used up all the eggs. So I was thinking, ‘If that’s not celebrating, I don't know what is!’”
Despite leaving so early in the competition, the opportunity to return to the MasterChef kitchen has restored John’s passion for cooking and instilled the desire to relaunch the chocolate business he started after season seven.
“When the pandemic hit, I had to stop it because it was so hard to get the ingredients over from the Philippines where I was getting the cacao beans from,” he explained.
“So when I got the call I thought it was the perfect opportunity to relaunch the business and use the show as a platform to start it up again.
“Being on MasterChef again was a completely different experience to my first season, that's for sure. But meeting all the contestants and all of the favourites was probably the highlight of the season.”
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