After lacklustre dishes in the degustation challenge, Reynold, Jessie and Georgia were facing elimination.
In an auction style challenge, they were assigned 100 minutes each to bid strategically across three categories in order to build their own pantries to createa dish.
Jessie and Georgia faced off in a bidding war in the first lot of “chicken, sardines and eggs” with Jessie spending 25 minutes of her cook time to secure the chicken. Georgia then set her sights on the eggs, but as she prepared to take Reynold on, accidently bid for the sardines. She went on to nab the nightshades and herbs, leaving herself with 75 minutes to cook. Reynold also had 75 minutes, with eggs, citrus and condiments as his staples. Having spent 15 minutes on spices, Jessie also picked up the root vegetables, leaving herself just 60 minutes.
After struggling with a dish idea early, Georgia carefully grilled her sardines. She needed a fresh, acidic twist so chose tomatoes. After realising they were too sweet, she turned to the sour tomatillosto make a sardine and tomatillo salad, with potato puree, potatoes and a herb butter sauce.
Reynold set out to cook a frozen citrus curd with meringue, but after the judges pushed him to do more he decided to elevate his dish with a balsamic vinegar reduction. Disaster struck in the late stages of the cook when he discovered his citrus curd hadn’t frozen through and was too acidic. Taking control he pushed ahead to make balsamic and citrus, using the best of the curd.
Jessie cooked her chicken on the crown and got her sauce on early to develop its flavour. When Matt questioned the dish’s simplicity, she added a caramelised parsnip puree, alongside parsnip chips. Her parsnip puree was grainier than she hoped and she tried to fix her acidic sauce by adding butter and cream. With just 10 minutes left, she found her chicken was raw inside and rushed to finish it in the pan.
The judges liked Reynold’s dish saying it reminded them of lemon meringue pie. The balsamic reduction was the saving grace, pulling the sharpness of the curd into line. Georgia was praised for her smart move of adding the tomatillos to cut through the oiliness of the sardines, but her herb butter sauce was questioned.
Jessie’s roast chicken with caramelised parsnip puree and parsnip chips was cooked perfectly, but her sauce was bitter, without subtlety, vibrancy or freshness. Gary thought it wasn’t the right flavour for the dish and ultimately this, combined with her dish’s lack of originality sent her home.
Since leaving the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Jessie has started a food stall at The Market Shed in Adelaide, combining Asian and native ingredients. She is planning to open her own venue, starting with pop up dinners and will also be doing some food writing for Rip It Up magazine.
Masterchef Australia airs 7:30 PM Sunday – Thursday on Ten