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MasterChef New Zealand


The inside word with Carlos - Week 12

This week, the top 4 faced the ultimate challenge in the semi finals - to wow the judges (as well as guest judge Al Brown) with their vision for a cook book. Three hours, three dishes - what could be simpler? blogger and MasterChef NZ Top 24 contestant Carlos Garcia casts his eye over the results.

Tonight's challenge was a cookbook challenge - we know from last week's blog what you would make, but would you have changed it given the calibre of judges on hand?
Are you kidding me?  After thinking of doing a fish dish, and having Al Brown there, man, I would have won for sure.

What did you make of Steve this week? His book idea and his cooking?
It really didn't spark for me.  I get that a kiwi focus was the point, but I don't think his dishes really showed us his best.  It was obvious that the judges were looking for something "new".

What did you think of Tracey this week - what did you make of her book concept and her cooking?
I think she over-simplified her dishes, taking the judges advice to the extreme.  Don't get me wrong, the food looked lovely, but it looked more like home cooking than home entertaining, which was Tracey's point for her book.

How about Brett and his ideas for a book?
I loved the risks he took and I thought it was great that he fixed the soup.  Not being a natural Asian cook and using such intense flavours, really left room for a disaster to strike, but Brett really shone through this week.

And finally Kelly's book idea seemed to lose the judges a little - did you rate it?
I don't agree, there was some confusion at the beginning and some snide remarks, but, after tasting her dishes, they fell in love with the concept.  Well done Kelly!

This week the judges seemed a lot tougher and a lot harsher in their criticism - do you think that they were fair?
They need to be harsher.  The prize is fantastic and the viewing audience would expect only the best to win.  I can't wait to see how they stress the top two next week!

What did you think of the eviction? It seemed like there was going to be a third person heading to the final at one point?
Yeah, that was a crazy twist!  I have read some of the blogs and comments about it and the audience were shocked.  Well done TVNZ!

Were you shocked to see Steve evicted? Steve's been a consistent performer throughout - what do you think he will take from the competition?
I was shocked tonight, but you have to remember that each week is a new and unique experience.  Look at what's happened to Brett, he has been in the bottom two several times, but this week he showed us what he CAN do. Steve should take away a huge amount of satisfaction and pride for what he has achieved.  Not to mention the new skills he has developed.

Likewise with Tracey, she won her place back in after winning in the Black Team - what would you say to her as the MasterChef NZ dream ends?
I can't wait for her café to open!  It's going to be a real culinary destination.  Hey, Tracey, need another chef?

So what do you make of the final two, Brett and Kelly?
Some would say that they are lucky to be there, but I am looking forward to seeing how they cope with the challenges ahead.   They have both been through the worst and should really rise to the occasion.

Now you know who the final two are, who do you think will win and why?
I really have no idea, as they both bring a unique set of ideas and skills to the kitchen.  One way or the other it's going to be a great show!