The Mystery Box challenge was a trading challenge. Each contestant had one ingredient in their mystery box and they could swap some ingredients with other contestants. They could only use those ingredients and some staples under their counter.
The contestants got:
- Sarah – blue cheese
- Brent – honey
- Laura – lemons
- Emilia – betroot
- Tracy – fennel
- Ben – walnuts
- Jamie – pears
- Renae – sage
- Amy – radicchio
Renae struggled to swap her sage. She was able to convince Emelia for a beetroot and in the end Sarah felt bad and gave her some cheese. She decided to cook sage and blue cheese curd with roasted beetroot tart.
Sarah initially was going to cook a Raddichio and blue cheese salad, but the judges mentioned it was very simple and decided to change it to a blue cheese tart.
Laura was making a deconstructed eaton mess, Amy was making tortellini and Ben made roasted pear.
Hoey, fennel beetroot, walnut and pear
The judges decided to taste Renae’s dish first. Her dish was sage and blue cheese tart with roasted beetroot and crispy sage, served on a dark tile. The judges said she had the most difficult ingredient out of everyone and her dish delivered. The pastry was great and the sage filling was delicious.
The next dish to be tasted was Amy’s radicchio, fennel and walnut tortellini with a blue cheese sauce. George loved the braised radicchio. The dish was “yum”, Matt said everything she had done was perfect.
The final dish they wanted to taste was Brent’s fennel, roasted beetroot pear salad with fried paneer. The dish looked lovely and had some great flavours but the texture of the paneer was bad, it was crumbly and dry.
The winner of the round was Amy.
The second round was a re-invention test. There were three chloche with dishes from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and Amy had to choose one of the dishes that the contestants will have to re-invent. The 60’s dish was a prawn cocktail. The 70’s was apricot chicken and the 80’s was Nouvelle cuisine. Amy chose the 70’s apricot chicken.
Tracy was cooking chicken stuffed with nuts, apricot and a jus. She took it out of the sous vide machine and it looked raw, she had to pan fry it but wasn’t sure it will cook through.
Laura’s dish “wasn’t appealing”. Gary basically just said the apricot chicken looked the same as the example dish and the polenta wasn’t working. She decided to make some italian croutons to tie the dish together.
Ben was making a deep fried rice ball, he wasn’t sure it will hold together but when he dipped it in the oil it did.
Renae made an apricot curry with quinoa and Sarah made a squid ink coated chicken.
First dish to be judged was Amy’s chicken and apricot curry with crispy chicken skin. It looked “awesome”, it was very colourful. George was speechless, it was absolutely delicious, spectacular. Gary loved the crispy chicken skin.
Sarah’s squid ink and tamarind chicken with apricot chutney filling and rice. The dish looked terrible. George said “honestly i hate it”. He didn’t like the look of the black chicken and it needed something fresh. They told her she was better than that.
Next was Laura’s apricot chicken with polenta, cumin and thyme and pangritatta. It was weird, but strangely delicious. It was “yum”, Matt said without the pangritatta the dish wouldn’t be good, but with it, the dish was delicious.
Emelia’s chicken and oysters with apricot jus. The judges said there was nothing to signify apricot chicken. They could hardly taste sweetness, it was all savoury.
Jamie and Brent cooked a quinoa apricot chicken which was a nice modern dish and an Apricot nectar jelly and chicken salad which was good but needed some tweaking.
Renae’s apricot chicken curry with salad, had too many components mixed together, they were nice but should have been separated on the plate.
Ben’s apricot chicken with spinach and stuffed rice had a beautiful, rich tasty sauce and the chicken was cooked perfectly.
Tracy was next. She cooked apricot-stuffed chicken with cous cous and apricot chutney. The chicken was cooked through, which she was worried about but it was overcooked. The flavour was good, but the cooking of the chicken was bad.
The top three contestants tonight were Ben, Laura and Amy.
The three contestants up for elimination tomorrow are Sarah, Emelia and Tracy. If Renae decides to use her pin Renae will take her place in elimination.