In a fiercely fought sudden death cook-off, two of the competition's best teams showcased their heritage in their cooking
Just four points saved legal eagles Gianni and Zana from elimination on My Kitchen Rules last night in an epic battle which saw flawless dishes served to the judges.
As the two weakest teams from last week's Olympic challenge, Gianni and Zana and Luciano and Martino cooked for their lives with each team presenting their best three course menu to hosts Pete Evans and Manu Feildel and guest judges Karen Martini, Guy Grossi, Liz Egan and Colin Fassnidge.
Luciano and Martino opted for a seafood entrée of stuffed calamari with marinara sauce and squid ink risotto.
The judges praised the entrée agreeing the calamari was cooked beautifully and the risotto had the perfect texture and flavour. Pete summed up the table's sentiment saying, "I can't fault this dish."
For their entrée, Gianni and Zana plated up a Montenegrin pizzette with caramelised onion and goat's cheese.
While the judges acknowledged the technique in their dish, the table was divided on the amount of raw garlic in the entree. For Liz and Colin, it was too much with Colin adding: "It was the only thing holding the dish back." Pete agreed saying it was a "flavour bomb" but overall, the dish didn't "hit the heights" for him.
Gianni and Zana presented a main of white bean stew with balkan sausage that impressed all of the judges with its smoky flavours. Colin said their foccacia was "perfect"; while Guy added: "It had a great flavour and was one of those really rustic and earthy dishes that fills the house with amazing aromas."
For their main, the Italianos chose to showcase seafood again, presenting the judges with seafood lasagne in salsa rosa sauce.
Liz commended the team on their pasta saying it was "the star of the dish, silky and beautiful", but noted their seafood was overcooked.
Manu agreed: "It could have been a beautiful dish, but they ran out of time," arguing that one hour is not long enough to make lasagne.
For their last course, Gianni and Zana served up pistachio and walnut baklava with honey whipped ricotta. Guy said the dessert was "stunning". Liz agreed noting that they had made their own filo, an "incredible" effort in a competition.
Pete gave Luciano and Martino's chocolate and red wine pear cake "top marks" for presentation, whileKaren Martini said the dish was a "good example of what this traditional cake is". However, while the team's decision to serve the cooking liquor from the pears as mulled wine was applauded by Guy, Colin and Pete argued it detracted from the dish.
While both teams demonstrated confident cooking, Gianni and Zana edged out their competition scoring 45/60 from the judges.
On leaving the competition with a score of 41 /60, Luciano said: "Of course we're devastated we're leaving, but we have always been true to ourselves, we've cooked with passion and with heart. And we're proud about that."
Added Martino: "This competition I will remember forever."
Tonight on MKR: teams will face the ultimate seafood challenge cooking for some of Sydney's toughest seafood critics... the local fishermen. They will be given a choice of 10 varieties of seafood caught in Australian waters to use in their own pop up restaurant and guests will vote for their favourite dish. Judges Pete Evans and Colin Fassnidge will choose the two weakest teams to compete in the sudden death.