New South Wales newlyweds Uel and Shannelle escaped elimination on Tuesday night as South Australia’s husband and wife team, Deb (“Naughty Nanna”) and Rick, became the first casualty of MKR’s sudden death cook-off.
Scoring 41 out of 60 for their menu, young guns Uel and Shannelle progressed to the next round while seasoned cooks, Deb and Rick, left the competition with a score of 35 out of 60.
With Liz Egan, Colin Fassnidge, Guy Grossi and Karen Martini taking their seats at the judges table, both teams plated up a three course menu to be scored out of ten.
Deb and Rick kept their dishes “traditional retro,” while Uel and Shannelle opted for an Asian inspired menu recognising their heritage and culture.
While they were keen to demonstrate the benefits of experience over age, Deb and Rick’s entrée of Prawn and Avocado Tart failed to impress the judges.
Judge and co-host Manu Feildel complemented Deb and Rick for their prawns, saying they were “beautifully sweet,” but criticised the pair for substituting store-bought bread as the base of their tart instead of a “nice short crust, buttery pastry.”
Fellow judge and co-host Pete Evans agreed: “The letdown was that bit of white bread rolled in a tin. It was like eating dry toast.”
Uel and Shannelle fared better with their entrée of Singaporean Chilli Soft Shell Crab, winning over the judges with their chilli sauce.
“I’ve had that dish all over the world and your dish stacks up,” said Colin.
Pete agreed: “The highlight for me was your sauce. You could bottle that!”
For mains, Deb and Rick presented a twist on an old favourite with Spiced Lamb Shank, Green Beans, Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree.
The judges were impressed with the dish with Pete saying the shanks were “stunning.” Manu also praised the dish: “They were cooked beautifully. Tender and moist. I loved the sauce.”
While Karen said Uel and Shannelle’s Braised Pork Belly with Quail Eggs and Asian greens was “cooked beautifully,” fellow judge Colin found the sauce lacking.
For their third course, Deb and Rick plated up a family favourite of Sticky Date Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream that divided the judges.
While Guy Grossi thought the dessert was “executed beautifully” Colin found fault with the ice cream saying it was “a bit too sweet.”
Uel and Shannelle’s Coconut filled Pandan Crepes didn’t quite hit the highs they had hoped for with Pete saying the dish “didn’t work.”
But the newlywed’s first two courses proved enough to get them across the line with Manu and Pete both awarding 7 out of 10 for their menu.
Manu scored Deb and Rick 6 out of 10 while Pete marked the team slightly higher with 7 out of 10.
On leaving the competition, Deb said the MKR experience had only strengthened their marriage.
“I can honestly say that I am more in love with him (Rick) now than I have ever been.”
“This competition has been absolutely amazing,” she added. “It lit the fire in my belly to want to keep cooking.”
Added Rick: “It was an awesome experience.”
My Kitchen Rules airs Sundays at 6.30pm and Mondays to Wednesdays at 7:30pm on Seven.