It's the Grand Final of Masterchef New Zealand

Twenty minutes in and it’s all been recap pretty much.  Finally we’re at the first challenge for our finalists, Kelly Young and Brett McGregor.

There are four challenges tonight worth a total of 100 points with the person with the highest points at the end being crowned New Zealand’s first Masterchef.

It’s a taste test.  An Italian soup with twenty ingredients.  First up is Kelly.  Last time she did this task she only got nine ingredients right.  She only manages to write 16.  Brett gets at least 18 written down.

At the reveal, Brett gets 12 right.  He was hoping for twelve or more so it’s a good start.  How will Kelly do?  She manages to do one better with 13.  So Kelly takes the first challenge.

The ingredients they missed: Chicken Stock, White Wine, Panchetta, Tomato Paste, Oregano and Borlotti Beans.

The next challenge is an invention test worth 40 points.  The main ingredient is lamb.  An entire carcass lies on the table which they can select whichever cut they want from. They can then spend five minutes taking whatever they want from the pantry.

Judith Tabron from Soul Bistro and Bar is back.  You might remember her from the Pie episode.  Kelly certainly does.

Brett takes a rack and a fillet while Kelly takes the loin and the backstrap.  Ninety minutes are on the clock.  As expected, the time flies and there is wonderful drama.  The gasps and shocks from the past contestants who are watching from the sidelines are hilarious.  Sue’s reactions are awesome.  As the clock runs out and Brett is desperately looking for a spoon, it’s all a bit like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Kelly’s dish is a Prosciutti-Wrapped Lamb with kumara, carrot puree & pea foam.  The dish gets the thumbs up apart from the pea foam.

Brett’s dish ia a Duo of Lamb with pea puree, mash & carrots.  It’s seems to be receiving slightly more praise though.

At the results, Kelly get’s the following scores:

Ross: 6
Simon: 8
Ray: 6
Judith: 8
Total: 28
Combined total: 41

Ross: 8
Simon: 9
Ray: 8
Judith: 9
Total: 34
Combined total: 46

Brett takes the lead with a five point margin.

The next challenge is a mystery box.  They don’t have a clue what it is.  It’s a sausage machine.  The task is making their own signature sausage from scratch.

1 minute in the pantry and then 45 minutes to make their own sausages for a total of 10 points.

Despite being given a warning about cooking them gently, Kelly’s snags split open in then pan. She manages to only save one though.

Kelly’s is a Chicken and Pork sausage with onion, garlic and sage.  Ray nails her for putting sage leaves on the plate.

Brett’s is a Pork & Veal sausage with sage, thyme & garlic.

Both sausages are given high praise for their effort.  Brett get’s 9/10 while Kelly gets an 8/10.

Brett still leads with 55/70 while Kelly is now on 49/70.

The final challenge, worth 30 points, is frightening just to look at.  It’s a mountain of sugar.  It’s a traditional french wedding cake called a croquembouche which means crack or crunch in the mouth.  According to wikipedia it’s a high cone of profiteroles (choux filled with pastry cream) sometimes dipped in chocolate bound with caramel, and usually decorated with threads of caramel, sugared almonds, chocolate, flowers, or ribbons. They are also often covered in macarons, a small pastry consisting of two layers and a flavored cream or ganache. It’s about a 9.5/10 on the difficulty challenge.  Ray reckons a pro could whip it up in 1.5 hours.  They’re getting three and a half.  They’re going to need it.

It’s a tough looking challenge.  The profiteroles are coming along fine until Brett looks at his custard which appears to be rather runny.  Uh oh.  The judges are funny.  It’s all turning to custard for Brett.  He creates a second batch made and chucks it in the blast freezer.

With 10 minutes to go, the cones are loaded but it seems like a bit of an additional challenge to actually get the cone off.  There are seven minutes to go to make it look as pretty as possible.  It’s farily messy but I guess it works.

Kelly’s sugar seems to have let her down but the judges love the taste.  Simon tells her she’s done a bloody good job which brings on the waterworks.

Brett’s profiteroles are a little empty but the overall repsonse is positive as well.  How close is it going to be?  Can Kelly pull back the 6 points she was behind?

At the scores:

Kelly: 7
Brett: 7

Kelly: 9
Brett: 6

Combined totals:
Brett: 68
Kelly: 65

Kelly: 8

Can Brett score six or more for the win?

Brett: 7

Brett McGregor is New Zealand’s first Masterchef!

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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