My Kitchen Rules 2013 Grand Final Recap: Dan and Steph Win

My Kitchen Rules Grand Final 2013: The Recap

It's been a long, dramatic, exciting, controversial and some may even say drawn-out series of My Kitchen Rules, but Channel Seven's popular cooking show came to an end for the year with a grand final that saw Queensland husband and wife team Dan and Steph Mulheron beat siblings Jake and Elle Harrison to the $250,000 cash prize.

The teams were tasked with cooking a five-course menu for a full restaurant, 100 dishes each. They cooked:

Dan and Steph's menu for restaurant "Decadence"
Course 1: Scallop ceviche
Course 2: Squab with chestnuts and redcurrent sauce
Course 3: Flathead sausages with confit potatoes
Course 4: Lamb roulade with smoked carrots and mint pesto
Course 5: Chocolate peppermint délice

Jake and Elle's menu for restaurant "Costa de Sol"
Course 1: Wagyu beef carpaccio
Course 2: Quail with figs and gorgonzola sauce
Course 3: Rock lobster with semolina wafer stack
Course 4: Confit duck with artichoke purée and balsamic sauce
Course 5: Strawberry and amaretto semifreddo

More from the MKR grand final when you keep reading.

Both teams got off to a great start with their first courses, and both scored rave reviews from the judges during the blind tasting for presentation and taste. According to Karen Martini, Jake and Elle's carpaccio had "sexy presentation" while Dan and Steph's ceviche "really does dance on the palette."

It was during preparation of the second course that Jake and Elle started to get un-stuck. They demonstrated technique beyond their years when it came to preparing and cooking their second and fourth dishes, which involved game meats (quail and duck respectively), but were constantly pulling their meats in and out of the oven to check if they were cooked through. It was during the preparation of their third course that Elle got emotional and said they had never experienced as many disasters in the kitchen as they had now. While creating semolina wafers for their third course, Jake either misplaced his dough or didn't make enough, and Elle only realised with two minutes to go that they hadn't made their lemon foam, which she was adamant needed to be on the dish to balance the flavours.

Dan and Steph had their own hurdles during the middle part of the challenge. To accompany the lamb roulade in their fourth course, Dan made a pearl barley risotto but scooped so much stock into the pot that he didn't have much left for the sauce. "We could lose the grand final because of [lack of] sauce," he said. Steph had issues with the peppermint fondant she was preparing for their dessert, which kept cracking in the hot kitchen. That same fondant wouldn't cooperate with Dan when he cut it up but he resolved the issue by placing it at the bottom of their chocolate délice.

Overall, the judges were positive with their critiques, but the main low points were dryness in Jake and Elle's confit duck and Dan and Steph's flathead sausage. The challenge finished on a sweet note (literally) for both teams, with usually-hard-to-please Colin Fassnidge saying Dan and Steph's dessert reminded him of Christmas as an eight-year-old, and Guy Grossi labelling it a "slam dunk dessert." Jake and Elle's semifreddo was also highly praised, but Guy said it was a tad on the sweet side.

Here are the judges' final scores:

Dan and Steph
Pete Evans: 9
Manu Feildel: 9
Colin Fassnidge: 9
Karen Martini: 9
Guy Grossi: 9
Liz Egan: 9
Total: 54

Jake and Elle
Pete Evans: 9
Manu Feildel: 9
Colin Fassnidge: 8
Karen Martini: 8
Guy Grossi: 9
Liz Egan: 9
Total: 52

Dan and Steph started getting emotional towards the end of the score reveal when it became apparent they had won the series (like previous years, two endings were filmed to avoid the result being leaked, with grand finalists only learning the outcome today). They are going to use the prize money to get IVF treatment to start a family. Jake and Elle were happy for their fellow grand finalists, and Jake said, "We've made life-long friends throughout this competition and it's been an absolute rollercoaster. And if we had to pick a team to lose to, it would be these two next to me."

Photo courtesy of Channel Seven