In the closest cook-off yet, fan favourites Alex & Gareth scraped ahead of JP & Nelly with just two points keeping them in the competition.
As the two weakest teams from the previous night’s Fisherman’s challenge, Alex & Gareth and JP & Nelly presented their best three course menu to hosts Pete Evans and Manu Feildel plus guest judges Karen Martini, Guy Grossi, Liz Egan and Colin Fassnidge.
Both teams had a less than perfect night in the kitchen, with the evening’s food scores uncharacteristically low.
With a nod to their traditional Polish heritage, JP & Nelly’s entrée consisted of borscht with caraway flatbread and dill yoghurt.
The dish received mixed reviews with Liz stating: “It didn’t really work. (The soup) needed texture. . .it was just a puree.”
Alex & Gareth’s first dish was salmon sashimi with avocado puree and rice crackers. It was met with similar feedback. “You’ve given us simple, but bad simple,” lamented Colin.
Main course from the lovebirds was a roast duck, potato and leek mash with red wine jus, it again received average comments from the judges. “The sauce? That was a waste of red wine,” said Colin.
The miners did not score well with their main of eye fillet and butter bean mash with Karen commenting, “You had all the components there for it to be a superb dish, but there wasn’t the basic cooking technique to make it cohesive.”
However, both teams turned the corner with their desserts, especially the best mates from Queensland who delivered a chocolate mousse dome with cherry sorbet. Praise was unanimous. “This was extraordinary! Where have you been all night!? Very cleverly thought out,” said Liz.
Their signature element of tea was included in JP & Nelly’s white mascarpone tart with caramelised figs and hints of earl grey. Manu was especially complimentary: “It worked very well” he said. “It was fantastic.”
When all the scores were tallied, Alex & Gareth totalled 29/60 with JP & Nelly just falling behind on 27/60.
It was tears all round as the loved up pair left Kitchen HQ and the competition for good.
Nelly remarked that MKR was “the best thing we’ve ever done.” JP agreed: “Our experience has been life changing, the best thing ever. I’ve realised how strong we are as a couple and wouldn’t change a thing.”
Monday night (March 28 at 7.30pm) on MKR:
Teams are challenged to cook the ultimate movie meal for 100 families of four attending a pop-up cinema. Budding moviegoers will taste the dishes and vote for their favourite meals.