Anthony McEntree became the sixth contestant from the Top 12 to leave MasterChef New Zealand on Sunday 10 April (8.30pm – 9.30pm) on TV ONE.
In tonight’s show the Top 7 contestants faced a 90 minute mystery box challenge using one of three types of meat – goat, lamb or beef, they had to make a meat curry, a vegetable dish, rice and a fresh chutney. The judges also unveiled 24 dishes containing a selection of Indian herbs and spices – but without labels to identify them.
McEntree began the challenge feeling very positive, “I’m very comfortable with Indian, I know how to cook it, I see things going quite well for me today.”
Having travelled widely and lived in the UK, he explained, “I’ve got a few ideas, spending a bit of time in the UK, I think they’ve got more curry almost than any other country except India.”
Meanwhile many of the other contestants were feeling distinctly rattled, not just with the challenge, but with the unlabelled spices and but also some were cooking with goat for the first time. Nadia Lim was hopeful this would give her an advantage, “I’m thinking some of the other contestants have not cooked with goat before and it’s not really a Kiwi thing so I’m hoping they’re freaking out right now!”
The dash to the pantry caused further panic for Jax Hamilton and Stuart Todd who returned with vital ingredients missing; both looked like they were in jeopardy.
The pressure to cook four dishes in 90 minutes also took its toll as Traceylee Hooton put it, “There’s no time for pushing up daisies right now, it’s just all cylinders go go go.”
McEntree started to show signs of weakening confidence as he tasted his dishes, “When I’m tasting lots of spices I get a confused palate which means I can’t necessarily taste the seasoning for the salt as well, it’s something which I know I do have a problem with.”
As he faced the judge’s verdict, the lack of seasoning did indeed prove to be his downfall, Josh Emett was unimpressed, “at this stage of the competition there’s seven people left, it’s all about spice and you forget the salt, did you forget to put your underwear on this morning when you got out of bed?”
Simon Gault simply said, “I think you’ve had a bad day at the office today mate.”
The surprise of the day was Jax Hamilton and Stuart Todd who started off badly shaken and came through as the top 2 of the challenge, Hamilton won the prize of dinner out and invited Todd to join her.
McEntree however was asked to leave the MasterChef kitchen and said, “I’m disappointed that I’m leaving because [I] obviously entered this thing to win it but in saying that, I am also immensely proud of myself, I’ve met so many great people, I’ve done so many amazing things, it’s going to be a memory that lasts long in my mind and I’m sure I’m going to be talking about it for a long time to come.”
MasterChef New Zealand continues Sundays at 8.30pm on TV ONE. At stake for the remaining contestants is the MasterChef New Zealand title and more than $100,000 worth of prizes.
The remaining contestants are: Cameron Petley (Putaruru), Michael Lee (Auckland), Nadia Lim (Auckland), Traceylee Hooton (Taupo), Jax Hamilton (Christchurch), and Stuart Todd (Dunedin).