So we have Jessica, Matthew and Jacqui challenging for immunity. Gee Jacqui’s been on a rollercoaster ride this series, teary and crying in pressure tests and elimination challenges and now with a chance to cook for immunity.
Round 1 is about plating up…yep, something many a good contestant struggles with. Matthew is worried, Jacqui goes on about being a mum of young kids so plating isn’t a big issue and Jessica is happy.
So there’s a heap of different plates to choose from and then there’s the components from Georgie Boy’s restaurant The Press Club that make up his beef moussaka. They’ve got pine nut milk béchamel, braised beef, onion puree, crispy eggplant, the brine of fetta made into gnocchi, onion rings, charred onions and roasted beef.
They have to pick the right plate and plate up George’s dish and they get a whole 4 minutes to do it, hooley dooley!!! Jacqui goes to the ingredients, while Matthew and Jessica go to the dishes first.
Well that was a quick 4 minutes and they have all plated it up differently and then Jacquie realises she’s missed a few elements. But before we get the judging we get to watch George plate the dish up…I could watch that all day every day, just saying…I mean the contestants fangirl over the celebrity chefs that stroll into the kitchen, I do that over George.
So the think that Jacqui’s dish is too spread out and the roast meat cut up would get too cold too quick. As for Matthew Gary is quite happy, but he’s also drawn to Jessica’s dish. Shannon likes Jessica’s plate, Matt on the other hand likes Matthew’s dish, especially how contemporary it is, except there are no crispy onions, which Gary didn’t notice.
No offence, but the judging is taking longer than the challenge took, just give us a damn decision already Georgie Boy. Jessica is through even though she picked the wrong plate and the jus is running into the puree, but she has all the elements on the plate, simple as that.
She’s cooking up against Nick Holloway, who I hate to say I haven’t heard of. Sorry, but I’m more of a Georgie Boy, Heston, Donna Hay, Nigella girl amongst others.
Anyway…Jessica has 75 minutes and Nick has 60 minutes. The choice of pantries is big and there are some huge things there…the other choice of course is really, really teeny. Oh and they only have what is in the pantry, plus oil on their benches, there is no milk, flour, butter, sugar or cream. Jessica chooses small as there’s more things on there that she cooks with all of the time.
Jessica chooses quail and a heap of orange things…carrots, pumpkin and mandarins and she decides not to get overcomplicated. Poor Jessica is trying to cook while Nick just won’t close his mouth, boy can the boy talk, just get him cooking to see if he decides to be quiet. Strangely enough he’s choosing quail again and he’s getting grapes, plums, beetroot, blueberries…a mixture of things or so he says…but he forgets the grapes so runs back to get them. He’s still not 100% sure what he’s cooking, oh this might be fun, especially when he refers to Jessica as bugalugs…bless him.
Shannon suggests to Jessica to confit her quail and the poor love is slightly worried as she’s never done it again. Nick’s going on about cooking meat in the things they would eat or complementary flavours to get the flavours all talking to each other early on. Then he’s simmering grapes in mandarin juice and then puts them into the oven, nothing like making your own grapes to find your own sugar given there isn’t any.
Gee he’s off for more grapes and Shannon makes a sly comment about Nick running backwards and forwards, then Jessica gets in on the act by saying she’s trying to block out Nick’s chatter, poor bugger can’t win a trick right now.
Now Jessica’s cooking in mandarin juice, but she’s got carrots cooking in them for acidity. Oh dear, she forgets they’re in the pan and they’re all black and charred…yep not a great look honey, put on some more. But then she goes to the pantry and there are no mandarins left…oops well that’s a problem…but Nick’s got a full one on his side and bless him he brings half a mandarin around to her.
There are seconds to go and they’re both still madly plating…gee nothing like racing to the end.
Jessica’s dish is tasted first…confit and pan roasted quail with pumpkin puree and carrots. They all love the tops of the carrots and the confit quail leg and George is literally wiping his plate with his finger to get the sauce off it. Gary loves the puree, Matt’s not quite thinking the same, he thinks it would be better if there was a little bit of butter in it, but of course they didn’t have access to butter.
Next up is Nick’s dish…autumn fruit poached quail with candied grape, radish and fennel. They all think that it looks nice and flavoursome. Gary loves the dish and George talks about the sweetness in the dish given that they had no sugar or honey.
Gary says it is the closest immunity pin challenge so far and Matt and George agree with him.
Scoring time…Jessica’s scores are revealed first. Gary 10/10 and the poor love is in shock, George 9/10 and Matt 9/10 giving her 28/30.
Nick’s scores are Gary 10/10 obviously he couldn’t decide between the two of them, George 9/10 turns out he couldn’t decide between the dishes either and Matt 10/10 giving him 29/30 meaning that the winner is Nick, but a whole 1 point.
At the end bless him Nick says he really feels for Jessica, one measly point what can we say???