In the biggest challenge of their lives, the six returning contestants last night faced off against one another in an invention test with a twist.
The twist being that instead of the judges tasting their food and deciding on the three best, it would be the remaining seven contestants responsible for tasting. Thinking that they were heading to a tasting lunch with Matt Preston to hone their skills, the seven contestants were unaware of the power they had to wield.
With a pantry full of ingredients at their disposal, the six contestants could make whatever they wanted, but had to make sure they could plate up seven identical dishes.
The six contestants competing were: Courtney, Devon, Jake, Jimmy, Peter and Phil. And just to add to the pressure, they were going to be able to view the other contestants tasting their offerings via a TV link.
First up was Courtney’s dish an orange, apple and fennel salad with BBQ marinated prawns. Next came the Thai inspired cuttle fish salad made by Jake which divided the contestants and the overall verdict was it was too salty.
Deep fried soft shell crab with roti came from Jimmy, and it was at this point that penny dropped as Alvin and Jonathan guessed that this was just like a curry Jimmy would make.
John Dory with a prawn bisque was Peter’s dish which received a positive reception from the seven diners. Fifth was another John Dory fillet from Devon but this time with a cauliflower sauce and a reduction.
Unfortunately the acidic sauce drew comment from all seven contestants.
Poached pear with lavender cream and praline was last up from Phil and the lavender flavour divided the contestants.
Unanimous in their choosing the remaining contestants picked Jimmy, Courtney and Peter and all three return to the competition giving MasterChef its Top 10 contestants.The response to the return was mixed.
George Calmobaris said to the contestants: “You should relish this opportunity. All that hard work, that extra couple of weeks will pay off. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Marion said: “I’m thankful every day that I’m here and today has made me even more thankful.”
Claire said: “My feelings are mixed. I don’t think anyone wanted to believe it was going to happen.”
Adam said: “You can’t lose focus on why you’re here and what you’re cooking for. It’s time for us to all get back into the zone. To give three old friends another chance to fulfil their dream, I think we’re happy to take a little bit of a hit for that.”
Alvin: “I’m a fierce competitor and I say bring it on.”
On returning, Jimmy said:“I’m so glad to be back here and I’m going to win.”
Courtney: “The reception from the other contestants has been a little bit on the cold side and I completely understand, they’ve been through the wringer. I’m here and I want to win this thing.”
Peter said: “I’m through into the Top 10 and I can’t wait for the next few weeks.”