With one more challenge standing between the contestants and the All Stars Grand Finale, the atmosphere was understandably tense in the MasterChef kitchen.
While Callum, Chris and Justine were comforted by the revelation that they would be cooking with their favourite ingredients, the twist – that they were also required to cook with each other’s – was less welcome.
For the first 45 minute round, all three contestants cooked with Callum’s preferred produce, mushrooms. Making his advantage count, Callum created the superior dish, securing him three precious points. Justine was awarded two points for her effort, and Chris one point.
The second round was squarely in Chris’ territory, with beer as the core ingredient. Yet even a superb effort from both himself and Justine wasn’t enough to stop the Callum train, his white hot form continuing with a Caramelised Stout Panna Cotta praised by Gary as perhaps the best dessert he’d eaten all year. Awarded another three points, with Chris taking second and Justine third, Callum held an unassailable lead and was sent through to join Kate in Finale.
The third and final round was down to who could work the most culinary magic with Justine’s pick of ingredients: chestnuts. The result was achingly tight, with both contestants giving the judges much to chew over in their deliberations, but it was Chris who edged the decision.
A strong performer to the last, Justine was awarded $5000 for her charity Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets and left the competition with every right to be proud of her hugely impressive effort.