It was the final day of their Tasmanian road trip, and the top five arrived at the banks of the River Derwent. Melissa explained that Tasmania has some of the purest water sources in the world, and that water is used by Lawrenny Distillery to make its award-winning whiskey and gin.
The judges revealed that the elimination would be a four course service challenge, where each contestant would have to showcase either whisky or gin. Sarah was assigned the vegetarian course, Daniel the seafood course, Billie the meat course and Julie was allocated dessert, and they had three hours to prepare their course for 20 diners plus the judges.
Sarah was first to send her dishes out, plating up poached mushrooms, turnips, sauteed mushrooms, pickled mushrooms, pickled blackberries and spicy togarashi. The judges were impressed by the look and aroma, and the broth was beautiful and umami. Andy liked the pickled mushrooms and blackberries, but the judges weren’t sure about the addition of the togarashi which competed with the whiskey flavours.
Daniel was suddenly hit by the realisation that he forgot to turn the temperature of his fish down in the oven, and as soon as he looked inside he could see the fish was overcooked. He raced to the pantry and grabbed squid, working quickly to clean and fry them in gin. Jock said while the salmon would have been nice, the dish was better with the calamari, the cook on the squid was perfect and the orange zest and juniper in the crumb was wonderful.
Billie was concerned about the cook on her lamb, but when it rested she could see it was beautifully medium rare. She added the crispy barley, plated up the puree and mushroom duxelles before her plates were sent out. Andy said the lamb was spectacular. The judges agreed that the orange and carrot puree was wonderful, and the whiskey in the duxelles was dynamite, but the texture of the barley was a little tight.
Julie could see her cakes were a little dark and she was worried they may be burnt on the bottom. She decided to take out the parts she thought were cooked perfectly, dicing up slices before plating them with the butterscotch sauce, pecan pepper crumble and whisky chilli ice cream. Melissa said it smelt amazing, but the cake was unfortunately burnt, and Jock said what was most disappointing was that Julie had nailed the brief, and it was a real shame to see the cake hadn’t landed.
The judges announced that there was no escaping the burnt element in Julie’s dessert and the MasterChef Australia Season 1 winner just missed out on a place in the MasterChef Australia: Fans & Favourites top four. Julie said she had the most incredible time and admitted while it was a huge decision to come back, she had no regrets.