Culinary challenge. The remaining celebrities head to London restaurant La Porte des Indes to cook a lunch service and one of the head chef's signature dishes.
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'16 celebrities are battling it out
'to win the coveted MasterChef crown.'
I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to win it!
These celebrities have already reached the top of their profession.
But can they cut it in the kitchen?
Can I do it? Dunno. Wait and see.
I'm waking up thinking about food, dreaming about being in kitchens.
Cooking doesn't get tougher than this.
'All this week, these three celebrities
'have been set challenges to determine their expertise.
'At the end of the week, only the best
'will go through to the semifinals.'
We have three very, very strong celebrities
who have proven so far in this competition they can cook well.
But now we're gonna turn up the heat.
'Today, they'll be thrown in at the deep end,
'cooking to professional standards in a busy London restaurant.'
Not bad for a first time!
'Then they'll have to show John and Gregg what they've learnt.'
Every single challenge has been a stepping stone.
I've made lots of mistakes.
I've enjoyed trying to push myself.
RUTH: The more we do,
we get more into the flow of it.
PHIL: I'm getting better.
I'm going to fight to the very end.
'It's 9am, and Ruth, Phil and Kirsty
'are heading to cook in their first restaurant service.'
It's a bit scary, cooking for people who are paying for your food!
PHIL: Very nervous.
I know it's going to be tough, but this is why we're here.
KIRSTY: It's going to be very high pressure in there.
The thing is to be incredibly focused.
They are going to experience, for the first time,
the white heat of a professional restaurant service.
We're going down the Spaghetti House!
We don't want pastries.
I don't know why I'm trying to guess. I don't know where we are.
This is no ordinary restaurant. This is so far out of their comfort zone, they might be on the moon.
KIRSTY: An Indian restaurant? PHIL: That looks posh.
"La Porte des Indes", as they say on the Dordogne.
'They will be cooking at La Porte des Indes in London's West End,
'which specialises in Indian dishes with French influences.
'They'll be working under the watchful eye of chef patron
Each one of you will get a dish to make.
Obviously, we give the strong lad something more tough!
Are you ready to cook?
Why don't you follow me and I'll show you your station?
So, let's say that's about... Touch that.
'Former rugby player Phil will cook a starter of tandoori lamb kebab
'served with a salad and a mango chutney.'
These kebabs are quite popular. I expect the starter to really move.
'It's food I love. I've never cooked it.
'I've got no understanding of it.'
There might be a few bumps on the way.
This is the meat. You'll do this in prep later.
You mix up with spices.
Really work it. You've got strong shoulders.
As you can see over here...
Use these skewers. Work your way around over there.
-Is it important to keep it even?
-Yes, I'm just...
Pull it along the length of the skewer.
And then you put that in over there.
The thing with the tandoori oven
is there's no dials to control the temperature.
It's a question of touch, feel, experience.
You're gonna lose a lot of hair on your arms.
Your arm's gonna keep going in and your hair's going to get singed.
'Historian Ruth is in charge of the prawn biryani
'with a pomegranate raita.'
Take a bit of the sauce.
Once the prawns have cooked through,
layer with rice,
then you follow with more rice.
Here's the pastry.
-Stretch it over.
-Stretch it over.
Just pop that onto the rack.
It's all going to be about timing, keeping everything in my head
so that I don't let anything go dry.
It's going to be a juggling act.
So, there you go. You want to grab that for me? Rest it first.
It's difficult to make sure that it's not been over-cooked,
they haven't forgotten to put the prawns in in the correct fashion!
When that goes up, the waiter will cut that open,
you see the steam and aroma - heaven!
When the customer opens the pot, I hope there's something in there!
'Journalist Kirsty is going to be responsible
'for the guinea fowl chettinad with semolina mash.'
-I'm going to trust you to give me a great dish out there.
In goes the mustard seeds.
You've got to let them pop and crackle.
You get that aroma coming up.
Are you with me? OK.
-So, mustard seeds...
-The curry leaves.
Once you've roasted the spices, you grind them down.
-You get a base like that.
-Oh, it's lovely!
Quickly stir-fry that. That's why we've cut them into fine strips.
It doesn't take long to cook through. That's your main dish.
It's accompanied by semolina mash.
Put that into these little bowls.
You place your guinea fowl over there.
I expect to at least sell 25, 30 portions of this today.
I imagine there's some very exacting customers as well as chefs.
I've got to get it perfect.
'The celebrities now have two hours to complete their mise en place
'ahead of service.'
Incredible smells coming off this!
Imagine a professional spice grinder!
'There is now only 30 minutes until service begins.'
PHIL: Everything's getting hotter.
You can feel the pressure. Everyone's moving that bit quicker.
The adrenaline and butterflies are beginning to go.
-Service is about to start. How are you guys doing?
All hell breaks loose any minute now, really.
Brilliant. Let's get going, then.
First order of the day. You're in business!
Five of the lamb kebabs.
PHIL: Five orders to go out. First up. Under pressure.
Got to keep everything prepared and try not to burn my hands too much.
They look really lovely.
Phil, can I have the plates that are ready, please?
Not bad, for a first time!
'Ruth is also off to a busy start with her biryani.'
Four orders straight off.
Try and keep it less of the sauce.
-What'll happen is, it'll soak in and make everything soggy.
I can see what he means.
It looks quite dry, you put it in the pan and it lets go more liquid.
I've never cooked a biryani before!
Phil, three more lamb kebabs to go, now!
'Kirsty has had no orders for her guinea fowl and semolina.'
The gas is ready.
The idea is that I'm going to be ready to cook, hopefully,
when the first order comes in.
-Ruth, still waiting for the first one to come out.
I want it cooked. Don't just give it to me because I'm asking for it.
I'm not an expert on prawns but this is particularly tasty.
Kirsty, one portion of guinea fowl now.
I'm going to watch my heat. I don't want to burn my spices.
I'm cooking my guinea fowl through.
Memories of uncooked chicken haunt me yet.
Guinea fowl. Brilliant.
Kirsty, I need two and one. Three portions of guinea fowl to go.
This one looks perfect, nice.
-Whereas that one looks a bit dead.
I'm eating the guinea fowl. Very nice. Most enjoyable.
'The restaurant is filling up
'and the celebrities' dishes are proving a popular choice.'
-Three more lamb kebabs.
-Phil, sir, can you move it, please?
-30 seconds, chef.
Just cut them and let's go now. You've got to speed up, I'm sorry.
One more order. Phil, listen up. Five lamb kebabs to go.
Big pressure. Lots of orders coming in.
Lots of things going on.
-I'm still waiting for that one kebab.
Some of them are a bit raw inside. This is very pink inside.
-Put that in there. Give it another minute or so.
Skewer the others as well.
Just be careful on the next ones.
Chef's had a go at me, probably an oversight from me. Slightly rushed.
-Three portions of biryani on order now.
Nice and busy.
Add one more biryani to that. There's a new order.
He's ordering another one, yeah?
You've got one more prawn biryani on order.
-One more on order?
-Which makes a total of...?
-Nine. In all.
-Yes. Can I have some more prawns, please?
-Remember how many you've got on order?
-One, three and one.
-And the previous ones?
-You should have eight.
-And I just added three more now.
Ruth, we need to have three biryanis ready. I'd like them, please.
This has been sloppily put over.
I don't like presentation. You can tell it's not my thing.
I just heard a comment, telling me that they find it a bit too wet.
-It's turning too soggy.
I put a bit much sauce in.
Either I have to reduce the amount of sauce or reduce it slightly more.
So I will.
-Kirsty, two more portions of guinea fowl on order.
Kirsty, you've got one more guinea fowl.
The orders are piling up.
Kirsty, can you change that? The semolina's just one lump.
-Can you make sure it's moulded up properly, please?
I don't like my moulds not being good enough!
I really don't. I want it to look fabulous!
You've got a bit of semolina in that.
Can you give me another portion?
'With service coming to an end, Phil is up to speed.'
Phil, these are much better.
He's doing well for someone who's never handled a tandoori before.
I think he's brilliant.
-Ruth, one more prawn biryani.
-Yes, chef. I'll get this perfect.
I hope I've sorted the problem out.
I'm making them drier so, hopefully, they'll be a bit better.
The rice was sticky, just what you'd expect from biryani.
Kirsty, you've got a last order in. One portion of guinea fowl, now.
Much, much better.
OK, guys. Thank you.
Thank you, chef.
Somebody's who's never worked in a professional kitchen,
just stepped in and been told what to do,
from that perspective, I think they've done brilliantly.
Phil did make a few basic errors,
but he did pretty good.
It's high pressure, high intensity. I really enjoyed it.
It was absolutely brilliant. I'm buzzing.
As far as Ruth goes, there were just marginal errors.
Too much water was making her biryanis a bit soggy.
She tried to rectify it. Hats off to her.
I know I made a few mistakes.
I always make a few mistakes, but I really enjoyed it.
Kirsty needs to really concentrate on her presentation.
With the semolina, she was sometimes a bit rough.
Chef sent back one plate, so I was disappointed in that.
I'm pretty shattered.
'A gruelling service is over,
'but the celebrities now face an even tougher challenge -
'cooking chef Mehernosh Mody's signature dish,
It's one of those created dishes that stood the test of time.
So it's one of our favourites here.
It's quite complicated, the steps that you take making the dish.
Watch me very carefully. A bit of oil in the pan.
Let the oil heat up. The mustard seeds have to pop.
Otherwise it doesn't release the flavour.
Then poppy seeds, and follow that with the onions.
Finely chopped garlic, just a little bit. Now, lower the heat.
The reason why is because you're adding a powdered spice.
The powdered spice is so microscopic, if the oil is very hot,
instantly, a kind of burn-off is left.
You're going to put in a bit of turmeric.
Yoghurt. Dried, desiccated coconut.
You're using crab, which will have a lot of salt.
So go very easy on the seasoning. Put it on a very low simmer.
Finally, the flaked crab meat.
Gently mix up everything. Don't mash it up.
Fill it back into the shell, and that's your crab malabar.
Make sure you concentrate and remember everything.
And let's see what you can do.
I've got a brain like a sieve.
The chances of me remembering all those instructions are...!
I'm worried I might not have cooked the coconut quite long enough.
The coconut's a little bit gritty.
I feel, straight off, there's an over-use of mustard seeds.
-Let's see how the taste goes.
Texture-wise, it's fine.
The first taste of the crab, the sweetcorn hits you. That's lovely.
After a mouthful, I find the coconut overbearing.
A little too much dried coconut.
-I thought that when I tasted it.
-You keep crunching on that coconut and that stays in your mouth.
Somebody who's just seen me make it for the first time,
you've done better than most of my chefs do
-when I ask them to do it the first time.
I think that went quite well! He was absolutely right about the coconut.
I'm glad he liked it other than that, though. Phew!
ALARM GOES OFF
ALARM STOPS Ah!
I really hope that I can do the understated, the subtle,
not overpower anything too much.
Just remembering that this dish, as the chef said,
is about the crab meat, which done the talking.
It's gonna have to do.
It's Chef's signature dish. I hope I've done it justice. So...
Phil, the first look is amazing.
The fluffiness of the crab, the colour of the turmeric,
it's almost perfect, top marks is all I can say.
I can't fault this.
Seriously. The flavours, balance, mustard, freshness of the crab.
-Ah. Thank you.
To you! That's all I can say.
'It went REALLY well.'
I'm not sure whether it was luck or judgment, but fantastic comments.
Can't stop smiling. That's unusual for me, isn't it?
I want to make sure that I cook this properly and in a precise way.
That's what he was looking for.
I'm hoping I haven't put too much salt in it. I think not.
I want it to be perfect, so I'm hoping it is.
first looks, if I look down in the shell,
there's a lot of oil there
and I find the crab meat mashed up completely.
That's the first look. Let's see how the taste goes.
-I find it a bit salty.
-And your mustard seeds, some of them,
have kind of burnt through, I'm getting a bit of bitterness.
This isn't my signature dish.
I am so annoyed with myself.
Immediately I poured the oil into the pan, I knew there was too much.
I should have taken the time and poured half of it away.
No question, I KNEW that was wrong.
RUTH: I'm feeling really good, actually.
I enjoyed every bit of it and learned loads. It's been a good day.
PHIL: A lot of nerves, coming to a restaurant for the first time,
but to have finished off with the chef, cooking his signature dish
and him being really happy with it, it's made my day. Fantastic!
It was quite thrilling to be in that kitchen.
A bit disappointed with the signature dish. Dag-nabbit!
What a mistake!
Welcome back. Hope you've got some energy left. That was probably exhausting.
We sent you to that restaurant to learn, to inspire you.
We have on these benches an extraordinary set of ingredients.
From that set of ingredients, we want you to cook for us two dishes
which have been inspired by your time in that restaurant kitchen.
Ladies and gentleman, come and select your ingredients.
'Today's ingredients include aubergines,
'and a selection of fruit, vegetables and spices.'
RUTH: Nervous, as always.
Having that moment where you go blank!
What is that? Guinea fowl? No, it's duck.
PHIL: I'm thinking all sorts.
That's what I'm thinking.
Come on, guys.
You know what you're going to cook. Impress us!
You have one hour and 15 minutes.
Guys, let's cook.
Our three have done pretty well in that professional kitchen.
Now, they have a chance to prove to us how much they've learnt.
Let's see if they've got a little spark of something special.
Ruth is a fascinating cook, John. She likes to do historical dishes.
I love the sticky sauce, and the squirrel's lovely and soft.
I really like Ruth's food, but it's ugly!
I think you've got a palate. Wonder whether you've got an eye.
I don't want elegant. I just want smart, clean, crisp food from Ruth.
I'm well aware that I can muck it up at a moment's notice.
I seem to have the ability to get everything right then completely blow it on something simple.
-Have we got something historical?
-No. This vented out of my brain.
-I can't help but draw on ideas from the past, but it's made up as I go along.
-What are your dishes?
Marinated salmon, served with a sauce that is going to be...
-a bit of, um...
-Almonds, to give it a bit of texture.
The other course, pan-fried duck using many of the spices we were using in the professional kitchen,
along with plums, so you get that sweet with spiciness with the meat.
-How do you feel about the competition?
-The more I do, the more I enjoy.
You learn a thing and another thing and it sort of builds.
Ruth has got some really nice ideas.
She's got salmon marinating with a little bit of honey.
She's also got a duck that she wants to serve with a plum sauce.
She's got no idea how she's going to finish off
to make them into complete dishes.
You've had 30 minutes.
Phil, ex-England rugby captain.
You and I believe in Phil. He's turning out nice food.
-This is a good start.
-Thank you very much.
I think your enemy right now is your own confidence.
Got to get through to the semifinals.
And today, hopefully, I can do well.
Not a huge amount of ingredients on the bench. What are your dishes?
One of them I know. The second one I don't.
I'm going to do a chicken with the chilli with cumin and some turmeric.
-How have you taken that duck and turned it into a chicken?
Was it duck? There you go! Thanks very much.
I'm going to do a dessert of...
something to do with plum
-on a pastry.
-What was going through your mind? "Oh no!"
No, obviously, the kitchen was fantastic,
but you're being led by someone who knows what they're doing.
Now, actually, you want to see progression.
It's about me producing something which you guys...
"I didn't realise Phil could do that! That's changed."
That's the spirit. Right-ho.
Phil making a great stir-fry.
Fantastic! But what goes with that to make it a full dish?
He's then cooking down some plums.
He's going to make them into little puff pastry tartlets. I like that.
As long as he can make it quite pretty.
You have 20 minutes left, guys. 20 minutes.
Kirsty, a renowned journalist, is starting to grow in the competition.
That beautifully cooked piece of trout, I think, is wonderful.
But sometimes, Kirsty throws a little too much at that plate.
I can't get lentils and mashed potato together.
-They do the same job.
-I agree with you. It's too much.
Kirsty didn't have a great day in the restaurant.
She's got ground to make up. There's a lot of pressure.
I'm good at thinking off the top of my head.
Whether the thoughts are good is another matter.
I could think I'm combining something brilliantly
that could be absolutely awful.
You haven't got to the top of the pile in journalism because you didn't try hard or want something.
-How much do you want to win this competition?
-I SO want to win.
-I can see it!
-What are you making?
-A light aubergine and tomato curry.
With it, I'm serving basmati rice
with lime, parsley and spring onion to make it quite fresh tasting.
-It's not coriander?
-That is coriander.
Even better, cos I was looking for coriander!
And then, I'm doing salmon slightly teriyaki, with honey and soy sauce,
sauteed potatoes with black pepper,
and with that, I'm doing spinach with a bit of cream in it.
-Cream, spinach, soy sauce, potatoes and black pepper?
-A little bit of honey.
At this stage, I might swap things round.
My aubergine with my roast potatoes, and my salmon with my basmati rice and lime.
Kirsty has made lots of bits and pieces.
She's not quite sure which bits and pieces go on which plate right now.
The salmon will go on one plate, the aubergine on the other plate.
Where does the rice, the potato, the spinach and the cream sauce go?
-We're not quite sure.
-She has to make her mind up - and fast.
You've got ten minutes, guys. Finish your plates off.
Last two minutes.
Done! Finished! Time's up!
'Ruth has cooked seared salmon with a yoghurt and almond dressing
'followed by pan-fried duck with a plum sauce
'and a spiced fried onion garnish.'
That salmon is cooked really nicely.
The flavours on there are wonderful,
but this accompaniment, I have no idea what that is.
It's sweet. It's going pickly, and there's almonds as well.
It feels a bit gravelly? Like gritty? That's not at all pleasant.
I just want everybody to understand that charring on the outside
is done on purpose.
I really love that vibrancy, that pink and that rich black.
Your salmon is absolutely beautifully cooked.
It's sweet from the honey but sharp from the lime.
That cinnamon running across the top is delicious.
But your yoghurt mix, which has the predominant flavour
of raw almonds and also burnt almonds,
cumin in the background, seems almost curdled.
How anybody can curdle yoghurt, I'm not quite sure.
It is two dishes on one plate. One absolutely divine.
-The other one - weird.
That was your salmon. Let's have a look at your duck.
Soft duck that you hardly get at all because what you've got
is sweet, but mostly sharp, plums.
It isn't made into a thick sauce. They are stewed plums.
And the taste of fried onions. It's very, very unusual.
The onions are lovely and sweet. The duck is cooked beautifully.
Those two together is a lovely thing.
Once you take a piece of meat and put it with a piece of fruit,
-you are in dangerous territory.
-I love fruit and meat.
I'm fine about fruit and meat. This is dangerous.
-The plum sauce scares me.
The skin's still on it. That plum sauce is just plums.
Ruth, you're having a tough day.
RUTH: That didn't go so good.
LAUGHS It just all sort of fell apart.
Which is annoying. Never mind.
'Kirsty has cooked an aubergine and tomato curry
'served with lime-infused rice and yoghurt dip,
'followed by salmon on a bed of buttered spinach
'and roast potatoes.'
Your food today looks very nice.
You are coming on leaps and bounds.
You used to serve it up with a shovel.
Lots and lots of ingredients on that plate,
lots of things cooked very well.
All those big flavours of aubergine, tomatoes, chillies, coriander, lime
and garlic, coming together to make something really delicious.
-I'm so glad.
That rice has got a touch of lime through it. It's got coriander.
Your main curry is sweet with the vegetables,
but the layers of flavour that come lapping onto my palate -
cumin, caraway, chilli - that is cooking of the highest quality.
Let's move on to your salmon.
There is a load of water, and I think that's from your spinach.
I think your flavours are really good.
Salmon, soy, iron-rich spinach and the salty potatoes.
For me, the textures are a bit wrong. The spinach is a bit slimy.
The potatoes are soggy because of the pond they're in.
That white shows that the salmon is over-cooking. It's its proteins coming out.
The flavours of seasoned spinach and pepper on potato
with the sweet, rich salmon is delightful.
That puddle is doing more damage than you can imagine,
making everything wet and slimy in your mouth.
'I think the curry went well. I'm glad they liked that.'
I'm really disappointed about the spinach. Big mistake.
'Phil has cooked spiced duck on a bed of spinach,
'followed by a poached plum pastry
'served with honey cream and raspberries.'
You are developing a brilliant eye. Your dishes look very dainty.
Your delicate touch for a big fella is really good.
The duck is very well cooked.
Within that duck and spinach there's a lovely fruity aftertaste.
You can get that smokiness of the turmeric,
sweetness of onions, freshness of ginger,
the iron-richness of that spinach going with the sweetness of duck.
Really quite delicious but, for me,
you could have done with another dressing or bread,
something else just to make the complete dish.
I really like that.
I really, really like that, but I agree with John.
We need something other than the duck and the spinach to complete it.
I think we are a mound of rice away from a championship dish.
From your duck dish to your plum tart.
I think your dessert looks fantastic.
Get in there!
That is gorgeous. Puff pastry is really light.
Those plums are delivering a bit of sweetness and sharpness as well.
There's a bass note of a bit of spice in there. That is lovely.
This is good cooking.
It's refined. The flavours are defined.
I think there's a lot of skill demonstrated
-in a dish that looks really uncomplicated, and that's why I really like it.
PHIL: 'I wanted it to look pretty, to look nice.'
They could really see a difference.
Hopefully, they can see that I'm learning and listening.
What a day! Guys, well done.
The next time you cook, you'll be fighting for your MasterChef life.
Off you go.
Oh! I feel like I have to go and do some yoga!
I found that absolutely fascinating.
I think they all had parts of brilliant cooking.
Phil was the stand-out contestant in the restaurant
and he's cooked here very well.
There was something interesting about the elegance of his food.
Instead of being really big, it was elegant.
Phil is progressing very, very quickly indeed.
Their expectations of you are going higher and higher and higher.
The bar is raised. I've got to keep producing food of that quality.
I think Ruth held her own in the professional kitchen.
I still believe Ruth is a very, very good cook.
Her flavours today did not work.
They weren't complete dishes and I think that's a real shame.
Everybody gets annoyed when they don't get over a hurdle.
That doesn't mean you don't turn round and have another go.
Kirsty had real ups and downs.
She didn't have a great day in the restaurant.
Kirsty has to have cooked the dish of the day.
That lovely vibrant aubergine curry. Truly delicious.
I think she's building momentum.
All the way to the next challenge, I think sleep will be fitful.
Now it's an interesting competition. These three are really strong.
They are pushing each other. The standard is rising each time they come in.
Everything they've learnt, all the knowledge, has to come together.
They have to work really hard to keep a place in this competition.
Mm. One of them's going home, John.
'Tomorrow, the battle for a place in the semifinals reaches its climax.'
-You haven't got time to do all these things. Phil? Behind?
Tell them you'll be late.
'The celebrities face the harshest of critics...'
I don't like the texture. It's a bit like frog's spawn.
'..and find out their fate.'
It's been a really, really hard decision, but I'm sorry...
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The remaining three celebrities head to London restaurant La Porte des Indes to cook a lunch service. Each celebrity has to prepare a different dish, keeping the quality high as they work to a tight deadline. They must then cook one of the head chef's signature dishes, Crab Malabar - a warm crabmeat salad presented in its own shell.
Back the MasterChef kitchen they face the Invention Test, creating two courses from a range of ingredients including salmon, duck and aubergines, armed with only their new-found skills and imagination.