MasterChef Aus S11E52 – Recap

It’s the special challenge today, so Anushka, Christina, Tessa and Nicole are cooking-off for a spot in Finals Week.

I really hope it’s Anushka, but really, any of these women could go through.

The contestants are all in Swan Valley at the Sandalford Winery, like 15 minutes from the Perth CBD.

Such a lovely place, such a lovely face.

The trio of judges are waiting with the other contestants for the winners to come over.

Blah blah blah, the judges remind them of the stakes, and then Matt points at some cars for a bit of product placement.

It’s a Holden Equinox, by the way, the made sure to zoom in on the ‘Equinox’.

Inside, there’s an envelope with an address of a specialist food shop. They choose a car at random and go to the address. At the shop, they’re choosing an ingredient to hero in their dish.

They’ll have 60 minutes for round one, with an open pantry, and round two will be against each other. The winner of round one gets an advantage in round two, and the winner of round two doesn’t cook for the rest of the week.
So that pretty much confirms to me that there’s only one more week left, maybe a couple of days in the week after, who’s to say.

When they get back, time starts, and the contestants run to get the things they want from the pantry. Christina chose almonds from the nut shop, Anushka chose blue cheese, Tessa chose 70% dark chocolate, and Nicole chose honey.

Gaz points out that Nicole runs a bit funny, and he’d never noticed it before. Everyone laughs a bit at the way Nicole runs.

“Like a t-rex,” Tim says, as she runs, hands flopping around a bit.

ANUSHKA WATCH: Anushka, 49 year old optical optometrist, seems to always have a different pair of glasses on. I also realised today that I missed the opportunity to call this segment ‘Eyes on Anushka’, and I’m pretty disappointed in myself. Anyway, she’s wearing black frames with a bit of silver on it.

As Nicole is cooking, the bees are attracted to her honey and come over to investigate, so she’s inundated with bees. Eventually, they leave her alone to cook.

Time ends, and the women all hug each other, and it’s time to taste.

They’re ready to eat

First to taste is Anushka.

Blue Cheese Mousse with Honey and Thyme Tuile and Figs

Anushka tells them that it wasn’t to plan, but she’s really happy with how it’s ended up. Her hero ingredient was blue cheese.

The judges all love it, and say it’s a great combination of flavours. Matt tells her the bar is set high.

Next is Tessa hero-ing dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Tart with Feijoa Sorbet and Fresh Fejoa

The judges say it looks good, and when they eat it, they all say, ‘Wow’ and ‘Mm’. George tells her she’s really pushed it, and really good cooking.
They also tell her it’s a great combination.

Next is Christina with an almond based dish.

Almond Steamed Pudding with Almond Maple Custard and Almond Ice-Cream

Again, they really enjoy it, and like that it’s different ways of almonds, they do say that it needs refinement and that it’s all sort of the one flavour.

Finally, Nicole with her honey.

Honey, Thyme and Lemon Parfait with Macadamia Honey Tuile and Honeycomb

They call it beautiful and George calls it cracking. Matt calls it smashing, and straight away, Matt says he thought the top two would be Tessa and Anushka, but it’s Tessa and Nicole.

But who gets the advantage? It’s Tessa.

Her advantage is to chose the hero ingredient for both her and Nicole.

Tessa decides to be strategic and think about what to choose. She comes back and says she chose the spangled emperor fish.

The spangled emperor fish.

They’ll have 60 minutes and open pantry to hero the fish. Time starts, and the duo run to the pantry and chose their ingredients.

When time starts, they’re quick to run and get their ingredients. The judges are very judgemental as they cook.

Time ends, and the judges tell them it’s time for tasting.

First is Nicole.

Spangled Emperor with Braised Leek, Puree and Lemon Butter Sauce

Gaz says it’s perfectly cooked, and George calls it beautiful food.

“Just one word – delicious,” Matt says, before talking about everything good with it.

Next is Tessa.

Pan-Seared Emperor with Broth, Pickled Daikon, Charred Broccolini and Enoki

George says the fish is cooked well, and they all agree. But Gaz says the broth isn’t very good, and they all agree as well, it’s not tasty.
Gaz says she’s stubborn and tried to help her with the broth, but she didn’t listen because she wanted to follow her own ideas.

It’s time for the verdict.

The winner is Nicole, and she’s the first contestant through to Finals Week, so she doesn’t have to cook for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow is a team challenge in the Margaret River region.

Also tomorrow is double episodes of The Super Switch, so total of three recaps tomorrow night. Deets below.

As usual, this recap was written as I watched the episode, so there will be spelling and grammar mistakes.

I posted a MasterChef rant about Sandeep, and you can read it here. I also did a bigger rant about the rest of the season, and you can read that here.

If you have a Hot Tip, tweet me, leave a comment, or head over to my contact page, and let me know what’s good.

To catch up on this episode, or other MasterChef eps you’ve missed, head over to
If you want to watch The Super Switch, also has you covered, and I’ve got the recaps here. Double episodes every Wednesday night.

Enjoy my recaps? Consider buying me a coffee.

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