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MasterChef is back, searching for the country's best amateur cook.
Go, go, go, go.
-Ooh! You've got a towel on your head.
-I have. I'm very hot.
Each week, 14 new contestants battle for a place
in Friday's quarterfinal.
This is a gastronomic triumph.
Only the best will make it through to the final challenges.
Please, quick, come on, guys.
It looks absolutely stunning.
All different people from all walks of life,
but they have one burning ambition.
Sharpen the knives, it's MasterChef time.
These seven home cooks all think they've got what it takes
to become MasterChef champion.
But at the end of today's heat only three will make it through
to Friday's quarterfinal.
The thing to do right at the beginning
is just not to be the worst!
John and Gregg are really...
They're a little bit scary. I'm not going to hide.
But I'm confident I will bring something
that not a lot of other people would bring.
Under normal circumstances I can be a bit naughty.
If I can hold my nerve, I hope to bring some fun in there.
A warm welcome to the MasterChef kitchen.
I wish you the best of luck.
Try and relax and enjoy it.
This, your first test, is the market test.
You can cook for us anything you like.
Sweet, savoury, adventurous, classic,
just something that shows us the cook that you are.
Off you go.
The contestants now have ten minutes to plan their dish,
but can revisit the market at any time.
Today's ingredients include quail,
chorizo, cod, bone marrow
There's also a range of cheeses, flours and grains.
And a selection of fruit and vegetables.
Blimey, that's a big 'un.
People who love food, it's every person's dream.
It's sort of quite breathtaking, really.
I'm going to do, I think, some kind of gnocchi.
Made it a few times in practice,
so we'll see what happens under the pressure.
There are so many beautiful things to cook with,
so it's a real opportunity.
You and I have got high expectations
because we've seen the talent we've got already.
We know how good they've got to be.
It has to taste fantastic and it has got to demonstrate skill.
I think I'll be OK, yeah.
Just got to concentrate on one dish
and make that the best-tasting dish possible.
Ladies and gentlemen, your chance to impress, one hour and ten minutes.
Cook very well because at the end of this, three of you are going home.
35-year-old Kenny lives in Worthing, West Sussex,
with his wife and two young children.
My first sort of memories of food was that my mum cooked a lot,
she's from a big Irish family.
My mum always said if you just put a bit of love into it, that generally
will make the food taste better.
I'm just going to give it my best shot,
try and have a bit of fun and we'll see what happens.
-What do you do now, Kenny?
-I'm a bank manager.
I've been working for the bank sort of 15 years,
so it's my first sort of proper job
and I just stuck with it and I love it, yeah.
You have got what people used to call a good, steady job,
so why MasterChef?
My passion has always been food
and this is a chance to do something different. This is something for me.
-What are you making?
-Well, I'm trying to keep it quite classic,
so I'm going to do some pan-roasted quail, a red wine sort of reduction.
I'm going to do some celeriac puree, fondant potato.
Are you going to use the bone marrow?
I've used the bone marrow in the sauce
just to get a bit of flavour into it
and if I make something that tastes all right, I'm there, aren't I?
-You're halfway there.
-I'm halfway there!
Kenny's roasting a quail.
He's got to make sure he pan- fries the outside first,
so it goes a little bit crispy.
Lots of seasoning on the inside, lots of butter, please, Kenny.
Make it opulent.
Red wine sauce with bone marrow is called sauce Bordelaise.
It's the best type of red wine sauce in the world
because that bone marrow makes it rich and wonderful.
But it's got to be reduced down properly
and it has got to be absolutely beautiful.
27-year-old Elena has recently taken up knitting and calligraphy,
but her day job is in finance in the City of London.
I've worked in pressurised environments,
so I like to think I deal with pressure quite well.
But again, you never know.
It's kind of a brand-new challenge and every challenge is different.
Elena, what are you making?
I'm going to do ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach,
a bit of Parmesan, pumpkin veloute.
A little bit of kale pesto and probably some Parma ham crispy bits.
Why are you here on MasterChef?
I come from a huge family of foodies.
My dad's Greek Cypriot and my mum's Indian from the West Indies,
so from Trinidad and Guyana.
So I've grown up with the Greek influence,
I've got the Indian influence
and I've got the West Indian influence as well.
As long as that filling
has got lots and lots of seasoning in it, brilliant.
Making a great veloute is a wonderful thing.
Lots of skill on show.
There is no reason why she shouldn't get it done.
She seems quite cool and collected.
15 minutes. You've had 15 minutes.
55-year-old Chris takes his culinary inspiration
from eating in fine dining restaurants.
The first time I had really good food, I was just blown away.
I didn't realise food could taste so good, so I wanted to do that.
But at the moment I'm wondering if I can still boil an egg!
Chris, you look like the love child
of Patrick Stewart and Gregg Wallace.
That's very kind of you to say so.
We're obviously mirroring each other.
-What do you do?
-Me, I'm a dentist.
Are there any links at all between cooking and dentistry?
hopefully you are reasonably good with knife skills and concentrating
-and working to time.
-What's the dish, Chris?
It's cod en papillote with fennel
on a fennel beurre blanc with beans and crushed potatoes.
I'm really pleased you're cooking fish.
Do it well.
The danger with cooking fish en papillote is,
you don't know when it's cooked. I hope he gets it right.
He's doing a fennel beurre blanc, fantastic,
a butter sauce made with lots of wine and shallots
which should be lovely and sweet.
It could eat beautifully as long as he gets that fish cooked
Barrister George is a keen fly fisherman
who catches and smokes his own trout.
Food for me is just one of the most enjoyable experiences in life.
I'm never happier than when I'm eating good food.
So if I'm able to cook good food for other people,
that makes me doubly happy.
-George, you look remarkably comfortable. Are you?
-I don't know.
I wish now that I had picked the quail before someone else did.
-Right, snooze, you lose.
-George, what are you making?
Some gnocchi with radicchio.
That's going to go with some of the mushrooms,
the chorizo, and I made a little basil,
garlic oil kind of like a pesto, but not quite.
Who do you cook for now?
I tend to cook for my wife and my family.
I tend to try and be the boss in the kitchen.
Does your wife consider you to be the better cook?
I don't know about that, she's French,
so she's got it in her,
whereas I have to fight to bring it out of myself.
Good gnocchi is all about lots and lots of fluffy, dried potato,
a little bit of flour all mixed together.
And then he's got a sort of like a pesto affair of oil and basil,
but there is no sauce with that gnocchi.
It is at the end of the day a potato dumpling,
and any dumpling needs sauce.
30 minutes have gone, so you've got 40 minutes left.
Graphic designer Tasha enjoys combining her visual flair
with her love of food.
When I take inspiration for my dishes I look at art,
the way things are spatially on a plate.
The negative and positive space.
So I'm hoping my creativity is going to be my strongest point.
Tasha, what are you going to make?
I'm going to do some mushroom filled ravioli with a chorizo oil.
I think it's going to show you some skill,
I think it's going to show you some invention
and I think it'll be really tasty.
If you do skill, invention and tasty, that's got to be enough.
And hopefully, it will look nice as well.
And presentation, of course, presentation.
You've nailed them all. Tasha, happy?
-Yeah, fine, just want to wipe my eyes, but I can't!
Thin pasta please, Tasha.
Make sure it's really well seasoned.
And she's serving that with a chorizo oil.
I just hope there's enough sauce
to make sure that that ravioli is lovely and unctuous.
32-year-old Mans was born in Lebanon and has lived in France,
Dubai and now in London.
My dream would be to open my own fine dining, Lebanese restaurant.
Lebanese cuisine is very hearty, it's very, very comfort food.
But there is a way for it to be a little bit more fancy.
Mans, what are you going to make for us?
I'm making a smoked aubergine paste with ricotta.
A pomegranate and tomato chive salad
and with it is salt-and-pepper squid.
Is your food, do you think,
representative of your life and your travels?
Yes, I think so.
-In what way?
-I like to mix flavours from all around the world,
so this is what I'm trying to do today
and hopefully it will work out.
We've got ricotta cheese with pomegranate and squid?
I think Mans is playing with fire.
I think it's dangerous but if he makes it work, great!
You've got 20 minutes left, guys, 20 minutes.
Lyn from Derby has been cooking
since the age of ten, when her mum gave her
free rein in the kitchen.
I'm just obsessed with food.
But I do get a little bit nervous cooking for other people
because I'm not great at being critiqued.
I'm dreading it!
What do you do for a living, Lyn?
I've been a probation officer for about 15 years and I have worked in
a prison for about four.
I should imagine, like cooking,
-you've had your triumphs and your... near misses?
-Yeah, you do, yes,
get some triumphs and when you get the triumphs,
they are something to be very, very, very proud of.
What are you making for us?
I've gone for the quail and I have just pan-fried that.
I've made a bonbon from the leg meat.
Pomme puree, some kale and a red wine reduction.
Lyn, fascinated by your food.
Lyn's taken apart her quail,
she's taken the legs and made a bonbon out of it.
She's pan-fried the breast.
She's taken the bones and made a sauce which is thick and rich.
Lyn looks like she might be a cook.
The problem we've got today is, we've got a room full of them.
You know what?
It's going to have to be really good today, really good.
You have one minute.
The pasta hasn't split, that's the main thing.
Come on, Kenny.
That's it, guys. Stop.
-Are you all right?
-Gosh, that was awesome, wasn't it?
-They are all great, aren't they?
-They are indeed.
Kenny, we want to taste your food. Come on.
Bank manager Kenny is serving pan-roasted quail
with celeriac puree,
fondant potato, buttered ceps,
beetroot, crispy spinach and
a red wine and bone marrow sauce.
A fair amount of work there.
If that's all properly cooked, much to be admired.
Your quail is cooked beautifully,
I love the way you've roasted it on the breast.
Your fondant is soft and buttery, I really like it.
Your sauce is properly powerful.
But I don't like your beetroot
because I don't think it has got any place on the plate at all.
-You don't have to chuck everything at it, Kenny.
-Because some of that is sound as a pound.
That sauce is really very, very rich indeed because of the bone marrow.
Your puree is perfectly smooth.
I've got a sneaking suspicion that you have quite a bit of technique
up your sleeve.
I'm feeling good, ready to go, next round, maybe.
-Well done, mate.
-That was really good.
-I think it went really well.
-You managed it.
27-year-old Elena has made ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach,
kale pesto, crispy pancetta and a sage and pumpkin veloute.
Nice sauce, nice pasta,
but the spinach and ricotta filling is really wet,
so it's spilling out into the sauce.
I really like the sweet pumpkin sauce.
For you to make a veloute, make a filling, make a ravioli, very good.
It's like the adrenaline is just...
I think I can cook better
but I'm definitely proud of myself, you know.
Barrister George has cooked gnocchi with wild mushrooms, pine nuts,
Swiss chard, endive, and basil and garlic oil.
Your gnocchi are nice and light.
I like the selection of mushrooms and chard
and a bit of endive in there as well.
But there's nothing gluing it together.
It needs a sauce of some type so that those dumplings puff up
a little bit and take a bit of that sauce on.
It's very easy to make gnocchi heavy and dense.
Yours are light and pillow-like.
I also like the zing of fresh herb,
but without a sauce, it's dry and it just hasn't got enough flavour
to cover what is a bowl of potato dumplings.
If the reasons that I go home
are because I didn't quite put enough of the sauce on the plate,
then that will bug me.
God, it's daunting.
Probation officer Lyn is serving pan-fried breast of quail
on mashed potato, a quail leg bonbon,
buttered kale and a red wine sauce.
The bonbon has got loads of spice in it with pepper, lots of garlic.
It's crispy on the outside, you can taste the quail, it's really good.
Your sauce is rich with red wine.
Your mashed potato, although it's got lumps in it,
is really well-seasoned and really, really lovely.
Bonbons are fabulous.
-The potato is buttery and your sauce is sweet.
It's deep, it's great.
I'm really happy with the breast.
You've handled that bird really well.
You have a very good touch, very good palate,
I'm very impressed with that.
I never expected to get that kind of feedback.
I'm bowled over, it was awesome.
I'm so excited.
Mans has made salt-and-pepper squid...
..and served it on a puree of smoked aubergine, ricotta,
lemon and garlic and a salad of chives,
tomatoes and pomegranate seeds.
-You are a fusion man, aren't you?
Your squid's cooked nicely with its salt and pepper outside,
being a little bit spicy, a little bit crispy.
There's lots of lovely flavour of cumin and garlic
in with your aubergine.
But that sweetness of pomegranate and cheese and squid,
I find unnerving.
I'm not a fan of squid and cheese
and I'm not a fan of squid and pomegranate.
I thought I'd hate ricotta, aubergine and pomegranate,
but I don't. I could dip some bread into it,
but I can't get used to dipping squid into it, I'm afraid.
I'm not sure it's something that you've had before.
-I think it's something you may have made up.
I took a huge risk by doing this dish.
Then again, I like mixing ingredients
and sometimes it works and if it doesn't work,
well, tough luck for me.
Well done. Are you all right?
Graphic designer Tasha has cooked mushroom and Parmesan ravioli
with crispy chorizo cubes and a chorizo, thyme and sage oil.
Not bad on your pasta, it's slightly too thick,
therefore a little bit chewy around the edge.
But the inside of your ravioli is absolutely lovely.
Soft mushrooms, fair amount of cheese in there as well,
giving it a real salty zing.
Your oil is not delivering enough flavour.
-I like the warmth that comes from the big hunks of chorizo,
but you need to put paprika with that oil.
There's some tasty bits and there's a few little mistakes.
It's a bit of a blur.
Hopefully, if I go through, I'll get those silly mistakes correct.
Finally, Chris has prepared cod en papillote, with crushed potatoes,
green beans and chard,
with brown shrimps in a fennel beurre blanc sauce.
You can most certainly cook a piece of fish,
it's coming apart in nice, big, wide flakes.
Beurre blanc, perfect accompaniment to that cod.
I think there are some really lovely bits about this dish.
It's just a bit rough in the way it looks.
But I think it's a good start.
I was sort of shell-shocked. It's quite an experience.
They seemed to quite like some parts of it, so I'm holding on to that.
-What are we going to do here then, John?
-I have a star today.
I think Lyn's quail was just fantastic.
The flavours, Gregg!
I agree with you. The most important thing are good cookery foundations,
and Lyn can cook.
The other dish that I loved was also a dish of quail
and that was from Kenny, the bank manager.
Kenny can cook as well.
Heart and soul of that dish was great
and that sauce bordelaise was fabulous. Can we talk about Chris?
Cooking en papillote and making a beurre blanc, that's classic,
classic cooking, and he can do it.
Yeah, Chris, our dentist, I think did really well.
So Chris now joins Lyn and Kenny.
Mans can actually cook squid.
But aubergine, ricotta cheese, squid and pomegranate seeds?
That doesn't work!
Mans, I like some of your Lebanese flavours, but not all together.
George frustrates me in that I think he made excellent gnocchi,
but you've got to put some heavy sauce in there.
-Flavour, he did not deliver.
Elena did good pasta work.
She made a very decent pumpkin veloute.
There was definitely skill on show there.
However, the issue was that filling of wet ricotta.
Tasha's ravioli was a little bit thick
where the two sheets of pasta met.
Beautiful mushroom filling.
The oil itself didn't have a great deal of punch.
I'd like it to be a bit more saucy, a bit more unctuous.
If this is it, I'll be gutted.
I want to prove to you how good I can be.
In the time, I did what I wanted to do,
but often, one thing makes the difference.
That was really fun, but intense.
I think that's just whetted my appetite.
It is a bit infectious, the adrenaline rush.
I'm here for the adventure.
I know it's going to be a hard one, because only three will make it,
but I really want to go through.
Who can go further in the competition?
Who has got more to show?
Very, very well done.
With a roomful of decent cooks,
it's a real shame that all of you can't go through.
There's three cooks who we thought today were outstanding.
Congratulations, you three are going through to the next round.
Well done. Well done.
That means we've only got one more place to give.
The fourth person going through to the next round...
Mans, Tasha, George, thank you very much, guys.
-Nice to have met you.
I was pleased with what I produced.
But on the day, there were better chefs, so...
I'm sure I can only savour a couple of things,
because I've had such a great time
and would have wanted it to go further. But it happens.
I'm not going to be doing squids any more.
Ever. I didn't do my cooking style justice at all tonight.
But c'est la vie.
Today has a real sense of occasion,
because we've invited three wonderful guests in here
to taste and help judge your food...
Previous finalist Jack Lucas
and champions Mat Follas and Natalie Coleman.
You impress all three of them, you are good!
Ladies and gentlemen, three quarterfinal places to give.
Two courses, your own food.
One hour and 15 minutes. Let's cook.
I've done these dishes for dinner parties and friends.
People usually liked it.
Practised it a few weeks ago and I got Nancy, my wife,
to come in periodically and ask me lots of questions
to try and put me off.
It's got to be really good food without any mistakes.
What are you going to cook, Chris,
that's going to get you a quarterfinal place?
Seared tuna, covered in sesame seed, with lots of Asian flavours,
drizzled with ginger.
It's going to be on a bed of coriander
and it's got little garlic chips and chilli on top.
And a main course of...?
It's a tarragon chicken with smoked lardons, mushrooms,
tarragon and with a bit of Madeira in it, really rich sauce,
chicken skin chard and hasselback potato.
Why would you want a quarterfinal place?
I want to be a better chef.
This pushes you, this moves you along,
from where you would be in your normal life.
Oh, that's a brave chap, innit,
who comes in here and just sears a bit of tuna!
It could well be a good tactical move,
doing something delicious but simple as a starter,
putting all your energy and time into a more complex main course.
Chicken with tarragon,
it's proper comfort food and I'm really excited about it.
I just hope he does it justice.
Elena is playing with two very, very classical dishes.
Beef carpaccio, served with matchstick fries,
a mustard dressing and burnt onions.
I mean, that's a great combination.
I love a carpaccio,
but it's not showing a great deal of cookery skill.
Her second course is a duck breast with celeriac puree, cavolo nero,
blackberry sauce, lovely, lovely flavours,
but cooking that duck is not as easy as everybody thinks.
Elena, you've got little sort of calling cards.
Yeah, every five minutes, I should have done a bunch of stuff.
Right, so each one of those cards is a five-minute pack?
-Very clever, good planning, I like it.
I can be quite slow, so I'm trying to be as fast as I can.
Slow is something you really don't want to be on MasterChef.
-I know, I know.
-Where are you right now?
A little bit behind.
What do I need to do? What do I need to do?
Two courses for four people in an hour and 15 minutes.
I don't think I've ever done that before.
So I've really got to keep tidy and don't kind of get into a messy flap.
I feel a little bit nervous. I won't lie.
It's what sort of drives you, isn't it?
Yeah, I am absolutely buzzing.
-Two courses for a quarterfinal place.
-What are they?
-I'm doing a venison loin with a champ croquette,
some carrot puree and a juniper sauce.
Dessert, I'm doing a fig and almond tart,
with some Chantilly cream and a spiced fig syrup.
You look like you're a bit nervous about this round.
I loved the first one and to get that taste of success,
you know what it's like. It pushes you forward, doesn't it?
We shall see!
Venison and juniper and a croquette sounds fabulous,
Cor! An almond and fig tart with the fig syrup.
There are lots of reasons to fall in love with Kenny's food.
That is not the issue.
Has Kenny actually bitten off more than he can really chew?
He looks pushed,
to the point of manic.
And he's already cut himself twice.
This whole thing, this thing is bonkers!
I keep pinching myself.
Am I actually here?
Lyn. What are you going to cook for us?
I'm starting with a pan-fried duck breast.
I'm doing a stuffed cabbage parcel.
What's your cabbage parcel stuffed with?
Essentially, it's stuffed with cabbage.
And a red wine, port and blackberry sauce.
My next dish is a spiced hazelnut biscuit,
with a baked chocolate and orange ganache.
Is your ganache spreadable or is it a disc?
Theoretically, I am meant to quenelle it.
You may or may not get quenelles.
So I really need to work on my presentation.
Lyn is putting cabbage inside a cabbage.
I don't know why she's not using a forcemeat inside the cabbage,
because that would be really lovely with the duck meat.
Dessert is a baked chocolate ganache.
Chocolate ganache to me is the spreadable stuff
you put on top of a cake.
So is it like a baked chocolate mousse or a baked chocolate biscuit?
I don't understand what a baked chocolate ganache is.
I know what I've got to do.
I'm just running out of time.
But I will get something out, hopefully.
I feel sorry for the guys today, because it is quite stressful.
I remember I sort of fell to pieces in this round.
I was a little bit late, so I don't envy them today.
MasterChef has done wonders for me, it opens doors.
My dream was that sort of seaside cafe, doing really good quality,
relatively simple food.
I've achieved that and I'm enjoying what I do.
I remember this challenge, looking back on it, with fond memories.
Actually, I think it went quite well for me,
but it is absolutely terrifying.
But for me, show potential, deliver things on time
to schedule and you will ace this challenge.
Here's to some good food, guys,
I hope that we're going to get fed well.
Ten minutes on your first course, please.
Now, I quite like the sound of this.
It's quite simple, tuna, just sesame coat it, cook it nice and pink,
just a really nice sear on the outside is all it needs.
-That looks good, mate.
-I hope it tastes good.
-I think the key to this dish
is those Asian flavours and not overbalancing with too much garlic.
I feel sorry for my other half tonight,
after eating them garlic chips!
Three minutes, young Chris.
-What else has to go on here?
-Just the garnishes.
Good job I don't shake like this at work!
Are you happy with it?
-Good. Off you go.
-Well done, mate.
This is a seared tuna with black sesame seed on the outside,
with an Asian style dressing on coriander with garlic chips.
-Thank you very much.
It smells really, really good. It looks really pretty.
He's made quite a good effort.
The tuna is cooked nicely. I like the sesame crust on the outside.
He has got the coriander, the chilli, the garlic in there,
but actually, that sauce, where is it?
I want more of it, I want something to give it some depth of flavour.
There's a hint of it on the plate, it smells good,
so he had a good sauce.
If he put plenty of that on the plate, there's a good dish here.
The heat of the chilli, along with the sweetness of the fish,
that lovely toastiness of the sesame seeds is wonderful.
That's a nice dish.
15 minutes now...
-until your chicken, yeah?
Go on, chef!
I've done this dish between eight to ten times,
but never under this sort of time pressure.
It has always been relaxed, for friends and relatives.
And with a glass of wine!
I love the sound of his second course,
chicken in a creamy tarragon,
it's a favourite in my house.
It's completely different to his starter.
Quite French in its approach.
Hasselback potatoes, so important that he slices those potatoes
really finely and they crisp up.
-Yeah, you've got four minutes, Chris.
Looks like you're on time.
I like to try and be to time if I can.
Oh, you've got some good things going across that plate, chef.
-Yeah! What's left? Your chards.
Thank you very much.
This is a tarragon chicken and a mushroom sauce.
A chicken chard, hasselback potatoes
-and then spinach and pine nuts, enjoy, thank you.
It's a nice looking dish, it smells great, I can't wait to try it.
Mmm! That is so good.
He has got it, hasn't he? Well done.
I love this. The chicken was cooked perfectly.
I loved the spinach and pine nut puree.
The sauce with the mushrooms and morels was delicious.
It's thick, it's creamy, it's unctuous.
The skill of a cook is in making a sauce more than anything else.
-Yeah, that sauce is good.
-Well done, Chris.
Soft chicken, fantastic.
Smoky sauce with a little bit of sweetness from the Madeira,
a little bit of aniseed from the tarragon, fabulous.
That's a yummy dish, made by someone cooking what they like to eat.
Glad it's over. I thought they came out really well,
but it doesn't matter if I'm pleased or not, does it?
It really doesn't count!
I only cooked that dish originally because I liked it!
-You've got five minutes.
-Are you on time?
-Yeah. I'm done.
-What's left, what's left to do, Lyn, before you plate up?
So, Lyn's main, this sounds fantastic.
Duck breast, celeriac, Savoy cabbage.
Hearty, it's wholesome, it's autumnal.
Cabbage parcel sounds quite interesting,
I wonder what she's put in there.
Maybe she's made a nice stuffing?
She just has to cook her duck perfectly,
nice puree and we'll be happy.
Two minutes, Lyn.
-Whoa! Don't... All right.
I'm not very delicate, have you noticed?
Right. Are you done with your duck?
I don't know. That one looks a right mess.
-Yeah, I'm done with the duck.
-Off you go.
Ladies first. Sorry, I'm a bit clumsy.
That's all right. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
So, I've made for you pan-fried duck breast with celeriac puree,
stuffed Savoy cabbage parcel
and a red wine, port and blackberry sauce. I hope you enjoy.
My duck is cooked nicely, it's nice and pink.
The celeriac puree is nice.
The cabbage parcel's great.
It's got a lot of flavour in it.
The sauce is thin but it has a really nice shine to it.
It's got quite a nice flavour, but it's a little bit sweet.
Lyn has a presentation issue. Look at the sauce!
Creamed cabbage, celeriac puree and duck, cooked by Lyn.
-Her flavours are good.
-You've got four minutes.
Your gel, how long does it take to set?
About a minute. It's a very quick set.
-It's cooked, yes.
I've got to quenelle it, though.
-Is that wet enough to quenelle?
It's meant to be a rough-look quenelle.
I love chocolate in a dessert.
It's one of my favourite things.
But what is a baked ganache?
When you work with chocolate, would you normally bake it,
unless it has flour, and it's more like a fondant?
It'll be interesting to see what it turns out like.
I can't quenelle.
I don't think that texture will quenelle properly,
even if you were better at it.
Lots of work there, classic flavours,
should go together really, really well.
Two minutes. We need gels, go, go, go, go.
-Has it set?
Are you done? Yeah? OK.
-I think I am.
-You've got it done, Lyn.
Took a lot of effort and quite a bit of skill
to get all these things done, but what is it?
For your dessert, there is a baked chocolate and orange ganache,
a spiced hazelnut biscuit, and orange gel and Chantilly cream.
I think it's a lot of picky things.
I quite liked eating it,
dipping the biscuit into the chocolate
and the cream and everything.
The biscuit is light and has got a good texture, good taste.
I think the Chantilly cream is sweet enough, it's quite pleasant.
I think the flavour in the dark chocolate is bitter,
but the texture is just wrong, it set so firm.
It's got all the flavours of a really good pudding here.
I think she's just confused with presentation.
It's obvious that Lyn knows how to bake a biscuit,
she knows how to make a chocolate ganache, she knows what Chantilly is
and she knows how to make a jelly.
She doesn't know what to do with them once she's made them,
but she knows how to make them!
It wasn't a disaster, but there were things that just went wrong.
I feel like an emotional wreck.
Ten minutes, Kenny.
Quick, quick, quick, quick. Come on, buddy.
Kenny is cooking us a venison loin, champ croquette and a juniper sauce.
All of those elements are quite difficult to do well.
The croquette, got to make sure that the mash is nice and smooth
and creamy inside, no lumps, we don't like lumpy mash.
-You've got five minutes, Kenny.
-Where is your venison?
It's in now. I think I'm taking it out, you know.
I think this sounds great, it's classic.
Venison loin, get it cooked perfectly.
-Don't overcook it!
-No, no, no, that would be a travesty.
Come on, Kenny, come on, come on.
Got two minutes, Kenny.
OK, OK, all right!
OK, croquettes, croquettes.
-That pan is going to be hot!
I know, I know. I'm on it, I'm on it.
Right, we're running out of time, Kenny,
-really, really running out of time.
-Watch out for this claret.
That is as rare as a kind-hearted bank manager.
You got that right, Gregg.
Plates a wipe and that's done, yeah?
Hold on, hold on. There's just the beetroot to chuck on the side.
-Kenny. Looks good.
-Thank you, mate.
-I'll serve you next.
What I've cooked for you today is roast loin of venison,
with a champ croquette, some carrot puree,
roasted beetroot and a juniper sauce.
-Thank you very much.
-All right. Take care. Thank you.
I'm quite excited by this dish.
Beetroot looks amazing,
the glaze on it and it looks like a nice champ croquette.
So, yeah, the boy's done good.
The venison is cooked perfectly.
-For me, that sauce is as good as it gets.
It packs a massive punch of flavour.
-The croquette is amazing.
It's really crispy on the outside
and then little fluffy pillows of mashed potato heaven.
That is stunning food.
I have no criticism of that dish at all.
Now, that is super yummy.
Absolutely super yummy.
It's a generous, well-flavoured, well-cooked plate of food.
You've got 15 minutes to make them look
the most beautiful tarts we have ever seen.
Thank you very much, cheers.
Now, I love the sound of Kenny's dessert.
We have got a fig and almond tart.
I presume it's going to be like a frangipane,
so maybe a little bit gooey in the middle, which will be nice.
Figs, I am personally not a fan of figs, so this has to convert me.
And that fig syrup, a little bit of spice in there to bring it together
-into something really delicious.
Five minutes, but you're well under way, right?
I'm well under way, yes.
-They look great, Kenny.
You need a nice chunk because I hate it when there's not enough cream.
They look fantastic.
Love it, love it, love it. Where's me spoon?
There we go. There's yours.
-Thank you very much.
So here we've got a fig and almond tart with a spiced fig syrup
-and a Chantilly cream. I hope you enjoy it.
By the way, your main...
That is spot on, isn't it? Look at the pastry skills.
That's some real talent to do that.
That is amazing.
It's so sticky and gooey and sweet and...
Oh, that is like a bundle of joy.
That is tart heaven.
The pastry was buttery, it was perfectly short,
the filling was slightly gooey, but cooked through, the figs were soft.
I think it's fantastic.
I think that's probably the best fig tart I've ever had.
That is absolutely superb.
-A nice looking tart. Look at that. Oh, yes.
-I may be a while.
Lots and lots of spice in that syrup.
Love the strong almond in the background.
The pastry is nice and short and crispy.
Just enough fig in there for it to be soft, but still concentrated.
That is lovely, John.
I feel knackered.
I've been through the wars, but I feel great.
I feel really good.
If it's not good, I couldn't taste it yet,
but hopefully they're all right.
-Elena, five minutes on your first course.
It's quite clever, beef carpaccio,
you can do it quite simply but still deliver from a taste perspective
and from a presentation point of view.
Can I put my duck on?
-Quick, quick, quick, you've got to put the food out.
You've got two minutes, then you need to serve your starter.
-I don't suppose you need me to tell you
-you're right up against it, do you?
Elena, you've got to get these starters out, mate.
-They're waiting for you. Now, now, now.
What's left to go on there now?
The little bit of dressing, the matchstick potatoes.
The capers and the onions.
-That is quite a lot. OK, your time is now up.
-I literally need one more minute if that's OK.
-Onions go on now?
Mate, you haven't got time to do that, really sorry.
You haven't got time to do this, they've got to go on.
Right now, you are two minutes over.
That's the last thing, right?
And then I'm just going to do
a couple of shavings of Parmesan, I'm done.
-Can we go?
-You're three minutes over. Let's go.
It's a bit scruffy, mate, innit?
Oh, amazing. Thank you.
That looks good.
-I hope you enjoy it.
For Elena's first course she's made beef carpaccio
with charred onion petals,
matchstick fries and a garlic, Parmesan and mustard dressing.
It looks pretty.
My only concern is that the beef hasn't been seared on the outside.
I think those shoestring fries are amazing, crispy on the outside.
And then there's that garlic sauce.
I think it works really nicely.
I'm impressed with that, it's a nice bit of garlic.
That's what seasons the meat.
Maybe it needs a bit of a kick of pepper.
However, I think it's really nice.
That's a really lovely, tasty plate of food.
There's not a lot of cooking going on here.
It's a scruffy dish, it's a late dish,
but it's a dish that tastes good.
I still need to process both of my sauces
and finish off basically plating and everything.
So I'm up against it.
You've got just five minutes left, are you ready to plate?
I will be ready to plate.
No, you kind of need to be ready now.
I'm trying my hardest for you.
So pan-fried duck breast, celeriac puree.
I love celeriac.
Pickled raspberries, delicious.
Yeah, it sounds like my cup of tea.
I like a bit of duck, crispy on the outside and pink on the inside,
not flapping away.
-Nice and pink.
-A bit under.
-A bit under?
You're now over time, Elena.
So we've got crisps to go on,
we've got blackberries to go on, we've got sauce to go on.
Cooking a sauce, a really good sauce, takes time.
It's really important she gets it glossy
and it needs to be quite thick
and coat the back of a spoon quite nicely.
You are now four minutes over.
-Off you go.
For the second course I've made you pan-fried duck breasts
with celeriac puree, pickled blackberries, sauteed cavolo nero,
blackberry and port sauce and celeriac crisps.
Hope you enjoy.
My duck is still a little bit quacking, but I'd still eat it.
I'm not too fussy.
It's not completely flying away from the plate.
It eats beautifully.
I think the flavour balances, she's got her seasoning spot on.
There's room for improvement in some aspects.
I think the celeriac puree could be a little bit creamier.
I think the sauce is a little bit too thick
but it's got great flavour.
I think the time probably caught up on her.
I think it shows a little bit in the dish.
Parts of the duck are edible,
but there are certain parts that aren't.
The berry sauce is more like jam rather than a sauce.
It's a perfect combination of flavours
not delivered perfectly because she ran out of time.
I'm a bit disappointed because I went over and my duck was under,
which isn't the right combination.
That was really, really tough for me.
I'm just happy I wasn't later, to be honest.
We had some fantastic cooking here today,
none better than Kenny.
Really good flavours, really good cooking, really good presentation.
That fella seems to have it all.
We loved it and so did our guests.
The other person I think who did very, very well today was Chris.
Yes. His little Asian tuna was pretty good.
But the quality of his chicken!
I was looking around for a bit of bread to dip in that sauce.
That was quality.
Kenny and Chris are through.
Who takes that last quarterfinal place?
Elena had timing issues.
Her starter of beef carpaccio didn't look great at all,
in fact it was scruffy. I thought it tasted good.
The main course, we had a duck which wasn't cooked very well at all.
And again, that main course was late.
Lyn's flavours were good.
I liked the quality of her sauce and the duck was fine,
but it was a mess.
And that's the frustration with Lyn,
is that she's got the flavour profile
but she ain't got the finesse.
I want it so badly.
I would give you my husband right now
in exchange for a quarterfinal place!
You can cook in your kitchen all you want,
but this is all about testing yourself
and kind of really seeing what you've got.
All you can do is hope that, you know, you've done enough,
so we'll see.
For me, there's one person who I believe has the potential
to go further in the competition.
You guys today did really, really well.
We ate very well indeed.
And we've made a decision.
..you've done more than enough to go through to the quarterfinal.
We have one more place.
The contestant going through to the quarterfinal...
Elena, great competition, thank you.
Well done, thank you.
I feel quite gutted. Probably in my heart of hearts.
I know I could have cooked better.
But I'm still really pleased and I'm still going to look back on this
as one of the best things I've done.
I'm a quarterfinalist.
I can't actually believe it.
I don't think it's sunk in.
I'm absolutely in shock.
I just feel incredible.
I'm not a big crier, but I keep sort of welling up.
I'm buzzing, I'm buzzing. It's just a massive achievement.
To have impressed people that you respect so much with your food
on two occasions now,
it sort of vindicates that I can cook. It's great.
On Wednesday night, the heats come to an end as the last group of cooks
battle for a place in the quarterfinal.
He knows what's going on in my head.
Anybody else brought a mascot with them?
This is good stuff, John, it's good stuff.