Simmering tensions boil over

Simmering tensions boil over

Spice wasn’t on tonight’s menu, but it still found its way to the MKR table at Ashlee (36) and Mat’s (39) Margaret River instant restaurant.

Judge Nigella Lawson said Ashlee and Mat’s menu was refined, a comment that didn’t sit well with Frena, who was looking to get off the bottom of the leader board.

Steven and Frena told the table that Ashlee and Matt’s menu didn’t look too complicated. Hearing this, Alice couldn’t hide her disgust and the tension continued to build around the table. 

Ashlee and Mat nervously served their entrée of Marron Bisque with Shaved Asparagus. Cooking a French dish for French chef and judge, Manu Feildel, had the team on edge. 

The judges loved the entrée and agreed that while Ashlee and Mat’s dish wasn’t technically a bisque, its flavour was fantastic.

Steven took issue with the dish saying: “To me, it’s just watery tomato soup. Look, I’m going to explain it really well here. Slight taste of sugar, fish and water. That’s how simplistic and boring it was.”

When Frena said the popular entrée was just “OK”, a shocked Alice challenged her, asking what was boring about it. 

Nigella chimed in, asking if Steven and Frena thought they might be influenced by the fact they were at the bottom of the leader board. But the pair insisted the dish lacked flavour and seasoning. 

Manu also questioned Steven and Frena on why their critique differed from the group. Frena then surprised the table with an emotional outburst, accusing Alice of pulling faces while she delivered her critique. Defending Frena, Steven told the group they’re entitled to their opinion. 

Overwhelmed by the confrontation, Steven and Frena left the table, returning after Steven had reassured Frena. 

Ashlee and Mat proudly presented their main of Venison with Romesco to the table, but the reviews were mixed. 

Manu said their main lacked confidence and Mat confirmed he was stressed cooking the meat.

A dishevelled-looking Ashlee and Mat emerged from the kitchen to serve their dessert of Oliebollen. Critiques of the dish left the table divided. 

During the judges’ critique, Ashlee began to cry, admitting she was a little disappointed in herself. Ashlee said she considered adding another component to the dish but decided against it. Manu summarised that the dish would be perfect; it just wasn’t a dessert.