Emelia's pastry skills ensure her spot in the semi-final.
Silver lining ... Eliminated MasterChef contestant Jamie Fleming has a new job as a head chef. Source: Supplied
FORMER bartender Jamie Fleming is "absolutely devastated" at being eliminated with just days to go before Monday night's MasterChef finale.
"To go that far in the competition and practically taste it, (having) a 25 per cent chance of winning that title and to fall down at the last hurdle was absolutely devastating," the North Turramurra resident says. "But I'm very proud of how far I got and the last three are very deserving."
Jamie has already landed on his feet however, scoring a plum head chef role at new Sydney restaurant Wilhelmina's.
The three remaining contestants heading into Sunday's service challenge semi-final are the youngest ever: Victorians Brent Owen and Emelia Jackson, both 24, and South Australia's Laura Cassai, 19.
After Brent, Emelia and Jamie all struggled with Wednesday's service challenge at Vue De Monde they were confronted with an even tougher pressure test — recreating Sepia chef Martin Benn's 40-step dessert, Chocolate Forest Floor.
Intricate ... the Chocolate Forest Floor dish from Sepia restaurant. Source: Supplied
The intricate dish contains 14 elements including lavender, almond and praline cream, chocolate ganache, tempered chocolate discs, crystallised fennel fronds, cherry brandy jellies and sour cherry sorbet.
Jamie wasn't pleased at his fourth dessert challenge in five pressure tests.
"How many desserts did I have to do?" he asks. "It was ridiculous. Four (pressure tests) were desserts and none of them I was very happy about."
Contender ... Brent Owens has gone through to the MasterChef semi-final. Source: Supplied
Dessert queen Emelia powered through the challenge with only a few minor issues. That left it a race between Brent and Jamie but it wasn't a level playing field. As the winner of Wednesday's challenge, Brent had already practised the recipe the night before. While his dish lacked finesse and he struggled with the jelly, Jamie ran into ever more problems, failing to temper his chocolate properly, splitting his lavender cream and leaving off the finger limes.
After four months of filming, those mistakes sent him home to partner Rhinannon and their 20-month-old daughter, Amelie.
"When I left she was very much a baby … and by the time I came back she was chatting," he says, adding Rhiannon's support had been unwavering even as she dealt with another pregnancy and looking after a toddler.
"When we did get a chance to speak it was always 100 per cent support," he says. "I was having tough days and in hindsight, probably nowhere near as tough as the days she was having and I love her to death."
Under pressure ... Jamie Fleming in a service challenge earlier in the competition. Source: Supplied
Jamie currently works at the Steel Bar and Grill in Wynyard but in less than a month he'll take up a position as head chef at a new Sydney venue called Wilhelmina's, specialising in local produce and cool cocktails.
"As cheesy as it sounds MasterChef has changed my life," he says. "To be offered a head chef job because of being on MasterChef is ridiculous. I'm very thankful for the leg up."
Sunday's semi-final sees the three remaining contestants tasked with creating a two-course meal they'd serve at their dream restaurant for 20 diners. The finale airs on Monday.