It’s not ‘junk food’, it’s ‘FAST food’, and this week, contestants will be put to the test turning one of the culinary world’s most seemingly simple cuisine into five-star dishes.
Today, the mystery boxes are back as the contestants undergo an individual challenge to stay away from tomorrow’s elimination. They lift the lids to discover items generally associated with fast food outlets. Their challenge is to recreate a dish the judges ‘want for lunch’- either fried chicken, a souvlaki or a ‘burger with the lot’. And as this is ‘fast food week’, they have to work fast- 45 minutes- the time it takes for Matt to go out and buy them.
They get to cook in teams of three (so it’s not really individual). Here are the matchings:
CHRISTINA, KELTY & VERN- BLUE TEAM
NOELENE, LYNTON & NEHA – RED TEAM
LUCY, DAN & EMMA – GREEN TEAM
SAMIRA, RISHI & JULES – YELLOW TEAM
And because they’re working in threes, they will have to cook ALL three dishes. The losers head into elimination and only one team will be picked to come last.
So, it’s pretty clear what each of the dishes are. The teams simply do small variations on them to make them ‘five-star’. Noelene wants to do a prawn souvlaki but the team override her. Christina is annoyed about doing chicken because she wants to shake the idea that chicken is the only thing Portuguese people are good at preparing. Vern is cooking a ’50-50’ burger incorporating 50% bacon and 50% other meats.
Emma is cooking triple-cooked chips for her burger meal. She kind of neglects the burger side of the dish! She is bamboozled. She decides to reduce her chips to just double-cooked in the end.
On the yellow team, Jules is planning a Thai-style fish burger. She seems to have things under control.
On the red team, Lynton is doing a spatchcock dish while Neha is doing an Indian inspired burger. At first, the judges don’t like the colour of her mince. On the same team, Noelene is doing a lamb souvlaki and she is very concerned- she really wanted to do a prawn souvlaki. Her lamb fails and she decides to run with her own idea with the prawn souvlaki.
The contestants still have half an hour to get their dishes right. Jules is doing her rice patties, but is concerned about the time it’s taking Samira to make her souvlaki and, more specifically, how LITTLE time it’s taking her. Is her souvlaki too simple?
Matt has collected the lunches and ten minutes remain. Emma wants to fry her chips however she forgot to turn the fryer on properly. This is bad and there are not many fryers free for use.
Talk about fast food, the contestants are in a mad rush to finish everything- chicken, chips, souvlakis, everything!! Vern doesn’t seem to struggle as he has time to make an alcoholic drink at the end of the challenge.
Christina has five minutes left and her chicken is nowhere near temperature. Will she get it done in time?
At the end of the challenge, it seems as if Emma’s burger dish is the most hastily put together. Christina isn’t sure her dish is cooked. Her team is first.
They have Christina’s Portuguese inspired chicken, Kelty’s souvlaki and ‘50/50’ sliders. First for tasting is Vern’s sliders. They love the dish and tell him he’s nailed it. Kelty’s dish is missing the mark and could be whipped up in ten minutes. Now, will Christina’s chicken be raw? Beautifully cooked.
Yellow time now. Rishi has cooked spicy chicken drumsticks, Jules has cooked Thai Fish Cake Burgers and Samira has cooked a traditional kebab. Rishi’s chicken is a cracker and Matt calls it perfectly cooked. Jules’ rice patties don’t hold together. Matt calls the rice chalky and says some of the components of the burger lets her down. To Samira’s kebabs and Matt calls them safe and says she hasn’t put a spin on it. Gary tells her to pull her socks up.
To the red team. Noelene has an open prawn kebab. Neha has her Indian burger. Spice-crusted spatchcock is on Lynton’s menu. They certainly put a smile on the judges’ faces. Neha’s burger fails to impress with Gary panning the texture. Now, will Noelene’s intuition on the kebab pay off? Yep! For the first time today, the judges love the souvlaki!
Last up is the green team with Daniel, Emma and Lucy. Lucy has a macadamia-crumbed chicken, Daniel has DIY healthy kebabs and a 200g burger with chips comes from Emma. Again, the chicken dish is a hit. Daniel has boiled the meat but everything else is OK. Will Emma save the team? The bun is the only good thing about her dish.
So, a lot of positive and negatives- but who will go into elimination?
The three heading into elimination are… Rishi, Samira and Jules.