With a palette that tends more towards bold, southern-style soul food flavours, tonight’s Asian-themed challenge brought Brisbane’s Brendan Langfield unstuck.
Even before the challenge was unveiled, Brendan – whose previous dishes in the competition included creole prawns with maple bacon poutine and hand-rolled macaroni and cheese – admitted that he was not confident with Chinese food.
In Round 1, contestants had 30 minutes to make their version of Chinese fried rice. While he gave it his best shot, guest mentor Kylie Kwong said Brendan’s dish had far too much chili and was lacking Chinese flavour.
Brendan then moved into Round 2 as part of the bottom nine, facing a “name that ingredient” challenge, in which contestants took turns to name over 50 Chinese ingredients.
Brendan correctly named snake beans, but soon followed Deepali and Rachael into the bottom three after incorrectly labeling Char Sui sauce as Hoisin sauce.
In Round 3, the trio had 60 minutes to create a Chinese-inspired dish from the ingredients the group named correctly in Round 2.
Brendan chose to cook Chinese marinated pork loin with deep fried lotus root and pickled shiitake mushrooms. He was happy with his pork when he cut into it, although onlookers were concerned it looked too pink. In the tasting, it was clear to the judges that the pork was under cooked and none were prepared to taste it.
An emotional Brendan was encouraged by George’s kind words, while Kylie said she could tell that he had incredibly high standards and incredibly high self-respect.
Since leaving the MasterChef Australia kitchen, Brendan has set up his own mobile restaurant called Riverland Market, serving American-style food at markets across Brisbane.