MasterChef: The Professionals – Week Two Heats
November 14, 2019
Series 12: Episode 4
It’s week 2 of MasterChef: The professionals, and Tuesday and Wednesday’s episodes did not disappoint.
The first challenge all 6 chefs faced was the famous skills test. First set by Monica Galetti, 3 chefs were required to put their knife skills and palate to the test by spatchcocking a quail, and cooking it with a spice rub. In just 15 minutes, the chefs were expected to accompany the dish with a rocket pesto.
Marcus Wareing then set the remaining 3 chefs his 15-minute skills test. Marcus chose to test the chef’s skills and knowledge with a sweet dish; beignets served with a chocolate sauce, flavoured using one of the herbs provided.
Following the skills test, all 6 chefs have a chance to show their own style of cooking and deliver their Signature Dish in an hour and 15 minutes. This gives the chefs a chance to redeem themselves from any previous mistakes, and provides an opportunity to show the judges the level of cooking they’re capable of. From here the judges will decide which 3 chefs must go home, and which 3 can continue in the competition.
Let’s meet the chefs and see how they got on in episode 4…
Chris, aged 27. Sous Chef for a formula 1 Racing Team in Oxfordshire.
Signature Dish: Roasted and pan-fried Confit chicken with curried coronation chicken bon bons, accompanied by asparagus spears, saffron fondant potatoes, a chicken jus, and chickweed to garnish.
Gregg acknowledged there were ‘mistakes’ on the dish, and that the chicken was burnt. However, Gregg was pleasantly surprised by the chicken breast, saying he enjoyed it and the meat was not dried out.
Similarly, Monica acknowledged the chicken was burnt on the outside. Although, she was complementary of the saffron potatoes.
Marcus said he enjoyed the coronation chicken bon bons, however said they were the “only bit [he] liked about the dish”.
Malin. Works in a Gastro pub in Pembrokeshire.
Greggs immediate response to the dish was that it showed elegance and was colourful. Gregg was very impressed with the dish, noting the scallops were cooked perfectly, and the flavour of the curry was ‘excellent‘.
Marcus was also thoroughly impressed with the dish. He found the scallops to be cooked well and the flavour running through the curry was ‘delicious’.
Monica was extremely complimentary of the dish, saying ‘I love this’.
Rhys, aged 27. Head Chef at a pub kitchen in the Valleys of South Wales.
Signature Dish: Ribeye beef rubbed in dry mushroom, served with fondant potato, cauliflower cheese and dark ale croquettes, accompanied by grilled asparagus, parsnip crisps, parsnip puree and a sauce Robert.
Gregg enjoyed Rhys’s presentation style, however felt it was messy and ‘piled‘ on the plate. Overall Gregg appreciated elements of the dish although felt the beef and potatoes lacked flavour.
Marcus lacked confidence in the dish and felt there were too many components.
Similar to Gregg, Monica enjoyed the dish and felt there was flavour coming through, however there were elements of the dish that she found too ‘bland‘.
Sam, aged 22. Junior Sous Chef at a 1 Michelin Star, 4 Rosette fine dining hotel in Norfolk.
Signature Dish: Roasted pigeon with salt baked beetroot, topped with crumbs of spiced ginger bread, whipped goats’ cheese, sliced nashi pear, pickled blackberry, and a pigeon jus. Sam garnished his dish with red vein sorrel and edible flowers.
Monica was thrilled with Sam’s presentation, saying it looked ‘very delicate’, ‘very pretty’. The flavour however, Monica found altogether too strong.
Gregg was pleased with the pigeon and loved the sweetness of the pear however found the beetroot too strong for the dish.
Marcus was equally as fond of the pigeon, saying it was beautifully cooked. Marcus did however struggle with the other combinations on the dish, finding them a little too ‘weird’.
James, aged 31. Senior Sous Chef at a London law firm.
Signature Dish: Pan-fried cod on a bed of wild garlic pasta with cod roe taramasalata, topped with tomatoes, bacon, courgettes, and kale, finished with a tomato broth. James also decorated his dish with edible flowers.
Gregg thought the dish presented ‘some beautiful colour‘, although found the taramasalata too salty.
Monica loved the way the fish was cooked but found the tomato water was ‘lost’ when eating the dish.
Marcus was impressed with how light and delicate the dish was, although found the dish as a whole was quite ‘bland’.
Kat, aged 33. Works at a fine-dining fish restaurant in Brighton.
Signature Dish: Black olive almond cake with a white chocolate and vermouth tofu mousse, complemented with macerated strawberries, strawberry gel, crystallised strawberries, and black olive powder.
Gregg could identify good flavour in all elements of the dish, and was encouraging, saying ‘I like it’.
Monica was disappointed with Kat’s dish, saying that it wasn’t ‘wowing me as I had hoped it would’.
Marcus also found the dish disappointing, that he hadn’t got a mousse, rather it was a ‘wet cream on the plate’. However, Marcus was interested in the way Kat thought about food.
Gregg, Marcus and Monica all agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the quarter finals would be; Malin, Kat and James. Unfortunately saying goodbye and good luck for the future to Chris, Sam and Rhys.
MasterChef: The Professionals
Series 12: Episode 5.
The first 3 chefs began by taking on Monica’s skills test. Monica asked the chefs to prepare and cook razor clams with a sauce of tomatoes, capers, and shallots, in 15 minutes.
The remaining chefs skills test was set by Marcus. In this 15-minute test, the chefs were set the task of pan-frying calves’ liver and making a bordelaise sauce, served on top of toasted brioche bread.
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 5…
Rhiannon, 21. Chef De Partie at a fine dining hotel restaurant in Lincolnshire.
Signature Dish: Pan-fried fillet of lamb served with fondant potatoes, burnt cauliflower, pickled cauliflower, spiced cauliflower puree, grilled asparagus and a redcurrant jus.
Gregg didn’t think Rhiannon had done a good job with the lamb, saying if he were in a restaurant it would’ve been far too rare and he would’ve had to send it back.
Monica agreed that the lamb was undercooked although said she enjoyed the cauliflower puree.
Marcus felt the dish had the potential to be a great plate.
Avraj, aged 20. Chef De Partie at a 3 Rosette restaurant in Yorkshire.
Marcus enjoyed Avraj’s dish and said the fish was cooked beautifully. Avraj was commended on using the ingredients well, although Marcus felt the dish was not inventive enough.
Gregg loved the dish and agreed with how well the fish had been cooked. Gregg did however comment that the dish was a little too salty.
Monica felt the dish worked very well and Avraj had managed to get simple flavours to work well.
Aviv, aged 33. Head chef at a bar restaurant in north London.
Signature Dish: Lamb tenderloin and sweetbreads served with chopped kidney, parsley and almond salad, Jerusalem artichoke puree and crisps. Topped with preserved lemon and charred lamb fat, and finished with a lamb jus.
Marcus was impressed with all of Aviv’s lamb cookery and said all components of the dish worked very well together.
Gregg also complimented the cooking of the lamb, saying he found the dish ‘absolutely delightful’.
Monica was enthusiastic, saying to Aviv, ‘I love your ideas’.
Nina, aged 30. Works at a hotel restaurant in Nottingham
Signature Dish: Potato and herb crusted beef tenderloin served with potato dumplings, picked root vegetable rubics cube, green sorrel gel, and a horseradish and apple sauce.
Gregg sympathised with Nina and said it was a shame how the dish had turned out – the crust on the beef didn’t work and the beef itself was too raw.
Marcus wasn’t impressed with the dish. He felt the beef was raw and her choice to use horseradish and apple did not work.
Monica described her feelings towards the dish as ‘disappointed’. She liked the idea behind Nina’s rubics cube vegetables, although said it was not neat enough.
James, aged 30. Head Chef at a Café style deli in London.
Signature Dish: Pan-fried seabream with black garlic marinade, topped with a brown shrimp and tomato salsa served on a bed of spinach, with avocado puree, buttermilk fried broccoli and rapeseed oil.
Monica wasn’t impressed with the dish as she felt it was greasy and under seasoned.
Gregg enjoyed elements of the dish, but not all of it.
Marcus criticised the dish as a whole, saying it was not refined enough.
Tom, aged 22. Senior Sous Chef at a fine dining pub restaurant in Loughborough.
Signature dish: Poached cod loin wrapped in cabbage, on a bed of cabbage puree, served with roasted hispi cabbage, pickled white cabbage discs, tenderstem broccoli, muscles, and a bacon and cream sauce.
Marcus didn’t like the presentation of Tom’s dish, but said the cookery was ‘outstanding’.
Gregg was also impressed with the chef’s skills, and said the dish was ‘bold’.
Monica loved the dish, saying it was ‘really tasty’.
Gregg, Marcus and Monica all agreed that the 3 chefs going through to the quarter finals would be; Tom, Aviv and Avraj. Unfortunately saying goodbye and good luck for the future to Rhiannon, Nina and James.