Jessica, Reynold and Billie competed to join Georgia in the Top Three of MasterChef Australia 2015 last night and what transpired was a shocking elimination.
Matt and George welcomed chef Brett Graham from The Ledbury in London. Brett is the world’s topranked Australian chef and his two Michelin-starred restaurant is ranked number 10 in the world.
Brett revealed Jessica, Reynold and Billie would cook his flame-grilled bonito with pickled cucumber, Celtic mustard and shiso. They had two hours to replicate the dish, then five minutes to cook the fish and plate up. The dish featured avocado puree, pickled cucumbers, tartare of bonito trimmings wrapped in a thin cucumber jelly, flame-grilled bonito with crispy skin and a shiso dressing flavoured with smoked bonito bones.
Jessica was in control, from the start, filleting her fish and moving swiftly onto her pickled cucumbers, avocado puree and cucumber jelly. She wanted to spend as much time as possible on the dressing, which would bind the dish together. Reynold was thankful he had some practice filleting fish during Wednesday’s Press Club challenge. With his fish set aside, he made a few missteps, cutting his cucumbers the wrong size and shape and finely shaving (not slicing) the garlic for his dressing, which could affect the flavour.
Billie moved slowly, spending 30 minutes on her fish. She lost more time when she thought her bonito bones were smoking, but the flame had gone out. Jessica and Reynold both departed from the recipe to flip the fish in the pan. The skin of their fish caught and tore on the wire rack, affecting their presentation.
In the final seconds of plating Reynold, cursed the fact he had not sketched Brett’s dish and was forced to plate from memory. He hesitated as he placed two pieces of cucumber and almost instantly realised it should have been just one.
When the verdict was delivered, Jessica’s sauce was note-for-note with Brett’s dish and her fish had been cooked exceptionally well. Billie’s fish was cooked perfectly, although the judges would have liked more sauce. Reynold had achieved some great flavour and fine cannelloni of cucumber jelly but unfortunately his fish was overcooked and dry. That was enough to send him home.
As the best amateur pastry cook the competition has ever seen, Reynold cooked 27 knock-out desserts during his time in the MasterChef kitchen. Reynold is now on target to achieve his dream. He plans to open a dessert bar with his brother in Sydney later this year. He is also doing work experience with Grant King at Sydney’s Gastro Park.
The final two episodes of Masterchef Australia air 7:30pm Sunday and Monday on Ten.