Last night four became three as Masterchef heads towards the finish line.
Matt, Elena, Harry and Elise battled it out in front of some familiar faces as they fought for a place in the Top Three. In front of this year’s eliminated contestants, the four amateur chefs discovered a mystery box full of ingredients chosen by their loved ones.
After reading letters from home, the contestants had 60 minutes to create a dish. The most impressive dish put their maker straight through to the Top Three, while the remaining three contestants had to cook again in round two.
Elena was excited about the ingredients her mum had picked for her and quickly started work on crab, cauliflower and brussel sprouts with a crab sauce. Matt made a dish inspired by his wife Jess and their travels together: crispy skin snapper, snapper dumplings and a snapper broth.
Elise made a vanilla and thyme panna cotta. She struggled to use the ingredient freekeh as a crunchy element. With less than 10 minutes to go, Elise made a thyme crumb instead.
Emotional after reading his letter, Harry initially decided to make a granita using sparkling wine with salmon two ways, sweet pea dumpling, avocado mousse and lemon curd.
The judges loved the flavour of Elise’s panna cotta but wondered if there was too much gelatine in it. They loved Harry’s pasta, but felt the granita threw the dish. Matt’s daikon noodles were a standout with the judges but there was a sharpness in flavour with the pairing of the chilli and Vietnamese mint.
Elena’s dish impressed the judges, who were ecstatic about her sauce. Gary said it was an alchemy of delicious things. Matt called Elena a genius and she went straight into the Top Three.
In round two, Matt, Harry and Elise had to use three different cooking techniques and utensils. Matt chose liquefying, Harry aeration and Elise gelatine.
Matt opted to make a blackberry sorbet with a honey nougat, tempered chocolate and a port jelly. Harry made a passionfruit sorbet with an aperol and grapefruit jelly, grapefruit marshmallow and a coconut espuma. Elise also made a dessert: an aerated chocolate parfait, orange sorbet and a jelly. When the
judges questioned why she was making another parfait, Elise decided to smoke the parfait to give it a kick. With only two minutes to go, she took her sorbet out of the churner and discovered it was too icy – and too late to correct it.
In the tasting, the judges noted that Harry’s dish was tasty and the flavours worked well. But his foam did not sit the way he wanted and the judges were not impressed by the presentation and texture. Matt nailed the flavours of his blackberry sorbet and the judges could not find a fault.
The judges thought Elise’s presentation was a bit clumsy and the elements were not quite up to scratch. They loved the flavour of her smoked chocolate parfait but were a little disappointed overall. As a result, Elise was sent home
Elise is in the process of establishing a cake and sweets business, with the hope of opening her own shop in the near future.