Tonight proved to test every skill that the Masterchef contestants needed to create a wonderful dish with the choice of Country and cooking method. The basic challenge in the invention test tonight was to create a wonderful dish from a country in the world. In one bowl were spoons with cooking method on and the other wooden spoons with Countries. One by one the contestants came up to choose their challenge: Khaya France & Steaming; Samantha SA & Frying; Sarel Brazil & Steaming; Sue-Ann Spain & Frying; Llungile China & Frying; Thys Morocco & Poaching; Jade USA & Grilling; Deena Japan & Baking; Manisha Italy & Grilling; Ilse Mexico & Baking and Guy great Britain & Poaching. Panic running through the kitchen and flavours from around the world filling the competition, some wowed the judges and some didn’t quite measure up.
Khaya and Thys stood tall above the rest as winners of the challenge presented tonight. Khaya wowing with a French dish “Chicken Ballotine” with a stunning presentation, a jokingly French accent and her perfectly presented dish. Thys managed to cook up a taste bud delicacy with Poached Pears & Cous Cous. Sadly the bottom four contestants were Sarel, Guy, Jade and Samantha as their dishes all lacked the style and flavour expected of a Masterchef contestant at this level of the competition. Their dishes which lost them the challenge was: Samantha (Vetkoek & Curry Mince), Guy (Poached Yellowtail), Jade (Mini Mac Burgers, Fries & Home Made Ketchup) and Sarel (Chocolate Brazil).
Comments such as Pete saying that he would have been quite happy to pay a lot of money in a restaurant for the dish that Thys presented, and Andrew saying that Manisha managed to cook Italy on a plate just proves that we have reached the part of the competition that things get serious. Technique, style and basic culinary skill is what sets you apart now. Thys and Khaya were lucky enough to attend a Masterclass hosted by Chef Benny and Andrew as their reward for winning the dish of the day. Their recipe: Tagliatelle & Putanesca Sauce. Eagerly awaiting the tasting of this particular dish, Khaya mentioned that she found the judges in the Masterclass to be much more relaxed and much more ‘friendly.’ Giving away many tips on how to create the perfect Tagliatelle and Putanesca sauce, Chef Benny and Andrew shaved the last parmesan over the pasta and got stuck in with the eating.
Returning to the Masterchef kitchen, the unlucky four were to face the toughest and most complicated recipe that has been presented in Masterchef yet. Andrew brought out one of his own creations, as he mentioned that they would have to recreate his dish on only 80minutes. The dish to be the ultimate judge between who goes on and who stays behind was “Twice Baked Three Cheese Soufflé,” and looked absolutely decadent. Fluffy with the crisp Gruyere twirl and crispy Waldorf salad bringing green to the otherwise yellow cheesy plate, it looked like a knife slicing through butter as the Chefs showed how fluffy the soufflé has to be. Here Chef Benny stated that this is not a time to be creative and experiment as this recipe was going to test their basic understanding of the fundamentals. Chef Andrew warned not to beat the egg whites too stiff and for the contestants to pay particular attention to the cut of the salad and the heat presentation.
80 minutes seemed to pass as if fleeting and sooner than they could breathe, the last countdown began and they were asked to move away from their dishes. Jade leaving her cheese soufflé in the ramekin, Guy folding the ‘air’ out of his soufflé, Sam battling to curl her Gruyere and Sarel leaving the cheese sauce due to time running out, they all started to panic as tasting was upon them.
Samantha was up first and although her Gruyere tweel was unfinished, her presentation was good and her salad of a Masterchef quality. Sarel, although forfeiting his cheese sauce, made Andrew very content with his interpretation of the dish and the presentation he brought forward. Jade brought a chuckle to even myself when I saw her bright red cheese soufflé ramekin on top of a crisp white plate accompanied by her green and maroon Waldorf salad. Andrew mentioned here that it was quite obvious that her soufflé was very undercooked. Sam, on the other hand presented a very beautiful dish even though she managed to cook up a clumpy, texturally uneven soufflé and leaving out the gruyere tweel.
Guy truly battled to grasp the recipe and presented a disappointing dish with apple and celery missing and the soufflé not cooked throughout. Chef Pete mentioned that he was truly battling to find some redeeming aspect of the dish, but could not. Perhaps obvious to some, if you managed to watch the episode) Guy was the eliminated contestant thus ending his chance of being Masterchef South Africa this round.
He walked out bravely and said that he gave it his heart and he did his best and did not give up and that Masterchef has given him a doorway opened to his dream of cooking. This was truly a tearful goodbye as Sue-Ann wiped tears off and turned away.
In true universal Masterchef style Guy; Ciao, Adios, Farewell, Totsiens, Sayonara, Tchau, Zái jián, au-revoir and/or Beslama!
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