After weeks of highly-critical reviews of their fellow diners, Jessica and Marcos failed to deliver a knockout blow at their own restaurant last night
It was the most anticipated instant restaurant of the second round, when diners and viewers would finally see if overly-critical Jessica and her old school pal Marcos could actually cook.
And they didn’t disappoint – in the drama stakes that is. Jessica took glee in trying to “trick” Manu Feildel into thinking he was eating meat rather than mushrooms; and boldly fought back against Pete Evan’s criticism of her under-sweetened dessert with, “But it’s wholemeal!”
In the cooking arena, however, they failed miserably scoring a mere 38/110, relegating them to the bottom of the leader board and saving West Australian sweethearts, Nev and Kell, from elimination.
After weeks of bemoaning her dislikes – which number chocolate, carbs and deep-fried foods – fellow competitors were bemused to find pasta and fried fritters on Jessica and Marcos’ menu.
“I think for all the criticism she’s given at every restaurant she’s been to, naturally you’re going to start judging her on what she’s put on her menu because it’s contradicting everything she’s said,” said Gareth.
While their entrée of Herb and Zucchini Fritters with Fennel Flat Bread and Yoghurt Sauce was inspired by a dream of Jessica’s, it crossed closer into nightmare territory when served to the judges.
“It’s half way there. Sort of,” said Pete, scoring it a 5/10. “The fritters themselves – I love the colour on them, I love the texture, but they lack in flavour. Your sauce tastes fantastic and that’s the star.”
Manu was disappointed with their entrée giving it a four and explaining: “I was expecting something different from you guys; I thought it was going to be healthy but full of flavour. I don’t really have healthy, but this sauce is full of flavour, which goes well with the bread. But this plate doesn’t really make sense as a whole, so this is not a good start.”
Noting the restaurant name, The Upper Cut, Nev – facing elimination with a score of 56 – said he expected the Melbourne pair to overcome their less-than-perfect start.
“Their restaurant is a gym. And what do they do in boxing gyms – they fight. She’s used fighting words from day one,” he said while staring down a two-hour wait for the main to be delivered.
While Italian cooks Luciano and Martino were not impressed by the vegetarian Stained Glass Lasagne with Mushroom Ragu, the judges both scored if a seven.
“I have to commend you on the beautiful presentation. The pasta is beautiful and not too thick. I love the stained glass effect you had by putting the herbs in there. I don’t care that there’s no meat in there and I’m happy for this to be a non-traditional lasagne,” said Pete.
Manu, on the other hand, was disappointed the mushroom ragu had been “mushed to nothing, it could be anything”.
But quick to defend her meatless dish, Jessica piped in with: “But that’s the point, it could be anything. Tricking someone into thinking they’re eating meat.”
The knockout punch for the duo was diners enduring another two-hour wait for their dessert, despite the cake being cooked in prep time. Jessica admitted: “It’s quite concerning how long it is taking but I don’t believe we should rush it. Because it needs to be perfect. Consistency means everything to me. I respect food and I cook with respect.”
But the Spiced Carrot and Pineapple Cake with Carrot and Ginger Jelly lacked what most people expect in a dessert – sweetness. It wasn’t even sweet enough for Pete: “It’s not sweet enough and I don’t have a sweet tooth but I was searching for that sweetness in here. The cake didn’t have it, the jelly didn’t have it, even the cream. The texture was good though as it was moist. To be honest this is my least favourite dish of the night.”
But Jessica was quick to point out that her cake was made with wholemeal flour, which is, according to Jessica, harder to cook with.
“Then why do you do it?” asked Pete, who then probably wished he hadn’t asked as it opened the floodgates for Jessica to list her dietary guidelines again, albeit for the last time on MKR.
And that leaves the door open to meet six new teams tonight when Colin Fassnidge and new judge, Rachel Khoo, introduce us to Group 3:
My Kitchen Rules airs Monday to Wednesday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 7.00pm