Victorian husband and wife team Gianni and Zana are one step closer to the MKR finals after defeating South Australia’s Rosie and Paige by five points with a score of 44
As the two weakest teams from last night’s supermarket challenge, Gianni and Zana and Rosie and Paige entered kitchen HQ knowing it could be their last time cooking in the competition. Both teams presented their best three course menu to judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel and guest judges Karen Martini, Guy Grossi, Liz Egan and Colin Fassnidge.
With a Italian inspired ‘family food’ menu, Rosie and Paige served up an entrée of ricotta lemon and mint ravioli. The pasta was a hit with the judges with Liz saying: “This is really delicious, a clever way to start. It’s technically really well done.” Colin agreed: “I love the simplicity, three ravioli, no bells and whistles, they let the pasta do the talking.”
Gianni and Zana presented an entrée of stuffed zucchini flowers with tomato and oregano salsa with basil oil. While the judges liked the zucchini element of the dish, the salsa drew criticism with Pete saying: “I’m disappointed with the salsa, it’s a bit raw.” Karen agreed saying “it needed more refinement.”
For main, Rosie and Paige served meatballs with mozzarella and bread. The team chose to plate up one giant meatball, a decision that left the judges perplexed.
“It’s a very large meatball and sits awkwardly on the plate,” said Karen who questioned if the main was a sudden death dish. The reviews didn’t get any better with Liz saying the team’s bread wasn’t up to scratch and “didn’t belong on this plate.”
By contrast, Gianni and Zana’s main of braised oxtail with Jerusalem artichoke puree and horseradish cream was a firm favourite with the judges.
Karen said: “I am loving the flavours in this dish, there’s a real elegance to it.” Colin was also impressed saying: “this is my sort of food!” He also commended the team for leaving the meat to cook on the bone.
Gianni and Zana took a risk updating a classic with their dessert of salted caramel tiramisu, but it was a risk that paid off for the couple.
“It was beautiful, it worked really well. It looks elegant, a good finish to the meal. Congratulations!” said Guy.
Unfortunately, Rosie and Paige’s dessert of lemon yoghurt cake with cherry and crème fraiche ice cream didn’t overwhelm the judges. Liz said the cake’s consistency was “so dense it almost bordered on a muffin like quality.”
Speaking about their elimination, Paige said: “We’ve made some great friends. I just feel a bit sad we’re going home and leaving all you guys.
“We don’t get the opportunity to keep cooking and keep learning,” she continued. “There’s no one I would have rather done this with other than Rosie. It’s lovely to do something like this with your best mate.”
Rosie added: “You couldn’t buy this. Our experience has been amazing. The most important thing is we’ve laughed every day. If you’re not laughing, what’s the point!”