Masterchef is a programme which examines amateur cooks who have the ability to become professional chefs. It is aired on BBC2 and presented by John Torode and Greg Wallace. John Torode is an Australian chef and restaurant owner and Greg Wallace is an ingredients expert, a food critic and originally a “fruit and veg” man.
This particular episode featured three contestants in “Comeback Week”. The three has been contestants from last year. They faced two particularly hard challenges. One was of stamina and this involved serving an 18 hour day in two restaurants for a breakfast and dinner settings. The second challenge was of skill and they had to impress the judges by cooking a two-course meal.
The 18-hour shift started at 5.30 am one morning and contestants Helen, Peter and Neelika served breakfast at the Soho Hotel. Peter was initially having trouble in cooking fried eggs as they were sticking to the pan, but he fared much better with scrambled eggs and managed to be quite well organised. Neelika was looking after omelettes and breads and toast but did not cope well with the pressure.
The second service was at Bluebird in West London. In the afternoon the three had to design and prepare their own dishes, which would be cooked later.
Neelika prepared mackerel prepared and made the decision to do everything in advance so that there was little work at the service. Peter prepared monkfish, ham, sage peas and beans and this was particularly risky as it could only be brought together at the last minute. Helen had gone for an ambitious meal of lamb. This was tricky to cook at service at it had to be done according to how the customer wanted it – for example, rare, medium.
On day 2, the contestants met at Masterchef HQ early in the morning and prepared their two course meals – with a mixture of ingredients and flavourings including crab, skate, pigeon and spicy pork. After much deliberation, Helen was chosen to go onto the quarter finals of Masterchef.