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Five things we learnt from week three of MasterChef: The Professionals 2016

Five things we learnt from week three of MasterChef: The Professionals 2016

by Great British Chefs 28 November 2016

Can you make taramasalata from scratch? Don’t worry – it looks like a lot of professional chefs struggle with it too. See what else they could’ve done with researching beforehand and read our guides to get ahead of the game.


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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Another week, another bunch of chefs putting their reputation and careers on the line in a bid for culinary fame and fortune. One of the skills tests this time around was arguably the simplest so far, but that didn’t stop several chefs falling to pieces on the spot. Throw a fruit-flavoured risotto and fish dish into the mix, and there were some real lessons to be learnt; here are some of the most important.

1. Don’t mess with the Italian classics

Monica’s first skills test of the week was to make a carbonara with fresh tagliatelle – quite a simple task but, of course, it’s those sorts of tasks that catch many of the chefs out. Italian cuisine is often disarmingly simple, and carbonara consists of nothing more than pancetta, eggs and Parmesan, though not one of the three contestants stuck to the original recipe. Steve put onion and parsley in his, Adam went for onions and the dreaded cream while Rory had a complete meltdown with his pasta (and threw in plenty of cream and onions for good measure).

2. Know your roe

Making taramasalata from scratch is something we doubt few chefs have actually done, and that certainly seemed to be the case on MasterChef. Served with crabmeat and scallops, Nina was up first, surprising everyone by trying to make the taramasalata with scallop roe. With a push from Marcus she decided to use the cod roe instead, but it didn’t really go to plan – especially when she threw the crabmeat into the frying pan. Matt didn’t have a clue what taramasalata was and struggled throughout despite being a big fan of seafood. Simon did the best, although his taramasalata looked pretty lumpy and his scallops were covered in dirt. Overall not a good round for the chefs, but at least it gave Gregg the excuse to use his ‘tarama-disaster’ phrase more than once, which he was very pleased with.

3. Strawberry risotto is just wrong

Nina committed culinary sin by plonking some (overcooked) pan-fried salmon on top of a bed of rich, stodgy risotto alongside asparagus and balsamic pearls. That might not sound so bad, but the fact she’d laced her risotto with strawberries was just too much for Marcus and Monica. Even Gregg turned his nose up at the combination, describing the dish as ‘fat on fat on sweet’. Strange – that sounds just like something he’d like.

4. Lamb tartare is a thing

Monica’s skills test in the second episode of lamb tartare with confit egg yolk wasn’t too big a problem for the contestants, despite being quite an unusual dish. Theodore had the right idea but his yolk was pretty overdone and he hacked the lamb to pieces. Andy’s attempt was the best, while Andrew’s effort was deemed satisfactory despite an overcooked egg. However, on Twitter people were less keen about tucking into a dish of raw lamb, so it might stay off the menu at Marcus’ and Monica’s respective restaurants.

5. Give Marcus beer sauce

Tasked with reimagining the steak and kidney pie, nearly all of the semi-finalists this week decided to dress their plates with a sauce or gravy made from beer. This delighted Marcus, as he sung the praises of its bitter aftertaste, and when Zoe presented her steak and kidney mille-feuille without one he said the dish was crying out for one. If he ever comes over for dinner, we now know exactly what to give him.

 

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