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Three things we learnt from the final of MasterChef: The Professionals 2016

Three things we learnt from the final of MasterChef: The Professionals 2016

by Great British Chefs 23 December 2016

Cured tartare, big hunks of meat and a cornucopia of Scottish produce – there were very few feet put wrong in this year’s final, but one chef managed to out-cook the others. Take a look at the finalists’ last-ditch attempts to clinch the title.


The final episode of MasterChef: The Professionals is not going to be full of schoolboy errors, undercooked ingredients or unset ice creams. Nor are the dishes going to be safe, simple or uninspiring – which makes highlighting five ways the chefs could’ve improved a bit tough. All three finalists were at the top of their game, and so we’ve decided to focus on each one and their final three dishes. Here’s what we learnt.

1. Marcus likes his meat sliced

Matt’s sumptuous looking main course of Dexter beef served on a poached shallot tart with goose fat potatoes, onion purée, girolles, broad beans and baby asparagus tips (finished with one of his amazing sauces) managed to tick all the boxes with Monica and Gregg, but Marcus managed to find one tiny fault with the plate – the beef wasn’t cut up for him. He said he wished Matt had ‘had the confidence’ to slice it ‘just a touch’, and at this late stage in the competition, that could have been the reason why Matt didn’t clinch the MasterChef crown.

2. A cure doesn’t always make things better

It’s truly inspiring that such a young chef like Elly was able to get to the MasterChef final, and we’re sure big things are in store for her ahead after taking a look at her final dishes. In particular, her starter of wild salmon two ways (tartare and confit) served with a radish salad, apple purée and yuzu gel garnished with watercress, lotus root crisps, seaweed and fennel topped with a pate de brick seaweed cracker was delicately and intricately presented, which pleased all three judges. Marcus again, however, was the bearer of bad news – he wasn’t a huge fan of Elly’s cured tartare, saying it was a little bit firmer than what he normally likes. Her other two dishes, however, were greeted with full enthusiasm, particularly the clear mint jelly served with her slow-cooked lamb neck.

3. Cook what you know

And so we come to Gary, who didn’t put a single foot wrong and proved he deserved every bit of that MasterChef trophy. His three-course meal was heavily influenced by the lessons he learnt while in Oslo earlier in the week, but he stuck to the ingredients he knows best, making the most of Scotland’s incredible larder. His starter was the best razor clam dish Marcus had ever eaten, but his main – smoked and roasted loin of Highland roe deer served with celeriac three ways, roasted and whisky-washed carrots, crispy kale, gooseberry chutney, nasturtium leaves and an Arran mustard sauce – really encompassed what this chef excels at. The combination of Scottish ingredients with expert technique and a little Nordic flair made Gary this year’s very worthy winner.

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