The Top 11 travelled the world in the Invention Test and another competitor said goodbye after a complex Pressure Test on Tuesday (15 May).
The “journey around the world” challenge entailed the contestants having to blindly select a spoon with a country name and another with a cooking method, then getting their imaginations on the boil and putting their ideas into practice behind their cooking stations.
Guy got Great Britain and poaching; Khaya selected France and steaming; Sam got lucky with South Africa and frying; Sarel was dreading a South American country – and got Brazil and steaming; Sue-Ann chose Spain and frying; Lungi, China and frying; Thys looked flabbergasted with Morocco and poaching; Jade looked happier with the USA and grilling; Deena’s choices were Japan and baking; Manisha got Italy and grilling; and Ilse was tasked with Mexico and baking.
The two winners would receive a MasterClass (and a one-up on their fellow competitors); the creators of the four bottom dishes would go into a Pressure Test. The Top 11 had 90 minutes in which to flex their foodie skills.
Taking the Judges on a “first class ticket around the world” were Khaya with her chicken ballotine (and turned carrots!) – the Judges were glad she’d “stopped playing it safe”; Manisha impressed with her Italian chicken and parma-wrapped tomato; Lungi’s crispy duck and tempura vegetables went down well; and Thys wowed with his poached pear, sweet couscous and nut praline (Pete said he’d “happily pay a lot of money in a top restaurant for that dessert.”)
The contestants who didn’t earn a first class ticket were Sarel, whose steamed chocolate custard underwhelmed; Jade, whose burger and “dense” buns were left in the shade by her “superb” ketchup; Guy, whose fish was perfectly poached but whose mash was lumpy and whose peas weren’t mushy; and Samantha, whose vetkoek were perfect but who over-seasoned her mince.
Thys’ pear scored him second best dish of the day, while Khaya was “in culinary heaven” after her ballotine was chosen as top dish. They received a MasterClass from Andrew and Benny in which they learned to make pasta with a putanesca sauce for their efforts. But for Sarel, Jade, Guy and Samantha it was time for a Pressure Test – and it was the toughest yet…
The complicated recipe was for Andrew’s amazing looking twice-baked three cheese souffle with a Waldorf salad, onion braise and Gruyere tuile! Concentration, accuracy and planning were going to be key ingredients in this challenge: they had three pages-worth of recipe and just 80 minutes in which to finish…
All four contestants struggled with time. Samantha didn’t manage to finish her tuile, but she made up for it with her presentation and waldorf salad – a “spitting image” of Andrew’s original. Sarel “needed five more minutes” and didn’t make his sauce, but Pete thought this was a wise decision as he did get the most important elements out and his souffle was well-seasoned.
It was not Guy’s “finest hour” – he missed many components and his souffle and bacon weren’t cooked: the “science” of baking was clearly beyond him. Jade’s souffle was still in a ramekin and wasn’t cooked through, but she showed enough technique and promise to dodge the elimination bullet.
Instead it was Guy who had to bid goodbye…
M-Net MasterChef SA Release