MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 - week 2 by Monica Turnbull

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th November 2018

There has been a lot of fishy goings on in the MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 kitchen this week as the judges dished out places in the next round to three more talented chefs.

Seasoned judges Monica Galetti, chef owner of London restaurant Mere and Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing are once again joined by host Gregg Wallace to test the MasterChef: The Professionals contestants.

Tuesday night saw Marcus set the first fishy challenge when he asked the  contestants to serve monkfish in a spiced tomato sauce. Cookery teacher Ian received top marks from Monica for his attempt at the skills test when she hailed his monkfish dish ‘not a bad attempt.’ High praise indeed.

Monica then set the tricky challenge of preparing a Scotch egg made with quails eggs. The task got the better of head chef Richard, who was left with just one egg for his offering and it was declared too salty to eat. Unfortunately sous chef Elisabeth found the Scotch eggs so difficult that she almost gave Monica and fellow judge Gregg Wallace a dowsing with hot oil. And the meat was served raw. Not a très bien beginning.


The chefs then prepared their signatures dish. Sous chef Keelan aimed to secure his place in the quarter final with scallops and an unusual accompaniment: pineapple salsa. Sadly the judges found it just too fruity.

Ian once again impressed Monica, and Marcus said that there wasn’t ‘a lot [he] didn’t like’ about his dish of lamb, with lamb shoulder bon bons and lamb jus. He was first to be sent through to the quarter final. He was joined by Elisabeth and Mark, who also prepared lamb with an onion and wild garlic tart.

Despite his best efforts, Richard’s wasn’t a saving bouillabaisse. The addition of lemon curd - that’s right, lemon curd - wasn’t a winning combination and Richard was sent home with Jake and Keelan.

On Wednesday, Marcus set another fishy skills test, this time asking the contestants to prepare poached plaice with a classic beurre blanc sauce. Sous chef Sean Norton rose to the challenge and wowed with his dish. However head chef Mark shocked Marcus when he filleted and skinned the plaice at the same time.

Richard - MasterChef The Professionals week 2

Monica then gave three chefs 20 minutes to make a traditional baked Alaska. Unfortunately for Jacqueline, owner of a catering company, she made French meringue instead of Italian meringue. Oops!

The ambitious chef then baffled the judges with her signature dish of scallops with wild garlic and cheese croquettes, quails eggs and a beurre blanc sauce. Monica and Marcus, who said “there are a lot of ingredients going into this,” didn’t think the quails egg belonged on the plate.

Sous chef David impressed with his signature dish: brine torched mackerel with a Caribbean run down sauce of tomato, chilli and coconut. The judges wanted a little more heat but said they would like to see him cook again and David was sent through to the quarter final.

David - MasterChef The Professionals week 2

Sean also made the cut, impressing Marcus with his breadth of culinary skills. And Tristan, who beamed from ear to ear, also headed through to the next round.

Sadly Jacqueline, who admitted she’d tried too hard, was sent home along with Mark and senior sous chef Wali, who also included too many elements in his dish.

Thursday night saw the remaining six competitors challenged by a humble key in ingredient: the potato.

Chef de partie Mark served a leek and potato tart consisting of leek fondue and potato espuma. Marcus said he "nailed the brief". Senior sous chef Sean also impressed. He served his own take own leek and potato soup which Marcus hailed ‘exquisite.’

Unfortunately, some of the chefs failed to meet the challenge. Ian was left disappointed when the judges found fault with his purple potato risotto, while Tristan’s dish, which involved potato three ways, was ‘crying out’ for flavour. Both chefs were sent home.

The remaining three contestants were then sent to cook for the critics: Jay Rayner, Tracey McLeod and Tom Parker Bowles.

Elisabeth ensured the judges were hungry for her two courses by serving both late. Thankfully her dessert, apricot soufflé with cardamom ice cream, sweetened them up. Tom said he would be happy to eat it again.

Elisabeth- MasterChef The Professionals week 2

Sean plated up last and while they didn’t appreciate his poem, the critics cooed over his main course of squab pigeon. Tracey said it was one of the best pigeon dishes she had ever eaten.

The perfect plate put Sean straight through to the next round along with Elisabeth and Mark who was praised for his pan fried brill and potato risotto. Unfortunately David, whose Caribbean inspired menu failed to wow the critics, was sent home.

What tricky tests will the new set of chefs face next week?

By Monica Turnbull

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th November 2018

MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 - week 2 by Monica Turnbull