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.
It’s the semi-finals week and the remaining 8 chefs face a double-headed challenge. The first challenge the chefs will face is to cook against each other to create a dish inspired by a poignant food memory. The chefs need to dig deep for inspiration, to cook up a sense of occasion in an hour and 45 minutes.
Lets see how the chefs got on in episode 16..
Dean has impressed the judges with dishes inspired b his travels around the world, working as a private chef.
Signature Dish: Banana and tonka bean parfait on a biscuit base, topped with hazelnut shortbread, caramelised banana, Chantilly cream, candied hazelnuts and hazelnut biscuits and a chocolate bon filled with salted banana caramel.
Gregg loved the dessert and said ‘that little chocolate bon is almost like getting a truffle liquor and taste a little bit boozy‘, but did mention that chef could off made the ‘chocolate ball a little more thinner or get yourself a really big heavy spoon‘.
Marcus said the dish was ‘incredibly light and flavoursome‘ and enjoyed the ‘salted caramel on the side‘ which really gave the overall plate an ‘edge‘ and he was in ‘banana heaven‘.
Monica explained every element in which she throughly enjoyed and finished by saying ‘really impressed with what you are doing here‘.
Laurence is almost 5 years experienced at Michelin-starred level and has wowed the judges with inventive and elegant plates.
Signature Dish: Roasted sea bass on a smoked red pepper puree, with charcoaled pepper and courgettes topped with salsa verde, a langoustine skewer, a tempura courgette flower stuffed with a langoustine and ricotta and a langoustine bisque.
Monica thought the langoustine bisque is ‘delicious‘ and work very well with the salsa verde, but was upset that hadn’t brought in an ‘exciting touch‘ to his dish in this level of the competition.
Marcus explained that every element was ‘very nice‘ but said ‘its a very nice dish, not a great dish‘ and didn’t think it was chefs ‘best piece of work‘.
Gregg loved all the flavours of ‘holiday‘ but said ‘it does lack elegance compared to other dishes‘.
Oli has stood out from the start with some daring and creative cooking.
Signature Dish: Tomato bavarois, a set whipped cream flavoured with honey and tomato juice, filled with tomato jam sitting on a shortbread biscuit, dusted with a tomato sherbet, compressed strawberries, sweet Cicely curd and a lovage jelly, puffed pepper noodles and a tomato and lovage granita.
Marcus was really surprised with chefs take on spaghetti bolognese and thought the dish was ‘excellent‘ and said the dish is ‘smart, different and intriguing‘.
Gregg loved the idea of ‘every mouthful starts off like its going to be savoury and very quickly becomes an absolutely an exquisite dessert‘ and believed the dish to be ‘a real work of a real genius‘.
Monica called chef a ‘nutter‘ but also reassured him ‘not to change‘ as it works.
Matthew is the youngest semi-finalist and has consistently impressed the judges with his precise and flavoursome cooking.
Signature Dish: Braised pork cheeks, sitting on roasted fennel, infused with dill oil and topped with Julian of apple, lobster tail covered in lardo, a fennel salad, crab salad and a pork stock aroma, finished with lobster bisque and dill oil.
Monica thought the crab worked really well with the pork cheek and said that with were cooked ‘very well‘, saying the overall dish was ‘really tasty’.
Gregg simply said ‘you rock, this is awesome‘ and said the dish was ‘just delicious‘, but still remains ‘unconvinced over surf and turf‘, but said ‘nothing in the world will stop me from completely and utterly devouring this dish‘.
Marcus explained how each element tasted and finished by saying ‘another good dish from you, in-fact its a very good from you‘.
Michelle has excelled with ambitious dishes inspired by her Caribbean heritage. She sealed her place in the semi-finals with a stand out jerk chicken dish.
Signature Dish: Muscovado and ginger sponge with cinnamon meringues, cherries poached in cherry brandy and filled with cherry gel, a cherry puree, a cherry glazed tuille, rum soaked raisins and a raisin puree with a cinnamon oil aroma and a rum and raisin ice-cream.
Marcus loved the ‘lightness of the sponge, the cherries, the freshness, love the cherry puree and the little meringue on the plate as well‘, but was disappointed with the ice cream not setting.
Monica was also disappointed with the ice-cream but said ‘it is delicious with a huge hit of rum‘ and overall thought it was a ‘great tasting dessert‘.
Gregg thought the flavour combinations were a great idea, but said ‘you know yourself this is not how you wanted the ice-cream to be‘.
Sean has impressed with technical skill and his own twist on some classics.
Signature Dish: Rack of pork and pork belly, a curried apricot puree, almond milk gel, fresh apricot, dried fruit sourdough toast and granola, black curry powder and a pork jus.
Marcus stated ‘if that’s a national dish of South Africa, then thats where I’m going on holiday’ and said it was ‘absolutely delicious‘.
Gregg loved the almond puree that gives everything a ‘lovely creamy flavour‘, but was upset with the amount of ‘fat on the pork belly‘ and didn’t like how much he was chewing.
Monica thought it was a really clever idea to use the ‘curry powder as a seasoning’ as it brought a ‘point of difference to the dish‘.
Luke has delighted the judges with his fusion of asian flavours and European technique.
Signature Dish: Tempered chocolate cherry, filled with amaretto mousse and a cherry compote, sliced cherry carpaccio infused with basil, salted almonds wrapped in gold leaf and a basil and cherry sorbet.
Monica loved the flavours and lightness of the dessert, but was impressed with chefs skill of mastering tempered chocolate in a ‘hot kitchen‘, but still suggesting to make the ‘thickness of the chocolate even all the way around‘.
Marcus agreed with Monica and stated that there is ‘a lot to like about this dish, but the thing that lets you down is the thickness of the chocolate‘.
Gregg loved the flavour combinations and especially the cherry sorbet, saying it was ‘absolutely delicious‘.
William has challenged and surprised the judges with his unique use of fruit in his dishes.
Signature Dish: Duck breast, crispy potato filled with potato puree and raw orange segments, confit Parisian potatoes, charred grilled cucumber filled with yoghurt and topped with a confit duck leg bonbon, kumquats filled with burnt orange gel, nasturtium leaves, a duck and orange sauce.
Gregg said the ‘sliced duck is absolutely divine‘, but it was the citrus flavours the won him over and said ‘I like it when you play with fruit, it’s what you do and I like it‘.
Monica agreed with cooking of the duck and said it had been ‘very well seasoned‘, but thought it was overpowered with amount of citrus, although the flavours worked very well.
Marcus was confused to why chef had put orange segments on pomme puree, saying ‘it wasn’t for me, because they’re not cooked’ and finished with the statement of ‘William I don’t like it’.
The judges and critics all agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the final 6 would be;
Matthew, Dean & Oli
Therefore the remaining chefs will compete in the cook-off round; Michelle, William, Laurence, Sean & Luke.
The remaining chefs must return to fight again in the MasterChef kitchen to remain one of the 4 places in the next round. They face an invention test where they are tasked with creating one unique and flawless dish. The twist from the judges is for the chefs to cook savoury if they cooked sweet in the first round and vice versa. The judges expectations are extremely high, so it is imperative that the chefs show all their skills and knowledge to win their place in the next semi-final round.
Let see how the chefs got on…
Luke is a 25 year old sous chef at two-rosette country hotel in Hampshire.
Signature Dish: Pickled beetroot cannelloni, stuffed with used milk mousse, served with deep fried quails eggs in an herb crust candied walnuts, poached beetroot, beetroot crisps and a beetroot jelly.
Marcus loved the lightness from the ‘used milk mousse‘ and ‘freshness of the beetroot‘ but suggested ‘more slices of the quail egg on the plate‘, but said that Luke had shown a ‘lovely delicate light touch and executed the dish very nicely‘.
Monica really enjoyed the candied walnuts, mouse and loved the fact chef kept it ‘simple‘ as it was a ‘very nice starter‘.
Gregg likes that chef has ‘used 3 different types of beetroot‘ and said he had ‘no complaints‘.
Laurence is a 25 year old junior sous chef in a two Michelin starred modern British restaurant in Nottingham.
Signature Dish: Elderflower and strawberry parfait set between white chocolate biscuits, served with macerated strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and elderflower and raspberry jam.
Marcus loved the parfait as it’s ‘just on the right side of being frozen‘ and the ingredients ‘all works together in harmony‘. Marcus admires chefs that come back fighting from a crisis, and Laurence had ‘turned his crisis in a exceptional dish‘.
Monica is happy that the dish isn’t over sweet and said ‘it’s really impressive how you rescued this situation‘.
Gregg simply said the dish was ‘fabulous‘.
Sean is a 29 year old senior sous chef at a fine dining restaurant in London’s Covent Garden.
Signature Dish: Pineapple poached with Szechuan pepper served with a white chocolate and lime mouse, puffed pastry chards, coconut and elderflower gel and a burnt white chocolate crumb.
Marcus loved the presentation and many elements of the dish, but was upset that he couldn’t taste the Szechuan pepper coming through the dish.
Monica liked the cookery of the elements within the dish and ‘can appreciate what has taken to deliver this dessert within an hour and 15 minutes‘.
Gregg enjoyed the ‘pleasantness‘ of the presentation, but wasn’t as pleased the chefs beside him regards to taste.
William is a 25 year old senior sous chef at a three-rosette restaurant in London.
Signature Dish: Spiralled apple, basil marinated strawberries, elderflower strawberries and a strawberry and passionfruit consommé.
Monica enjoyed the flavours combination, but was really disappointed ‘the parfait hadn’t set‘ snd knew chef was too.
Marcus hadn’t much to say as chef knew it didn’t work and ‘became a mess‘ when eating it.
Gregg really enjoyed the ‘crispness and refreshing apple spaghetti‘, but was upset with the element that was missing and said ‘my heart goes out to you, I’ve seen brilliant dishes from you’.
Michelle is a 29 yr old Head contract catering chef from London
Signature Dish: Granola, carrot and quinoa falafel served with a saffron potato fondant, preserved lemon and feta mousse set in brick pastry, onion and cumin puree, preserved lemon infused carrot and radishes and grilled aubergine.
Monica really liked the ‘falafel with the quinoa’ and said ‘there’s a lot I’ve enjoyed on this dish’.
Marcus loved the ‘whipped feta’, but didn’t think chef needed the ‘puree on the plate’ or potato as they ‘didn’t work’ with the other elements and would off preferred a ‘caramelised onion’.
Gregg had an ‘issue with flavour’, and couldn’t find any spices within chefs dish.
The judges and critics all agreed that the 2 chefs going through to the final 10 would be; Laurence, Luke & Sean.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to William & Michelle