They are the best of the best in the MasterChef Australia kitchen, but tonight five talented cooks became four when crowd-favourite Reece Hignell was eliminated from the competition.
Having won the final immunity challenge last week, Reynold watched on from the gantry as Reece, Emelia, Laura and Callum fought for their place in finals week.
Tonight, the MasterChef Australia kitchen was transformed into a commercial kitchen and the awesome foursome faced-off in a service challenge.
Adding more twists into the mix, the contestants were critiqued by six of Australia’s top chefs – Kirsten Tibballs, Darren Purchese, Shannon Martinez, Matt Stone, Jo Barrett, and Peter Gunn.
The contestants had a staggered start of 45 minutes and two hours to prepare, cook and serve a four-course meal which consisted of a vegetable entree, fish course, meat course and dessert. To find out who would be cooking what, they drew the courses out of a hat.
Reece pulled out the vegetarian course, Emelia got the fish course, Laura selected meat and Callum would be tackling dessert.
Reece was first to the kitchen and relished in the opportunity to show the judges what he could do with a savoury vegetarian course.
Reece settled on the classic pairing of beetroot and goat’s cheese, but his simple dish was packed with details. He pickled and roasted the beetroot, and served it with a goat’s cheese mousse, topped with a chocolate and hazelnut crumb.
Drawing the fish token was dessert queen Emelia’s worst nightmare. She has only cooked fish once this season and it nearly sent her home.
Determined to impress the judges, Emelia cooked a crispy skin barramundi with fennel and a Japanese-inspired broth.
Inspired by the Sunday roasts cooked by her husband’s family, Laura settled on cooking the classic combination of lamb, mint and peas.
Callum entered the cook with a less is more strategy. He decided to immerse himself into the world of Native Australian bush foods and made a Davidson plum sorbet, chocolate aniseed myrtle crémeux and aniseed myrtle rocks.
Service began and Reece’s vegetarian entrée was first up. The group agreed that the beets were cooked perfectly but the components of the dish felt separate.
An emotional Emelia was next with her redemption dish. Emelia nailed it with perfectly cooked fish that had a huge depth of flavour.
Laura’s meat course was tasted next. The judges were unanimous that the lamb was cooked perfectly and the sauce was packed full of flavour.
Callum’s dessert was the final dish to taste. The sorbet was a hit, but the judges agreed there were too many elements on the dish.
After final deliberations, Reece’s dish was deemed least impressive of the group and he was eliminated from the competition.