Week four of MasterChef is over, and 56 amateur cooks from around the country with a range of backgrounds have started to battle it out to be named the MasterChef 2019 Champion.
In the first opening heat, each chef will have an hour and 10 minutes to win over John Torode and Gregg Wallace. The cooks will have to prove themselves to be worthy in this round because after the judges have tasted all 7 dishes, John and Gregg will decide which 4 cooks are good enough to stay and which 3 cooks will be sent straight home.
The 4 remaining cooks will face one more challenge before heading to the quarter-finals. They must cook 2 courses that will excite both John and Gregg, but also some of MasterChef’s most-inspiring winners, finalists and contestants who have all gone to work in the food industry.
In this heat, the contestants must attempt to impress Masterchef champion’s Shelina Permallo (2012) and Mat Follas (2009) and finalist Dean Edwards (2006).
After all 4 contestants have cooked, the judges will decide which 3 cooks deserve to take the next step in the competition and go through to the quarter-finals.
Lets meet and see how the chefs got on, in episode ten…
Lewis, aged 35. Taught to cook by his Caribbean father and now enjoys to cook with his 3 children.
Signature Dish: Turmeric and paprika spiced duck leg with mash potato, green beans and mushrooms served with a chilli and orange sauce.
John was upset that skin wasn’t crispy, the sauce was ‘overpowered by orange‘ and the combination of duck and mash potato.
Gregg would have liked the duck a ‘bit pinker‘, but enjoyed the sauce, although ‘wasn’t convinced with the flavour combination of orange and mash potato’.
Amal, aged 37. Works as a private bank executive and was taught to cook by her grandmother when she was 8 years old.
Signature Dish: Lamb meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce with mustard and cardamom seed rice and a green chilli lemon and garlic sauce.
John explained the elements of her dish that he really enjoyed and finished by saying the dish was ‘really good‘.
Gregg was extremely happy with the cooks flavours.
Alex, aged 43. Enjoys fusing classic British cooking with her Mediterranean heritage.
Signature Dish: Ravioli filled with butternut squash and mascarpone topped with a mascarpone and sage sauce and toasted pine nuts.
Gregg was impressed with the cooking of the ravioli and the flavours.
John enjoyed the dish, but suggested there was ‘too much mascarpone‘ within the dish.
Geoff, aged 56. Dreams of becoming a food and travel writer.
Signature Dish: Orecchiette pasta with a lamb ragu and Italian breadcrumbs.
John was very surprised with the cooks dish, ‘ragu is flavoured really well‘ and he finished by saying ‘that’s what a good pasta dish should taste like‘.
Gregg agreed with John and said ‘its a very tasty, welll made pasta dish’.
Simon, aged 50. Owns over 250 cook books and has recently finished a 2 year project building his dream kitchen.
Signature Dish: Oven baked salmon on lentils with pickled cauliflower florets, cauliflower puree and a salsa verde.
John was happy with the lentils but not impressed with the rest of the dish.
Gregg has ‘issues with over cooked salmon, salsa verde too sharp and underwhelming puree‘.
Jay, aged 28. Uses food to explore his creative side.
Signature Dish: Pan roasted spiced salmon with a cumin butternut squash puree, pickled spring onion, confit leeks and a sauce with chorizo.
John was happy with the crispy skin, subtle spice and said it was a ‘ ripper dish with flavours that deliver‘.
Gregg was really pleased within the puree and said he was ‘happy with the dish‘.
Judy, aged 61. Her cooking is inspired by a holiday in Spain.
Signature Dish: Tagliatelle with prawns, red peppers and muscles in a spicy tomato sauce.
Gregg was happy with the cooking of the prawns and pasta but described it as ‘simple‘.
John thought the tomato sauce was a bit ‘chunky‘, but doesn’t think ‘that’s enough’.
Gregg, and John both agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the next stage would be; Amal, Ge0ff & Alex.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Simon, Judy, Lewis & Jay.
In this heat, the contestants must attempt to impress 2010 finalists Tim Kinnaird, Alex Rushmer and Dhruv Baker.
Lets meet and see how the chefs got on, in episode eleven…
Zaq, aged 30. Injured himself earlier heats and is back to try again.
Signature Dish: Mustard and cinnamon roasted pork loin served with fennel and apple slaw, roasted carrots, artichoke and carrot puree, crispy shallots and a cider and bone marrow cream sauce.
John thought it was a ‘shame that the pork was going dry‘, but enjoyed the flavours he had brought into the dish.
Gregg was happy with the cooks ideas but unfortunately ‘wish the pork was a little moist and the sauce a much thicker‘.
Jasmin, aged 30. grew up in a family of passionate cooks.
Signature Dish: Used over 10 spices in her coconut and halibut curry which is accompanied by a carrot and cabbage spring roll, lemongrass infused rice, bread and chilli sauce.
John explained how each element brought something to the dish and said ‘for the first round, the dish was very good indeed‘.
Gregg was very happy that the cook had got through a ‘huge amount of cooking and presented it so well at speed‘.
Tony, aged 63. Has worked in the corporate world in the last 40 years.
Signature Dish: Poached halibut topped with straw potatoes served with razor clams, shrimps, samphire and a bluer blanc sauce.
John praised Tony up on the cooking of his razor clams and fish but unfortunately the sauce was a ‘little too strong‘.
Gregg agreed and said it was obvious to him that Tony was a ‘knowledgable cook with a pretty touch when it comes to cooking with fish‘.
Jilly, aged 42. Spent 7 years playing professional rugby.
Signature Dish: Pork tender loin has been stuffed with mushrooms and sage wrapped in bacon, served with dauphinoise potatoes, carrot puree and a cider and mustard sauce.
John was happy with the cooking and flavours of the dish and said ‘there’s great promise here and I like your touch’.
Gregg loved the quality of the cook’s sauce and ‘would eat the dish all day long‘.
Natalie, aged 37. Cooks dinner for her local school and charity in her spare time.
Signature Dish: Sea bass has been cooked with peppers, tomatoes and spring onion, topped with a soy, thyme and scotch bonnet sauce, accompanied by cheese and creme fraiche cauliflower and potato and a pepper puree.
Gregg was happy with the flavours within the fish, but believe it ‘doesn’t quite match creme fraiche and cauliflower‘.
John agreed with Gregg.
Peter, aged 28. His passion for cooking started when he tried to woo his girlfriend with steak and chips.
Signature Dish:Roasted poussin served with roasted potatoes topped with parmesan, Swiss chard a mushroom sauce.
Gregg was happy with the flavours but the cook’s cooking wasn’t quite right.
John thought he had ‘really good ideas, but unfortunately it wasn’t executed’.
Maria, aged 28. Her family moved to Cornwall where they ran a chain of fish and chip shops.
Signature Dish: Halibut coated in a hazelnut crust served with a cauliflower puree, mushrooms, jerusalem artichokes and crispy hazelnuts with a honey balsamic dressing.
Gregg wished the fish was ‘cooked a little less‘, although really ‘enjoyed the sweet vinagrette dressing‘.
John suggested to be more ‘generous’ with her ingredients, but was ‘really impressed with what Maria was trying to achieve‘.
Gregg, and John both agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the next stage would be; Maria, Jasmine & Jilly.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Zaq, Natalie, Peter & Tony.