Week three 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.
In this heat, the contestants must attempt to impress 2016’s MasterChef finalists Jack Layer and Billy wright and 2011 contestant Elizabeth Haigh, who went on to win a Michelin Star.
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 seven…
Samira, aged 53. She has worked in the charity industry for over 25 years.
Signature Dish: Roast chicken in a chocolate and spiced marinade, served with a sweetcorn pancakes, roasted carrots and a chocolate sauce.
John’s chicken was unfortunately ‘dry and overcooked‘, and found the ‘savoury dish almost too much like a dessert‘.
Gregg had never tasted anything like Samira’s dish before, but just wished too see ‘more from the cook in the time given to show more knowledge and skill‘.
Tom, aged 36. Enjoys experimenting with food from all over the world.
Signature Dish: Vegetarians ploughman’s including, a vegetarian scotch egg made from walnut, mushroom and paprika, a cashew nut and garlic cheese, and a tomato and chilli chutney.
John really liked Tom’s scotch egg and found it ‘interesting and inventive‘, but found a ‘furious amount of garlic in the cheese’ which was ‘very unpleasant‘.
Gregg was very impressed with Tom’s ‘skill and knowledge‘, but agreed with John on the garlic in the cheese.
Rebecca, aged 38. Dreams of starting a cookery school from her home kitchen.
Signature Dish: chicken salt n bocca with crispy chicken skin, fondant sweet potato, asparagus spears, chorizo crumb and a white wine and garlic butter emulsion.
Gregg loved the dish and said it was an ‘absolute triumph’.
John agreed with Gregg and said Rebecca’s cooking was ‘sound‘ and complimented her skills.
Paul, aged 61. Enjoys fly fishing and spilts his time between the UK and the South of France.
Signature Dish: Roasted cod loin topped with tempura courgettes, served with pan fried clams and snails, crispy samphire and tempura snails with a coriander, parsley, walnut and caper sauce.
John loved Paul’s flavours, and was impressed with the work that was on the plate.
Gregg loved the cooks flavours and presentation.
Sarah, aged 42. Once challenged herself by catering her own wedding for 120 guests.
Signature Dish: Five spiced dick breast with oriental vegetables, noodles and cashew nuts served with a sesame crispy duck egg.
Gregg was really impressed with Sarah’s cooking and flavours, but suggested her dish needed ‘tidying up‘.
John loved the ‘cooking of the duck and egg yolk‘, but didn’t believe they won’t together in a dish.
Olivia, aged 26. Started cooking when she was 10 years old and now enjoys eating in fine dining restaurants.
Signature Dish: Pan fried cod, with roast cauliflower puree, pickled cauliflower florets, kale with capers and a parsley oil with cream sauce.
John suggested that if the skin isn’t crispy to take it off, but was happy with the cooking of the cod. He was disappointed in the the pickled cauliflower as they were ‘over powering the flavour of everything else on the dish‘.
Gregg enjoyed the puree, cooking of the fish and capers. But said ‘however the sharpness coming off the bright yellow florets is out of control‘.
Elliot, aged 32. Achieved an A* in food technology and now enjoys cooking for his 2 children.
Signature Dish: Asian five spiced duck breast with pickled vegetables, candied citrus fruits, carrots, pac choi, chilli, sticky rice and a teriyaki sauce.
John was happy with the cooking of the rice, duck and sauce but there was just too many things going on in the dish.
Gregg thought the ‘heart of the dish was good‘, but suggested to leave it there with ingredients.
Gregg, and John both agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the next stage would be; Rebecca, Paul & Elliot.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Samira, Olivia, Tom & Sarah.
In this heat, the contestants must attempt to impress 2016 MasterChef champion Jane Devonshire (2016) and finalists Jack Lucas (2014) and Larkin Cen (2013)
Lets meet and see how the chefs got on, in episode eight…
Thomas, aged 25. Loves cooking big meals outdoors.
Signature Dish: Cauliflower steak in beef dripping, topped with calves liver, cabbage with pickled cauliflower, cauliflower crisps and cauliflower puree served with a red wine reduction.
John loved the idea of cauliflower 4 ways and didn’t think the dish needed the liver.
The ‘skill, process and knowledge‘ that the cook has impressed Gregg but agreed with John in terms of the liver.
Jelena, aged 30. Loves posting the latest food and lifestyle trends to her 6k followers on social media.
Signature Dish: Lemon curd with a ginger and macadamia nut crumble, baked meringues, marshmallow styled meringues, raspberries, mint and lime zest.
John was happy with the ‘presentation, flavours and texture‘ but was disappointed that ‘both meringues were not cooked‘.
Gregg was also disappointed that the meringues were not cooked.
Marcus, aged 26. Has been obsessed with cooking ever since he started collecting cookery books at the age of 13.
Signature Dish: Tagliatelle in a mushroom and cream sauce with wild mushrooms and shaved truffle, parsley and lemon zest.
Gregg was happy with his pasta making, but wished the ‘truffle was broken through‘.
John explained that his pasta was ‘too thin‘, making it all ‘clump together‘. He was upset that the cook had ‘cooked from at home rather than in Masterchef kitchen‘.
Samantha, aged 42. Lives in Norwich and is currently writing a novel.
Signature Dish: Lemon sol with a pine nut, lemon and parsley butter, roasted courgettes and fennel and hassle back potatoes.
The cook’s cod was overcooked but loved the fresh roasted veg.
John was happy with the ‘flavours from the dish but was disappointed with the fish‘.
Michael, aged 30. Works in neuroscience.
Signature Dish: Crab cakes with wild mushroom, capers and clams in a cream sauce topped with micro coriander and a chive, basil and dill oil.
Gregg thought the crab cakes and potatoes need more cooking. The judge wasn’t a fan of the combination of creamy and salty flavour and said ‘its just not doing it for me at all‘.
John mentioned that there was ‘too many big flavours and its just all too soft and mushy‘ and apologised to the cook.
Ajay, aged 41. Recreates his mums recipes to feel closer to home.
Signature Dish: Turkey with a coriander, cashew and coconut sauce, fried carrots and green beans with mustard seeds and desiccated coconut, smoked haddock bon bons and roasted cauliflower.
Gregg loved the flavours, but said the turkey was a bit ‘too dry‘.
John loved the flavours from the dish, but said the ‘presentation needed to be more generous‘.
Sonia, aged 54. Is passionate about dieting and fitness.
Signature Dish: Smoked haddock, topped with a cheddar cheese rarebit, served with parsley mash, spinach and green beans wrapped in chives.
Gregg was happy with the cooking of the fish and the flavours coming from the plate, but though the dish was ‘crying out for some sauce‘ as it was just too dry.
John said Sonia ‘understood flavour and it was really well made‘.
Gregg, and John both agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the next stage would be; Ajay, Sonia & Thomas.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Michael, Marcus, Jelena & Samantha.