MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 - week 2 PREVIEW

The  Staff Canteen

The sixth series of MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 continues as Michelin-starred  Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti and seasoned diner Gregg Wallace search for a culinary talent exceptional enough to take the 2013 coveted title.

In this second half hour heat, eight ambitious chefs from all over the country begin their bid when they face their first test set by Monica – the Invention Test.

In tonight’s challenge the eight chefs must make one dish using a section of just seven ingredients: sardines, Camembert, endive, cucumber, caped gooseberries, pistachios and pomegranate. But before they get a chance, Monica cooks a dish for Gregg using the same ingredients, in the same amount of time - just one hour.

It’s a terrifying demonstration of the standard of food she expects and what is possible in the time. Next it’s the eight hopeful chefs turn to create their dish. They must hold their nerve and take the opportunity to catch the judges’ attention from the start, but for the right reasons.  

For now, they are all safe but the group of eight is split and tomorrow night the first four chefs return to face three more tests - Monica’s much feared Skills Test followed by Michel Roux Jr’s demanding Classics challenges. After this both Monica and Michel decide who has earnt a place in the Quarter Finals and who will be leaving the competition for good.

Tuesday 12th November

In tonight’s one-hour show, four of the eight chefs from yesterday’s heat return to face three daunting tests, before Monica and Michel decide their fate.  It’s their last chance to show they are serious about the competition before one of them is sent home. First up it’s Monica and Gregg’s infamous Skills Test. The judges give the chefs just twelve minutes each to skin a whole Dover sole and cook a portion on the bone. Against the clock, they must impress Monica with their filleting skills as well as delivering a dish tasty enough to please Gregg.

 Any mistakes now could seriously damage their chances of continuing in the competition. Next, the chefs face Michelin starred legend Michel Roux Jr for the first time when he sets them two Classics Tests. For the first challenge Michel cooks Roast Saddle of Hare with Red Wine and Mustard sauce, before giving the chefs one hour to cook the dish from a basic recipe that contains no weights and measures.

Cooking game to perfection is a true test of their craft but they must also show that they can make a sauce to match. Finally, the four are asked to cook their own choice of classic dish for Michel in just one hour, before he is joined by Monica to decide which chef will leave the competition. Only the best three chefs will go through to the Quarter Final and move a step closer to winning the title of Professional MasterChef.  

Wednesday 13th November

In tonight’s one hour show, the remaining four chefs from Monday’s heat must show off their culinary ability in a series of daunting tests before one of them is eliminated. First they must keep a cool head in Monica’s terrifying Skills Test before facing Michel Roux Jr’s Classics challenges. Then Monica and Michel will come together to decide which chef will leave the competition. For the Skills Test Monica and Gregg ask the chefs to make potato gnocchi and serve it with a garnish or sauce of their choice, in just twelve minutes. The chefs must draw on their repertoire and work under pressure to deliver a stand out plate that will impress the judges. Any errors could become costly.

Next, the chefs face Michelin starred legend Michel Roux Jr for the first time when he sets them two Classics Tests. First Michel cooks Roast John Dory with Artichoke Barigoule - a Provençale way of cooking baby artichokes. If they want to impress Michel the chefs must show off their filleting skills, cook the fish faultlessly and make a Barigoule packed with flavour and soft tender artichokes. They have one hour to do justice to Michel’s dish before being given one more chance to wow when they must cook a Classic of their own choice for the Michelin starred chef. Monica then joins Michel as they look back on the tests and decide which chef to send home. Only the best three chefs will go through to the Quarter Final and move a step closer to winning the title of Professional MasterChef.

Thursday 14th November

This week’s six best chefs return for the Quarter Finals. With just two places in the semi-finals up for grabs, this is where the battle really begins. First the chefs must show Michel and Monica that they have what it takes with a dish of their own invention. Choosing from a range of ingredients including salmon, Cuttle fish, chocolate, samphire, beetroot and aubergine, they have just one hour too cook a sweet or savoury dish that wows the judges. Anything less may not be good enough as after this first challenge Monica and Michel send two chefs home.

The best four chefs then face their most nerve racking test to date - they must showcase their skills to three of the UK’s toughest restaurant critics: Charles Campion, Tracey MacLeod and Jay Rayner. With only an hour and a quarter, the remaining chefs must deliver a jaw dropping two-course menu - their MasterChef future depends on it. Only the two most talented chefs will go through to the Semi Finals and stand a chance of becoming this year’s Professional MasterChef.  

>>> See Danny Kingston's blog on the first week of MasterChef: The Professionals here

>>> See our editorial on past MasterChef: The Professionals winners here

>>> Read more about Masterchef: The Professionals 2013 here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th November 2013

MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 - week 2 PREVIEW