Finally Marcus Wareing's Invention test was to create a spectacular lamb dish. If you hadn't eaten already, you would have been starving after watching Marcus at work. Based on his mum's roast lamb, he whipped up an amazing shoulder of lamb with mint and radish. The chefs had an hour to put together their masterpieces.
Once again Katherine excelled much to her own surprise. ‘You've delivered this on the nose’ said Marcus. Completely overwhelmed Katherine declared it as the proudest moment of her life.
Week three - day two: Another chef started with dessert as his signature dish. Kuldeep created a modern take on a Goan pancake dessert than traditionally takes 48 hours to create. Marcus was really looking forward to it as he said with Indian cookery, dessert is normally the forgotten part of the meal.
Unfortunately the dish did not live up the judges' expectations. ‘Hope it tastes better than it looks’ said Monica. Marcus was disappointed with flavours, expecting something more knockout. ‘It just didn't come together.’
Lee's loin of rabbit with baby carrot also intrigued Marcus, but he wasn't very happy about Lee not using peeled carrots for the purée. ‘There's not a huge amount of attention to detail there’ he said. And the finished dish.... ‘It's very orange. Needs a volume control’ said Gregg.
Kris fared much better. He prepared pan fried poussin, crispy quinoa, sweetcorn purée and confit egg. ‘This is a wonderfully dressed plate’, Monica enthused. Marcus was equally full of praise. ‘You've looked around from your surroundings. Everything about this dish is about you.’ Sounds like Kris would do well on Great British Menu with his preference for serving ‘food with a story’.
Craig served a Celebration of Lamb Three Ways. As Shepherd's Pie (one of Marcus Wareing's favourite dishes) was on the menu we were all expecting good things. ‘I'm not sure it's a celebration from its presentation.’ said Marcus. ‘Lacks oomph’ announced Monica. Gregg agreed, ‘I don't see it as fine dining or an attempt of fine dining’.
So it was goodbye to Craig and the remaining four chefs faced Monica's skills test of whelks and winkles. Gregg wasn't surprised that none of the chefs had handled these shelled creatures before. Playing the old East End boy to the full, he was looking forward to see how the chefs would tackle the Cockney staple.
Having lived in London all of my life, I must say I've never eaten a whelk or a winkle, so I had every sympathy for the chefs. Although I was surprised that Ben thought the whelks were sea urchins!
Sadly only one of the four chefs thought to wash the whelks and winkles, which drew stern looks from Monica. Lee was the only chef to wash them, but then he left the best bits of the winkles on the chopping board. ‘Rubbery whelks in cream are not top of my wish list’, said Gregg. ‘But at least there's no grit in them’ said Monica.