This week’s elimination challenge asked Reynold, Matthew, Sara and Jessica to take a trip down memory lane.
Marco Pierre White told the four they had 90 minutes, an open pantry and access to the garden to create a dish that represented most heartfelt childhood memories.
Remembering her childhood of picking herbs and cooking pasta with her Nonna, Sara decided to cook a very simple dish: parsley pappardelle with a broccoli sauce. When her pasta was too soft, she had to add more flour and semolina. After the cook, Sara was in tears, exhausted and overcome with emotion and worked she had not done enough to stay in the kitchen.
Matthew made lasagne – the first dish his mum taught him to make and the first he cooked for his wife. Matthew doubted his own ability after Marco questioned his béchamel but he stuck to his guns and decided to make the béchamel the way his mum always did, adding pecorino cheese to his sauce. When the cook was done, Matthew felt he had achieved lots of flavour and met the brief.
Jessica grilled prawns to be served with a spicy prawn broth as a homage to the big bold flavours her parents introduced her to as a little girl. Marco wondered if grilled prawns would work with a broth, but having the prawns whole was an essential part of her memory. She hoped her flavours would be enough to keep her safe and the judges would understand her plating.
Reynold made a chocolate ganache that he had never managed to complete at home. He added honeycomb, a chocolate crumb, orange jelly, rosemary ice cream and tempered chocolate. In the tasting, the judges were awed by the complexity and beauty of Reynold’s dish; it was one of the best desserts they had had in the competition. Marco said he would employ Reynold.
The judges liked the simplicity of Sara’s pasta but her sauce lacked complexity. Jessica’s broth was smashing, the best of the season, but by leaving the prawns in their shells, she had made it difficult to eat.
Matthew’s lasagne was golden and bubbly on top, but the balance of the white sauce was off, which meant it was his time to depart the kitchen.
Matthew is happy to be home cooking for his family again. He hopes to launch a cookbook and website called Food to Feed the Family. He has also teamed with fellow contestants Anna Webster and Jamie Ward to present pop up dinners around Melbourne, known as Dinners by J.A.M.