Chloe was excited to be in the MasterChef Kitchen

First challenge in the MasterChef kitchen as Top 24

There was a mix of excitement and terror as the Top 24 made their way into the MasterChef kitchen for their first cook. 

That’s fair enough too, because the chefs who didn’t perform well would be up for elimination. 

“This is the start of something epic,” George told them. No pressure then…

For the first challenge the contestants had 90 minutes to make their best dinner-party dish.

Chloe definitely made her father-in-law proud

From the start, Chloe wanted to cook something that her family loves and something that would make her Ghanaian father-in-law proud – and she nailed it. 

She made a Ghanaian peanut stew and jollof rice which the judges said was exciting and delicious.

Gary even said he wanted the recipe. 

Aldo was overcome with emotion

Aldo cried (again)

Wearing one of his signature colourful shirts, Aldo made a classic South Italian seafood stew inspired by Sunday lunch on his nonna’s balcony in Napoli.

His cook went smoothly and he was really proud of what he plated up for the judges.

When the judges told him they would go round to his house every night for that stew, Aldo was overcome with emotion and burst into tears. 

“I’m going to be known for the shirts and the crying,” he said as he left the judges’ table.

Gina's orange cake looked delicious

Gina’s orange cake looked mouth-wateringly good

How good did Gina’s orange cake look? 

The Italian nonna made an orange cake with orange sauce and zabaione, wanting to wow the judges with her twist on a dessert her mother made many years ago.

“That makes me weak at the knees,” Gary told her, adding viewers would be crazy not to download the recipe immediately (here it is by the way. You’re welcome!).

Loki's dish was too much for George

George got the hot food sweats (again)

It isn’t an episode of MasterChef Australia if George doesn’t break out into the hot food sweats!

This time it was Loki’s prawn masala with saffron rice and raita that was the culprit.

“I’m speechless and it’s worth every bit of sweat,” George told him. “You are the real deal brother”.

 

Some families had to go without their fridges this week

The stolen fridges

Thursday’s home cooking challenge extended into Friday’s elimination, with the bottom three contestants asked to make another meal using their own ingredients from home… literally.

Brett, Genene and Jess were shocked when their actual fridges from home were wheeled into the MasterChef kitchen, family photos and all. 

The looks on the contestants’ faces were priceless.

Genene, Jess and Brett went into the elimination cook-off

The emotional letters from home

Usually MasterChef Australia waits a few weeks before it pulls out the emotional big guns, but this is a season full of surprises.

The three cooks up for elimination each had a letter from their loved ones inside a box of ingredients from their own pantry.

This was supposed to work as inspiration, giving them an idea of what they might cook for their families. 

Genene was inspired to cook her family’s favourite chicken dumplings.

Jess' dish almost looked too good to eat

Jess goes from the bottom to the top

Jess had a messy cook on Thursday night and it didn’t end well. 

Serving up an overly sweet dessert with a melted sorbet, the judges had no choice but to send her into the elimination cook on Friday night.

But we were amazed with her complete transformation, as she kept her bench tidy and plated up a flawless white chocolate mousse with raspberry gel and chocolate soil.

Going from the bottom three to the top in one day, Jess was the first cook safe from elimination.

Things got a bit too hot in the kitchen

Genene’s dumpling fire

Making a meal she cooks all the time for her family was supposed to make things easier for Genene in elimination. She knew the recipe and was confident and relaxed.

But a routine dumpling frying turned to disaster when the whole pan caught fire.

This left Genene with only three dumplings she could plate up for the judges, rather than a big pile, landing her squarely in the danger zone. 

Brett's salmon was cooked perfectly

The first elimination

Of the three cooks in elimination, Brett was the only one who didn’t come up with a dish idea right away. After reading a note from his girlfriend Lauren he became overwhelmed by choice.

Gary called it, “a dish in motion”, which has been known to send even the best contestants home. 

He evenutally settled on a crispy skin salmon, which the judges agreed was cooked perfectly. But his roasted chickpeas were overdone.

When it came down to Brett and Genene at the end, it was Brett who was eliminated when the judges decided they would prefer to eat more of Genene’s chicken dumplings.

“This isn’t the end for me,” Brett said as he became the first person eliminated from MasterChef 2018.

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