MasterChef finalists to face Heston's epic dish
Who better to set the ultimate grand final challenge for MasterChef Australia's landmark 10th season than Heston Blumenthal?
The master of multi-sensory cooking returns to our screens next week with a dish that will determine the 2018 winner.
Blumenthal has appeared on every season of MasterChef except for one, and this will be his third grand final dish.
In 2015 he brought in his 55-step Botrytis Cinerea dessert and then outdid himself the following year with his 91-step Verjus in Egg.
He promises this year's dish will be an even bigger challenge for the two finalists.
"It's such a massive opportunity for people to work for their reward," he says.
"We don't do that in life so much any more, but these finalists have done that for months. The dish I've set them has to reflect that and test them. They've had to work so hard to get there. All I can say is look at the last two finals I did, one of which was the longest challenge in history in any cooking competition. This is as testing as the last two years' worth of finals. When the dish is revealed, I think there will be a gasp."
Some of the Michelin-starred chef's signature dishes are years in the making.
"The Botrytis was 20 years in the making, combining all the knowledge and things I've created in terms of flavour pairings and techniques," he says.
"The physical dish might have evolved over three years, but I take all the things I've learned, the emotions and excitement, and I apply that to ingredients."
While he can't reveal which finalists take on his devilishly difficult dish, Blumenthal says he was impressed by the level of talent.
"I got such a fantastic welcome. I can see why people go for encores on stage," he says.
"They're battle hardened but they're also human beings and there's a great connection between the two of them, which is fantastic. As opposed to unhealthy competition, they've become friends. You can see a great friendship has built up. And all the pressure they've been put under, it's strengthened their love for food and cooking."
The MasterChef grand final airs on Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.