Marco’s Masterful Elimination Challenge

When  Marco Pierre White sets an elimination challenge he doesn’t make it easy.  John, Andrea and Jacqui faced the first elimination of Marco Pierre White failing to impress in Sunday’s invention test. Challenged to recreate Marco’s classic lamb noisettes a la forestiere with Madeira sauce, served with artichokes and mushrooms, the contestants had two-and-a-half hours on the clock.

Not only did they have to cook the dish designed by the Godfather of modern cuisine, but they also had to prepare the lamb noisettes from scratch. Marco demonstrated with a master class in butchery, adeptly breaking down a lamb saddle.

John got straight onto butchering his lamb. He had absorbed the judges’ feedback and was going to respect the ingredients. Jacqui also prioritised the lamb saddle, as the challenge hinged on the noisettes.

Andrea read the recipe thoroughly before beginning her butchery but in her haste, cut herself badly and had to call for the nurse. Jacqui and John surged ahead with their lamb.

Andrea was determined to make up for lost time and gained ground so quickly that she took the lead, becoming the first to complete her noisettes. Hoping to save more time, she diverted from Marco’s recipe, roasting her bones on the stovetop instead of the oven. She learnt the hard way that this was a poor choice, with her pan catching fire as she added alcohol to her sauce.

Marco prowled the benches in an intense cook. Jacqui forgot to tie her lamb noisettes with string before they went in the pan and watched one explode. With no spares, she was forced to serve a broken noisette, hoping it wouldn’t send her home. Andrea also struggled with her noisettes exploding in the pan, but she had spares. Her solution came unstuck when she lost track of how long the replacements had been cooking and feared they may be under done. As the clock ticked down, she also struggled with her artichoke and failed to get the mushrooms onto her meat.
In the tasting, John was applauded for an exceptional dish. The judges said that Jacqui had left the skin on her lamb and one of them exploded, but her Madeira sauce was beautifully balanced.

Marco and the judges thought Andrea had done an incredible job of the butchery and her lamb was deemed the best butchered and prepared. But it was her cooking of the noisettes that let her down, as some pieces were quite undercooked and lacked seasoning. Andrea was eliminated, but not before Marco shared some inspiring parting words for the talented 18-year-old, saying her future is “shiny and bright”.

Andrea is now exploring her opportunities in food. Initially, she hopes to stage pop-up dining events to raise money for charity