It’s getting closer and closer to the pointy end of the competition and last night Masterchef said farewell to another cook.
As the immunity challenge beast, Reece, watched on from the gantry again, it was Brendan, Poh, Laura, Reynold, Emelia and Callum who were fighting for their spot in the coveted Top 7.
A long table confronted them where 60 one-inch cubes of food were waiting. It was a blind taste test where the first four people to guess incorrectly would be sent to round two.
Tessa was immediately rattled and was the first to mistake celery for celeriac. The next person to guess incorrectly was Reynold mistaking ham for turkey, followed by Brendan who failed to identify lime. Emelia guessed daikon incorrectly and became the fourth and final person in round two after 58 cubes
Round two was another test of their palettes with the judges preparing five pantries, each containing ingredients that represented the five tastes: bitter, sour, sweet, salty and umami.
The cooks had to create a dish using at least one ingredient from each pantry and it had to be perfectly balanced.
Tessa returned to her South East Asian cuisine doing what she does best. Her dish was a Scarlet Prawn Crudo with sweet and sour dressing and beef fat oil.
Emelia also returned to her passion, desserts. She decided to centre her dish on a chocolate parfait with vegemite, a bitter bacon walnut caramel, rhubarb and sweet meringue sheep milk sorbet.
Reynold struggled to rise above the sense of loss after his round one defeat. He had lost his mojo, his magic. He decided to cook duck with a deep umami jus, pickled beetroot reduction, BBQ kale and BBQ date puree.
Brendan immediately decided to cook his specialty, Chinese dumplings. But, 10 minutes in he realised he was jeopardising his chances in the competition for his pride, and switched to Japanese noodles with a lobster seafood broth with citrus and rocket oil.
As the hour ticked away, there was last minute drama when Brendan decided to add enoki mushrooms to his broth to make it more umami and Emelia’s sheep milk sorbet just set enough to be plated.
It came time for tasting and the dish that nailed the brief was Tessa’s and she was safe.
For Brendan, while his dish was delicious and his noodles were perfect, he overdid the umami in the broth and it was way too strong. Unfortunately he missed the brief and was the sixteenth cook sent home.