It’s episode 25 of MasterChef Australia 2023 and the end of Home Cooks versus Pro Cooks week and after success against the pros, Rhiannon and Antonio were safe from elimination.
Culinary legend Rick Stein was back in the MC kitchen, having built a career around cooking with simple and fresh seafood, he gave our cooks a demonstration on how to clean squid before setting the contestants a two-round challenge.
In round one, the contestants had to feature squid in their dish with just 45 minutes on the clock. The four least impressive dishes were then headed into round two.
The second part of the challenge, saw the contestants choose one of Stein’s favourite food hot spots from around the world to create a dish that will transport the judges to their destination of choice. Of course, whoever cooked the least impressive dish was eliminated from the competition.
During the episode, everyone brought their A-game with some delicious squid dishes!
Ralph and Malissa took the safe route with some salt and pepper calamari, while Cath got tropical with a ceviche, earning herself an infamous round of applause from Judge Jock Zonfrillo.
Rue went with a prawn stew to cook her squid in, and Theo spiced things up with Peri-Peri sauce.
Grace made a delectable Ajvar sauce to go with her dish, Brent brought a Sri Lankan curry to the table while Adi showed off her skills with a flavorful Maharashtrian curry, and Phil chose to confit the squid with some scallops.
Declan, the fish master, entered the challenge with confidence while hoping to impress his idol, Stein. Protected by his Immunity Pin, he was certain that he would not have to use it; however, things took a sharp turn as he found himself in round two with Phil, Malissa, and Ralph.
In Round Two, the contestants were challenged to create a mouth-watering dish inspired by Stein’s five favourite food places: France, Spain, the UK, Mexico or Italy.
With 75 minutes on the clock, they had to whisk the judges to their chosen location and avoid serving up a dish that would boot them out of the competition.
Declan decided to choose Mexico and wanted to serve a Beer-Battered Flathead with Salsa and Pickled Veggies; however, rattled by Round One, during the cook, he decided to play his Immunity Pin and headed to the safety of the gantry.
Despite having to use her backup, Malissa’s Honey and Olive Oil Pana Cotta with Lemon Crumb and Charred Apricots was a hit. The judges unanimously agreed it was a triumph, praising it as her best dish yet!
Even though Ralph’s Croque Madame with Soft Poached Egg and Potato Foam was a bold concept and the judges could piece the flavours together, unfortunately, it didn’t transport them to France.
Phil then delivered his Spaghetti Con Anatra which failed to hit the mark. With only 75 minutes for the cook, the Judges felt it was not the dish to cook given that his duck was dry and the pasta wasn’t up to scratch.
Phil became the seventh contestant to say goodbye, saying he’d be forever grateful for the experience in the MasterChef kitchen, thanking the judges for giving him purpose after feeling lost in his career.
MasterChef Australia airs Sunday – Thursday at 7.30pm on 10 and 10Play.