MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 - week 4 by Monica Turnbull

The Staff Canteen

Is it the MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 kitchen or Willy Wonka’s factory? With fish cooked in dung and candy floss trees it could be hard to tell!

The weird and wonderful week of dishes got off to a bumpy start when judge, and former head chef at La Gavroche restaurant, Monica Galetti asked the MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 contestants to produce filled pasta in the skills test.

Scottish chef Tasso impressed with his pasta rolling skills while head chef Adam received some risen eye brows from the judges after saying he would rather roll out his dough than use the pasta machine “because you get a better connection with it.” Presenter Gregg Wallace asked “how close do you like to get to your ingredients?”

more connection with the dough

French-born chef Eduardo also induced looks of panic during the skills test. However, while Monica Galetti, said he was clearly out of practice making pasta, Gregg said the dish tasted a lot better than he expected.
The contestants had a lot to prove with their signature dishes and head chef Jon definitely did that. Two-Michelin starred chef Marcus was left speechless, almost, by his jacket potato skin stuffed with cauliflower. Marcus said “I’m shocked” and that the dish was “a delight”.

Tom served lamb rump with cauliflower cous cous and chocolate sauce. The judges said the lamb was nice, the cauliflower cous cous was OK but the chocolate sauce received resounding nos. In fact Marcus said “no” many, many times.
When the judges made their decision Eduardo, Adam and Tom were sent home. Monica and Marcus sent Emrah, Jon and Tasso through to cook for the critics.

Wednesday night saw the last six contestants put through their paces in the heats. Marcus set the contestants the challenge of cooking veal neck sweetbread with a garnish and sauce of their choice from the larder.

Speedy sous chef Soham received mixed feedback for his invention. Marcus said he had “the makings of a sensational dish” but the sweetbreads were undercooked.

Sarah managed to shock the judges with her attempt. The salt-loving chef said she likes to use a lot of seasoning and left Monica reaching for a glass of water after trying her extra salty sweetbreads.

too salty for normal people

However marathon man Matt managed to impress. The private chef served the sweetbread with vegetables and a veal jus. The judges warned Matt to be careful with timing but praised his working methods.

Matt then served a show stopping signature dish for the judges which received incredible praise from Marcus, who described his cod cheeks with seaweed as “the best signature dish I’ve ever tasted on MasterChef.” Wow!

Nervous Chris served seaweed butter-poached halibut which Marcus described as “fabulously cooked” for his signature dish. Marcus also praised Chris’ flavours but said that he needed to season his food a little more.
When the judges came to make their decision, Soham, who was criticised again for rushing his cooking, was sent home along with Sarah and Callum.

Thursday saw the six remaining contestants asked to cook a dish using herbs, spices, citrus or a combination of all three.
Tom was first to the pass with his five spice duck breast with grapefruit segments. The judges had been sceptical about the combination but Marcus said that he liked the freshness that the grapefruit brought to the dish.

Emrah cooked pork fillet with preserved lemon. Monica said that the pork was “a bit of a let down” and Marcus commented that he was disappointed with the lack of lemon.

After the invention test Monica and Marcus decided that Emrah and Tasso were to leave the competition.
Chris was first to serve the critics – Jay Rayner, Grace Dent and Amol Rajan – on Thursday. While they enjoyed his Scottish Wagyu sirloin served with confit potatoes and burnt onions, they said that there was nothing exciting about it.

The disaster of the night came for Tom. His dessert was presented as a heap of creamy liquid with a glass of liquid granita on the side. The critics felt sorry for Tom but Amol Rajan said “the fact is we know this has gone wrong at every stage.”

Matt served last and managed to shock and wow the judges with his sheep’s dung smoked fish. Jay Rayner said “if this is what happens when sheeps dung gets involved in cooking, I want more of it.” Who would have dirt smoked food would be so tasty?

smoked fish

When the judges made their decision it was Jon who was asked to leave the competition. Tom Moody, sous chef at  Lower Slaughter Manor; Chris Niven, head chef at the Principal in Edinburgh and private chef Matt Campbell, all live to cook another day!

Knock out week is set to be nail biting!

By Monica Turnbull
Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

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MasterChef: The Professionals 2017 - week 4 by Monica Turnbull