The episode begins with the Kira and Sarah in the house discussing what Tracy’s “power” might be, whilst loading the dishwasher. There’s a packet of Finish dishwasher tablets on the counter and we get a shot of a tablet getting loaded in the compartment. You’ve fulfilled your product placement quota there, MasterChef.
The judges meet Tracy in the back room of the MasterChef kitchen. It’s a massive storage facility filled with all manner of pots, pans and kitchen gadgets, providing a brief behind the scenes glimpse of the enormity of the set.
It’s a Mystery Box challenge to begin the week as usual. Tracy has chosen the ingredients. The lids come off and there are some puzzled looks from the cooks. There’s a giant piece of seafood there but most don’t know what it is. Ben says it’s skate, which is kind of like a sting ray. There’s also custard apple, mint, lemon, nutmeg, Jerusalem artichoke, goat’s cheese and peas.
Brent’s experimenting with the skate, trying different cooking methods. He settles on pan frying it.
Power Girl, Tracy struggles with her pasta dough. Her second batch is good and proceeds to get on her goat’s cheese, pea and mint filling.
Tracy and the other top three dishes are tasted. Her tortellini is excellent and they say it might be hard to top. Brent’s skate is next. They are really impressed with the depth cleverness of what he’s produced.
Emelia’s Jerusalem artichoke creme brulee has curdled badly because of the time constraints. Sarah’s made a mint and goat’s cheese parfait which looks fantastic. It tastes really good also but her mint sauce lets it down.
The judges commend both Sarah and Brent but it’s Brent that wins the Mystery Box. He gets some kind of “shield”.
The Invention Test has the contestants getting core ingredients in present boxes. Tracy’s hand picked the ingredients and the cooking time. They either have 60, 30, or if they’re two of the unlucky ones, a mere 15 minutes to cook.
It’s all strategy on her part. Ben has chillies and 30 minutes. Laura’s got carrots and 60 minutes. Jamie’s got guava and 30 minutes. Renae gags when she sees an eel in a pool of blood in her giftbox. The vegetarian is overcome with anxiety and tears. Now Tracy’s feeling a little guilty, not expecting such a severe reaction. Kira is one of the unlucky ones with turkey in 15 minutes! Sarah’s got tripe and 15 minutes also. Does she have something against Queenslanders?
We learn that Brent’s advantage is that he can swap his box with anyone but Tracy. That throws Tracy’s gameplan off as she wanted to keep fellow South Australians, Soul Patch and Laura safe with their easy ingredients and time allotment. He swaps his chocolate for the chicken from Soul Patch.
Renae is so affected by the eel that she has a panic attack. Soul Patch offers to prep the eel for her. She ends up smoking it. I don’t think I’ve seen so much smoking on any season of MasterChef. It’s just like how many panna cottas and roulades have been made this year.
15 minutes remain on the clock. Sarah and Kira start their cook. Sarah’s never cooked tripe before and has no idea how to cook it. She decides to deep fry it in a batter and to her surprise, it’s good. Kira’s popcorn turkey is a disaster. It’s severely brown outside and raw in the middle.
Soul Patch’s dessert dish is also pretty bad. His sponge cake has been cooked in a frying pan. Also, Jamie’s prawns haven’t cooked and it’s time to plate up.
Kira’s first up at tasting. The spices on the popcorn turkey have burnt and that flavour overshadows everything else. For all her worry, Renae has plated a beautiful smoked eel autumn salad. The judges says it’s sophisticated and complex. Emelia’s snails are plated creatively like a garden. They sit on a bed of squid ink soil and are perfectly cooked. Matt calls it the dish of the day.
Jamie’s undercooked prawns spell trouble for him. Laura again receives praise for her great Italian quail dish.
Ben’s chilli prawns are terrible. Soul Patch’s chocolate mousse dish is even worse, though.
Sarah’s tripe wins the judges over. It looks like salt and pepper squid but is even more tender and Gary loves it.
Tracy’s snapper tostadas are fantastic. There’s freshness, heat and great flavours.
The bottom three heading into elimination are Jamie, Soul Patch and Kira. It was a close call and Ben just scrapes through.