A place in the MasterChef Australia grand finale was up for grabs, with Elise narrowly missing out on a spot in the final three.
Justin, Elise and Kishwar arrived at the MasterChef kitchen, hoping to claim a place in the grand finale alongside Pete. They had to create a three-course, fine dining menu to serve 20 diners and the judges.
Justin’s cauliflower taco entrée left Jock disappointed and the judges said Elise’s lentil agrodolce and pine mushrooms tasted disjointed, while Kishwar’s kingfish ceviche in green water was celebrated as the perfect way to start a fine dining experience.
Justin was happy with his main course, and Jock said his lamb was a real highlight. Elise served venison, blackberries, beetroot and herb oil, and Andy said the side elements were too sweet, and his meat was overcooked.
The judges said that Kishwar’s goat nihari with naan nawabi had basically secured her place in the grand finale.
When it came time for dessert, the judges loved the texture and flavour of Elise’s pistachio semifreddo, but said her birdseed brittle did not belong on the dish. Justin’s brie cheese ice cream lacked cheese flavour, but his crumb and apple were perfect. Kishwar continued to impress, Jock said her after-dinner mint was an exciting jumble of flavours.
Kishwar was announced as the first contestant to join Pete in the grand finale, and it came down to Justin and Elise. In a verdict almost too close to call, Elise was sent home from the MasterChef kitchen.
With both Italian and Sri Lankan heritage, lawyer Elise Pulbrook cemented her place in the MasterChef kitchen after securing one of the final aprons of the competition, with a bold and nostalgic seafood dish.
For Elise it’s all about cooking for family, supported at home by boyfriend Adam and their dog Tibby, Elise credits her nonna as one of her greatest influences. She remembers waking as a toddler to find her mother, nonna and great-grandmother making coloured fettuccini, and being desperate to take part as she watched the strands dry out on multiple clothes racks.
Inspired by a school trip to Japan at the age of 14, Elise has since returned three times and considers the country a second home.
Elise loves to travel and cites food idols including New York’s famed Dan Barber of Blue Hill, Beatrix Bakes’ Natalie Paull, and MasterChef Australia alumni Marion Grasby. Elise admitted she’d die happy if given the opportunity to meet Nigella Lawson, crediting her language and immense passion for food as a constant inspiration.
Now working as a lawyer after completing her postgraduate law degree at the University of Melbourne, Elise hopes to one day own a sustainable property in Gippsland with a farm to table restaurant.