It was a day in the MasterChef Australia kitchen that Laura and Georgia had been dreading: a pressure test elimination challenge which pitted the two best friends against each other.
MasterChef Australia favourites Amy and Renae also donned their black aprons to cook for their place in the competition.
Host of MasterChef India and Michelin starred chef Vikas Khanna arrived with the dish they had to recreate: rose tea-smoked chicken tikka masala.
Renae was over the moon to cook her favourite cuisine and Amy pleased given her knowledge of Indian flavours. Laura and Georgia felt less confident, as Indian is not part of their regular repertoires.
The four contestants had just 75 minutes to cook the complex dish of rolled chicken breast, sauce, a coriander oil, a translucent rice crisp and side of rice. The chicken had to be smoked, cooked in the sous vide machine and finished by pan roasting before being cut to present.
Disaster struck when Georgia realised that she had not hit start on her machine so it was nowhere near temperature. By adding boiling water, it was close to the required 52 degrees when her chicken went in.
Georgia quickly caught up and it was Laura who was more flustered throughout the cook, forgetting to add orange blossom and vinegar for her rice crisp and having to start over. Amy and Renae were both on track, moving through the cook methodically, but Renae decided to stray from the recipe by adding her own touches.
During the tasting, the judges and Vikas agreed that Renae’s dish was close to perfect; their only criticism was the amount of vinegar in her rice. Amy was also safe, with her flavour outstanding.
Laura was convinced she was going home due to undercooked chicken, but it was tender and moist; her rice crisp was the best, but her sauce was overcooked. Georgia’s flavours impressed and her sauce gained praise, but she had overcooked her chicken, forcing the judges to send her home.
After tearful goodbyes, the judges revealed a twist: the following day would see all the eliminated contestants return to cook for a second chance to re-enter the competition, including Georgia