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MasterChef roundup: Jam on a scallop, anyone?

Becca Day-Preston
masterchef1 300x185 MasterChef roundup: Jam on a scallop, anyone?

(BBC)

Last week saw Larkin, Tess and Shivi survive their quarter final on the merits of their food’s deliciousness. Larkin impressed with a curry and chips, which has to be a MasterChef first, and Dave (who was sent home) served up a chocolate mousse that rather too closely resembled a dog turd.

This week brought us another 10 hopefuls in the heat round which surely must be over soon, by our calculations at least. Wednesday treated us to the rather hapless culinary adventures of Guy and Drew alongside more capable chefs Natalie, Saira and Louise. From the very beginning, with Guy serving up an underwhelming fish curry and Drew making the common mistake of cooking something he’d never cooked before. His mussels were not appreciated by Gregg and John.

On to the palate test and the boys fell apart again, while Natalie served up a delicious stir-fry despite her lack of knowledge of Asian food. Saira and Louise also performed admirably, so it was hardly surprising when, after mucking up yet again, the boys were sent packing. Guy’s strong and mistaken belief that lamb was actually pork, didn’t much help him.

In the pro kitchen at The Rib Room, Natalie was tasked with a chicken dish that saw her try to perfect the much-loved culinary smear, while Louise struggled with a very small rack of lamb and Saira tried not to leave cling film on her halibut dish.

Back in the studio, it was their last chance to impress Gregg and John, with Saira and Louise both opting for curries, and Louise and Natalie both serving up scallop starters. Natalie’s main course, a pan-fried duck breast with mini fondant potatoes, impressed, while Saira stole the show with her lamb chop starter and moist chicken dopiaza. Louise floundered somewhat with dry and undercooked curries made with packet spices, but her scallop starter saved her. In the end all three went through. How nice.

Thursday saw Rachael, a convivial counsellor who asked Gregg to go open water swimming with her, try and tackle pork when she rarely cooks meat. The results weren’t exactly postcard-worthy, especially alongside the invention test offerings from Graeme and Barry, who seemed intent on being quietly impressive. In the palate test to create scallop and crab ravioli with spicy prawn sauce, Rachael achieved a sauce that, though tasty, was not right at all, and James’ ravioli burst open. They were sent packing, leaving Barry, Graeme and Jo to tackle the pro kitchen.

At Terrace Grill, Jo was tasked with a fiddly salmon starter that, though presentation was key, didn’t require her to cook anything. Meanwhile, Barry seemed to annoy the head chef with his cheeky backchat. There’s no room for that in a pro kitchen!

In the final round, Graeme presented leek and potato soup topped with a disc of black pudding, followed by a pancetta-wrapped fillet of monkfish. It wasn’t daring but it did go down very well with Gregg and John. Barry fared less brilliantly, though his chorizo foam certainly looked interesting. It was Jo’s dish, though, that really disappointed: serving raw venison with blackberry jam and scallops turns out to be as crackers as it sounds. She was sent home and, somehow, Barry avoided being eliminated, meaning that tomorrow’s quarter final will see five chefs trying to impress past MasterChef winners.

Plat du are-you-sure?: A huge disc of black pudding on top of leek and potato soup. Gregg said nay, but John said yay.

Gregg-ism of the week: “That is super yum!”

Ones to watch: We think last week’s Larkin, along with this week’s Graeme and Natalie, could all go far.

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  • harleymc

    “a chocolate mousse that rather too closely resembled a dog turd”

    Sums up chocolate mousse rather well.


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