Culinary challenge. The celebrities must cook one of John Torode's classic recipes and then prepare their own two-course menu. Which celebrity will be sent home?
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16 celebrities are battling it out to win the coveted MasterChef crown.
I thought it was going to be easier. I found it quite tough.
These celebrities have reached the top of their profession.
But can they cut it in the kitchen?
The competition is toughening up. People are getting better.
I haven't shown John and Gregg my best, not by a long way.
Cooking doesn't get tougher than this.
All this week, these four celebrities have been tested
to find the next MasterChef champion.
But, at the end of today, one of them will be going home.
We have four people who are eager to show us
how good a cook they can truly be.
MasterChef does mean a lot to me.
Let's hope I'm capable of rising to the challenge of what's ahead of us
and proving to them that I'm worthy to be where I am.
The more you get involved, the more you get hooked.
So, now, I'm actually, actively looking forward
to whatever is thrown at us.
I don't want to go. I really hope that
the food I've produced can show
a depth to the cooking that perhaps I haven't shown before.
I'm passionate about food, passionate about cooking,
so, hopefully, that will get me a little bit further.
To decide who stays,
the celebrities will face two challenges
to show just how far they've come.
We've tested their skills, we've tested their teamwork,
we've thrown them in the deep end with mass catering.
Now, we want to see if they can raise their food
to a standard which we think is a little bit more special.
How fast can they learn?
Soon, it's going to be four down to three.
This is the classic recipe test.
These are your recipes.
Food I've eaten in your restaurant. You've done them for years.
Today's dish is roast rack of lamb, mashed potato
and salsa verde.
I won't hide the fact that I'm delighted.
It's a bit of meat!
First, we get the potatoes on to boil to make our mashed potato.
If they're too small, they become waterlogged.
If they're too big, they won't cook in time.
Whilst they go on, I'm going to boil some eggs to make my salsa verde.
-I trust you, but I've never seen egg in salsa verde!
-There you go.
And now, my lamb.
A lovely rack of lamb.
The idea today is the celebs must butcher this properly, clean the bones off,
and then, roast it, so it looks beautiful.
That comes away.
I don't really want a piece of lamb with lots of fat on it.
Now, the bones have to be cleaned.
So much of the meat we buy is all pre-packaged.
I shouldn't imagine they've ever done this before, our celebs.
There is a lot of work here. They've got to be perfectly clean.
We've got a beautifully trimmed piece of lamb
and that is going to take about 20 minutes to cook.
Instead of pan frying in oil, I'll use the fat and render it down.
You are a clever boy.
My grandmother cooked the best roast lamb.
It's still my favourite and still my brother's favourite, as well.
Into the oven.
Now, the mashed potato.
The way I learned to mash potato was from my grandmother
and this is what she had - a fork.
Can't guarantee to get the lumps out.
I'm about to show you how to get every single lump out of mashed potato with a fork.
Using a fork, simply mash the potato.
-What about the lumps?
-There won't be lumps - the potatoes are cooked properly.
Because of you and your grandmother's recipe,
I'm going to have to eat celebrity lumpy mashed potato.
Not if they follow the recipe. It's a revelation.
It's time, now, to take this to a beautiful mashed potato, which is creamy and delicious.
The important thing, now, is to keep the heat underneath that pan.
And we keep on beating it and beating it.
-No, absolutely not.
Now, we'll make the salsa verde,
which I first started making in Quaglino's in 1993.
Breadcrumbs first of all. A good amount of vinegar -
that's our sharpness.
Our herbs are just basil and parsley...
..and a couple of capers.
Peel the egg.
The smell is incredible.
Are you nervous?
Oh, yeah! That's perfect.
Rack of lamb, mashed potato, salsa verde.
A great dish. If they've mastered this,
they've learned how to cook meat,
-mashed potato and make a sauce.
-And boil an egg.
We are giving you one hour to cook for us one of my classic recipes.
Something that I have built my reputation on.
It has to be wonderful.
At the end of the day, one of you will be going home.
Do your very best. Let's cook.
Kirsty is a respected journalist. She cooks with passion.
Her flavours are bold.
I've had the chicken and pancetta. It's really lovely.
She can come again, definitely. It's really nice.
Her food tastes good,
but it's big, it's bulky and it has no finesse.
-A great big, horrible-looking, scruffy plate.
I don't do fine cuisine. It's not me.
A bit slapdash on the plate so far.
I want to be able to cook in a fine way.
Kirsty, what's the news on your bench?
It's a challenge to get my bones clean.
I want this to look like a manicure.
What would be a good outcome for you today?
The chance to do a bit more.
It's soul enriching, isn't it?
You're learning to do something better.
So, how are you going to guarantee it's not Kirsty that goes?
The taste has got to be the first thing for me.
But to show that I can make it look beautiful and taste good.
That's all you need to do. All you ever need to do.
Yes, well, let's see.
You've had nearly ten minutes already. Ten already.
Ricky Groves - actor, most of us know him from EastEnders.
He actually trained as a chef.
Each component part is made very, very well.
And it tastes all right.
But he can be too anxious to please.
Chiffonade of Savoy cabbage, nice little puff pastry crown on top.
Potatoes that I've just parmentiered.
Can you tell us again and bring some detail into it?
How much curry paste have you got there? That'll hurt.
There's lots of bells and whistles, but Ricky needs to deliver.
What is wrong with this thing?
What the hell is that?
-That is the batter mix for the toad-in-the-hole.
-It isn't going to work.
I think I'm putting too much pressure on myself,
so maybe, the key is to think
and to deliver the goods at the end of the day.
Ricky, once again, you're approaching this task with ferocity.
Yes. I've made a few schoolboy errors in this competition so far.
So, I really want to do it as per the recipe as best as I can.
So, yes, OK, ferocity, but at the same time,
I want to get it right, you know.
You are putting yourself under a huge amount of pressure, Ricky.
Yeah, I think I've always done that and maybe that's one of my faults.
But I know that the more attentive you can be,
the more correct you can be.
The more hasty you can be, the more mistakes you can make.
-Are you confident?
-I'll be confident with ten minutes to go.
Phil Vickery, England rugby captain. On the field - a raging bull.
In the MasterChef kitchen - a bit more timid.
If you could have picked something worse
for me to start with, it would have been impossible.
Your enemy right now is your own confidence.
I'm shaking and I'm not normally like that.
But he has demonstrated that he can cook some good food. Hearty food.
I really love the root veg with the red wine sauce.
The crumble was pretty much perfect.
The peach and the pear did taste well together.
I'm not normally a nervous person.
I pride myself on being able to deal and cope with pressure
and be able to move on, but this is just a different kind of pressure.
Have we got the raging bull or a timid little cook?
No, we're going for it.
It's not something I particularly understand that well.
-There is a shake about your manner!
-I know, it's whenever you come to the bench, John.
Do you think, Phil, that you maybe have a natural ability to cook?
I've got a natural ability to eat food, but...
Someone's got to go out. You never really liked losing, did you?
I don't want to go out. I'm not here to make up numbers.
I'd like to go on and experience
and show you guys and hopefully, learn along the way.
-As long as it's not me, I don't mind.
Halfway! Just half an hour left. Whoa!
If you cover eggs with water, they cook a little bit more evenly.
-Otherwise the bottom will be cooked and the top won't be.
It's a fair point.
Ruth is an historian
and she is a natural cook, an instinctive cook.
It is really tasty. I enjoyed it, you can see. It's all finished!
But she has struggled when under pressure.
-Tell me, where's the panna cotta?
-It didn't work.
-Cream your butter and sugar first.
-OK, let's take it off. It's fine.
It's hard to know if you'll be able to pull it out of the bag when it comes to it.
Who knows? I hope I can.
You've got serious MasterChef ambitions,
and yet, we're failing to boil an egg.
Failing to boil an egg, yeah. I'm really cross with myself.
Do you have an issue following a recipe?
I do. There's no doubt about it.
-I don't know. I don't like doing as I'm told, I suppose.
I'm a bolshie old so and so!
How much do you want to stay here?
A lot. Much more than I thought I did.
Tree minutes. Three minutes, please.
Time's up! Time's up. Finished! Stop, stop, stop.
We asked you to cook for us a French trimmed rack of lamb,
salsa verde and mashed potato.
On the whole, well done. You all finished on time.
But, as you can now see, all four are completely different.
Phil, we'll start with you.
I'm pleased about the presentation. Your bones are beautifully clean. I think a pretty good job.
Your salsa verde is rich with garlic.
The vinegar with the breadcrumbs is good.
Your mashed potato is well seasoned. It's nice and creamy.
For me, the only issue is that lamb, just a little bit under.
But I'm being super-critical. It's a good dish. I like it a lot.
Lovely mashed potato. Really soft and buttery.
That salsa verde is a big punch. It's a good job.
Kirsty, your turn.
Your food is usually very, very big and today this makes me smile.
There's some finesse.
But you've put them together as if they're tapas items.
Bring them together.
Lamb, lovely. Salsa verde, real winner.
Mashed potato, really creamy, really smooth. Little bit more seasoning.
But it's a good job.
Beautifully cooked lamb.
Your mashed potato, wonderful and creamy, buttery.
Your salsa verde has that wonderful zing.
But all in all, Kirsty, I really like it.
I think it went OK.
I was able to show I could do more finessed cooking
so from that point of view, phew.
Ruth, your turn.
The first thing this dish screams at me
-is that you're trying to hide something.
And I now see why you're hiding your lamb because it's slightly over.
There should be a bit of pink running through that lamb.
Your salsa is lovely, although it's lacking a little bit of egg,
for the simple reason you couldn't boil an egg today, Ruth.
Your mashed potato is light as a feather.
The texture of it with that lamb is wonderful. Everything is seasoned really well.
All in all, Ruth, I think you've done a good job.
The lamb's a little bit over. I'll forgive you, Ruth.
I'll forgive you. I think the whole thing tastes great.
'I can't believe I failed to boil an egg.'
I just can't believe... My nerves!
I was boiling it.
"It should be ready, should be ready", and I took it off too soon.
I think we could have been a bit neater, some of the trimming.
The whole thing tastes great. Lovely, buttery mashed potato.
Sauce with a real kick.
Good. I'm happy. I would just like neater lamb.
I'm trying to understand the anchovies on top.
That's your own thing. I know about your bells and whistles.
I love your salsa verde, really love it. It's sharp and salty
and goes beautifully with that rich, buttery mashed potato and your lamb.
But, for me, your lamb is unevenly cooked, a little bit untidy,
and your mashed potato has that odd little lump in it.
I feel as if it went 90% for me.
I could have done another 10%.
The guys picked up on a couple of faults
and, you know, no-one's perfect, so I'm happy.
Now, we said that the whole day was going to be really challenging,
because when you come back in here again,
one of you will be going home.
-Thank you. Off you go.
-I think, all in all, not a bad job.
-Yeah, good. No disasters.
I can't boil an egg!
SHE ROARS WITH LAUGHTER
I undercooked chicken the first time.
I can't boil an egg! Argh!
All four of them did a really good recreation of a good dish.
I tell you, the idea of knocking one of these guys out,
that doesn't make me happy at all.
So far this week, the celebrities have been tested
on their basic skill -
They now have one last chance to stay in the competition
because one of them will be going home.
Next, it's their own food. How far have they come in the competition?
How much have they learned?
How much have they developed? We're about to find out.
Today's the big day. Two courses of your own design.
Let's just hope nothing goes wrong. Fingers crossed.
This is a tough thing to pull off.
John and Gregg are tough judges of food. It's not easy.
If I don't get through today, I'll be hugely disappointed.
I think my dish has got to be pretty well perfect.
It's the dish which will define whether or not we go through
or whether we're sent home.
So lots of nerves but also extremely excited.
One hour. Your two courses.
You're cooking for your MasterChef lives. Let's cook.
It's like a bloke's barbecue. Look at that.
What I'm doing today is everything which I love.
I'd sooner go home doing what I love
rather than trying to be something I'm not.
I think John and Gregg would see through it in a millisecond.
What are the two dishes you're cooking for us?
Pigeon breast with apple and black pudding as a starter.
Then I'm going to do you a Gloucester Old Spot sausage
with bubble and squeak with a port sauce.
Trying to incorporate all the things which I love,
particularly where I'm from and I enjoy eating.
Trying to put my stamp on it. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.
How much harder is this than leading England onto the field?
This is a lot harder than any game of rugby, believe me.
Why is it so important to do well today?
I love food, I love cooking. I want to learn. I want to get better
and show people that I have other talents.
And if you do go home today? Will you clump me or John?
No, not at all. I've enjoyed your company actually.
-You're not as bad as what you come across on television.
-Thanks a lot!
Phil, the food he loves, the food he grew up with.
John, it's big, it's solid.
I just hope it's got a bit of style to it as well.
I think the idea that you come on MasterChef
and deliver something out of your back pocket that you didn't think you could deliver...
I just want to make sure I haven't bitten off more than I can chew
in that I haven't tried to be more ambitious than I can be in the time.
What are you cooking?
Pan-fried fillet of trout on a cucumber and dill and lemon bed.
And lamb fillet
on a bed of puy lentils with special champ and redcurrant juice.
You've only just mastered the art of a decent-looking plate, is that fair?
No, I haven't mastered it yet,
because what you or John said earlier was I'd made the plate clean
but I presented it like tapas. Food has got to be together on the plate.
In that busy journalist brain of yours, is there room for a cook's brain as well?
I hope so. I hope so. My head's pulsing.
I hope it's not mashed.
These lentils and mashed potato are a step and a stodge too far.
I think I'm cooking black pepper and it's meant to be puy lentils.
What have you done? You have! You're cooking black pepper pods.
Look at that. Get them on now. You're going to have to push, aren't you?
30 minutes gone, guys. That means you're halfway.
Hopefully, if I get my head straight,
I'm in with a pretty good chance of just producing some nice food.
Someone's got to go.
I hope it's not me because I'm just starting to enjoy it.
Sounds silly but I am.
Ricky, big day today. The pressure's truly on. How are you coping now?
I'm OK. I feel as if I'm a little bit ahead of the game.
What are you making?
A ratatouille with a traditional moules marinieres
and then I've got medallions of beef
sitting on a crouton and a rosti
-with a morel and shallot sauce.
-We're doing moules marinieres
-with ratatouille in it?
-You've got two different sauces going on in the same bowl?
I think at this stage of the competition,
you've got to put yourself out there
and put your neck on the line to show what you can do.
Hopefully I haven't over-complicated it. I'm trying
and that's the main thing.
-You try really hard, no doubt about that.
Ricky is doing moules marinieres with two different sauces.
I'm intrigued. I really am intrigued. I'm also a bit scared.
I am nervous about today. I'm not sure if my choice of food is what they're looking for.
I've chosen things that are historically interesting,
because that's what I like but it's not necessarily what everybody else likes.
Ruth, tell me what it is you're making.
I got this recipe from the mid-18th century. Later in history, it's called a Bedfordshire clanger.
It's a bit like a suet pudding but full of bacon
and people would take them to the fields rather like Cornish pasties.
My other course is not quite Mrs Cromwell's apple pie.
This is one of my favourite recipes.
It's basically apples that are simmered in quince
-and then on top is a cheesy custard made with curd.
-Do you know what I believe?
There is a reason why some dishes have made it to the 21st century and some haven't.
-The ones that haven't, no-one likes!
-I don't agree with that.
Are we going to be excited by this food or frightened by it?
Excited. You'll find it delicious.
Ruth is drawing on her historical knowledge
and cooking two British dishes drawn from history.
But is it any good?
Five minutes left. Five minutes to finish off.
Time's up. Stop. Don't touch. Don't touch. Stop.
Phil has made a starter
of seared pigeon breast with black pudding and apple.
I think your pigeon breast is cooked beautifully.
The combination of apple, pigeon and black pudding
is an absolutely fantastic one.
But, for me, those wedges of apple need to be cooked really well so they become the sauce.
-There's no glue holding the dish together.
I really like the taste of that.
I think it's a lovely flavour combination
but, texture-wise, it goes a bit dry.
Phil's main course is Gloucester Old Spot sausage
served on bubble and squeak with a port sauce and crispy onion rings.
Your food is Phil Vickery from start to end. It is big.
It is honest.
You could work out with that. You know that, Phil?
The sauce is really nicely made. Your sausage is absolutely delicious.
Your onion rings are lovely and crisp.
I think it's all really cooked well.
I think the dish is a bit big but I also look at you
and know this is the sort of food that makes you happy. That's good.
It's lovely. It's lovely! It's peppery, porky sausage.
We've got bubble and squeak, really sweet sauce.
It does what it says on the tin. It's lovely.
I've done what I set out to do at the beginning.
I said it's going to be me on two plates. It's my food. I love it.
If it's good enough for you guys, we'll have to wait and see.
Kirsty has made a starter of trout pan-fried in brown butter,
served with cucumber and dill and horseradish cream.
You are becoming in my mind a really game and adventurous cook.
The heat inside that horseradish sauce
with the coolness coming from that sweet cucumber with the dill
and at the end of it the chalkiness of that lovely, beautifully-cooked piece of trout, I think is wonderful.
I think the horseradish with that fish is very nice indeed.
You've always done flavour. You're starting to do elegance as well.
For her main course, Kirsty has made fillet of lamb with champ,
lentils and a redcurrant sauce.
Mashed potato with leeks, absolutely delicious.
Your lamb is cooked beautifully, really well-seasoned.
Your sauce is too sweet for me. As a whole dish,
I don't like it.
It's just way too sweet for me. Way too sweet.
Lamb is cooked nicely. Mashed potato with the leek is a beautiful thing.
I can't quite get lentils and mashed potato together.
They do the same job.
I agree. It's too much.
I understand. I'm really annoyed.
Ricky has made a starter of moules marinieres and ratatouille.
A dish I've never seen before.
I loved that sweet, savoury, almost smoky ratatouille.
I really, really love the muscles in that creamy, lemon sauce.
But the creaminess of the sauce is starting to clash
with the richness of the ratatouille.
A lot of work in there, Ricky. Lot of work.
I like your mussels in your creamy sauce. You've got the chives there.
I even like your ratatouille.
You've made both of them really well
but I don't think they go together.
Ricky's main course is medallions of beef served with a crouton,
a potato rosti, wilted greens and a morel mushroom and shallot sauce.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Peppered steak, nicely seasoned.
Cooked, still tender. Creamy morel sauce. Wonderful.
Not shallots as well in the morel sauce.
I think a cream morel sauce should be the morels.
Another example of me putting hundreds and thousands, as well as the cherry on the cake.
Huge amount of work in this,
making rosti, and that is showing a lot of skill.
Everything on your main course is cooked really well,
but it is slightly confused.
-It's just going a little bit over the top.
A rosti cut in a heart, a heart-shaped crouton.
I do think you've got the essence of a really good cook but you should pare it down.
-Take away four or five things
-and do the things that really matter very, very well.
I think when I start off with an idea I might say,
"Right, I'm going to do a steak sandwich."
And I end up with a Scooby Snack with everything in it.
Maybe I'll take on board what you're saying, gentlemen,
and literally concentrate on the things that matter.
Ruth has made her version of Bedfordshire clangers.
served on a bed of cabbage,
drizzled with an orange and star anise sauce.
It's slightly stodgy but not heavy. Get the iron of the cabbage.
But the two big flavours are like Pernod and limey vinegary.
I can't help but think would it be better off tasting of pork and cabbage?
Yes and no!
It's a very unusual combination.
I don't mind it. I find it really intriguing.
I do. I find it really intriguing
that you can walk in here
and cook something like that which I have never, ever, ever seen before in my life.
and actually fuse flavours together which work.
I really like it.
Phew! I'm really pleased about that.
Ruth's dessert is Not Quite Mrs Cromwell's Apple Pie -
a 17th-century recipe of apples simmered in quince
topped with cheesy curd custard.
Soft apple and a creamy, almost cheesy topping.
It's a bit like stewed apple meets cheesecake,
and it's very, very nice indeed!
Good, good. Brilliant.
Mr Wallace will tell you that I'm not a big sweet tooth.
That is gorgeous.
It is like a baked apple custard
flavoured with spiced quince.
I've never had it before,
but I truly, absolutely, wholeheartedly love it.
-Have you got loads of historical dishes?
These are some of the nicer ones. There's loads out there.
Worse than the clanger?!
It gets worse and better.
John and I have now got a very, very difficult judging decision. Thank you.
Off you go.
Two really tough challenges
and they're really fighting for this.
They're all working really, really hard.
This decision of who's going to stay and who's going to go
is going to be extremely difficult to make.
Phil's first course - the pigeon was lovely and pink - livery.
The black pudding was beautiful.
A great combination idea. With a cider sauce it would have been really delicious.
That was one weighty main course,
but it was delicious.
It was big, hearty pub grub.
That sort of food sells, and he cooked it very well.
I liked that.
I'd be disappointed if I went home today. It's a bug.
It gets hold of you and you just want to do well.
Am I good enough to get through? It's a matter of opinion.
Hopefully they'll have seen something they like.
Phil is really honest, really brave, he is really brash with his food.
He's developed his own style. He knows his style, doesn't he?
Kirsty is growing as the competition develops,
and I liked the trout with the horseradish.
I thought that was really, really very nice indeed.
The lamb dish.
Every single bit cooked really well.
But, put all those things together,
and I'm sorry I did not like that main course at all.
I think I did myself justice in terms of flavours.
But combination was not the best in the main course.
I think that was a real mistake.
Ricky did a really nice mussel dish, I think. It was creamy.
And he also made a ratatouille very well.
But he put the two together.
Why two sauces with a mussel?
I don't get it. And then I go to the main course.
Why have two separate bits of starch with two bits of beef?
It's just a bit confused. It's all a bit confused.
I think what I'm trying to do is put too many things on a plate.
It's like pulling wheelies in front of the girls - showing off.
That's maybe a fault of mine.
If I'm fortunate enough to get through,
then maybe I need to address that.
How many times have we told him to pair it back?
How many times?
But, everything he cooks is seasoned well, cooked well.
The skill show is extraordinary.
Watch him chop an onion. That's a chef!
But Ricky would then put some sparklers on the onion,
and some tinsel.
I'm loving Ruth!
I've never had anybody come on here and cook historically, John.
That is brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
You and I both loved that Not Mrs Cromwell's Apple Pie.
A beautiful thing.
It was stunning. I absolutely loved it.
But, her clangers.
I understand pork dumplings with the cabbage,
but she drowned that thing in aniseed flavour.
That star anise drowned it.
But as I ate more and more of it, I could understand it.
It's really intriguing, exciting food.
I'd love to get through and cook some more. It would be fun.
It would be really fun.
There's so much out there to cook and try out on people.
I don't know how many historical dishes
are going to sit quite happily on a 21st-century table.
But I'm intrigued to find out, aren't you?
I think this is, you know, a tough decision.
If I've got to choose one...
You are a strong group.
And it's a shame, a real shame, to say goodbye to one of you.
But that's what we have to do.
The person leaving us is...
-That's OK. Thank you.
-Good luck to everyone else.
-Take care. See you soon.
Disappointed, but I'm a realist - you take things as far as you can,
and there's no point in crying over spilt milk.
I'm glad in a way that the pressure is off me
but I'm not glad to be leaving my mates behind and the experience.
Oooh! I'm through. Quite incredible, really.
It's nice to have another chance
to try a few more things, have another go.
Great to be here.
Here to fight another day.
I just feel relieved.
I'm going to go home with a big smile on my face.
I'm absolutely thrilled to be through.
But immediately you're through, you think,
"Now I've really got to raise my game...again!"
Well done, the girls.
Tomorrow, the battle continues
as these three celebrities fight to stay in the competition.
-Three more lamb kebabs.
Lots of orders coming in, lots of things going on.
-How many birianis are on order?
-One, three and one.
-And the previous ones - you should have eight.
-Yes, two and four.
And I just added three more now.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Journalist Kirsty Wark, social historian Ruth Goodman, former England rugby captain Phil Vickery and actor Ricky Groves are challenged to cook one of John Torode's classic recipes, a rack of lamb with salsa verde and mashed potatoes. Not only must they impress Gregg with their attempts but also ensure that they do John's recipe justice.
Finally, the celebrities are asked to cook their own two-course menu. Will they prove they are beyond cooking at home and dazzle the judges with their skills and flavour combinations?
John and Gregg have a decision to make - at the end of it one celebrity will be going home.