'I Didn't Give Up': Khristian Walker Leaves The MasterChef Kitchen After A Michelin Star Pressure Test

After thinking outside the box landed him in the Pressure Test, Khristian was forced to face Jean-Christophe's 'Jack in the Box'.

On Tuesday night the bottom four chefs had to face off against the very dish that Jean-Christophe credits as securing him his first Michelin star in 1992, ultimately saving his restaurant from financial ruin.

Hoping that this would also be the dish to save them from elimination, Sumeet, Mimi, Snezana and Khristian were immediately confronted with the intricate entremet, encased in fragile sugar glass walls and adorned with delicate sugar springs.

The dish featured a whiskey-soaked brownie, a dark chocolate vanilla mouse and a white chocolate crème, topped with fruit and roasted hazelnuts. The fragile sugar work was then placed around the dessert.

Masterchef Australia Khristian Walker eliminated Jack in the box dessert
Jean-Christophe Novelli's Jack-In-The-Box dessert.

"MasterChef has a history of making desserts in a pressure test," Khristian told 10 Play, "desserts are not my forte, as much as I love eating them and making them. The idea of what potential dessert they could pull out for us to make was something I was dreading.

"I was fearing it but excited at the same time because it was like, when am I ever going to get the chance to make something I wouldn't have even looked at or dreamed of?"

But when Jean-Christophe lifted the cloche and revealed the dish, Khristian's first thought was pure confusion.

"I had no idea what it was," he laughed, "all I could see from a distance were springs coming out of this thing and I was like... what in the heck am I about to make?"

On top of having to get all the elements perfectly executed, the chefs also had to work with isomalt -- a sugar substitute pastry chefs use for intricate, edible decorations.

"Going into this I didn't even know what isomalt was until we pulled it out," Khristian added. "It's one of those things you don't realise until you do it how volatile working with that element is."

Having never worked with it before, the chefs had limited time to understand how to handle the isomalt, and how quickly they needed to work to get the walls of their dessert to set, but not completely harden before they had been trimmed to size, resulting in cracks.

Ultimately overworking his sugar, Khristian cooked out most of the moisture, making it harder to handle and a lot darker than the original, but with a little guidance from Poh, he was able to get the dish on the plate -- and almost all of his walls standing.

"I kept thinking, if this was the dish that sent me home I was not going to be upset," Khristian admitted. "Obviously I'd be sad the journey would be over, but what a dish to send you home!

"Just to get it on the plate was the accomplishment I needed," he continued. "I didn't give up, I got something on the plate that resembled the original dish. There were walls! They may not have been as square as I wanted them to be but I finished it!

"I didn't give up. If anything, that's the thing I'm most proud of."

Walking his dish up to the judges, Khristian was proud of his efforts in the challenge, though he did admit that his version "looked like the version of Jean-Christophe's dish", but it wasn't until he had delivered the dish that he realised he was missing a few elements like the roasted hazelnuts.

"When you get in your head in a cook like that and all you want to do is finish, everything goes out the window. I know for a fact if I stuck to the recipe as hard as I wanted to initially all the way through, I wouldn’t have finished," he said.

Hearing the judges reveal that it was his turn to hang up his apron, Khristian admitted that he was "absolutely gutted".

"I know the cook the night before is what put me there and if I had played it safe I wouldn't have been there," he said. "I had to realise, eventually, I was going to have to take a risk and I'm so glad I did because it gave me the opportunity to be in this pressure test and make this dish.

"I would have been gutted if I was sent home for a dish I was comfortable with. Failing in something I know I can do, as opposed to not even failing -- because I finished the dish but I was up against three amazing cooks," Khristian continued. "To think these guys beat me to it, I was okay with that."

He was also comforted by the fact that the dish was Jean-Christophe's, having been mentored throughout the competition by the 4 Michelin Star chef.

"I was privileged to recreate his dish," Khristian said. "Knowing something of that calibre that I had never made before was the reason I was going home stopped me from doubting myself in my own ability by thinking, okay you're not at that level... now it's time to go and get to that level."

While his ultimate dream of opening a Panini shop is still on the cards for the future, Khristian is just excited to step out of the MasterChef kitchen and inspire people. In a full circle moment, he now has the platform to inspire people to cook like Jamie Oliver inspired him growing up.

"I want the things I make and release for people to see as accessible and easy," he explained. "I want to show them how to cook a perfect piece of meat, or how to introduce flavour and nutrients, how to spend $25 or $30 at your local supermarket and feed your family.

"Sometimes that's all we had, if not less, and it's important for people to have nutrients and nourishment. With the cost of living crisis, it gets more daunting. If I can show them something that's going to go far, taste good, and be nourishing to you, that's what I want to show people."

MasterChef Australia continues Sunday - Wednesday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play