> Features > MasterChef: The Professionals, 2014

MasterChef: The Professionals, 2014, Week Six

MasterChef: The Professionals, 2014, Week Six

by Ella Timney 12 December 2014

In week six of MasterChef: The Professionals we reached the exciting final week of the semi finals. Catch up with the many highs and lows.

More from this series:

Ella is a Food Editor at Great British Chefs. She frequently puts her analytical skills to good use observing (and partaking in) drinking cultures in her favourite London ale pubs.

Here we go folks, it’s week… something? This is the big one, the final countdown for The Finals, which is next week. Let's face it though, every week on MasterChef: The Professionals is a big week. It's non-stop, exhausting entertainment.

Luciana and Brian sent to the London kitchen of the bloody lovely king-of-cheffy-sideburns Nathan Outlaw. The scales were potentially weighed from the start in favour of Brian - not only, unlike Luciana, does he work in an actual restaurant kitchen, but he’s a seasoned seafood chef. Perhaps to try and redress the balance, though, they put him in front of a 450°C oven - the man is Scottish.

But did he melt in the fiery heat? No! Luciana had a few issues - mainly wonky quenelles and cold octopus, but again, no one died.

My love for Brian has steadily grown throughout the competition, and when he makes a bang-on version of Nathan’s signature dish, he looks all pleased and you just want to fist-bump him. Luciana missed the word ‘hot’ from ‘hot tartare sauce’ recipe, but again, it wasn't too shabby. Incidentally, if you want to learn how to make Nathan’s dish, check it out here!

Now for judging time, and Marcus is having a great time watching the chefs cook. He stops off at Brian's bench to give his gingerbread madeleines a good sniff, allowing us to add to the gallery of ‘Marcus sniffing things’

Marcus Wareing sniffing some madeleines
Marcus sniffing Brian's madeleines
Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti
Marcus and Monica eyeing up the contestants

The final round for the pair was, let's be honest, a bit of a walk over. Everyone loves Luciana, she’s lovely, and she mostly does delicious food. However, why would you do this Luciana?! Why cook fish badly after going to work with Nathan? It’s not often that Monica looks awkward - but she just doesn’t like okra, okay? What’s more, Luciana left a bone in - unforgivable. Look at that skin, too, it just looks floppy.

Brian, on the other hand, smashes his dish. We've seen a lot of confit salmon this series, and Brian cooks it, at 45°C! Like Pierre Koffmann did the other week! In fat! But in a water bath! That’d freak out the critics if they had to eat it - is it modernist and annoying? Or classic? I dunno, either way - pretty plating, banging flavours, beautiful salmon sees Brian looking all chuffed again.

 
 
You have to have a large streak of crowd pleaser to make it in this tough town of MasterChef.
image
Brian's delightful salmon dish

I'm sure the voiceover man said ‘mandolines’ when announcing Brian's dessert (it's madeleines), and I die inside. Marcus needs more ginger in his ‘mandolines’, but it is, once more, awesome.

Luciana admits that everything she does, she does to shock, and this is probably why you’re not through. You have to have a large streak of crowd pleaser to make it in this tough town of MasterChef. Bye Luciana, bad luck.

Now it’s Danny and Jonathan’s turn - Danny, the self-proclaimed serious guy from Newcastle, and Jonathan - the gruff-voiced flavour maverick. Please forgive me if this episode rundown is mostly pictures of Jonathan’s face, but the camera loves him.

The chefs are off to Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus, by far the most badass of the long-time pro chefs so far - he quenelles the sorbet on Jonathan’s crab dish himself, and Danny doesn’t get to cook the fish. He also has a tendency to bellow ‘make it natural!’ in a terrifying way.

Bosi sidles up to Jonathan in the kitchen:

‘Why are you shaking?’

‘Because you’re standing there’

BURN!

Jonathan with Claude Bosi
Jonathan feeling the pressure from Bosi
Stressed waiter draws line on pad
Perhaps feeling the pressure from the kitchen, a waiter draws a line on a pad

On the final dish, Jonathan finally gets to do a quenelle and he looks chuffed. Danny, on the other hand, is not excited about cooking Claude’s signature dish: ‘It’s not brilliant, it’s quite nerve-wracking to be honest’ - oh dear. Despite the fear, they both do okay, I feel like Claude is pleasantly surprised that they’re not totally useless, so that’s nice.

We're on to the final judging now, with Marcus pointing out that Jonathan ‘just needs to learn to stop’ - will this happen? What do you think?

He's got a quail, barbecue sauce, XO sauce and pineapple main... Then a buttermilk panna cotta, with tarragon, and sweet corn doughnuts, which he's pretty sure he invented, okay?

 
 
‘Hopefully it’ll blow their socks off and they’ll be like… “Oh yeah, he is the best”’ - I hope so too Jonathan.
Masterchef Jonathan looking worried
Tense times for Jonathan

‘Hopefully it’ll blow their socks off and they’ll be like… “Oh yeah, he is the best”’ - I hope so too Jonathan.

Danny’s just cracking on having a great time cooking away. He really doesn't say much or do much, apart from being awesome at cooking.

When it comes to plating up, Jonathan speeds backwards away from the plate and makes some noises that are not translatable into human letters, then cried 'I got it all on the plate!'

The elation is short-lived. He gets a pretty mild response for the pineapple with his quail, then is faced with a Marcus doughnut interrogation.

‘What is this?’

‘It’s doughnut batter’

‘Not getting the sweetcorn or tarragon in your doughnut, and it doesn’t look like a doughnut’

This, of course, begs the question - when is a doughnut not a doughnut?

When they look like Jonathan's doughnuts.

It's a real shame, I doughnut know why he screwed up. ‘By the sound of it I can’t cook very well but I have good ideas’ - oh Jonathan.

Unimpressed Marcus Wareing
Marcus remains unimpressed by Jonathan's doughnuts
Danny's dessert Masterchef
Danny's delightful dessert

Monica enjoys big-dude Danny’s feminine touch in his beef and onion dish, and he’s got a lovely looking raspberry semifredo lollipop thing in cocoa butter, bee pollen, with lots of nice raspberry bits.

And with that, we all know how this one is going - sorry Jonathan, you were awesome.

And now, it’s time for the final place! OMG! The final place in the final week’s finals! We’ve got shaky Darren and young Ollie - is he young? I don't know, he seems young. They’re both freaking out quite a lot in Wild Honey, and no wonder - Anthony Demetre mentoring style is even more intense than Claude Bosi. I don’t know how someone can manage not to shout yet have such an insistent, scary voice - ‘NATURAL, KEEP IT NATURAL’ ‘CALM YOUR NERVES, STOP IT, CALM DOWN’ - hectoring someone to calm down, ah yes - that well known method for calming someone down.

Darren is a quiverer, and he quivers here too - he’s got a seriously popular turbot dish, but manages it because deep down he is an absolute pro - plus, perhaps the constant shaking allows a more NATURAL look when plating? Who knows. Ollie is a bit all over the place too, but the whole thing makes me go ‘nope!’ I don’t want to work in that place, no way.

 
 
Marcus praises his bold liquorice sauce that ingeniously balances the whole thing and Darren does a proper happy smile for perhaps the first time ever.
Masterchef Darren
Darren finds peace in praise

Anyway, they get through it (somehow) and dish up acceptable versions of his signature dish. Now it’s time for the final cook off, yeah!

There's a lot of running in this cook off, and the judges love it - the kitchen is full of adrenaline and high-octane cooking vibes. Ollie experiences mild delirium and disaster with his burnt celeriac ‘cannelloni' but look - it's fine! Marcus is there to calm him down in an actual calming way and he does it again - good lad!

I love Darren so much - ‘I’m not the most cheerful of people at the best of times’ - his anxiety is so palpable it’s almost awful to watch, but hey, look what he’s cooked! What's this purple thing? What are all these big orange cones?? Wow!

Marcus praises his bold liquorice sauce that ingeniously balances the whole thing, and cleverly links rabbit with tarragon and carrots, and Darren does a proper happy smile for perhaps the first time ever.

His dessert is another bizarre looking colourful cone of fun, it has a slightly more muted response than the main, but it’s still looking good.

Again, Ollie cooked some smashing pigeon, but his not-really-a-cannelloni-celeriac that caused him so much strife ended up tasting a bit burnt anyway. His dessert was also a bit of a let-down.

And with a slightly iffy pudding, Ollie missed out and Darren was given the final sneaky spot in finals week to complete the final five.

See you next week for the final instalments of this epic journey.

 

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MasterChef: The Professionals, 2014, Week Six

 
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