MasterChef Australia favourites Laura, Sam and Byron donned the black aprons last after their poor performance in Sunday’s chocolate invention test.
The master of Japanese cuisine, the legendary Nobu Matsuhisa, took on the role of mentor and taskmaster for the first offsite elimination challenge of the series.
Excitement turned to terror as Laura, Sam and Byron had to recreate seven nigiri and a vegetable roll in just 90 minutes, with only a brief demonstration on how to prepare the dish. While Laura got off to a flying start, Byron’s filleting skills left a lot to be desired. In trying to be methodical,
Sam moved much too slowly, placing herself under enormous time pressure. Laura realised late that she had left the asparagus out of her vegie roll. She squeezed it into the finished roll to save it, but her elation at finishing was tainted when she noticed that she had left the gurnard out of her dish.
Byron managed to plate up in time, but his presentation was untidy.Sam managed to plate up but forgot to add a squid nigiri and was heavy handed with her wasabi paste. Her rice was partially burnt and instead of slicing her fish to sashimi grade, she served up large chunks of fish.
The judges ruled that Laura’s presentation was streets ahead of the others. Byron’s clumsy and inconsistent plating left him neck and neck with Sam. In the end, a snapper bone that Nobu discovered in Sam’s sushi and her poor slicing of the fish was the deciding factor to send her home.
The judges complimented Sam on her performance in the competition, particularly the way she captained the yellow team to victory in the Queen Victoria Night Market challenge.
Sam and her wife Celeste are now running Pot & Pan, a pop-up catering business where a one-off dinner is created in an interesting space. They hope to take their business to farmers’ markets
Masterchef airs 7:30 Sunday to Thursday on Ten.