After failing to impress in the pop up team challenge, Tamara, Ray, Ben, Michelle, Arum and Sam faced an elimination that was based solely on luck.
Their challenge was the ultimate pot luck, with each contestant unveiling a different selection of ingredients, utensils and equipment. All contestants had 75 minutes to create a delicious dish.
Michelle’s ingredients included pork belly, pork loin, chocolate, a wok and a pressure cooker. Tamara found duck, carrots, cherries, two ovens and a hibachi grill. Ben had bugs, mussels, Pernod and pots and pans. Arum had beef, beef bones, mushrooms, swedes and onions. Sam had pistachios, pomegranate molasses, lamb and an ice cream churner. Ray found ingredients and utensils including fish, flour, caviar, pearl barley and a deep fryer.
Ben planned to poach Moreton Bay bugs. Michelle decided on an Indonesian crepe croquette, but added her twist, making the traditionally savoury dish sweeter with an apple crumble. Arum decided to build a dish around beef, mushrooms and onions, pureeing the mushrooms and serving them alongside charred and braised onions. Tamara cooked a duck breast, hoping it would render properly on the hibachi grill. Sam wanted to serve a lamb rack with grilled figs and a pomegranate molasses glaze.
With 15 minutes gone, Ray was yet to start, unsure of what he could create with his array of ingredients and equipment. He was stressed but decided to keep it simple with fish and chips, prepping the flathead fillets alongside a fennel, thyme and orange salad.
With just 30 minutes left in the kitchen, Tamara was happy with the consistency of her cherry and onion sauce, but Matt was not sure and asked her to rethink it. As she scrambled, her duck caught fire on the hibachi grill.
Using eggs and oil, Ray used a beater to try and make a quick mayonnaise. He did not have mustard and worried it would not have the same flavours. Deciding it did not work, he added some confit leeks and hoped that would be enough to save it.
With 10 minutes to go, the contestants raced to complete their dishes. Tamara deglazed her duck pan with butter and hoped those flavours would fix her tarty sauce. Arum’s beef was undercooked and his sauce split after leaving it on the heat. He had to whip up a cream sauce in the final minutes to try to rescue his dish
In the tasting, the judges thought Ray’s dish was pedestrian in flavour and lacked a wow factor. His dish stood out as the obvious choice for elimination and as a result, Ray became the 12th person to leave the MasterChef Australia kitchen.
Ray is doing work experience with chef Scott Woods at Ruby’s. He is also launching his own coconutinspired organic food products.