Nicole Cleave has been eliminated from MasterChef Australia.
The inflight manager from WA took a huge risk during a three-round challenge that left the judges astounded. Nicole and her fellow contestants were asked to prepare three dishes using just one snapper, but the 55-year-old decided to use the whole fish in the first round, believing that her dish would be good enough to save her.
Judges Gary, George and Matt all warned Nicole against taking the gamble, but she ignored their advice and panfried her snapper whole, Chinese style. Just as the challenge came to a close, the wannabe chef realised that the fish's tail was raw and quickly doused it in hot oil before serving it to the judges.
While they applauded the flavour of the dish and admitted that they were impressed by her courage, the judges said that the hot oil took the crunch out of the snapper skin and left it elastic in texture. As a result, Nicole didn't make the Top 5 and was eliminated, but announced that she was proud of herself for having faith in her abilities.
Since returning to Perth, Nicole has started her own food blog and is now catering large events for friends.