A SWEET dish turned into a sour day for MasterChef contestant Jay Huxley.
The former car salesman from Sydney was eliminated last night after nearly giving up in a pressure test featuring chef Dan Hong’s intricate pandan chiffon cake with palm sugar and black sesame ice cream.
The 31-year-old was clearly devastated by his early exit from the cooking competition.
“I knew there were a few weaknesses in my repertoire. Desserts were one and I had two in a row,” he said yesterday.
“It has opened up the competition and proves to the others that, as strong as you are, you’re only as good as your last dish. The whole experience of the challenge was a rollercoaster. I went from feeling like I was being in complete control to not thinking I was going to get a dish up.”
The seafood specialist, who was considered an early frontrunner in the competition, is still pleased with his achievements.
“I’m wrapped in the fact that I got to do a few things I aimed to do. One was to win a challenge and I won two,” he said.
“I also captained a team and we won a challenge, so there were a lot of positives in the short time I was there.”
Huxley has quickly readjusted to life at home with his wife Erika.
“It’s tough work the whole MasterChef thing,” he said.
“You step out of your life into this little food bubble. In some ways it’s a relief to be back home and cooking in my own kitchen.”
He has not shied away from the desserts which spelled his demise - just the opposite in fact.
Huxley cooked the challenging cake over and over again until he mastered it.
“I’ve lost count. I honestly couldn’t tell you. I’ve made it more than 30 times,” he said.
“I get a little bit funny with stuff like that. I go and do something until I perfect it. I can make that dish without thinking twice about it.”
He has also done work experience with Hong in his Sydney restaurant and at the Four In Hand pub with Colin Fassnidge, whom Huxley faced in an immunity challenge.
One of the most ambitious amateur chefs from the Top 24, Huxley is working with a cooking school and on his own seafood cook book.
“My real passion is going out, catching something and cooking it,” he said.
“A lot of people are quite daunted with taking a whole fish and turning it into a dish, but it’s a very sustainable way to harvest seafood.”
He believes lifeguard Hayden Quinn and film projectionist Michael Weldon have what it takes to win the competition.
“They’ve both just got good food brains,” he said.
“They think on their feet. They don’t look at a bunch of ingredients and wonder. You can learn a recipe but unless you get presented with exactly those ingredients it’s useless to you. It’s more technique than knowing a recipe completely, and both of those guys have got that.”
Tonight, Brisbane’s Danielle Dixon goes up against superstar Nordic chef Thorsten Schmidt for a chance at immunity.
MasterChef Australia airs Sundays through Fridays at 7.30pm on Ten.
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