Tonight on MKR, posh friends Katherine (55) and Sophie (53) mastered their incredibly ambitious menu to take first place on the leader board with 95/110.
“The Dinner Ladies” started strong with their entrée of Twice-Cooked Octopus with Green Romesco, winning praise around the table and 10s from both judges.
Manu loved the dish: “The octopus was cooked perfectly. And the crumbs, this crunch and the smokiness, the saltiness of it. The whole thing on one fork together, yum. Just bloody yum.”
Matt was also impressed: “That’s spectacular cooking. It shows skill, it shows poise, and it shows balance. And they’re hard to do in this environment with this amount of pressure, especially when you’ve got some really good cooks around this table who are going to be looking at every move.”
Katherine and Sophie returned from the kitchen to serve their main of Roast Spatchcock with ‘Nduja, Fresh Corn Polenta and Grilled Radicchio and Jamon Crumb.
Manu felt the team had overcomplicated the dish with too many ingredients: “Just by reading the main course, it’s a mouthful. There are a lot of elements to a dish. The spatchcock did go with all that dish. But then, as much as I love ‘nduja, I think it was the thing that shouldn’t have been on there. It was a great dish but nothing like your entrée.”
After the disheartening feedback on their main, Katherine and Sophie rallied to present to their dessert of Fig Leaf Semifreddo with Grilled Figs and Pedro Ximénez.
Like their entrée, the dessert was an instant hit with both judges, who awarded the team 10s.
Matt shared: “I think this is a sort of dessert that divides a table. Yeah? It’s either way too sweet and it’s like it’s, oh, too much. Or else you love it. For me, I’m in the latter camp.
“The semifreddo, which you’ve absolutely managed to capture that tell-tale coconut flavour of fig leaves, adding pistachio, delicious. But the surprise is a little splash of that Pedro Ximenez reduction just, I think, lights up the dish. It tastes like Christmas to me.”
Manu was in awe of the dessert’s presentation and texture: “It’s just like a cloud, like a frozen cloud. And what I loved most about it is it wasn’t over-sweet like an ice cream. I think the three elements on one plate work together. I’ve got nothing negative to say about this dessert. Very happy tonight. Thank you very much.”