Week one 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 critics test, the amateur cooks are going face to face with the daunting test set by critic William Sitwell, to make an exceptional dish using game.
After cooking their dish and hearing if they have managed to rise to the challenge and meet expectations, only the best cooks with go through to knockout week.
Let’s see how the chefs got on…
Irini has a great heritage and loves to cook with ingredients that people haven’t heard of before.
Signature Dish: Grouse breast, filo pastry filled with bulgar wheat, soaked golden raisins and black pudding, honey glazed parsnips, broccoli, glazed grapes and a grape jus.
William was pleased with the colour of the grouse and the presentation, saying he ‘loved‘ the dish and thought it was ‘fantastic‘.
John was concerned with the sweet notes, but was very happy of how ‘bang on‘ the flavours are and thought it was a ‘great dish‘.
Gregg loved the sweetness in the dish, and thought Irini had ‘nailed a winning combination of flavours with very different ingredients‘.
Tim has a great energy that produces some great flavoured foods.
John loved the rich smell of game coming from the dish and ‘admired‘ the fact he pan roasted his grouse, but unfortunately that meant the flesh was ‘chewy‘.
William suggested to cook the skin more as it wasn’t ‘edible‘, but was happy with how he presented how ‘gamey the grouse can be’.
Gregg loved the ‘flavours‘ of the dish, but agreed there was an ‘error with the skin’ and suggested the puree to be ‘thicker‘.
Yui loves British and asian cuisine.
William said he had ‘tasted quite a lot of venison stews but this wasn’t his favourite‘, the meat was ‘tough‘.
Gregg said the dish was a ‘little too sweet’ for him.
John suggested that the stew ‘needed to be cooked for another hour or so as the meat is becoming dry rather than tender’.
Lisa has cookery knowledge and loves to introduce unique flavours.
Signature Dish: Roasted a crown of grouse served with offal bon bon, braised red cabbage, game chips, chanterelle mushroom, granola and a port and blackberry jus.
William found 2 lead shots in his game, but didn’t mind, but unfortunately the game wasn’t ‘joyful‘ to eat.
John liked the flavour coming from the dish, but there was issues with cooking technique throughout.
Gregg thought it was a ‘shame‘ as Lisa has so much ‘ambition, flavours and textures that should work together but there was no execution‘.
Justin produces great flavour and loves to experiment.
Signature Dish: Loin of venison covered in juniper, black pepper and thyme topped with truffle shavings and served with chocolate kale, celeriac mash and crisps, blackberries in balsamic vinegar, beetroot gel, sage oil and a red wine and blackberry sauce.
Gregg ‘appreciated‘ Justin’s presentation and really liked the flavours on the plate however the all the flavour combinations ‘didn’t work together‘.
William was very impressed with the cooking and ‘crust of the venison‘ but thought there was ‘just too much on the plate‘.
John loved the cooking of the elements from the plate, but said ‘theres too much being chucked at the plate‘.
Annabel is a classic cook with a lot of skill and knowledge in someone so young.
William thought the presentation was ‘beautiful‘ and said ‘the venison is really glowing‘. He loved everything about the dish and thought her ideas were ‘very clever‘ and said the dish was ‘epic and showed why game should be on more menus’.
John was really concerned with the parmesan crust but he said it ‘worked wonderfully’.
Gregg was very impressed with the quality of the dish and said her dish made it enough for the judge to ‘bounce up and down and dance‘.
The judges and critics all agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the knockout stage would be; Tim, Annabel & Irini.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Yui, Justin & Lisa.