Shannon Martinez’s Vegan Mystery Box — Chef Shannon Martinez arrived to set the Mystery Box challenge. As a renowned champion of vegan food, Shannon revealed that the challenge would involve no animal-based products. The Mystery Boxes were revealed to contain miniature kitchen gardens growing baby cos, radish, beetroots, asparagus, Dutch carrots, pencil leeks, petite capsicum, thyme, celaric, pine mushrooms, sweet potato and garlic. The usual pantry staples were also substituted with vegan alternatives(vegan salted butter, vegetable shortening, soy milk, vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast, agar agar and aquafaba). The vegan restrictions proved challenging for several contestants, with Reynold and Laura receiving negative feedback. However, Jess and Simon impressed the judges with their celeriac dishes, while Poh was praised for cooking two flavourful dishes that complemented each other. In a close decision, Reece won the final spot in the Immunity Challenge, joining Jess, Simon and Poh. The rest were sent to the Elimination Challenge.
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MasterChef Australia Show Summary
MasterChef Australia has a different format from that of the original British MasterChef and MasterChef Goes Large formats. Initial rounds consist of a large number of hopeful contestants from across Australia individually “auditioning” by presenting a food dish before the three judges in order to gain one of 50 semi-final places. Entrants must be over 18 years old and their main source of income cannot come from preparing and cooking fresh food in a professional environment.
The semi-finalists then compete in several challenges that test their food knowledge and preparation skills. In Season 1, the top 50 competed until 20 were left, with the final 20 progressing to the main stage of the show. From Season 2 onwards, 24 contestants progress. The contestants will then be whittled down through a number of individual and team-based cooking challenges and weekly elimination rounds until a winning MasterChef is crowned. The winner plays for a prize that includes chef training from leading professional chefs, the chance to have their own cookbook published, and A$250,000 in cash.