Arriving in the MasterChef kitchen, Nick, Tilly, Rebecca, Dilruk and Collette, were shocked to learn that the last hurdle to the grand finale would be a double elimination. With 90 minutes to cook whatever they wanted, their dish had to show the judges how far they had come in the competition.
Nick decided to go out on a limb by using Middle Eastern flavours, which he was not overly familiar with. He made a cauliflower hummus with harissa, as well as mackerel cooked on the Hibachi. He was pleased to hear his mackerel was cooked perfectly.
Rebecca’s lamb shanks, a lamb croquette, potato fondant with a lamb reduction and a lemon thyme butter hit a lot of highs, but Jock said she still hadn’t used enough butter in her fondants, and Andy noted that her lamb coquette was a little dry.
Collette relished the chance to follow her instincts and chose to make a Moroccan lobster tagine with harissa and couscous. The judges were amazed at the flavours she packed into her tagine with such a deft touch. Collette’s finesse of the Northern African flavours impressed the judges immensely.
Dilruk made his mum’s prawn curry and beetroot curry with ghee rice, but 20 minutes into the cook, he hadn’t started cooking. The judges said that while his prawn curry was rich, glossy and flavourful, his beetroot curry was too mild, and Jock found a poop chute in his prawn.
Taking a big risk, Tilly made a spinach and egg yolk ravioli, which is notoriously difficult. The judges made it a nerve-wracking tasting for Tilly, telling her that the dish was a great concept, and an even better execution. Andy added that the dish was almost flawless.
The judges announced that the top three going through to the grand finale were Nick, Tilly and Collette. On Monday they will battle it out for the title of Celebrity MasterChef Australia, along with the coveted trophy and $100,000 for their chosen charity.
Sadly, that meant it was time to farewell two of the competition’s favourites in Rebecca and Dilruk.
Rebecca Gibney said: “ I came in thinking I was a fraud, I have learnt so much. I’ve never been in such a high adrenaline state (but) I couldn’t be happier.”
Dilruk said: “I cannot believe I’m in the semi-finals. Looking back in the whole competition as only one of five who have won immunity, it’s something. It’s cool to be acknowledged like that.”
Celebrity MasterChef Australia Finale airs Monday, 22 November At 7.30pm on 10