For 10 seasons now I have been watching episode after episode of the reality show “Master Chef”, which was one of the pioneers of cooking competitions in Israel. The one who brought the news and made the home kitchen accessible to each and every one of us. And here, the current season of the show has also come to an end, which succeeded as usual in drawing me to the couch with endless anticipation to find out what the next dish will be served to the beloved panel of judges.
The three finalists of the season reached the finals that were broadcast last night (Saturday) in prime time of Keshet 12 – Michal Motil, Yaniv Shahar and Hillel Gardi. The three Jerusalemites in front of us brought their favorite flavors and demonstrated impressive abilities in unison. And yet, only one wins.
After a dramatic segment, befitting a MasterChef, in which the editing room ran for us the iconic moments of the season, the auditions of the contestants and some other exciting voice clips, the real competition began. In the presence of the families of the finalists and the participants of the season, when the tasters are the five judges – Eyal Shani, Michal Ansky, Ruthi Brodo, Haim Cohen and Israel Aharoni – The final dishes were served.
The first task given to the final trio was the first task of the first season, a childhood memory dish. Hillel presented the judges with a “deconstructed malawah pizza” – a malawah paratha stuffed with cheese, served with tomato cream, anchovies and Kalamata olive crumble. Yaniv served “Birds Cube” – a cube stuffed with meat and pumpkin in pumpkin soup with beet and kale chips, ladder and pumpkin candies, while the container served “Manhattan Mumbai” – glazed carrots stuffed with alo gobi cream with cilantro chutney and cauliflower and mint flower salad.
After rave reviews for the three dishes, at the end of the first task Yaniv and Michal led with an equal number of points, receiving 47 points out of 50, followed by Hillel in third place with 44 points. At the same time, the second task of the final began, which challenged the competitors to pay homage to an unforgettable episode of the program, with only an hour and a quarter ahead of them.
For the beef tartare dish with carpaccio flowers with Yaniv’s Jerusalem artichoke fries, as an homage to the dish of Ityala Hyatt From the ninth season he received a less successful review, when according to Brodo “it is not good enough”. For the Kobayan dish, Hillel’s fish, which was served as a tribute to the mythological Kobayan dish of Nof Atamana From the fourth season, it received happy words, when according to Eyal Shani, a “textural miracle” takes place in it, while for the tofu dish Harimah Curry by Michal, which was a vegan reference to the dish of Teir Mordoch From the ninth season, it received a disappointing review according to which the dish, according to Ansky, was “not that tasty”.
After six final dishes of the final trio, the quintet of judges chose to bring Hillel Viniv to the final stage of the program, which placed Michal in third place of the season.
In honor of the final duel of the season, the two final contestants were asked to prepare their own iconic dish that could enter the “MasterChef” Hall of Fame for generations. According to the recipe of each of the two, which was prepared in advance for the long-awaited moment, additional cooks were also arranged to copy the dish and be able to serve it to all 100 participants of the previous seasons.
In honor of the last dish, Yaniv prepared the dish “Jerusalem value on lachoh” – a Yemeni mix on lachoh with Asian mayonnaise, basil and mint salad and crispy shallots, and praised the dish “A piece of the mountain” – thistle cream with campfire mushrooms and roasted mushrooms, asparagus and wild fennel and edible flowers, Served with a charcoal cracker.
And it’s true, they’re all beautiful, they’re all right, and I have no doubt that if everything was as delicious as it looked on the screen – the competition would definitely be tough. But there is only one winner – and after a season full of talented contestants, we have the most deserving winner out there – Hallel Gerdi!