MasterChef: The Professionals – Who are the Semi-Finalists?
December 9, 2020
MasterChef: The Professionals – where are we at?
As you know, here at Nurtured, our chefs play a massive part in our business – buying our produce, inspiring our blogs, sharing recipes, and inspiring our product list! Every series, we like to follow BBC’s MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals, to see how chefs are using our produce.
This year has been a little different at Nurtured, and for the whole hospitality industry! But we have been keeping up with MasterChef: The Professionals and have seen no end of our micro cress, edible flowers and bunched herbs on the show! So, we thought we’d give you the lowdown of what’s been happening on the show, and highlight who the semi-finalists are.
This year, the competition has been fierce and there have been some wonderful chefs creating spectacular dishes. Chefs and judges, Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing don’t hold back though – asking all chefs in the first round to complete a Skills Test, followed by 2 Signature Dishes.
In the Skills Test, the chefs are assigned a dish by Monica or Marcus, which they must make (whilst being watched by Monica and Marcus and presenter Gregg Wallace!) under time pressure. They are typically assigned 20 – 25 minutes for this task. This series, the judges haven’t just been challenging the chefs cookery skills, but also their butchery and baking skills too. Monica and Marcus have challenged the chefs on a variety of dishes – from Devilled Butterfly Mackerel through to Chicken Thighs with a Mustard-Mushroom Cream Sauce finished with Tarragon to a Fruit Tart with Berry Compote, Pistachio Chantilly and Candied Pistachio.
Some chefs shine in the Skills Test, whilst the pressure does crack others! After the skills test, the chefs are asked to make 2-courses in 1 hour and 25 minutes. The chefs can choose to make a starter and a main, or a main and a dessert. There have been some truly stunning signature dishes, all garnished to perfection!
At the end of the first round, there are only 2 chefs that get put through to the quarterfinals. Then, the 4 quarterfinalists of the week must battle it out for a place in the semi-finals. For the quarterfinals, the chefs go through 2 tough rounds. The first round is the Invention Test. The chefs are given 70 minutes, 1 key ingredient, and a full pantry. They must then make a dish for the judges – sweet or savoury – with the key ingredient as the star.
The second round is The Critics Test. Possibly the most nerve-wracking test for the chefs so far; they must cook for two top Food Critics. The Chefs are given 1 hour and 15 minutes and must produce 2 signature dishes. So far, the chefs have had to cook for Critics including Tracey MacLeod, Jay Rayner, Grace Dent and Tom Parker Bowles.
The Critics Test is a tough round to get through, but lets see who impressed and secured themselves a place in the MasterChef: The Professionals semifinals…
Victor – Head Chef at a Pan-African Style restaurant in London.
Philli – Development Chef based in London.
Alex Webb – Head Chef at a restaurant in Essex.
Santosh – Head Chef at a fine dining Indian restaurant in London.
Luke – Sous Chef at a boutique hotel in Sheffield.
Aaron – Sous chef at a restaurant in Buckinghamshire. He also runs his own pop-ups.
Bart – Private Chef from The Netherlands, currently working for a family in Chelsea.
Jamaar – Junior Sous Chef at a fine dining restaurant in Wiltshire.