We begin in tropical Queensland, as we have been all week. The contestants rock up to a poolside meeting with the judges. All contestants, apart from Thomas & Carla and Megan & Andy are in relaxation mode. The latter teams are today, up for elimination!
Megan & Andy are confident and Thomas & Carla state how they ‘live through eliminations’. Pete introduces us to Mission Beach, before Manu debriefs on the challenge ahead. Today, they have to cook the best three course meal, tropical style, using ingredients that symbolize North East Queensland.
The hero ingredients they must use are Moreton Bay Bugs, Macadamia Nuts and Mango. They can use the ingredients however they like, but they must shine through at least one of their courses.
They have one and a half hours before the entrees must be on the tables. With that, they head off to cook! The pantry is open and the kitchen is small, which frustrates Thomas.
The teams are making:
Thomas & Carla –
Entree: Moreton Bay bug cakes ith sweet chilli sauce
Main: Paneer and macadamia Kofta with coriander sauce – oh no not kofta again!
Dessert: Mango cream with coconut tuile
Andy & Megan –
Entree: Mango salsa with prawns and rocket
Main: Angel hair pasta with Moreton Bay bugs
Dessert: Pear and macadamia tart with honey glaze
Cooking begins and its all hands on deck for the entrée. Andy thinks the judges will be pleased with his prawn and mango combination meal. They don’t want to hear a word about presentation. Carla is cutting up the bugs for their cake. She is doing one and a half kilos of bug. Each bug has about 30g- it’s going to be a struggle! Manu and Peter are on hand to provide commentary and they think that if Carla & Thomas get a good balance of flavour, they should be fine. They aren’t too keen on Megan & Andy’s fruit and seafood combination, calling it dated.
1:18 remains on the clock as Carla continues with the bugs. Thomas is cooking the main, chopping some potatoes. He explains that a Kofta is a Middle-Eastern meatball and he will cook an Indian-inspired dish of it. Pete is excited for this meal, as long as it is done properly. Thomas is cooking the paneer and is already getting a bit snappy as he waits for the milk to curd.
Andy mocks his competitors because they are still cutting up their Moreton Bay bugs for the entrée. Thomas is still on the main, but they have an hour left. Megan begins on her tart dessert. She is using Macadamia meal instead of flour for her tarts. She fears that the oil in the macadamia may prevent her tart mix to settle. Thomas is still on the main course when Carla finally finishes deboning the bugs. She now helps him on the main. Andy criticizes Thomas & Carla’s bug cake as he feels they won’t be able to taste his meal. Meanwhile, the four guest judges arrive.
The two teams are still frantically cooking, with elimination not an option for anyone!
30 minutes remain and Carla is starting on the sweet chilli sauce for their cakes. Thomas’ paneer is looking good, and he is so happy, however he has overcommitted himself and stresses as he starts on the other aspects of the main.
Andy is cooking his prawns and he is relatively calm under the stress. Thomas recognizes Andy as the seafood king but Carla is confident that she is a queen! She fries off some bugs in some oil, and Andy wonders why she doesn’t shallow fry them because the oil is clearly getting into it. Andy is now cooking the rest of the prawns, having finished the bite sized pieces of them. Not much time remains and as Carla plates and fries, Thomas is stressing more and more.
Megan is plating up while Thomas is sweating and yelling as Carla stresses to get his dish done. They are stressing and as Carla persists, Thomas is losing it, to the happiness of Megan and Andy, of course. With a minute to go, they should all be plating. Now Megan is getting stressed however her moulds of salsa are sitting perfectly on her dishes. Thomas and Carla begin to plate up. Soon, their time is up, and entrée is served!
They take their entrees out and the hour to prepare the rest of their main begins.
With that, the judges begin on the entrée.
On Thomas & Carla’s main, Karen doesn’t think it is the best way to showcase the bug as it has been pureed up. Guy does however like the taste of the cake but finds them firm. The contestants taste the dish and they think it is something they would eat at a fish and chip shop.
To Megan & Andy’s dish and Liz loved the balance of flavours. Tobie also thinks they have done a good job at using the mango and creating a dish that works with the temperature. Karen thinks they have fulfilled the brief. Jennifer though thinks the prawn portion is small.
Back in the kitchen, they are all working on their main. Andy & Megan begin on their pasta while Thomas begins the coriander sauce for his dish- Carla is timing him! This is the second time they have made a Kofta, and the contestants out back are fretting! They are trying to be gentle with their Kofta but Thomas is annoyed at how much oil they have put in. Megan is daunted about making pasta for Guy Grossi.
30 minutes remain and Thomas’ Koftas are breaking. He is not coping. Megan is cooking her pasta before rewarming the pasta through the sauce. Manu comes around and is surprised by how they have cooked the pasta already. He gives them some tips on how moisture can glug-up their pasta and Megan notices that her pasta is getting mushy. She has no time to cook more.
Thomas is really panicking now as they continue to break up. He is yelling at Carla as he tries to independently do the koftas. He yells at Carla again and everyone hears it. The koftas are a disaster. Carla is trying to get him to calm down, but his Koftas are not coming together.
Megan and Andy are working on the pasta sauce and five minutes remain as they twirl the pasta on the plate. It isn’t sitting right and Megan thinks her pasta is overcooked. Carla is counting on flavour to get the Kofta balls over the line because the presentation is certainly not there. As time finishes, Thomas is having a cry as he tells himself that he is leaving. But Megan and Andy’s pasta doesn’t look too good either. Still, Megan is confident.
The contestants go back to prepare the desserts- they have 30 minutes. Their time begins and the judges eat. Before that, Thomas tells Carla to be nice as this will be their last competition dish.
First up is Megan & Andy’s dish. Mixed review about the pasta as they all notice the gluggy pasta. Carly & Emily love the pasta. To Thomas & Carla’s dish and they all compliment the dish for its flavours and use of macadamia nuts. The contestants feel it is a step up on their previous Kofta.
Back in the kitchen, the two teams are well into their desserts. Thomas is cutting up mango and purees it with some other ingredients. Carla feels the dessert may not set in the heat of the kitchen and high humidity.
Carla finishes her tuiles and puts them in the oven however the force of the fan blows the baking paper over her tuilles, rendering them useless. She concedes that the oven is too high, alerting Megan, whose tarts are cooking. Yep, the oven, which was meant to be at 180 degrees, is too high- burning her pastry.
Megan and Andy are trying to salvage their dessert. Carla’s second batch of tuiles is out of the oven, but they don’t look too good. Now it is Thomas trying to relax Carla. Ten minutes remain but the tuilles are not hardening due to the humidity. Megan is whipping some cream, but she feels she is over whipping it.
Finally, Thomas & Carla’s tuiles work, but they have to fill them and plate them. Megan is finishing her dessert with 3 minutes to spare. But not all is done for their complex dish.Thomas fills the tuilles which haven’t quite set. The mixture spills out the gap in the side, but they have to plate it. Thomas has practically given up.
Thomas & Carla’s dish is first. Guy thinks it is clumsy and a bit floury. Tobie likes the marriage of flavours. Jennifer holds up a floppy twill, commenting to the table at how cake-y it is.
They then all taste Megan & Andy’s dessert next and they seem to like it, but do point out the over whipped cream. So, with all the work done, who will leave?
Megan and Andy
Manu Fieldel –
Pete Evans –
Guy Grossi –
Karen Martini –
Tobie Puttock –
Liz Egan –
Thomas and Carla
Manu Fieldel –
Pete Evans –
Guy Grossi –
Karen Martini –
Tobie Puttock –
Liz Egan –
So the are sending Thomas & Carla home, the meanies aren’t lasting this season. Pete debriefs on their journey so far and Manu compliments them for their efforts. With that, they leave the competition, straight from sunny Queensland. To finish up, we recap their time in the competition with a best bits package.
Thanks again to Courtney for writing tonights recap and the next two to follow! Cheers!