M-chef: 'We just melted'

16:00, Feb 24 2014
KICKED OFF: Paul Harrison, 53 and Brigitte Kriehn, 44, met just five weeks before doing the show together.

The egg is firmly on the faces of the latest Masterchef duo to be eliminated after an embarrassing poaching blunder.

Auckland friends Paul Harrison, 53 and Brigitte Kriehn, 44, won a challenge two episodes ago but felt the full force of the cut-throat Masterchef competition as they were bundled out thanks to some substandard egg cooking during a 15-minute cook-off last night.

Kriehn said the mad scramble of the final challenge led them to crack under the pressure.

"That wasn't our starring moment.

"It's a hard challenge when you get put in that situation your adrenaline is pumping, you're feeling really great pressure and we're not used to that pressure.

"We just melted."


Harrison said some unfamiliar egg cooking utensils played a role, but he stopped short of using it as an excuse.

"We were a little bit stymied by using some bowls and pans we weren't used to but no excuses, we stuffed up."

They wouldn't have changed a thing about their fish dish which put them into the egg cook-off, Kriehn said.

"We knew what we were doing and it just wasn't to the liking of the judges.

"They were very adamant that that was their style, this is what they were aiming for and that day we didn't hit their tastebuds."

One disappointment on the show for Kriehn was the cold nature of the judges.

"[They were] very tough and you can actually see they weren't a jolly happy bunch."

It led to a stark kitchen environment, with Kriehn often feeling like she was walking on eggshells. Any laughter was quickly quashed.

"It hit me like a brick when I walked into that Masterchef kitchen.

"There is no fun there, there is no laughter.

"It was very professional, there was no giggles and laughter and if we did giggle and laugh we certainly got put in our place being told 'this is a professional kitchen, this is Masterchef and this is how it goes'."

She normally cooked in fun and loving environments, which was a large part of her culinary style.

She wanted to try to get the message out that, unlike what was shown on Masterchef, cooking could be an enjoyable experience.

"When you cook food it's got to be filled with love and happiness.

"I honestly feel for kids watching that programme, and it is for teenagers and the next age group up, they might run away from the kitchen."

Despite that strict nature, the pair thoroughly enjoyed their time on the show.

The pair met just five weeks before the competition, through a connection in Harrison's sons' ice-hockey team.

"My son's ice-hockey coach said his sister-in-law was interested in doing it so that was where it [the connection] was made."

Although they would have liked more time cooking together before the show, they thought they worked incredibly well.

Harrison: "The neat thing about not knowing her very well was we had to over-communicate.

"We had to communicate really, really well, which was good and I don't think it was a disadvantage."

Kriehn: "He's a great guy and I had lots of fun with him.

"We wish we'd known each other a bit longer so we could have picked up each other's strengths and weaknesses."

Anyone hoping for a bit more confrontation between the contestants was out of luck, Harrison said.

"I think if anyone was expecting this to be a confrontational show, no, I don't see it happening.

"The contestants all are still talking, we're really good friends and having regular catch-ups."