After failing to impress in Sunday night’s invention test, Lee, Pete and Ray found themselves in last nights pressure test.
Their challenge was to keep up with MasterChef Australia judge Gary Mehigan as he cooked roast chicken with peas and potatoes. The challenge would end for the contestants 10 seconds after Gary finished his cook.
Ray was flustered from the start and quickly fell behind the group when breaking down his chicken, nearly burning it with the heat too high on his pan. He then misheard Gary when measuring cream for his pea custard and tripled the amount and set the smoke alarms off when he burnt butter for his fondant potatoes.
Pete was focused, determined and methodical, following Gary with precision. He started to take short cuts when chopping his vegetables for the jus, but as the dish came together, each element appeared to match Gary’s dish.
Lee started well, but was nervous, struggling to listen to direction and focus on his own cooking. He used intuition with his jus and hit a hurdle when searing his chicken in the pan after it was roasted in the oven. He cooked the chicken skin-side down only and failed to flip the breasts.
During the tasting, the judges were impressed by Pete’s approach to the cook and by his dish. They praised the caramelisation on his chicken and his fondants, and Gary said his jus was simply smashing. When tasting Ray’s dish, the judges noticed the custard was grainy and fondants were both overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside. But his jus was balanced and the chicken was well cooked.
Lee’s chicken skin was beautiful and the rest of the dish looked spot on, but they cut the breast open to reveal raw chicken, ensuring Lee became the second contestant to leave the kitchen
Lee has since taken on work experience in several Sydney restaurants. His love for food is stronger than ever. He still dreams of running his own gastro pub.