Tonight’s first MKR cook-off came down to the wire, with winning NSW couple Janelle and Monzir progressing to the semi-final by impressing judges Curtis Stone and Colin Fassnidge with their two-course menu at Kitchen HQ.
Each team had 90 minutes to cook and serve a main and 60 minutes to prepare a dessert. The brief for both dishes was to reflect their heart and heritage.
After judging the main, Colin said it was anybody’s competition, but hinted Janelle and Monzir and Arrnott and Fuzz had edged ahead.
Janelle and Monzir served a main of Tavuk with Muhammara. Colin and Curtis praised the dish despite the team missing a component on the plate.
“Your chicken was cooked perfectly. On the bone. Moist. Taking in all that flavour,” said Colin.
Curtis added: “There was a lot of flavour on the dish, so you needed the potatoes to balance it out. But you nailed it. I really like this dish and the flavour was certainly there.”
Continuing to showcase Fijian cuisine, Arrnott and Fuzz presented a main of Chicken Palau with Tomato Chutney and Spiced Yoghurt.
Curtis said it was a wonderful dish and the team had chosen the perfect condiments: “It’s a good curry, but when you eat it with that tomato condiment, it becomes a great curry.”
Colin said Peter and Alice’s Lemon Curd Roulade with Rhubarb and Pistachios was the best dessert of the night, but Janelle and Monzir’s successful main and dessert of Middle Eastern Three-Milk Cake took out the win.
Colin loved the presentation of the dessert: “My eyes were already eating your dish. The cake was beautiful and moist.”
Curtis commended the team for mastering the balance of rose water in the dessert.
When asked by Colin what the win meant to them, Janelle answered: “It means everything to us. We would have been proud no matter what. This is like a reward for all the hard work we have put in; the time, tears and effort.”
Watching on, semi-final contenders Kate and Mary had mixed reactions to the win.
Kate said: “They’re stiff competition. I said they were going to come though. I think it’s excellent that they are through to the semis. Bit of a shame for us though!”