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Masterchef fans are crying foul over Matt Preston's unusual rule-breaking decision.

Masterchef fans were left perplexed on Sunday night when Matt Preston, well, kinda sorta cheated.

Okay, maybe not, because he is a judge, not a contestant. But surely, surely a rule was broken at some point when Matt decided to taste a dish at a contestant’s bench.

As any keen Masterchef viewer will know, in most challenges, the judges taste all the dishes, but in a Mystery Box challenge, they’re only tasting three (which frankly seems like a waste).

But in Sunday night’s episode, Matt managed to sneak in a fourth tasting.

The challenge was for the cooks to highlight bread as their hero ingredient and contestant Jess Liemantara had created an Indonesian fried bread sandwich with plum sauce.

However, before it was finished Matt sashayed over to her bench and asked about her “crazy kind of fried bread sandwich”.

Watch the moment Matt decides to take a bite of Jess’ sandwich. Post continues after video.

Video via Channel Ten

“I’m loving it. It’s unlike anything else you’ve cooked before. And I think that’s brilliant. And I think it’s exciting. Should we have a look? Let’s have a look,” Matt said to Jess.

And then – to the surprise of viewers – the food critic decided to “look” with his tongue and have a taste.

“Let’s just taste it together. Let’s see.”

And it wasn’t like Matt was just having a spoonful of someone’s sauce or lick of their cake batter – this was the judge essentially eating a finished dish.

After taking a bite and mumbling happily, Matt told Jess he liked it.

“I’m so proud that you’re doing something totally different from what you normally do. That’s really good. And it tastes delicious.”

On Twitter, one fan asked: “Isn’t Matt tasting Jess food before cheating?”

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The dish may have been “delicious”, but it didn’t get chosen as one of the three dishes judges Gary Mehigan and Matt would taste for the round – which may or may not have been because one judge had already had tasted it.

Instead, Gary and Matt chose cutlets, a schnitzel and meatballs – something that further annoyed fans.

As one viewer put it: “So basically all u had to do was crumb something and you hit the brief with making the bread the star of the dish”.

Others suggested it should have been the “breadcrumb challenge” if dishes that would really highlight bread like french toast, bread and butter pudding or a sandwich weren’t tasted.

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Of the three dishes the judges officially tasted, Gina Ottaway’s chicken schnitzel with Italian potato salad won the challenge, making her the first person through with a shot at immunity this week.

Jess and the other contestants were left to cook something from spaghetti bolognese ingredients. That round saw Reece Hignall, Sashi Cheliah and Khan Nguyen also able to cook for an immunity pin, while Sarah Clare, Hoda Kobeissi and Lisa Diep will face an elimination pressure test.

It seems there will be no justice for Jess.

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