Cookery challenge. Kirsty Wark, Ruth Goodman, Phil Vickery and Ricky Groves are tested on teamwork, creating meals for the lunchtime staff at John Lewis.
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16 celebrities are battling it out to win the coveted MasterChef crown.
So far in this competition, I think I've held my own.
These celebrities have already reached the top of their profession.
But can they cut it in the kitchen?
It would be great to win.
But now I'm thinking, "Goodness, the chances of that are so slim."
I'm really hoping I can raise my game as the competition goes on.
Cooking doesn't get tougher than this.
These four celebrities are taking on the challenge to become
the next MasterChef champion.
But at the end of this week,
only the best cooks will go through to the semifinals.
MasterChef is unlike anything I've ever done before.
You put me under pressure to do things correctly,
then I seem to be coming a bit of a cropper at times.
I knew it was going to be a learning experience, and it really has been.
So far, I'm reasonably happy. I'd like to do better.
I'm really pleased after the first day.
I done the best I could do. Could I have done better? Yes.
Could I have done worse? Yes!
I just want to try and do the best I can, really.
I'll try and take this thing as far as I can,
and hopefully do well and not let myself down or my mum.
That's the main thing - make your mum proud.
She'll be watching, she'll be there. "Go on, Rick!"
Today the celebrities face two challenges that will test
their ability to work as a team.
Will our celebs work well together? Will one stand back
and let the other do all the work? Who knows?
Welcome back to the MasterChef kitchen.
We are going to give you a wonderful task now.
We are going to introduce you to the world of mass catering and teamwork.
The person on the bench beside you is your new team-mate.
Yeah. Oh, yeah.
We would like you to cook for us dessert,
but that dessert has to be replicated ten times.
Tough task, this.
Concentrate, talk to each other, plan.
One hour. Let's cook.
Each team has to design their dessert
from a selection of ingredients, including...
Don't need this.
And they have to create ten identical portions.
It's got to be consistent and it's got to be beautiful.
So in an hour's time, I'll have 20 desserts in here?
You lucky, lucky boy.
Eggs, we could make a custard.
-We could make a custard. Um...
-If we made a custard...
Yesterday, journalist Kirsty Wark proved she has a good palate.
There is no denying how good that tastes, Kirsty.
But she made basic errors.
-I am slightly concerned about the cooking of your chicken.
That's not cooked.
We could do a chocolate biscuit base.
-We've got to get going.
I'm good in a team, I think, because I'm not a proprietorial person in the kitchen.
Everybody mucking in. I like the camaraderie and the banter.
Kirsty's partner in this challenge is historian Ruth Goodman.
Last time, she wowed with her farmhouse cooking style...
I love the sticky sauce, and the squirrel's lovely and soft and comes away from the bone.
..but not with her presentation skills.
-Interesting portion size.
-I think you've got a palate.
I wonder about whether you've got an eye.
There's a lot of room for improvement in my cooking, especially presentation.
I need to be planning what it's going to look like at the same time
as I'm planning what it's going to taste like.
-Do you think brandy would make it go weird?
Ladies, lots of banter going on. What are you cooking for us?
We are cooking a sort of fruit compote on a biscuit base,
accompanied by some form of panna cotta.
Great. Of course, with teamwork, it's important we have a leader.
-So is there not a leader? Are you doing cooperation?
It's only a committee of two. It can work.
-Who's made panna cottas before?
But the more I think about it, we haven't got the right equipment.
We thought we had ten rings and we've got two.
We realise that our initial idea is not going to work.
Is this panna cotta or panic cotta?
-That's good, that is! That is good.
At the moment, it's less panna.
We're going to create something incredibly tasty and beautiful.
Well, I want to be encouraging, but when I think of Ruth and Kirsty,
I don't think presentation skills and I don't think beauty.
Shame on you!
I think we might need it.
Kirsty and Ruth, my worry is they are just chatting all the time.
They just don't seem to be getting the work done.
Right now, will the panna cotta be set?
Will the biscuit base be lovely and crunchy, and that butter set?
Not a chance.
You've had 15 minutes already.
On the second team is former EastEnders actor Ricky Groves.
Looking at the ingredients here, I'm always silly.
I add things as I go along.
-And I know I shouldn't.
-Stop talking and get on with it.
Thank you very much. I've been told off already, look.
Yesterday, Ricky, who was once a chef, overcomplicated his dishes.
Squirrel. Barred it with a pancetta,
chiffonaded Savoy cabbage,
nice puff pastry crown on top to add contrast and texture.
I've got some potatoes I've Parmentiered...
Tell us again but bring a little detail into it(!)
But the results were impressive.
Really warming. It's a good, good dish.
Teamwork's very important.
I like to think that I work well with other people.
You know, I can delegate as well as dictate in some ways.
-Puree those. Bit more raspberry.
Ricky is paired with former England rugby captain Phil Vickery.
Last time, Phil struggled with his nerves
but still managed to impress with his natural flair.
-It's a good start.
-Thank you very much.
-I think your enemy right now is your own confidence.
The biggest pressure for me is my knowledge.
I think I might end up pickling my brain a little bit.
It's not the biggest brain in the world, so I have to be careful.
What are you making, fellas?
It's a rhubarb brioche with a raspberry-strawberry syllabub
with a little coulis and garnished with its own fruit.
Phil, how are you feeling about this team?
For me, just being here, you talk about teamwork, I'm here to work.
I've had an input, I'm happy. If I wasn't, I'd tell him.
If anything, I took the lead,
because I felt I had more experience.
I don't mean to jump in or anything.
At any one time, I said to him, "Do you want to design it?" And I've got an eye for it.
So if anything, it's a perfect partnership.
-What are you doing here?
-We're cooking down some sugar.
I was going to do a sugar garnish on top. It's a bolt-on.
-I can't help it.
-if we've got time.
-We have, I'm telling you now.
-Serious look on your face, Phil.
-I don't want to ruin the whole dish worrying about being too fancy.
We need to get it out and get it here for you to look at.
Yeah, all of it.
Brioche and rhubarb, nice idea.
But he's bringing lots of other ingredients into play.
Maybe there's just a little bit too much being chucked at that plate.
Right, getting on to the biscuits, yeah?
I've never seen anybody crush a biscuit with so much efficiency in my life. Whaaah!
20 minutes. 20 minutes left.
Come on, think, move.
-There is no way that I'm going to be able to make that panna cotta set.
-So the panna cotta's not setting?
-So have you just got a bowl of cream?
There is a danger of that.
-You've got some thinking to do, ladies.
Right, let's think.
You've got ten minutes left.
Time's up. Finished.
No contest, then.
Ricky and Phil have made a berry fool on brioche with rhubarb comfit,
topped with chocolate, mint and a sugar crisp,
served with a raspberry coulis.
Two big hairy-chested fellas, one captain of England rugby,
and this has to be the girliest pudding I have ever seen in my life.
-Just my creative side coming out.
-Look at it!
It's a great, big, pink, girlie thing!
Yeah, there is that.
-I don't know what it is as a dessert. You'd struggle to come up with a name.
It looks like loads of Ricky ideas.
-Without actually being one dessert.
Sharp strawberries going through cream makes them sweet and lovely,
then you've got a sharper tone of rhubarb and coulis.
It tastes really nice.
It shouldn't do, I don't think,
cos it's loads of things just bolted together, but it actually tastes really nice.
Each component part is made very well.
Good coulis, nice rhubarb, toasted brioche, good strawberry fool,
and it tastes all right.
It defies description, it defies explanation,
but I think it tastes all right.
I'm quite impressed by you two.
'I think we really, really performed well.'
They liked the taste.
That's what it's all about.
-Would you have paid for that in a restaurant?
If I'd have had that in a restaurant,
I would quite happily have paid to have more.
Kirsty and Ruth's dish is stewed rhubarb on a hazelnut and ginger-nut biscuit base,
topped with pomegranate and served with custard.
-Tell me, where's the panna cotta?
-It didn't work.
-It didn't work.
The combination of tart but sweet rhubarb with heavily perfumed pomegranate is a lovely idea.
But the rhubarb is not quite cooked enough.
It's still very, very crunchy,
and I don't think it is sweet enough as a dessert.
Teamwork? You guys, honestly, you talk so much, don't you?
Really, the two of you, it's like two schoolgirls.
"Oh, how am I going to do that? Ho-ho-ho!" Get your plan,
divide your labour and put your head down.
We've got the nucleus there of a pudding.
We have buttery and ginger base, creamy custard,
but the rhubarb itself is too sharp.
Do you now think that there should have been a leader today?
Yes, but I hate to seem bossy.
I do, I just didn't want to...
Kirsty Wark saying she hates to be bossy!
That's like Gregg and I saying we hate food.
To say we didn't have a boss was right, but what we had
was we had a clear idea of what we wanted to do.
We just didn't have a plan B.
As we know in politics, you have to have a plan B.
We thought we could do something lovely there,
and the fact that it all just went "Ahh!" is a real shame.
Really interesting round, that. Some more successful than others.
This might have been tough, but the next challenge might be just a little bit tougher.
Thanks very much. Off you go.
We were terrible!
We were dreadful. All that sugar!
I think the boys actually worked very well together
and they got the food up on time, identical plates.
Although I think Phil took too much of a back seat.
I was happy.
If we'd both tried to cook, we would have been in each other's way.
You know, too many cooks spoil the broth.
Ricky is desperate to show us lots of different technique
and the words that go along with it.
I kind of agreed with their feedback with regards to how...
it was a mishmash of different ideas put together, bolted together.
But maybe that's what I do when I'm under pressure.
Kirsty and Ruth both had really good ideas.
But panna cotta to set in the amount of time they had was always going to be very difficult.
Near on impossible.
Clearly, we could have done a lot better. There's no question.
You've really got to keep pushing yourself and challenging yourself.
And we didn't pull it off.
They spent a hell of a lot of time, as well, discussing the dish,
deciding what they were going to do.
They were, five minutes from the end...before they were finished
their discussion about how the dish would finish up.
I really liked the fact that we were collaborating,
talking, bouncing ideas off each other,
making suggestions, running things past each other.
That's a much nicer way to work, for me.
Look, one of them has got to take charge.
I would like to see Ruth take charge next time.
I've got complete confidence in Ricky and Phil.
I'm very nervous about Ruth and Kirsty.
Because that next test for them is a serious, serious challenge,
and it is no longer going to be about the MasterChef kitchen
but the big, wide world.
It's early morning on day two...
..and the celebrities are heading to their first outside catering challenge.
Moving back into a professional kitchen would be unusual.
I'm a bit worried, but on the whole, I'm looking forward to today.
There's a kind of mixture of absolute terror and excitement.
It's quite exciting, isn't it?
Where are we going?
Welcome to John Lewis on Oxford Street.
Today, you are preparing lunch for the partners,
the people that work here.
You'll be preparing lunch for over 200 people.
Do us proud.
Off you go!
The teams will be working under executive head chef Michael Brown.
Hi. Good morning, guys.
I'm in charge of the five restaurants within Oxford Street.
The main thing is that the standard of food we do for our staff
is the same standard we do for our customers.
OK? If you follow me, I'll take you through to the fridges to look at
-the ingredients we can make up our menu from.
The two teams must now devise one meat and one vegetable main course,
and a dessert.
Their ingredients include...
and a selection of fruit and vegetables.
Who makes the decision about who goes first?
-Why don't we let, say, ladies first?
What do you want to do?
I think I'll be team leader this time.
Go on, what would you like to do?
I think we need to do... We should do some chicken.
You want to do chicken? I need to do a vegetable dish, then.
If they're doing chicken, it would be wrong of us to put duck on the menu.
That leaves us with sausages or trout.
My favourite all-time food.
-So, the trout...
Two teams, both very, very eager to show how good they are.
This test is about producing a menu lots of people will want to eat.
Nothing can prepare you for this sort of food onslaught.
MICHAEL: OK, so for your first main?
-Sausage toad-in-the-hole, with thyme and onion gravy.
A Thai-spiced vegetable curry with cumin rice.
And your dessert?
Dessert was the rhubarb...
-OK, Chef? Yep, no problem at all, guys.
-Thank you very much.
They now have three hours until service.
Once again, Ricky is in charge of the team.
He gets Phil to prep the sausages for their toad-in-the-hole...
I don't want to be panicking at the end.
I want to be stood here, calm, collected, ready,
so when Chef calls time, we've got our dishes ready to go.
..while he starts to prep the vegetables for the Thai curry.
Being back in a professional environment like this
after a 15-year absence is very nerve-racking.
I'd imagine it's like Phil, if he went back on the rugby field now,
he'd feel kind of at home but...
-A little bit lost.
Is Ricky going to try to flash it and pretty it all up again?
No, no, no.
We don't know yet! He ain't seen what I've got.
I think it's important that, if you've got time
and you can add a little bit of garnish to it, why not?
Cos you might mess it up!
Yes, I know, but at the same time, you don't... He who dares.
-..we've got the SAS of cooking over here!
Kirsty and Ruth also have a plan.
Our dessert is going to be an apple and blueberry sponge,
and then our meat dish Kirsty's taking charge of.
We're going to have chicken and pancetta, with a bit of sage inside.
And that's going to be served with colcannon.
And then our vegetable dish we're going to keep really quite simple
and do a sort of herby couscous with a load of roasted vegetables.
We realise where we went wrong before.
We didn't have a proper team thought,
so Ruth's allowing me to direct
and she's got very good ideas for what we're going to be doing.
The girls are making a fruit sponge.
Now, their last attempt at pudding, John, was an absolute disaster.
With half an hour already gone,
Ricky gets to work on his batter mix for their toad-in-the-hole.
-I reckon you need about four times as much milk as that.
-Are you putting pressure on yourself because you've been in a kitchen before?
-A little bit, yeah.
I've got further to fall than most.
Nervous about the batter, Ricky decides to cook some as a test.
Making the matter, I didn't really do any measurements for it,
so...see what happens to it.
There's no rhubarb, so we're going to go for a pear and peach crumble.
-All right? You ready for it?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
After the success of the last dessert, Phil,
is this one going to be nice and girlie?
This one, I promise, you'll know exactly what it is.
Good old-fashioned crumble with some custard.
It's going to be wholesome, you're going to love it.
And you're going to want to dig in and have some more, like you told us you wanted to.
With the base made, Phil starts making the crumble topping.
Ruth is also starting to mix the ingredients for her sponge.
What can I do for you?
Erm, erm, erm, erm...
-Add 24 to that...
So I want it to end up at six...
Cream your butter and sugar first.
Let's take it off.
It's fine. Start again, another dish.
One of us should do the veg.
-Do you want me to leave you to this, then, and I'll do veg?
-Is this dessert or...?
-This is pudding.
-Whose idea was that dish?
Mine. What we decided last time is we haven't been great at teamwork,
so we thought I'd have a lead in choosing some of the dishes.
But Ruth's particularly good at vegetarian food, so that was a great help.
So you are putting together the chicken with the ham and the pudding?
You're carrying it all really?
-I'm not! We're doing it together.
-Are you bullying her?
-You are, aren't you?
-I'm going to ask her.
-You ask her.
Ruth? Kirsty's got all of it to do, and you're just chopping vegetables?
-Tell me, how's that happened?
-She just likes to do everything.
She's just a dynamo of energy.
In just under two hours, the partners at John Lewis
will be breaking for lunch, and the celebrities must be ready on time.
Our partners expect a great standard of food every day,
and I just hope today it'll be exactly the same.
Ricky checks on his test batter.
What is wrong with this thing?
He has to begin again.
On the first attempt, it came out a bit like a sponge -
it wasn't like a light batter, it was a bit spongy - but you live and learn, don't you?
-Hopefully, it might be a little bit lighter now.
Let me just test this one.
Hopefully, with this one, it'll be better.
Kirsty has finished the apple blueberry sponge
and starts on the chicken.
I don't want any undercooked chicken on my watch.
I've done that, I don't want to do it again.
-So they're going in the oven now?
-I've put the sponge in.
OK, guys, we've one hour left, so one hour.
While Ricky begins cooking the Thai vegetable curry...
..executive chef Michael checks on his second batter attempt.
Do another batch.
What the hell is that?
That is the batter mix for the toad-in-the-hole which...
-..isn't going to work.
-This is just total
There's no point to it.
-This is the second time we've made this, yeah?
Have you got normal salt in it?
I haven't put any salt in it, no.
Good pinch of salt.
Salt, Chef? Can I ask where the salt is? Ah, here we are.
Is that salt or sugar? I'm not taking any more chances.
It's sugar. It's sugar.
That's salt. Pinch of salt, nice one like that?
You need to work out how much flour you're putting in that.
That don't look too bad now.
-I'll get that in. Does that go in at 180, the tester?
The third attempt goes in to test.
How much curry paste you got in there, Ricky?
It's at the back of my throat already. That's going to hurt.
-Didn't realise it was that strong.
-Drain the veg, make your sauce separately, then cook your veg.
I tell you what,
whatever Phil's done in this team has actually turned out fine,
and Ricky, whatever he's touching seems to be going to pot!
He's put a whole tub of spice in
when he's supposed to have used no more than half of it.
The batter has gone wrong twice.
One's a chef, apparently, the other one's a rugby player.
I tell you what, if you didn't know, you wouldn't know!
Sorry about that, mate.
I'm not used to using these paste things and I just used too much.
We'll let it down with a load of cream.
30 minutes left before we have to serve, guys.
It's ten to, so we've got 30 minutes, OK?
With time running out, Kirsty begins her colcannon.
Kirsty, how long do the potatoes take?
-About five minutes in the steamer.
-You're still smiling!
What a treat to work in a big kitchen!
Ruth, in five minutes, strength, we're mashing!
Meanwhile, Ruth checks on her spicy vegetable couscous.
-It's on the edge of being too hot.
-It's actually fine.
20 minutes, OK?
20 minutes to go.
Ricky and Phil's toad-in-the-hole now rests
on getting their third batter attempt to rise.
I've got to check me batter now. One second, thank you.
Yes, yes, yes, yes!
Finally, the batter has worked.
You see, that's more like it. Yep, perfect.
First 16 are in.
Phil is quickly making custard from a powder mix.
-Phil? How's your custard?
-It's not quite...it's nearly boiling.
-OK. By the way, the girls are making fresh custard.
-Good on 'em!
-You making real custard?
-I'm trying to.
-You're so brave, Ruth!
-You're so brave!
Service is now only minutes away.
It's still a bit... it's still too hot.
-You think so, Chef?
-I think it's still too hot.
We'll have to put something else out instead.
Put something else out?
OK? Sorry. If we put it out, we'll get a lot of complaints.
-Oh, that's a shame.
He said the curry's a bit too, er, on the hot side.
So he's not happy with it and he doesn't want it to go out.
So it's his kitchen, so after all, then, that's his decision.
But at the last minute, Chef decides to risk it.
What we'll do is we'll try it.
But you'll have to say when you're serving it, it's very, very hot.
-Very spicy. We'll see how we go.
-OK. Thank you, Chef, thank you.
Guys, I want to start setting up now, so let's get everything outside, come on, now.
Right, where do I go now?
Slow, slow. Mind your hand.
It is, it's starting to coat the spoon!
There you go. Let's put it in there. OK?
Kirsty and Ruth have made...
chicken wrapped in pancetta
served with colcannon,
spicy vegetable couscous
and a dessert of apple and blueberry sponge
with real egg custard.
Ricky and Phil are serving toad-in-the-hole
with onion gravy,
hot Thai vegetable curry
with cumin rice,
and for pudding,
a pear and peach crumble
We have a Thai green vegetable curry,
if anyone would like the Thai green vegetable curry.
This is going to be very hot. So be careful.
There's some onion gravy there if you want some. OK?
-What can I get you? Chicken? Would you like some colcannon?
The Thai curry is extremely hot.
-Very hot, yeah?
-I don't know whose fault that was(!)
You've been warned - it's very, very hot.
Despite its chilli heat,
the Thai vegetable curry is proving very popular.
-Would you like to try it, sir?
-Yes, please, that would be lovely.
-What would you like?
And their toad-in-the-hole has also risen to the occasion.
I'm from Thailand. Thai green curry,
very good taste. A bit hot.
Even for me!
I've got the toad-in-the-hole here,
and it's exceptionally tasty.
Just mixing with chips and carrots, and very recommendable.
What would you like, sir? Crumble?
Almost halfway through service,
Phil's pear and peach crumble is selling well.
The crumble was pretty much perfect,
and the flavours they did taste well together, the peach and the pear.
I had the pear crumble.
And it was very nice, but the custard was a bit...powdery.
I wished I'd had the other one now.
What can I get you? Breast of chicken?
Kirsty's chicken and colcannon is the first dish to sell out.
OK, chicken's done, yeah?
I've had chicken and pancetta. It's really lovely.
The potatoes are lovely and smooth, the chicken really well cooked.
She can come again, definitely, it's really nice. Very nice.
Spicy couscous? Who would like some spicy couscous?
But the spicy vegetable couscous is not moving.
Can I show you this? It's absolutely delicious.
It's spicy butternut squash with couscous. It's lovely. Thank you so much.
I've got the vegetable couscous. And actually, it's very tasty. It's lovely.
The couscous I have is really tasty. I enjoy it,
you can see - it's all finished!
Which would you prefer?
-Can I have that, please?
-Apple and blueberry.
Kirsty and Ruth's sponge is going down well because of Ruth's home-made custard.
That one's a real one made with eggs and cream.
Can I try the real one with eggs and cream, please?
I had the apple and blueberry sponge with the real custard.
It was really nice.
The sponge was light and fluffy, and the fruit was really nice in there.
The fresh custard. The other one is...with the powder.
I think this one better. It is better. Good combination.
From what I've seen, the partners seem to be enjoying it.
It looks like the standard has been kept, which is fantastic.
OK, guys, that's us. Well done, everybody. Thank you. Well done. Well done.
-Well done, guys.
-Thank you so much!
-Well done, you.
-We sold out of everything.
-You've done really great!
-Yeah, I know.
I'll tell you what...
Thank you, big boy. I'm proud of you. Proud of you. We done it.
At the end of the day, we done it. That's all there is to it.
Before today, our four celebs would have never believed
they would have been able to cope with the pressure of today and deliver lunch like they did.
Kirsty and Ruth worked really well as a team.
They realised that one of them had to be a leader.
The teamwork thing DID work.
We decided that we would have a boss - Kirsty was the boss.
And, you know, to begin with, it was a bit...
But as the day went on, we settled into it rather more.
Kirsty, wow, what a day!
She ran that team today and ran herself ragged.
Each time we do a task,
it feels as if we are going up not just one gear but two gears.
What I want to try and do next is show that
I can add something that makes it feel a bit special.
The home-made vanilla custard of Ruth's was sterling.
For me, the custard stole the show.
Those girls can be very proud of themselves.
I'm not convinced by the combination of Phil and Ricky,
although they did work hard and get quality food out.
Ricky was in danger of capsizing the whole boat today.
How many times did he try and make the batter for the toad-in-the-hole?
Three? He almost ruined the curry.
He's going to have to pull his socks up and prove to us
that he has what it takes, because today, in my opinion,
far too many mistakes from Ricky.
Yeah, that was interesting.
I made one or two mistakes, I put my hands up to that. I should have...
given myself a little bit more time to think things through
before I rushed in a bit headstrong.
MasterChef, for me, I'd love to continue in.
I think it's infectious.
I think if I can keep things simplified and not worry too much
about the bigger picture, hopefully, I can go through.
The boys did well in the last round, and the girls did horrendously badly.
Who would have written them off? Cos the girls today were absolutely outstanding.
What a mad competition!
Tomorrow, the battle to stay in the competition continues.
You've got serious MasterChef ambitions, and yet we're failing to boil an egg.
What have you done? You're cooking black peppercorns. Look at that!
You're going to have to push now, aren't you?
For one of the celebrities...
their dream will be over.
A real shame to say goodbye to one of you,
but that's what we have to do.
The search for Britain's top celebrity chef continues as journalist Kirsty Wark, social historian Ruth Goodman, former England rugby captain Phil Vickery, and actor Ricky Groves are tested on teamwork.
Before facing their first mass catering challenge, they are split into teams and have to create ten identical desserts per team, with Ruth and Kirsty competing against Phil and Ricky.
At John Lewis in London's Oxford Street, two courses per couple need to be prepped and delivered on time for the hungry lunchtime staff. Will the celebrities manage to work together to such strict deadlines?