MasterChef: The professionals has entered its third week of heats, and this week 6 new chefs were battling it out for a place in the quarter finals.
The first challenge all 6 chefs faced was the famous skills test. First set by Marcus Wareing, the chefs were tested on their knowledge of a classic French dish; a Croque Monsieur with a dressed salad. The chefs were given 15 minutes to complete the challenge.
The remaining 3 chefs were then tested on Monica Galetti’s skills test. For this test, Monica gave the chefs 20 minutes to make a Green pea risotto.
Following the skills test, all 6 chefs have the chance to redeem themselves from any past mistakes, and create their Signature Dish. This allows the chefs the opportunity to show the judges the level of cooking they are capable of. The judges then face the decision of which 3 chefs will leave the competition, and which 3 will be put through to the quarter finals.
Let’s meet the chefs and see how they got on in episode 7…
Matt, aged 29. Sous Chef at a private residence in Surrey.
Signature Dish: Chicken breast with black garlic topped with crispy chicken skin, served on a bed of leek puree, with a scorched leek, topped with shredded led meat, pickled jalapeno puree, crispy chicken skin and chives, served with a chicken jus.
Gregg enjoyed Matt’s dish, saying the flavours were a ‘real surprise’ and a ‘real delight’.
Monica said the chicken had been cooked well although could do with a little more seasoning.
Marcus wasn’t overly impressed with the dish. He commented that the sauce ‘lets it down’.
Alice, aged 34. Senior Chef de Partie at an Italian restaurant in York.
Signature Dish: Chai tea and wood-smoked duck breast, confit duck leg wrapped in filo pastry, leeks, shredded beetroot, red cabbage and pak choi salad, with a spiced blackberry dressing and a blackberry and duck jus.
Gregg enjoyed the way the duck had been cooked.
Marcus enjoyed the filo pastry element and complimented the beetroot salad and duck, saying it was ‘absolutely delicious’.
Monica was unimpressed with the dish, particularly the sauce.
Andrew, aged 33. Personal Navy Chef based in Portsmouth.
Signature Dish: Serpil Muntjac loin, muntjac and stilton pie, morels, baby turnips, asparagus, pickled blackberries, and a sloe gin sauce.
Gregg was enthusiastic about Andrew’s dish, saying the muntjac had been ‘cooked to absolute perfection’.
Marcus thought the pie was ‘absolutely delicious’.
Monica said the dish was ‘so beautiful’. Alike the other judges, Monica didn’t have any criticisms.
Kurtus, aged 21. Sous Chef at a Mediterranean Restaurant in London.
Signature Dish: Oak Smoked lamb cannon and lamb belly with deep fried sesame glazed aubergine, aubergine puree, pistachio and sesame seed crumb, served with a benito vinegar jus, garnished with micro basil leaves.
Monica enjoyed the way the lamb had been cooked and complimented the aubergine elements. However, Monica criticised, saying there wasn’t enough of the sesame glazed aubergine.
Marcus said the aubergine was a great element in the dish, but the dish overall lacked textures.
Gregg found Kurtus’s ideas ‘interesting’.
Ben, aged 33. Senior Chef de Partie in Sussex.
Signature Dish: Jerusalem artichoke bavarois topped with raspberry jelly, Italian meringue, sourdough crumble with pickled and toasted hazelnuts topped with fresh and salted raspberries and strawberries. Garnished with micro mint and served with a thyme oil and birch syrup.
Gregg thoroughly enjoyed the dish and considered it ‘remarkable’. Gregg couldn’t compliment Ben enough.
Marcus was thrilled with the dish, and said all the flavours married very well together.
Monica was less enthusiastic as she felt the meringue was too sweet.
Georgie, aged 38. Head Chef catering for a private bank in London.
Monica overall was quite critical of the dish, saying the lamb was overcooked, and the pea puree needed to be smoother. Although, she did enjoy the croquet.
Marcus said the beetroot was ‘beautifully cooked’, but there just wasn’t enough sauce.
Gregg loved all elements of the dish, however was critical, saying he wanted more flavour in the dish.
Gregg, Marcus and Monica all agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the quarter finals would be; Ben, Kurtus & Andrew.
Unfortunately saying goodbye and good luck for the future to Matt, Alice & Georgie.
The first 3 chefs began by taking on Marcus Wareing’s Skills Test. The chefs were tested on their ability to prepare and cook a monk fish on the bone. Marcus gave the chefs 20 minutes to prepare and cook the fish alongside a vermouth cream sauce enriched with tarragon and served with tender stem broccoli.
The remaining 3 chefs were then set a skills test by Monica Galetti. In this 20-minute test, the Chefs were required to make a Crepe souffle with a salt caramel sauce.
Following the skills test, all 6 chefs then have the chance to redeem themselves from any past mistakes, and create their Signature Dish. It will then be up to the judges to decide which 3 chefs will be sent home from the competition.
Let’s meet the chefs and see how they got on in episode 8…
Jorge, aged 49. Head Chef at an Embassy in London.
Signature Dish: Salmon ceviche with amaranth seed and nori tostada, served on charred palm hearts with a lemon grass and ginger Dashi.
Gregg enjoyed the visuals of the dish, saying it was ‘strikingly pretty‘. However, he felt the dish lacked flavour.
Monica enjoyed the dish overall, saying it was ‘lovely‘, but she would have preferred more chilli on the dish.
Marcus found Jorge’s broth ‘bland‘, although enjoyed the palm hearts.
Lorena, aged 23. Chef de Partie at a Bistro in Belfast.
Signature Dish: Roast squab pigeon, served with roasted and pureed beetroot and Asian Cepe and rainbow chard, finished with a pigeon sauce.
Marcus was disappointed with the pigeon, saying it had been overcooked. He did however enjoy the beetroot.
Monica enjoyed the dish overall, appreciating that the dish had been well seasoned. Although, Monica found the sauce to be over reduced and subsequently salty.
Gregg liked the dish but was unsure of the beetroot.
Arbinder, aged 35. Executive Chef for a wedding catering company in London.
Signature Dish: Kerala spiced mackerel with a moule salad, pickled black moule and radish, with compressed apple and sea vegetables served with a black salt yoghurt and gooseberry chutney.
Gregg was thrilled with the dish, saying it was an ‘absolute magical mystery ride‘.
Marcus also loved the dish, congratulating him on an ‘absolutely brilliant‘ dish.
Monica also had no criticisms, saying she loved the dish and wanted the recipe for the chutney.
Sam, aged 27. Pastry chef at his own Patisserie catering company in Devon.
Signature Dish: Roasted Stone bass with celeriac fondant, sautéed mushrooms, braised celery, celeriac purée and apple pomme purée. Served with a Parmesan and hazelnut crisp, and finished with a cider and celeriac jus.
Marcus couldn’t fault Sam’s Signature dish, saying ‘you’ve absolutely nailed [it], I think its sensational’.
Monica said the fish was cooked perfectly, and she absolutely loved the dish.
Gregg was also complementary, saying the dish was ‘elegant, modern, very very smart‘.
Stu, aged 27. Head chef at a fine dining restaurant in Birmingham.
Signature Dish: Roasted quail breast with confit quail leg, courgettes, maitake mushrooms, yeast crumb and a Thai green curry Hollandaise sauced, finished with a Thai green sauce, and a chimmichurri oil.
Marcus was impressed with the ‘delicious’ quail cookery.
Gregg enjoyed the flavour and the cooking of the dish, although said it didn’t quite reflect Thai flavours.
Monica agreed with Gregg, saying the Thai influences were only subtle. Monica did however say Stu was ‘intriguing‘.
Miranda, aged 26. Chef de Partie at a One Michelin star restaurant in London.
Signature Dish: Spiced chicken breast topped with a plantain glaze and a crispy chicken skin, served with a chicken mousse filled chicken thigh. Accompanied by a sweet potato purée, pickled sweet potato ribbons and spicy tempura chicken wing filled with a chicken mousse and finished with a scotch bonnet dipping sauce, served with a spiced chicken curry sauce and tarragon oil.
Gregg acknowledged that there were ‘some great flavours‘ in the dish.
Monica meanwhile found the chicken filling to be quite grainy.
Marcus enjoyed Miranda’s dish although said the presentation needed work.
Gregg, Marcus and Monica all agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the quarter finals would be; Arbinder, Stu & Sam.
Unfortunately saying goodbye and good luck for the future to Miranda, Jorge & Lorena.