After failing to impress in the mammoth service challenge, Tamara, Diana and Karlie found themselves in elimination, fighting to secure a spot in the Semi-Final alongside Ben.
The challenge was to design their own dish. They had 75 minutes to cook, choosing their own core ingredient and cuisine.
Diana grabbed mussels, pipis and crayfish. She paired the crayfish with subtle flavours within a Thai-style broth. Growing up in Malaysia with her mum making beautifully flavoured, rich broths, Diana hoped to recreate that magic.
Tamara gravitated towards the flavours of a campfire brownie, a dish she regularly makes at home in Broome. She wanted to bake a brownie inside an orange in the hot coals of the fire, hoping to infuse the brownie with some bitter and spicy flavours and topping the dish with Chinese spiced smoked ice cream. Tamara mixed her anglaise and smoked it with Szechuan peppercorns before putting it in the blast chiller. She hollowed out her oranges and combined her brownie mixture with freshly roasted peanuts before putting them on a tray in the oven, hoping they would cook in time.
Karlie had always loved making Chinese food in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, constantly inspired by her regular trips to the country. She wanted to feature chilli, whipping up XO pork belly with crispy rice cake. Using both dried and fresh chillies in her dish, Karlie was conscious not to overpower the plate and to find a happy balance. She was concerned during the cook when Matt Preston visited the bench, tasted the sauce and left reeling from the heat.
Diana was first to have her dish tasted, proud to present her Thai-style broth with crayfish. It was subtle, elegant and loved by the judges.
Karlie’s spicy XO pork belly with rice cakes was beautiful and George described it as “happiness, upon happiness, upon happiness
Last to be tasted was Tamara. Already concerned that the centrepiece in her campfire brownie may not be cooked through, her fears were realised when the judge cut into it. While the chocolate was great, the chilli hit fantastic and the sauce delicious, the brownie was undercooked.
With two outstanding dishes from Karlie and Diana, there was no room for error and Tamara was eliminated for the second time from the MasterChef Australia kitchen.
Since leaving, Tamara has completed work experience at Om Nom Dessert Bar, Lune Croissanterie and Quay. She continues dreaming of opening a boutique café.