Celebrity MasterChef 2021, Episode 6: Dubiously Floridian Ravioli

Penny Lancaster heartily endorses the MasterChef Drinking Game.

It’s the second quarter finals and I suppose it was only a matter of time before Andi Peters Houdini’d himself out of the BBC Broom Cupboard.

A Two Course Race

For the second quarter final the celebs once again have to cook a 2 course meal for three previous contestants including winner Phil Vickery, finalist Craig Revel-Horwood and Would-Have-You-Think-He-Was-A-Winner-But-He-Finished-A-Solid-Third-Place-in-2008, Andi Peters

if you’re playing the MasterChef drinking game, you have to continuously drink for every second that Andi Peters annoys you. I apologise to your livers in advance.

The only person opting to do a starter and a main course was Penny Lancaster who was taking us on a tour of her favourite American restaurants and serving up a pair of distinctly un-American dishes – the first being a Braised Endive with Feta Cheese, Walnuts and the smallest orange segments that she could possibly find

and I have to say, I do quite enjoy the fact she presented in such a way that it does look a bit like one of my favourite Pokemon: Volcarona

although, I suppose it’s subjective how you feel about your food looking like a very large moth capable of spitting fire at you.
The praise pretty much stops dead at the presentation however as the whole thing is much too bitter and her meagre use of feta, sugar and walnuts can do absolutely nothing to save the dish.
Things in no way got better for Penny when it came to her main course of Butternut Ravioli in a White Wine and Lemon Cream Sauce served with a needlessly poached prawn – a dish she apparently favours in Florida, and as we know Florida is famous for three things: Florida Man vs Alligator News Headlines, Lawn Flamingos and… Ravioli? It was fair to say there were some concerns about the dish, mostly the fact Gregg just hated every second of her describing it to him

the issue being the idea of a white wine and lemon cream sauce with butternut being absurd – personally I was more baffled by the needless prawn?
It was her time keeping that really came to bite her in the ass though as in the 15 minutes between serving her terrible endive and plating up her dubiously Floridian ravioli she had to roll her pasta dough, make and cook the ravioli and she was still wrist-deep in prawns that didn’t need to be there. God knows what she was doing in the hour beforehand in which all she really had to do was put an endive in a frying pan and ignore it. In the end she served it up about 15 minutes late and valiantly attempted to bribe everyone with a very generous serving of truffle over the top of it

I am personally of the belief that it is never going to be worth waiting an extra 15 minutes for fecking ravioli and yet everyone raved about the dish. And in fairness to Penny, they were beautifully made and she didn’t suffer any mid-boil explosions, so she can revel in that particular piece of pasta glory.

Hoping to redeem her fish cooking after embarrassing herself in front of professional fishmonger and sometimes Eric Clapton impersonator, Mitch Tonks, Melanie was cooking a main course of John Dory, a fish she had apparently not ever cooked before. She was however making the dish significantly easier for herself as the only accompaniment to her lump of fish was a Chickpea and Radicchio Salad and a Blood Orange Sauce

the sauce being mostly praised because nobody could taste any orange in it, always a good sign… The fish is however perfectly cooked and I don’t think anybody believes that Melanie didn’t spend the prior two weeks endlessly cooking the entire British supply of John Dory and feeding it to her family and friends like foie gras geese. EAT YOUR PAN-FRIED JOHN DORY VALENTINO! WHY? BECAUSE MUMMY SAID SO OR THERE’S AMARETTO CAKE BEFORE BEDTIME.

Megan’s main course was a much meatier affair as she was hoping to show that she can cook fancy food without mutilating a crustacean in the process. She was also making her menu entirely gluten-free, a fact Andi Peters stresses is making things much more difficult for herself as, and I quote, “Gluten-free pastry is very hard to cook properly.” and then not even 3 minutes later he says THIS

This is rapidly devolving into an Andi Peters call-out post. #AndiPetersIsOverParty.
As ever there was great concern over whether or not Megan would manage to successfully cook the Beef Wellington in time and we were treated to an entirely too dramatic halving of the beef

Let’s see Moses try THAT.
if anything it’s a touch too cooked and if you were hankering for some slightly bloodier looking beef, don’t worry because the colour of her sauce was alarmingly sanguineous

the sauce does however steal the show, particularly for Phil Vickery so someone might want to check that he has the ability to cast a reflection. The beef may have been slightly over but everyone still commented on the tenderness of it.
Following her Beef Wellington was a Double Chocolate Brownie – a foodstuff you can literally buy in any supermarket, café, gas station or take-away that barely scraped by it’s latest health inspection AND YET

did they really need to have this explained? It’s pretty self-explanatory?
Although they were doing A LOT of work this episode to make Megan’s decision to make a brownie seem like a Herculean task

they’re literally not? They’re like the first thing you mother lets you bake because it’s mostly just a case of shoving everything in a bowl, stirring it and whacking it in the over for 20 minutes – THERE’S BARELY A TECHNIQUE INVOLVED. And yet I type that and Megan’s brownie came out looking like it had been dragged forth from Hell having mixed up cornflour and gluten-free self-raising flour

Shout out to the fact nobody blamed it on the fact the brownies were gluten-free, the show has come a long way in 5 years. Craig does describe it as “more of a biscuit”

which is pretty damning and a fundamental failure of brownieness.

Melanie’s dessert went through a similarly rough patch. Hers being an Almond Cake that she was serving with Overly Hyped Mascarpone and Seven (7) Raspberries. One of my favourite parts of Celebrity MasterChef is the fact Gregg and John have to pretend to not know much about some VERY common flavour combinations: see Gregg’s curiosity over a double chocolate brownie, John pondering on the combination of orange and fish but Gregg acting like Melanie had invented something unheard of by combining almond AND amaretto seemed particularly egregious. Honey, those are the same things.
One of the first things Melanie did was make and bake her cake, a fact John had great concern over because he thought she was going to overcook it and just… I’m sure she wasn’t going to bake it for the full hour, John. Or so I thought

So with her cake burnt, she really didn’t have much to use to claw back some points given all she was serving it with was a quenelle of mascarpone and seven (7) raspberries

Andi and Craig immediate eviscerate the burning of the cake while Phil Vickery swoops in like a knight in shining armour to praise her ability to correctly spoon mascarpone

God bless him for being this annoyed and at this point only being two dishes into the dining experience. Is it possible for him to win again? Consider this my Phil Vickery Write-in Vote.

A Second Quarter Final Dish Ranking

  1. Megan’s Re-bloodied Beef Wellington.
  2. Melanie’s Sly John Dory.
  3. Megan’s Questionable Brownieness.
  4. Melanie’s Ability to Quenelle Mascarpone.
  5. Melanie’s Seven (7) Raspberries.
  6. Penny’s Bitter, Bitter Angelino Endive.
  7. Melanie’s Burnt Cake.
  8. There Is No Way I Am Waiting 15 Minutes Longer Than I Need To For Ravioli.

Megan was easily sailing on through to the semi-finals purely off the back of her beef wellington and from there it was mostly a desperate attempt to create some faux-tension over whether Melanie somewhat burning a cake was quite as sinful as Penny serving up a near inedible endive, a prawn that didn’t want to be there and a bowl of ravioli 15 minutes late.
It was of course Penny who gets eliminated

I hope Rod Stewart is looking forward to eating nothing but Turbot for the next month.

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