Ohkay so, it was a good episode which began with an interesting challenge, not too sure about the final challenge but yeah the first one was good. I am sure a lot of viewers would be rejoicing at the elimination but I am still amazed at the things the eliminated contestant had to say about himself.
The day began with a small challenge where the contestants had to taste the spice mixes of Shaan & had to identify them correctly. I thought they would let one contestant taste & name one spice but it was like everyone had to try the same spice. I think it could’ve been unfair in a sense that a contestant who had no idea about what the spice was could’ve easily changed their answer by listening to what the majority of the contestants had guessed. But all in all, it was a difficult challenge because to guess the spice mix is actually quite difficult. Amna emerged as a winner of that round & she was saved from going into the actual round where the rest of the contestants had to cook.
Second challenge wasn’t as difficult as it should’ve been because when the judges were introducing the dish by saying every single country has it’s version of the dish in question, I thought it would be something exciting but when they announced it was a Kofta Challenge, I was actually amazed at the level of difficulty because I feel they are now dealing with the top 7-8 contestants & to expect them to make kofta at this point is a bit underwhelming.
The dishes that Zain, Khurram, Saad made & the comments they got were:
Zain created ‘Chicken Meatballs w/ Fettuccine & Balsamic Sauce’. Chef Mehboob liked the usage of parsley in the pasta because he felt it gave a very unique flavour to the dish. He also appreciated Zain’s effort at the pasta this time because he felt he improved heaps as compared to the previous challenge & he finally nailed the pasta & cooked it to perfection. Chef Mehboob also enjoyed the combination of meat balls & the pasta. Chef Khurram liked the meat ball especially because he felt that the flavor had pierced through the meat ball & made it flavorsome. He also liked the color of the meat balls because it was deep fried & felt that the addition of parsley didn’t really overpower the whole dish. Chef Zakir picked a few points that the usage of mashed potatoes & Parmesan in the meat balls changed the taste & because of that he felt that the meat balls were a bit dry but over all he liked the colors of the dish & the presentation.
Khurram came up with ‘Spaghetti w/ Meat Balls’. Chef Mehboob loved the dish completely. He commented that he has never eaten such a tasty spaghetti & meat ball dish with a perfect sauce to compliment it. Chef Zakir appreciated his efforts because he made pasta on his own. He liked the dish for the fact that the portion size of the meat balls was perfect & so was the flavor. Chef Zakir commented that this was a complete dish with not much at fault to it.
Saad presented ‘Kofta & Roti’. Chef Mehboob felt that the koftas were overcooked & quite dry. He didn’t like the fact that the onion chunks were visible in the curry & because of that the curry wasn’t smooth like it should’ve been. Chef Khurram felt that the curry was almost raw where the flavours of spices didn’t really blend well together. He felt that the over usage of different spices made the curry a bit bitter. Chef Zakir felt that the mix that he used for the kofta wasn’t right in both; the flavours & the ratio. He couldn’t really taste anything in the koftas.
It was now time for the verdict & going by the judges remarks it was pretty evident that Saad was about to get eliminated. I kind of, for a moment felt that Zain might get eliminated because the remarks of the judges were totally different now as compared to how they rated his dish back at the tasting table. I did feel they were trying to save Saad but finally, it wasn’t his day & he was eliminated.
Even though I am happy for both Khurram & Zain but then I want to ask where’s the versatility of these contestants? Zain just cooked pasta in the previous challenge & Khurram had cooked the same spaghetti before & grabbed a lot of compliments from all the judges especially Chef Zakir, so what was the point of going for the same thing over & over again? I feel this should be a rule in the show that the component that has been cooked before won’t be accepted again because it then feels like Zain can keep on making his pasta thin, thinner & thinnest so as to keep himself in the competition till the end. I thought these contestants were versatile & diverse but sadly that’s not the case anymore. I can only see that Rayyan, Gulnaz, Ammarah & to some extent Madiha are versatile & they never hold back in experimenting which is necessary in a show of this caliber because they want to upgrade themselves from being home-cooks to chefs.
Even though Saad knew he didn’t perform well but to hear him say he deserved to be in the top 3 was funny. He got too complacent & I think this resulted in his elimination. I must say Amna needs to tone down herself a couple of notches because she wasn’t really helping the contestants & was confusing them a lot. I think she needs to understand that she must speak when spoken to. She was unable to make up her mind when she was downstairs fighting to win the advantage but the moment she got safe, she became Miss. I-Know-It-All. I think Amna is a good contestant but if only she could control her verbal prowess, that would be awesome. & yes, last but not the least I would like to say that even though Madiha has invited a bit of criticism to herself but one thing I like about her is that she never speaks ill about anyone. She only has good things to say about her contestants & I like her for being humble & positive. Share your views on this episode.