Jessica eliminated as final battle for Masterchef arrives

Jessica Arnott is putting her skills to good use at Pert restaurant The Flour Factory.
Jessica Arnott is putting her skills to good use at Pert restaurant The Flour Factory.

IT'S crunch time in the kitchen withset to battle it out for the title of MasterChef Australia after Jessica Arnott lost the fight for the right to be in tomorrow night's grand finale.

In tonight's penultimate episode the trio had the luxury of having access to an open pantry and the weekend to plan, practice and refine a two-course meal for 20 diners and the judges.

Jessica decided on a relative simple roast pork belly dish with a Japanese twist in order to save time for a more complex dessert; a dusted white chocolate dome filled with a grapefruit centre, mousse and a popcorn sponge with crumble and popping candy.

"Having the weekend to plan was very rare in MasterChef terms but it was fantastic as we got to have a bit of a strategy going in which I really appreciated because service challenges haven't necessarily been my strong point," she told APN.

"For the main I wanted to focus on punchy flavours but keep the processes a little bit simple to give myself a bit of a head start for the dessert where I tried to show the judges some techniques that I'd learned."

Shannon, Gary, Georgia, Billie, Matt and George
Shannon, Gary, Georgia, Billie, Matt and George

The award-winning bartender said she attacked her dessert a similar way to how she approached making cocktails in the bar.

"I was definitely inspired by a friend's cocktail from Sydney but unfortunately for me there were a couple of small technical errors, just really tiny things, but it just comes down to hairline differences at this stage of the game," she said.

But her exit from the series wasn't a bitter disappointment for the upbeat 29-year-old.

"I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be - at this stage it was so close and I got such great feedback that it was hard to be too sad about it. I'm just really glad to go out on a bit of a high with dishes that I was proud of."

"I had a really great service - I actually had fun, I had a really good time in the kitchen so it was hard to be too disappointed when I'd had a really good service and the exposure is still fantastic... all the same doors 

will still be open for me."

One that already has is Perth restaurant The Flour Factory.

"I have started working at an awesome venue in Perth that has just opened up called The Flour Factory and I'm really enjoying that - their food is right up my alley."

"They've got a really amazing cheese selection and condiments and things to go with the cheeses and everything is made from scratch, it's fantastic."

"Long term, I came into the competition with the idea of opening my own cheese bar with nice wines and cocktails and that's definitely something I still want to someday."

With judges already finding it hard to split the contestants - declaring all of the dishes offered up tonight the best they have ever tasted on the competition - the decision will only be tougher tomorrow night.

"It's going to be so close, they are both amazing... but if I had to put my cash on one of them it would be Billie I think," Jessica said.

The MasterChef season finale airs 7.30pm Monday night on Ten.

Billie McKay and Georgia Barnes
Billie McKay and Georgia Barnes

Topics:  cooking editors picks masterchef television

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