It is semi-finals week and the competition is is on a knife edge. MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace teams up with chef Monica Galetti and Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing to continue their search for this year’s MasterChef: The Professionals champion.
Tonight the first three remaining semi-finalists battle it out for a place in finals week. They are sent to work alongside one of the countries’ leading chefs, Michael Caines. Caines is creating a new food legacy in his own country house hotel and restaurant in Exmouth – Lympstone Manor. Having held two Michelin stars at Gidleigh Park for 18 years, Caines embarked on his own venture in 2017 – a culmination of his lifelong dream to create and shape his own vision for generations to come. Lympstone Manor draws on inspiration from the beautiful Exe estuary that it overlooks and the surrounding countryside. The exceptional food that Caines is creating at Lympstone Manor won a Michelin star within the first six months of opening. The chance for the semi-finalists to cook alongside Caines as he makes history is a huge privilege and one that will place them in an extraordinary position to supercharge their culinary skills.
The first eye-opener for the chefs is to see Michael cook one of his signature dishes, lobster fricassee with a lobster bisque and summer vegetables. Understanding the intricacy and inspiration for the dish is key as Michael turns the tables and throws down the gauntlet for the chefs: he wants them to create their version of his dish for him to taste. Michael is looking for evidence of their ability to balance flavor, create textural variation and cook impeccably. Once the chefs have shown that they have the culinary mastery to take a place in his kitchen, they are each shown a further dish that Michael has on his menu. The chefs will join Michael’s elite brigade and each take responsibility for a dish to be served during a packed service in his prestigious restaurant. The chefs face the toughest challenge of their careers, cooking at this level under the watchful gaze of Michael Caines. Only perfection will pass the test.
Next, the inspired chefs return to the MasterChef kitchen where they face the challenge of cooking their own dishes for a two-course menu which Marcus, Monica and Gregg will taste. The judges expect their food to have reached new heights. The chefs must aim for the skies, as at this stage in the competition, one tiny slip can mean the difference between gaining a place in finals week or going home. Only perfection will do to edge closer to the MasterChef: The Professionals title 2018.