MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 - week 6 by Monica Turnbull

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th December 2016

The competition was hot this week in the MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 semi-finals.

Judges Monica Galetti, formerly of Le Gavroche restaurant, and two Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, whittled the MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 contestants down from eight to four in a series of gruelling challenges.

Tuesday’s episode saw all of the semi-finalists create a dish dedicated to someone who had inspired them in their cooking career. James recreated a British classic in honour of his daughter Alexandra: fish and chips, and said of the dish “that was me cooking with love.” He was praised for the sharp flavour of vinegar running through the dish and Greg said it was “lovely.”

The dish whisked James through to the next round along with Matt, while the six remaining chefs were asked to cook again. In a challenge set by Greg, the chefs were given a plethora of fruit and vegetables to choose from and asked to cook a vegetarian dish.

MasterChef: The Professionals 2016

Talented sous chef Ellie presented a vichyssoise soup thickened with potatoes, served with quail eggs and apples. She was praised by Marcus for creating a “very clever dish” although Greg disagreed with both Marcus and Monica.

Despite creating a “clever dish” of marinated tofu, roasted aubergine, rice and an Asian dressing, Wayne was sent home. After much deliberation, Marcus and Monica also sent flamboyant chef Rich home.
Wednesday night saw French chef Arnoud, Ellie and James cook in the kitchen of Michelin-starred chef Alyn Williams, at The Westbury who previously worked for Marcus Wareing.

After not having cooked in a kitchen for 10 years Arnoud struggled to keep with the pace. However customers complimented the delectable starter he was cooking: lobster taco with gazpacho, guacamole and edible flowers.

Day two saw the chefs recreate one of Alyn’s signature dishes: pan fried turbot with aerated bouillabaisse, rouille and ratatouille, with some success. The dishes were praised for the cooking of the fish, but were a little lack lustre in seasoning.
Day three saw the chefs return to the MasterChef kitchen to create two dishes – main course and dessert – for Marcus and Monica.

Arnoud stepped up to the plate with his African inspired dish of pigeon with samosa and African herbs. His dessert consisted of limoncello cake with sultanas and lemon curd. Marcus gushed over the plate, saying “I think this dish is an absolute knock out.”

Ellie presented a “lovely dish” of seabass, creamed summer sweetcorn with a chorizo bon bon.

James served halibut with a Bourguignonne sauce. Once again the chef was criticised for under seasoning, so, sadly, Monica and Marcus decided that his prolific lack of seasoning meant that he should leave the competition.

MasterChef: The Professionals

Thursday saw the next three semi-finalists descend on a Michelin star kitchen. Australian chef Brenton, Gary and Matt were sent to cook in the restaurant at Gravetye Manor for head chef George Blogg.
George trained to cook under famous chefs Phil Howard and David Everitt-Matthias, of Le Champignon Sauvage. Gravetye Manor models its menus around the rambling kitchen garden, thus the MasterChef contestants cooked dishes involving a selection of fresh vegetables and edible flowers.

Matt cooked a starter of quail breast and confit thigh; Gary dished up a main course of John Dory with courgette three ways; Brenton plated up a dessert of caramel fondant with cherries.

There were only a couple of sticky moments as Gary struggled to get his swipe right on the plate, Brenton kept diners waiting when one of his fondants split. Despite the cringe-worthy moments, Gary’s John Dory was hailed “a magical dish” by one diner and another said dessert was “the star of the show.” Ooh la la!

Day two saw the chefs’ return to Gravetye Manor to explore the kitchen garden and recreate one of George’s signature dishes: garden salad.
Brenton’s version of the meal was described as “summer on a plate” while Matt’s tricky version combined roasted, pickled and fresh vegetables.

After success in the Michelin star kitchen, the semi-finalists again returned to the MasterChef kitchen to cook two dishes each for Marcus and Monica, with added flair learnt from George.
Gary was criticised once again for serving his dessert of chocolate covered sorbet with honeycomb on half of the plate. Meanwhile Brenton received mixed praise for his yuzu posset and Australian inspired cake. And Matt was criticised for undercooking the pastry on his lemon tart with Italian meringue. Despite all the extra training, the chefs still crack under the pressure…

When it came to the crunch, Marcus and Monica still struggled to decide who should leave the competition. After much deliberating, they decided it was Brenton’s time to leave.
Next week’s much-anticipated final sees the four finalists cook for some of the best chefs in the industry.

By Monica Turnbull
Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

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

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th December 2016

MasterChef: The Professionals 2016 - week 6 by Monica Turnbull