Brisbane nutritionist and mother of two Chloe Carroll has been bundled out of MasterChef Australia, in the first elimination in Finals Week leaving just four contestants in the fight for the top prize.
Battling Sashi and Jess, Chloe fought hard to recreate Dinner by Heston’s Ashley Palmer-Watts’ sherried marron, which comprised grilled marron tail and marron tartare, smoked brown butter cauliflower, pickled daikon, shitake, sea vegetables and pickled mushrooms finished with a sherry mushroom stock. With 90 steps in the recipe, the trio had a mammoth four hours and 45 minutes to complete their dishes.
While her mushroom stock was cooking Chloe worked on her marinated and smoked mushrooms. She mixed dashi, mirin, white soy and tamari, heating it to reduce before cooking her mushrooms on a charcoal grill until lightly charred and smoky. She popped her mushrooms into a vacuum bag with the marinade before they were cooked in a water bath. After the mushroom consommé had come out of the pressure cooker, she blitzed fresh mushrooms in the food processor before adding shitake mushroom powder and mixing it until it formed a paste. She added it to the stock, before adding whipped egg whites to make a raft. With the consommé cooking down and her cauliflower on, Chloe moved to her marron, knowing it was the star of the dish and essential to nail.
For her tartare, Jess carefully diced her marron before adding the remainder of her ingredients. With 30 minutes on the clock Chloe also finished her tartare, opting to add the yuzu, chervil and grapefruit, which Jess left out until the last minute to avoid the citrus curing the marron too early.
As she plated, Chloe tasted the tartare and it felt off – the texture was not quite right and she knew it was not the same as Ashley’s. Running out of time she knew she could only continue to move.
First to be tasted, Chloe admitted this had been the hardest pressure test she had been in so far. Ashley said he was impressed by her focus and ability to push on during such a complex cook. Looking at the dish he was impressed by the effort, but when they tasted there were obvious problems in the dish. George said the tartare was mushy and a letdown. The dish lacked balance, but Ashley admitted the consommé was just right.
Jess was next and Matt said it was a pleasure to eat, and while Sashi’s broth was excellent the balance on his dish was also off and overall it lacked refinement.
On a day where both Chloe and Sashi battled with small elements, Sashi was announced as safe, sending Chloe home. Chloe said she had great memories and thanked the judges for their mentorship. She came to be pushed out of her comfort zone and was grateful to have achieved so much in the competition.
Chloe is working on her dream of starting pop up cooking classes. She is also planning her healthy eating initiative program for primary schools.