MasterChef Australia (series 8)

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MasterChef Australia (series 8)
Country of originAustralia
No. of episodes63
Original networkNetwork Ten
Original release1 May (2016-05-01) –
26 July 2016 (2016-07-26)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 7
Next →
Series 9

The eighth series of MasterChef Australia premiered on 1 May 2016 on Network Ten.[1] All the judges from the previous series returned.

This series was won by Elena Duggan in the grand finale against Matt Sinclair, on 26 July 2016.[2]


Top 24[edit]

The first 19 contestants were announced on 1 May 2016. Cecilia Vuong was chosen having previously been selected in series six, as she withdrew that year before the competition started because of complications from a brain injury.[3] A further 11 applicants were required to cook again the next day for the next four positions. The remaining seven cooks then competed for the final place. The competition includes two siblings for the first time in MasterChef Australia; Jimmy Wong and Theresa Visintin.

Contestant Age State Occupation Status
Elena Duggan 32 NSW Teacher Winner 26 July
Matt Sinclair 27 QLD Coffee Roaster Runner-up 26 July
Harry Foster 21 QLD Cocktail Bartender Third place 25 July
Elise Franciskovic 28 QLD Pharmacy Technician Fourth place 24 July
Mimi Baines 26 VIC Product Manager Eliminated 20 July
Trent Harvey 29 NSW Electrician Eliminated 18 July
Brett Carter 43 WA Airline Captain Eliminated 14 July
Chloe Bowles 24 QLD Nanny Eliminated 7 July
Theresa Visintin 44 NSW Stay-at-home Mum Eliminated 4 July
Returned 14 June
Eliminated 30 May
Heather Day 32 SA Sales Manager Eliminated 30 June
Karmen Lu 24 WA Waitress Eliminated 23 June
Anastasia Zolotarev 26 NSW Marketing Co-Ordinator Eliminated 20 June
Nicolette Stathopoulos 19 VIC Student Eliminated 16 June
Zoe Konikkos 31 VIC Sales Manager Eliminated 13 June
Miles Pritchett 46 QLD Park Ranger Eliminated 9 June
Charlie Sartori 24 VIC Professional Golfer Eliminated 6 June
Cecilia Vuong 31 VIC Teacher Eliminated 2 June
Con Vailas 31 VIC Restaurant Supervisor Eliminated 26 May
Jimmy Wong 49 NSW Sustainability Specialist Eliminated 23 May
Nidhi Mahajan 30 SA Call Centre Worker Eliminated 19 May
Olivia Robinson 26 NSW Restaurant Manager Eliminated 16 May
Adam Mizzi 30 SA Adventure Company Owner Eliminated 12 May
Nathaniel Milevskiy 29 QLD Paramedic Student Eliminated 10 May
Ashley McConnell 29 WA Software Sales Eliminated 5 May

Guest chefs[edit]

Week Guest Judge Challenge
1 Billie McKay Top 24 Mystery Box Challenge
(Marco Week)
Marco Pierre White All Challenges & MasterClass
Jake Kellie Immunity Challenge
3 Reynold Poernomo Pressure Test
Braden White Immunity Challenge
Anthony Hammel Team Challenge
Daniel Wilson
(Nigella Week)
Nigella Lawson All Challenges & MasterClass
Lachlan Colwill Immunity Challenge
5 Jason Atherton Pressure Test
Thomas Woods Immunity Challenge
Hayden McFarland
6 Maggie Beer Mystery Box Challenge/Invention Test
Anna Polyviou Pressure Test
Morgan McGlone Immunity Challenge
Kylie Kwong Team Challenge
(Power Apron
Luke Nguyen Mystery Box Challenge/Invention Test
Ross Lusted Pressure Test
Curtis Stone Team Challenge
8 Flynn McGarry Pressure Test
Victor Liong Immunity Challenge
(Heston Week)
Heston Blumenthal All Challenges & MasterClass
10 Peter Gilmore Pressure Test
Troy Rhoades-Brown Team Challenge
Nick Holloway
Iain Todd
Hadleigh Troy
(California Week)
Dominique Crenn Pressure Test
Wes Avila Team Challenge
Curtis Stone Elimination Challenge
Javier Plascencia MasterClass
12 Christy Tania Pressure Test
Alla Wolf-Tasker Service Challenge
Final Heston Blumenthal Grand Final
Ashley Palmer-Watts

Elimination chart[edit]

No. Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Finals
Charlie Anastasia Heather Chloe Zoe Elise
(Power Apron)
Elena None Brett Matt Harry Elena
None Nidhi
Trent Elena
Lose: Zoe Win: Nicolette Lose: Harry Win: Chloe, Matt Lose: Chloe None Lose: Matt Lose: Brett Win: Elena None
1 Elena Top 24 IN IN Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Lose Btm 3 Team Win Top 4 Team Win Btm 7 IN Team Lose Top 4 ADV Top 3 Top 2 ADV Top 2 WINNER
2 Matt Top 24 IN Top 4 Btm 4 IN Team Win IN Btm 3 Top 3 Team Lose/Imm. IN Team Lose IN Team Win Top 4 Team Lose Btm 3 IN Btm 2 Top 4 Team Win Btm 3 Top 2 Btm 3 Top 2 Runner-up
3 Harry Top 24 IN IN Btm 4 IN Team Win Top 3 Team 2nd IN Team Win Btm 3 Team Lose Top 3 Team Win IN Team Win Top 3 Top 3 Team 2nd IN Btm 2 Top 3 Btm 3 Btm 3 3rd Eliminated (Ep 61)
4 Elise Top 24 IN IN Team Win IN Team Lose IN Team Lose IN Btm 4 Btm 4 Team Win P.A. Btm 3 Team Lose IN Btm 2 Top 3 Top 3 Team Win IN Team Win Top 3 Btm 3 4th Eliminated (Ep 60)
5 Mimi Top 24 Top 3 IN Team Win IN Team Win Top 3 Team Lose Top 3 Btm 4 IN Btm 3 IN Team Win IN Team Lose Top 3 Btm 3 Team Lose Top 4 Team Lose Btm 3 Elim Eliminated (Ep 59)
6 Trent Top 24 Top 4 IN Team Lose IN Team Win IN Team 2nd IN Team Win Top 3 Team Win IN Team Lose Top 4 Team Lose Btm 7 Btm 3 Team Win Top 4 Team Win Elim Eliminated (Ep 57)
7 Brett Top 24 IN IN Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Lose Btm 3 Team Win Top 3 Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Win Btm 7 Top 3 Team 2nd IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 55)
8 Chloe Top 24 IN IN Team Win Btm 3 Team Lose Btm 3 Team Win WIN Team Win Top 3 Team Lose/Imm. Top 3 Btm 2 Btm 4 Team Win Btm 3 IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 50)
9 Theresa Top 24 Btm 3 IN Team Win IN Btm 3 IN Team 2nd Elim Eliminated (Ep 22) P.A. T.W. Btm 4 Team Win Btm 7 Elim Re-eliminated (Ep 47)
10 Heather Top 24 IN IN Team Win IN Team Lose IN Team Win IN Btm 4 IN Team Win IN Team Win Btm 4 Team Win Elim Eliminated (Ep 45)
11 Karmen Top 24 IN IN Team Win Btm 3 Team Lose Top 3 Team Win Top 3 Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Win Top 4 Elim Eliminated (Ep 40)
12 Anastasia Top 24 IN IN Team Lose Top 3 Team Win IN Team 2nd IN Team Lose IN Team Win Top 3 P.A. Saved Elim Eliminated (Ep 37)
13 Nicolette Top 24 IN IN Team Lose Top 3 Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Win Btm 3/Imm. Team Win IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 35)
14 Zoe Top 24 IN Top 3 Team Lose IN Team Win IN Team Win IN Team Lose IN Btm 3 Elim Eliminated (Ep 32)
15 Miles Top 24 IN IN Team Lose IN Btm 3 Btm 3 Team 2nd IN Team Win IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 30)
16 Charlie Top 24 Btm 3 IN Team Win IN Team Lose IN Btm 3 Btm 3 Team Lose Elim Eliminated (Ep 27)
17 Cecilia Top 24 IN Btm 3 Btm 4 IN Team Win IN Team 2nd IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 25)
18 Con Top 24 IN Btm 3 Team Lose Top 3 Team Lose IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 20)
19 Jimmy Top 24 Top 3 IN Team Win IN Team Lose Elim Eliminated (Ep 17)
20 Nidhi Top 24 Top 3 Top 3 Team Win IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 15)
21 Olivia Top 24 IN Top 3 Team Lose Elim Eliminated (Ep 12)
22 Adam Top 24 IN IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 10)
23 Nathaniel Top 24 IN Elim Eliminated (Ep 7)
24 Ashley Top 24 Elim Eliminated (Ep 5)
Eliminated Ashley Nathaniel Adam Olivia Nidhi Jimmy Con Theresa
1st Elimination
Cecilia Charlie Miles Zoe Nicolette Anastasia Karmen Heather Theresa
Chloe Brett Trent Mimi Elise Harry Matt
84 points
86 points (win)

Episodes and ratings[edit]

Colour key:
     – Highest rating during the series
     – Lowest rating during the series
Ep#/Wk-Ep# Original airdate Episode Title / Event Total viewers (five metro cities)[4] Nightly Ranking
Week 1
1/01-1 Sunday, 1 May 2016 Series Premiere:
Auditions Part 1
- Contestants started Series 8 with a challenge to cook their signature dish in one hour, vying for automatic entry into the Top 24. Gary, Matt and George judged the competitors with either "yes" or "no", with their votes deciding whether the contestant should stay in the competition. Nineteen contestants received three yes votes and won their way through to the main competition. Eleven other contestants, who received either one or two yes votes, were given a second chance and cooked again in the next episode.
1,012,000 #4
2/01-2 Monday, 2 May 2016 Auditions Part 2 - Eleven contestants, who were given a second chance to secure the five remaining spots in the Top 24, competed in the first challenge round to cook a dish with one of ten ingredients from their individual basket in 90 minutes. Mimi was praised for her snapper dish and immediately received an apron and joined the Top 24. The other three contestants receiving an apron were Elise, Harry and Adam. 949,000 #7
3/01-3 Tuesday, 3 May 2016 Auditions Part 3 - The remaining seven contestants faced the Pressure Test in the second round to recreate Shannon Bennett's chocolate peanut bar to secure the last apron into the Top 24. Between the chosen three contestants who delivered the best dishes, Miles won the last apron after earning high praise from the judges with his dish. 947,000 #7
4/01-4 Wednesday, 4 May 2016 Top 24 Mystery Box Challenge - In their first challenge, the top 24 contestants had 75 minutes to cook with their choice of ingredients from the Mystery Box, chosen by season 7 winner Billie McKay. The three standout dishes were Nidhi's tea parfait with cornflake crumble, Mimi's tea-smoked duck dish and Jimmy's pan seared duck with stuffed mushrooms. Special mention went to Trent's pan-fried duck with home-made ricotta. The three contestants at risk of elimination were Ashley, Charlie and Theresa. 1,058,000 #2
5/01-5 Thursday, 5 May 2016 Two Cloche Clash Elimination Challenge - The bottom three contestants faced their first elimination challenge. Each had to pick one of twelve cloches that contained twelve mystery ingredients on display and create a dish based on the chosen cloche in 75 minutes. They had the option to choose again if they didn't like their first pick but would be stuck with their second selection. Ashley's choice was mushrooms, Charlie's pick was ginger and Theresa chose prawns. The judges were impressed with Theresa's prawn salad and Charlie's chocolate ginger cremeux, despite the lack of ginger in his dish. As a result, both were declared safe. Ashley, who tried to recreate a pasta dish and was criticised for his overcooked egg and frying the ravioli, became the first contestant to be eliminated from the competition. 1,006,000 #4
Week 2 - Marco Week
6/02-1 Sunday, 8 May 2016 Marco's Mystery Box Challenge and Invention Test - Marco Pierre White presents his ingredients from the Mystery Box (cinnamon, chicken, extra virgin olive oil, ham, honey, lemon, parsley and potatoes) to the contestants. After 75 minutes of cooking time, five standout dishes were cooked by Cecilia, Charlie, Matt, Mimi and Nidhi. Charlie, who won the challenge with his Honey Semifreddo, had to pick a choice of meat and three vegetables for their first Invention Test. He chose lamb for protein and parsnips, onions & carrots for three vegetables. They have 90 minutes to cook a dish with these ingredients. Nidhi, Olivia and Zoe receive praises from the judges with their dishes where they will compete for the first Immunity Challenge. Matt receives special mention with his dish of lamb koftas. Con, Nathaniel and Cecilia receive negative feedback from the judges on their dishes. They will be competing in the first Pressure Test for elimination. 905,000 #5
7/02-2 Monday, 9 May 2016 Pressure Test: Dory a la Nicoise - Nathaniel, Con and Cecilia had to copy and recreate a dish Marco was cooking with no set time limit. All their instructions came from Marco and they had 10 seconds to prepare the dish after Marco finished cooking. Cecilia managed to follow Marco's instructions carefully and took the lead in the challenge. Meanwhile, Nathaniel and Con fell behind after the latter accidentally cut himself while skinning his fish. All three managed to complete the dish. Cecilia thrived with her approach similar to Marco's and was saved. It was between Con and Nathaniel who both had issues with the presentation of their dishes. Due to his overcooked fish, Nathaniel was eliminated. 850,000 #9
8/02-3 Tuesday, 10 May 2016 Immunity Challenge: Jake Kellie - The top three contestants, Nidhi, Olivia and Zoe, had 60 minutes to make a classic pasta dish. After Olivia and Nidhi fell behind with their dishes, Zoe won the first round of the challenge with her roast pumpkin and goat cheese ravioli and advanced to the second round to compete against guest chef Jake Kellie for immunity. For the first time in an immunity cook-off, the guest chef was asked to leave the kitchen for the first 15 minutes and sit in a store room. She chose to cook Italian cuisine with a marsala and cinnamon creme brûlée in 75 minutes. Jake had 60 minutes to cook veal carpaccio. The judges praised Jake's flavour but criticised the presentation of his dish. Zoe presented her dish but it hadn't set perfectly after her brûlée top cracked, despite the judges appreciated her flavours. Therefore, her dish scored 24 points while Jake's dish scored 25. 1,029,000 #5
9/02-4 Wednesday, 11 May 2016 Plough Hotel Team Challenge - The 22 contestants traveled to Footscray at the Plough Hotel for their first team challenge. The team captains, Brett (Red Team) and Nicolette (Blue Team), each picked a card from three jars representing a three-course meal that would describe the traits of each meal. The teams had three hours of prep time to cook enough food for 70 people, before service began. The Blue Team fell behind the Red Team after they took a lot of time to prep the dishes. The Red Team's entrée, skewered prawns, received praises from George and Gary who declared them the winners. The Blue Team were sent to elimination after serving the judges under-cooked scallops and that also missed the mark on the theme (pub-lunch) as their entrée. 965,000 #6
10/02-5 Thursday, 12 May 2016 Alphabet Elimination Challenge - The Blue Team faced the first round of elimination. Each contestant must name an ingredient correctly according to the first letter. Cecilia, Adam, Matt and Harry made mistakes and were in the second round of the challenge where they had to cook a dish in 60 minutes. They get to use all of the ingredients they chose correctly in the first round and the usual pantry staples. Both Matt and Harry produced exemplary dishes and were declared safe. Cecilia impressed the judges with the flavours of her tuna dish, but it was simplistic and the consistency of her mayonnaise was criticised. Adam, on the other hand, presented his bland dish with underseasoned lamb that left him eliminated. 967,000 #5
MasterClass: Marco Pierre White, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan - The judges (minus George) and Marco treated the contestants to their first MasterClass. Marco made the contestants his risotto milanese. Matt taught the contestants how to cook his baked cheesecake. Gary shows how to cook his Vietnamese duck pho, which had been chosen by viewers. Lastly, Marco taught the contestants how to cook his saffron arancini using his leftover risotto milanese. 706,000 #9
Week 3
11/03-1 Sunday, 15 May 2016 "Viewers' Choice" Mystery Box Challenge & Invention Test - The remaining 21 contestants faced their next Mystery Box Challenge with 75 minutes to cook with ingredients chosen by the viewers: cauliflower, maple syrup, coconut, goat cheese, okra, lemon myrtle, beef mince and squid. Karmen, Con, Heather, Matt and Anastasia stood out with their dishes. The judges picked Anastasia's dish as the winner of the challenge with the advantage for the Invention Test. She chose marmalade (over peanut butter and vegemite) which everyone then had to cook a dish with in 75 minutes. Anastasia won the second round of the competition with her orange quail dish and received a chance to compete in the Immunity Challenge, along with Con and Nicolette, who also impressed the judges with their inventive dishes. Karmen, Chloe and Olivia all faced serious technical issues on their desserts, and were sent into the Pressure Test, facing elimination. 837,000 #5
12/03-2 Monday, 16 May 2016 Pressure Test: Reynold Poernomo's "Moss" - Chloe, Olivia and Karmen were tasked to recreate season 7 alumnus Reynold Poernomo's dessert "Moss" in two and a half hours. Chloe received praise for creating a very similar dish to Reynold's, making her the first contestant to pass the Pressure Test. Several of Karmen's elements were liked by the judges but she didn't allow time to finish her dulce crémeux so didn't serve it, which was criticised. Olivia completed all the elements of the dish but despite of this, each have notable errors - a dense pistachio sponge, a lime yoghurt foam without gelatine and a matcha sphere that left too long in the blast chiller. Those flaws were too much to keep her safe over Karmen and consequently, it was enough to eliminate Olivia. 893,000 #7
13/03-3 Tuesday, 17 May 2016 Immunity Challenge: Braden White - Anastasia, Con and Nicolette faced the first round for immunity pin with 60 minutes to make a dish using popcorn. Both Con and Anastasia lacked popcorn in their dishes, handing Nicolette the win with her popcorn parfait, earning a chance to cook against guest chef Braden White in the second round. She decided they would both cook fish. She had 75 minutes and cooked a confit salmon with crispy skin. In his 60 minutes, Braden cooked a mulloway dish but the judges found his fish over-cooked and declared Nicolette the winner of the season's first immunity pin with the score of 26 to Braden's 25. 1,033,000 #4
14/03-4 Wednesday, 18 May 2016 Three Course Team Challenge from Memory: Huxtable and Pei Modern - Contestants were split randomly into two teams to replicate a three-course meal for 30 guests from two restaurants in Melbourne: Huxtable and Pei Modern. The Blue Team were assigned to Pei Modern while the Red Team were assigned to Huxtable. The captains (Blue Team's Karmen and Red Team's Matt) and vice-captains (Blue Team's Chloe and Red Team's Trent) arrive at the restaurants to memorise the directions of the recipes from the chef of each restaurant (Anthony Hammel of Pei and Daniel Wilson of Huxtable) before returning to the MasterChef kitchen, relaying instructions to their other team members to be able to mirror the dishes before service in 90 minutes. The Blue Team failed to replicate all of the dishes of Pei Modern's three-course meal after a series of technical issues on each dish: zucchini flowers for the entrée were under-cooked, the main's radicchio puree lack colour and they left off the hot caramel topping for the dessert. As a result, they were at risk of elimination after the Red Team won the challenge. 965,000 #4
15/03-5 Thursday, 19 May 2016 Raw and Cooked Elimination Challenge - After losing the team challenge, the Blue Team faced a two-round elimination. The first round was to prepare a raw dish with one ingredient from the pantry without cooking in 30 minutes. The rest of the team were safe while Miles, Nidhi and Theresa (after they fell behind with their dishes) had to compete in the second round. They had to cook with the ingredient they had chosen from the first round (cauliflower for Nidhi, pear for Theresa and tuna for Miles). While Miles was safe after impressing the judges with his tuna tataki, Theresa and Nidhi were left to await the final verdict. Theresa forgot the syrup on her poached pear before she could present it to the judges. Despite being an early front runner of the competition, when Nidhi served the judges her cauliflower paratha and mint chutney, her bhajis suffered from serious technical issues that resulted in her elimination. 908,000 #5
Week 4 - Nigella Week
16/04-1 Sunday, 22 May 2016 Nigella's Mystery Box Challenge & Invention Test - International celebrity chef Nigella Lawson appeared as a guest chef for the week. She presented her chosen ingredients (butternut pumpkin, chestnut, chicken thighs, pippis, ginger, pancetta, feta cheese and cumin) in a Mystery Box for the contestants to cook with in 75 minutes. Heather won the challenge over Charlie, Elena, Jimmy and Zoe with her open filo pumpkin pie. She chose chocolate as the core ingredient for the Invention Test, with 60 minutes to cook. Harry, Karmen and Mimi were named as the Top 3 with their inventive chocolate desserts. Chloe, Jimmy and Miles were sent to the Pressure Test after each suffer technical issues with their respective desserts. 956,000 #5
17/04-2 Monday, 23 May 2016 Pressure Test: Nigella Lawson's Three-Course Dinner - The bottom three performers from the Invention Test faced a Pressure Test featuring three dishes from Nigella: crab avocado salad, lamb with radishes and peas, and coffee pannacotta with chocolate coffee sauce. The contestants had only 60 minutes to plate up all the dishes. Chloe was praised for her dishes and was declared safe. All of Miles' dishes had notable flaws (salad that lacked dressing, sauce for the lamb that was burnt and pannacotta's texture was grainy) which would be enough to send him home. However, the judges were more disappointed with Jimmy, despite the positive feedback on his pannacotta, his salad missed some ingredients which lacked presentation and his lamb was under-cooked, sealing his elimination. 919,000 #7
18/04-3 Tuesday, 24 May 2016 Immunity Challenge: Lachlan Colwill - Having landed in the top 3 of the Invention Test, Harry, Karmen and Mimi were surprised in the middle of the night by Nigella and Matt as the preliminary round for the Immunity Challenge was creating a midnight snack, something Nigella is well known for. Harry's brookies, a combination of brownies and cookies, were deemed the best dish and he won the right to challenge chef Lachlan Colwill for immunity in the second round . Harry chose "Christmas sweet" (over "Christmas savoury") as the pantry but his Christmas Pavlova wasn't enough to beat Colwill's Australian summer Christmas pudding and the professional won the challenge with a score of 27 over Harry's 26. 1,106,000 #4
19/04-4 Wednesday, 25 May 2016 Melbourne Showgrounds Team Challenge - The 18 contestants were randomly divided into three teams. They had to cook three dishes (one savoury, two sweet with one of these containing jam) for a crowd of 1000-2000 people who would turn up for a fete. The judges declared that the money that the teams made by selling their food would be donated to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. The two teams who made the most money would be safe and the winning team would therefore be decided by the guests. The teams were given four hours to cook before service would start after two hours. The yellow team's rocky road popcorn and blondies, the blue's team chocolate cupcakes with jam and buttercream and the red team's chocolate-chip cookies were the hits of the day. The yellow team were declared the winners with an amount of $6326. The red team were safe with an amount of $5892, leaving the blue team to face elimination. 948,000 #5
20/04-5 Thursday, 26 May 2016 Cake Elimination Challenge - The losing team faced a cake-themed elimination. For the first round, their task was to take turns tasting and naming different cakes. Charlie, Matt and Con were the first three to misname a cake and were tasked to bake a cake in the second round with 90 minutes. Matt's carrot cake received very positive feedback overall. Meanwhile, Charlie's chocolate and raspberry hazelnut cake split the judges' opinions for being dry and Con's thyme pound cake was described as unevenly cooked. Both of the cakes were dense but the buoyancy in the bottom interior of Con's cake meant he was eliminated. 1,111,000 #1
MasterClass: Nigella Lawson, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan - For the remaining contestants' second MasterClass, Nigella cooked her tequila and lime chicken. George presented the contestants with his lamb moussaka. Gary showed the contestants his dish: fish three ways and hot-smoked trout. Nigella also presented her second recipe: her lemon pavlova. 854,000 #7
Week 5
21/05-1 Sunday, 29 May 2016 Mystery Box Challenge & Leftovers Invention Test - In the Mystery Box Challenge, the contestants found themselves cooking with a mix of ingredients including barramundi, vanilla beans and miso, as well as with instructions to keep every discarded piece of food stored with a "waste not, want not" principle in mind. Chloe won the challenge and her advantage was a pass straight through to the week's Immunity Challenge. The remaining cooks were tasked to create an inventive dish with no pantry or garden available, just what was left of the mystery box items including the scraps. Matt, Karmen and Mimi impressed the judges and they joined Chloe in the Immunity Challenge while Theresa, Charlie and Brett missed the mark and ended up in the Pressure Test. 808,000 #5
22/05-2 Monday, 30 May 2016 Pressure Test: Jason Atherton's Quail Afternoon Tea - Brett, Charlie and Theresa had three hours to recreate the dish of guest chef Jason Atherton. His dish contained five elements: roasted quail, duck tea, slow-cooked quail egg, pearl barley mushroom porridge and a savoury parfait. While Brett's dish impressed the judges, Charlie was criticised for the consistency of his parfait and the lack of mushrooms on the porridge but it was Theresa who was eliminated after failing to complete her dish when she missed out her quail egg and duck teabag. 918,000 #7
23/05-3 Tuesday, 31 May 2016 Woodland House Immunity Challenge: Thomas Woods & Hayden McFarland - The winners of the Mystery Box Challenge and Invention Test were split in pairs for the first round of the Immunity Challenge. Chloe, as the winner of the Mystery Box Challenge, had a second advantage of picking one of the Invention Test winners as her partner. She chose Matt and in the first round, they had to cook two jaffles (sweet and savoury) in 75 minutes. Matt and Chloe beat Mimi and Karmen with his spiced mince jaffle and her apple pie jaffle. As a team, they then competed against Woodland House chefs Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland from Melbourne in the second round with a chance for both of them to win Immunity pins. With 75 minutes, they were given the option to choose two ingredients: one sweet and one savoury, for them to cook their dishes. Matt chose prawns and Chloe picked raspberries. Thomas and Hayden had 60 minutes to cook their dishes with the same ingredients. While Thomas' raspberry vinegar jelly scored 28 points to Chloe's rosewater bavarois with 21, Hayden's miso glazed prawns was criticised for the use of bitter melon in the dish and given a score of 18 points to Matt's 27 for his hot n' sour prawn head broth. The professionals' final score was 46 while Chloe and Matt, for the first time, won an Immunity pin each with their total score of 48. 1,105,000 #2
24/05-4 Wednesday, 1 June 2016 Hellenic Republic Team Challenge - Contestants were randomly chosen to be on two teams by George who is the owner of the Greek restaurant Hellenic Republic in Kew. The teams had to cook a Greek three-course feast (including a lamb on a spit) to be served to 120 guests, including George's family and friends. George's mother Mary was the guest judge with Gary and Matt. The Red team led by Zoe fell behind during the challenge. Despite this, their dishes impressed the judges but cost them the victory after putting too much cinnamon in the dessert and they were sent to elimination. 897,000 #9
25/05-5 Thursday, 2 June 2016 One-Inch Cube Elimination Challenge - After Matt used his immunity pin to escape the first round of elimination, his remaining team members had to identify and correctly guess each cube of an ingredient while blind-folded. Cecilia, Elise, Heather and Mimi then had 60 minutes to cook a dish in the second round with the use of the ingredient they guessed incorrectly in the first round. After Mimi was declared safe with her mango dish, it was between the dishes of Heather (who used too much lemon), Cecilia (who had a lack of ham) and Elise (whose lamb sauce was too salty). The judges were unanimous and Cecilia was sent home. 1,089,000 #1
Week 6
26/06-1 Sunday, 5 June 2016 Maggie Beer's Invention Test & Mystery Box Challenge - Each contestant picked one of three ingredients – abalone, silken tofu and lemongrass – to cook a dish within 60 minutes in the Invention Test by Maggie Beer. The top three dishes were named and Zoe won with the use of silken tofu for her cheesecake. Her advantage was to choose the eight ingredients in the Mystery Box Challenge for everyone to cook with in 60 minutes. She chose basil, chilli, garlic, pancetta, pork mince, ricotta, thyme and tomatoes. The top three dishes were cooked by Chloe, Trent and Brett while Charlie, Elise, Harry and Nicolette were at risk of elimination after presenting the least-impressive dishes. 919,000 #5
27/06-2 Monday, 6 June 2016 Pressure Test: Anna Polyviou's "Mess" - In possession of the Immunity pin, Nicolette used it and so Elise took her place to compete against Charlie and Harry in the Pressure Test. They had three hours to cook all the elements of Anna Polyviou's dessert "Mess" before assembling the dish in 15 minutes. Harry and Elise impressed the judges with the flavours of their dishes despite the flaws on each of their plates. Both of them were declared safe as Charlie's plate lacked balance due to his thick white chocolate dome and missing gelatine in the raspberry curd. Despite his elimination, Polyviou offered him work experience as a pastry chef at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney. 1,086,000 #4
28/06-3 Tuesday, 7 June 2016 Immunity Challenge: Morgan McGlone - In the first round, Brett, Chloe and Trent had 60 minutes to bake an éclair for an advantage in the second round. Both Trent and Chloe impressed the judges, who voted Chloe as the winner with her chocolate éclair with toasted pecan praline. Hoping for a second Immunity pin, Chloe chose coffee over tea as the core ingredient to cook against guest chef Morgan McGlone of Belles Hot Chicken in Barangaroo. She presented her coffee bombe dessert but an issue with the meringue failed to win her another pin, scoring 18 to Morgan's 22 for his coffee crusted quail. 1,069,000 #4
29/06-4 Wednesday, 8 June 2016 Melbourne Chinatown Team Challenge - Former Immunity challenge instructor Kylie Kwong mentored the contestants to cook at least two Chinese dishes, with one costing $7 and any others $5, to be served to 500 people. Two teams were assigned through fortune cookies that contained a coloured paper (red or yellow) with one of each team assigned as captains (Red Team's Elise and Yellow Team's Chloe). The money raised would be given to the Smith Family charity organisation. When the yellow team ran out of customers at their stall, they added another dish to the menu at the last minute. Both teams raised over $6000 with the red team winning the challenge as the yellow team were sent to elimination. 1,049,000 #4
30/06-5 Thursday, 9 June 2016 Lucky Dip Elimination Challenge - Chloe opted to use her Immunity pin and skipped the challenge while her remaining team members faced elimination. They had to pick a core ingredient and a cuisine from lucky dip bags to cook a dish within 75 minutes. Elena, Harry and Matt cooked the best dishes and were declared safe. Mimi's Thai lamb dish lacked a crunchy element and Zoe was criticised for the texture of the pumpkin filling to her American tart. But it was Miles' salmon dish that lacked focus on the fish itself, eliminating him from the competition. 1,041,000 #1
Week 7 - Power Week
31/07-1 Sunday, 12 June 2016 Luke Nguyen's Mystery Box Challenge & Invention Test - For the contestants to gain a Power Apron, Luke Nguyen presented his Mystery Box (with ingredients including crickets) for them to cook an exemplary dish. Beating Matt and Heather in the challenge was Elise with the use of crickets for her parfait. After earning the power apron, Elise had 90 minutes to prepare her dish, choosing the method of frying (over steaming), while the others had 60 minutes to prepare their fried dishes. Despite this advantage, Elise fell behind after wasting her 30-minute advantage due to choosing a dish that would require an element that could not be fried. Anastasia, Chloe and Harry received praise for their inventive dishes. The winner of the Power Apron was Anastasia with her tarragon prawns and fried fennel pesto. Elise was sent into the Pressure Test along with Elena and Zoe to face elimination. 836,000 #5
32/07-2 Monday, 13 June 2016 Ross Lusted's Two-Cloche Pressure Test - The advantage of the Power Apron was to choose between the two cloches presented by Ross Lusted for the Pressure Test. Each cloche contained a difficult dish (sweet and savoury) for Elena, Elise and Zoe to cook. As the holder of the Power Apron, Anastasia chose his perfumed stone fruit (sweet) over his chicken duckling dish (savoury). All the girls struggled during the challenge: Elena's dish lacked freshness as she sliced the fruits too early and Elise's burnt peach butter was lumpy but it was Zoe's thick over-reduced syrup and chalky sorbet that sealed her elimination. 918,000 #7
33/07-3 Tuesday, 14 June 2016 Second Chance Cook-Off - Previously eliminated contestants returned to the MasterChef Kitchen to compete for a place back in the competition. They had 60 minutes to cook a dish with the use of the following ingredients: wine, rosemary, raspberries, dark chocolate, cardamon pods, lemon, Greek yoghurt, lamb and beetroot. The returning contestant would also receive a Power Apron for the winning dish. In possession of the Power Apron, Anastasia got a second advantage to choose one of the eliminated contestants who would add another ingredient. She chose Theresa who added desiccated coconut in order to make a yoghurt rosemary snowball which highly impressed the judges over Cecilia's yoghurt sorbet and earned Theresa her place back in the competition, winning the Power Apron. 1,040,000 #5
34/07-4 Wednesday, 15 June 2016 Six-course Degustation Challenge - Curtis Stone mentored the contestants at the restaurant Sails by the Bay in their team challenge. They were randomly chosen in pairs and each team had to cook and serve a 6 course degustation dish with the use of citruses for 50 people. The thirteenth contestant could sit out of the challenge to avoid elimination if Theresa used her Power Apron. Returning the favour for giving her the advantage to earn her place back in the competition, she chose Anastasia. The green team (Elise and Trent) attempted to come up with another element to improve their dish at the last minute, while the purple team (Chloe and Nicolette) ignored Curtis' advice for improvements on their dish. By the time the teams presented their dishes during service time, the green team's mandarin prawn salad had a technical issue on the prawns and the purple team's grapefruit sorbet received negative remarks on its presentation. Those dishes sent the two teams into the elimination round. The other teams won the challenge with the blue team's (Elena and Theresa) tangelo refresher named the dish of the day. 1,062,000 #2
35/07-5 Thursday, 16 June 2016 Nature Affinity Elimination Challenge - The contestants faced each other in pairs in a two-round elimination. For the first round, Elise and Nicolette had to cook a dish inspired by seashells while Trent and Chloe took the inspiration from autumn leaves. Elise and Trent produced the best dishes and were saved while Chloe and Nicolette then had 60 minutes to compete with a dish inspired by fire in the second round. It was a close decision, with one of them declared safe based on presentation. Although she was praised for the flavours of her dish, Nicolette was eliminated by judges' decision. 1,083,000 #2
Week 8
36/08-1 Sunday, 19 June 2016 Grotesque Mystery Box Challenge & Team Relay Invention Test - This mystery box contained "ugly" ingredients (monkfish, celeriac, morel mushrooms, morton bay bug, blue cheese, Buddha’s hand, chicken livers and horned melon) for the contestants to cook a dish in 60 minutes. The winning dish was Elena's buttered bug, celeriac and horned melon. From a choice of paired ingredients, she chose honey and lemon as the core ingredients for the next challenge. This invention test was a one hour-relay challenge. Elena had a second advantage, to choose her own team (Matt, Karmen and Trent) while George randomly divided the other remaining home cooks into teams of four. Each team member had 15 minutes of cooking time and 45 seconds to hand over without talking to the next cook. Elena's Red Team won the challenge with a duck dish, despite missing out one of the elements. The Yellow Team's dish lacked creativity after Brett changed their original dish for a trifle to a tart, but the Blue Team were the worst performers due to a lack of teamwork and Theresa's very slow start. The lack of coherence on their dessert sent the team to elimination. 895,000 #5
37/08-2 Monday, 20 June 2016 Pressure Test: Flynn McGarry's Beet Wellington - The four members of the Blue Team had two and a half hours to recreate Flynn McGarry's "Beet Wellington." Heather and Theresa impressed the judges, but both Anastasia and Chloe had a couple of serious flaws on their dishes. Chloe's beet bordelaise sauce was diluted after she accidentally spilled half of her smoked beetroot water and her beet leaf balls lacked smoothness. However, despite her impressive run throughout the competition, Anastasia's first Pressure Test saw her struggling the most. Though she was praised in the cooking of her wellington, the dish lacked balance itself due to the filling of her beet balls being too salty and her under-smoked dates for the roulade. These were not enough for the judges to disregard her rough plating of the dish and Anastasia was eliminated from the competition. 1,064,000 #5
38/08-3 Tuesday, 21 June 2016 Immunity Challenge: Victor Liong - Elena, Karmen, Matt and Trent faced a dessert skills relay test: separating egg yolks, rochering five scoops of ice cream and spinning sugar to a 30 cm-high cone tower. Matt managed to complete the final task after the others fell behind caramelising the sugar and won the opportunity to compete in the second round. He chose a pantry with ingredients from A to M (over N to Z) to compete against Melbourne chef Victor Liong of Lee Ho Fook. After Matt and Victor's respective time limits were finished, both their dishes highly impressed the judges. Matt's crispy skin kingfish scored 9 from each judge for a high total of 27, but Victor's roasted crayfish received a perfect 30 (10 points each). 1,047,000 #4
39/08-4 Wednesday, 22 June 2016 Outdoor Cinema Team Challenge - Guests attended the Caulfield Racecourse for the screening of "MasterChef Australia's Greatest Hits" featuring clips from past series. Contestants were unevenly divided into two teams and had to serve two savoury and one sweet dish each. After both teams chose to cook Japanese cuisine, they struggled during service time. The Blue Team, led by Brett, ran out of beef for the main dishes but managed to recover. After service, the Blue Team won the challenge, after received all three dishes included the Black Sesame Pavlova dessert as a stand out dish of the day and were the first 6 contestants ever to secure their spots in the Top 10. However, the Red Team, led by Matt, presented their remaining 15 desserts late at the last minute. Their inconsistent plating and poor service upset the judges, sending them to elimination. 927,000 #8
40/08-5 Thursday, 23 June 2016 Time or Ingredients Elimination Challenge - Elise, Karmen, Matt, Mimi and Trent competed in an elimination challenge to secure the last remaining spots in the Top 10. They had up to 100 minutes to gather their ingredients from between one and five small different hidden pantries. Karmen, Matt and Trent chose 75 minutes to cook with herbs and vegetables while Elise and Mimi waited another 15 minutes and had 60 minutes to cook with the addition of fruit. Trent, Matt and Mimi had amazing results, joining the Top 10. Karmen showed the judges her ambition and creativity on her Mille-Feuille which has sweet tomatoes, soft ricotta, very clever and Elise's charred apricot was well flavoured and the texture of the parfait and the saltiness and the flavour of the thyme in the crumb. While Karmen and Elise impressed the judges with their dishes, Karmen's basil ice cream lacked the brightness and the depth of flavour which made her dish out of balance. In the end, it's enough to send Karmen home. 912,000 #5
Week 9 - Heston Week
41/09-1 Sunday, 26 June 2016 Pop-Up Challenge: Melbourne Star - Heston Blumenthal mentored the Top 10 home cooks for the week's challenges, which involved a pop-up restaurant each night, with contestants from each challenge sent straight into the Elimination Round. For their first challenge, contestants were divided into teams of two, with each team preparing a main dish and a dessert for 20 diners in pods on the revolving Melbourne Star, which for one night would become the world's largest pop-up restaurant. Heston set the theme of the night: outer space. A number of teams struggled with timing, but all managed to get the dishes to their diners in time before the pods moved on. Highlights included the Yellow Team's (Matt and Theresa) "black hole" dessert, the Blue Team's (Mimi and Elena) "sea stars" main, and the Red Team's (Chloe and Harry) "big bang" dessert. Trent and Heather from the Maroon Team had overcooked duck on their main and a heavy sponge cake in their dessert, making them the first two contestants sent into the elimination. 978,000 #5
42/09-2 Monday, 27 June 2016 Pop-Up Challenge: Brighton Beach - The eight contestants from the top four teams at the previous pop-up restaurant were again divided randomly into teams of two: Yellow Team (Elena and Theresa), Blue Team (Harry and Matt), Red Team (Elise and Mimi) and Green Team (Brett and Chloe) and with each team having four and a half hours to create two savoury ice creams and one savoury ice block, with the theme of childhood memories, and then they had 60 minutes to be served to 500 people from the Brighton bathing boxes. The Blue Team (Matt and Harry) impressed with their prawn cocktail ice-cream and gazpacho ice block, as did the Yellow Team (Theresa and Elena) with their mustard, bacon and chips ice cream. Both the Red (Elise and Mimi) and Green (Chloe and Brett) Teams produced disastrous ice creams and they also had problems with their ice blocks: the Red Team's were way too sweet and the Green Team's were split and flavourless. But Elise and Mimi did a better job and joined the others in tomorrow's next challenge as Brett and Chloe joined Trent and Heather in the elimination at the end of the week. 1,100,000 #4
43/09-3 Tuesday, 28 June 2016 Pop-Up Challenge 3: Melbourne University - The remaining contestants were divided into teams of two: Red Team (Elise and Theresa), Blue Team (Elena and Matt), and Yellow Team (Harry and Mimi) and had two hours to create an adventurous-themed chocolate dish at the heritage-listed Melbourne University underground carpark. Each team was assigned with one chocolate as their core ingredient. The Yellow Team's Harry and Mimi were safe after receiving praise from the judges for their dark chocolate dessert with a chocolate log. Elise and Theresa from the Red Team also received some praise for their white chocolate dish but were criticised for the dish being too sweet and not having as many elements as the other dishes and there's not a lot of relief. Some elements of the milk chocolate dish of Elena and Matt (Blue Team) impressed the judges but they didn't like the bitterness of their green tea jelly which were bland and tannic and the way they plated it up they thought it was a mess and Elena and Matt joined the others in elimination. 1,134,000 #1
44/09-4 Wednesday, 29 June 2016 Pop-Up Challenge: Rippon Lea Estate - Harry, Elise, Mimi and Theresa competed in the last pop-up challenge at the restaurant of Rippon Lea Estate. It was a service challenge where each received an envelope containing a recipe of an historical-themed dish. They had two hours to cook their assigned dishes to serve for 10 diners plus the judges. Theresa fell behind the others after panicking when preparing her dish during service time. Her poor presentation of the dish and inconsistent plating put her in the last spot in elimination as Harry, Elise and Mimi were safe. Elise's fennel nougat tart was praised by the judges and declared a "signature dish." 1,197,000 #1
45/09-5 Thursday, 30 June 2016 Rainbow Affinity Elimination Challenge - The losing contestants from each pop-up challenge faced an elimination set by Heston and the judges. Each contestant randomly picked a knife with a colour of the rainbow (Red for Theresa, Orange for Elena, Yellow for Heather, Green for Brett, Blue for Matt, Indigo for Chloe and Violet for Trent) and they had 75 minutes to present a dish inspired by their assigned colour. Theresa, Elena and Brett had the top three dishes. They were safe from elimination, along with Trent, while Chloe, Heather and Matt all missed the mark, each having noticeable errors on their dishes. While Chloe and Matt's dishes failed to adequately incorporate their colours, the judges were not impressed with Heather's Lemon Delicious dessert which collapsed on the plate and also criticised her combination of flavours. Ultimately, that dish became her downfall and Heather was eliminated. 1,002,000 #3
MasterClass: Heston Blumenthal, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan - Heston and the judges presented their recipes to the contestants in their Masterclass: Heston's roast chicken, Matt's steak sandwich, Gary's French squab and truffles and Heston's chocolate mousse. 807,000 #6
Week 10
46/10-1 Sunday, 3 July 2016 The "Toughest" Mystery Box Challenge & Previous Seasons Re-Invention Test - The contestants' Mystery Box Challenge was more difficult than usual as they had to cook a dish using all of the ingredients from the box (corn, dates, pork belly, onion, apples, cinnamon, rum and condensed milk). Harry and Mimi delivered the best dishes, but it was Brett who won the advantage with his sticky pork and smoked corn puree. His advantage was to choose one of three difficult Invention Tests from previous seasons: cactus and prickly pear (chosen by Julia Taylor from series 4), 70s’ Apricot Chicken (chosen by Amy Shields from series 6) and earth (chosen by Billie McKay from series 7). Brett chose re-inventing apricot chicken and the contestants had 60 minutes. Brett won a place to compete for Immunity along with Elise and Harry. Theresa, Mimi and Trent on the other hand failed to impress the judges. Their dishes were not well received, sending them to elimination. 936,000 #6
47/10-2 Monday, 4 July 2016 Pressure Test: Peter Gilmore's Cherry Jam Lamington - Peter Gilmore presented his acclaimed dessert, "Cherry Jam Lamington" to the contestants to replicate within two hours. Trent didn't receive any negative feedback from the judges on his dish and was safe. Mimi, despite struggles and mistakes in her preparation time, also impressed the judges although she was criticised for the lack of coconut shards on her dish. Theresa's dish lacked tartness in the cherry jam and her ice cream was too sweet. The imbalance of the dish resulted in Theresa being re-eliminated from the competition. 1,131,000 #4
48/10-3 Tuesday, 5 July 2016 Immunity Challenge: Shannon Bennett - Brett, Harry and Elise competed in the first round of the Immunity, which was another Mystery Box. They could choose to cook with one or more of the first four ingredients in twenty minutes, or open a smaller box inside to gain 20 minutes cooking time but then have to cook with whatever ingredient was inside. Brett chose the 20 minute cooking time with venison, bay leaves, cauliflower and elderflower oil. Harry and Elise opened the smaller box which contained quandongs and another smaller box. For a further 20 minutes cooking time, they both also opened this, meaning they had 60 minutes to cook with mastic, quandongs and at least one of the original ingredients. Harry struggled to incorporate the mastic into his dessert and his meringues didn't work. Elise's quandong tart and mastic ice cream was praised by the judges, but Brett won the challenge with his perfectly cooked venison. Brett then competed for Immunity against MasterChef mentor Shannon Bennett with Gary running the kitchen for the challenge. Due to the week's theme of difficult challenges, he had no time advantage. Both had 60 minutes and an open pantry. Brett's lamb cutlets with smoked parsnip puree scored 17 points but lost to Shannon's lamb two ways and mustard foam with a score of 18 points. 1,174,000 #1
49/10-4 Wednesday, 6 July 2016 Four State Corners Team Challenge - Contestants were randomly put into pairs and with two hours, they had to serve a main and dessert for 20 people. Each team represented a corner of Australia, Matt and Mimi's Maroon Team representing Northern Australia, Elise and Trent's Yellow Team Western Australia, Elena and Chloe's Green Team Southern Australia and Brett and Harry's Blue Team Eastern Australia. Each team was given a mentor, a resident guest chef from each corner of the nation. Ultimately, the Maroon and Green Team's desserts had technical issues, sending them to elimination while the other teams were declared safe, with the Yellow Team winning the challenge. 1,169,000 #1
50/10-5 Thursday, 7 July 2016 Elimination Challenge: Time Auction - Chloe, Elena, Matt and Mimi competed in a time auction elimination challenge. Starting with 120 minutes, they bid in 5 minute increments for ingredients from three pantries: proteins, fruits and vegetables, and miscellaneous. Mimi ended up with 75 minutes to cook with beef, root vegetables and spices. Matt also had 75 minutes with duck, alliums and sauces. Elena gathered red mullet, nightshades and herbs with 80 minutes to cook, and Chloe had 100 minutes for eggs, citrus and spreads. Elena delivered the dish of the day to the judges, while Mimi also impressed the judges. Matt had problems with the sauce on the dish but Chloe's eighth time facing elimination sealed her fate - she struggled throughout and her honey mousse had the wrong texture and her orange curd was too runny. After she was eliminated, the final seven learned they would be flying to San Francisco via Sydney and Trent and Elise, as winners of the team challenge, were told they would be flying business class with Qantas as their prize. 952,000 #3
Week 11 - California Week
51/11-1 Sunday, 10 July 2016 Fisherman's Wharf Eclectic Box Challenge & Fast-Track Invention Test - The judges and the contestants took a trip to California for the weekly challenges. Each contestant bought one ingredient to make up the Mystery Box: Mimi chose short ribs, Elena fennel pollen, Brett fennel goat's cheese, Harry Dungeness crab, Matt 100% Ecuadorian chocolate, Trent tangelos and Elise golden beets. At Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, they had 60 minutes to cook their dishes. Matt won the advantage for the Invention test, and picked beef as the core ingredient from produce chosen by local farmers. With 60 minutes, contestants had an open pantry from any of the produce to prepare a dish, with the winning dish receiving the first place in a challenge to win a fast-track to Finals Week. Elise and Trent's dishes were declared the best, with the latter's spiced walnut and butter sirloin winning him the Invention test and its advantage. 982,000 #5
52/11-2 Monday, 11 July 2016 Atelier Crenn Team Pressure Test - Contestants (minus Trent) were divided into two teams to recreate Dominique Crenn's two dishes in two hours and forty-five minutes with fifteen minutes for plating at Atelier Crenn. The winning team would join Trent in the Fast-Track Challenge. Both teams struggled in preparing their dishes during the challenge but they received praise for one of their takes on Crenn's dishes each. The team of Elena, Matt and Mimi won the advantage to compete against Trent for a place in the finals. 1,165,000 #2
53/11-3 Tuesday, 12 July 2016 Fast-Track to the Finals Challenge - Elena, Matt, Mimi and Trent arrived at the vineyards of Inglenook Estate in Napa Valley. To compete for a fast pass to the finals, they had 90 minutes to cook their dishes with grapes. Elena cooked quail, grapes and goat's cheese. Trent prepared his grilled quail with cauliflower skordalia and sauce. Mimi prepared a dessert dish: red wine sorbet and cake with blue cheese cream. Matt cooked a roasted lamb rack dish. All of their dishes impressed the judges but Elena's dish was declared the most outstanding, winning the fast-pass to the Finals. 1,054,000 #4
54/11-4 Wednesday, 13 July 2016 Santa Monica Food Truck Team Challenge - At the Santa Monica Pier, food truck chef Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos mentored the contestants to run food trucks for their Team challenge. Since Elena had already won a place in Finals week, she did not participate. The rest were divided into teams of three and with two hours, they had to prepare two dishes to be served to 200 customers. While both teams struggled during the challenge, the Red Team of Brett, Harry and Mimi served their dishes with notable flaws: they scrapped their original idea of soft shell crab tacos and they didn't remove the sand veins from the prawns in their second dish. The Blue Team's Elise, Matt and Trent won the challenge, joining Elena in Finals Week. The Red Team were then sent into an elimination challenge. 945,000 #8
55/11-5 Thursday, 14 July 2016 Maude Restaurant Elimination Challenge - Curtis Stone returned to instruct Mimi, Harry and Brett, who had to cook dishes inspired by what they want to do when the competition ends. They had 90 minutes at Curtis' restaurant Maude in Beverly Hills. Mimi's chocolate aero mousse highly impressed the judges and she was declared safe and into Finals Week. The creativity of Harry's plate was praised by the judges although his burnt lemon puree overpowered the dish. Brett was praised for his perfectly cooked pork and vegetables but his underwhelming sauce failed to meet the mark and he was eliminated. 970,000 #4
MasterClass: Javier Plascencia, George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston - In the Top 6's MasterClass for their last stop at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, guest chef Javier Plascencia presented his baja fish taco recipe. The judges also presented their respective recipes to the contestants: George's oyster ice cream, Gary's mushrooms on toast and Matt's American beef n' bacon burger. 677,000 #9
Week 12 - Finals Week
56/12-1 Sunday, 17 July 2016 Finals Mystery Box Challenge & Method Invention Test - The Mystery Box Challenge contained ingredients that are "hot right now" or popular to cook with. The top 6 contestants had 60 mins to cook and impress the judges. Harry's grilled cobia with gochujang sauce and kohlrabi was the winning dish. Taken inside the pantry, Harry had to choose between three popular methods of cooking: smoking, sous-vide and using liquid nitrogen for the Invention Test. Harry chose liquid nitrogen. The contestants had 60 mins to cook a dish using this technique. Elena's savour cucumber dish along with Harry and Elise's desserts impressed the judges and they were safe. Matt, Mimi and Trent's dishes were least impressive and they were sent into the Pressure Test. 1,122,000 #3
57/12-2 Monday, 18 July 2016 Pressure Test: Christy Tania's "Mistique" - Matt, Mimi and Trent had to recreate Christy Tania's "Mistique", which had almost 64 steps, with 4.5 hours to cook. Mimi enjoyed the dessert challenge while Trent and Matt struggled. Trent was imprecise in following the recipe and so the amount of mix in each layer was out of balance. He also made his banana milk brownie too thick and it didn't set. Matt made mistakes in the first two steps but managed to recover. Mimi went on to create each of the layers of the cake perfectly. Matt's passionfruit curd did not set and became more of a sauce. All three struggled with the blue and dark chocolate sphere on the top of the dessert. But Trent's fate was sealed when his overall presentation didn't look appealing and the different layers were out of proportions, leading to his elimination. 1,286,000 #1
58/12-3 Tuesday, 19 July 2016 Lake House Service Challenge - Alla Wolf-Tasker mentored the final five contestants in a challenge at her Lake House restaurant in Daylesford. They each had to cook a dish from the menu to be served for 40 guests in two hours. Matt's performance in the kitchen impressed Alla and the judges and he was declared safe. The others fell behind during the service challenge: Harry's dish didn't have enough eel on the plate, Mimi's sauce on her chicken dish had technical issues, Elise's kale puree was bitter and Elena's plum jelly was too thick but her dish had the best flavours and she was also declared safe, leaving the others to face elimination. 1,155,000 #2
59/12-4 Wednesday, 20 July 2016 Elimination Challenge: Looking Back - To celebrate how far they had come in the competition, Elise, Harry and Mimi each received a box of ingredients related to the dish they cooked for their audition, which they now had to reinvent. All three contestants struggled: Elise's brownie was under-cooked but when the decision was based on taste, she was safe. Harry's lobster bisque for his butter poached lobster dish lacked complexity but Mimi's blunder to the use of ricotta cheese (instead of goat's cheese) ultimately cost her - that element derailed the flavours of her fig ice cream dessert. Although she displayed a lot of technical skills in her dish, the fact is that all the elements she put in the plate did not work together. And as a result, Mimi was eliminated from the competition. 1,191,000 #1
60/12-5 Thursday, 21 July 2016 MasterClass: Chefs vs. Contestants - With it being the last Masterclass of the season the four quarter-finalists took over as the judges while Gary, George and Shannon compete in a Mystery Box Challenge. Gary won the challenge. Then Elise, Harry and Elena compete against Gary, George and Shannon in a relay challenge with the two Matt's as judges. The contestants made a mandarin dessert while Gary, George and Shannon cooked a poached quail dish. However they left a bone in the dish, handing the win to the contestants. 1,148,000 #1
Grand Finale Week
61/13-1 Sunday, 24 July 2016 Quarter-Finals: Mystery Box Challenge & Invention Test - The final four contestants faced their last Mystery Box Challenge, with 60 minutes to cook their dishes with ingredients chosen by their respective loved ones. Elena beat Matt's crispy skin snapper dish with her crab, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and apple dish to secure her place in the semi-final. To secure their places in the semi-final Elise, Harry and Matt each had to choose one food or cooking technique which all three would then have to use to cook a dish in 60 minutes. Matt chose blending/juicing, Harry chose aeration and Elise chose setting. All three cooked a dessert. Matt's blackberry sorbet with tempered chocolate and port jelly nailed was the standout with the judges calling it flawless. Harry's coconut foam for his passionfruit sorbet disappointed the judges as it dissolved on the plate but Elise's smoked chocolate parfait with orange sorbet had serious issues with both the balance of flavours and presentation. She was eliminated due to those critical flaws. 1,321,000 #1
62/13-2 Monday, 25 July 2016 Semi-Finals: Service Challenge - In the semi-final of the competition, Elena, Harry and Matt had to prepare two dishes (main and dessert) to be served to twenty diners and the judges in a four-hour service challenge. Matt's confit duck and brioche doughnut stood out, making him the first through to the Finale. It was between Elena and Harry who, despite having excellent desserts (Elena's apples and bicuits, and Harry's espresso bavarois), both had issues with their mains: both Elena's Australian version of a nicoise salad and Harry's lobster cannelloni were dry due to the lack of sauces, but it was his use of oily kingfish that overpowered the lobster flavour on his canneloni that eliminated Harry from the competition, sending Elena into the Grand Finale. 1,441,000 #1
63/13-3 Tuesday, 26 July 2016 Grand Finale - The finale took place over three rounds: entree, main and dessert. In the entree round, the judges had chosen a selection of core ingredients from which Elena picked marron and Matt picked quail. Matt's confit quail and sauce received 26 points out of 30, while Elena's marron two ways lacked depth of flavour in the dashi sauce and she scored 23 points.

For the main course, there were no rules, with contestants cooking whatever they liked in 75 minutes. Both Matt's crispy skin barramundi with prawn and pancetta sauce and Elena's twice-cooked lamb and smoked vegetables received perfect scores of 30 from the judges. Matt took the lead with the total score of 56 while Elena got 53 points total.

The finale then came down to dessert: Heston Blumenthal and Ashley Palmer-Watts' "Verjus in Egg" creation. Both contestants had struggles, with Elena having to remake her 'egg yolk' jelly and Matt his coconut panna cotta 'egg white'. This led to Matt running out of time and not being able to seal the tempered chocolate egg shell on his dish, which split apart. Matt's dessert cost him the win, scoring 7 points from each of the four judges, giving him a total score of 84. Elena scored 8 each from Matt, George and Gary and 9 from Heston and Ashley, giving her 86 points.

1,711,000 #2
Winner Announced - Elena Duggan won the title of Masterchef 2016, the grand prize of $250,000 and a monthly column in the magazine Delicious while Matt Sinclair, as runner-up, received $40,000. Harry Foster, who finished in third-place, also received a cash prize of $10,000. 1,875,000 #1


  1. ^ "Returning: MasterChef Australia". 20 April 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  2. ^ Styles, Aja (26 July 2016). "MasterChef 2016 winner Elena Duggan helped rival Matt Sinclair over the finish line". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  3. ^ "MasterChef Australia 2016: Matt and Theresa on what they gave up to be on the show". NewsComAu. 29 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Ratings – TV Tonight".