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MasterChef is back.
Searching for the country's best amateur cook.
Go, 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.
Fire up those ovens, rattle those pans, it's MasterChef time!
Let's discover some incredible, creative, culinary talent!
These seven passionate 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.
I'm more excited than I am nervous.
I can't wait, I'm absolutely buzzing for it. I really am.
I think the timing's are going to be the biggest challenge for me
because I'm a very leisurely cook.
It's definitely going to be tough,
but you just have to go out and go all out.
Welcome to MasterChef.
Possibly the start of a great adventure.
If you relax, you enjoy yourself,
we are more likely to taste something yummy.
Through those doors there, we have stacked our market
with the finest produce from around the world.
What we'd like you to do is cook for us
just one fantastic plate of food.
At the end of this,
we'll only take four of you through to the next round.
Ladies and gentlemen, ten minutes,
choose your ingredients, off you go.
Today's market ingredients include -
pork chops, lamb rump, and pigeon.
As well as sea bass, turbot, langoustines, and clams.
There is also a range of cheeses, nuts, grains, and pulses.
And a variety of fruit and vegetables.
To try and obviously do something you've never even worked with before
and you've only got an hour and ten minutes is daunting.
I'm going to cook what I cook on an ordinary day for my family.
I think it's about not panicking.
This market challenge is a great challenge!
Because it allows these contestants to cook whatever they want!
They have no restraints at all, apart from time.
They've got to have a decent amount of skill,
but they've got to be able to deliver really tasty food
that belongs together on a plate.
I pretty much got an idea straightaway.
It's a dish which I make quite a few times so, I've got faith in it.
So, fingers crossed.
I'm missing something, and I can't work out what it is.
You've got one hour and ten minutes, one great plate of food.
Best of luck. Let's cook!
Recently retired PE teacher Martin,
enjoys cooking with flavours from all over the world.
I've got a very, very, varied repertoire.
It can be anything from North African, to Indian,
to French to Mexican.
So, I feel relatively confident doing lots of different things.
Martin, what are you going to make with all the spice?
I'm going to attempt to make my own ras el hanout.
I seem to remember it being relatively simple,
it's just a question of getting the blend of the spices right.
-What are you making?
-I'm going to make a rump of lamb,
coated in the ras,
some carrots slowly fried
in butter and caraway seed,
vanilla cauliflower puree and just a plain grilled aubergine.
You're using lots of big flavours, Martin.
You must be a very brave, bold cook.
You've got to be if you're here, haven't you?
Putting vanilla into cauliflower is being done in various restaurants
around the world. However, vanilla and lamb I've never had before,
and I don't know how I feel about it right now.
30-year-old postman, Mark,
loves cooking for his wife and two young children.
I practise a lot, and you know, you get out what you put in.
So I put a lot of effort in at home, so hopefully
the reward will be great.
Mark's full of energy,
full of confidence and he's taken some key ingredients which I think
should work together. Pork, celeriac, apple, and sage.
The pork chop needs to be moist and not dry.
He needs to score the skin if he's going to keep it on,
so the rind goes crispy.
Last thing you need is rubbery skin around the outside of a pork chop.
Why MasterChef, Mark?
I love cooking and this is what I want to do.
It's where my passion is, it's what I love,
anything to do with cooking.
-Absolutely. I would love to. It's the dream.
At the moment, it's about there, but I'd love a restaurant.
I would love that.
Guys, you have 45 minutes left!
Sri Lankan born Roma is a novelist and painter.
The thing I love about cooking is that
the response that you get is immediate.
As a novelist, you wait for criticism.
But with food, it's instant.
I'm making this dry Sri Lankan aubergine curry.
With basmati rice.
And what spices are you using?
Well, I've got fenugreek which is obviously Sri Lankan.
Cumin, I've got mustard seed, obviously I've got garlic, cardamom,
And I'm going to go back in and look for turmeric.
A dry curry is just a simple expression whereby all the spices
are taken up and wrap around
the main ingredient, in this case being aubergine.
There should be enough moisture left in the vegetables,
but that releases the juice when you eat it.
I'm quite excited about Roma's food, really excited.
Anthony is a 999 call operator for the Ambulance Service
in his hometown, Newcastle.
My family are quite meat and two veg, you know?
That's the kind of upbringing that we've had. Herbs and spices,
that's not really something that I've really grown up with.
In the past five years, I've sort of done quite a bit of travelling.
You know, I got to try different foods and,
you know, it's been a big inspiration to us in that way.
Anthony, forgive me, I can't work out what it is you're making.
It's a Syrian-style dish called Muhammara.
So I've roasted red peppers, garlic, lemon,
fresh pomegranate to give it a bit of a kick, and black treacle.
-I'm doing it with flatbreads.
-Where are you from?
-I'm from Newcastle.
How did you learn about the street foods of Syria if you weren't there?
I visit the Middle East quite a lot. Just because I like the culture.
I cook quite a lot of home, so...
Intriguing. Very intriguing!
I hope it pulls off. But we'll see.
I've eaten food from Lebanon, but I've never had anything from Syria.
I'm quite excited about it.
However, I wonder if he could've done something a little bit more
than just a dip and a bit of bread.
You've got 30 minutes!
26-year-old Chloe from Leeds, loves cooking for friends and family.
I'm a massive feeder so I absolutely love feeding people
when they're eating, I'm like,
"Are you enjoying it?"
And they're like, "Yep, can I just eat it now?"
I'm doing a chocolate molten cake/ fondant
with a berry and pecan brittle.
What's a molten cake?
It's basically a fondant. Just with a melted middle.
So it is a fondant, basically.
-It's a fondant?
-Yeah. I'm just calling it a molten cake to be fancy.
I don't usually do sweet things, so it's quite risky for me.
I'm having to wing measurements and things.
But you've written out the measurements exactly.
-So where's the winging coming from?
Because I think... I think it's, like,
some things I know are half to double,
so I've kind of tried to remember it that way,
but I might have got it the wrong way round, so...
I think doing a fondant at this stage of the competition
is very brave, especially without a recipe to hand.
She is doing this by memory.
If it works, if it's delicious, I'll be really, really impressed.
Sweta is originally from North India.
She's now in London studying for a PhD
on the British anti-war movement.
Being a student for a long time teaches you how to make the most out
of the most minimalistic things you have in your kitchen.
You just have to invent your own dishes sometimes
using the most random ingredients.
If you're in the middle of a PhD, why are you here on MasterChef?
I like taking challenges and I've always loved cooking.
My parents didn't let me go to culinary school,
so now I'm in a position where I can make my own decisions in life,
so this is my decision.
-What are you cooking?
-A sea bass with some pickled vegetables,
hasselback potatoes, salsa verde.
OK. Why this dish out of all the things you could have done?
I love fish. I grew up in a place with plentiful fish, so, yeah,
I thought I should make a fish.
Pickles, sea bass, couscous and hasselback potatoes.
With salsa verde.
I think there might be too many things on the plate.
You have 15 minutes left.
Just 15 minutes.
36-year-old Stuart is an internationally renowned cocktail bar tender.
I make cocktails, I throw bottles around,
I get to travel all over the place and do what I love.
I've just got to try not to throw all the stuff around.
What made you start cooking in the first place?
-My mother couldn't.
We needed power tools to get into our food when we grew up, so...
Yeah, we just sort of learned to cook out of necessity and then I kind of
-got a hunger for it.
-What are you making for us now?
So, we're doing some pan-fried sea bass.
I've added some chilli, some garlic in there.
We've got some Puy lentils,
which I've added some cavolo nero and then I'm going to use the potatoes
and then some cream which I'm just heating up.
And then I've got some toasted pine nuts and pistachios.
Sea bass and cream sauce?
The cream sauce is a bit of an anomaly as far as I'm concerned.
Two minutes, people.
Final touches, please.
Time's up. Stop.
First up is postman Mark...
..who's made pan-fried pork chop served with fondant potatoes,
heritage carrots, celeriac puree and a white wine and cream sauce.
Where's the fat on the pork chop gone?
-Cut it away.
Your pork chop's a bit dry and a bit over.
Put a bit of butter on it. It will love it.
I'm not a fan of cream sauce with pork because pork is fatty
and the cream sauce gets fatty as well.
Your vegetables are cooked nicely.
You fondant potatoes are soft.
I really like the hint of slightly sweet,
slightly sharp apple that's going with the pork.
It's a perfect accompaniment.
I could have done the pork a little bit better.
It's not like me. I'm usually on point with things like that,
but...I think nerves got a little bit...
It is like a pressure cooker in there. Very, very tough.
PhD student Sweta has pan-fried a fillet of sea bass,
accompanied by hasselback potato, couscous,
pickled purple cauliflower,
fennel and radish, samphire and salsa verde.
I've never seen it like it. It defies description.
You have been really bold here.
I really like these pickled vegetables with the couscous,
the samphire and the salsa verde mixed together.
I've never eaten anything in that way before,
but if I was in a restaurant and it was on the menu,
I would order it again.
I'm happy with the way you cooked the fish and I love the seasoning
that you've put on there.
However, the potato doesn't work with the pickled veg.
But I think you are a really interesting cook.
I think you've got a good eye for presentation.
I was happy with what I made.
It tasted good, that's the most important thing for me.
Flavours are the ultimate thing, you know?
I'm just glad it's over more than pleased.
It's nerve-racking to be there.
Novelist Roma has made a Sri Lankan dry aubergine and green bean curry
with aubergine fritters on turmeric flavoured rice.
The rice is light and fluffy and is nice.
Good flavours in your aubergine curry,
but I find it a little greasy.
And these frittery things don't taste of very much.
I suppose when you said to me Sri Lankan curry,
I expected something a little bit more vivacious and a bit sort of
more dancey on my palate, and it doesn't quite do that.
It hasn't quite romanced me.
This is something I cook a lot and I'm disappointed I couldn't get
my act together to cook it properly.
Retired PE teacher Martin has cooked Moroccan lamb spiced with
ras el hanout served with vanilla and nutmeg flavoured cauliflower,
roasted aubergine and carrots,
garnished with pomegranate seeds and finished with a red wine sauce.
Some of your lamb's a bit under,
but the bits that are cooked are cooked nicely.
That little bit of vanilla and the cauliflower, that works together.
However, I don't get any caraway at all on your carrots.
And what I don't like are the pomegranate seeds across the top.
I've already got enough going on in my mouth
without another injection of flavour going on.
Extraordinary array of flavours.
Some really work for me, some don't.
I'm OK with the vanilla in the cauliflower.
That's a slight sweetness,
but there is so much nutmeg in there
that it's almost like an antiseptic mouthwash it's so strong.
Oh, absolutely exhausted.
The time just went so, so quickly.
Having thought you were on track at one stage
and then it was just such a panic at the end.
Ambulance dispatcher Anthony has made a trio
of Syrian inspired mezze dishes.
Ka'ak flatbread with sesame seeds,
fried tomatoes with pickled lemon and mint
and a red pepper, pomegranate and walnut Muhammara dip.
-What's it called?
Anthony, well done, you're through to the next round.
I've never eaten these things before,
but they're all very, very tasty.
Very tasty indeed.
Your dip, the Muhammara, is smoky with peppers,
loads and loads of spice in the background.
A bit of chilli heat, but sour and sharp at the same time.
And the little sweet notes of the pomegranate across the top
I think are really, really lovely.
Really beautiful crisp breads with the sesame seeds
are making it toasty.
Those tomatoes, of course, are sweet.
The mint is sharp,
and then you've got that salty sour preserved lemon on there as well.
I'm really taken with this. Well done.
I don't care what happens now. I'm just happy that they liked
that dish. And that I just did something new.
I'm just really glad that they liked it.
Oh, my God, I'm in shock.
Bartender Stuart has cooked pan-fried sea bass
flavoured with chilli and lime on Puy lentils,
cavolo nero and potato with tenderstem broccoli
and a toasted pistachio, pine nut and cream sauce.
It looks burnt to me.
Your fish is overcooked and dry.
You've got burnt bits of chilli and garlic across the top.
Cream with pistachio and pine nuts,
lentils, potatoes and fish.
Sorry, I don't like it.
I like your use of lentils and cavolo nero, black cabbage.
I think that's great and you've got good seasoning.
But I really don't like that sauce you've made, I really don't,
Ripped apart in there. I can do better than that.
That's probably some of the worst cooking I've done in years.
But that's the point of being put on the spot, isn't it?
You've got to see your ability to adapt.
Last up is marketing account manager Chloe who has made the only dessert.
A dark chocolate fondant with a red berry compote,
creme fraiche and toasted pecans.
You just about had time to melt the sugar for your brittle.
But you didn't have time for it to set.
No. Another four minutes, maybe it would have been OK.
The cake itself is slightly too dense, slightly too heavy,
but you have a perfect runny chocolate centre which is rich
and gooey and exactly how it should be.
That on a first round of MasterChef is not a bad attempt at all.
I like the red stewed fruit underneath with a bit of sharp blackberries
and the sourness of your creme fraiche.
It's a decent choice. But we're missing our brittle.
It's not quite where it should be.
It hasn't been finished off the way it needs to be, but a good start,
Chloe. Good start.
I'm pleased it had a gooey centre.
That's the bonus.
I was pleased with how I acted under pressure.
It could have always been better, but, yeah, I'm happy, yeah.
John, we've found some more good cooks.
I think there was some really great food,
some very interesting food and one or two surprising dishes, shall we say.
My pick of the day is Anthony.
It takes a really confident cook to walk into MasterChef in the first
round and do a dip and some bread,
because that dip and bread has to be absolutely extraordinary.
-And Anthony did it.
-Boy, can he build flavour.
That dip that started off almost sweet and then went smoky and then
got really hot with garlic and then finished with a little bit of chilli.
John, that was...divine.
-My pick of the bunch is Sweta.
Her fish with the hasselback potatoes was brilliantly done.
Showed a good touch and good imagination and a good use of flavours.
I thought it was going to be too many things on the plate,
but actually couscous, pickled vegetables, salsa verde with fish,
I tell you what, it might become one of my staples.
Chloe, without a recipe,
made a really good chocolate fondant with an oozy centre.
And sharp dark berries underneath.
She didn't get her brittle out, however,
the quality of her fondant was enough, I feel.
-Chloe goes through.
-There is only one contestant here whose food
I actually took a dislike to and that was Stuart.
As a concept, lentils, cavolo nero
and sea bass with some chilli would have been absolutely fantastic.
Cream - absolutely misplaced.
He needs to come back in a couple of years when he has honed some skills.
Roma, I expected something full of fragrance,
full of flavour and texture and I'm really sorry, it wasn't brilliant.
The rice was nicely cooked.
I liked the spicing that she had on her curry, but her curry was greasy.
I don't think she's a bad cook, I just don't think she's done enough to go through.
OK, we've got one more place to give.
We've got Mark and we've got Martin.
One of those is staying and one of those is going home.
I liked Martin's endeavour. I loved the use of all those spices.
I think it's really brave, very creative.
Too much nutmeg in the cauliflower puree.
But apart from that, he managed to conjure up some good flavour.
But on the side, we had bits of carrot
which were missing the caraway,
aubergine which was a bit tasteless and the whole thing presented
in a very unusual way.
Mark got good flavours on there - quality, tried and tested,
classic flavours. Sage, apple, pork.
All those things were always going to work together.
His issue for me, the big issue was a cream sauce.
And the pork was a little bit over.
Massively want to go through to the next round.
I think I've got it in me to go a lot further.
Just fingers crossed, I hope I do.
I want to go all the way and if I go out, oh...
I'll go out thinking I didn't do myself justice.
As we said at the start of this,
we can only take four of you through to the next round and that means
that three of you will be leaving the competition.
Sweta, Anthony, Chloe, congratulations.
You're staying with us.
Along with the good news comes the bad news.
Stuart, Roma, I'm sorry, you're both leaving us.
Thank you, guys.
The final person staying with us...
..is Mark. Well done, Mark.
Martin, so very sorry. Thanks very much.
Oh, the pressure was unbelievable.
Very daunting, very intimidating, but would I do it again? Yeah.
I don't think I did myself a great deal of justice,
so I think the pressure got to me.
You can look back and go, "There's a million things I should have done."
You're constantly just trying to do more, trying to do more,
and just did too much.
You are going to present your food today to three incredible people.
Thomasina Miers and Steven Wallis.
You impress them, you will deserve a place in the quarterfinal.
Two courses, four plates of each course.
One hour and 15 minutes.
At the end of this, three quarterfinalists,
which means that one of you is going home.
For starter, I'm doing pan-fried scallops with a lime mayonnaise,
pickled and fresh cucumber and a watercress garnish.
So it's really light because then
it's duck for main which is quite heavy.
It's going to be pan-fried duck, hoisin and peanut sauce,
a sesame crisp, parsnip puree
and pak choi and a little bit of chilli.
Tell me why you've taken a root veg
to serve with an otherwise Asian duck?
Because the sweetness goes really well with the hoisin sauce and with the duck.
It needed something, not a mashed potato,
but it needed something smooth to go with it.
The first course of the scallops with the lime mayonnaise should
deliver bags and bags of flavour and have real clarity.
Her main course, however, I feel has no clarity at all.
Because I don't understand why you'd want to put a starchy,
creamy vegetable with an Asian main course.
I want to show that I'm good at cooking both fish and meat.
The main concerns are probably around cooking the duck
and making sure the skin is crispy
and also getting everything plated in the time.
I'm cooking an Assamese prawn curry.
And then I'm serving it with steamed rice with ghee.
A fresh, crunchy papaya salad and some prawn balls.
For my dessert, I'm making a tapioca kheer with saffron,
cardamom and pistachios.
A kheer is a term used for any milk-based creamy pudding.
Goes very well with the spicy curry.
What's interesting, you're saying
you're making an Indian style, Assam,
where it is, north-eastern India, but you've got fish sauce,
you've got lime leaves, which many people would consider
-to be a lot more sort of south-east Asian, don't they?
because our culture is quite similar to the Burmese and the Thai culture
because our ancestors came from Thailand.
So we have the same produce to be used in our meals.
-I'm excited about your food.
-Yeah, me too. Me too!
Oh... Oh, no.
In that prawn curry, we have lime leaves, lemon leaves,
we've got some fish sauce as well, some Asian fish sauce.
I don't know, I've never had anything like this.
Tapioca pudding, sweetened, flavoured with cardamom.
Saffron in there as well, nuts across the top.
Superb. I want it, though, to be a little firm.
Hope it's not wet, wet, wet.
Some other '90s pop group will do. But I don't want it wet, wet, wet!
Getting through the first round was...
It was tough. I really want to pursue this as a career,
so hopefully I can do myself proud, yeah.
For the main, I'm going to do pan-fried duck breast with some potatoes,
some braised cabbage, a parsnip puree and red wine and cherry sauce.
Dessert, I'm doing poached pears on a frangipane tart with toffee sauce
and clotted cream.
Whoa. Lots of work to do for your dessert and, actually,
a lot of work to do for your main course.
Why have you given yourself so much to do, Mark?
It's MasterChef, John, so this is what I'm here to prove what I'm about.
I have just one thing to say.
I mean, there was a huge amount of work to do.
Poached pear in a frangipane tart with cream?
OK. And a toffee sauce?
I don't think so. I think a toffee sauce is a sauce too many there.
The food I'm making today is stuff which...
Back in the north-east, people love it.
I'm doing a Teesside-style chicken parmo
with pickled red cabbage coleslaw and beetroot ketchup.
A parmo is a deep-fried breaded chicken cutlet and then you cover it in Bechamel sauce,
really thick Bechamel sauce, and then lots of really strong
Cheddar cheese on the top and then you grill it.
It's from an Italian chef who came here in World War II.
Then he opened a restaurant in Linthorpe Road, and that's where it came from.
And a dessert?
Dessert, I'm doing a brown ale chocolate fondant,
because of course we have a really good brown ale in the north-east.
I'm serving it with honeycomb cream.
Why wouldn't you do the Syrian food that we fell in love with?
To be honest, I love foreign food,
but then again I'm a bit of a home bird as well.
I just thought I want to have a little taste of the north-east. It'd be wrong not to.
That parmo with the pickled red cabbage and a beetroot ketchup
sounds absolutely hideous.
Wow. I don't know where to start, I don't know where to finish.
It's a chicken burger without a bun.
I don't mind telling you right now, John, I want to run away and hide.
The dessert, on the other hand, I think could be absolutely lovely.
A fondant with brown ale.
I may need all that chocolate,
ale and honeycomb to take away the flavour of my chicken cheese parmo.
Many people in the north-east and Teesside will be thinking, "Oh, God,
"making a parmo for MasterChef, that's a bit risky."
Making it glamorous, that's going to be a challenge, but it's all about the flavour.
That's what I want to get across.
It needs to be really strong Cheddar,
otherwise it's not worth bothering.
Obviously it's early days for these guys,
so I'm looking for some of the dishes to be presented well,
with the flavours coming through.
Whatever their cooking, I want the flavours to be there.
Any chef or cook will tell you that being cooked for
is the biggest treat on Earth.
And seeing what these different people from different walks of life
have got to give, it's an honour.
I love it. Sitting down and being fed, what could be better?
I think it's going to be very hard, it's going to be challenging,
but don't forget your passion in amongst what you're doing.
Don't just cook from your head, cook from your heart as well.
The meals we have on this table,
they really stand out in your memory,
-I really remember them.
Different kinds of menu every time. Fantastic.
Six minutes, Chloe.
-Enough time to cook your scallops, isn't it?
It's so easy to overcook a scallop.
What you really don't want is a hard bullet.
You want a lovely tender scallop,
but you want caramelisation on the surface area.
That's the most important thing, for me.
-How're they looking, Chloe?
-Good. They're looking good.
I'm hoping there's some real spikes with the lime,
the watercress and the cucumber.
Two minutes, Chloe.
-Are you happy?
-So far, yes.
-Well done. Well done.
I've made today pan-fried scallops with a lime mayonnaise,
pickled and fresh cucumber and a watercress garnish.
-Thank you. Thanks.
Mmm. This is good.
I think she's cooked the scallops beautifully.
There're lovely and caramelised on the outside
and very tender in the middle.
I just feel maybe she could've done a tiny bit better job of seasoning.
Similarly, with the aioli,
some lime zest would have given you a richer limey flavour.
-I'm nit-picking here.
This is beautiful food.
The scallops are nicely cooked, they've got a little bit of bounce,
got a lovely bit of colour, I love the fact she's put butter in there as well. I like it.
A little bit of lime in the thick creamy mayonnaise,
and there's sharp pickly bits in the cucumber.
That is quality.
You've got five minutes, Chloe.
I absolutely adore duck.
Peanut sauce, it's fantastic.
It's got shards of chilli, hey, I'm Indian.
Give me chilli any day.
It's just how she presents the duck.
-Happy with that?
It's got to be elegant.
It's got to, like, tempt me in and not be too overwhelming.
Two minutes, Chloe. Is the bok choi cooking?
-Yeah, it's nearly ready.
-The duck's rested?
Rested as much as it's going to be, yeah.
-So we're there, right?
-What's left to go?
-Just the crisps.
-Really impressed, Chloe.
-Chloe, well done.
-Very good, very good.
I've made pan-fried duck with a hoisin and peanut butter sauce,
a parsnip puree, pan-fried pak choi and chilli and sesame crisps.
She really knows how to plate up food to make it look good.
It just invites you in, doesn't it?
The duck's cooked pretty well.
I mean, I would prefer it slightly under.
The bok choi is lovely and al dente.
But, I just feel she needs to just swim in her flavours a bit more.
I think there's some beautiful textures.
It's the seasoning. I'm just...
I'm looking for more, I'm searching for that hit on my palate of,
kind of, boom.
I think a tiny bit of chilli in the sauce itself would have actually
lifted the whole sauce, and I think would have been fantastic.
My piece of duck that I'm eating is really lovely and tender.
I really like that salty hoisin sauce with the peanuts
and the sweetness of the parsnip.
I really like it.
No two ways about it, that girl can cook.
I am pleased with what I've served.
There's always room for improvement,
but given the pressure and the time constraints, yeah, I'm pleased.
Sweta, are you OK?
Yeah, I think I'm on time.
-What's left to do?
-Just plate up, really.
I want true Assamy flavours.
It's very mellow, very nice,
you don't want to overpower it with spices.
-Come on, finish it off.
-Yeah, my hands are shaking.
And I love that there's lots of contrast with the papaya, the chilli,
the lime, and the sort of fried element versus the curry.
So I think this is going to be a real treat.
-Dressing with palm sugar, lime, fish sauce and chillies.
Let's go. Well done. Well done, well done.
-Hello. There you go.
Today I've made for you Assamese prawn curry with lime leaves
and coconut cream.
With that we have ghee rice,
some prawn balls and a crunchy bean salad.
-I hope you enjoy it.
Assame curry is basically very much with the ginger, the garlic.
All of that she's missed out on the flavour,
and I feel as though the sauce is very, very dry,
and I think she's overdone it with the salt.
For me, this is quite a delicious plate of food.
There's real guts in that chilli sauce.
There is heat in there, there is flavour, I've got, like,
lime leaf coming out. This fritter, I think, is delicious.
It's tender, and there are, like, lovely morsels of prawn in there.
I love the beans, because I think you need some crunch,
you need some palate cleansing.
I like it, I think it's bold, I think it's original.
There's a real saltiness in that sauce,
and a burning little bit of chilli heat.
The fish balls are really, really strong
and very, very pungent indeed.
Some may say that's too salty.
I quite like the power of it.
You need the freshness of that salad
because of the saltiness in the sauce.
And actually, I'd like those prawns cooked a little less.
Oh, come on.
-15 minutes on your dessert.
Kheer is basically a rice pudding.
-It's very thick, rich, creamy.
-It sounds delicious.
Saffron, cardamom, they're just so aromatic those spices.
Love the smell of the saffron.
-Was that just sugar?
Sugar and butter makes fudge!
That'll do, won't it? Look at that.
-Right, can we go?
I've made you a tapioca kheer
with some saffron and cardamom, pistachios,
rose petals and a pistachio brittle.
-I hope you enjoy it. Thank you.
The kheer itself is very nice.
It's not gloopy.
Normally Indian sweets are very, very sickly sweet.
-It's just right.
-I love the saffron through it,
and I love getting those little nuggets of cardamom seed.
You know, real sort of bolts of flavour.
It's great to see someone using bold flavours
and not feel ashamed of that.
That's a cool tapioca, almost like jelly consistency,
and there's flaked almonds hiding in there which is just lovely.
Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
I even like her mistake of a brittle,
which is actually fudge with pistachio nuts.
I quite like it.
That was the most intense thing I've done, and it's just the first round.
But I'm just glad I didn't go over, and the plates look decent,
and they're out.
Mark, you've got 15 minutes on your first course.
Crispy skin. Really,
really crispy skin is what I look for on a duck breast.
Fondant potatoes, when they're done well, are spectacular.
Or is he going to let us down?
Go on, son. Are you happy with it all, Mark?
At the moment, yeah. Not bad effort I think to try and churn this out.
What I'm really excited about is that red wine and cherry sauce.
This will either be sensational and delicious,
or it might be a bit of a nightmare.
Today I've served you pan-fried duck breast, fondant potato,
braised cabbage, parsnip puree and a red wine and cherry sauce.
-Thanks a lot.
It could all be delicious, but the visual is not amazing.
The meat is, sadly, very overcooked.
The skin is so soggy and...
I definitely don't want to eat that.
The cherries are raw, the cabbage is raw.
The fondant potato, I think I need a hammer or a chisel,
because it's quite undercooked.
This was just a collection of things that were not brilliantly cooked.
I'm fine with duck flesh, I like the flavours of cherry,
and I like the thyme going through the parsnip puree.
However, that duck skin is not crisped up,
and that potato is not cooked.
He was up against it, and it's shown on this plate.
-15 minutes, mate, yeah?
-How is it looking?
-Yeah, all right. Yeah, looking good.
If you're doing a tart you've got to get a perfect, crisp pastry,
haven't you? It's all about the pastry.
Frangipane has to be really set nice, lovely almondy flavour.
Pear perfectly poached?
-I think so.
-Frangipane perfectly set?
I think so.
Is that toffee sauce going to be too sweet?
Or is it going to be a dark, rich, slightly burnt caramel?
Right, Mark, are you done?
-I am done.
-Off you go, chef.
For dessert I've made poached pears with frangipane tart,
toffee sauce and clotted cream.
-Hope you enjoy.
-Thank you so much.
This is completely different from the main course.
This looks wonderful.
The pear is tender, the pastry's lovely and crispy,
the toffee sauce...
I'm glad he hasn't put too much on it, because it would have been sickly.
It's just a little drizzle.
It's fine. I think he's pulled his socks up for this one, I think,
-by the looks of it.
-The savoury was...
Was a bit of a disaster.
So I think he's redeemed himself in that respect.
The pear is soft, and a pear is a beautiful thing with clotted cream,
that's a lovely toffee sauce, there's not too much of it,
it gives it a nice sugary edge.
I'm really sorry.
There is no flavour left in the pear.
I'm really sad about that.
It's all right, I'm here.
I don't think it was my best.
The timing is such an issue, I had so many things on the go.
I hope I've done enough to stay.
-Five minutes to go.
-..before you unleash your north-eastern parmo...
-..on the world.
Do you expect the guests to know what that is?
No, but I'll tell them.
This sounds great. It sounds like I'm, kind of,
in Newcastle eating some incredible, like, British street food.
I love the fact this is MasterChef
and he's just going for something gutsy and fun.
-How long do I have left?
-Two minutes? OK.
Oh, it's going on top. Right, OK.
I'm dying to know what this chicken style is.
-Give me the parmo.
-Come on, Anthony, you've got to wind it up, mate,
we're ready to go.
No! OK, OK...
-What are you doing?
-What are you doing?
-Trying to spread it across, but it's not smooth enough.
Come on, Anthony...!
Now, the back of a spoon, smooth it all over.
Do not ruin the elegance of the dish.
Didn't know I had elegance.
Today I've made for you a Teesside-style chicken parmo,
which is a deep-fried chicken cutlet
covered in Bechamel sauce and Cheddar cheese,
and I've served it with pickled red cabbage slaw and a spicy
beetroot ketchup. I hope you enjoy it.
The first impressions are...
..not very inviting to me.
He could not have made it look less attractive on the plate if he tried.
-It's quite amazing.
-..it tastes great.
The chicken's cooked well, it's got a really lovely crispy crumb on it.
It's full of flavour.
The beetroot ketchup, it's absolutely lovely,
and the coleslaw is really delicious as well.
It's crunchy, it's got a bit of tartness cutting through the
heaviness of the cheese and the Bechamel sauce.
This is the most original plate of food we've had the whole day.
You know, who knows, this could be the next big thing.
You know, #ChickenParmo.
The problem is, it just looks really bad.
But it also tastes quite good,
because the chicken's really moist and lovely,
and the cheesy sauce across the top, it's like a chicken burger.
It tastes a lot better than I thought it would,
I'm pleased to say!
Chocolate fondant. Getting that right is going to be a test.
I want it nice and gooey in the middle.
I'm a proper beer drinker, I love brown ale,
and I love the idea of it being mixed with chocolate.
And then you've got the honeycomb cream in there as well.
Hopefully it'll balance.
So I'm going to make my own little nozzle.
-Make your own little nozzle?
It's not perfect, but it gives it a bit of a design.
That is so... That...
You know what?
That's so clever. You've actually just cut the nozzle yourself.
You've got a minute. They've got to get on a plate.
A collective sigh of relief...
Never been so stressed getting four fondants out in my life.
Need to get it out, mate.
Go, go, go, go, go!
Today for pudding I've made you a brown ale chocolate fondant
with a black treacle honeycomb cream.
It's nice and smoky, so I hope you like it.
Thank you very much.
Sadly, it's cooked all the way through.
Fondant has to be oozy, lovely, unctuous.
I wouldn't be able to finish the whole dessert,
it's too cakey for me.
That brown ale in that fondant is great, really bold, dark flavours.
That honeycomb's dark, he's taken it really far,
so you get those bitter notes of the caramel.
The plating skills you can learn,
but I kind of love what he's done here. It's just balance.
Well... There's no liquid in the centre, mate.
It's like the parmo, it's got no presentation whatsoever.
He said it's about the flavour, and he's right.
It's good flavour.
I'm glad I got to serve a little slice of home.
I just hope they like it because these are things which my friends and family eat.
Hopefully I've given a good representation of the kind of food that we make.
We had classic food, we had French-style food,
we had Indian-style food,
and we had food from the exotic north-east of England.
My cook of the day was Chloe.
Scallops were cooked beautifully, duck cooked well.
I think both dishes looked an absolute picture,
and a really clever choice of ingredients.
I'm impressed with Chloe.
Thomasina and Steven loved Sweta's curry.
Daksha was unsure.
The prawns were a little bit overcooked,
however that sauce was pungent and strong, and I like that.
She's not shy about what she's doing.
Because when you get to dessert, and you've got this tapioca pudding.
Firm but chilled, flavoured with cardamom and saffron.
That's a heady concoction, and it worked for me.
That means we've got a discussion now about Mark and Anthony.
Mark presented to us food which was classic, really classic.
As good as the food looked,
I think he gave himself so much work today that those little mistakes
started to appear, and they all just stacked up against each other.
The guests in the dining room really enjoyed his dessert.
Frangipane and pear, toffee sauce, lovely.
Anthony delivered what he wanted to deliver, and this is the issue.
Beautiful moist chicken, and then a tonne of Cheddar cheese.
It looked shocking, it tasted great.
As for the dessert, we were supposed to have a fondant.
It should have an oozy, gooey centre.
No oozy, gooey centre at all.
However, it tastes good.
If I went home now, I'd be quite disappointed.
I'd really feel like I'd let my home down, I think.
I'm here to prove that I can cook.
This is what I want to do and this is what I love.
I'd feel devastated if I went home.
At the start of this,
we said we would give three quarterfinal places,
and that means that one of you is leaving the competition.
We've made our decision.
The person leaving us...
I would like to have done myself a bit more justice
and got a little bit further, but it's not meant to be, but...
Yeah, never mind.
Oh, my God, ecstatic.
Like, that was really, like...
I can't believe I brought a chicken parmo to this stage,
-and it's got us through.
-I honestly didn't think I'd get this far.
It's only going to get harder and harder,
so a lot of practice is needed.
Just absolutely delighted.
I'm very proud of myself, and ready for the next challenge.
Tomorrow night it's the quarterfinal and Sweta,
Chloe and Anthony will be joining
George, Mary and Kate
to fight for their place,
cooking for one of the country's top restaurant critics.
-I'm doing it.
When I set this challenge, this was what I was hoping for.