Nothing fills me with more horror than the utterance of those four words. It’s bad enough when a Masterchef contestant claims to be the physical embodiment of meat and two veg but, as MC Ireland begins the round of final 16, our haughty hosts gave them specific instructions to do just that. The tables heaved with fresh, local produce and they could select whatever they liked in order to show the judges what they’d be if they were served up for dinner.
Sadly there was no recreation of The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover although there were a couple of microplane ‘incidents’. A quick look at the closing credits proved that ‘Medic Willie Wade’ earned their wage that week.
So, what did we have from our cooks? Apart from some blue plasters here and there we had quite a few desserts; a trio of strawberry treats and gooseberries with custard and biscuits. There was also a bonkers dish from Kevin (the blow torched salmon guy) who smothered another fillet of the fish with chocolate sauce – I ask you! He then created a garnish using a bulb of fennel that “looks very phallic to me!”. Needless to say, he got rinsed but he did tell us later that he stood by the dish and thought they made a mistake.
Mary’s strawberry trio went down a treat but her station was atrocious – bowls of food on the floor, utensils everywhere. She got through no problem but knows to never work like that again! Shane’s gooseberries were a particular highlight for Nick Munier who seems to share Gregg Wallace’s sweet tooth. He devoured the tea cup of custard and muttered something about wanting to lick the plate clean. Well done Gregg, you should be proud of yourself.
One of the cooks decided that ‘me on a plate’ would involve many orange ingredients to match his red hair (beef with carrots and pumpkin) and we had Asian chicken kebabs with papaya salad from Nadia which elicited the following;
Dylan: “It’s like something you’d pay £6 for in a Thai restaurant”
Nick: “If that”
Ouch. However, the heartbreaking moment came when, with 30 seconds to go, Jackie realised she hadn’t heard the judges calls to start plating up. Turning to Pierce she asked why he wasn’t plating. He replied, “Errrr … I’ve already done it, time’s up!” Cue tears, trembling of hands and the realisation that she’d be hanging her pinny up within the hour. Jackie was called last to the tasting table with nothing to bring, poor love. Still, she got sympathy from the judges and a big hug. Kevin, Nadia and Mandy also left MCK and then there were 12.