After failing to impress in the mystery box test set by MasterChef Australia season eight winner Elena Duggan, Benita, Lee, Benjamin, and Rashedul faced the first elimination challenge.
Their task was to pick an ingredient from the 14 on display and feature it alongside its paired ingredient, hidden under a cloche.
Benjamin selected walnuts, which were paired with dates. He made a traditional Greek-style rolled filo pastry served with a baklava ice cream. He pureed his dates and mixed them with pomegranate molasses.
Rashedul selected mango, which he had to cook alongside green peppercorns. He lost the first 15 minutes struggling to think of a dish. Rashedul decided on a dish his mum used to make him as a child in Bangladesh. He made a mango, mint and peppercorn sorbet, paired with coconut potstickers, coconut broth, and charred mangoes.
Lee picked salmon, which was paired with aniseed. He planned to confit his salmon and use the aniseed in a butter sauce, with prawn heads, white wine, and vegetables.
Benita selected peaches, which had to be cooked alongside Earl Grey tea. After struggling with her concept yesterday, Benita had a clear vision for her dessert today. She made an Earl Grey tea ice cream sandwich served with grilled peaches.
The judges loved Lee’s confit salmon and its beautiful flavour ensured his place in the competition. Benjamin’s plating was questioned by the judges who were disappointed that he messed with a classic. But the taste was there and the judges loved what they had eaten. Benita’s components were tasty.
While Rashedul’s dish offered a modern take on his mum’s classic, the judges failed to find any flavour of green peppercorn. For Rashedul, he had failed to meet the brief and became the first to be farewelled from the competition.
Rashedul has completed work experience at Koi Dessert Bar, which is run by MasterChef Australia 2016 alumni Reynold Poernomo. He looks forward to one day opening his own dessert bar