When Abbey and Leah come downstairs for their morning Vegemite on toast, they find Nigella Lawson chillin’ in the kitchen, sippin’ on some tea.
After introductions, Nigella tells them to go get everyone. They run up the stairs and then everyone runs down to meet her.
There are hugs, there are screams, there’s a whole lot of excitement going on, and Nigella looks like she’s living for it.
Once everyone’s settled a bit, Nigella tells them she’ll be here all week. Bursting into applause, none of the contestants can believe it. They’re telling us how exciting it is that she’s here, how she’s their hero, etc.
The first challenge is a mystery box.
“Shall I open it?” Nigella asks.
“Yes!” everyone cheers.
She opens the box, but there’s nothing there.
Nigella is here for something more nefarious. She’ll be stealing ingredients from the contestants.
Everyone leaves to get ready while Nigella snoops around their pantry and fridge.
Once everyone’s dressed and fed, they all pour into the kitchen, exciting to see Nigella again.
When they walk in, Gaz, George, Matt and Nigella are standing at the front. The contestants come and stand in front of the benches.
Gaz is wearing a blue suit with a blue shirt and blue pocket square. He’s also wearing his glasses today.
Matt is wearing a light brown suit with a white shirt. I’m really here for the pocket square and cravat, because it’s rainbow. It’s a bit kaleidoscope meets stain glass.
Finally, George is wearing a grey jacket with a black vest and white shirt. He’s also wearing blue ripped jeans.
Nigella is looking beautiful today, and wearing a leopard print jacket.
Gaz asks Nigella why she keeps coming back to the MasterChef Aus kitchen, and she talks about how she loves the contestants and how inspiring they are.
It’s time for Nigella to show them what she stole from their house. There’s lamb mince, some kind of fish named King George, mint, red plums, semolina?, date molasses?, red plums, nigella seeds, and witlof. I have no idea what a witlof is, and I don’t like the look of it.
Gaz tells them they’ll have 75 minutes to cook. They must use at least one of the ingredients, and they have their staples under the bench. Only five will be tasted, and the winner of that goes straight through to immunity challenge.
“Taste, taste, and taste again,” Nigella says, before it’s cooking montage.
Nigella comes around to Steph’s bench, and Steph admits she wore leopard print to match with Nigella. Nigella tries to look like she’s not terrified of becoming a skin suit, smiles politely, and quickly walks away.
Finally, time is up, and it’s tasting time.
First is Abbey. She’s made a… she… it’s a dish of whiting, witlof, plum and mint. The judges love the presentation and the taste. The freshness is great.
“It’s a plate that delights,” Nigella says.
Next is Simon. He made a dish with witlof, semolina and whiting. Nigella thinks it’s a really, really good dish. George says he likes the simplicity of the dish.
Nicole is shocked at having her name called, and she’s so excited to bring it to Nigella. She made a plum pie and smoked vanilla ice-cream. Nigella calls it enchanting.
Fourth is Anushka, wearing a yellow shirt and yellow glasses. She’s made a layer cake with a plum sauce centre. The sauce inside should ooze out when the cake is cut. When George cuts it, making eye contact, it oozes.
They call it, “Cake shop quality.”
George calls her the cake boss.
Finally is Jess. She’s very excited and proud. She made a Pavlova with vanilla cream and plum sauce.
“It looks like something from a fairy-tale,” Nigella says, before having a go at hacking at it.
Self described as a ‘Pavlover’, Nigella tells her it hit the mark.
Matt says they were expecting it to be good, weren’t expecting it to be that good.
Nigella tells them it’s been a lovely start, and one dish that made her jump for joy and made them happy.
The winner of immunity is Jess, and she’s sent upstairs to be alone.
Now, it’s the invention test. Not just any invention test, it’s a MasterChef classic – relay.
They’ll be working as a team of five for 15 minutes each of cooking. They’ll have a total of 75 minutes, and 45 seconds for hand over. The winners will be safe and upstairs; the losers will be in elimination.
“When I was in your house this morning, I picked up one more ingredient,” the thief tells them.
The four who had their dish take a coloured apron, and will be the leaders of the teams. The other contestants are sent outside.
Nigella stole pistachios, and they must use them.
Cue the frantic montage of everyone trying to get something prepped.
The next person is about to start.
George goes out with a black bag. He tells four people to come forward. They choose an apron from his black bag and that’s their team.
Walleed is with Nicole. She’s got a lot instructions and he’s having a hard time telling him they’re making an ice-cream sandwich.
Abbey has left the prepped everything for the next person to made a decision of what they want to do. This leaves the next person without a plan for a dish, and they have to decide something.
Monica is having a very hard time with this because now she has to come up with an idea.
Anushka’s team is perfect.
Gaz and George come around and ask Walleed what the dish is. He has no idea because Nicole gave him so much instructions. He doesn’t even know what the special ingredient is, and goes off what’s in the ice-cream. All I can say is this – ruh roh!
Walleed debriefs to Sandeep, who is deeply confused by the idea of an ice-cream tart.
Sandeep is having a really hard time trying to figure out what’s going on, and decides they need a filler.
At this stage, the red team has the most air time, and with the most dramas, so I’m not confident for them at all. I’m worried about it because I like Walleed and Sandeep, and I don’t want to see either of them going home.
Look, there’s a lot happening, basically red and green are having a hard time at the moment. There was a lack of leadership and communication from Nicole and Abbey which has really worked it’s way down the line to the fourth people, leaving them confused, scared, and sweaty.
Blue and yellow are fine.
It’s almost change over for the last person, and Joe realises the main ingredient is pistachio.
At changeover, he tells Kyle that he was told the ingredient is star anise, but everyone else is talking about pistachio.
“Just try and hero them both,” Joe says.
Meanwhile, the green team is confused as to what the dish actually is, and doesn’t know how she’s going to plate. She tries the curd, but it’s too runny so she has to scrap it. She tries the crumb, but it’s not good, and has to scrap it too. She has to figure something out and fast.
Kyle is assembling the tart. He’s added another element of pistachio, and tries to minimise the intensity of the star anise ice-cream by doing a small scoop, just in case.
Time is up, and everyone starts cheering and celebrating. The previous team members come out to hug the last relay.
“This challenge today,” Nigella says, “is the hardest I’ve ever seen.”
Gaz reminds them the winners go to the immunity challenge, losers to elimination.
First up is the yellow team.
The dish is a pistachio crusted lamb with confit(?) fennel and pistachio fennel salad.
It looks beautiful, and the lamb looks divine.
They dig on in.
George says the fresh salad was the best bit and freshens the dish up. Nigella loves it. Matt says they had a clear vision, and excellent plating.
Anushka presents the pistachio ice-cream, pistachio praline and pomegranate coulis.
Nigella is excited, so goes in.
Overall they love it. Matt likes that there’s different colours that are pistachio colours.
Next is the green team. Abbey is disappointed and feels like she let Nigella down. She starts to cry.
Their dish is a Middle Eastern Delight.
The judges are annoyed there is only one pistachio element to the dish. Nigella doesn’t understand why they’ve done this.
They try the dish.
The praline doesn’t have crunch, and the dish would be different with a pistachio ice-cream. Gaz doesn’t like it, it’s an orange vanilla dessert with a sprinkle of pistachios. George tells them to keep their fingers crossed.
Finally is the red team.
It’s a pistachio tart.
They judges are happy they can see the pistachios, means they might have gotten the hero ingredient after all.
Nigella says it looks great, but the flavour of the custard and the ice-cream are off.
They are happy the incorporated pistachios into two elements.
After the tasting, Matt tells everyone that the winner had a clear vision from the end that was executed the way it was supposed to.
The yellow team are the winners and go on for immunity.
Unfortunately, the worst dish was the green dish, and they’ll be up for elimination.