Kinross chef Sarah Rankin survived two kitchen challenges to go through to the next round of the 2022 MasterChef final.
Sarah, who is originally from Inverness, almost blew her chances of taking the 2022 MasterChef crown when the consommé sauce for her seafood dish failed to fully clarify.
The 48-year-old mother-of-two was up against the BBC One competition’s tight time limits.
However, despite the mishap on tonight’s show, judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode commended Sarah on her dish and ejected rival Ioan Jones from North Wales, whose Japanese beef in a miso sauce was deemed too flavourless.
Meanwhile, in the second round of the competition, which took the four remaining contestants to southern Ireland, it was Sarah’s pastry for her Jerusalem artichoke tart that didn’t play ball.
The pastry was too short (not enough fat or egg yolks to enrich and stabilise it) and so Sarah was forced to think on her feet and improvise as the clock ticked by.
Helped by her competitors, Sarah was able to get the dish finished, however one of the tarts fell apart slightly on the plate.
The Irish judges were completely wowed by the taste of the pastry and overlooked the tart which had fallen apart as a result of its impeccable flavour.
The full verdict on the dish will come in tomorrow (Wednesday May 5) night’s episode, when the final four return to the MasterChef studio, fighting to make it to the final three on Thursday night’s climax.
A stressful time
Sarah was confident going in to the final week, but the pressure of the competition showed as she waited for the verdict on her seafood consommé.
A tearful Sarah found it difficult to finish her interview, saying to the camera: “You just want do your best.”
By the end of the show, however, she was eager to continue competing and make it all the way to the end.
Sarah’s route to the MasterChef final
Sarah has lived in Kinross with her family since 2006 but is originally from Inverness. She has been competing on the BBC One cooking show for the past few weeks.
Her route to the final has taken many twists and turns, not least in the quarters when she was asked to cook two courses in just 75 minutes for judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode as well as 2021 finalists Alexina Anatole and Mike Tomkins, and champion Tom Rhodes.
The marketing consultant failed to crumble under the pressure and went on to prevail in both the quarterfinals and the semis.
Speaking after her semifinal win, Sarah said: “When I got through to the finals, I was completely overwhelmed. The quality of the cooking was exceptional.
“I was genuinely amazed that John and Gregg felt I was worthy of a place in the final five. It remains one of the best experiences of my life.
“The contestants forged very strong bonds in the later stages and feel honoured to have been in the company of cooks with such incredible skills.”
The end game
Sarah has two more evenings to survive if she wants to be crowned MasterChef champion 2022.
Tomorrow night one more contestant will drop out and on Thursday three contestants will compete for the coveted MasterChef grand prize.
Her three rivals have also fought through the rounds to earn their place in the final so will prove tough competition for Sarah.
They include 23-year-old Radha from Bradford, who draws on her dual Indian-British heritage for her cooking, and Eddie, who also takes inspiration from his Punjabi ancestry. Pookie is a former beauty salon owner from Solihull in the West Midlands who grew up in Bangkok.
MasterChef airs on BBC One and continues on tomorrow (Wednesday May 4) night.