Cookery challenge. It is quarter-final day, so the chefs must make a dish of their own invention, with the best four going on to cook for three of the UK's toughest food critics.
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Only an elite group of chefs holds two Michelin stars.
Michel Roux Junior is one of them.
-Ca marche! Two Saint-Jacques au passe now!
Now he and MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace are on the hunt for Britain's next culinary superstar,
a professional with the talent to cut it in the world's top kitchens.
These six chefs have made it to today's quarter-final.
Now the battle really begins.
I'm in it to win it. There's no place for second best. It's about being first.
There's no place to hide and if you mess up, you're going home.
You have to keep focused and stay on top of your game.
The pressure is on, but hopefully I will prove again that I've got the necessary skills and passion for foo
and that will see me through to the semi-finals.
I did have niggling doubts, but I'm starting to believe in mysel a lot more now.
Going home today is not an option.
First, they must prove to Michel and Gregg they've got what it takes with a dish of their own invention.
There is some serious talent in this quarter-final. I am genuinely very, very excited.
Our chefs cannot afford to play it safe.
Now is the time to really excel.
Only the best chefs will go on to showcase their food
for some of the UK's toughest restaurant critics.
I like chocolate. I hate this.
This is as near as it comes to a faultless dish.
I don't like it.
Six really good chefs in front of me and we only have four places in the next round.
One exceptional plate of food and you are through.
You have got a beautiful array of ingredients to choose from -
poussin, racks of lamb, bream, clams,
strawberries, wild mushrooms.
It's a perfect market stall for you to be inspired.
We'll give you ten minutes to come up and choose your ingredients.
Choose wisely. Come on, up you come.
I'll show a bit of creativity today. Hopefully, they'll like it.
I think the selection is fantastic.
I'm thinking lamb, I'm thinking aniseed, red wine. It's not knowing where to go and where to look.
Five minutes, guys. Another five minutes to shop.
It's a nice bit of fish. I'm trying to work out a garnish for it.
I've got a few things in my head. I'm looking forward to it.
A minute, then back to your bench.
I've changed my mind in what I'm doing. I'm going for a dessert instead.
Last minute, but you've got to take a risk at this point.
Right, guys, shopping time is over.
Cooking time begins. You've got one hour. Good luck.
David, a 21-year-old junior sous-chef. Likes to think out of the box.
Well, today's test should be perfect for him.
I am the most creative here today
because I use a lot of ingredients that people are scared to use.
I'm going to think to myself, what everyone else would do, I'll do the complete opposite.
David, I haven't seen you cook savoury food yet. Are you going to wow me?
I'm going to do a bit of poussin wrapped in bacon with a tomato and chervil risotto.
I'm still debating between a mustard or a vanilla sauce.
I just want to prove that I can do savoury food as well as desserts.
David has turned his back on desserts, but he's still staying kind of wacky.
I'm not sure about a tomato risotto with pine nuts and poussin wrapped in bacon on top.
Jon is a 30-year-old head chef. He's now working in Bolton.
I've rarely seen so much passion for food in a man.
He cooks gutsy food full of flavours. Well, today we're looking for refinement.
I love being creative. There's no boundaries to what you can do.
Whether it works or not is irrelevant. It's the fact you've got the balls to go ahead and do it.
I'm making you a white chocolate pie
with macerated berries and tarragon custard.
Whoa! What's a chocolate pie?
It's pastry with a white chocolate sponge with some raspberries folded through it.
A pie conjures up visions of big and heavy. How will you make this elegant and stand out?
If I get it right, hopefully you can see my personality shining through in the food.
If not, you're going to think, "What the hell is this guy about?"
I've never had a chocolate pie. I'm ready to fall in love with it.
I like the combination. I just hope he can make it refined enough.
Kim, 30-year-old sous-chef in London. Good, solid chef.
The kind of chef that I would want in my brigade.
Now is the time for her to be creative and imaginative.
I think what I have to do today
is be very true to who I am as a chef. Flavour is the key.
And I want to make sure that what I do plate is amazing.
What are you doing, Kim?
A saffron-marinated, pan-fried bream on an asparagus and fennel salad
and I'll finish that with razor clam and a vanilla beurre blanc.
-Vanilla and saffron together, you've done that before?
I need to come out of my comfort zone. Experimenting is about being a great chef. I'm not afraid of that
I want to do that for you and produce a fantastic dish.
I wanted Kim to be a little bit more adventurous and I think we have it now.
The bream with the saffron, I understand that.
She's serving it with a vanilla sauce. Is this fish meets pudding?
You're halfway. 30 minutes left.
Matt, a 26-year-old corporate chef with that French heritage.
He's proved he's good on seasoning and technique.
The food I've eaten from that young man has been very, very tasty.
Today, I'm just going to give everything I have.
It's the most important plate of foo in my life, so it must be perfect.
-Matt, what are you making for us?
-Lentils with bacon with poussin,
celeriac puree, pickled girolles.
-In many respects, this is tried and tested French classic cuisine.
-Is that enough?
-It's what I know, so I'm not going to do anything stupid
and do ingredients I don't know work together. If you present it properly there's nothing wrong with that.
-What does this mean to you?
-I get married in September. All those plans have gone out the window
-I'm concentrating on this. That's how much it means to me.
I don't think my wife would have put up with that.
Matt is sticking with the classic French food that he knows and loves.
We know he does that style of cooking well.
I just would like to see him cook with a bit more adventure.
Chris, a sous-chef from Wales, has classic technique and very smart, modern presentation.
Immaculate and he has got that competitive spirit in him.
Today is the day he really has to prove himself.
I keep my cool under pressure. I concentrate on my food, my station, nothing else.
I've been very well trained and I'm a very good chef.
What are you cooking for us, Chris?
I'm doing pan-seared bream with celeriac puree, wilted spinach and a dill emulsion.
Classic, no Chris twist?
-You'll have to wait and see.
-He's a tease, isn't he?
-Is this dish your style?
-It's the food I like to cook and eat. Fine dining is where my passion lies
It's the thrill of seeing something that looks amazing on a plate
and people come back and have the same dish again.
Chris's dish sounds classic - buttered vegetables, bream, an emulsion sauce.
Tried and tested ingredients. Will it be exceptional?
Shaun, 40-year-old head chef from the British Army. Beautiful, precise cooking so far.
This test will prove whether he really has championship credentials.
I take each challenge very much like a military approach -
evaluate the situation, look at what I've got, then execute.
Take the bull by the horns and away we go.
Shaun, what is your dish to impress today?
Poached sea bream sat on a bed of spinach, chanterelles with a wild mushroom "top hat" ravioli.
We know you can do beautifully presented food. Everything here on the plate for a reason?
Today is about producing a clean plate of food with good flavours and it's appealing to the eye.
Shaun seems really confident now, but ravioli on top of fish is not a usual combination.
I hope it's not pride before a fall.
I've seen Shaun roll out his ravioli. It looks really thick and heavy. We want finesse.
Last ten minutes.
Almost silence in the kitchen. The focus and the concentration on our chefs' faces is just supreme.
Two minutes. Last two minutes. Come on!
Army chef Shaun has chosen to cook the sea bream poached
and served on a bed of wilted spinach, topped with wild mushroom ravioli,
butter sauce, spinach and basil oil and a chilli drizzle.
Visually, Shaun, it's a little bit too yellow for me.
Sitting the ravioli on top of a fish really hides it.
I know you said it was like a hat, but this is like a sombrero.
The ravioli itself is cooked through, but it's a little bit thick.
The sauce is a little bit heavy as well.
The sea bream is beautifully cooked.
However, poaching or steaming fish like that means that the skin isn't nice to eat.
My eye is drawn to the lime green and the amber that you have running around that sauce. That's lovely.
The fish is really soft and just falling away. It's lovely.
There's little sharp notes inside the sauce, but I'd much prefer to eat that without the ravioli.
A little bit disappointed with my dish. I don't know if I've done enough to go through.
Junior sous-chef David chose to cook the poussin,
wrapped in bacon and served on tomato and chervil risotto
with baby carrots, asparagus and pine nuts.
He failed to serve his marinated egg yolk because it broke.
First off, don't bill a risotto to the customer and give him little quenelles of rice.
A good risotto should be runny, not "quenellable".
It looks odd. It doesn't look right.
Your little poussin ballotine with crispy bacon is lovely, delicious.
Heavenly. Really, really good.
But your risotto is undercooked, dry, under-seasoned.
I think if you'd managed to get that egg yolk on the plate, it really would have helped this dish a lot.
I am disappointed with this, David. I am, I am.
I think you've got the presentation wrong. However, I think it tastes very good indeed.
There's creaminess in there, a slight bit of acidity.
Got a couple of issues with texture. The rind on the bacon is a bit chewy and the rice is still too firm.
I wish I did it in a different way. I had the picture in my head of what I was going to do,
then it fell apart.
Welshman Chris has chosen the bream.
He has served it pan-fried
with a celeriac puree, a bream fritter and a creamy dill sauce.
I love it. I think it's really smart, very sexy.
Dill and fish, tried and tested combination. You've put it together beautifully.
It's just lovely, mate. Honestly.
The sea bream is beautifully seasoned and well cooked.
The skin could be just a touch crispier.
Your dill emulsion is a little bit heavy,
but it packs a real punch of dill and aniseed which works beautifully well with the fish.
The vegetables, immense attention to detail there.
This is good cooking, very good cooking.
It's an incredible feeling to get high-calibre praise on your food.
And I'm in heaven.
Kim from Cheshire is the third chef to choose the bream,
infused with saffron, pan-fried and served with an asparagus and fennel salad
and a vanilla and razor clam beurre blanc.
First off, presentation, I think it looks beautiful.
I love the colours, the precision in the dressing. It's smart, elegant, light and very appetising.
The bream, well cooked, nice, crisp skin.
Works beautifully well with the crunchy salad, great balance of flavours.
-The celeriac puree, I think, is just one step too far. You didn't need it.
Razor clams, although nicely cooked, with vanilla and tarragon is so unusual, it's just a bit weird.
-However, that beautifully cooked fish on top of the salad with a sharp vinaigrette is wonderful,
especially when the saffron comes in as an after-note. I mean, that is beautiful.
My dish I was very happy with. I created something out of my comfort zone.
I hope they see the potential I have
Jon from Cardiff is the only chef to make a dessert -
a white chocolate sponge encased in pastry,
served on macerated strawberries with a tarragon custard.
Presentation, I think it's really nice, it's precise.
Be generous... Whoa, look at that!
The pie itself and the sponge is just too heavy.
It's a massive, great big pudding there that I defy anybody to munch through.
But what I really like is the custard with vanilla and tarragon.
I've never come across it before. I think it's delicious.
Give me a bowl of those strawberries and a bowl of that creme anglaise and I'd be happy.
Your tastes are heavenly, Jon, but the textures are too thick and heavy.
I've just been kissed by an angel wearing hobnail boots!
Maybe putting a sponge in pastry wasn't the best idea,
but I took a risk. Whether that was good or bad judgment, I don't know.
Corporate chef Matt has stayed true to his French roots
and chosen the poussin, poached then pan-fried,
and served with bacon and lentils, celeriac puree, pickled girolles
and a red wine jus.
Lovely cooked poussin, crispy skin, moist
and well seasoned.
I love these little pickled girolles.
They add a real zing to the dish and an extra dimension.
It's very good, classical, French regional cooking.
The lentils, bags of flavour with the bacon and wine,
but a little bit underdone for me, a little bit chalky.
Buttery, soft chicken,
and a triumph of a celeriac puree - creamy, bursting full of flavour.
The texture, however, is something else. It is slightly dry.
I think you'd probably ask the waiter for an extra bottle of water by the time you'd finished.
A bit disappointed to be honest. If I go through to the next round, I will step it up to the next level.
Great cooking today. Four of you go through to the next round. Two of you have to leave the competition.
Thank you very much.
What a great start to the quarter-final! The cooking far exceeded my expectations.
You could see the concentration, the passion that was going on in this kitchen.
It was beautiful to watch and to taste.
My favourite dish in here today was Chris's.
I thought the whole thing was absolutely delicious.
I didn't have one word of criticism. I loved it.
Chris has all the attributes to wow the critics. He should go through.
I think I've done enough in my eyes to go through. I'll keep my fingers crossed and pray.
I thought Kim's sea bream today was absolutely beautiful.
That fish with the saffron coming through the slits in the skin was like a tropical sunset
and it tasted wonderful. Today, I fell in love with Kim's food.
I have a sneaky feeling she's got a lot more to give.
I was cooking at my best. I hope it's enough to get me through to the next level.
Shaun was upset because he hasn't reached the standards that he sets himself
and that we know he can achieve.
I liked Shaun's fish with the spinach and the sauce and drizzles, but I didn't like Shaun's ravioli.
But the fish was absolutely cooked to perfection and I think Shaun should go through to the next round.
To go home at this stage, I'd be gutted.
It means the world to stay in this competition and to become champion.
Now...it gets a bit trickier.
David cooked poussin ballotine wrapped in bacon.
It was well cooked and tender and moist,
but his risotto was dry, it wasn't a risotto.
It was undercooked and under-seasoned.
In a room full of quality cooking, his dish came up a little short.
I think David's lack of experience has shown here today.
I'd be devastated to go home now. Coming as far as I have
and just to get thrown out of the competition would be heart-breaking.
I'm sorry to see David go, but we can't keep him on.
Now we've got to decide between Jon and Matt.
There is a level of fun and inventiveness in Jon
that I don't believe I'm ever going to see in Matt in ten years of cooking.
Jon gave us a sponge pie, something that I've never seen before and that I never want to see again.
Matt gave us a roasted poussin with puy lentils that I've seen before
and I will never tire of.
That for me is the difference between the two.
Yeah, I can't say you're wrong. I know you're right. Sponge pie is silly.
But the man who gave me sponge pie also gave me strawberry, vanilla and tarragon
which was probably the best-tasting thing in the whole room. It's hard to ignore.
-I know who should stay and who should go.
-Yeah, I know you know, but we don't agree.
Do we go safe, do we go inventive?
It's never easy to make that decision to send two home,
especially at this level,
because the cooking was up there with the best.
But we have made our decision.
And the first chef leaving us is...
-Thank you very much for the opportunity.
I should have performed a lot better than that.
I'm just a bit upset that I never go to show them what I was really about
And the second chef leaving us is...
I'm a bit gutted that I'm out, but there's a lot that I've learnt.
I've learnt that I can cook. I can clearly cook because I'm here.
Just not as well as everybody else.
You now are going to be cooking for three well-respected restaurant critics.
We've only got two places in the semi-final.
An hour and 15 minutes to produce the best two courses of your career.
Our chefs today have to be seriously focused. Nothing will get past those critics.
They will have to cook out of their skins, food that is elegant, but above all tasty.
Impress the critics and they're through to the semi-final.
Shaun is an army chef and you can see. His timing's never late. His presentation is bang-on.
He's just got to keep this momentum going. That is one class operator.
The level of competition is high. It's all about the execution on the day. The pressure is on,
but I'm an old boy and hopefully I can teach some of these young chefs a few tricks.
Shaun, how will you impress the critics?
I'm doing a special loin of fallow deer, served with a potato fondant,
a celeriac puree, broad beans and raisins.
-For pudding, I'm doing a chocolate and raspberry souffle...
..with a hot raspberry jelly and a chilled ice cream with a raspberry crisp.
-You have got your work cut out.
-Have you done this before
-Yes, I have.
-No wonder you've got a bit of sweat on your brow!
-I don't suppose you've ever cooked for restaurant critics?
-No, my only critics have been the soldiers.
-So I'd probably say they might be harsher.
-I'm sure they are harsher.
Shaun has so many processes going on. He's cooking in a vacuum bag at low temperature, then roasting,
making purees, then he's making a souffle, but he's making a warm jelly and ice cream!
Kim is now expressing herself as a true chef with delicate flavours and precise cooking.
I can't wait to see how far she can go.
Kim, what are you making for us?
Pan-fried sea trout, English peas an a black olive and anchovy dressing.
Second course, I'll do a hazelnut and tonka bean cheesecake sandwich with balsamic roasted strawberries.
-What's a cheesecake sandwich?
-You'll have to wait and see.
Some pretty talented chefs here today. What will set you apart?
Desserts is not my biggest thing. I'm trying to push the boat out toda
and create something that you will think is fantastic.
Tonka bean cheesecake sandwich -
I just hope that tastes every bit as yummy as it sounds.
If anybody can pull it off, I think Kim could.
15 minutes have gone. You've had quarter of an hour already.
I haven't seen any weaknesses in Chris. I get excited every time that young fella cooks.
Brilliant presentation, always a trick up his sleeve.
I just hope he isn't over-ambitious and doesn't try too hard.
'I'll push myself to the limit today because if I don't then I'm going home'
and I want to go all the way to the final and, hopefully, win MasterChef 2011.
-Chris, what are you cooking?
-A cannon of lamb with rocket puree, parsley potato and an offal fritter.
For dessert, vanilla panna cotta, rhubarb and grenadine soup, tuile biscuit and Chantilly cream.
-What will propel you to the next round?
-Just showing I've got more technical ability than the rest.
-I'm not going to stop until I get to the top.
-As you have advanced, you've grown about a foot taller.
It's just getting great comments. I feel more confident in my ability, I'm learning, growing as a chef.
-Any more stars on your neck if you get through?
-I might on the other side!
Chris's menu sounds extremely ambitious. So much to do.
-But he's up for it, big time.
-Chris today is on fire.
I love Matt's style of French classic cuisine. Of course I do! But I want to see a bit of flair.
I'm nervous. My own two courses, so I have nothing to hide behind.
It's got to be perfect cooking for an hour and a quarter.
-Matt, what are you cooking?
-Pigeon ballotine cooked in a water bath
with cabbage, bacon, black pudding, cauliflower puree and shallots.
Dessert is chocolate fondant, pistachio ice cream and chocolate.
-You will show off a modern technique of cooking in a water bath.
I was trying to show that I can also do the modern techniques.
-You really want to impress us today.
-Yes. But one hour to cook the best plate I've ever done in my life...
So, yeah, it means everything.
Chocolate fondant - really risky. Ice cream - really risky. He's doing both together.
If they cut into that chocolate fondant and it oozes hot chocolate, I'm gonna give him a kiss!
Guys, you've had half an hour. 30 minutes have gone.
These three food critics have tasted hundreds of dishes on MasterChef.
They've seen it all and can spot talent a mile away.
'We're looking for rock-solid technique'
and some flair, a bit of imagination. Something exceptionally good. We're looking for great.
What I live in fear of is people thinking
the way forward is to really risk everything. Take a few risks,
but, please, not with my appetite!
'It's very hard to put your finger'
on what the perfect dish might be, but the only thing I can say is
I will recognise it when I see it.
'These critics are the top of their industry.'
They are respected throughout the trade and can make or break a chef.
'The pressure is immense.'
You can't hide, not today.
-15 minutes and these mains have to go.
So, Shaun: espresso loin of fallow deer served with a fondant potato,
celeriac puree, baby beetroot, broad beans, raisins and a Pedro Ximenez jus lie.
-Goodness, gracious me!
-Shaun is either an exceptionally confident, brilliant cook
or a completely misguided fool.
-90 seconds left.
-Just bringing it all together.
-All right with that, Shaun?
-Nice and red. I like it.
Come on, then, Shaun. Let's go.
That's it. Lovely. Lovely. Looking good.
-Personally, I love it. Can it go? Go and get them, mate.
-The door's open over there.
Go for it.
Shaun has cooked espresso loin of fallow deer,
served with a fondant potato, celeriac puree,
baby beetroot, broad beans, raisins and a Pedro Ximenez jus lie.
This is very attractively presented, isn't it?
It's a lot neater than his description.
The good news is you can really taste the espresso on the venison.
The bad news is I'm not entirely sure I like it. A little too bitter.
I don't like it. The venison is tough. I find the bitterness a complete distraction.
And the fondant potatoes are underdone.
It looks like I'm going to be the lone voice crying in the wilderness in defence of Shaun's venison.
Taken by itself, I can see that it would be too bitter,
but the other sweet things going on give it complexity. So shoot me!
It tastes beautifully unusual.
Bitter coffee, real sweetness of sherry and of the raisins.
The coffee around the deer is delicious, but I don't like the sauce. It tastes of stock cube!
It looks great, doesn't quite deliver for me.
Right. The bad news is you've got 15 minutes for dessert.
I like the confidence and ambition of Shaun's menu.
Chocolate and raspberry souffle on its own would be marvellous, but he's embellishing it.
-What's up, Shaun?
-I'm not happy, chef.
It's not going right for me. I'm disappointed.
Shaun has issues with his souffles. If they don't rise - disaster!
-Your jelly's all right, though?
-Yeah, fine, chef.
The ice cream is just cream. It's not looking good either.
-What are we going to do?
-I'll just do chilled cream.
-You're already five minutes over.
I just want it to be just right. I'd rather tell them another minute.
-Go on, tell them.
Excuse me. My souffle still needs a little bit longer. I'd just like to apologise for the delay.
I'd like to serve it correct.
OK, Shaun, go. Quick.
Please watch out. The plates are hot.
For dessert, Shaun has made a chocolate and raspberry souffle
with hot raspberry jellies and a raspberry crisp with whipped cream.
It's a bit of a trap really, isn't it? If you have a hot jelly, you have to have a hot plate.
So you can't have cold cream without it going gooey.
I like chocolate.
I like souffles. I hate this.
God knows what it's meant to be, but it's dark and bitter and hostile.
All the air has been sucked out and it's a dense little puck.
The hot jelly, which looks disconcertingly like a wine gum, tastes like solidified puree.
-A very strange, grainy texture.
-It's the black hole of desserts.
It's collapsed in on itself and is sucking light out of the room.
Warm jelly. Warm jelly.
Now that's lovely. I'm just not sure it saves the rest of the plate.
Technically, this is a disaster.
Once you serve that first course and you know they're waiting, the pressure hits you.
I totally let myself down.
Today, it was tough. Very tough.
-Kim, 15 minutes before your main goes out. You know that?
I look at Kim's menu and feel reassured
by its basic simplicity. Sea trout with asparagus and English peas
and a black olive and anchovy dressing all makes clear sense.
-Kim, what's left to go on?
-Just plating right now.
-That's looking good. I love the look of this, Kim.
-Can we go?
-Let's do it.
Kim has made pan-fried sea trout with asparagus, English peas,
and a black olive and anchovy dressing.
I love the look of this.
She's got amazing movement that she's managed to create on the plate. It looks fantastic.
-It looks very pretty, doesn't it? Pink and green.
-Please, please be good!
As near as it comes to a faultless dish. The fish, brilliantly cooked,
-and she lets the other ingredients speak for themselves.
-The tapenade thing goes very well.
It's got a little spicy kick to it. The green sauce is very nice.
Good taste, good ingredients, great execution. Makes me very happy.
That's seriously good cooking. The fish - lovely, crispy skin.
Asparagus puree - bags of flavour. It looks beautiful and tastes even better.
-Listen, 15 minutes. Cheesecake sandwich?
-Hazelnut cheesecake sandwich.
-Cheesecake - never kick one of those out of bed.
And balsamic vinegar with strawberries can work very well. So there's a lot of promise there.
60 seconds, but we're doing all right. 60 seconds.
We-e-ey! This we like.
Very nice. Lovely colours.
-Very happy, yes.
For dessert, Kim has made a cheesecake sandwich -
layers of tonka bean cheesecake filling between two hazelnut tuiles
served with balsamic-roasted strawberries and basil.
Kim's got a real eye, hasn't she?
It just looks kind of sexy. Things are bulging out all over. I want to get in there.
This is terrific.
There's a saltiness to the cream filling and the biscuit is terrific.
It's so tasteful! It makes you want to weep.
I've eaten many a tonka bean, but this is the first time I've eaten one that tastes fantastic.
The cheesecake mixture is really silky smooth and delicious. I love the strawberries.
-And there's a hint of pepper, which gives bite. The presentation is beautiful.
-That is delightful.
The whole thing is yummy.
My dish I was very happy with.
It was out of my comfort zone. I hope they see the potential I have.
-How you doing, Chris?
-All set for the main course?
-Just got to warm it and plate up.
You've got 12 minutes.
So Chris's menu is cannon of lamb with broccoli puree, savoy cabbage,
-parsley potato, offal fritter and a tomato jus.
-I'd like to see the word offal used more often.
Putting prime cuts with a cheaper one seems a fine idea.
-Happy with everything?
-Come on, son. This is beautiful.
-Well done, Chris. Well on time.
Very nice, very smart. Well done.
Chris has cooked a cannon of Welsh lamb with broccoli puree,
savoy cabbage casserole, parsley potato,
an offal fritter and a tomato jus.
It's nice to see gravy turning up in enough quantity
to dip things into. And the lamb looks admirably pink.
The main issue for me is that the lamb isn't particularly spectacular.
He's over-trimmed the fat, not allowed it to be that rich, salty, caramelised crispy thing we love.
I like the little fritter with its offal filling.
It sort of tastes rather like it looks, which is perfectly decent,
but it's not blowing my socks off.
Mmm. There's sweetness and good seasoning, iron from the cabbage and rosemary as well. That's lovely.
The lamb is ever so slightly overcooked. It almost looks boiled.
But I really like that offal fritter. It's delicious. Nice touch.
The broccoli puree and cabbage are delicious. I really do like this dish, but there are errors.
-Right, Chris. 15 minutes, dessert.
-Go, go, go.
Vanilla panna cotta with a chilled rhubarb and grenadine soup, creme Chantilly and a tuile biscuit.
Hiding behind these grand words is the basic stuff you learn in dessert school
-in week one.
-Getting a panna cotta right is not quite as easy as it looks.
Chris, that's beautiful panna cotta. Look at that vanilla.
-What have we got here?
-Rhubarb and grenadine soup.
-Poached rhubarb underneath?
-Going to go?
For his dessert, Chris has served a vanilla panna cotta with a chilled rhubarb and grenadine soup,
creme Chantilly and a tuile biscuit.
This panna cotta is wobbling as it should. It is moving in the correct manner.
Shame he's served it in a washing up bowl, but it looks great.
On the plus side, and it's a big plus, he has executed this dish very, very well.
But is it what somebody in this competition should be doing?
-It feels like there should be a pastry element. It's slightly meagre.
-It's like doing an easy dive
rather than three pikes and a tuck and whatever other things divers do.
It is cool and refreshing and fruity and slightly sharp and then vanilla cream panna cotta at the end.
That is nectar.
I would have liked a little bit more rhubarb and a few more tuile biscuits,
but it's a very good dessert.
I'm really happy with my food. Main course, I thought, was perfect.
The panna cotta was perfect. The soup, bright red, full of flavour.
I couldn't have done any better if I'd tried.
-Matt, you've got 15 minutes to go. You all right?
-Yeah, I should be on time.
-Yeah? OK, good.
So, Matt - five-spice, crusted pigeon ballotine with cauliflower puree, confit shallot, black pudding
-and savoy cabbage.
-Pigeon ballotine suggests he's going for it.
If he can do something exciting with it, that could be a stand-out dish.
-Two minutes, Matt.
-Let's make sure it's exactly how you want it.
-What's left now, Matt?
-Just plate up and carve the pigeon.
You've got a minute.
Good, good, good.
-Carrot for colour. Your sauce all right?
-Yeah, it will have to do.
-What were you looking for?
-Nice, dark stock colour. It's not red, but...
Matt has cooked five-spice crusted pigeon ballotine
with cauliflower puree, black pudding, confit shallot and savoy cabbage.
Moderately pretty plateful, but where's the gravy?
-I like gravy.
-Pigeon is very difficult to get right.
Undercook it and it looks a bit red and liverish. This looks a bit red and liverish!
-I very much like the cauliflower puree.
-It's big and rich,
-but something about the pigeon just isn't right.
-The pigeon should be the star and it's not.
It's the third spear carrier in the background.
I actually like the pigeon. I think he's coaxed good flavour from it.
Black pudding fine, puree gorgeous. There's lots of almost nice things, but it doesn't come together.
Cauliflower puree is really nutty and silky smooth. It's delicious.
It really works well with that pigeon. The flavour from that five spice and breadcrumb, very good.
I'd have my pigeon more cooked, but it has style and elegance.
-Matt, 15 minutes and then dessert. Yeah?
Chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream, hazelnuts, chocolate tuile and griottine cherries.
If I never eat another chocolate fondant, I won't really mind.
Get it right, we applaud. Get it wrong and we laugh our heads off!
-Fondants take seven minutes to cook.
-And there's eight minutes to go, so bang on time, yes?
You've got to motor a bit now. Three minutes to go.
-You've got 60 seconds.
-I'd rather be a minute late than them collapse.
We can give you a minute.
-Chocolate - bouncy, crispy, wafer-thin.
-Magic. Careful! Don't drop it. Go easy. Well done.
Is it going to have a runny centre or uncooked cake mix?
For pudding, Matt has made chocolate fondant on a bed of crushed hazelnuts,
honey and griottine cherries, served with pistachio ice cream and a chocolate tuile.
Having said I never wanted to eat another chocolate fondant, Matt's made it look exciting.
And the new wave tuile on the top. It looks very nice.
I like the way it's bowing.
And...absolutely perfect. That's not an easy thing to do.
Texture's beautiful. I love the ice cream and the nuts playing into it.
It has a lot more character than a normal dessert.
Everything made beautifully. Texture's wonderful.
-I'd like it a little bit sweeter.
-I think it's sweet enough.
I really like that pistachio ice cream. It's got a wonderful deep flavour of pistachio.
I pushed myself to the max there, gave it everything I've got.
I was expecting great things today and they delivered. It was great to watch and great to taste.
I'm awed by the level of achievement, but I can't believe Shaun tripped up the way he did.
I feel really sorry for Shaun. He had so much promise.
Everything that could go wrong went wrong. I really didn't like the sauce he served with his deer.
-I found it too harsh and too sweet.
-Fondant potatoes needed to be softer
and the broad beans weren't cooked enough either. That was the start,
but dessert was a write-off.
The chocolate souffles didn't rise. They looked more like brownies.
We had ice cream that turned into chilled cream that wasn't chilled.
-He had a disaster.
-This is harsh, but there's no way Shaun can go through.
I'm feeling quite deflated, disappointed with myself.
If I leave today, then I leave and I've only got myself to blame.
What a day Kim had.
No tricks, no bells and whistles, just quality technique, traditional skilful cooking.
The crispy skin sea trout was cooked to perfection along with that lovely garnish of mixed green vegetables.
-It was cooking at its best.
-I also really liked her cheesecake sandwich.
-It was absolutely delicious.
-Kim's a semi-finalist.
-She definitely has got to go through.
I'm very happy with both courses. I think I've done myself proud.
We've got one place left. And that goes to either Chris or Matt.
Chris's main dish I have a few issues with.
It looked really nice on the plate, but I found the lamb uninspiring and slightly overcooked.
It was balanced, but not fault-free. It didn't wow.
That was the pick of the desserts. They thought he could have tried harder.
It was a very good dessert, but again it lacked a wow factor.
I like to think I've done enough, but just hoping and praying.
Matt, I wondered whether he could bring finesse to his big French flavours and he can.
His five-spice crusted pigeon could have done with a couple of minutes. It was pretty rare, even for me.
The cauliflower I really loved. Delicious, sweet, creamy texture.
-His dessert was an incredible amount of work. Crushed nuts, chocolate fondant.
-The ice cream was spot on.
Not too sweet. A good dessert, beautifully presented, but it's a few steps away from perfection.
If I went through today it would be the best feeling in the world.
How do we split these guys? They're both very good chefs.
They've both given us good plates of food and they've both messed up a little. A little.
At times like this, you just have to go with your gut.
On today's food, I think I know who has to go through.
Two of you will become semi-finalists, two of you are leaving.
Our first semi-finalist is...
The first chef leaving us is...
-Thank you, chef.
To come as far as I have is a great honour. I'm just disappointed in how I executed today's menu.
But if you mess up you deserve to go.
It's now between Matt and Chris. I can quite honestly say this has been the toughest decision to make.
The chef leaving us is...
Chris. Sorry, Chris.
I'm absolutely heartbroken. I came so close, but I cooked for one of the best chefs. It's a privilege.
I've had a wonderful time.
- Well done. - Thank you.
You guys rock. Well done.
I am absolutely overjoyed. This is amazing. This is fantastic. Semi-finals.
Much closer now to the final. I'm excited.
I'm so overjoyed, I'm almost a bit teary. I'm just so happy.
I can't believe it.
Cheers. Well done.
Next week, ten more chefs are back to try and impress Monica and Gregg.
This is your first test on Professional MasterChef.
If I can keep a clear head, I should be OK.
Being older, it's time to step up to the plate.
I'm young, enthusiastic and willing to learn.
Lovely. You obviously are a pro.
It's a complete failure. I'm quite annoyed to see it, to be honest.
Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2011
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Legendary double Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr and MasterChef dining expert Gregg Wallace hunt for Britain's next culinary superstar who has what it takes to go to the top of the culinary world.
In another quarter-final, the six best chefs from the first heats must prove to Michel and Gregg they have what it takes by making a dish of their own invention. Choosing from a fantastic array of fresh produce including poussin, sea bream, girolles, asparagus, strawberries and white chocolate, they must blow the judges away with one course.
Only the best four chefs will go on to showcase their skill to three of the UK's toughest restaurant critics. The critics will be expecting two exceptional courses and the chefs have only an hour and a quarter to produce a jaw dropping menu that will determine their MasterChef future.
Only the two most talented chefs will go through to the semi- finals and stand a chance of becoming this year's Professional MasterChef.