Brendan Pang has been eliminated for the second time from MasterChef Australia, just a day after cooking for the Prince of Wales in an incredible challenge in Darwin.
Eliminated after undercooking barramundi at Katherine Gorge, Brendan said he had no regrets about his time and had loved returning to the competition. He found himself cooking tonight after failing to win the team challenge to cook for Prince Charles yesterday. Alongside Samira, Ben, Kristen, Jess and Sashi, he arrived at the jagged cliffs of Katherine Gorge, home to some of Australia’s oldest indigenous art – about 40,000 years old.
Sashi faced a big decision – still holding one of his coveted immunity pins, he knew it was a tough call to lose it so close to the end, but desperate not to be sent home he played the pin and opted out of the cook.
The contestants were then gifted cameras by Canon to capture images of the Katherine Gorge, before having 75 minutes to bring the judges a dish inspired by their snaps.
Kristen wanted to make a soft and pretty dessert to match the eucalyptus oil she found in water, making a pistachio crumble with rosella flower consommé, peppermint gum oil and set buttermilk. She knew she was taking a risk making a set dessert in the Northern Territory heat, but could see the finished dish and was confident she could get it right.
Samira cooked kangaroo while Jess prepared pork belly and Brendan opted to make poached barramundi with confit and charred leeks, a fish and clam sauce and sea parsley oil.
Ben decided to make pan seared barramundi cod with a lemon beurre blanc sauce – he had never prepared this fish before and hoped it would be a worthy risk when tasted.
Brendan’s barramundi was filleted when he started whipping up his sauce, taking clams and popping them in a hot pot and water to let the steam open them up. He used a cleaver to chop up the remainder of his barramundi, browning off the bones in a pan before adding the clam juice, lemon and herbs.
Brendan intended to poach his barramundi softly in butter. He blanched sea parsley and mint, refreshing it in ice before taking out the moisture and blitzing it with grapeseed oil. When he thought his barramundi was cooked through he pulled it from the butter and sliced into it, devastated to see it was still undercooked in the middle. He popped it into the oven hoping it would cook through in time.
When it was time for the tasting, the judges found that it was still undercooked in the middle and tough to cut through. As a result, Brendan was announced as the contestant eliminated from MasterChef Australia.
Brendan is opening a market stall in Perth focusing on Mauritian and Asian cuisine. He has spent time in the kitchen with his Mum, and looks forward to opening his own café.