Put on your MasterChef hat

By Colleen Thorpe

For weeks we sat on the edge of our chair as Kiwi contestants battled it out for the crown of MasterChef New Zealand.

Initially, more than 1000 hopefuls applied, hundreds of potential competitors were scrutinised and a promising 60 experienced the glare of the judges.

Twenty-five cooks were put to the test. Then there were 12. This book is their testament to the love of food. Along with recipes from chefs and judges Josh Emett, Simon Gault and Ray McVinnie, this book has winning recipes from the best contestants.

MasterChef, the programme, proved a winner.

We sat in front of our televisions experiencing the highs and the lows of each contestant and then went to work the next day and discussed it all over again around the water cooler. And this book will prove a winner too. The recipes are fabulous, the ingredients can all be found, and most dishes will wow any visitor.

During the programme, the judges showed the contestants and viewers how it's done in masterclasses. This book is organised by topic, based on the masterclass topics.

Each section includes clever tips and photographs.

In addition, there's a section called Extra for experts, which contains the really tricky recipes for people who want to push the boundaries further.

I doubt there is a recipe in here you wouldn't love to try ... a couple of my favourites include: Saffron Potato with Paprika-infused Egg, Duck Breast with Orange Tamarind Sauce and Kumara Puree, Sauternes Custard in a Passionfruit & Fennel Soup, and Ray McVinnie's Pizza Margherita.

As well as being a great memento of the series, with comments from all the contestants, this will be a great cookbook that New Zealanders will treasure and use in their homes every week.

MasterChef New Zealand: The Cookbook Volume Two

Random House, $55

- The Aucklander

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