Tonight’s challenge left Dan fishing for his usual composure but his nerves got the better of him and his time in the MasterChef kitchen was up.
The judges welcomed the legendary Josh Niland of Saint Peter and The Fish Butchery in Sydney, back to the MasterChef kitchen.
Josh showed the contestants how to use one whole fish across three courses. Inspired by what Josh had showcased, the contestants were challenged to use one Murray Cod to create three dishes across a possible three rounds.
After round one Linda, Pete, Kishwar, Amir, Maja, Dan and Minoli were at the bottom of the pack and sent into round two. Pete, Amir and Dan found themselves in round three, cooking to save their place in the competition.
Pete’s sophisticated poached cod, kohlrabi, cod skins and cod stock was a knockout. Jock said it was a stylish plate of food and Mel applauded its elegance and minimalism.
Amir’s Middle Eastern fish dumplings, lemon broth and capsicum jam had flaws, but the judges said he displayed clever thinking by utilising the offcuts of the fish.
Dan’s dish looked confused and he hoped the flavours could save him. Josh and the judges praised how the fish was cooked but said the dish lacked ingenuity.
Unlike Amir, Dan didn’t utilise all parts of the fish and that saw him sent home from the MasterChef kitchen.
A latecomer to the kitchen, Dan Dumbrell started cooking with gusto only eight years ago when he moved out of home. What started out as a basic means to feed himself, soon became a much-loved hobby and after building his skills, the kitchen is now Dan’s ultimate happy place.
Growing up in Sydney’s south west with a mix of Chinese and Australian heritage, Dan cooks many Chinese dishes inspired by his mum’s Guangzhou background, but loves putting his own spin on things by melding east with west.
This passion for fusion is where Dan sees his future, hoping to launch a food truck based in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Dan’s simple goal is to spread joy in life in whatever way he can, be it big or small.
Learning to cook from YouTube videos and gleaning techniques from all over the world, Dan is open to criticism and a quick learner. He looks up to both local and international chefs, citing Kylie Kwong, Frank Shek, Josh Niland and David Chang among his sources of inspiration.
Celebrating his marriage to Scottish husband Paul in 2020, learning about each other’s cultures has paved the way for much culinary exploration. Along with Paul and their two toy poodles Bella and Harry, Dan’s other biggest fans are his mum and sister Eva who have been cheering him on.