The four cooks must cook two courses that will excite not just John and Gregg, but also some of MasterChef's most inspiring winners and finalists.
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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
But at the end of today's heat, only three will make it through
to Friday's quarterfinal.
It doesn't matter how old you are,
I'm good enough and I think I can do it.
There's no point cooking mediocre dishes.
My biggest fear is putting something up that people don't like.
I've got one eye on that trophy, I have to say.
I've cleared a space on my shelf.
Congratulations. You've made it to the MasterChef kitchen.
This we call the market test.
You'll have ten minutes to choose your ingredients and an hour and ten
minutes to make that one majestic plate of food.
Ladies and gentlemen, to market.
Today's market ingredients include chicken, chorizo,
crab, sea trout, and prawns.
There's also a range of cheeses, nuts, grains and pulses
and a selection of fruits and vegetables.
It's an amazing market. You can get, like, everything just like
from the Asian country, pastry, seafood,
all the herbs so it's amazing choices here.
These seven cooks have access to all the same ingredients but we know
we're going to get seven different plates of food.
What they've got to be careful of is being either too safe
or too adventurous. Which way do you go?
I'm sure in an hour's time
I'll be like, I wish I'd done everything completely differently
but it's nerve-racking definitely.
I think if you've got an idea in your mind of what you want
to do first, it shouldn't faze you then.
Ladies and gentlemen,
one hour and ten minutes, one great plate of food.
At the end of this three of you go home.
23-year-old student, Ellie,
often cooks at a local homeless shelter in East London.
My dad is Spanish so I love cooking Spanish food.
You can just have about five
different ingredients on a plate and it just tastes incredible.
It is simple but I guess that's just the reason why I love it.
-Are you making something Spanish?
-Yes, I'm doing a paella today.
So you couldn't get more Spanish than that but I went in and I saw
the chicken and chorizo and I saw the prawns and then the paella rice.
Who taught you to cook?
I've done a lot of time with my grandma
so I watched her cook and I guess my
cooking style is very similar in that I just sort of go with it.
It's all very natural, so when I watch my grandma cook, I'm like, oh,
so what did you put in there?
And then it'll be completely different next time we do it.
Does your grandmother make a good paella?
She makes the best paella in all of Spain.
I bet she does.
I hope that Ellie's not playing it safe by just doing paella because
with a paella, all the ingredients
go into a pan and then the rice cooks.
That's it. What is it telling me about Ellie as a cook?
38-year-old pharmacist Moonira has been cooking since she was 13.
I'm very passionate about food, it's a very, very big part of my life.
When things have gone wrong in my life
I've always fallen back on cooking
and I think cooking helps me relax, helps me focus
and helps me carry on.
-Who do you cook for?
-I normally cook for my husband and my two children.
My husband loves curries, my kids hate curries,
so I have to try and create a balance
so I'm making you pan-fried spicy sea trout
with spicy crushed potatoes.
I'm going to attempt to do some chapatis.
This is one of my daughter's favourite.
If I see a smile on somebody's face after eating my food,
then that's made my day.
Sea trout is a very, very light fish
unlike salmon which is very, very oily.
Sea trout falls apart and it's very, very delicate.
It needs delicate spicing and nothing too much to bombard it.
28-year-old Rebecca works in HR in Newcastle.
My boyfriend's really rooting for me. He is so excited.
He keeps making fun of me and being like,
oh, you're going to be a TV star,
you're going to leave me and I'm like,
no, I'm sure that won't happen...
unless, you know, someone whisks me off my feet.
-Do you have a style?
-I like Asian food a lot.
I've travelled quite a bit and I get inspiration from that.
So I'm making nasi goreng, which is an Indonesian fried rice,
I'm then going to serve that with some prawns
and some curried crispy chicken shards on the top,
just for a bit of texture.
What's the secret to a really good nasi goreng?
I think it's getting your rice cooked perfectly,
getting it nice and fluffy and I think it's having nice, fluffy eggs,
well cooked seafood and then a really,
really punchy spice paste to go with it.
-Is that it?
-Yeah, that's about it.
Rebecca's making us nasi goreng.
Nasi means rice.
Goreng means fried.
Rebecca's doing chicken and prawns in a nasi goreng.
The chicken's got to be lovely and sweet and still moist.
The prawns have to have a crunch to them.
There should be fluffy rice cooked all the way through
and there should be a wonderful sauce with not too much chilli.
Yeah, that's fine.
38-year-old Dave is a police sergeant from Worcestershire.
I'm the kid that no-one would play Monopoly with cause I used to steal
off the bank if I was losing, on the sly,
which doesn't bode well for a policeman, to be fair.
But it was a win at all costs attitude.
I like to think I've got a bit more of a moral compass in every fairness
but the drive and competitiveness is still definitely there.
-How're you doing?
-David, you've got a towel on your head.
I'm very hot.
Dave, what are you making for us?
Right, I'm doing ravioli filled with mushrooms
with a tomato passata sauce.
Have you made ravioli before?
Yeah, I make it quite a lot to be honest, at home.
I do quite a lot of pasta. The gadgets appeal to me.
You only have to ask my wife. The cupboards
are filled with everything you can think of.
Mincing machines, the pasta machine, obviously, that's in there,
ice cream machines.
You name it, it's stuffed in a cupboard somewhere.
I think about mushroom ravioli and I think maybe a bit of white
sauce or cream and a bit of cheese,
A thick tomato sauce around ravioli with a thick mushroom filling,
it could all be a bit stodgy.
Let's just hope he gets it right.
Guys, you've got 30 minutes left.
Nawamin qualified as a doctor in Thailand
and is now studying for a PhD at Oxford University.
I'm pretty organised and just like put this and thing and things but
when it becomes like time pressure it's not going to be nice and calm,
chopping things nicely, it's going to be like...
But the food will look pretty.
What do you want to do? You want to be a cook
or do you want to save people's lives?
-What do you want to do?
-I think I can do it together.
Being a doctor, basically the patients come to see you,
they're ill and then you treat them to make them like happy
and that's so rewarding.
It's exactly the same thing with cooking,
when people come to my place,
I cook for them and then,
"It's so lovely I haven't had this food before in
"my life!", it's like that's good,
that's rewarding so actually the same thing.
What are you cooking?
So I'm making you a really lovely, coconuty, Thai yellow curry
with... Because we have beautiful crab in the market and
I make the curry paste from scratch as well from lemongrass,
garlic, ginger, peppers and things.
So, it's nice, fragrant,
very spicy and I know John loves spicy food.
I think you're OK with spicy as well, right?
Well, I don't mind a bit of pepper in a Shepherd's pie.
Shepherd's pie, how about...?
The great thing about Thai food, it has four things, sweet, sour, salty,
and hot and all those things fill your mouth.
Your cheeks should tingle, it should be delicious and I should be very,
As a child, American-born Michelle spent time living in Italy
with her family.
We had a trattoria that was just up the road.
It was just fun to see how the family would work together and just
pull ingredients from the garden or take something like a chicken
right there in the garden, and there's your dinner.
Michelle is cooking chicken Marsala and I'm not talking about
Indian masala, I'm talking about Marsala wine.
Marsala wine and cream sauce with chicken, very, very Italian.
Little bits of potato,
fantastic, but does it really belong with roasted tomatoes,
mascarpone and beans? Let's hope it works.
My mum instilled in me something that I really believe in.
Her motto was go for the gusto.
And later in life she had rheumatoid arthritis, severely, and she became
a double amputee and she just kept telling me don't ever let anything
slow you down, just do what you can while you can and enjoy it.
Even if you don't succeed, at least you can say you've done it.
And you won't wonder, "what if, what if?". Don't leave any what if's,
-and so this would be one of my what-ifs.
-What was mum's name?
-Good advice from Irene.
-I think so.
You guys have 15 minutes left.
Dave has got a bit of an issue
because he's really struggling with that pasta.
I hope he gets it out in time.
Stay-at-home dad Simon likes to spend time
inventing new recipes with his children.
It's pretty busy doing the, you know,
a morning routines and getting off to school
and nursery when they go, and then trying to cook various different
meals at different times and I try and cook as many family meals as
possible which I guess extends the sort of food that my kids like.
They're getting a bit of a taste for nice food
but certainly pretty hectic.
It hasn't been any easier than having a job
it's just been very different.
-So you're the cook in the family?
-I am. My wife's very good as well.
I have to say. But I am the cook at the moment.
-What are you making?
-I'm making a
confit ocean trout with a crispy skin,
some beetroot crisps, a fennel puree,
some crispy samphire and whipped goat's curd,
which has got some dill and lemon and a horseradish through it.
Tell me about goat's curd and fish.
I think it will work with the beetroot and the lemon and herbs,
and just to give a nice sort of creamy flavour to go with it.
And crispy samphire? Tell me about that.
Yeah, well, I need to crisp this up a bit more in some butter.
Why would you crisp up the samphire?
To give a bit of texture.
-Make it crispy.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Simon wants to show us all that he's got in his armoury,
confiting a piece of fish, making a fennel puree, doing beetroot crisps,
making a lemon whipped up cream sauce on the side.
That's great as long as the dish belongs on one plate
and all together.
Ladies and gentlemen you have just three minutes,
three minutes to finish your dish.
Your time is up!
-Well done, mate.
You all right?
-Sea trout! I'm told.
First up is master's student Ellie's paella,
which she's made with chicken, chorizo, prawns, and peppers.
Really taste the sweet, smoky prawn,
the paprika running through it, I love the saffron at the end.
That's really wonderful and rich.
It's all cooked very well.
I just don't know what sort of cook you are.
Therein lies the problem.
You've delivered something that tastes really, really good,
but doesn't demonstrate an enormous amount of cookery skills.
I guess, you know, I kind of regret not showing a bit more skill.
Perhaps there was something else I could've done,
but overall I'm happy with the comments.
Moonira's dish is pan-fried sea trout
with mustard and turmeric crushed potatoes,
spicy tomato sauce and chapati flatbreads.
-I have to say, I think it looks great.
Well, John thinks it looks great...
Your fish is cooked beautifully and falls apart at the seams.
I like soft of your potatoes which are more of a texture and a sponge
taking up the rest of the flavour.
Underneath there, your tomato sauce is very,
very strong and reduced right down, with lots of spices, and I like that
because it leaves a lovely bit of spice at the back of my throat.
-I think it's fabulous.
I love your flavours. I love your touch.
I do, however, think that sauce is too strong for that fish.
They were fair. Now I've done it, I do feel like, "Wow, I've done it,
"I've cooked for them", and I think it's a relief.
That is so nerve-racking.
HR worker Rebecca's nasi goreng has been made with chicken thighs
and topped with soy glazed pineapple,
lime and coriander prawns and curried chicken skin.
The flavours in there are slightly sweet, lime citrus,
and of course creeping chilli heat and quite salty.
And that is a really, really nice combination.
What I really like is the crispy chicken skin which has got a bit of
spice which smacks your lips and
then burns the back of your throat which is good.
The fact you've actually got pineapple in there and it works with
your chicken and your prawns, I'm really pleased.
I was just terrified that they'd
have a complaint about the pineapple,
but they understand the reason behind putting that into the dish so
I think they were fair and I'm
really happy with what they had to say.
-Pineapple paid off.
Pineapple worked. That was that fear.
-That was the way forward.
Police Sergeant Dave's mushroom ravioli has been served with
a roasted tomato passata sauce and
topped with bread crumbs and Parmesan.
I see what you've done. You folded it over.
-Folded it over, yeah.
I got it rolled as thinly as I could and I'd done it by hand
because I'd given up with the machine.
I think you got the flavours absolutely right.
A little bit of saltiness of cheese and sweet richness of tomato.
And you've definitely seasoned your...and cooked your mushrooms.
But the skill on show of course is the raviolo and that's not perfect.
Where you've had to double it up, it's now getting a little thick.
I think you've got a really good idea.
I don't think it's 100% because you got yourself in a flap
towards the end when the ravioli didn't work.
Bit deflated to be honest.
I can do that dish standing on my head at home but, obviously,
today, it wasn't to be.
So a bit disappointed.
Doctor Nawamin has served his Thai yellow curry with crab,
garlic rice noodles, a crab croquette and claw
and crispy basil.
Whoa. Whay hey!
Noodles are lovely and slippery, still separate,
with a little tiny bit of garlic running through it.
I love the crab claw which has been simmered in your stock.
Your crab, crispy croquette is salty and sweet at the same time and
underneath, that sour yet sweet and vibrant yellow curry sauce.
You've shown presentation skills. You've shown technical ability.
You've packed some flavour in there.
I like that Doctor, I think that's lovely.
I just can't believe it.
I'd just like cooked in the MasterChef kitchen and got...
..those comments from both of them.
It's just unbelievable.
I'm just so happy. Yeah.
American-born Michelle has served her creamy chicken Marsala with
crispy prosciutto and chicken skin
alongside fried potatoes and red onion,
green beans with almonds and roasted vine tomatoes.
The Marsala sauce I really like but it's reduced so much now that it's
becoming very, very thick and your chicken is starting to dry out.
The Marsala sauce doesn't need the cream on top.
It doesn't need the crispy bits of ham either,
cos it's a lovely thing by itself.
And I wish, in a way, that's all we
had was the chicken Marsala, but of course
you want to show what else you can do.
Like the potatoes with the crispy, salty bacon there
and I like the use of pepper. You've seasoned it very, very well.
Love the crispy, salty chicken skin.
You've got some nice ideas.
-Do we have to see them all on one plate?
I made too much of the dish and otherwise I think, really,
I'm pretty happy with what I produced overall.
I was afraid of not making enough and then them going,
"Where's the food?".
Last up is stay at home dad Simon,
who's served confit sea trout with crispy skin,
fennel puree, beetroot crisps, and a whipped goat's cheese mousse.
-Where is the crispy samphire?
-It didn't work.
Went a bit acrid so I didn't want to have it on the plate.
Your fish is cooked nicely but I do have some issues.
Both the beetroot and the skin,
haven't quite crisped up
and I see no place for goat cheese and fish.
I think this has got real promise.
-I really like the presentation,
I think it's a really bold statement.
Your fennel puree is smooth as you like.
You've cooked that fish really gently.
You really respect your ingredients.
But there are things that aren't quite right.
I'm definitely capable of doing a better dish so I think I'm sort of
on the edge of whether I stay or whether I go
which would be a bit gutting, first round.
All right, John, what are we going to do? Plenty of endeavour.
-Some tasty food, mate.
-Yeah, really tasty food.
There's a couple of cooks in here who are absolute stunners.
Nawamin was really, very, very good indeed.
I mean, walked into that market, cooked some Thai food
but cooked Thai food not in a way that many people identify.
It had the flavours and the heart of Thailand with real style.
Agreed. Agreed, Nawamin is my pick of the bunch
and they're a good bunch.
I thought Moonira's sauce although good was too powerful for the fish.
However, she showed great cookery skill.
She's shown an ability to make sauces and chapatis.
That's skilful cooking.
I'm not a fan of Michelle's cooking,
I mean she threw things on that plate.
It was a mess in its appearance and it was a mess in flavours.
Ellie, although she made a really tasty paella
hasn't given me much to go on.
When you play safe like that,
you've got to hope that other
contestants aren't more daring than you.
Rebecca also made a rice dish,
however she had to blend the spices and make the paste.
Also, she then added some caramelized pineapple.
Then she crisped up some chicken wings.
This is the difference in skill level.
So Ellie goes home?
Michelle, going home.
One place left to give, two people left to discuss,
Dave and Simon.
Dave made us a ravioli, or just a ravioli,
really a folded over piece of pasta which was quite tough.
Thankfully, the mushroom filling wasn't too strong
because we had a tomato sauce which was rich with olive oil.
Simon cooked a lovely piece of fish.
He attempted things that he didn't quite pull off here.
He wanted to crisp up the skin, never quite managed it.
He wanted to crisp up the beetroot, crisped it up in part, however,
he is, undoubtedly, ambitious.
Which one of those two deserves a second chance?
To fall at the first hurdle would be particularly galling, I have to say.
I don't want to be going home yet.
I certainly wasn't taking the competition lightly when I came in
but when you've been here you just want more
and you just want another opportunity to cook.
It was a difficult decision to make.
Three of you are leaving us.
I'm sorry, ladies, you're leaving us.
Thank you very much indeed.
The third person leaving us...
I'm going to walk away with my head held high.
But for an incident with the pasta machine who knows
what might have happened.
But, hey-ho. That's life.
I think I played it a bit too safe, but, yeah, I think...
..uni is a lot less stressful than this.
I'll happily go back there.
Sad that I'm leaving
but I got here and I did it
and so for that, I will be forever, ever grateful.
You did really well in the last round. You impressed.
All you've got to do now is keep it up.
You are going to serve your food to the three finalists of 2016.
Billy, Jack, and of course the winner, Jane.
Ladies and gentlemen you've got one hour and 15 minutes.
At the end of this
one of you will be going home.
I feel that I wouldn't have shown myself to the best of my ability
if I go home today.
I think I've got a lot more skill to show,
and it's just been a taster so far,
so I've got my game face on
and I'm hoping I do better than other people!
Rebecca, two courses, what are you going to cook for us?
To start with, we're having a spicy salmon fish ball
on a bed of Asian coleslaw
with a coriander salsa verde.
Then for my main, I'm doing a bibimbap
which is a traditional Korean rice dish
with some sticky glaze, deep-fried chicken wings,
gochujang spice paste. It's quite hot.
A few different vegetables and a fried egg on top.
South Korea is a country you've been to, is it?
It's not. I've been to Japan. I've been to Japan a few times,
and there's a really big Korean food culture in Japan,
so I think I've had pretty much as near to authentic as you can get.
It may not be authentic. Do you know what, John?
I don't think I care a single dot,
as long as she can recreate the beautiful Asian flavours
she did in the last round.
Now, salmon balls? I'm hoping they're going to be
a little bit crispy on the outside, on an Asian slaw,
which I'm hoping is going to be sharp and tangy.
That is going to be fabulous!
A rice dish with some fried chicken on the top?
The kimchi, the hot sauce she's promised me, really, really hot?
Yeah, that works!
Can she present them in an extremely stylish manner?
You have one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11,
12, 13, 14, 15, 16...
16...17 different spices on your bench.
Yes. I love my spice,
so I'm hoping to show you that, hopefully,
they should all marry together.
What are you going to cook for us?
A Karahi chicken curry with pilau rice and a kachumber,
which is a traditional salad.
It's something that we would eat at home,
or if you came to my house as a guest, I'd give it to you.
Dessert, I'm doing for you a key lime and magaz parfait,
with a lime jelly and a ginger Chantilly cream.
-What's a magaz?
-It's a chickpea flour, coarse chickpea flour
roasted with sugar, nuts and a bit of ghee.
You can crumble it, or you can eat it as a piece.
And the magaz is on the top?
-Instead of the biscuit base.
So, this magaz, if you've never had it before, it is very strange,
because it's like eating sandpaper.
It's gritty, but it's comforting.
My mum passed this recipe down to me from my grandma,
and I'd hate it if one of them turned round and said,
"Oh, I hate that".
I think her dessert sounds fantastic. It's really fascinating.
Lime and ginger,
and then this roasted chickpea flour sweet ghee thing
all spiced up alongside it. It could be fantastic.
However, she's making a chicken curry.
It's got to be an absolutely delicious one
because we've all had one.
We've had good ones, we've had bad ones.
It's a pretty common dish, John.
I think I'm very good at dealing with the pressure.
I have done a few surgeries, a few operations.
I can cope with those pressures but in the kitchen it's totally
different but I can just, like, try to keep calm, try to be organised.
And, hopefully, I can do the same all the way through.
Are you going to cook Thai inspired food again?
Yes, that is my cooking style from the first round to the final.
-You're going to the final, are you?
-Umm... If you allow me!
So, for the starter I'm going to make you, umm,
my grandma's garden.
I used to live with my grandma.
She has a lovely garden, with vegetables, all the herbs.
So I'm going to make that for you guys today.
So put all the Thai herbs,
lovely fragrant Thai up on the top with nice medium rare beef
and burnt aubergine.
With coconut spicy dressing cream.
Main course is going to be coconut crust rack of lamb with creamy
-Massaman curry sauce...
-..and coconuty mash potato,
crispy onions and pickled cucumber and carrot.
This isn't Thai food though, is it?
This is a Thai mixture. This is a Thai cross.
No, it's Thai food.
It's my take on Massaman curry.
Look, a Thai salad with beef, that's quite normal,
but a rack of lamb with a Massaman curry?
Loads and loads of dried spices,
and then dried red chillies
with potatoes which have been cooked in coconut cream.
Who knows? It's got lots of Thai words in it
but it's not necessarily Thai in origin.
After the last round,
I'm sort of scraping through by the skin of my teeth!
To now really show what I can do and for them to enjoy my food and think
I was good enough to go through, I
think that would be absolutely fantastic.
What are you going to cook for us?
Sichuan steak tartare, smoked egg yolk,
and a sesame cracker.
-Good, and then your next course?
It's going to be fillet of venison, a caramelised cauliflower puree,
smoked potato fondant, some baby top carrots,
garlic crisps and a red wine sauce.
What do you feel you need to improve on from the last round?
Most things, I'll be honest with you.
I was really unimpressed with myself.
I can do a lot better. I want to present it well,
I want it to taste good. I want it to be proper plates of food.
Simon is going from east to west with his food,
and he's going somewhere in the middle. We've all had Sichuan beef,
but he's going to present it in a tartare styling.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
I love the idea of that.
Then we've got cauliflower, fondant potatoes, venison, red wine,
juniper berries. Fantastic.
There's no reason why it shouldn't work.
What Simon's got to do is make sure
he delivers what he wants to deliver,
and not make any mistakes.
I've been so busy, and it's actually getting busier.
So this year I've been in Thailand working, which is fantastic.
But the funniest thing was it was
like the most manic MasterChef challenge ever!
To literally go around the market,
pick your ingredients and cook a four course meal
for 12 people the next day!
It's a good job I'd done my little bit of training on MasterChef!
The challenge today is really tough,
I remember it being a particularly horrible day in the kitchen.
Mostly because of the time. You blink, you miss it,
and obviously feeding ex-contestants is always
pretty nerve-racking as well, so I feel for them today.
I really do!
If someone walks in, in a complete state,
they've got rubbish all over themselves, apron's a mess,
I'll be very sympathetic to that,
but ultimately it's got to taste good as well.
No matter how much you sweat and pant and puff,
if it doesn't taste good,
than I can't be that sympathetic.
-It's good to see you.
-How lovely to see you all again!
-How's your fish balls?
-They're looking all right,
although I've maybe made them a little too big.
-Do you know how long you've got?
-I'm guessing about three minutes?
"Spicy Salmon Fishballs With Asian Slaw And Coriander Salsa Verde".
And it sounds light and wonderful.
Something I'd order.
-What have you got left to do?
-I've just got to dress the slaw
and the meatballs have just got to finish cooking,
and then I've just got to get it on the plate.
I want some heat.
You know, it's promising some real chilli kick there,
especially with the Asian slaw.
I want it to really my hit taste buds!
-You want it zinging!
-I want it zinging?
I think it should still be slightly pink and moist in the middle,
which is what I'm hoping for.
Thanks very much.
I've made you salmon fish balls with a bit of spice running through the
middle there, in a sticky soy and mirin glaze.
There is an Asian slaw and coriander salsa verde.
-I hope you enjoy.
-Thank you, Rebecca.
Wow, the smell coming off that is so good that I just hope it matches
what it smells like, because I'm going to really enjoy it if it does!
I don't know about you guys, but my salmon is really overcooked on one
part and then undercooked on the other side.
Like, it's raw, which I don't mind because it's salmon,
but it's just given it an odd texture.
It's very soggy and very wet, erm, and not very highly seasoned.
It's just a bit flat.
I think the slaw is quite nice, but lacks a bit of a punch.
-Weird one, really.
-A bit lacklustre.
The Asian slaw, it's got a nice, sweet, salty, limey, sharp dressing,
but that mix is raw.
It's not cooked. It's wet. I'm not going anywhere near that.
That's really not good.
And then your main course.
Right, Korean Bibimbap.
Now, I actually like this because there's a great Korean down my road
and I have this as a takeaway fairly often. At least, I think I do!
-We've eaten a lot of fried chicken, haven't we?
So, yeah, we know if it's good or if it's not.
-There you go.
-Chicken connoisseurs, right here!
-What's got to go on now?
-Erm, just the gochujang sauce.
-Are you happy with it all?
I think it's all come together quite well.
Erm, I just hope that the guests enjoy it.
Thank you, Rebecca.
Rebecca's bibimbap main course
includes sticky glazed chicken wings,
rice, spinach, shiitake and sesame stir-fry, kimchi cabbage,
fried egg and gochujang sauce.
This is definitely not the best fried chicken I've ever eaten.
It's not the worst either.
It's sort of... It's neither here nor there,
and it's overpowered by a sweet punch.
What do you think of the rice?
The rice is completely under seasoned and just tastes a bit wet.
What it again lacks, which you expect with Asian food,
is that absolute punch of flavour.
Loads of chilli. Loads of, you know, fabulous seasoning and everything.
I have to say, I think that was really nice.
Yeah, the rice, you know, could have done
with a little bit more care and attention,
but given the timing, I think she's done incredibly well.
I like the bitter and sweet glaze that she's got across her chicken.
I also like the kimchi.
But the rice isn't cooked properly - it's still a little bit hard -
and the mushrooms I'm picking up aren't cooked either.
I think that's probably the closest I will ever come
to running a marathon.
I just hope that everything's come out as well as I think it did.
-Five minutes on your main course, please.
-Ah! Right, OK.
-What's the matter, what's happening?
Are you getting yourself in a tizz?
-I'm a bit behind with my dessert.
I think to cook a curry in an hour is really ambitious,
-and to get the spicing right.
Because, you know, if you want that complexity of flavour.
-Is it ready to serve?
What have you dressed your kachumber with?
Lime, cumin, coriander and fresh mint.
If they're all balanced and executed well,
then I think we're going to eat very well indeed.
Well, I hope so, Jack, I'm starving!
-Bring on the curry!
It's so easy at home.
-Big difference here, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
-It looks great.
-Oh, thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
I've cooked for you a chicken Karahi,
with pilau rice and a kachumber, which is a traditional salad.
-Enjoy, thank you.
That smells so good, doesn't it, guys?
I tell you what, I'm really enjoying this.
Getting some nice heat coming through.
A bit of ginger. I mean, I can take it a bit spicy but, actually,
there is enough spice in there for even hotheads like me.
And the little salad is lovely.
-I'm going to have some more, actually.
-Yeah, I've just...
You know you shouldn't keep eating?
But I am, which is a testament to it, isn't it?
If you keep going back for more.
I want the recipe, then I want to go home and cook it.
-Because I think this is divine.
It's a very, very decent dish.
It looks very good. It's got nice flavour in there.
But looking at the array of spices on Moonira's dishes,
I was expecting more. I was expecting an explosion of flavour.
I totally agree with you.
Right, you have got 15 minutes on dessert.
What have you got left to do?
-Are you going to be able to get jelly done in that amount of time?
-Are you not talking to me any more? OK, fine.
-I'm not sure!
"Lime And Magaz Parfait".
I mean, haven't got a clue what it is, but that makes me, er,
that makes me interested.
It's intriguing. We go out to eat, normally,
one of us knows what it is,
so to have a menu that's challenging like that,
-I think is going to be fabulous.
-Bring it on!
-Moonira, what have you got left to do?
-Just thicken this cream.
-I'm plating up, yeah.
-Your jelly's OK?
-Where is it, in the fridge?
In the freezer.
OK. All right?
Right, OK, here we go.
Yeah, I'm happy.
Look at that!
Go, go, go, go, go!
There you are.
I've made for you a key lime and magaz parfait,
with a lime jelly and a ginger Chantilly cream.
-Thank you very much.
-I hope you enjoy. Thank you.
-That is not what I was expecting. I think that looks stunning.
-I really like the little magaz that we got.
I did, I think they're lovely.
It's like an English shortbread. It's nice and crumbly.
It's a beautiful texture.
But when you hear ginger and lime,
you expect something that's really zingy
and packs a punch, and I thought the whole dish was just a little flat.
It tastes nice enough,
but I think I was expecting probably a little bit more,
given how good the, er, how good the curry was.
A bit disappointed, really.
I find that pretty, refreshing, not too sweet and a lovely,
lovely little treat.
And I really like this magaz. It's fabulous.
Oh, I'm happy I got that out.
That was so close.
I was running out of time and I had John and Gregg saying,
"Come on, this is it, you need to go!".
I'm like, "OK!". So, yes, I think that was tough.
Nawamin, a little less than 15 minutes.
How are you doing?
Everything's on track. I will plate my starter in five minutes.
"My Grandma's Garden" - what a lovely title!
He's promising us a lot here.
-Thai aromatic beef.
You know, it if it doesn't come out
smelling amazing and tasting amazing,
then it's, you know, it's going to be a bit of a disappointment.
Raw. It's raw.
Maybe just a couple of seconds in the pan, it should be fine.
With the aubergine salad and the cream dressing,
he's got quite a difficult balancing act,
and I just hope he pulls it off.
Is that it?
Sorry it's a bit late.
-Thank you very much.
Inspired by his grandma's garden,
Nawamin's starter is lemongrass and kaffir lime beef,
served with burnt aubergines, toasted cashews,
Thai basil, coriander,
edible flowers and a spicy coconut dressing.
As you can see here, you have a bit of lime, which is, I'm a good boy,
so I always help my grandma watering the garden.
So, you just squeeze the lime before eating it.
So you have the kind of like refreshing,
fragrant smell before eating.
I hope you enjoy. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
I think it's less Grandma's Garden, more like Grandma's Cattle Farm!
Because the most, you know,
most of the stuff I'm getting from this is beef.
But I'm not complaining,
cos I think that beef was cooked absolutely superbly.
I think it's really balanced.
I love the heat in there.
The smoked aubergine works beautifully with the beef.
I've still got a zing on my lips from the chilli
and the coconut cream and the lemongrass.
Very moreish, that's what I'd say.
I was expecting a lot more herbs.
When he said herbs, I thought it would be really lots
of herbs across the top.
I like the flavours.
I think it's the textures I'm struggling with.
The creaminess of coconut and also,
it's quite a thick skin of aubergine,
that's not easy to eat.
"Coconut Crusted Rack Of Lamb Served With Massaman Curry Sauce,
"Spiced Coconut Mashed Potato, Crispy Onion
"Pickled Carrot And Cucumber."
It sounds delicious on one hand,
but I'm eating curry and I've got mashed potato.
-So I'm a little bit confused.
For me, it's all about that Massaman curry sauce.
You know, if that delivers flavour, if that packs a punch,
then it's going to be a joy to eat.
-Happy with the lamb?
I'm pretty happy with the how it looks.
What is left to go on, Nawamin?
So it's just the sauce and then, the crispy onions.
The pickle is going to be very easy.
And then the sauce.
Just about right, I think.
-Are you done?
Lamb looks nice.
Lamb does look nice. The lamb does look nice.
Ladies first, again.
Oh, lovely. Thank you.
Thank you very much.
For my main, I cook you... It's a coconut crust.
Like a brief Massaman curry sauce,
spiced, coconuty mashed potato and crispy onions
and pickled cucumber and carrot.
-I hope you enjoy.
-Thank you very much.
The curry sauce isn't bad, actually. It's got some nice flavour to it.
Unfortunately, it's kind of lost in the sea of coconut mashed potato.
It's a shame, because the lamb is beautiful.
The onion crisps, the attention to detail on the plate, all of it,
but unfortunately, that one element just skews the dish a bit.
Nawamin knows how to pack a punch with spice, doesn't he?
I mean, that sauce is lovely and spicy and hot
and warming on the back of your throat.
I'm not sure how I approve of all this fusion
stuff, but this dish - I like.
It was so stressful, like, to cook eight dishes
in one hour and ten minutes.
Definitely harder than surgery.
-How you looking?
I mean, a steak tartare is raw meat with seasoning,
so, I mean, it's not going to take him a huge amount of time to do.
For me, it's all about the balance of the Szechuan
with everything else. Why mess with a steak tartare?
Smoking is such a fashionable thing at the moment and it can be so
easily overdone and that the whole dish is put out of kilter.
-Three minutes, Simon.
Ah, is it fantastic?
-I think I'm going to...
-Egg yolk smoked?
-The egg yolks are smoked.
Beef is dressed. I just need to put it all together now.
-Let's go, mate. Is that it?
-Last thing's your crisp?
Go, go, go.
Well done. Well done.
-Good, isn't it?
-As long as it's flavoured well.
So we've got a Szechuan steak tartare with a pickled cucumber,
smoked egg yolk and sesame cracker.
I can't taste the Szechuan, can you?
A little bit. There's a little tingle there but not the
Szechuan pepper that you would
expect if it's a Szechuan steak tartare.
Actually, I've just had a bit more
and have got the hint of Szechuan so it is there.
These crackers are nice. They're lovely with it
and the egg is cooked beautifully
but it just needs more seasoning and more oomph in there.
The only thing that's subtle is the
egg yolk, the smokiness of the egg yolk, otherwise,
it is big and bold and brash.
-And he's made a little cracker as well.
-I really like that.
-As happy as I'll ever be.
Good. Simon, you've got 15 minutes on your main course.
What have you got left to do, mate?
Sear the venison, stick it in the oven for five minutes,
-cos it's a nice small piece.
-Right. Come on, mate. Let's go.
Who doesn't love a bit of venison, potato fondant, cauliflower?
I mean, it's all great kind of classic flavour combinations there.
The danger of being classic is we
all know what it should be presented like,
what it should taste like.
There's no hiding places.
Is that venison cooked the way you want it?
Yeah, that's how I like to eat it.
Nice looking puree.
-Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go.
-OK. Thank you.
-Right. There you are.
Cheers, thanks, Simon.
So we have a fillet of venison, smoked potato fondants,
and some baby topped carrots, some garlic chips,
a caramelised cauliflower puree and a red wine sauce.
-Thank you, Simon.
-Thank you, very much.
-Thank you, thank you.
The meat's cooked really well.
I think the fondant's nice.
Well, it's a nice Sunday dinner.
You know, it's meat and vegetables,
and a sauce and the cauliflower puree's beautifully silky.
I'd eat it, pretty much all of it, with a nice drop of red.
The sauce needs to be thicker,
cause it's got lovely spice from juniper and red wine and his venison
is going dry, because it didn't rest but not a bad job, Simon.
-Not a bad job at all.
-No, that's not a bad job
and those smoky potatoes, I find divine.
I'm feeling much better than I did in the last round.
I feel like I've cooked pretty well.
There's some elements that could be better.
But overall, certainly compared to the last round,
I've got more of a smile on my face.
I knew it was going to be an exciting round.
Lots of interesting food, some great successes and the odd failure.
Moonira did a decent job, I think.
We very much enjoyed her chicken curry with her kachumber.
It was well presented and our guests really enjoyed it as well.
You and I really liked Moonira's dessert.
Our guests weren't too sure.
There was great promise with Rebecca
after that first round with that nasi goreng.
As the starter, there's a big issue, of course,
that those salmon balls were undercooked.
The main course? Her play on a Korean dish.
I liked the kimchi, the cabbage, I liked the sauce that she'd made.
I even liked the chicken.
The mushrooms I thought could have done with a little bit more cooking
and I just thought the whole thing just needed tidying up.
Nawamin is ambitious.
He gave himself a lot of work to do and he has a style all of his own.
That beef starter with the aubergine, I like the flavours,
didn't like the textures.
The guests, however, liked it.
His main course played mind games, because when I looked at it,
it did look like a rack of lamb with mashed potato and gravy and I
expected those flavours but instead, I got the flavours of Thailand.
Am I excited by him or am I worried about him?
I think both in equal measure.
Simon made a Szechuan style beef tartare to start,
which you and I really, really liked.
The venison main course from Simon? That had a couple of issues.
The meat needed to rest a little bit more.
It was a little chewy and the sauce could have been thicker.
However, the flavours were good.
The smoked fondant potato was lovely.
The fact is, we've got four cooks
and one of them is going to leave us.
I think we know who deserves to go through and
I think we know who's messed up.
You just get the buzz. It's a
feeling like nothing I've really had before,
so I don't want this to be the end of the road.
I don't think there was any more I could have done today,
so I think I'm...
I can be proud of myself.
I have shown my style of cooking.
If they don't like it, I just have to go home today.
I think I'm just getting going and I think if I continue along that sort
of trajectory, then, who knows what might happen?
We have made a decision.
The contestant leaving us...
-I hope you enjoyed it.
I just think it's been a sort of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Tick off the bucket list, and I'm
never going to get to do it again, so...
And that's the saddest part, because
it just makes me want to go back in and do it.
There were definitely some mistakes and things, things to work on
but to be a quarterfinalist is absolutely fantastic.
A big achievement. I'm so happy.
This is another chapter of my life.
I'm very proud of myself.
And my children are going to be so excited!
On Thursday night,
seven more home cooks battle for a place in the quarterfinal.
I mean, you can't serve raw duck, can you?
Yeah, there is rare and then there's quacking.
I just hate being negative.
It's just like the craziest bit of food I've ever come across.
You have caused controversy.
That makes our decision really difficult.
It's the third week of heats and seven more hopefuls need to pull out all the stops to prove to judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace that they have the potential to rise above the rest.
This year sees the return of the MasterChef market, full of quality produce from across the world including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, pulses, grains and dairy. The challenge is to invent and cook one dish using anything from the market.
This time, the featured ingredients include chicken thighs, chorizo, crab, sea trout and prawns. They have an hour and 10 minutes to dazzle the judges and prove they are good enough to stay. The stakes are high and it's important to choose wisely because after tasting all seven dishes, John and Gregg will decide which four cooks will stay, while three cooks will be sent home.
The four remaining cooks will have one more challenge standing between them and a quarter-final place. They must cook two courses that will excite not just John and Gregg, but also impress 2016's MasterChef finalists - Jack Layer and Billy Wright - and 2016 MasterChef champion, Jane Devonshire.
After the four hopefuls have cooked, John and Gregg will decide which three contestants deserve to take the next step in the competition and go through to Friday's quarter-final.