9 December 2020
The Nurtured Way

MasterChef: The Professionals – Who are the Semi-Finalists?

masterchef: the professionals 2020

MasterChef: The Professionals – where are we at?

As you know, here at Nurtured, our chefs play a massive part in our business. They buy our produce, inspire our blogs, share recipes, and inspire our product list! Every series, we like to follow BBC’s MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals, to see how chefs are using our products.

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.

Skills Test

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. Then they are typically assigned 20 – 25 minutes for this task. In this series, the judges haven’t just been challenging the chef’s cookery skills, but also their butchery and baking skills too. Monica and Marcus have challenged the chefs on a variety of dishes. Including 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 on MasterChef, 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. Next, 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…

masterchef contestant victor

Victor – Head Chef at a Pan-African Style restaurant in London.

masterchef contestant philli

Philli – Development Chef based in London.

masterchef the professionals Alex Webb

Alex Webb – Head Chef at a restaurant in Essex.

masterchef contestant Santos

Santosh – Head Chef at a fine dining Indian restaurant in London.

masterchef luke

Luke – Sous Chef at a boutique hotel in Sheffield.

masterchef the professionals Aaron

Aaron – Sous chef at a restaurant in Buckinghamshire. He also runs his own pop-ups.

masterchef contestant bart

Bart – Private Chef from The Netherlands, currently working for a family in Chelsea.

masterchef contestant

Jamaar – Junior Sous Chef at a fine dining restaurant in Wiltshire.

Check out a few of the wonderful dishes the chefs have been making this season…and keep your eye out for those Nurtured garnishes!

main course garnished with coriander
Aaron’s Main Course garnished with Coriander Herb
cornflower garnish
Philli’s Rice Side garnished with Cornflowers
red vein sorrel garnish
Santosh’s Savoury Dish garnished with Red Vein Sorrel Cress
nasturtium leaf beef garnish
Victor’s Main Course garnished with Green Nasturtium Leaves
panna cotta with thai basil
Luke’s Panna Cotta with Thai Basil Cress