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 first three remaining semi-finalists battle it out for a place in the finals week. They are sent to work alongside one of the countries leading chefs, Michael Caines. The exceptional food that Caines is creating at Lympstone Manor won a Michelin Star within the first six months of opening.
The first eye-opener for the chefs is to see Michael cook one of his signature dishes, lobster fricassee with a lobster bisque and summer vegetables. Michael wants the chefs to create their version of his dish for him to taste. He is looking for evidence of their ability to balance flavour, create textural variation and cook impeccably.
Once the chefs have shown that they have the culinary mastery to take place in his kitchen, they are each shown a further dish that Michael has on his menu. The chefs will join Michaels elite brigade and each take responsibility for a dish to be served during a packed service in his prestigious restaurant.
Lets see how the chefs got on in episode 17..
Matthew from Barkshire, started cooking professionally at the age of 15 and has risen through the ranks to become head chef at a London Restaurant.
Michael thought the presentation was very ‘well appointed‘ and applauded him on this. He was very happy with the cookery of the lobster, vegetables and seasoning. Overall chef was ‘very pleased with it‘ and said it was ‘delicious‘.
Matthew will be taking control in the fish main.
Luke started his career working in a Chinese restaurant and is now a sous chef in a Hampshire hotel.
Signature Dish: Lobster fricassee with a lobster bisque and summer vegetables. Keeping the sauce the same and changing elements to the main ingredients.
Michael thought the presentation could be ‘a little bit sharper‘, suggested chef to turn down the heat for the lobster as it had ‘curled up‘ and noticed the sauce was more ‘richer‘, but enjoyed the ‘subtle spices‘. Overall he thought it was a ‘true representation of the dish that I presented and you can be very pleased with your work here today here Luke‘.
Luke will be in charge of a intricate starter.
Michael’s Signature Dish: Quail mousse ravioli, celeriac fondant on celeriac puree and a mushroom fricassee topped with a quails egg.
Oli loves to use foraged ingredients in his dishes.
Signature Dish: Lobster fricassee with a lobster bisque and summer vegetables. Bringing a coconut flavour to the bisque from a fig leaf.
Michael thought it was an ‘interesting plate‘ to choose as it was hard to collect any of the bisque, but was very happy with the cooking of the lobster. Unfortunately he couldn’t taste the fig leaf as there’s so many other ‘dominating flavours’, Overall he would of liked to of seen ‘different vegetables‘ but went to say that Oil had ‘ended up with a dish that is respected the original format, but you have out your personality on it which is fantastic‘.
Oli will be in charge of one of Michaels demanding courses.
Michael’s Signature Dish: Chinese five-spiced Duck, quenelle of cabbage, lardon, garlic, braised baby turnips, roast garlic in duck sauce.
Next, the chefs return to the MasterChef kitchen where they will be cooking their own dishes for a two-course menu which Marcus, Monica and Gregg will taste. Only perfection will do to edge closer to the MasterChef: The Professionals title.
Lets see how the chefs on..
Main: Butter poached lobster on a celeriac fondant, crispy lobster and prawn wonton, celeriac puree, finished with caviar and coriander cress served with a celeriac and lobster bisque.
Monica was happy with the dish, but thought the lobster and celeriac fondant could have done with a ‘touch more cooking‘. She loved the crispiness of the wonton’s and said it was a ‘very simple dish, but very tasty‘.
Marcus really liked the dish a lot, especially the sauce saying it was ‘knockout‘ overall Wareing said ‘its a good dish Luke, I really like it Luke, I do‘.
Gregg was very happy with chef’s ideas, but had a problem with the saltiness from celeriac, the added saltiness from the caviar and said he found it all ‘a bit too salty‘.
Dessert: Buttermilk and lime leaf pannacotta, wild strawberry jelly, wild strawberries in saké, a matcha tea tuille and strawberry and mint sorbet.
Monica was very happy with the textures of the dessert as they were ‘just right‘, and ‘really enjoyed’ the ‘refreshing‘ element of the dish.
Marcus loved the acidity, but was concerned with how much bitterness was on his palate.
Gregg ‘absolutely loved‘ the strawberry sorbet, but would off preferred to ‘taste more lime leaf‘ within the panacotta.
Main: Hogget topped with crispy seaweed, caramel glazed sweetbreads, seaweed cooked potatoes with toasted hazelnuts, charred aubergine and anchovy puree, rapeseed yoghurt and sea sandwort finished with a smoked oyster sauce.
Gregg loved the cooking of the hogget, oyster sauce and said ‘there is nothing I dislike in here, its just so unusual I have never tasted combination like it‘.
Monica ‘loved how it looked’, ‘loved everything on the plate‘ and really ‘enjoyed discovering sea sandwort‘.
Marcus was surprised with how well the combination of hogged and oyster went, ‘loved the aubergine puree‘ and finished by saying ‘there’s nothing on this plate I don’t like, I think that’s absolutely sensational‘.
Dessert: Fig leaf custard, rye flapjack, poached gooseberries, finished with a buttermilk foam and an elderflower granita.
Gregg thought the custard was ‘amazing‘ and delivered everything the had hoped, but wasn’t sure with the ‘buttermilk being so sour and gooseberries being so sharp‘.
Monica really lied the fig custard, but needed to be ‘more set’ and enjoyed the sharp dessert, but there is ‘just too much of it‘.
Marcus said ‘its intriguing‘, but said ‘theres so many flavour combinations they are fighting and battling each other‘.
Main: Lamb loin and confit rib, a courgette flower filled with goats cheese, mint and lemon, courgette with confit lemon and courgette and basil puree, served with pomme boules d’energie and a lamb sauce.
Monica said the dish was ‘delicious‘, but was for Galetti there was just ‘too much fat left on the lamb‘.
Gregg was very happy with the strong flavour of basil in the puree and ‘really really liked it‘.
Marcus said the pomme boules d’energie was ‘perfection‘, the lamb could of done with less fat but finished by saying ‘thats brilliant, absolutely brilliant’.
Dessert: Chocolate and hazelnut sphere filled with a chocolate sauce with passionfruit cream and passionfruit, chocolate crumble, toasted hazelnuts, praline powder, chocolate popping candy and yoghurt crisps.
Gregg thought the dish was ‘very clever‘ with ‘beautiful surprises‘.
Marcus said it was a ‘perfectly balanced dish‘ and said that it is a ‘very accomplished dessert, in its presentation and eating‘ that he liked a lot.
Monica was happy how much ‘skill went into it, with getting the textures and flavours right‘ and said it was simply ‘lovely‘.
The judges all agreed that the 2 chefs going through to the final’s would be; Matthew & Oli.
Unfortunately saying bye and good luck for the future to Luke.