MasterChef Australia 2021: The Scores Are Set For The Final Cook Of The Season

Split over two massive days, the top three have just conquered the first two rounds of their epic Grand Finale.

On Monday night, Kishwar Chowdhury, Pete Campbell and Justin Narayan began battling it out in the final challenges before one of them would be crowned Australian MasterChef of 2021.

As they entered the kitchen that has been their home for so many weeks, the judges explained to Kishwar, Pete and Justin that they would be cooking in three rounds, spread across two days.

With a total of 140 points on the line, the three finalists would have to give every single round their all if they hoped to hold the mighty MasterChef trophy above their head.

MasterChef Australia 2021 Grand Finale kishwar pete justin

Round one was a Mystery Box challenge and saw some of this season's incredible guest chefs return to the kitchen, each choosing an ingredient the final contestants could use in a dish.

With a maximum of 30 points on offer, the contestants set off to not only impress the judges -- and all the returning contestants on the gantry -- but also the guest chefs watching on.

Deciding to show the judges some of the techniques she had learned throughout the competition, Kishwar first began preparing a fine-dining fish dish the judges worried didn't have her signature flavours behind.

In a last-minute 180, Kishwar took the dish in a completely different direction and instead plated up Pandan wrapped whiting with duck fat mushrooms and a kohlrabi salad.

Taking a risk by serving the whiting wrapped in the pandan leaves, Kishwar wouldn't know how her fish was cooked until the judges opened the delicate parcels. Unfortunately, Jock's particular serving was slightly dry, but the judges still raved at Kishwar's decision to back herself and her ability to pack a dish with flavour, earning her 21 points.

Unsurprisingly, Pete went in a direction that saw him take King George whiting, kohlrabi, pine mushrooms and Geraldton wax and transform them into a geometric work of art.

masterchef australia grand finale pete dish

Blown away by the perfectly cooked fish and his "contemplative, modern, refined, sophisticated" dish, he earned a near-perfect 28 points out of 30 and the lead in the competition.

Finally, for round one, Justin served the judges passionfruit glazed duck breast with mushrooms and pickled kohlrabi. His perfectly cooked duck received rave reviews but unfortunately, his pine mushrooms were slightly overdone. After round one, Justin was also on 21 points.

Round two was packed full of surprises, the first of which saw the family members of each of the final three head into the kitchen. As tears flowed for Kishwar, Pete and Justin (and us watching at home), their loved ones would also have a hand in their fate in the competition.

Each contestant's family would pick out two spheres, one containing a hidden ingredient and the other containing a "curveball" technique or cooking method. Both the hidden ingredient and the curveball would need to be used in their dish in some way, and with another 30 points on the line, they wouldn't want to... drop the ball.

Kishwar's ingredient of white soy sauce paired with the curveball of smoke saw her plate up Panta Bhaat, a smoked rice, with Aloo Bhorta and white soy ginger sardines.

As usual with Kishwar's dishes, the judges were thrilled with how she was able to embrace and celebrate the Bengali cuisine and flavours she has wanted to put at the forefront of her cooking throughout the competition, with Mel calling it "powerful food".

In round two, Kishwar scored a perfect 30 points from the judges, bringing her total score to 51 points.

Justin's ingredient of ruby grapefruit was paired with fusion. Deciding to use his family's presence in the kitchen as inspiration, Justin served up a version of one of his mum's curries, adding ruby grapefruit and a selection of Australian natives to create his fusion Australian fish curry.

Eliciting giggles of joy from the judges, Justin's bold swing in round two saw Andy suggest the curry was one of the best dishes Justin had served in the entire competition, "And what a time to do it," Andy added.

After round two, Justin scored 29 points with a total of 50 points, putting him just a step behind Kishwar and still very much in the battle for the top spot.

Finally, Pete's ingredient of quince paired with some sort of steamed element stumped him at first, and it seemed like things were beginning to unravel. After some quick quince experimenting, Pete served up his take on Asparagus, Quail and Quince.

Though the dish was once again a culmination of Pete's considered plating and techniques, in an unfortunate slip, the quail Mel was served was raw. The blunder saw his dish in round receive a total of 25 points.

Despite the slip in points in round two, Pete's total stood at 53 points, putting him still at a slight advantage heading into Tuesday's epic Pressure Test.

With just one more massive hurdle to clear before one will be crowned MasterChef for 2021, the race couldn't be tighter.

The two-night Grand Finale of MasterChef Australia continues Tuesday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play.