It was the moment that ultimately ended their time in the My Kitchen Rules kitchen - when Annie and Lloyd served undercooked squid to six celebrity chefs.
For guest judge Colin Fassnidge, the dish was inedible. “Your entrée was an unmitigated disaster. It’s only the second time in my entire MKR career that I haven’t eaten a dish,” he said.
And unfortunately it wasn’t the only low point for the fashion retailer and her medicine-studying beau.
With Annie appointed head chef for the first Sudden Death elimination cook off, things were off to a slow – and sometimes painful – start as they spent the first hour of their prep time trying to make ice cream and several unsuccessful batches of caramel.
Fellow contestant Shaz said of Lloyd’s attempts at making caramel: “It’s excruciating to watch.”
But long before they served up their caramel, the entrée was looming as a disaster as they left themselves with just 30 minutes to prepare and cook their Grilled Squid with Fennel and Pomegranate Salad.
“The salad is great,” said Colin. “But the star of the dish, there is no star of the dish because they’ve killed it twice. There’s three ingredients and one is a car crash.”
The only saving grace for Annie and Lloyd was that the judges were also underwhelmed by mother and daughter Vicky and Celine’s prawn entrée as well.
Despite meticulously wiping the marinade from their salmon to prevent it from burning, Lloyd’s attempts at crispy skin were left stuck behind in the pan. Finally under control and with the salmon in the oven he moved on to fix Annie’s botched tempura batter.
Fellow contestant Ash commented that the workload in their kitchen is not being evenly split. “This is not a partnership,” she says. “She has done the avocado puree; he has done the salmon and the tempura mushrooms.”
Lloyd’s workload does not go overlooked by the judges with Guy Grossi saying, “Right away this is a step up visually from their entrée.” Karen Martini added: “That puree works sublimely with the salmon. It’s really gentle on the palate.”
And far from a car crash, Colin is actually impressed with their Miso Salmon with Tempura Mushrooms. “It’s just three elements on the plate, but this time you’ve got three elements done well. This dish is like the team has been replaced by another team.”
With hope restored, it’s back to where it all started – the Chocolate Pudding with Salted Caramel Ice Cream dessert.
Dramatically, the ice cream has not set. After all that time and effort, Annie decides the flavour is still good and it deserves a place on the plate but leaves it out to turn back to custard. The onlooking teams are mortified; Jane says she needs to put it in individual dishes and put it back into the freezer to harden.
They have just 24 minutes to make and bake their pudding. Alas, they have to take the puddings out before they have had time to cook through and they do not manage to turn them all out of their dirty ramekins.
“Last time I saw something this chaotic, someone had just run into a beehive,” said onlooking fellow contestant Robert.
Guest judge Liz Egan says: “I really feel for them. When I look at this dish all I can see is heartache. But the flavour is good.”
The stress of the evening clearly showing on their plates, Annie and Lloyd were not shocked by their lowly 22/60 score, five points behind their rivals Vicky and Celine.
“We didn’t deliver tonight and we got the scores we deserve,” said Lloyd.
Effervescent Annie was grateful for her time on My Kitchen Rules. “This competition was exactly what I expected. Pushing technique, pushing flavours, pushing our relationship. Honey you’re a patient man. You’re very patent. We have learnt so much from this competition and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”