MasterChef India 2023: Odisha-based food stylist Avinash Patnaik gets eliminated
Bhubaneshwar-based food stylist Avinash Patnaik was the latest contestant to be eliminated from the cooking reality show MasterChef India 2023, airing on Sony TV and SonyLIV from Monday to Friday. After spending a fun-filled week in Goa, the home cooks were back to the MasterChef India 2023 kitchen this week. The week also marked contestant Nazia Sultana’s return to the competition after a sabbatical. Here’s a recap.
Memories of Childhood
The week started with a dose of nostalgia in a special ‘mystery-box challenge’. Instead of ingredients, the box this time consisted of photos of the home cooks from their childhood. The task was simple —each contestant must prepare a dessert that best reflects the memories of their childhood on the plate.
Aruna won over the judges with her seviyan kheer popsicle with jujube jelly and fennel chipda, served with elai vadam papad. Her presentation won her accolades from all the three celebrity chefs — Vikas Khanna, Ranveer Brar and Garima Arora. But it was Gurkirat’s deconstructed strawberry cheesecake that walked away with the laurels in this challenge. The dish won Gurkirat immunity for the rest of the week.
The judges also expressed their abject displeasure at the lackadaisical manner in which Suvarna and Avinash performed in the challenge in this episode. In order to give them a wake-up call, the judges handed them black aprons, which they had to wear for the rest of the week. The only way to get rid of the black apron for them was to prepare a dish that wins a challenge in the remaining week.
Bento Box Challenge
In the next episode, the home cooks walked into the kitchen to find chef Ranveer preparing a bento box — the Japanese equivalent of an Indian tiffin box — on the judges’ table. The challenge before them was to prepare a bento box, consisting of five dishes that would reflect their respective cooking styles. The judges revealed that they would be tasting only six boxes and the contestants would be scored on the basis of precision, perfection as well as nutrition. Suvarna, Nayanjyoti, Santa, Deepa, Nazia and Aruna were the six cooks who got the chance to present their boxes to the judges.
Deepa prepared the dish of the day. Her box contained a king oyster mushroom steak, onigiri, chicken, salad and veggies. She was praised for transforming the humble mushroom into a delicacy and commended for her creativity. Suvarna was also able to get rid of her black apron by cooking the second-best dish of the episode — steamed rice rolls, deep-fried prawns coated with sweet potato, stir-fried veggies and brussel sprouts.
Battle of the Proverbs
In the next challenge, the home cooks enter the MasterChef India 2023 kitchen to find a wall containing placards with proverbs written on them. Every proverb had the name of an ingredient — eg; thali ka baingan. The contestants are divided in pairs and are asked to choose the proverb that fits well with the personality of their respective partners. Every contestant must prepare a dish that uses the ingredient mentioned in the proverb as the “hero” of the dish.
Priyanka chooses thali ka baingan for Santa, who in turn feels kharbuje ko dekh kar kharbuja rang badalta hai suits the former well. Priya gives the proverb of aasman se gira khajoor me atka to Avinash and gets angoor khatte hai in return. Kamaldeep bestows Sachin with doodh ka jala chach bhi phunk kar pita hai, receiving chane ke jhad pe chadhana in return. Suvarna chooses bandar kya jane adrak ka swad for Aruna & gets kis khet ki mooli in return.
The winner of this challenge was Nayanjyoti, whose hero ingredient was pomegranate. He made pomegranate glazed fried chicken with a side of pomegranate salad and a cherry wine drink. Chef Ranveer was so impressed by his plate that he gifted his knife to Nayanjyoti.
The ‘Egg’ Elimination Challenge
This week’s elimination challenge would be held over three rounds, the judges informed the home cooks. They had to cook with a secret ingredient hidden under a cloche, which turned out to be a very commonly-used item — eggs. However, the contestants would only be given six eggs, which they must use till the last round. Two cooks each would be saved from elimination in the first two rounds and the remaining five cooks would have to battle it out in the third round.
In the first task, chef Garima tasked the contestants with preparing the perfect French meringue by whisking the white portion of the egg. Their meringue must have stiff peaks, perfect texture, and stick to the bowl for 10 seconds when turned upside down. Priyanka, the dessert expert, faltered in the whisking because of a ligament injury, and Sachin saved himself from elimination in this round. Aruna, who is a vegetarian and has never cooked an egg before, gave up her immunity pin to save herself from elimination.
In the second task, chef Vikas asked the contestants to make the perfect poached egg — one whose yolk oozes out after cutting it. Many cooks used more than one egg in this round but ultimately it was Priya and Kamaldeep who nailed the brief. In the final round, the remaining contestants — Santa, Priyanka, Avinash, Nazia and Suvarna — had to prepare a dish that would champion the egg.
The curtains came down on Avinash in this challenge. He tried to make nargisi kofta but failed to impress the judges. The outer layer of meat didn’t stick to the egg and the overall presentation of the dish was lacklustre.