Masterchef: The Professionals 2013 - week 3 PREVIEW

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th November 2013

The sixth series of MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 continues as Michelin-starred Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti and seasoned diner Gregg Wallace search for a culinary talent exceptional enough to take the 2013 coveted title.

It’s the third week of heats and eight ambitious chefs from all over the country begin their bid when they face their first test set by Monica – the Invention Test.

In tonight’s challenge the eight chefs must make one dish using a section of just seven ingredients: brown crabmeat, sea purslane, aubergine, baby fennel, mango, ricotta and coconut. But before they get their chance, Monica cooks a dish for Gregg from the same ingredients, in the same amount of time - just one hour. It’s a terrifying demonstration of the standard of food she expects and what is possible in the time.

Next it’s the eight hopeful chefs turn to create their dish. They must hold their nerve and take the opportunity to catch the judges’ attention from the start, but for the right reasons. For now, they are all safe but the group of eight is split and tomorrow night the first four chefs return to face three more tests - Monica’s much feared Skills Test followed by Michel Roux Jr’s demanding Classics challenges.

After this both Monica and Michel decide who has earnt a place in the Quarter Finals and who will be leaving the competition for good.

 Tuesday 19th November

In tonight’s one-hour show, four of the eight chefs from yesterday’s heat return to face three daunting tests, before Monica and Michel decide their fate.  It’s their last chance to show they are serious about the competition before one of them is sent home. First up it’s Monica and Gregg’s infamous Skills Test. The judges give the chefs ten minutes each to make a savoury sabayon and use it to make a glaze for some seafood. With a sweet sabayon being more common in most chefs repertoires, this will not only test how they work under pressure but also their ability to adapt what they already know. Any mistakes now could seriously damage their chances of continuing in the competition.

Next, the chefs face Michelin starred legend Michel Roux Jr for the first time when he sets them two Classics Tests. For the first challenge Michel makes a French Pork Pie stuffed with Chestnuts and Apple and served with a British salad cream. The chefs have one hour to recreate his dish from a basic recipe that contains no weights and measures. The pressure is on as they must serve up the prefect pie, with a crisp outside and moist inside, for Michel. Finally, the four are asked to cook their own choice of classic dish for Michel in just one hour, before he is joined by Monica to decide which chef will leave the competition. Only the best three chefs will go through to the Quarter Final and move a step closer to winning the title of Professional MasterChef.

 Wednesday 20th November

 In tonight’s one hour show, the remaining four chefs from Monday’s heat must show off their culinary ability in a series of daunting tests before one of them is eliminated. First they must keep a cool head in Monica’s terrifying Skills Test before facing Michel Roux Jr’s Classics challenges. Then Monica and Michel will come together to decide which chef will leave the competition. For the Skills Test Monica and Gregg give the chefs ten minutes to shape bread rolls, a baguette ad a four plait from bread dough. This tests the chefs’ pastry skills and their knowledge of bread making, all of which are vital to now show off, as this is their last chance to impress Monica.

Next, the chefs face Michelin starred legend Michel Roux Jr for the first time when he sets them two Classics Tests. First Michel cooks “Veloute de Coquillages au Champagne Parfume a la Muscade” – an elegant fish soup made with champagne. If they want to impress Michel it is up to the chefs to do justice to this celebration of seafood by preparing and cooking the seafood properly, making a light, creamy veloute and presenting the dish with panache. They have one hour to do justice to Michel’s dish before being given one more chance to impress when they must cook a Classic of their own choice for the Michelin starred chef. Monica then joins Michel as they look back on the tests and decide which chef to send home. Only the best three chefs will go through to the Quarter Final and move a step closer to winning the title of Professional MasterChef.

Thursday 21st November

This week’s six best chefs return for the Quarter Finals. With just two places in the semi-finals up for grabs, this is where the battle really begins. First the chefs must show Michel and Monica that they have what it takes with a dish of their own invention. Choosing from a range of ingredients including neck of lamb, rabbit, chorizo, rhubarb, apricot and amaretto, they have an hour to cook a sweet or savoury dish that knocks the judges off their feet, anything less could cost them their place in the competition. After this first challenge Monica and Michel will send two chefs home.

The best four chefs then face their most nerve racking test to date - they must showcase their skills to three of the UK’s toughest restaurant critics: Charles Campion, Tracey MacLeod and William Sitwell. With only an hour and a quarter, the remaining chefs must deliver a jaw dropping two-course menu - their MasterChef future depends on it. Only the two most talented chefs will go through to the Semi Finals and stand a chance of becoming this year’s Professional MasterChef.  

>>> Read our feature on past MasterChef: The Professionals winners here

>>> Read our interview with last year's joint winner Keri Moss here

>>> Read Danny Kingston's blogs on the series so far here and here

>>> Read more about Masterchef: The Professionals 2013 here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th November 2013

Masterchef: The Professionals 2013 - week 3 PREVIEW