While everyone was focused on the Logies My Kitchen Rules had a Semi Final to take care of.
Mt Isa cousins Jac and Shaz have blown the competition away, securing the highest scores of the semi-finals to rocket into the 2015 My Kitchen Rules grand final.
It was a win for classic country fare tonight with their simply delicious menu scoring 49/60 against Eva and Debra’s rich Asian heritage three courses on 44. Overwhelmed by their victory, Shaz simply said: “We’re just Jac and Shaz. Mt Isa always looks after its own so hopefully they’re cheering for us.”
Will and Steve, their combatants for the grand final, scored 48 during their winning semi-final to present a classic grand final of country versus city.
Both have been formidable teams throughout the series, securing three People’s Choice awards between them. While Jac and Shaz have never found themselves in the bottom two, Will and Steve fought hard to prove their one and only stint in the sudden death elimination was just a hurdle to the finish line. They went on to secure two 10s in their ultimate instant restaurant.
Jac and Shaz fought hard tonight and overcome a couple of disastrous lemon curds to win the right to fight for the title. Their entrée had Guy Grossi “happy to be a judge tonight”, while of their sautéed chicken livers with caramelized onions and port Manu Feildel said: “I’ve got nothing bad to say about this dish; I’m just smiling inside.”
Eva and Debra started off the night serving up perfection too. When Pete Evans asked how they could’ve improved their crumbed fish cakes with mango chutney, Colin Fassnidge simply replied: “Serve three instead of two!”
It was the main course that split the teams apart with the WA workmates stumbling their way through the production of a curry of all things. Having run out of time to start cooking their vindaloo during entrée prep, they were forced to use a pressure cooker instead.
“We’ve never cooked a curry in a pressure cooker,” said a worried Eva. “This really isn’t the time to take a big risk in the semi-finals, but there’s no other option.”
After 15 minutes they released the pressure cooker to find their “dry curry” floating in water. “We need to reduce this asap. The pork is floating in water and this is meant to be a dry curry,” said an exasperated Eva.
“I can’t believe this could send us a home. A curry of all things,” sighed Debra. “This dish has so much potential to be amazing and it’s not even close.”
While the judges thought the pork was cooked well, the girls’ pork vindaloo with spiced eggplants and raita was labeled ‘bland’ by Manu. “For me when I order a vindaloo, it blows your head off with heat and so many different spices, but this is just bland.”
Meanwhile, Jac and Shaz’s smoked duck with fennel puree and cranberry sauce was mostly well received, except sauce lover Manu wasn’t too keen on the cranberries. “The negative is the sauce; it’s like a jam coming out of a jar, that’s what is reminds me of, and I don’t find it appetising whatsoever.”
However, Liz Egan was impressed with the duck. “I could smell that smokiness when it came to the table and the duck is perfectly cooked. Beautifully pink and gorgeous delicate flavours of smoke.”
But the lemon curd did come back to bite Shaz in the butt. The hard texture of it perplexed the judges, but despite its unappealing nature the rest of their lime and coconut sorbet with pineapple and meringue dessert was a winner.
“That pineapple for me is the real hero,” said Karen Martini. “When I first laid eyes on this dessert I thought it was going to be too sweet, but it’s not and it’s actually perfectly balanced.”
Eva and Debra’s mango pudding with coconut sago was a great ending to the night for Guy. “I actually find this to be a really enjoyable dessert. I love the texture of this pudding and played off against the crunchy saltiness of that crumb, I think it works extremely well.”
They put up a good fight – having confidently fought back in the redemption round to post the highest-ever instant restaurant score in MKR history and in two sudden death cook offs – and the end of their MKR journey was still a celebration for the WA team.
“MKR has been a celebration of the sort of food that we love. And who we are,” said Debra. Added Eva: “This is not the end of Eva and Debra; this is just the beginning.”
The My Kitchen Rules grand final airs tonight,at 7:30pm on Seven.