Masterchef farewells another cook

After failing to impress in Peter Gilmore’s  invention test, Arum, Callan and Nicole found themselves in a tough pressure test.

The challenge was to recreate a dish by head chef Paul Carmichael from Momofuku Seiobo. The contestants had three hours and 45 minutes to prepare his African-Caribbean bajan fish fry, which consisted of charred pumpkin and salted cod, black pudding and pickled cucumber, plus the centrepiece of fried snapper.

Nicole was immediately overwhelmed by the number of ingredients and lengthy steps. She started slowly reading over the numerous recipe pages, trying to get a handle on the complex dish.

As Callan carved his snapper, he had left flesh behind and had not done well. Paul described it as carnage, but asked Callan to take a deep breath and keep going as the 18-year-old became visibly upset.

Callan was not sure how he could save his dish after destroying the main ingredient. He rallied after a pep talk from Geroge and was determined not to go down without a fight.

Arum and Callan ticked off the black pudding, which in Paul’s dish was made with sweet potato. Having caught up, Callan was confident in his cook, but Nicole doubted her black pudding measurements, unable to follow her instincts. She then ignored the recipe, realising she was running out of time. Nicole was forced to ditch the cod to ensure she could finish the snapper in time.

When Paul cut through Nicole’s fish, there was a big bone still in the snapper and he was disappointed to find several other small bones. In the end, that was enough to send her home and Nicole became the 14th contestant eliminated from the MasterChef Australia kitchen.

Nicole’s Le Croquette market stall is set to pop up in Brisbane soon. She still dreams of setting up her own French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant.