Ella eliminated from MasterChef, gets offered something better

Masterchef NZ 4. Titles SHoot Imagination TV 15th Sep.2012Ella Krauts was eliminated from MasterChef NZ last night after producing one of the two best crumbles Simon Gault has ever tasted.

In last night’s show, the Top Five contestants had to replicate the ‘Not So Lemon Meringue Pie’, a contemporary twist on the lemon meringue pie created by guest judge Andrew Brown, executive chef of The George Hotel in Christchurch.

Andrew’s five-star dish involved at least six different cooking processes, including lemon crème brûlée, Italian meringue, macadamia crumble and raspberry coulis.

The Top Five had just 90 minutes to attempt it as well as make a cocktail featuring Lindauer sparkling wine.

Aaron Brunet and Kelly Kaihea’s desserts peaked, and they were named the winners of the challenge.

From the start Ella Krauts was prepared for the pressure.

Writing herself encouraging messages which she placed on her work station, she was determined to get through the test remaining calm and composed.

“I haven’t made many desserts,” she said. “But I’ve done lots of baking – it’s kind of similar, so I’m not freaked out about that. It’s more the time!”

Pacing herself, she got her dessert plated and her cocktail prepared for tasting.

“I’m a bit nervous, but pretty happy with the dish I’ve put up,” she said as she presented it to theMasterChef judges.

What she didn’t mention was that she had used the wrong sugar for her crème brulees.

Judge Simon Gault was the first to notice.

“Straight away I can see your brûlée is very pale looking, and there is none of the vanilla that was in the sugar you were supposed to use,” said Simon.

“What sugar did you use?” he demanded.

“I used caster sugar,” Ella admitted.

She went on to explain. “I realized when I was cleaning my bench and I saw the vanilla sugar and I thought, whoops, I didn’t add that to my brûlée mixture!

“I just had to forget about it and move on because I didn’t have time to make another one.”

“You’ve got the wrong sugar in there for sure, there is no vanilla flavor. It’s got to be a worry at this stage,” Simon growled.

“At the end of the day we give you a recipe for a reason and you need to follow it,” added Josh Emett.

Finding herself in the Bottom Two alongside Vanessa Baxter, the 20-year-old‘s cool exterior started to crack.

“This is my first time in the bottom, and its crap,” said Ella.

“It’s frustrating – I made a mistake and it’s cost me.”

With the judges struggling to decide who should be sent home, a new challenge was decided, and the pair was told they had just 30 minutes to make a fruit crumble.

Ella sprang into action. The judges were impressed.

“Just look at Ella,” Simon said to Josh. “Just watch her work. Isn’t that the sort of cook you want in the kitchen?”

“Ella has been in the top more than anyone, more than Aaron!” said Josh.

“The brilliance of Ella amazes me,” continued Simon. “She’s using unsalted butter in her crumble, but she’s thought to add a bit of salt to the mixture. That salt is what’s going to lift it over the edge!”

Tasting revealed both crumbles were superb, but there could be only one winner.

“There’s only one single, tiny element that has decided one dish from the other,” Josh announced.

“And I am sorry to say, Ella, your crumble is just slightly drier than Vanessa’s. And because of the dryness, you haven’t made it through.”

Ella looked shocked.

“It really, really grinds my gears that I’m going home over Vanessa because I’ve done much better than her throughout the competition,” she said.

“I’m gutted. It’s stupid – crumble! I don’t like crumble, to be honest!”

“I’m really sad to see you go,” Josh told her. “But I made a decision six weeks ago, that no matter what happened at the end of the competition I would have a job for you!

“You are a chef all over, and I don’t say that about many people.

“Just call me and we’ll get you in the kitchen, and if that’s where you want to be, I would love to have you.”

“I am so excited!” exclaimed Ella. “What an opportunity this is going to be!

“Being in MasterChef, I’ve learned so much. Not just about cooking, but about life. Living with all these crazy people in the MasterChef house, I’ve also made some great friends.

“It’s going to be quite hard to go back to real life!”

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