MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 – Knockout Week One
December 5, 2018
Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace, Chef Monica Galetii and two-michelin-starred Marcus Wareing have come together yet again to find the Uk’s finest culinary dining skills.
The kitchen is heating up as the judges’ hunt for the country next culinary superstar. After four weeks of intense competition, the 12 most talented chefs remain from the initial 48.
The first challenge for the 12 chefs is to cook against each other in the most intense invention test of the series so far. They need to impress the 3 judges with one amazing dish food created from a heaving table of fresh sweet and savoury ingredients. But Monica and Marcus have raised the bar a little higher and challenged the chefs to the max by removing all the modern kitchen gadgets from the kitchen. The emphasis is on classic cooking skills – plain and simple. With 2 hours and 15 minutes minutes to create an innovative plate of exquisite food, they must take this opportunity to make an impact on the judges. Only eight chefs will be guaranteed to move onto the next round.
Lets see how the chefs go on in episode 13..
Mark works in a private member club and has impressed with some inventive dishes.
Signature Dish: Rabbit saddle stuffed with offal and black pudding wrapped in bacon on a bed of chard, a Kiev tortellini with a sourdough crumb, onion and thyme puree, vegetable fricassee and a cherry reduction.
Gregg went on to explain all the ‘delicious‘ elements on chef’s plate but said ‘all the flavours together are a little muddled‘.
Monica was ‘a bit disappointed in the cooking of the saddle‘, the rabbit itself was ‘under seasoned and bland‘ and the tortellini wasn’t giving chef the ‘excitement‘ that was sold to her.
Marcus said chef’s garnish was ‘a bit on the safe side‘ and ‘expected more‘ but enjoyed the sauce as it was ‘very well made‘.
William grew up in Samba, he loves to cook with fruit and pair unusual flavour combinations.
Signature Dish: Partridge breast and leg on a bed of green vegetables served with a liver bonbon, confit potato, pomme puree and potato crisps, blackberries filled with pomme puree, a pear puree, broad beans, baby onions, a coriander 5 spiced and chorizo powder and a chorizo and blackberry sauce.
Marcus was concerned with why chef hadn’t listened to the judges advice previously, but thought the dish worked. William had ‘done a good job‘ with the partridge cookery and compliments of flavours.
Gregg said Williams’ used of fruit is ‘inspired‘ and ‘different but it works‘.
Monica enjoyed the potato surprise and finds chefs cooking ‘exciting, inventive and different for the right reasons‘.
Mohan moved to the UK 15 years ago and has had experience working 5 star hotel’s in his hometown Malaysia .
Monica ‘didn’t enjoy‘ the dish due to the saltiness from the soy making it so intense.
Gregg was happy with the textures but not the flavours, ‘its filling up and sticking up my mouth‘.
Marcus said ‘there so many going on with the dish its hard to describe, does this dish work‘ and he wasn’t a ‘fan of it unfortunately‘.
Luke has excited from the start, cooking some modern asian influenced dishes, inspired by his Chinese heritage.
Marcus loved the ‘cookery of the asparagus and the cookery of the cod‘, but is confused why the blackberries are their, as for Marcus they don’t pair well with ‘cod and cream sauce‘.
Gregg liked the ‘sweetness of the broad beans‘ and ‘texture of the courgette puree‘.
Monica ‘quite liked‘ the idea of the stuffed crisps, but she would have ‘stopped there‘ as the blackberry didn’t work for chef.
Dean has had a strong start in the competition, cooking food influenced from his travels in Europe, Asia and South America.
Signature Dish: Braised octopus with a mushroom and smoked paprika powder, pistachio and lemon quinoa, a garnish of heritage carrots, tomatoes, broccoli and spring onion, croutons and a spiced tomato sauce.
Marcus loved all ingredients of chefs dish, but was exceptional happy with the cooking of the octopus and went on to say ‘best octopus dish I’ve eaten‘.
Monica liked the presentation and flavours coming through from the ‘powder seasoning the octopus‘. ‘its a delight, its light its not heavy and it works very well together‘.
Gregg said ‘personally its delicious and I think its really clever‘.
Elisabeth has impressed with some classic French cookery, but has struggled with timing.
Signature dish: Rabbit saddle and rack in tasted cashew nut and moroccan spices, cannolii filled with spiced braised rabbit, cumin and aubergine puree and a rabbit sauce.
Marcus thought the cooking and skill of the rabbit was ‘perfect‘ and the overall dish was ‘delicious‘.
Gregg loved chefs ‘juicy rabbit meat in the cannoli‘, but though the sauce was a ‘little too salty‘ and was hoping for more cumin in the aubergines.
Monica suggested that it would be nice to tell the rabbit saddle and rack apart in flavour, she found the dish ‘underwhelming‘ after Elisabeth’s previous flavourful dishes.
Sean made his mark in the competition with some stand out creative food in the critics round.
Signature Dish: Spiced belly of pork with puffed wild rice served with a smoked pepper puree, heritage carrots, pak choy, grelot onion, coriander and spring onion leaves and finished with a pork and sweet chilli reduction.
Monica liked how the pork belly had been cooked, but ‘expected more heat‘ with the ‘sweetness coming on the plate‘.
Marcus loved the ‘sweet pepper puree‘, the ‘portion size‘ and the texture of the pork belly. He went to say that he ‘really liked this dish‘.
It was all a ‘little too sweet‘ for Gregg.
Laurence had stood out from the start with some precise flavours in his dishes.
Signature Dish: Braised and soy glazed beef short rib with spinach, squid, clams, razors clams, cockles, pickled vegetables, crispy shallots, grelot onions and an seafood sauce.
‘I’ve tasted a lot of dishes today and thats one of the best dishes I’ve tasted ‘ and Gregg isn’t a big fan of fish and meat.
Monica is ‘disappointed‘ in the presentation of chefs dish, as it should be ‘sexy‘ as the level of competition. However she was a fan of chefs flavourful sauce.
Marcus said this was a ‘very well cooked plate of food‘ and enjoyed the ‘freshness, tang and textures on the plate‘.
Alex has delighted from the start with some highly technical and well presented dishes.
Signature Dish: Roast chicken breast with pomme Anna, baby button onions, burnt leek and a mushroom powder, pancetta and terrace mushroom, chicken liver, set puree, potato crisps and a chicken sauce.
Marcus liked the chicken and said it had ‘great flavour, great skill and beautifully executed‘.
Gregg thought the combination of ingredients was ‘lovely‘ and would of never thought to them up.
Marcus thought the dish was ‘stunning‘ and said it was a ‘great tasting plate of food‘.
Oli loves to cook dishes with foraged ingredient from the area around his Lincolnshire restaurant.
Signature Dish: Sea bream on a bed of fennel served with confit tomato, samphire, roasted courgette, asparagus tips, cockle and razor clam ragout wrapped in rainbow chard, charred tomato, roasted fennel and a sauce viege with a herb oil and lumpfish caviar.
Gregg thought chefs ‘flavours and textures were lovely’ and said ‘summer holiday in Ital,, perfect’.
Monica thought the fish was ‘bland’ unless complimented with the ‘beautiful ragout’. She finalised by saying ‘the sauce and the clams are my two favourite things on this plate’.
Marcus said he ‘wouldn’t be very happy as a customer‘ with ‘sea bream that small‘, but ‘loved the freshness of garnish‘, and all together with the ragout Wareing ‘liked the dish a lot‘.
Michelle has made a impression with her love of spice and modern Caribbean inspired dishes.
Signature Dish: Pan roasted cod with tempura courgette flower stuffed with a cod and chervil mousse, pickled shallot rings, baby onions, rainbow chard, a lemon and juniper gel and a clam bluerre blanc.
Monica loved the cookery of the clams and cod, but suggested to remove the ‘sandbags‘ from the clams so you don’t get any of the ‘grittiness through it‘.
Gregg love the stuffed stuffed ‘crispy courgette flower‘, with the hint of cod‘ and how it complimented the ‘sharpness in the little pearls of onion and in that gel, I like that‘.
Marcus went on to list why he thought chef’s dish was ‘flat‘ and simply wasn’t ‘excited‘ by it.
Matthew has remained calm under pressure and delivered some outstanding food.
Signature Dish: Braised ox cheek served with a stilton pomme de four, broccoli puree, roasted broccoli with a Caesar dressing, fresh parmesan and hazelnuts, parmesan crisps and an ox cheek sauce.
Marcus said it was ‘pretty much a miracle‘ how Matthew had stopped the ox cheek tasting burnt and was happy he had saved some sauce, ‘you’re a lucky boy‘.
Gregg was amazed by ‘not just the quality but the strength of the puree‘ he went on to joke about, ‘even a head of broccoli doesn’t taste of much of broccoli as that does‘.
Monica simply said ‘its a skill to make a dish this refined‘.
The judges and critics all agreed that the 8 chefs going through to the final 10 would be;
Laurence, William, Dean, Matthew, Alex, Oli, Sean and Elisabeth
Therefore the remaining chefs will compete in the cook-off round; Michelle, Mohan, Mark and Luke
The weakest four now need to dust themselves of and cook again but against each other. In the cook-off round, the 4 remaining chefs have their final chance to showcase their talents to the 3 judges and save themselves. With an hour to create their perfect dish to continue in the competition. The best 2 chefs will join the strongest 8 and continue their journey to win the Masterchef: The Professionals 2018 trophy.
Lets see how the chefs got on..
Monica said the risk taken with the timing of the creme brûlée was ‘a risk worth taking‘ and that chef had give them a ‘delicious dessert‘.
Gregg ‘really really loved‘ the amount of flavours ‘floating in the air‘.
Marcus took his hat of to Michelle cooking her signature dish in an hour, and thought he was one of chefs ‘best dishes so far‘.
Signature Dish: Pan fried seam bream on a bed on vegetables, pickled cockles and clams with a chilli and turmeric broth.
Monica really enjoyed this dish, and explain each flavour she could taste with chef over doing it.
‘Your fish is perfect’ Gregg said, and thought the sharp pickling from the clams and cockles was special and a great contrast.
Marcus thought the broth worked a real treat and carried the whole dish, ‘its rustic but its got refinement to it‘.
Signature Dish: Deep fried rice pudding arancini balls on a bed of confit orange with poached rhubarb, orange segments, salmond biscuit crumb and crystilized white chocolate.
Gregg thought chefs arancini was a great idea and produced ‘some beautiful flavours‘
Monica liked some elements of Mark’s dish but didn’t think he needed to ‘add white chocolate with another sweet crumb on top, as it made it too sweet’.
Marcus isn’t a fan of Mark’s presentation and said ‘I like the ambition and idea but overall I find the dish too sweet‘.
Marcus said the flavours and presentation was ‘fantastic’ and overall a ‘delicious dish‘.
Monica enjoyed the ‘leek puree’, ‘the nuts on the pigeon’, ‘variations of onions‘ and they ‘all work very well with the dish‘.
Gregg said it was a ‘very pretty dish‘ with the rich sauce and powerful pigeon flavours coming through.
The judges and critics all agreed that the 2 chefs going through to the final 10 would be; Luke and Michelle.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Mark and Mohan.