MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 - week 3 by Monica Turnbull

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th November 2017

From a reggae loving baker to electric strawberries, it has been a week of the weird and wonderful in the MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 kitchen.

On Tuesday the chefs got off to a shaky start in the skills test, set by two-Michelin starred chef Marcus Wareing, which required the MasterChef: The Professionals contestants 2017 to make an Italian meringue with fruit and garnish of their choice.

French head chef Alan shocked judge Monica Galettie, formerly of Le Gavroche restaurant and now chef-proprietor of Mere, when he announced he would bring the temperature of the sugar to 220°c before correcting himself and saying 120°c. When the dessert made it to the plate presenter Gregg Wallace described it as “warm peaches and soggy biscuit”. Yikes.

how hot featured

In the signature dish round Craig wowed the judges with his lamb which he served with salsa verde and potato puree. Monica said to the 21-year-old “you’ve caught my attention and I’d like you to just keep going”. At the end of the second task the judges decided to send Bradley, who had a shaky skills test, Alan and Stephen home.

On Tuesday laid back chef Jack, who said his goal was to bake bread whilst listening to reggae music, had some issues with his pigeon dish during the skills test. Marcus said “it might look like a dogs’ dinner but wow does it taste good” and Jack was told to start taking the competition seriously.

Pastry chef David had some issues with hygiene, placing the cooked pigeon on a tray with raw meat. Gregg quipped “you have seven minutes left to poison us” and commented that his working practice has health and safety issues.

poison pigeon feature

Louisa wanted to prove herself with her signature dish and put herself under a lot of pressure. She served rib eye of Waygu beef and miso-glazed Denver cut of beef with a plethora of garnishes and an aniseed sauce. The judges cooed over the meat and Monica said Louisa “piqued her curiosity”.

Brett also impressed with his dish of rump beef, cauliflower cheeses with bone marrow and truffle and a beef and madeira sauce. Gregg said “that cauliflower, mate, you had me at the first mouthful of that. Truffle, bone marrow, meaty, heady, I think it’s lovely.”

After the second task the judges decided that David - who was devastated his dessert wasn’t well received – Jack and Sayan were to leave. Peter, Louisa and Brett headed to the quarter final.

Monica and Marcus tasked the six quarter finalists with the challenge of inventing a dish with one, or any combination of citrus, herbs and spices in last night’s quarter final.

Chris was first to serve his Moroccan inspired dish which used citrus and herbs. The chicken was marinated in tahini paste, preserved lemon, paprika and ginger. The judges liked it but said the chicken was lost in the sweetness of the honey. Chris was sent home after the first task.

Also knocked out after the invention test was Peter who used spice and citrus for his vegetarian offering. He served cumin cauliflower with aubergine crisps and an aubergine paste blended with tahini and curry powder. The judges said they liked Peter’s ambition but his flavours weren’t strong enough.

The last for quarter finalists were then tasked in cooking for the food critics: Jay Rayner, Tracey MacLeod and William Sitwell.
Craig impressed food writer Jay who said he would be stealing the young chef’s squid in cauliflower puree invention. His dessert, goats cheese mousse with compressed apple and a white chocolate aero, also had their tongues wagging. Although worried that the pudding was going to be too savoury, the critics said it was sweet enough and Marcus hailed it “outstanding.”

wow dessert featured

Brett received mixed reviews for for his main course of brill with pickled clams, kohlrabi and apples. While William Sitwell didn’t like it because of the kohlrabi, Jay Rayner said he was “baffled” by anyone who didn’t like it.
Louisa, whose main course was hailed “really interesting” by William Sitwell, also received some tough comments about her dessert, which included ‘electric’ strawberries, which the critics found to be too much. Tracey MacLeod said that she didn’t get the electrifying effect from the strawberries as it was lost in the other flavours.

When the judges made their decision it was private chef Lee who was sent home. His main course was said to be under seasoned and he didn’t turn his madeleines into a show stopping dessert. So going through to knockout is Craig Johnston, sous chef, Royal Oak Paley Street, Louisa Ellis, senior chef de partie, The Wilderness and Brett Connor, junior development chef at Blueberry Foods

Now the bar has been raised next week looks set to be tough for the last twelve contestants fighting for the three remaining places in knock out week!

By Monica Turnbull
Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th November 2017

MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 - week 3 by Monica Turnbull