MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 - week 4 by Monica Turnbull

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th November 2018

The competition was too hot to handle for some MasterChef: the Professionals contestants this week as the last three chefs were put through to knockout week.

On Tuesday Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing set the first skills test: pork-filled ravioli with a chasseur sauce. The MasterChef: the Professionals contestants created varyingly skilled versions with only head chef Matthew Ryle producing a decent plate and really good chasseur sauce which impressed the judges.

Matthew 2

Chef owner of Mere restaurant, Monica Galetti, then asked three chefs to serve another classic: oysters Rockefeller. The gratin-topped shellfish proved too difficult for some. Head chef Dave wrestled with the oysters before ripping them, then served them anyway. Only Will proved himself, receiving praise from host Gregg Wallace while Monica approved his oyster preparation.

The chefs all came with a point to prove in their signature dishes. Chef patron Max even giving his heart, well shaved heart on his venison dish, to win his place in the next round. The judges liked it and said it dish required a lot of skill to make.

However Matthew’s seabream dish stole the limelight. The fish was served alongside oyster sauce and crispy oyster. The judges loved it. Gregg said it was ‘serious quality’.

Matthew 3

Matthew was put straight through to the quarter final with Max and Dave, who managed to secure his place with a winning cauliflower cheese. Will and Tara were asked to leave along with head chef Ross whose dish Monica described as ‘death by pickling!’

When the next batch of contestants entered the kitchen they faced a sweet skills test. Marcus asked them to prepare caramelised pineapple. Sous chef Simon kicked things off badly by going through a ‘weird’ process to prepare his pineapple.

Marcus1

Monica then asked three chefs to prepare chicken oysters with pomme purée and crispy chicken skin. These oysters also proved very tricky to tackle.

Junior sous chef Heritier struggled to source his from the bird as did private chef Chris. Monica also said his pomme purée was gross!

Laurence managed to surprise the judges with his signature dish of mackerel three ways with beetroot. Monica and Marcus weren’t sure how he would make the dish stand out but Marcus said ‘I would be happy to pay for that in a restaurant.’ You won’t get higher praise than that.

Head chef Oli who cooked Dover sole in seaweed with scallops and seaweed left the judges disappointed. Although they liked the fish and sauce, Monica said she was really disappointed that the fish hadn’t cooked properly and Marcus said it had the ‘makings’ of a really good dish.

Heritier, whose dish was ‘strikingly different’, along with Susan and Chris – whom Gregg asked if there’d been a ‘national lamb shortage’ when he served – were sent home. Laurence, Simon and Oli were put through to the next round.

On Thursday the contestants were faced an interesting key ingredient: eggs.

Eggs

Laurence chose to cook them slowly, for 45 minutes, in fact. Monica was initially worried about the slow cooking however the judges loved it and Marcus said it was a solid piece of cooking.

Oli also shone with his ‘posh brunch’. Marcus was impressed with his creativity and loved his eggy bread.

Oli

However Dave’s frangipane tart stole the show. Monica and Marcus cooed over the dessert which was served with cardamom custard and said they were impressed with his skills. It was hailed a sensation.

Dave

Dave was put through to cook for the critics along with Matthew, Laurence and Oli. Simon and Max, who the judges said didn’t meet the brief, were sent home.

Laurence was first to serve the critics roast canon of lamb with sweetbreads. He set the bar so high that Jay Rayner said ‘I have literally nothing critical to say about this dish’, leaving a tough challenge for the other chefs.

Unfortunately Oli didn’t impress as he’d have hoped to; the critics thought the pigeon was undercooked and Amol Rajan said he’ tried too hard. Matthew also failed to claim high praise with his soufflé which Jay said was OK although William Sitwell would have just liked a serving of ‘sublime’ basil sorbet.

Dave had a mixed service. The critics enjoyed his take on fish and chips which included halibut, tartar sauce, salt and pepper pomme purée and tempura sorrel. However his dessert was a real fondant fiasco. After overcooking his first batch he cooked another which was raw. Oh dear…

When it came down to the final decision Marcus and Monica decided it was Dave’s time to leave, meaning Laurence, Matthew and Oli as the final three chefs heading to knockout week.

By Monica Turnbull

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th November 2018

MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 - week 4 by Monica Turnbull