Welcoming in the chefs, Jock, Mel and Andy revealed that after weeks of competing in their teams, the Fans and Faves were no longer, and from this point forward, they would be a unified kitchen.
“You started this journey as Fans versus Favourites,” Jock said. “Two teams of strangers and old friends. You’ve put your hearts and your souls into making some incredible food alongside each other but… as of this moment it’s every cook for themselves.”
Throughout the competition so far, teams were able to rely on each other and ahead of eliminations, if someone’s dish on your team was the best of the day, it would often mean your entire team would be safe from that elimination challenge.
Now, the stakes are so much higher, with every chef competing as an individual, the safety net of the teams has been taken out and each chef would have to cook their very best each and every time.
With that being said, the judges weren’t done with their announcements as they revealed that Sunday’s challenge would see one chef win the biggest prize ever given away at this point in the competition. Not only would the winner earn themselves a shiny Immunity Pin, but they would also score themselves a whopping $10,000.
Presented with 18 cuisines from all around the world, each chef had to select two and combine them in a fusion dish that celebrated both the cuisines they had selected.
For Sarah Todd, the challenge was a dream come true, having trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, her French-based techniques and her love of Indian flavours have been a marriage she had hoped to make happen.
Serving the judges butter poached lobster with ‘flavours of India’, Sarah explained that her dish was actually an example of the direction she had hoped to take her cooking in the future.
“I’m a bit nervous to serve these kinds of dishes,” she admitted. “It’s putting my spin and it’s a little bit more nerve-racking because it’s like art, it’s subjective whereas if I do something classic Indian I’m like well, it’s hard to not like it because I know it works.”
And while she was anxious about how the dish would be received, those worries were almost immediately waved away when all three judges gave her a round of applause for the taste and her ability to meet the brief of the challenge, adding that the dish was on par with any Michelin star dish.
“What is in that bowl is an exhibition of someone who is very good at their craft,” Jock added.
It was no surprise that, when it came time to crown the challenge winner, Sarah’s dish was the top of the class, with Andy calling it a “success on every single level”, earning her the Immunity pin and the massive prize of $10,000.
MasterChef Australia Fans & Favourites airs Sunday - Thursday at 7.30pm on 10 and 10 play on demand