Nicky Park

Editor of Life & Style.

David: 'I took a risk - it didn't pay off'

David Jamieson has been booted out of the MasterChef competition on a baking challenge. Photo / Supplied
David Jamieson has been booted out of the MasterChef competition on a baking challenge. Photo / Supplied

David Jamieson knew baking was going to be his Achilles's heel, so he wasn't surprised when a sponge cake ended his MasterChef New Zealand ride.

Despite knowing that he wasn't much of a baker, Jamieson didn't do his homework before the reality cooking show began.

"I went in with a game plan that I was going to cook to my strengths," the NZ-born, Melbourne-based bartender said.

"I probably should've taken it a bit more seriously. I never went in to MasterChef with the aim to make cooking a profession.

"I hope it doesn't frustrate anyone."

Last night the top 10 faced their first baking challenge. Many contestants were keen to see "culinary rockstar" Aaron toppled from his reign, and viewers were keen to see if it could be done.

Baker and owner of Auckland's Dolcie May Kitchen, Natalie Oldfield entered the MasterChef kitchen as a guest judge of the challenge, "to first create the perfect sponge cake, and then turn it in to a MasterChef spectacular".

Oldfield's top tip: "Put love into what you're doing, I can't say it enough.

"No baking is more dangerous and unpredictable than the sponge cake," she warned.

It was the first ever sponge cake for many of the contestants. From the outset, Jamieson wasn't confident that he would be able to pull off the technical recipe. And his flavour combination sounded risky:

"I want to do some balsamic macerated strawberries with fresh basil and just see how that works. I know the flavours all work pretty well together. I might want to put some black pepper in with the strawberries," he told judge Ray McVinnie.

"Taking my cake up to the judges, I have no idea what I'm expecting. It could either work in my favour, trying something different, or I could have completely ballsed it up and they could hate it," Jamieson said.

Judge Simon Gault was excited to try the strawberry sponge cake with balsamic vinegar, mascarpone, port and basil, because it was so different. But he quickly changed his mind after a mouthfull.

"You're better than this. I'm cross with you because you should be in this competition and you've given us a cake that could send you home," he said.

Oldfield "didn't really like it" and McVinnie said it wasn't sweet enough: "This just reminds me of chips with vinegar on it."

Jamieson stood in the firing line alongside fellow sponge flops Elliot (who said his only attempt at a sponge had ended in divorce) and Dana, who lost points for messy presentation.

Gault continued to take the disappointed school teacher tone with Jamieson.

"I said I was cross with you, and I still am. Appearance wise it was nice and simple. The layer was cut unevenly, but we could have lived with that if the flavours had worked. It was vinegary. There wasn't enough cream and the sponge was dense."

Judge Josh Emett said it was a "tragedy" that Jamieson had been beaten by a bake-off because he was a great cook.

Jamieson, who has spent the last few months travelling around South-East Asia with his girlfriend, didn't seem fazed by his departure from the cooking show.

"I took a risk. It didn't pay off."

* MasterChef New Zealand screens on TV One on Sunday nights. www.nzherald.co.nz will interview every contestant as they are eliminated.

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