Kate and Mary (Queensland) and Janelle and Monzir (NSW) will battle it out in the MKR Grand Final tomorrow night after an epic night of semi-final cooking at Kitchen HQ.
Judge Manu Feildel announced couple Janelle and Monzir as the first team through to the Grand Final, saying they had cooked the best three-course menu of the semi-final.
“I’m just so relieved. We worked so hard for this and going to the grand final is an absolute dream come true,” said Janelle. “We’re hungry for this. I know we have so much more to give. We’re going to level it up one more time and we’re going to win this battle against Kate and Mary.”
But Kate and Mary will be stiff competition, with Mary saying: “We’ve come this far; we just want to go to the top. I can’t believe we’re one cook away from winning $100,000. It’s our intention to win this competition.”
It was a nail-biting night at Kitchen HQ as Kate and Mary, Janelle and Monzir, Sophie and Katherine, and Matt and KT battled it out over three courses.
In a twist that no one saw coming: the lowest scoring team, Matt and KT, were eliminated after the judging of the entrées.
Judges Manu and Curtis were underwhelmed by the team’s entrée of King Prawns with Bush Tucker Dukkah and River Mint Yoghurt.
Although both judges said the prawns were cooked “beautifully”, they thought Matt and KT could have brought a little more to the dish and demonstrated more technique.
“We came here to put indigenous ingredients on the map and we’ve done that. We’re so proud,” said Matt of the team’s elimination.
The judges said Sophie and Katherine had nailed the protein in their main of Crispy Pork Belly with Parsnip Puree and Roast Pears but were let down by their sauce. They applauded the black peppercorn ice cream served with their dessert of Quince and Sour Cream Tart, but Manu said they should have made individual tarts to minimise error with cooking time.
Kate and Mary plated up a main of Duck Breast with Caramelised Radicchio and Potato Dauphinoise. Manu said their duck was cooked perfectly and the accompanying jus was rich and delicious, but their potato Dauphinoise was missing a little bit of garlic.
Manu questioned the team’s use of sesame seed oil in their dessert of Tahini Crème Brulé with Sesame Seed Tuile, saying the flavour lacked subtlety and likened it to a “smack in the head”.
Janelle and Monzir served a main of Lamb Backstrap with Kisir and Ezme Salad.
Manu praised the dish: “I just loved the different levels of texture you offered and the different layers of flavours. The spicy and the smoky. I think it was a very clever dish.” Janelle and Monzir’s only stumble on the night was dessert, with their Basil Panna Cotta failing to set.