MasterChef roundup: Failed potato pancake and roast rice

Becca Day-Preston
masterchef 300x225 MasterChef roundup: Failed potato pancake and roast rice


SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen this week’s episodes of ‘MasterChef’

This week saw another 10 Masterchef hopefuls try their hand at impressing Greg and John and at the end of it only three were left standing.

Wednesday’s offering included two very similar-looking young men, who happened to be brothers named Barnaby and Oliver. Unfortunately for Barnaby, his lacklustre delivery in the invention test and his inability to deliver a potato pancake in the palate test meant he had to watch big brother Oliver advance to the professional kitchen, as he returned to Berkshire with his tail between his legs.

Helen was also sent packing after two frankly awful attempts – one involving far too much garlic – leaving us feeling pretty sorry for the people who attend her 10-course dinner parties.

In the pro arena at the Cadogan Hotel, Oliver flourished while Rukmini, who had looked less than promising, started to really shine. Unfortunately, Ruaridh a weathered older Scots gentleman who’d explained his gnocchi recipe with “well…my grandfather was a farmer” floundered when put to the test, crumbling like an overdone ox cheek. Incidentally, that’s what did it for him in the end, that and a decidedly cat-sick-esque ravioli. Even if his ravioli had looked less digested and more digestable, Ruaridh was pitched against Rukmini’s amazing chocolate bavois and Oliver’s ability to make fish on brioche taste good. Poor Ruaridh didn’t stand a chance.

Thursday brought us an altogether less promising bunch, with the invention test delivering more than a few grimaces from John and a dessert that Greg found lacking sugar. The biggest disappointment was the pierced gentle giant web developer Scott, who seemed like a great character but ultimately delivered pretty terribly with a mish-mash of potato, black pudding and cream which visibly distressed John.

The palate test, which demanded the hopefuls to recreate a delicious looking Thai salad of glass noodles and roast rice (Greg: “roast rice?” John: “Roast rice. You love roast rice.” Greg: “Do I…?”), was quite challenging. Not a single one of the dishes presented was up to snuff and Scott went home, along with cheerful makeup artist Jemma who professed to love Thai food but couldn’t cook it.

At the Mango Tree, Toby was tasked with a posh stir fry which was basically cooked over a gigantic fiery chimney. We weren’t sure of his technique of scraping a posh wok with a metal ladle but he seemed to do okay. Claire’s red duck curry seemed pretty simple, compared to the lamb cutlets Zara was tasked with, but Claire’s curry was served in a giant hollowed-out pineapple.

Back in the kitchen to impress the judges one last time, they set to work. Unfortunately Zara and Toby quickly fell apart, with Toby ultimately serving up that legendary killer of Masterchef dreams: an underdone fondant potato, and Zara deciding that she’d wow Greg and John with two very sad looking pancakes. Meanwhile Claire’s rack of lamb was served in a sauce that Greg remarked would be better off on Christmas pudding. When it came down to it, Greg and John sent Toby and Zara home, leaving Claire to count her lucky stars that she wasn’t in a stronger category.

Tonight the heat winners will face each other in a quarter final but let’s not analyse the format too much: we know it changes every series!

Plat du are-you-sure?: Brioche, fish and rhubarb, Oliver? Greg might be a fan but we’re not.

Greg-ism of the week: “OOH! Lovely tart!”

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  • nonkeymuts

    How about MasterPolitician? No silly me, how on earth could that work beyond the first heat when all the politicos would of necessity be eliminated. Oh well.

  • Acedusa

    It’s usually called a bavarois…

  • Becca!

    Is it? How embarrassing!!!!! I shan’t make this mistake again…!

  • PJKT

    It’s ‘BAVAROIS’ actually, from Bavaria. ‘Bavarian Cream’ you might say in English.
    Any half-competent chef should know that.

  • Mike

    Seem to remember John Torode fail to cook a chicken properly on This Morning a few years back…and his restaurant is always in trouble with health & safety. Hmm and he is patronising, and eats like a bull frog…i’m sure there are better quality judges out there.

  • charlyfartypants

    Just can’t watch this….as a chef of 16 years i deserve an opinion…don’t get me wrong but i admire the people who compete in it – all credit to them……but if hear another thing described as ’sweet’ again i shall throw my sodding telly out the window…..only pro chefs who understand can judge not some ex greengrocer!!!!

  • Becca!

    See below: I am mortified to have gotten it wrong, and I am not a chef.

  • Graeme Harrison

    Because, presumably, only pro-chefs have tastebuds.

  • charlyfartypants

    There’s no denying the tastebud thing, its just that i object to people who haven’t set foot in the ‘world’ of a kitchen who think they can judge….Lets presume you have children – what would you think when the OFSTED inspectors inspecting your childs school are revealed to be not even in possession of 1 minute of teaching in a classroom of kids……

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