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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, red all those pans, it's MasterChef time.
Let's discover some incredible creative culinary talents.
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.
For me, this is just ridiculously exciting.
I can't believe that I'm here, it doesn't feel real at all.
I'm a good cook, you know. I'm not going to beat around the bush, I am.
But it's all about on the day, isn't it?
I'm really excited to be cooking for John and Gregg.
I hope they don't hate my food.
Welcome to the MasterChef kitchen.
You're here because you love to cook, right?
You cook well and impress us,
we'll be happy and we will send you through to the next round.
Through those doors over there,
we have built a market and you can choose to cook whatever you like.
You will have ten minutes to choose your ingredients
and then an hour and ten minutes
to give us one extraordinary plate of food
that gives Gregg and I an insight into you as a cook.
Off you go!
Today's meats include poussin,
beef cheeks, pork mince, and bone marrow.
In the fish section, there's mackerel,
tiger prawns, and mussels.
There's also a range of cheeses and cured meats,
and a variety of vegetables and fruits including fresh berries.
There's plenty to play with, so I've got a dish in my head.
It should all come together, hopefully.
I'm going to go for Italian with the poussin.
You can do some nice things with that pasta flour
and hopefully do that in an hour and ten. Should be fun.
Even though the market challenge
enables the contestants to cook whatever they want,
they've got to show skills,
because they've only got one chance to impress.
If you walk in that market and get confused,
you get ingredients blindness and then people start to panic.
Such a lovely variety of food there.
It's nothing specific I've made before.
I'm just going to enjoy this meal
and hopefully, it'll be edible.
I thought I'd steer clear of the meat and do something different,
because I'm guessing most people go straight for the protein,
and this is something that I've made before and I like, so, yeah.
At the end of this, three of you will be going home.
An exciting day in the MasterChef kitchen, because we have got
hairdressers, police, surgeons, heart specialists, pilots,
all these people working in the MasterChef kitchen
and changing their lives, fantastic!
37-year-old Jo is a detective sergeant
in the City of London police force.
In my job, I look at evidence, it's like a jigsaw
and I put the pieces together and try and work out the full picture.
With cooking, you take a range of ingredients,
try and visualise what the end dish will be like
and then I put it together.
It's just an awful lot quicker for me to cook a dish
than to solve a crime.
What are you making?
Well, I'm going to make a strawberry and cream tart,
so I'm going to try and make a creme pate
to go onto a strawberry puree in a little pastry case.
Who taught you to cook?
My mum taught me to cook and my nan.
They'll be watching me now,
because they make really, really good pastry.
And if I don't do them justice, then I'm in trouble.
The problem that Jo's got right now is time.
She's got to make the pastry, rest it, blind-bake it.
She's got to make creme patissiere, it's got to cool,
she's got to make jam, it's got to cool
and then she will assemble the whole lot.
I just hope it looks good.
28-year-old Sesi was inspired to cook by her Nigerian relatives.
I've got a humongous family.
We love to party and we love to eat,
so what better way of bringing people together
than around a really good plate of food?
There's usually a bit of dancing afterwards as well.
-What do you do for a living?
-I'm a trainee surgeon.
In a children's hospital.
Are your mum and dad very proud of you?
A little bit.
With such an important job, have you got time for MasterChef?
Well, you've got to make time for things you're passionate about,
so 13-hour shift, come back home, get in the kitchen, that's the way.
Sesi, what are you making for us?
Oven-roasted poussin with crushed potatoes,
green beans and a white wine sauce.
-Thank you so much.
Sesi has got a pretty classic dish.
My concern right now,
Sesi's opening her oven door and closing it all the time
and every time she opens the door, the heat comes out,
which means the chicken stops cooking. Leave the door closed.
25-year-old PhD student Ben started cooking when he left home.
One of my housemates was a really good cook,
he kind of taught me to cook and ever since then
it's become a bit of an addiction, a bit of a hobby.
I do leave a messy kitchen, and my housemates will tell you
they spend a lot of time cleaning up after me.
But they eat it, they can clear it up.
-Ben, you doing OK?
-Yeah, getting there, getting there.
-I know what I'm doing now.
-You look a little stressed.
Yeah, I'm a little bit stressed.
I'm a nervous sweater, struggle under pressure.
-What do you do?
-I work for the British Heart Foundation.
I'm looking at some of the mechanisms of heart disease
and how we can work out how that all starts.
Ben, what are you making for us?
So I'm going to make for you chicken cacciatore ravioli.
So I'm going to fill the ravioli with the cacciatore.
What's a cacciatore?
It's like a spicy ragu that you'd get in Italy.
And then I'm going to make you a Parmesan cream sauce,
a Parmesan crumb, and finish it off
with a little bit of orange zest as a season
and finish off the whole thing.
Do you know where heart disease actually starts?
-Stress in the kitchen.
-Stress in the kitchen, there we go.
Ben's cacciatore ravioli with a cream Parmesan sauce
is going to be finished with orange rind.
I've never had Parmesan cheese and orange.
It could be really tasty, but it also could be a disaster.
Newcastle-born David is a commercial pilot and food blogger.
Cooking for John and Gregg is just going to be the best thing ever.
I've spent all my life cooking for my wife,
who I think is a fair critic, but she's not a professional chef,
so they'll be the first two people that can actually give me
a professional critique on my food and find out
whether I am actually any good or not.
Are we going to get food today better than your cabin crew serve?
Let's hope so.
Do you get a chance to sample cuisines all over the world?
-As best I can, yeah.
-Do you have a favourite cuisine?
Not really, just anything that's spicy
and a bit more interesting than salt and pepper.
David, what are you making for us?
We're having chermoula and pistachio pork patties
with cauliflower tahini,
roasted couscous and a mint and coriander dressing.
What's a chermoula?
It's a North African parsley and coriander spiced dressing.
Why do you like this dish, David?
It's just, it's different, it's colourful, tasty.
He's making chermoula meatballs, flavoured with a mixture of herbs,
olive oil and garlic in the same way as a pesto.
He's serving that with a cauliflower hummus,
but he's using purple cauliflower.
That means we're going to have
pinky-purple cauliflower hummus on a plate.
Today's one of those "never had that before" days.
cooks for her husband and sister and loves travelling.
Going to Morocco many years ago,
I just loved going around all the stalls there
and it just brings something out of you.
I just love colours, I love the texture, the spices.
You just want to go "Oh, I just want to do that",
I just want to throw it all in.
What are you doing here on MasterChef, Jennifer?
I really adore cooking.
I don't do it as much now that my family's grown up and gone away.
Do you have a reputation as a good cook?
I seem to have, yes.
My sister thinks so, she tells everyone.
What are you making for us now?
It's just something I literally have just made up today.
So keep your fingers crossed.
Jennifer has decided to make minced pork, mushrooms, onions,
blackberries, basil, and she's serving that with a mash
made from carrots, parsnips and potatoes.
It's the flavour thing that worries me.
Blackberry in a meatball?
Youth worker Nick grew up watching his nan make Cornish pasties.
I was bought a book called 101 Fun Foods To Make,
which was the first memory I have of cooking by myself,
making rock cakes.
And I just think I missed my calling when I was younger
and I should have gone to college and studied food.
So maybe now is the time to move in that direction.
I am making a sweet shortcrust pastry tart with a lemon curd
and hopefully a meringue top if I have time,
but I just messed up my pastry, so...
What did you do with your pastry?
I forgot to weigh it down before I put it in the oven,
so I'm having a panic now to get another batch in the oven
in time to hopefully put up a dessert for you.
How long will it, if you do a fresh batch,
-how long will it take to cook?
-12, 15 minutes?
-Right, you've got 20 minutes left.
-I'm going to get a pastry case
-and try and get these in the oven in time.
-Go on, then.
Nick's aiming for the stars, making pastry, making lemon curd,
Guys, you have just 15 minutes left.
Nick's going to have to try and keep his nerve,
otherwise Gregg and I are having a spoonful of lemon curd each.
Keen golfer Paula
owns a hairdressing salon in Stoke-on-Trent.
If I'm going to do something, I have committed 150%.
I've even been cooking food in the kitchen in the salon
just to try to get myself up to speed with things.
What are you making?
I am making meatballs and we've got passata
and I've got the tomato sauce going on.
And some home-made tagliatelle.
What do you want to demonstrate in this dish?
Technical ability with the pasta, but also flavour,
I think that's the thing.
Is there a lot of technical ability in a bowl of pasta?
I think, yeah. If you get it wrong, you get it wrong.
Meatballs, tomato sauce, good.
Lots and lots of seasoning, please, Paula.
Make sure that pasta is wonderfully made and I'll be very, very happy.
Guys, you've only got three minutes. Quick, quick, quick, quick!
You have 60 seconds to finish your plates!
Guys, your time is up!
Oh, my God!
-Can I hug you?
Right, showtime. David, up you come.
First up is pilot David,
who's made North African chermoula-spiced pork patties
served with couscous, a purple cauliflower hummus,
purple cauliflower florets,
a mint and coriander dressing and garnished with pistachios.
Lime green, pink and purple -
colours I don't really associate with having dinner.
It tastes a lot, lot better than it looks.
Those chermoula patties are really nice.
You have a mild flavour of hummus about your lilac sauce.
But it's leaving a really quite harsh texture on the throat.
The moist pork mince with that chermoula,
the lovely herb garlic mixture in the middle is really good
and I like the bits of roasted cauliflower on the outside.
David, it looks quite novelty,
but there's nothing novelty about the flavours and textures.
If I was blindfolded,
I think I'd probably appreciate it a lot more.
I would have loved it to have looked brilliant
and for them to have said "Wow, that looks amazing"
and then both of them to say it tasted amazing,
but got to be satisfied with my day's work.
Heart disease researcher Ben has made ravioli
filled with Italian chicken and tomato cacciatore
with a Parmesan sauce,
Parmesan crumb and finished off with orange zest.
Orange and cheese?
It just takes the edge off, I think. I hope you'll agree.
Your chicken cacciatore idea
is a decent idea and that's where I would have liked
to have had the plate stop.
Your pasta is quite tough
and then on top of that you've got these chunks
of Parmesan breadcrumb things
which have made it sort of very floury and quite hard.
But the addition of orange I don't like at all.
The orange, I only get tiny little bits, I can hardly taste it.
I don't mind the little bit of sweetness.
Decent enough pasta, decently cooked chicken, nice, strong sauce.
However, listening to my mate here, he's very unsure.
I feel a little bit deflated but I'm just hard on myself,
and very competitive.
Hopefully I get to stay in and cook some more,
but 50-50, I think, after that one.
Trainee surgeon Sesi has cooked oven-roasted poussin
wrapped in Parma ham, served with pomme puree,
roasted carrots and green beans and a chicken and wine sauce.
You treated everything really nicely.
Your carrot's still got a crunch, your beans are green and crunchy,
mashed potatoes well seasoned and creamy.
I like your little crispy bit of ham across the top.
I really like your textures. I'm not sure about the flavours.
Your chicken is really soft and lovely.
However, you've doubled over the ham,
which has made it really salty.
I think for your first attempt here on MasterChef,
your presentation is good.
You can cook.
I'm not sure you perfectly balanced those flavours.
But it's a pretty decent start.
John Torode gave me a "bingo" and I'm happy.
If I go away today, I'm happy.
Salon owner Paula has made pork meatballs with garlic,
oregano and chilli,
served with tagliatelle pasta and topped with a Parmesan crisp.
That's a lot of cheese,
I mean, so much cheese that you can't see the pasta.
You have the classic combination of fruity tomato
and salty Parmesan cheese,
a tried and tested Italian combination.
The meatballs are pink inside. I'd like them cooked slightly more.
My issue is, although I like it,
I'm wondering whether it's showing as much ambition
as the other contestants.
There's a lot of cheese across the top, which I was scared about,
but because your sauce is so sweet,
actually, the salt from the Parmesan
is disappearing into the whole lot.
I think your pasta is OK. Your meatballs are seasoned well.
But I'm with Gregg on this one, it's about - what's it showing?
Little bit disappointed with myself. I think I played too safe.
I think that was the key thing, too safe.
-I played it safe.
-It tasted good.
Jennifer has made pork and mushroom patties with blackberries
served with mashed potato, carrots and parsnips
and finished with a Grand Marnier and star anise flavoured sauce.
Orange liqueur and mashed potato...
Something I've never had before, Jennifer.
I've just chewed up a whole star anise.
When you start throwing so many different things on the plate,
it's always difficult for it to come out at best.
When you've got classic stuff like carrots, parsnips and potatoes,
they in themselves belong with minced pork and gravy, that's great.
Adding a blackberry, star anise
and orange liqueur is never going to make it any better.
We do realise that people may not cook to their best
the first time they come in here, but we've got a problem.
That's how it is, you learn by mistakes
and it's a big mistake to make and it's a shame, really.
Youth worker Nick has made a lemon curd and meringue tart
with candied lemon rind.
-I like the look of it.
Your pastry, as you know, in the tart case is undercooked.
However, I really like that lemon marmalade, sugary,
syrup lemon rind around the outside with the sweet, sticky meringue.
Your lemon curd is lovely and thick.
It's still got a zing, but it's still very, very sweet.
I have to say, up against it and doing what you've done,
I'm really pleased for you.
It's not perfect, but I get a real strong suspicion
that you are a cook.
Thank you very much.
I thought it was game over halfway through that.
Good work, buddy. Congratulations, it's good.
So I might be in with a chance, still, fingers crossed.
Finally, it's police detective Jo.
She's made a strawberry and cream tart with a sweet pastry crust,
strawberry compote flavoured with prosecco,
creme patissiere and a blueberry sauce.
It's a bit shabby.
You overfilled the tart
and that means we've got the filling coming out,
-oozing into your creme patissiere.
Tastes really good.
Your pastry is thin and it's really, really crispy.
Beautiful...almost fragrance of summer strawberries
bursting through that creme patissiere.
It doesn't look right, but it tastes great.
As you can see by what's left on the plate,
Mr Wallace seemed to quite enjoy the tart.
Tastes great, you've put your heart into it
and I think it's paid dividends.
You know when somebody eats something
and they go "mmm" before they say anything
and you think "Yeah, that's the sound, that's what I want".
So that's all I aimed for.
Congratulations, that was perfect.
That was a mixed bag, wasn't it?
We have got some gems,
we got a few things which weren't quite right
and we got a number of confused dishes.
We know the enemy of the market test
is when you don't have a plan
and you try to put too many ingredients in onto one plate,
and Jennifer did that. And that's the problem.
She's not the first to do that,
she won't be the last, but Jennifer today was inventing as she went.
Jennifer leaves the competition.
-Who did you like?
-I like Sesi.
I think Sesi did a classic dish with the right ingredients on the plate.
For a first round, Sesi looked good.
Nick, I think Nick has got great resolve.
A man with a plan. With just 60 seconds to go,
that tart case was still in the oven, but he just got on with it.
He has shown real ability here.
There's someone else I like.
-Jo, nice pastry, good filling.
Presentation let it down,
but I think Jo is one of the picks of the cooks.
Jo's tart was really, really tasty.
That leaves a conversation about Paula, our hairdresser,
David, our pilot, and Ben, the man who looks after hearts.
I've got to say, the chaos that surrounded Ben frightened me.
Ben does cook in a messy fashion.
However, I thought he made his ravioli pretty well
and I liked the flavour of the Parmesan cheese sauce.
David really went for the adventure.
Purple cauliflower hummus, pork meatballs with chermoula.
He showed a good touch, decent flavours.
However, John, it looked shocking.
Paula made us meatballs with pasta, tomato sauce,
and then loads and loads of cheese across the top.
I don't know with Paula.
Do I applaud her for playing it safe
and not making a big mistake
or do I tell her off for not being ambitious enough?
It's one of those, isn't it?
I just think to a certain degree,
I've let myself down a little bit with this invention test.
Please let me go through.
If I went home today, I'd be really disappointed.
No point in coming all this way to just go home on the first day.
I really badly want to go through. If they let me through,
then I'll show them something I think they'll really like.
Thank you very much for all your hard work.
We understand better than anybody
the pressure of coming onto MasterChef
for the first time.
Four of you will go through the next round,
which means that three of you are leaving the competition.
you're through to the next round.
That means we've got just one place to give.
The fourth person going through to the next round...
Paula, Jennifer, Ben, thanks, very much guys.
-Good luck, guys!
-Thanks, you too.
Really, I'm disappointed in myself.
I should have done something simple and easy, job done.
Don't think I did myself justice today.
I made some mistakes. I think I knew it was coming.
It's not as though I did a completely awful dish of food.
It was just too safe.
You are going to cook and present your food today
to three very special guests.
and Shelina Permalloo.
Impress them, and you are incredible talent yourself.
We've only got three quarterfinal places to give.
That means at the end of this,
one of you will be leaving the competition.
Two courses, four plates of each course, one hour and 15 minutes.
I like classic cooking, I like well-known flavour combinations.
I'm not going to start putting weird ingredients into my dishes.
Jo? Two courses, what are you going to cook for us?
I'm going to do some duck breasts.
I'm going to do some baby turnips with some spinach
and with a cherry compote.
Dessert is a cinnamon tart case
filled with a limoncello sabayon
with some roasted figs drizzled with some honey.
What is it that you have to work at, do you think,
after our comments yesterday?
Yet again, I have a tart case that I have to resist the urge to overfill.
I like to feed people and I get over-enthusiastic
and put too much in the case, and so I need to be careful of that.
Jo's got a lot of work to do.
That cherry sauce, which is also flavoured with orange,
is paramount to the success of Jo's dish.
The duck has to be cooked absolutely perfectly, crispy skin.
And the duck breast has to have been resting,
otherwise you have blood all over the plate.
Jo says she needs to work on presentation,
so she's about to have to come up with some good ideas and quickly.
Come on, please, you can do it.
Melt that chocolate.
In Nigeria, where I'm from, we
believe that our heart goes onto the plate,
it's an expression of love.
So if I'm having fun and I'm loving what I'm doing,
I feel that will show on the plate.
-What are you making?
So I'm making pan-seared salmon with a pea puree,
some fresh pea shoots,
a lemon gel and a seafood sauce.
For dessert, I'm bringing a little bit of my mum into this,
my mum's always been a fantastic baker.
I'm making her chocolate cake recipe
and I'm going to do that with some lovely blackberries
which I have here. I'm going to make a sauce out of them
and I'm going to have a chocolate ganache on there as well.
-You look confident. That fills me with confidence.
Sesi's got two very different styles
with her main course and her dessert.
Oh, yum. Good.
Her main course of salmon with black rice and peas
and a prawn sauce with a lemon gel
sounds to me completely obscure and really arty.
As for Sesi's dessert, it sounds classic -
chocolate cake, ganache and blackberries.
Mmm, yes, please.
David? What height are you cruising at today?
Oh, a good 36,000 today.
-You're on it, are you?
-I think so.
At the minute, it's all going to plan.
What are you making, David?
Beetroot sorbet, and that's going to be with a smoked chicken breast
and a mint and blue cheese celery walnut salad
and then for main, we're having an Iberico Presa steak
with a carrot ketchup, pumpkin seed pesto
and a nice red wine jus.
OK, let me get this right. Beetroot sorbet,
so that's going to go cold onto your otherwise warm dish?
-Where have you had a sorbet with a savoury dish?
-They know what they're doing.
David, these are two very, very risky dishes.
They are risky, but it showcases, hopefully, some talent
and certainly the way my brain works and what I like to eat.
Whether my taste buds are strange, I don't know, but it does work.
Are you being ultra-brave?
-Time will tell.
-It certainly will.
How does a cold sorbet that I normally associate with a dessert
sit in amongst a smoked chicken and blue cheese?
I really, really don't know. The jury's out.
How's it going to look? How's it going to taste?
I'm not sure.
But it's making me smile.
It probably is adventurous, but the dish is just what I do.
And if it didn't taste great, I wouldn't be doing it.
I think in the first challenge,
I showed that I am hard-working and I don't give up.
I've got a massive concern about the timing of my dishes.
Hoping I can get it out on time.
How much rum have you used?!
I like a little bit of spiced rum.
-Half a bottle!
-It will taste good, promise.
What are you going to make for us?
I'm doing a herb-crusted rack of lamb with a fondant potato,
minted pea puree, lamb sweetbreads and heritage carrots,
following that up with an apple crumble with dates,
spiced rum and a creme anglaise.
Why these two dishes?
The lamb dish is something
that me and my husband have fairly regularly.
It's a favourite in our house. And who doesn't like a crumble?
What have you learnt from the last round?
To try and calm down a bit and enjoy it a bit more
and not stress myself out too much and think about what I'm doing.
-Good luck, Nick.
-Thank you, cheers.
Nick is doing herb-crusted rack of lamb with fondant potatoes
and a red wine sauce.
I hope he gets it out of the oven
with enough time to rest it, that's what I'm hoping.
He's following up the rack of lamb with apple, date, and rum crumble.
Apple crumble is good. Apple crumble and rum, fabulous.
Apple crumble, rum and dates, it could be really good.
I'm always excited to come back here.
It's lovely just to feel that buzz
that was experienced
too many years ago to remember.
My advice is - keep your cool, season,
make sure you taste your food and don't do anything too out there,
just prove that you can cook.
MasterChef kind of changed my life.
To still be working in food 12, nearly 13 years later
is something of a bit of a dream for me.
You know, I'm still pinching myself every day.
-Your duck's not cooked.
-It's not too far off.
-You've only got five minutes.
-How much longer, do you reckon?
-About five minutes.
So Jo's got some classic combinations.
Duck and cherry. Duck and orange.
Could be one too many ingredients here,
or maybe even three too many ingredients
in an hour and 15 minutes.
I think she can have her work cut out for her.
Jo, you've got three minutes.
You can't serve raw duck, can you?
It is supposed to be rare.
Yeah, there's rare and then there's quacking.
I think she has got a lot going on,
but I just don't know how it's all going to come together.
Your time's up.
Raw. This food's risky.
I haven't got time to make this look how I want it to look.
Right, Jo, push on.
I've cooked for you today
pan-fried duck breast with a cherry and orange sauce with some tarragon
with some baby turnips,
some chanterelle mushrooms and some spinach.
ALL: Thank you.
The duck is...there's rare and there's very, very rare.
It's unfortunate about your duck,
because mine's actually cooked perfectly.
I'm afraid it's everything else that's a bit of a disaster.
The turnips are actually not cooked through
and the wonderful chanterelle mushrooms are so overcooked
that they've turned to mush.
All the vegetables are quite wet, aren't they? They're quite watery.
It's a lovely choice of ingredients,
but it's just a swamp,
because you simply can't plate up properly in that much of a rush.
Such a shame. The bit of duck I can eat is lovely,
it's got a nice, crispy, seasoned top. And I love her cherry sauce,
it's sweet and deep, almost like port.
I think that Jo's got some great ideas,
but she's run out of time and the consequence is this.
Five minutes to go.
I'm going to fight to the bitter end.
Jo's dessert is a limoncello sabayon-filled cinnamon tart
topped with baked figs and honey drizzle.
Now, the cinnamon tart
with the baked figs and honey drizzle sounds delicious.
I just don't know where the sabayon is going to go.
Apart from one, the other three look great.
Of the tart, I'm going to be wanting a really nice, crisp pastry.
So no soggy bottoms.
I've made for you a cinnamon tart case
with a limoncello sabayon and some roasted figs.
-I hope you like it.
Thank you very much.
My immediate reaction to the way it looks is of course,
the sabayon hasn't worked.
It's just liquid, which is a bit of a shame.
I think the flavours worked really well.
A bit more time and effort on the sabayon would have been great.
My pastry is disintegrating.
It's so short that it literally is just crumbling.
There are just so many little details
with that extra bit of time, that extra bit of polish
could have made it into an absolute winner.
The sabayon hasn't worked.
It's not thick enough
and I feel that pastry is on the edge of being burnt,
-it's going bitter.
-But the flavours are lovely.
That was so much harder than I thought it would be,
even cooking my own food.
I thought I would be bang on time. I just feel so disappointed.
-How are you getting on?
-My rice is done.
My sauce is done.
Lemon gel is done. I'm just cooking the fish,
so it's just really plating up now.
Slightly worried about all the different colours.
You know, you've got the green pea puree, pink salmon,
black rice, seafood sauce, lemon gel.
Will it look like an explosion on a plate?
You are hitting this with surgical precision.
Well, that's the plan.
I think the lemon gel,
I think it's just a little bit of posh, isn't it?
Sesi, that looks great. You're on time. I am really impressed.
-So what I've cooked for you is a Thai black rice
with some pan-seared salmon, a pea puree, a lemon gel,
some pea shoots and a seafood sauce. I hope you enjoy.
-Thank you very much.
Game on, Sesi.
I think this looks delicious
and the smell coming from the seafood sauce? Lovely.
Every single item on that plate works.
To get that much flavour in that short amount of time...
I think Sesi's done a great job.
I think all the flavours there had a place.
I think all of it worked well, even the gel.
That is really, really good.
The rice has got a little bit of texture to it.
The fish is just falling apart,
it's still soft in the middle, it's flaking. What a dish.
Four minutes, Sesi.
Well, looking at Sesi's dessert
just brings a great big, wide smile to my face.
It's very nearly a Black Forest gateau in disguise.
If it's that good, I'm going to leave the table,
sit in the corner with my duvet and just chill out.
Got to be generous with your ganache, I think.
Is that chocolate ganache a comma or the nail of a velociraptor?
It's me going "chocolate ganache."
-OK, here we go.
Gorgeous. Thank you.
So I made for you chocolate cake, my mum's recipe,
blackberries in a sauce and almond shard on top of that,
a chocolate ganache and just some sprinkled almonds.
-Thank you so much.
Have my teeth gone?
I think the sponge was just a little bit dry.
But I love the sharpness of the blackberries.
The ganache is nice, it's nice and bitter.
For me, this dessert is just so nearly there.
This chocolate sponge is absolutely delicious,
but when you get to my age,
you don't dream of biting into something like that
because the teeth would never take it.
I like the sponge with the sour blackberries
and the rich, dark chocolate ganache. I think that's great.
It's a well-made sponge. Well-made ganache.
It needs a cream or a custard.
But I'll forgive her. I'll forgive her.
That was such a rush.
I'm just really relieved I managed to do it all in time.
No matter what happens today, I've had such a good time, so, yeah.
Nick? We're going to serve, mate, we've got five minutes left.
The one thing I have seen over the years -
so many undercooked lamb racks.
So I hope they get enough time to cook, enough time to rest.
Are you at all nervous about this lamb?
Very. Yeah. I think it's cooked through,
but I just want it to rest for as long as possible,
so it's going on the plate last.
Everything how you wanted it?
So far, it's going all right, just a little bit late.
Lamb. Quick, quick, quick, quick. Carve, carve, carve!
-How's it cooked?
-Probably a bit under.
Right, sweetbreads, quick, quick,
quick, quick, in sauce. Go, go, go, go, go!
Go on, well done.
I've had an absolute nightmare!
-We all have at one stage or another.
Didn't give it anywhere near long enough to rest, I'm afraid.
Today I've cooked you a roast rack of lamb with a herb crust,
a fondant potato, a pea puree,
a crispy sweetbread and some caramelised carrots.
-Nice to meet you.
It actually smells really good.
Initially, the one thing very much jumping out at me,
the fat's not been rendered down.
But let's tuck in and try it and see what happens.
There's quite a few things that are not really right.
The crumb has gone completely,
but I wouldn't want to eat it because it's attached to raw fat.
The fondant potato has been cooked through.
The pea puree is really nice. I think he's done quite a good job
considering how many elements he said he was going to do.
All of it's on the plate.
The lamb is a little bit under for me, but it's perfectly edible.
Lots of people cook their lamb like this on purpose.
I think the red wine sauce is rich and spicy,
which I'm really pleased about.
The carrots are wonderful and soft,
sweetbread crusty and still moist in the middle, which is fabulous.
He's been very, very ambitious here
and he's almost, almost pulled it off.
Right, Nick. Deep breath.
-15 minutes for that crumble.
-Hopefully, this will go better.
So Nick's dessert, it seems as classic as his main, actually.
It's going to be a perfect pudding if it's all done well.
-Nick, four minutes.
-Four minutes, yeah.
-Are we on time?
A good creme anglaise is absolutely delicious,
but it's something that can easily go wrong,
especially under the pressure in the MasterChef kitchen.
Happy with your custard?
It's a little bit thicker than I was hoping for.
OK, so I've made for you an apple crumble
in a spiced rum, date and raisin sauce
with a nutty crumble topping and a vanilla custard.
-Hope you enjoy.
-Thank you very much.
It's a bit like a granola. It tastes to me like breakfast.
He's added some dates in there, which was a bit of a curveball,
wasn't expecting it and it just made it so, so sweet.
I quite like the nuts on the top. I think it adds a nice texture,
but I think the fruit needed to be chopped smaller,
it needed acidity and it needed a bit of balance.
Well, I'm very sorry, Nick, but it doesn't work for me.
The creme anglaise is scrambled eggs.
I just hate being negative, but it's just so difficult.
Good flavours, lots and lots of brown sugar and dates
with his rum and apples inside his crumble.
-I love the hazelnuts across the top.
-But the custard's lumpy.
Glad that it's over.
A lot of things went wrong, unfortunately.
So I'm really disappointed.
-You have eight minutes, David, on your first course.
-Great, thank you.
So David actually has a really interesting menu
and for a starter we've got smoked chicken
with a beetroot sorbet, celery and walnut salad.
Some pretty kind of strange combinations being chucked in there.
Smoked chicken, if it's over-smoked, is going to be inedible.
Will the sorbet actually set? Will it freeze in time?
Gosh, me, I hope it does for his sake.
Oh, look at that!
David, this looks really nice.
Look at you.
Very good. Go, quick!
Prettier than a sunrise at 37,000 feet. Hey-hey!
I've made for you a beetroot sorbet,
smoked chicken, with a celery, blue cheese and walnut salad.
David, could you just tell us what you used to smoke the chicken?
Just some hickory chips
and a mixture of some lapsang souchong tea leaves as well.
-Thank you very much.
It's just the craziest plate of food I've ever come across.
We've actually got a sorbet, which is dessert-like.
A crazy, creamy pile of blue cheese, soupy vegetables
and chicken which is so overly smoked
that it's hardly palatable, you know.
I'll always try and find something positive
because I've been in that situation
but, yeah, this is a bit of a shocker.
A bit of a shocker! Oh, my goodness.
I tasted a piece of the chicken
and now I just feel like I've been sitting by a campfire for two hours.
I'm just wondering what John and Gregg are saying out there.
Well, that's about as out there as you can possibly get.
It takes a bit of getting used to, but when you do, I really like it.
Sweet, cold and smoky, and salty blue cheese.
I think that's great.
Really clever and the other thing is, it's different, but it works.
I think it's going to divide the crowd, though.
How have you cooked that pork, David?
We just seal it in the pan
and then we've slow roasted it in the oven
until it gets medium rare in the middle.
David's main has got loads of flavours going on,
but also lots of complex processes.
I'm worried that he's not going to get all those done in time.
Four minutes to go.
David's food excites me, because I don't know what to expect.
You've got one minute left.
Good, all I need.
OK, your time's up, David, so get your sauce on,
get your parsnip on and let's go.
OK, you've got a medium rare iberico presa
with carrot ketchup and a pumpkin seed pesto
to serve with red wine jus.
-Hope you enjoy it.
-Thank you very much.
Well, this definitely does look better
than the last course that we were presented with.
Plus, he seasoned the meat really well.
I actually love that carrot ketchup.
It's surprisingly got a lovely bit of acidity,
so it kind of cuts through the fattiness of the pork.
The pumpkin pesto is actually a pumpkin seed pesto
which in fact is much nicer than what I expected.
Quite honestly, the iberico pork has been cooked beautifully.
After his first course, this is almost a masterpiece.
The thing I really love are those little parsnip crisps across the top
with the smoked paprika.
That and the pork - yum!
Loads of big, strong herbs in that pesto.
He's got sweet, real pickling sharpness in that carrot ketchup.
This is great.
This is your one chance if you get to this round
to show what you're all about.
I'm pleased that I've done myself justice.
It's not perfect, but I think they'll be able to see
what I'm trying to achieve.
I really enjoyed today
and I know that our invited guests had their reservations.
However, I'm really proud of these four.
John, nobody in here played it safe.
Everybody cooked like they wanted a place in the quarterfinals.
Sesi delivered two good plates of food.
The salmon was cooked very, very well.
The rice was lovely and she got it all done on time.
Dessert, absolutely fantastic.
All it needed was a bit of runny cream or some custard
and it would have been absolutely perfect.
We loved her food, the guests loved her food.
John, she's got presentation right,
she's got flavour combinations right.
I think we should put Sesi through.
Jo, I'm frustrated for Jo.
I think she had a brilliant choice of ingredients on both dishes.
As good as her flavours were on that duck dish,
the fact is that she just ran out of time.
Dessert - limoncello, figs, cinnamon, all in one tart.
Good idea, delivery not quite there, Jo.
Nick cooked for us a classic lamb with a herb crust.
I thought it was a good dish. I think he really pushed himself.
Nick's crumble, it looked a little bit messy, the custard had split.
Liked the flavour of the filling, but the guys in the back room
weren't that impressed with the crumble.
Question marks, really, with Nick.
Talking about controversy, we've got David.
That first course, the smoked chicken, beetroot sorbet,
I thought was fantastic.
But, mate, the guys in the back room did not like it at all.
You and I loved his pork dish.
We've got a room full of ambitious
amateur cooks who all want this competition.
Could have done a little bit better, but not massively better.
If that was the worst dinner today, you know, so be it.
I would feel like I deserved it if I went home, to be honest.
Everybody gets one chance and if you don't perform,
that's the game, isn't it?
I'm hopeful and I've got my fingers crossed that I don't go out today.
I'd obviously be absolutely devastated
if this is the end of my journey.
You four have caused controversy.
Not just in here between Gregg and I, but also in the dining room.
And at times in this competition, I like controversy.
But that also makes our decision really difficult.
Three of you are going forward to the quarterfinal.
One of you is leaving us.
The contestant leaving us...
Thank you, Jo. Nice to meet you.
Today was not my finest cooking,
but I don't think you realise how difficult it is until you try it.
But then all the best things are difficult in life.
-Oh, my God.
I can breathe.
I can't believe I've got through and I'm just so excited and so happy.
I can't wait to be in this kitchen cooking again.
I'm feeling very relieved and overwhelmed and surprised.
All the stress of today is so worth it.
I feel brilliant. It's a very tough day.
It's good to cause a bit of controversy
and get people talking about your food.
Tomorrow night, it's the quarterfinal and Sesi,
David and Nick will be joining
Munira, Naomen and Simon to fight for their place
cooking for one of the country's top restaurant critics.
-I didn't expect to like something as much as that.