In last night’s pressure test challenge, Andrea, Jamie, James and Rose had to recreate Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains’ beef and mushrooms.
The intricate and beautiful dish pushed the contestants to their limits, as Sat reminded them that the balance of flavours would be key.
The pressure was on from the outset and it was James who was the frontrunner in a chaotic cook, powering through the recipe’s many steps. Having grown up on a cattle farm, this was James’ kind of food. Sat was impressed with James, but the contestants looking on were concerned that he did not taste his elements along the way to ensure he had balanced the flavours perfectly.
Andrea was in trouble when her mushroom ketchup failed to blend correctly and she made the call to leave it off the plate. Rose had a methodical approach, but ran into trouble when she forgot the pickled onion element and put the hollandaise on the side instead of in her wagyu beef tartare. James made the same mistake with his tartare.
Jamie got off to a poor start by forgetting to turn his pressure cooker on and lost a valuable 10 minutes. It cost him important time to reduce his stock for his sauce. In a chaotic series of events, Jamie lit a muslin cloth on fire and smashed his jar of cornichons open on the counter, having to discard them for fear of broken glass Andrea threw him a lifeline with her cornichons, but he didn’t take enough. In the tasting, Sat and the judges deemed Jamie’s sauce too weak and the lack of cornichons let him down. The missing elements in Rose’s dish weren’t deemed too much of a setback as her beef cheek was beautifully cooked and accompanied by a great sauce. Matt Preston commented that Rose’s mushroom ketchup was absolutely spot on.
Although Andrea missed the ketchup element, her beef was lovely, the tartare well-seasoned and her sauce the best the judges had tasted. Sat was flabbergasted at how Andrea had pulled the dish off.
James’ dish looked gorgeous, with all the elements on the plate. But in the tasting, his sauce was judged to be very weak, “like flavoured water”, and his ketchup was not blended properly. Sat commented that the seasoning of his tartare was off-balance, while Matt added that nothing was quite in tune with anything else on the dish.
It came down to James and Jamie, and while James’ dish looked fantastic, the fact that none of his elements balanced together correctly was enough to send him home. The judges farewelled him, thanking him for the memory of his fantastic French onion soup during the auditions.
Since leaving the MasterChef Australia kitchen, James has done work experience at Gerard’s Bistro in Brisbaneand is planning future projects to share his love of food.