Yes, the headline is real. Tonight we said farewell to the Queen of the MasterChef Kitchen, Poh Ling Yeow.
In tonight’s two-round elimination, the first round was a pressure test set by Phil Wood from Laura at Pt Leo Estate on the Mornington Peninsula.
With Reynold safe and watching on from the gantry, Phil revealed his dish: Potato Duchess with Shitake Mushrooms and Cauliflower – a classically French, perfectly balanced and technical dish.
The cooks had 75 minutes to replicate the dish with the three least impressive dishes going on to round two.
Emelia was confident with the cook and was quick to get a handle on each element, moving through the cook with confidence and control.
Callum, however, struggled with all of it. From too sweet a butter sauce, to not whipping his potato mixture enough, he had what he called, his worst cook yet. Finding himself in the bottom three, joining him was Poh and Reece who both split their sauces in the final minutes.
Emelia and Laura were commended on their dishes and were safe.
For round two, the contestants had to cook a dish that featured at least one of the core ingredients from Phil’s dish: cauliflower, mushroom or potato. It could be sweet or savoury and there was an open pantry.
Reece cooked a crispy potato stack with potato cream, beetroot and raspberry granita and smoked salted chocolate ice cream. When it came time to tasting the judges were all impressed with the finished product with the ratios of his elements spot on.
Callum put round one behind him cooking a mushroom bonito broth with buckwheat noodles and a soy cured egg. The judges praised his well-considered dish, which nailed the brief with so many different textures of mushrooms.
Poh decided to cook a redemption dish – the Sardinian potato dumplings she felt she didn’t do justice in a previous challenge. But she didn’t manage her time well and with five minutes to go, just like in round one, her emulsion didn’t come together.
She had to abandon it and make a simple brown butter sauce with less than two minute to go. Poh worried that her redemption dish had turned out worse than the one she was trying to redeem.
And she was right. The judges agreed it was a confused cook and it was reflected in her dish. The pasta was raw and the burnt butter sauce was too simple seeing her the eighteenth contestant eliminated.
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