MasterChef horror cook elimination
RASHEDUL Hasan is the first contestant eliminated from MasterChef Australia 2017 after a horror cook that saw him drop one of his dishes on the floor.
The 35-year-old IT program director's nightmare continued when he had a 15 minute brain-fade in the pantry of the Channel 10 cooking show.
Tonight's double episode started with the Top 24 contestants facing a mystery box challenge from last year's winner, Elena Duggan.
Contestants had to plate up a meal from blue swimmer crab, kaiserfleisch, cucumber, grapes, macadamias, goat's cheese, dark chocolate and lemon myrtle.
Hasan, who has a seven-year-old son, Aiman, chose to make a burnt butter ice cream with chocolate mousse and macadamia nut crumb with lemon myrtle.
But disaster struck just minutes before the end of the cook. When Hasan was removing his mousse from the fridge, the door flung back and hit his arm and the plate smashed on the floor.
All that Hasan could present to judges George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan, as well as Duggan, was the ice cream and the crumb.
"I'm so devastated," Hasan said. "I've worked so hard today and the best bits of my dish are not on the plate. All I've got to show to the judges is not so good crumbs and a bit of not-so-much set ice cream.
"I am embarrassed. I don't think anything can save me."
Hasan was right. Calombaris didn't pull any punches when it came to the tasting.
"I'm going to be honest with you mate, you're definitely going to be in that bottom four," Calombaris said.
"I feel sorry for you that you dropped your plate because potentially that might have kept you out.
"But what you have given us is an ice cream that is too sweet and eggy. I feel for you mate. But what's wonderful about MasterChef is that you get a second chance."
That put Hasan into an elimination cook-off against Benjamin Bullock, Benita Orwell and Lee Behan.
Bullock had served up overcooked fettuccine, Orwell a disappointing crab bisque with roti, and Behan a mushy crab dish.
Hasan took the verdict on the chin saying "I'm going to turn this into a disappointment tomorrow" but more pain was on the way.
The elimination challenge involved "hidden pairs". Contestants had to pick one of 14 ingredients which had to be paired with an ingredient under a cloche and made the heroes of a dish.
Hasan selected mango because he grew up eating it in Bangladesh. Unfortunately for him, it was paired with green peppercorns. Even rival contestants described that combination as "a curveball".
Hasan said that he had never cooked with green peppercorn before. "I don't know what I'm going to do now," he told Calombaris.
Bullock had walnuts and dates, Orwell peaches and earl grey tea, and Behan salmon and aniseed for the 75 minute cook.
Bullock got straight into making a traditional Greek katourmari with baklava ice cream, Orwell an earl grey tea ice cream sandwich with grilled peaches, and Behan a confit salmon with a beurre blanc sauce and roasted tomatoes.
But Hasan's mind was a blank. For fifteen torturous minutes he wandered the pantry like a lost soul.
"Mango and peppercorn is a really tricky combination," Hasan said. "I've no idea what I'm going to make."
Finally, Hasan remembered a dish his mother used to make him as a child in Bangladesh and he decided on mango, mint and peppercorn sorbet paired with coconut potstickers, coconut broth and charred mangoes.
Being behind with the cook sent Hasan's nerves skyrocketing. Calombaris had to step in and tell him to breathe.
Orwell also had her issues. Her ice cream didn't set and she had to repurpose it as custard. Bullock's plating looked like a train wreck.
Behan's salmon won immediate praise from the judges. Mehigan said Bullock's katourmari looked like a dog's breakfast but was delicious.
Orwell thought she was "dead man walking" because of the ice cream-turned-custard but the judges said the dish championed the peach and the earl grey.
The judges thought Hasan's dish looked a treat but they struggled to taste any peppercorn. Hasan had failed the brief.
"This challenge was all about pairing two ingredients beautifully and Rashedul you heroes the mango but we were left searching for flavour of the green peppercorn," Mehigan said as he eliminated Hasan.
Hasan won't be able to compete on any future series of MasterChef Australia. His only hope would be if this year's series featured an episode giving eliminated contestants a second chance.
"Being the first contestant to be eliminated is really disappointing," Hasan said after the verdict.
"I put myself out there and I learnt a lot about myself and now I'm going back to my family and my son."
Since his elimination, Hasan has completed work experience at Koi Dessert Bar in Sydney.