MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 - week 6 by Monica Turnbull

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th December 2018

The table is laid for a decadent MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 final following a simmering semi-final week.

On Tuesday judges Monica Galetti, of Mere restaurant, Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing and Gregg Wallace threw the MasterChef: The Professionals contestants in at the deep end by asking them to cook a poignant dish which began their love affair with food.

Head Chef Oli Martin from Hipping Hall took an interesting take on a family classic, spaghetti Bolognese, by turning it into a dessert. The wacky creation impressed the judges with Monica exclaiming “you nutter. Don’t change. It works.”

Sous chef Sean also impressed with a dish nostalgic of his childhood in South Africa, bobotie. The pork dish, which was new to the judges, was said to be delicious.

Oli Martin took an interesting take on a family classic, spaghetti Bolognese, by turning it into a dessert

After all eight chefs had cooked the judges were to choose two to go straight through to the next stage however the decision proved so tough they chose three: private chef Dean Banks, Matthew Ryle who until recently was head chef at Isabel in Mayfair and head chef Oli.

The remaining five contestants then took part in an invention test to win their place in the next round. Unfortunately there was a parfait palaver for two chefs which cost one their place.

Restaurant Sat Bains sous chef, Laurence Henry, served an elderflower and strawberry parfait however disaster struck just before serving: the parfait was not set. Laurence used dry ice to set the dessert quickly, and thankfully, it worked. The judges not only praised the pudding but also his quick thinking.

Laurence served an elderflower and strawberry parfait

Senior sous chef William also faced catastrophe with an unset parfait and decided to turn his into a soft set cream. Sadly the judges said it didn’t work and William was sent home.

Head chef Michelle also left the competition. Laurence, sous chef Luke and sous chef Sean were sent through to the next round.

On Wednesday the first trio of contestants were sent to Lympstone Manor to cook for Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines.

The first task they faced was to recreate one of Michael’s signature dishes: lobster fricassee with summer vegetables. Oli, Luke and head chef Matthew all made their own tweaks to the dish and impressed Michael.

Contestants 2
the first trio of contestants were sent to Lympstone Manor to cook for Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines

Next it was on to their biggest challenge: service in his kitchen. Luke was put in charge of the quail mousse raviolo starter while Oli cooked a duck main course and Matthew served a braised brille main course.

Michael encouraged Luke to improve his presentation and Matthew and Oli to work with each other of get their main courses out at the same time. When service was finished Michael told the chefs “your performance was worth offering you all jobs.” What a compliment?

The chefs then headed back to the MasterChef kitchen to cook two courses and secure their place in the final.

Luke used his experience at Lympstone Manor to create a lobster dish with lobster bisque. Marcus said the sauce was a “knockout.”

Oli served hogget with smoked oyster sauce and sea sandwort. Gregg was intrigued by the unusual ingredient. He commented that he had never tasted anything like it.

Matthew 5
Matthew impressed the judges with his show-stopping dessert

Matthew impressed the judges with his show-stopping dessert. He served a chocolate sphere with passionfruit cream and popping candy which Monica said it was “just delightful.”

The judges then had the difficult job of choosing someone to leave. Unfortunately Luke was sent home and Oli and Matthew became the first two finalists.

Thursday saw the next three semi-finalists head to Padstow, Cornwall, to cook alongside Paul Ainsworth AT No 6. The Michelin-starred chef introduced the contestants to his kitchen with a masterclass in one of his signature dishes: Cornish duck with Peking tea and pick your own salad.

Sean 3
Sean cooking Paul’s take on quiche Lorraine

Afterwards the chefs served their version of the dish. Sous chef Sean and sous chef Laurence both impressed Paul however he praised private chef Dean for really putting his own spin on his plate.

Next the chefs worked lunchtime service in with Sean cooking Paul’s take on quiche Lorraine, Dean a chicken main course and Laurence with the mammoth task of creating Paul’s A Fairground Tale trio of desserts.

Having been out of a restaurant kitchen for years, Dean was a little slow however Paul was impressed with his improvement during service. Meanwhile he named Laurence ‘man of the match’.

Back in the MasterChef kitchen the chefs began work on the two courses for the judges.

Laurence 5
Laurence’s unusual dessert caught the judges’ attention

Laurence’s unusual dessert caught the judges’ attention: his own take on a peanut butter and jam sandwich. The pudding split the judges’ opinions, leaving him concerned for his place in the final.

Unfortunately the judges found Sean’s whisky cured salmon dish with flavours of apple too challenging and he was sent home. Laurence and Dean headed through to the final.

The four finalists are ready. It’s going to be an exciting week!

By Monica Turnbull

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th December 2018

MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 - week 6 by Monica Turnbull