MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 - week 3 by Monica Turnbull

The  Staff Canteen

Masterchef: The Professionals 2016 went from hell’s kitchen to food heaven this week. Blogger Monica Turnbull shares all the action from week three.

Judges Monica Galetti, formerly of Le Gavroche restaurant and two Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing were served everything from carbonara with burnt bacon bits to heavenly reinvented steak and kidney pie by the Masterchef: The Professionals 2016 contestants.

During Tuesday night’s show Max got off to a rocky start when cooking tagliatelle carbonara for Monica’s skills test. However he managed to impress with what host Greg Wallace called “perfect pasta”. The other two contestants completing Monica’s test did not impress in the same way. 24-year-old chef Adam was criticised for scrambling the eggs in his dish, while Ruaraidh’s version of the Italian classic could be called nothing but a pasta disaster! Marcus told him “forget this ever happened.”

Marcus’s skills test – taramasalata with scallops and crab - highlighted some embarrassing gaps in knowledge. While Simon, a head chef for an events company in London, managed to plate up a good attempt, South African born Nina started making the Greek dip with avocado and Matt had never heard of it, and thought the cod roe was foie gras…

The signature dishes also proved a challenge. After ‘pasta gate’ Ruaraidh tried to redeem himself by attempting to make ravioli, much to the dismay of the judges, as Greg said: “Once again, the pasta isn’t cooked properly.” Nina baffled the judges with a dish of pan fried salmon, with strawberry and basil risotto, pink peppercorn sauce, asparagus and a balsamic glaze. During preparation, Marcus told her “you do know that strawberries and risotto don’t go, don’t you?” After eating it, he said: “There’s a weird flavour about this dish. For me it’s all wrong.”

Unsurprisingly, Nina was sent home, but not before she proclaimed: “They’re just not used to those flavours and that’s unfortunate.” Ruaraidh and Matt also left. Simon, Max and Adam went through to the quarter final.

Wednesday night saw a new set of contestants set the bar for the rest of the competition. During Marcus’s skills test of John Dory with polenta, Kamarl was “cool, calm and together” and presented a good plate of food, while development chef Zoe impressed with her “love of food.” However during her skills test of lamb tartare with confit of egg yolk, Monica looked like she was going to cry or scream. During Theordore’s attempt at butchering the lamb she looked exasperated.

MasterChef: The Professionals

Andrew, 28, from Coventry managed to save the day when they hailed his version “maybe the best skills test we have ever had.” The signature dishes wowed the judges. Zoe’s carrot cake spiced with cardamom, with flavours of carrot cake: coffee syrup, sesame brittle and carrot puree. Marcus told her “I love your warped cake mind.”

Andrew’s black forest gateau dessert was described as “stunning” and “a delight wherever you stick your spoon.” Unsurprisingly, Zoe and Andrew, along with Andy – who lost the Chef of the Year competition to Gordon Ramsay one year – and Wayne, were sent through to the quarter finals. Theodore and Kamarl were sent home.

After the success of Wednesday night’s heat, Thursday promised to be an impressive quarter final. Marcus and Monica asked the contestants to reinvent the classic British dish steak and kidney pie. Despite a pastry blunder from Adam and Andy’s meat being so tough Marcus couldn’t eat it, the rest impressed.

When Simon presented his pot of steak and kidney stew, with delicious Stilton running through it and a crisp puff pastry lid, Marcus declared that he had taken steak and kidney pie to a whole new level. It looked mouth-wateringly good. After the reinvention test there was a triple A exit: Andrew, Andy and Adam were asked to leave. Simon, Zoe and Max and Wayne were asked to cook for the critics.

This week saw the return of The Observer’s food critic Jay Rayner, critic for The Independent Tracey Macleod and editor of Waitrose magazine William Sitwell. First to present their dish was Simon, who appeared panicked. Marcus and Monica asked him “can you just calm down.” Unfortunately his ice cream never set and his chocolate dessert flopped. Tracey Macleod said “his chocolate tastes like pan scrapings.”

The stand out dish was Max’s: cod loin with Jersey Royal potatoes and a cucumber gazpacho. William Sitwell was delighted with how creamy it was and Marcus described it as light, fresh and vibrant. Finally after some jibes about the title ‘torched scallops’, Wayne’s dish of cod fillet with scallops and a blue cheese sauce was hailed fantastic and Marcus said it was “the best dressed plate of food we’ve had today.” Sadly Simon was asked to leave, while Wayne, Max and Zoe move onto the next round.

By: Monica Turnbull

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

>>> Read more about MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 here

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Editor 25th November 2016

MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 - week 3 by Monica Turnbull