My Kitchen Rules has reached the half way mark with the elimination of Rob and Dave from Queensland.
Despite presenting a sophisticated menu and some impeccable dishes, Rob and Dave were sent packing from the My Kitchen Rules competition on the back of overcooked fish and a faultless dessert from their rivals.
Despite cooking well and earning a respectful score of 45/60 for their impressive menu, their Victorian foes, Jane and Emma, had the upper hand on the night and bought it home with a perfect dessert.
With comments like, “There’s absolutely no error on this plate,” the girls cemented their place in the top nine with an emphatic victory, pulling scores of eight and nine from the judges.
Guest judge Colin Fassnidge was particularly emotional at tonight’s elimination, telling the teams: “Today is a bit of a no win situation for me with two Group 3 teams. Rob and Dave, you did yourselves proud, you did Queensland proud and you did Group 3 proud so thank you.”
The boys were off to a flying start with their open lobster ravioli for entrée. It followed in the revered footsteps of their previous pasta entrée which was awarded Colin’s first ever perfect 10 at their instant restaurant, Evans & Mac.
While their competitors reminisced about their former perfect dish from the bleachers, rival Andre wished: “In a morbid kind of way I’d like to see these guys fail on their entrée.” Seems he was still seething over the under par score of four his own ravioli polled from the judges.
But his wish was not granted with judge Pete Evans declaring: “This dish is a winner. The lobster is cooked to perfection. And the pasta sheets are well cooked as well.”
Guy Grossi concurred, adding: “The lobster is perfectly cooked but I think the tomato that they’ve produced is what’s bringing this dish together.”
After eating Jane and Emma’s entrée of green papaya salad with salt and pepper prawns, Karen Martini enthusiastically stated: “I think we have a real competition on our hands because this dish is superb. It just awakens the tastebuds.”
Back in the kitchen with one hour left to produce their mains, the teams were each facing some big struggles. While Emma’s pasta sheets had stuck together causing panic, Rob worried filling his fish with hot stuffing might start cooking it from the inside.
But it’s teammate Dave’s dedication to deseeding the tomatoes for their warm salsa verde that nearly sends Rob over the edge. With their fish cooking on a very high heat, a grumpy Rob yells at an unhurried Dave to turn them off. But Dave wants them to cook a little longer.
Meanwhile, Emma has overcooked her first batch of pasta and chaos reigns when it comes to plating up for both teams.
But the taste test is all that matters in the end. Despite their rustic presentation, Jane and Emma’s lamb ragu with fettuccine and pea pesto is well reviewed. Everything, except, the pea pesto. “I’m not enjoying the pea puree on top,” says Manu Feildel.
But Colin says: “I love the texture of the pasta. This is really good pasta. The meat is braised well; I love the flavour of the lamb. This is the sort of food I like.”
Rob and Dave’s stuffed blue-eye trevalla on soft polenta with warm salsa verde drawers divisive responses from the judge’s table – Liz Egan and Colin say their fish is overcooked, while Pete insists his is cooked well.
“I thought it had beautiful flavour,” says Pete. “To be completely honest I prefer this dish over the pasta.”
With the result seemingly down to the efforts of the final dish, it’s time for self-proclaimed dessert queen Jane to step up to the podium. “I love making desserts; it’s one of my strengths. And Rob and Dave, it’s probably their weakness. So hopefully we have the advantage going forward.”
Cream is on both menus – the boys are whipping theirs for meringues; the girls are using theirs to make crème anglaise.
Emma is at odds with the deep fryer again. After struggling to get the cooking time right for the prawns in the entrée, she is feeling the pressure to make a doughnut without an undercooked centre. Luckily, dessert queen Jane turns up after four miserable attempts to deliver the correct cooking time – twice as long as Emma had been cooking them.
But it was worth the many failed attempts to deliver the perfect bombolini with raspberry coulis and crème anglaise. “Your bombolini gave me goose bumps. I could’ve eaten a dozen on their own,” said a contented Guy.
He was less impressed by the size of Rob and Dave’s mini pavlova with passionfruit and raspberry. “It’s a little bit of a tiny tot. There’s not much to it,” he said.
But Manu was delighted with the boys’ dessert attempts. “I’m loving the flavour balance between sweetness and acidity; it’s perfect. It would be nice to have a crusty outside, but I prefer it to be too soft than too hard.”
With a four-point margin, the girls were safe with 49/60. And the boys will no doubt be back home in the kitchen, this time cooking for the families they’ve missed throughout their time in the competition.
My Kitchen Rules returns on Monday, April 6 with teams throwing a harvest party in Melbourne.