MasterChef 2019 – Week One Heats
February 20, 2019
Week one of MasterChef 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.
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 one…
Maria, aged 33. A mum of 2 who works in banking relations and lives in North Lanarkshire.
Signature Dish: Plum tart tatin served with a creme glacier.
John wasn’t happy with the dish and said ‘the tart hasn’t worked, the pastry should be flaky and this is quite hard‘. All he could taste was ‘plums and custard‘.
Gregg liked the ‘sweet, sharpness of the plums‘, however he described the tatin as more of a ‘shortcrust biscuit‘.
Tim, aged 26. A curator from London who has never eaten a ready meal.
Signature Dish: Spaghetti served with muscles and roasted cherry tomatoes, in a Prosecco, aniseed, chilli and fennel sauce. Brown shrimps cooked in butter and fried breadcrumbs with micro basil.
John loved all the flavours going from the dish, but unfortunately the added micro basil was ‘overpowering all the beauty of the food that came from the sea‘.
Gregg simply said that the dish had ‘far too many ingredients‘ for his tastebuds.
Lisa, aged 46. A lawyer from Guernsey who has become a Masterchef contestant for the challenge.
John complimented the presentation and skills of the dish but said the sauce and mackerel ‘doesn’t work together‘ as they are both ‘too rich‘.
Gregg was impressed with the presentation, cooking of the mackerel and potato rosti but agreed with John and suggested to ‘tone down the sharpness of the sauce’.
Frank, aged 34. A Nigerian-born company director who now lives in London.
Signature Dish: Cheese and chive soufflé
Gregg loved the ‘cheesy‘ and ‘salty‘ flavour coming from the soufflé’, but was disappointed that the dish was ‘wet‘ towards the end.
John explained why the the soufflé came out ‘wet‘, but praised Frank for his ‘attempt‘ and ‘flavours‘.
Devina, aged 51. A nurse and family cook born in Mauritius who now lives in Leatherhead.
Signature Dish: Roast mackerel and courgettes in harissa from ginger, garlic, cumin and coriander, served with flatbread and a lemon and creme fraiche dip.
John loved the ‘crispy skin in harissa‘, but sateen explained why the rest of the dish was ‘letting the fish down‘ and said the creme fraiche was a ‘mistake‘.
Gregg ‘loved‘ the heat and crispy skin of the fish, but said the texture of the courgettes was ‘greasy‘ and was very ‘disappointed‘.
Gary, aged 57. A sales engineer and travel fanatic who is inspired by world foods.
Signature Dish: Spiced Korean crispy beef served with noodles, chilli, spring onion and coriander, as well as pickled carrots, shallots and radishes.
John started with some advice of the cook’s presentation, and was upset with the ‘ferociously hot beef‘ and the ‘sharp‘ tasting pickled vegetables. It was ‘just too much‘ for the judge.
Gregg agreed with John and said it was ‘too sharp‘ to eat.
Annabel, aged 22. From Middlesborough and starting cooking dinner for her parents when she was a teenager.
Gregg praised Annabel on her presentation, cookery of the pork loin and the ‘crunchiness‘ coming from the cauliflower, but warned the cook that she should be ‘checking the potato before it goes on the plate‘ as it wasn’t cooked.
John explained that the dish had ‘really good promise‘ but it was a shame that the potato ‘couldn’t be eaten‘.
Gregg, and John both agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the next stage would be; Tim, Lisa & Annabel
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Gary, Maria, Devina & Frank
Lets meet and see how the chefs got on, in episode two…
Ottille, aged 27. Loves throwing dinner parties and dreams of opening a deli in the Yorkshire dales.
Signature Dish: Chicken thighs with a sweet potato, white bean and chorizo stew, saffron rice and asparagus with smoked garlic butter.
Gregg was very impressed in with the flavours coming from the sweet potato within the stew, but unfortunately the chicken was not cooked.
John said there was some ‘decent flavours‘ but it was ‘all over the place’.
Justin, aged 47. Lives in Bristol with his wife and 7 children.
John was very surprised of how ‘bold, seasoned and balance‘ the dish and finished by saying ‘really good‘.
Gregg liked his palate but suggested more ‘wetness to the dish’.
Phil, aged 36. Lives in Wakefield and has been working and driving with his dad in diggers since he was 13 years old.
Gregg thought the cooking of the fish was ‘OK‘ and was disappointed in the flavours of ‘smoky fish and sweet chilli peppers‘ as he thought they ‘clashed‘.
John didn’t agree with Gregg as he liked the ‘smoked fish with the sweet pepper and chilli‘ but did say there was no need for the asparagus and beetroot and thought he was ‘throwing too much into the dish‘.
Irini, aged 60. Lives in Cumbria and spilts her time between the UK and her Native Crete.
Signature Dish: Lemon tart topped with caramelised citrus segments and a citrus sorbet.
John ‘really really‘ loved the dish and was ‘really impressed’.
Gregg said the dish was a ‘citrus delight that’s cleansing‘ and now knows Irini is a ‘very good cook’.
Ashleigh, aged 29. Started cooking from a child and helped her mother bake cakes on rainy days.
Signature Dish: Chocolate fondant, served with a raspberry coulis.
John said the fondant was more of ‘being a chocolate brownie‘ which was a shame, and thought the dish needed more to it to show the judges ‘more of what ashleigh can do‘.
Gregg was disappointed the the fondant wasn’t the ‘chocolate dessert she set out to make‘.
Yui, aged 41. Originally from Bangkok, Yui’s earliest memory is waking at 4am and feeding the monks breakfast with her grandma.
Signature Dish: Crispy king prawns in a sweet and sour sauce with rice and fried shallots and son-in-law eggs.
Gregg loved the ‘beautifully cooked and sweet crunch of the king prawns‘ and was very happy with the cooking on the eggs.
John loved the flavours and texture of the dish and said ‘this is what we are looking for yui‘.
Josh, aged 28. Taught himself to cook from videos from the internet.
John liked the fact that Josh ‘worked hard and made sure he delivered what he wanted to deliver’.
Gregg doesn’t thing there is ‘any place for a salad in a hot pasta dish‘, however he was very happy with the making of the pasta and said josh was off to a ‘good start‘.
Gregg, and John both agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the next stage would be; Irini, Yui & Justin
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Ashleigh, Ottile, Phil & Josh.