What we learnt from finals week of MasterChef: The Professionals 2018

What we learnt from finals week of MasterChef: The Professionals 2018

by Great British Chefs 20 December 2018

We’re down to the cream of the crop – just four chefs remain in this year’s MasterChef: The Professionals competition. Find out what went down in finals week, right here.

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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.

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

*Spoilers below*

This year has arguably been the most competitive series of MasterChef: The Professionals we’ve ever seen. Our final four chefs – Matthew, Laurence, Dean and Oli – are all exceptionally talented, and have proved themselves time and time again as worthy potential winners.

This week, our final four chefs provided a course each for a very special banquet – where a selection of the best chefs in the country sat down to enjoy a four-course meal. Many of our own Great British Chefs alumni were present, including Paul Ainsworth, Galton Blackiston, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Jun Tanaka, Tom Brown, Shaun Rankin, Michael Caines, Michael Wignall, Alyn Williams, Chantelle Nicholson, Atul Kochhar, Nigel Haworth, George Blogg, James Sommerin and of course, the ever-present Marcus Wareing.

In the final episode of the year, the three chefs went head to head. They all did themselves justice, and delivered three course meals that wowed Marcus and Monica, but only one could be victorious. Congratulations to Laurence, our MasterChef: The Professionals 2018 champion, and to Oli and Dean for being very worthy finalists. Read on for our last round-up of MasterChef: The Professionals 2018.

How to prepare an artichoke

Globe artichokes are delicious and very versatile – a staple of Mediterranean cooking – but they can be a little intimidating to prepare if you’ve never tried before. Laurence had to prepare a whole load of artichokes for his banquet dish, and got himself into a bit of bother – preparing an artichoke isn't the quickest of jobs! Take a look at our handy guide, then get stuck into some recipes in our collection.

Get a grip of ceviche

Dean has proved himself in the competition as a chef who has a good handle on exotic flavours. He delivered an interesting halibut ceviche to the chef’s table – the idea of cooking fish with acid can be a little daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. Check out our simple guide, and check the recipe collection to see how various different chefs tackle their ceviches.

How to cook sweetbreads

Another tricky thing to get right – lots of us are put off by the idea of sweetbreads and the challenge of cooking them correctly, but a well cooked sweetbread is a meaty, delicious treat. Anne-Sophie Pic gave Laurence her famous sweetbreads cooked in beeswax dish to cook at her restaurant, and he smashed it. The key is getting a nice caramelised crust on the outside, and cooking the inside to the right temperature, around 62ºC. Check out Mark Hix’s classic recipe for lamb sweetbreads with peas – a great starting point for those learning to prep and cook sweetbreads.

When cooking lobster, don’t let anything go to waste

Laurence’s lobster dish at the chef’s table was a smash hit, and he utilised every single part of the lobster to maximise the flavour in his final plate of food. He roasted the heads and shells to provide the base flavour for his bisque, gently cooked the tail meat as the centrepiece of the dish, and used the meat from the claws and knuckles to make dumplings to sit alongside. It always pays to use every part of an ingredient – especially when they’re expensive. Check out our lobster guides and recipe collection for more.

Elevate your dishes with foraged ingredients

Oli made a name for himself on this year's competition as an exciting chef who delivered something unusual and interesting with every dish. Many of his dishes featured foraged ingredients – little touches that elevated his food to the next level and provided sparks of interest for diners. Take a look at our handy guide to easy foraging in the UK!