The search for the country's 2017 culinary superstar continues. Six chefs face a skills test, set by Monica. They have 20 minutes to prepare a dish using cod cheeks.
Browse content similar to Episode 4. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
48 chefs from across the UK are putting their reputations
on the line in a bid to become Professional MasterChef Champion.
Tonight, six more hopefuls compete to impress judge Gregg Wallace,
renowned chef Monica Galetti, and two Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing.
The time has come to enter a competition like this to see
if I can, you know, battle it out
against some of the greatest chefs in the country.
Very nervous, I didn't manage to eat much of my breakfast this morning.
Yeah, I'm struggling to keep the nerves under control.
Really excited to get stuck in now and cook for the judges.
I'm feeling fairly confident.
MONICA: This is a massive opportunity.
I can't wait to see what they're going to produce.
They're going to have to come in here and show us something special.
It's the 20 minute test, it's your test,
and there's a dirty great fish's head on your block!
What are you going to get them to do?
I would like our chefs to prepare the cod's head.
Preferably use either the cheeks or the tongue to make a dish with.
Our chefs have been given a larder here, which they can use in any way
they want to serve their cod dish.
Look, they've got oils, vinegars, anchovies, clams,
they've got some paprika sausage there as well,
they've got preserved lemons.
You know, we've left it open for them to have a play and serve it in
a nice, imaginative way.
They could breadcrumb it or fry it into a beignet.
Cod itself is very popular and very common
but the head is something you don't see a great deal of.
Right, 20 minutes to prepare and cook that cod's head.
All right, let's do it.
So, the first thing we're going to do is remove the cheeks.
Just by pressing it, you can feel where they are in here.
Yes, a bit like yours.
And then we gently find their way through it.
I don't want to see them rushing through, there's not a lot of meat
and I don't want to see it wasted.
There are also other bits of the cod's head here that they can use.
There's a fair bit of meat on its head.
This is the throat, which is a real delicacy.
So, this is what you can get leftover from the cod's head.
You've got the cheeks, the top of the head as well as the throat.
Lovely bits of meat if you know how to find them and then how to
I'm only going to use the cheeks and the throat.
It's quite interesting that for something so small, there's so much sinew on there.
If you leave it on, you cook it, it tightens up,
it becomes tough - that's not going to be very nice.
This should melt in the mouth.
If they haven't done this before, chef's instinct should kick in here.
They should be able to work it out.
Our chefs have only got 20 minutes to put something together here,
so they need to look at the ingredients and put something together that
they know is going to work.
So, what's your dish going to be?
I'm going to go for the clams.
I'm going to use a bit of the chorizo.
I might use some of these lovely seaweeds along the front as well.
Very delicate flavour, cod cheek,
so I don't want to overpower it too much.
I'm going to confit the throat gently and slowly
because it has a lot of fibre in there and if it's cooked
too quickly, it becomes quite tough.
I wonder how many of our contestants will actually remove the throat?
I'm going to cook the clams off to get some cooking juices off that
and I'll use it for the base of the sauce.
The clams might not be the key feature to the dish here but they've
still got to be cooked correctly.
So my clams have been cooked, I've got the liquid here.
We want to see our chefs tasting at the same time.
You've got some proper yummy stuff going on here, mate!
Still, I want to see you cook those cheeks.
The prep and getting them off is the hard bit.
Five minutes left. That's enough time to cook those cheeks, right?
-Plenty of time.
What you don't want, Gregg, is to cook that cod's cheek too soon.
It's quite delicate, it's quite tender,
it's almost the oyster of the fish.
So I would treat it with a little bit of tender love and care.
Colour coming from the chorizo oil is stunning.
I've got here some mayonnaise.
It's a very old way of finishing sauces,
is thickening it with a mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise to finish the sauce, new on me.
You clever old thing!
-Look at this.
-Less of the old, please, Gregg!
-You clever thing!
Pretty, pretty dish.
-Can I eat it?
-It's a bit small for you but yes.
Don't want to embarrass you
but that is the best cod's cheek and throat I've ever tasted.
Those bits of fish are so soft it's ridiculous.
-I love the sauce idea, I think it works great.
-All I want to see is the bits of the cod's head prepared
and used in the right way.
Are you ready? Shall we get six nervous chefs in here and present
-them with a cod's head?
-Well, I'm nervous!
This is going to be great.
VOICEOVER: First up is 43-year-old Richard,
head chef at a country house hotel in Northamptonshire.
I look after all the food outlets in the hotel and make sure
everything runs tickety-boo!
I've been a chef for about 24 years.
I'm a little bit old school, I'm a bit set in my ways.
But, over the years, I've been all around the kitchen
so I'm quite confident.
At first I thought I was too old to do the competition, but after seeing
Gary win it last year,
it's given me inspiration to enter this year and have a go.
I feel like somebody's come in holding a mirror!
I've been told that before!
OK, so, today, I would like you to take the meat off the cod's head and
make us a dish of your choice
using any of the ingredients on this table.
Richard, have you ever prepped a cod head before?
-No, I haven't, no.
-It's you and your fish head.
-20 minutes, off you go.
Richard, you got those cheeks out in just over a minute.
I don't know if I've done it right.
What are you thinking, Richard?
I'm thinking of panning the cod's cheeks and making a little
clam broth with it with samphire.
So, Richard, what made you enter?
I want to develop myself a little bit further.
I've got to a stage in my career
where everything's pretty good but I thought I'd challenge myself
and I've got two baby boys, one's three, one's one,
so part of the challenge was to push myself.
-You've got a three and a one-year-old?
Are you sure you're not just trying to get away from them?
It was nice to get a nice sleep last night!
-Richard, you're halfway.
You've got ten minutes left.
-Are we done now, Richard?
VOICEOVER: Richard has deep-fried his cod's cheeks in a panko
breadcrumb with clams, samphire, spinach and a paprika and citrus
MONICA: Richard, you've never removed the cheeks off a cod before
but you did it right. You got it out very quickly but there wasn't
too much wastage on there, so I think that's very well done.
It's obvious to see that you're a head chef.
You approached the job with the level of professionalism that,
personally, I would expect from a head chef.
What surprised me probably more than anything is that you didn't taste
-And I find that quite odd.
Richard, the cheek inside has been nicely cooked.
It just falls apart.
The garnish itself, I mean, you're using things like samphire,
which are already quite salty, and then adding more to it.
It's a lot.
I think if you'd have tasted your food,
you'd identify that your garnish underneath is too salty
and that your sauce is far too hot.
-You're going to have to start tasting your food, Richard.
I love those cod's cheeks inside the panko breadcrumbs,
I think they are yummy.
Not easy to come in here and there's something big,
ugly and shiny staring at you - not only that, we gave you a fish head!
Richard, I think you've done a pretty good start.
See you in the next round. Looking forward to it.
-Off you go.
I always taste my food, I'm onto my chefs about tasting the food but
this time I didn't do it.
Just one of those things, but I'll make sure I do it in the future.
Sous-chef Leo works in a Michelin-starred restaurant
I've been here nine years altogether.
I've worked with some brilliant chefs, they've taught me a lot.
I love doing very classical kind of stuff.
But then I love cooking Greek food.
It's in my heritage, it's in me.
From the barbecuing with my dad outside,
to helping my mum inside the kitchen.
To do a challenge like this, it's huge.
It's career-changing, almost.
You've got to be crazy to do it, I have to admit!
Leo, welcome to Professional MasterChef.
-How are you feeling?
-Nervous, but ready to get going.
Now, have you worked with cod before?
-Cod's cheeks, etc?
Cod's cheeks, yes, I have.
Leo, cod's head, and a dish of your choice.
Off you go.
-Tell us which way
your chef's brain is going with this, then?
I'm thinking of just using obviously cod, clams, white wine.
Perfect combination. I'm going to use some nice samphire in there,
bring all the flavours out. Finish off with a little bit of lemon,
and just reduce the sauce down,
just a tiny bit, just to give a bit of sauce
and finish off that lemon juice.
Leo, you've had five minutes, all right?
Why are you a chef, Leo?
I love cooking. I've always been around food.
I started in a fish and chip shop - my parents' fish and chip shop.
I said to my dad one day - "Dad, no disrespect,
"but I can't work in a fish and chip shop for the rest of my life."
He said, "What do you want to be?" I said, "A chef."
I never looked back since.
Do you ever help out in Dad's fish and chip shop?
I have made a few appearances!
-Is he proud of you?
First time he's ever messaged me saying good luck in my whole career.
I suppose we should be thankful you didn't batter it and deep fry it!
I was thinking that!
I'm just going to trim down the cod,
remove any of that little bit of extra sinew.
-Are you done?
-With about five minutes to spare, I think.
Leo is serving his cod's cheeks with clams,
samphire, and a cream and white wine sauce.
You seem very confident, I like the way you move.
I think you did a good job, removing the cod's cheek from the head.
I just need to remind you that you need to remove the sinew before
the cooking, not afterwards, otherwise it falls apart.
Your cheeks are soft and nicely cooked, the sauce is quite strong,
However, I think this is a decent effort.
Leo, you worked through the challenge with ease.
I would like to see you just push yourself a touch more.
I would have liked to have seen you taste a bit more,
as you were cooking, but there is something about you,
curious to see what dish you have got up your sleeve
for your signature round.
I think he is going to be all right.
Let's hope so.
20 minutes to do something like that, it seems simple, but it's not.
It's a blank page. It's the nerves that get to you.
Scottish-born Alexander is a 31-year-old chef patron.
I would describe myself as the head chef and landlord
of a country pub in the heart of rural Suffolk.
Running your own business, it's a constant juggling act,
but I really enjoy the adrenaline rush that you get at every service.
When I started cooking, I was 14 years old.
My mother was pregnant with my younger sister.
She didn't have as much time to cook for us,
so I took over the running of the kitchen,
found a passion for it and haven't looked back since then.
I definitely entered with the intention of going as far as I can.
I think I can go all the way, hopefully.
Alexander, welcome to the MasterChef kitchen.
How are you feeling, Chef?
Pretty good. I'm a little bit nervous, but not too bad.
Alexander, have you ever prepped a cod's head before?
I have, I have taken the cheeks out, used the tongue before.
Right, you've got 20 minutes, Alexander, off you go, Chef.
What parts of the cod are you going to use?
Just the top of the head and some of the cheek and then make a sort of
lemon emulsion with some green veg and boiled potatoes.
Alexander, you've managed to prep that fish in four minutes.
It depends on the rest of your garnish, doesn't it?
So, how long have you had your own place?
Coming up to two years now.
It has been a big learning curve,
owning your own business and doing everything else that comes with it.
Did you have training before you became your own...
-opened your restaurant?
-Yes, I trained up in Edinburgh.
That was a big learning curve,
but I was an investment banker before that for about six months,
it didn't go so well. Well, it went quite well, I just didn't like it.
-Why did you give up banking?
-Because I prefer doing stuff with my hands.
-It was probably the first time I have experienced being
this nervous since I first walked into a kitchen.
It's like being a commis chef all over again.
Can breathe now.
Alexander is serving his pan-fried cod's cheeks in a lemon emulsion
with new potatoes, capers and samphire.
Alexander. The cheek butchery is fine.
You clearly did that before.
But you didn't trim any of it down.
Your dish you've given us is burnt.
Don't know what to make of you. You managed to get the cheeks off
really, really well and yet,
you've burnt the skin and served it and those two
don't seem to go hand in hand to me.
I don't think it's great at all, Alexander.
I think it's really poor.
Let's hope you can come back.
Alexander, looking forward to seeing what you can do in the next round.
I should have done better.
It wasn't something I didn't know how to do.
So, it's just difficult to know if I can actually come back from that.
22-year-old Jordan is a pastry chef in a two-rosette hotel in Devon.
I've always been into pastry since I started cooking about six years
ago. I think the creativity is the best part of doing pastry.
You can get textures, flavours,
and just pretty to look at and taste.
Before I was a pastry chef,
I used to play for the Torquay United youth team.
But I didn't see me going anywhere in football, as such.
So when I got offered the job to be a chef,
it was perfect timing, really.
Skills test is going be the most challenging thing.
It's the only thing I'm worried about.
I'm just going to try and do my best
interpretation of what they want, really. So, we shall see.
Righto, Jordan, 20 minutes, you and the head of a cod.
-Off you go, Chef.
-How's it feeling?
but I'm just going to try and remove as much of the flesh as possible.
OK. Get in there.
I'm just trying to work out where the meat might be
-Where the meat might be hiding?
In the cheeks, maybe?
Yeah, that's a good idea.
Yeah. That's a good idea.
And I'm actually a pastry chef
so this is testing all of my knowledge, really.
I've got a feeling you may not have found much more.
Now, what do you fancy doing with the meat?
Well, I have got two ideas,
I was either just going to make a simple cod omelette...
Or I was thinking of maybe making some cod beignet.
Are you going to do the omelette or the beignet?
-I'm going to do the omelette.
It's been a while since I had a cod omelette.
What does it take to make a good omelette, then, Jordan?
Heat. And speed, normally.
And eggs, obviously.
Yeah, and eggs.
You're halfway, you've got ten minutes left.
There you go, it's a bit messy, but...
-So, I do apologise.
And there you go.
How hard was that, Jordan?
It was quite difficult, the pressure
of having to create something on the spot. You know,
I tried to do what I could in the time limit and tried not to be too
adventurous and make a complete mess of it.
Good man. That's all we ask for, Jordan.
You had five minutes left, you know?
-You did all that in 15 minutes.
NARRATOR: Jordan has made a cod's cheek omelette
with chilli and spinach, topped with chives.
So, Jordan, you struggled quite a bit, trying to find the cheeks.
There really are, like, three bits.
The cheeks, the top and then the throat bit.
So, not a great beginning for you.
And then you made us an omelette.
I've never had a cod omelette.
There's no way I'm eating this.
You've chopped up some cod, thrown it into a pan and broken eggs
into it, I don't even know if that cod is cooked.
I'm going to put it down to nerves.
I'm going to wait and see what you do in the next round.
You're working in pastry, Jordan, and pastry is about precision.
That principle applies in cookery and I'm just wondering as to why you
didn't bring that into the kitchen today.
Disappointing at this level, and all I've got to go on now is
your signature dish.
Jordan, it's got to get better than this, Chef.
-We'll see you in the next round.
-Thank you. Cheers.
Who chops up fish and breaks eggs over it?
In my head, I was running out of time.
Throw in some eggs and some butter.
I thought omelette would be the quickest and easiest thing to do.
But, it was just disastrous.
Next, to face Monica's skills test is Joe...
..a 28-year-old sous-chef from Cornwall.
I've been a chef for ten years now.
Currently work in a fine-dining restaurant with an Asian twist.
My position as a sous-chef takes me throughout the kitchen,
you're not stuck in one section.
You can oversee everything
and really push your input.
I applied to MasterChef because last year I saw the progress
the contestants made. Service.
I just thought, "I want a piece of that!"
Definitely could do with a piece of that.
-You all right, Joe?
-Yeah, good, thank you, bit nervous.
You've worked with cod before?
Worked with cod, but I've not taken the cheeks out of cod before.
-I'm sure you'll find your way around it.
-You do have only 20 minutes.
And how long have you been cooking, Joe?
I started cooking when I was 18, however,
I didn't sort of really take it seriously until four years ago.
Worked in a pub kitchen and I was just having a laugh.
What made you get serious?
I worked for a really, really great restaurant in France, a little town.
-It was only for a short period,
but I really, really loved it.
Cheeks look OK.
Are you going to use any other part of the cod's head?
No. I'm going to make a sauce with the clams.
-Joe, change your board, will you?
You can't prep the veg on the same side of the board
-that you prep the fish on.
Get a hold of your nerves, all right?
-You're a pro chef.
How are you going to cook the cheeks?
I'm going to pan-fry them.
Do you have ambitions, Joe?
Dealing with this pressure at the moment,
is the primary one!
-OK, Joe, you done?
Thank you very much.
Joe has served pan-fried cod's cheek, braised fennel, samphire,
clams and a white wine sauce.
Joe, you have not removed the cheeks of the cod before but you managed to
do it really well.
Working methods, you need to always remember
contamination is a big thing.
Especially raw products, fish and vegetables,
cutting it all on the same board is a big no-no, yes?
Joe, the cod's cheek is probably a little bit over,
but nicely seasoned, but that sauce is completely nondescript,
it is almost like slightly sharp seasoned water.
You didn't look comfortable at all, Joe. The dish isn't great.
The cod's overcooked, the sauce is wishy-washy,
the garnish are lacklustre, not great at all.
You've cooked the clam so much, it has like shrivelled in on itself.
You're going to have to bring it in the next round.
Just made silly mistakes that I shouldn't have done.
That is so bad.
I'll just cook my own dish now and hopefully claw back some dignity.
NARRATOR: Finally, it's 24-year-old Tom.
You all right, Tom?
NARRATOR: A senior sous-chef for a fine dining restaurant
What I really enjoy about being a chef is the atmosphere,
the ambience of the kitchen, everybody working together.
Me being able to create dishes as well.
That's why I love coming to work.
I'm lucky that I get quite a lot of free rein to be creative.
I feel like there is a massive amount of pressure
entering into MasterChef,
but hopefully I can go in there, be confident
and showcase what I would like to do.
-Welcome to MasterChef.
Worked with cod before?
-Off you go, Chef.
Take me through what it is you're doing, please.
I'm just going to lightly flour the cod cheeks, pan-fry them,
saute off some chorizo, some potatoes,
broad beans, and use some of the summer veg as a little garnish.
Whose idea was it that you came on this competition?
My head chef.
I thought about it previously and then I was speaking about
some competitions to enter this year and obviously he recommended this
-What advice did he give you?
Stay calm, enjoy it.
-And is it working, Tom?
I've been very competitive from a young age,
growing up with my brother,
he is a very similar age to me, everything has been a competition.
I can't help it. I'm an extremely competitive person.
What are you making, Tom, tell me.
Just making a little posh mayonnaise for the dressing.
-The lemons and the capers are to flavour the mayonnaise.
Just over six minutes.
-Yeah, I think so.
Just making a little cassoulet.
-You're doing all right, Tom?
-Start cooking the cod cheeks now.
-Two minutes, Tom, are they going to cook?
Nick of time. Well done, Chef.
NARRATOR: Tom is serving pan-fried cod's cheek on a chorizo cassoulet,
topped with a lemon and caper mayonnaise.
Tom, you work around the kitchen
with a sense of understanding which is nice to see.
There's a few things in your skill that concern me and that
is the seasoning of fish so far in advance of cookery.
The longer you leave it salted,
the more it is going to soak through to the fish.
I love the flavours of the preserved lemon and the chorizo,
I just love that saltiness and that paprika in the oil,
which is just lovely.
I like your creamy caper sauce, but I think one or the other,
it's the caper sauce or it's the chorizo,
they're just cancelling each other out.
The fish has been seasoned ten minutes before so it's very salty,
but I like the idea of where you are going with the chorizo,
the broad beans, they are all flavours
that work very well together.
I think you showed some excitement in the way you have put
this together and that's possibly
the most excitement we've seen all day.
Very much looking forward to your cooking in the next round.
Off you go, Chef.
I like him.
Obviously, some pointers to take on board and some positives as well,
so I'm happy overall, yeah.
I thought that fish head on the board was going to unnerve them,
but they all set about that with a certain amount of gusto.
All six chefs managed to get the cheeks out,
but they seemed to have more difficulty with the garnish.
I think we've got three that have shown a certain level of competence
and I think we've got three that really have let themselves down.
I really am curious what their signature dish is about.
I want to see some of that fire in the next round.
This, for some of you, is an opportunity to catch up,
to prove a point.
Some of you have done well in the last round,
you have got to keep that momentum going.
I wish you the best of luck, work hard,
focus and give us some great cooking.
Now it's all about your signature dish.
It's all about you.
You really need to give it your best shot.
At the end of this, three of you
will be going through to the next round,
three of you will be going home.
You have an hour and 15 minutes to prove that you are good enough to
stay in this competition.
Off you go!
Looking forward to getting in there and just cracking on.
Not make little, petty mistakes.
I want to give more and I will give more.
Leo, how are you feeling now?
Obviously I made a few little mistakes in the first round,
amateur mistakes, I wasn't happy about.
Now I'm here to prove that I'm not going to make those mistakes again.
-What are you cooking today?
some nice pearl barley, onion puree, and just to finish off with a nice
little chicken reduction.
-Nice sounding dish, Leo.
How are you cooking the chicken, Leo?
Slow and low and then just raise that temperature up by giving it a
-nice roast back on later.
-Greek food heritage, nothing Greek on the menu?
Nothing Greek just yet.
Hopefully I can push myself a bit further and showcase a little bit
more of that flair later on, if I get through.
Leo's cooking that baby chicken, I like his cooking method,
he is going to be cooking it quite slowly at a low heat.
The slow cookery will really impart a fabulous moisture and then he's
going to take it out and slightly colour it.
I would like the pearl barley to have real depth of flavour,
I just don't want to see scattered barley all over the plate.
He comes across quite confident.
So I want to see something great from this chef today.
It's lucky that there's two rounds, definitely, for me.
Really, really need to prove that I am from Cornwall, I can cook fish,
I need some great feedback.
-How are you doing, Joe?
-Good, thank you.
A bit of a shaky start but I think I'm going to claw it back.
How are you hoping to do that?
I've just got, like, a really nice piece of fish,
I'm going to cook it really well for you.
I've going to do a little braised baby gem, some pea puree,
some crushed peas, and then I've got a little verjus maple glaze just to
glaze my turbot with as well.
Have you ever had maple syrup with fish before?
I have a Canadian chef in my kitchen.
I try to hide the maple syrup from her all the time.
Joe, you seem like a pretty chilled guy.
Are you competitive?
I am. My mum always said to me if you want to get anywhere
you need to put the effort in,
and that's kind of why I'm here today, actually,
pushing myself way out of my comfort zone.
I'm very fond of a piece of turbot.
-So is Monica.
Joe is serving us turbot with maple syrup and verjus.
The verjus is made from grapes, almost like a sharp sort of vinegar.
A lovely, distinct flavour to it
and he is going to mix it with maple syrup,
so he's got a sort of sweet and sour element going on in this dish.
He has to be very careful,
too sour or too sweet will absolutely kill the turbot itself.
He's also serving peas, broad beans, pea puree.
The lettuce as well. Quite a lot of greenery on this dish.
A little bit nervous up against the other chefs but hopefully with my
experience and knowledge, I might be able to
hopefully deliver some things that they maybe not have seen.
But who knows?
-What's the dish, Richard?
-Marinated rump of lamb with a herb jus.
It's going to have a tarragon and fennel vinaigrette with it,
shallot puree and feta.
-How are you cooking the lamb?
-Pan-frying and roasting in the oven.
-Not sous vide?
-No, I don't enjoy that too much, really,
-probably a bit old-fashioned in myself.
-Good for you.
I've had enough water baths now, thank you very much. Well done.
For Richard's signature dish, he's making roast rump of lamb,
a shallot puree,
and he's making a fennel vinaigrette.
The most important thing about lamb, and especially the rump,
you really need to make sure that it is well-rested.
Timing is everything with this dish.
Chefs, you are halfway.
Just over 35 minutes left.
Jordan, you must have a point to prove now, right?
That is correct. The nerves got the better of me in the first round,
it was a bit of a car crash, but I do plan to redeem myself and show
-that I can actually cook.
-And how do you plan to do that?
I think because I am from Devon and live by the sea,
I thought I would do a seafood dish,
to show that I am not just a pastry chef.
I am going to be cooking cod fillet with a crab bisque sauce,
served on a bed of samphire with some asparagus.
I've got some clams and mussels
and it's going to have some seared scallops on there.
Wait a minute.
I gave you some of those ingredients in the first round and you gave me
-Yes, I was a bit nervous.
-So, no omelette.
-No omelette, no.
I am a little bit surprised that he's not cooking a pastry dish.
But, you know, he also does want to prove that he can cook.
Jordan is using cod, and he's also making a crab bisque.
The skill in this dish is going to be the bisque, hoping it has
that beautiful flavour and sweetness coming out of the crab.
It is a nice sounding dish,
and I need this chef to bring it today.
I want him to do well.
To wow them is going to take some doing,
but all I can do now is go uphill.
So I'm going to try and find the inner me
and really pull it out of the bag.
I really need to show the judges better technical ability,
confidence in my own ability,
and stop sweating as much, I guess, so...
Alexander, tell us about your dish.
My dish is scallops with a parsley sponge, snow pea salad
with nasturtium, and bronze fennel.
Did you say parsley sponge?
-What's a parsley sponge?
It's a sponge made with parsley and gluten-free flour,
it's cooked in the microwave. When it comes out
it's green and vibrant, basically.
What are you hoping to prove, Alexander, with this dish?
I've got my own place so I just need to prove to the other chefs that I
can actually do it. So it is professional suicide if I don't, so
-I need to focus on that.
-Your dish, Alexander, nail it.
Thank you, Gregg.
Alexander is cooking a dish with interesting combinations.
The main element is scallop and he
is serving this with a parsley sponge.
I'm curious how the sponge is going to fit in.
It is cooked in a plastic cup in a microwave, so it is aerated,
it's very light.
He is serving it with a sorrel sauce,
and pressed apple with ginger.
The dish may sound a little bit confusing
but it could also work and manage to surprise us with new ideas.
Tom, what is the dish?
I've got duck, I've taken the breasts, just cooked them slowly
in the oven. And, then, from the trimmings of the duck,
I've made a port and duck jus,
and then I've got blackberry puree I've turned into a gel.
The legs and gizzards, heart, minced down, bound with an egg yolk,
kind of like a sausage.
Then I wrap that in brick pastry,
and then again in potato spaghetti, going to serve that deep-fried.
Almost like a sausage roll?
-Yes. Exactly, yes.
-There's quite a lot here,
quite a lot of individual ingredients. I hope
-they really all work together.
-Thank you, Chef.
How far realistically do you think you can go in this competition?
I'd be happy to get to the finals so that is what I am aiming for.
Anything less than the finals and what?
Right, OK, that's confident.
Got to get through this round first.
This is a great-sounding dish.
His duck, he's blanched it five times with boiling hot water,
which melts away some of that fat.
It should crisp up a lot.
He has also used the legs to make a pastille.
And then he's surrounded it with potato
and is going to deep fry that.
The combinations here are very, very interesting.
I am definitely pushing myself, with this,
there is a lot to do in the time, so, yes,
definitely not playing it safe.
You've got 15 minutes left.
You have 60 seconds.
That's it! Time's up, stop.
NARRATOR: First up is Alexander.
He's serving pan-fried scallops with a parsley sponge...
..compressed ginger and green apple,
snow peas, bronzed fennel, a sorrel sauce and nasturtiums.
It's a nice presentation, Alexander.
Nicely put together. Colourful.
-Yes, it looks pretty.
Alexander, it's an interesting dish.
There is a lot of modern ideas and techniques
that you have got onto your plate.
I like the flavours of the sauce underneath,
the nasturtium and the flowers and the beans
are very nice, they work together well.
I really like some of the flavours you're bringing here, I really do.
I love that bronzed fennel, that aniseed punch,
I think that's absolutely fabulous.
I think you've got some very, very clever ideas.
And I think you've got a great eye for presentation.
I just wonder what on earth happened to you in the last round.
I do like your sauce with the sorrel and I like that it is not too strong
and hasn't overpowered the scallop.
The sponge, yes, it's a bit of fun,
but it doesn't bring anything extra to this dish.
There are some things I really like on here.
You ought to feel much better,
especially after the last round, Alexander.
I feel a little bit more relaxed now, after all the comments.
This was good because it had three who liked bits of it
rather than hated all of it, so I'm pretty happy with that!
NARRATOR: Jordan has cooked sous vide cod with mussels,
cockles and scallops,
crispy shallots, samphire, asparagus and a crab bisque.
Your fish is nice and it's flaky, I like the flavour of your bisque,
the scallops, although soft,
I could do with a bit of colour across the top.
The fish itself is bland,
it doesn't have a lot of flavour
and that is what happens when you water bath the fish,
if there's not seasoning going through the bag.
But the real star of this dish, Jordan, is your crab bisque.
I could quite happily just eat a bowl of your bisque as a soup.
It's well made, it has a lovely sweetness to it,
the caramelisation is done and you've got the right colour.
The sauce really does bring the plate together.
It's just such a thick chunk of fish, it needs a bit of seasoning,
coming through it. The same with the scallops.
You have some expensive ingredients here,
show a bit of love and cook them nicely.
But I really like that you can taste the crab through the bisque,
it's quite strong yet still very light consistency.
It's not too heavy, not too creamy.
Jordan, more than anything else,
I think you've proved that you are a chef and you can cook.
-Well done, Jordan.
-Lovely, thank you very much.
I think I redeemed myself.
The judges told me that they are glad they can eat the food so there
has been an improvement, shall we say?
So, what can't be positive?
NARRATOR: Leo is serving corn-fed baby chicken with pearl barley,
asparagus, pickled grelot onions, an onion puree, and a chicken sauce.
Leo, really nice presentation.
Very neatly put together. Great colours as well.
Leo, you've got some interesting flavours and textures
running through this dish with the sliced fresh asparagus.
The vinegar in the sauce adds a lovely sharpness but I think
the dressing of the plate and your techniques,
I think are very, very good.
Works for me, Chef.
I really like it. I like your soft chicken,
I like the meatiness and the slight sweetness and sharpness that you've
got in your sauce. I love the sweetness and almost the little
bit of onion bite that you have in your puree.
Given to me in a restaurant, yes, yes,
the plate goes back to the kitchen empty, I can't say more than that.
The chicken on there, so soft and tender,
it's not dried out because of the way you've cooked it.
The texture and flavour is lovely.
The pearl barley is slightly under but I can forgive that,
once the sauce is in the dish and you eat it all together
with the onion puree it brings the moisture and wetness
that this dish needs.
I think it is a really good introduction to who you are, Leo,
and what your cooking style is like.
It's a good way to start the competition, I think, I hope.
I'm happy, very happy, yes, it's a relief.
NARRATOR: Richard is serving rump of lamb,
with feta, peas, spring onions,
charred shallots, a shallot puree and fondant potatoes.
Richard, that is a big, old portion.
If there's one person that is going to be happy when he sees that,
-Yes, I like it.
I like the size of it, I like the presentation, I'm happy.
You've cooked your lamb very, very well,
it's nice and pink, which is great,
you've coloured it, cooked it and rested it really, really well.
What's drawing my eye, it looks like you've just found some feta cheese
in the kitchen and you've just sort of thrown it on there without
taking the care to crumble it and break it up
and give it a reason and purpose.
It's an accomplished dish which just needs refining.
I don't like the harshness of the feta against it.
The lamb is cooked very well but I would like softer shallots and
softer potatoes. I'm honestly sorry to say, because it looks fantastic,
it looks to me like a Gregg dish,
but it's left me slightly disappointed.
For me, the star on this plate of food is the cooking of the lamb.
The fondants aren't very nice, the shallots aren't cooked properly.
I was expecting a whole lot more, I think.
Bit disappointed, actually, some good comments but bad comments.
Could have done better.
It's just one of those things.
NARRATOR: Tom is serving duck breast with a potato pastry pastilla
filled with duck leg and offal
on top of hispi cabbage, girolle mushrooms,
a blackberry gel, and a port and duck jus.
Tom, really like the presentation of your signature dish here and the
garnish is spaced out so you can see what is on the plate and I love the
-colours that are coming through.
The quality and the depth of flavour in your sauce and in your little
pastille I think is delicious.
Love the texture of this duck.
I like your gel because it is sweet without being sharp.
Absolutely love it, Tom.
Really impressed, mate.
I think you're looking for a delicate touch in your cookery
and the sauce just does have that.
The tenderness of the duck without a doubt is there,
there's just not enough of it.
But it's very nicely put together.
I really enjoy the way the duck has been cooked,
the way you blanched that has really rendered that skin down
and given us the crispy skin.
It's delicious. Some nice flavours on this plate of food,
it's a great way to introduce yourself to us and I think you
are onto a great start in the competition.
To have all three judges rooting after me and giving me praise,
it's what I'm here for.
I was really happy with it.
NARRATOR: Joe has cooked turbot with a maple and verjus glaze...
..served with peas, broad beans,
Jersey Royals, pea puree, crushed peas,
pickled shallot, carrots,
braised baby gem lettuce and a chicken reduction.
Love the colours, really do, it looks fresh, it looks vibrant, Joe,
The fish is slightly over for my liking,
the potatoes are cooked through
but they could be more golden, I think.
I feel like everything is underwhelming because it's not
enough seasoning to sort of finish everything off that you have
on the plate.
You've got areas cooked there that are nice.
I like the crushed peas, the sauce doesn't really have any flavour.
I was interested in the maple glaze on the turbot but I can't taste it.
I think you're trying too hard and you need to slightly pull back.
I think you've cooked the fish well enough,
I think you've cooked your veg well enough,
I like the sweetness of the peas,
I like the crunchiness that is still with your little gem lettuce.
I like it, Joe, but we need a bigger piece of fish,
we need this to be a turbot dish with peas,
and, at the moment, it's a pea dish with turbot.
I did better than I did the last round,
but I'm not putting across who I am as a chef.
It wasn't great.
I was hoping for great.
Well, that was a game of two halves, as they say.
We had a shaky skills test, didn't we?
However, I think we had a very good signature dish round.
The first chef that I would put through would be Leo,
he comes across with confidence.
I like the dish he cooked today and I think it worked,
it was probably the standout dish of the day.
I thought the chicken was cooked wonderfully,
the elements on that dish I thoroughly enjoyed.
Leo deserves a place in the next round.
There's one chef here who had a really terrible start
to the competition, and that is Jordan.
His skills test, it was ghastly.
He gave us a cod's cheek omelette.
He made a great bisque today but there's nothing else there.
He's very much at the bottom.
I don't think he's up to the standard that we need right now,
he's out of his depth.
Tom, in my opinion gave us the best of the 20-minute skills test.
He was the most inventive of the six in the first round,
it was almost a breath of fresh air
that someone was brave enough to touch
some other ingredients on the table.
On his signature dish, I enjoyed the way he cooked the duck,
I thought it was delicious.
I loved his little pastilla, with the potato ribbons round.
I just thought it was a fabulous-tasting dish.
Yes, I can see Tom being a chef that we can work with down the line,
I think he deserves to go through.
Joe had a tough round in my skills test
so I was really looking forward to
him redeeming himself within the second round.
But everything on his turbot dish was lacking in care and attention.
A small piece of turbot with three types of peas
was a little bit of a pea overdose for me.
I don't think Joe's food was up to standard in both tests.
Now, we've got one more place to give,
and that is either Richard or Alexander.
We watched Alexander really mess up in the skills test to
the point we almost wrote him off
and then looking at him and thinking, wow,
I found myself getting flavour combinations
that were quite new to me.
-I was really enjoying it.
-It was nice to see Alexander come back.
Yes. Not all of it worked but I think this chef
is showing something quite interesting.
I just hope he's not a one-dish man.
Richard had one of the better 20-minute skills tests.
On the signature round, a chef of his experience,
I was a little bit surprised with the dish and the execution of it.
He cooked lamb really well, but undercooked his fondants,
undercooked the shallots, I'm disappointed.
Richard had the better skills test
and Alexander had the best signature dish.
Been up against some pretty tough guys today,
so I'll have to wait and see.
I haven't showcased my skills as much as I could,
hopefully they can see past that.
I really want to get through to the next round.
Thank you for all your hard work.
It was a real change from one round to another.
We have made a decision.
Three of you are staying,
three of you are leaving the competition.
-..you're going home today.
Disappointed I'm going out straightaway but I would definitely
do it again if I had the chance.
So much harder than I thought it was going to be,
thought I was just going to breeze in and breeze out.
It's 20 times harder than a service.
The third and final chef that is leaving us today...
What I've learned today is I should have given it my all, really,
not played safe on the second dish.
Think about the day really, and what I could have done better,
but I can't really change anything, so, yes.
Well done, you three.
just happy to be here and happy to have another go
and need to pick it up for the next round.
I'm really over the moon, really grateful for a place in
But it has all been a brilliant day, it's been a positive day.
NARRATOR: Tomorrow night...
..another six professionals
fight for a place in the quarterfinals.
Deep breath, OK, be a chef.
You're out of time.
If we'd known each other, you'd be a bit more relaxed, wouldn't you?
-I think so.
-OK, now we know each other, can you relax?
There are pockets of cleverness, a great plate of food.
I'm really, really pleased for you.
The Bafta-winning hit is back for its tenth series. Celebrated MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace, chef Monica Galetti and two-Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing are together once again in their search for the UK's finest cooking talent.
In this heat, six professional chefs from across the UK put their reputations on the line. Under the scrutiny of the three judges, the chefs must face two of their toughest challenges, firstly a test of their basic skills, followed by a chance to cook their own unique signature dish for the judges. At the end of this heat, three chefs will be sent home and the strongest three will go through to this week's quarter-final.
The first challenge they face is the skills test, set by Monica. The chefs have 20 minutes to prepare a dish using cod cheeks and an accompanying sauce or garnish. They must remove the cod flesh from the head simply and cleanly with no waste, cook it to perfection and create a beautifully balanced accompaniment. Whilst Monica, Marcus and Gregg look on, will the chefs fade under the pressure of this test, or manage to impress with a beautifully prepared, seasoned and cooked fish dish?
Next, the six chefs must cook their own signature dish for the three judges. They have an hour and 15 minutes, to create a dish of their own design. It is their final chance to impress the judges before three of them are sent home. The remaining chefs will progress to the quarter-finals, moving another step closer to being crowned MasterChef: The Professionals Champion 2017.