Previous Episode: MasterChef Australia Season Four – Top 9 Challenge
Alice, Wade and Ben face elimination with Beau far from safe pending Alice’s immunity pin decision. Anything could go down tonight…and that doesn’t even take into account the results of the elimination!
The hot topic is whether or not Alice will use her pin and save herself, ultimately putting Beau in the firing line for elimination with Ben and Wade.
Alice’s Decision: Alice does not use her pin and decides to fight in elimination.
So, onto today’s challenge, and cooking extraordinaire Grant King is on hand to provide it to them.
Challenge Brief: Today, contestants must recreate one of his dishes, a combination of crispy scaled snapper, textures of calamari, smoked potato puree and egg sauce.
Conditions: 2 hours, 45 minutes cooking time.
Progress: A lot of time, a lot of things to do- and they’re off. They all begin with the calamari crackling which sounds delicious but looks like gravelly tar. They also work on some of the other calamari textures. Grant fears that initially, they’re going too slow. Alice begins on cooking her veggies after the calamari bit. The girls on the balcony seem happy with Wade’s form today.
Ben however is going way too slow and he already looks like a contender to be eliminated. I can see his laid back skills being the death of him! Meanwhile, Alice begins preparing her snapper. She doesn’t do too good a job on it either. She gets some advice from Grant. She doesn’t get the best result, but it’ll have to do.
They now have to roll their tapioca (calamari crackling) out, which turns out to be as hard as it sounds, before putting it in the oven. Meanwhile, now Alice is moving on, she seems to be having more luck with everything else.
Ben is still going so slowly and Andy is even surprised at his progress. He is annoyed about the stress George is giving him when he hurries him up and he even snaps at friend Andy! His kitchen should be stress free! George tries to talk to him again with a little more success. He begins to get emotional. They’re all now working on some mash puree and now Wade is getting lazy!
There seems to be problems and advantages to all cooking styles. 15 minutes remain and contestants begin to cook their snapper fillet.
All of a sudden, they all get their crackling out and Ben’s seem to be the only one to work properly. It’s now time to plate. Then, with one minute to go, Wade realises he’s forgot to fry off his seared calamari! Soon, time is up.
Wade is not happy and shrugs off Alice’s comforting words.
Tasting & Results
Alice: Grant doesn’t mind the presentation but does point out a few flaws. Gary calls it cleaner than Wade’s. When they taste, Gary pulls out a massive bone. Grant isn’t a big fan of the potatoes and the calamari however they do like the cracker. George also thinks the fondant is overcooked. Not a glowing reception.
Ben: They seem to really like his presentation. They love the textures of the plate and Gary says he gets the fact every element should have its own texture. George calls it a beautiful dish and Grant is impressed.
Wade: Grant thinks there are high and low points to his presentation. Matt likes the black squid ink sauce and the smokiness to the potato, which George likes as well. Matt says the snapper was soggy and doesn’t like the wafer either. He’s also undercooked the squid.
Result: Ben is saved first, deservedly. The contestant finishing MasterChef Australia 2012 in ninth place is…Wade.
To me, Alice’s dish seemed to get panned more, so I’m a little shocked- but thankfully she was able to prove to her students that you can win without stepping over people as she remains in the game.
MasterChef Australia next airs Jul 17 at 7PM on TEN.