MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 is on BBC 2 next week, but what can we expect from the 11th series?

The Staff Canteen

After much anticipation, MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 is set to make a return to BBC Two and will see  48 chefs from across the UK heading into the MasterChef kitchen in a bid to become Professional MasterChef Champion 2018.

Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing alongside Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace  make up the formidable judging team who are tasked with appraising the talent in the kitchen and to discover the chef with the utmost talent, dedication, taste and flair to earn the illustrious title of MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 champion.

Marcus Wareing said: “Only the most ambitious, talented and tenacious will survive in this competition.”

Fellow judge Monica Galetti said: “I’m expecting all the chefs to come in here and push themselves to new limits, they’re here because they want that title. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store, who is going to be our next star?”

The 48 competing chefs will battle through a gruelling seven weeks of cooking challenges which aims to achieve culinary greatness. The show starts with the heat stages which takes places over a period of four weeks. 

Each group of chefs will be set a skills test task - three of the chefs will be allocated a test by Monica and the other three chefs will be set a task by Marcus. The judges will demonstrate their dishes to the viewers at home first and then they will task the professional chefs to do the same and prepare the recipe to showcase their skills with each component.

Once the chefs have completed the skills task, they will need to deliver their ‘signature dish’ within 90 minutes.

Six chefs will compete in the quarter-final where they will face further scrutiny in two tough cooking challenges. The show has introduced a new test for the chefs at this stage which is the Judges Favourite Ingredient Test. Here, Marcus and Monica will select a food item which the chefs must create a dish that is centred around. The remaining competing chefs will then be asked to cook for the some of the UK’s top food critics which includes: Jay Rayner, Tracey Macleod, Tom Parker Bowles, Amol Rajan, William Sitwell and Grace Dent.

Week five is the renowned Knockout Week where the final 12 professionals will compete all together in the MasterChef kitchen. Their cooking skills and creativity will be tested by the Invention Test which will also demonstrate how they work under pressure. The chefs can choose from a selection of sweet and savoury ingredients with the objective of producing a knock-out dish. From here, the strongest eight chefs will automatically be put through to the next stage of the competition. The other four remaining chefs will compete in a cook-off to win one of the last two places in the competition, using only the ingredients left in the larder.

As the competition progresses, the remaining ten contenders will be divided into two teams of five and will work collectively to impress special diners with their own menus. The teams must work to serve up their own fine-dining menu at two prestigious events, one for The Royal Physicians College 500th Anniversary and the other team cooks at Trinity House, a Maritime Charity that's over 500 years old, was originally given its Charter by Henry VIII and still has strong Royal connections, with HRH The Princess Royal now Master.

From here, the chefs will return to the MasterChef kitchen where they will need to deliver a faultless dish for Marcus and Monica, to reach the semi-finals.

The semi-finalists will compete in two cook-offs and will have to produce a dish based on a food memory, which trigged their passion for food and started their desire to become a chef.

From here, the remaining chefs will be sent out to cook with two of the finest, most visionary leaders in the industry today which includes Michelin-starred chefs Michael Caines and Paul Ainsworth.

The last hurdle that the chefs need to tackle to reach the finals, is to create and prepare a two-course menu. It is on these two dishes that the judges must then make the difficult decision as to who can become a MasterChef: The Professionals’ finalist.

Only five outstanding chefs will go through to the Finals Week and must tackle the most intimidating service of their lives - The Chef's Table in the City of London - one of the country’s most exceptional and prestigious culinary events.

The chefs will then head back in the MasterChef kitchen, where they will produce a plate of food that evokes a place special to them. They must use this dish to elevate and show off not only ingredients and cookery that mean a lot to them personally.

The final three will then be flown to France and will have the opportunity to cook Anne-Sophie Pic. Pic, at her three Michelin-starred restaurant in Valence France. The remaining chefs will then return to the UK where they will participate in their final cook-off where they will create three sublime dishes to win the title of MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2018.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th October 2018

MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 is on BBC 2 next week, but what can we expect from the 11th series?