The Worst Dishes of Celebrity MasterChef 2021

Even though I did the full recaps, I still can’t help but be a sucker for tradition and do a full run down of the worst dishes seen on this series of Celebrity MasterChef from mere disasters of presentation to truly abominable flavour combinations.

The list of course runs down from the least offensive to the more… well, horrendous. And I will, for the most part, be discounting the Street Food Round because I think it’s a silly round that is designed to create disasters.

Nabil’s Side of Raw Cauliflower Leaves

Most of the dish? A perfectly lovely and acceptable curry with mercifully well cooked rice. The raw cauliflower leaves on the side? Utterly unhinged.

Bez’s Free-standing Rhubarb Crumble

A valiant and entirely fruitless effort to make a crumble into a slightly more aesthetically pleasing dish – can we as a society just accept it’s meant to look like a rustic mess? It’s fine, some of us do.

Joe Swash’s Free-standing Trifle

I said it deserved as much derision as Bez’s Free-standing Crumble so here we are – RIDICULING IT.

Duncan James’s Fancy Breakfast

I apologise for using the Monkey’s Paw to wish for people to stop poaching pears so now all we’re left with is people poaching pineapple pieces that look alarmingly like someone’s removed liver. But truly the biggest crime is Duncan trying to convince everyone that a dollop of yoghurt and some seeds and nuts required ANY effort.

Dion Dublin’s Lightly Warmed Goat’s Cheese Buffet

How Dion grew over the course of the series, you would be forgiven for writing him off completely after the first challenge in which he mostly just aggressively fried chorizo and gently warmed some goat’s cheese in the oven.

Joe Swash’s “Meringue Burger”

Is it a Pavlova? Is it an unmade Eton Mess? Whatever it is, I don’t think it belongs in a MasterChef finale.

Bez’s Pina Colada Burial Trinket

Honestly, I just hate looking at this and I feel like merely bringing it into existence has cursed us all for at least 7 years.

Gavin Esler’s Bowl of Accompaniment Soup

Gavin had a bit of a habit of forgetting to actually serve a main component in a dish – see his riceless bibimbap (3 squares of fried tofu, some sauce and kimchi is not a meal ANYWHERE). But what set this apart from his misunderstanding of Korean food was the utter lack of texture in a bowl made from plum compote, yoghurt and 2 cubes of sorbet. I would also like a full explanation as to why he decided to serve ice cubes of pear sorbet, as well as not bothering to destone the plums?

Bez’s Leaking Flatbreads


Penny Lancaster’s Floridian Ravioli and Needless Prawn

Is my hatred of this dish entirely personal and irrational? Yes, it absolutely is and I think that’s ok. What is this blog for but me to work through my extremely personal hang-ups with ravioli – Floridian or not?

Joe Swash’s Bleeding Duck

Not only was his duck slowly bleeding across the whole plate but it was also somehow both overcooked and really rather raw. But at least we got the Erect Carrots to balance it all out.

Duncan James’s Fish and Accidental Mango Curry

I refuse to accept that anyone was thrilled by the idea of eating smoked haddock and mango in the same mouthful and if they were, SEEK HELP.

Will Kirk’s Segregated Tray Bake

I just want to know *why* he cooked everything in separate piles but didn’t do it because everything would need separate cooking times. And I’m not sure I can ever recover from the distinctly uncooked and unseasoned can of tinned tomatoes on top of his raw chicken.

Kem’s Villain Origin Story: A Collective Effort

I am on the record as hating the team relay challenge but if nothing else it gave us the moment that Kem truly realised he had to be out for himself as he started the relay by seasoning the duck and putting it in the oven in the hopes that his team mates would you know, CHECK ON IT. His team mates did not check on it. Instead all just faffed about needlessly complicating a poached pear and some couscous. This left Megan to realise that apparently 1 hour is too long to roast a fairly small duck whose flesh was now stone grey and it’s fair to say, Kem was not particularly happy.

Su Pollard’s Mauled Poussin with Tomatoes and Plums.

Roast chicken and tomatoes? Sure, in a panic I can deal with that. The addition of plums? Well, it certainly cemented Su Pollard in the MasterChef Hall of Infamy.

Patrick Grant’s Feta Cheesecake and Visceral Plum Compote

Patrick’s first mistake was trying to deconstruct a cheesecake in the Year of Our Lord 2021, it’s a doomed venture STOP IT. Arguably the bigger mistake was the use of feta which everyone hated and Patrick slowly realised that his family lied to him, several times, about how good the dish was. They did it for love Patrick, don’t hold it against them!

Melanie Sykes and Dion Dublin’s Hell Custard

At the point where your custard has become 80% lump, you might as well give up guys.

Everything Melissa Johns Did To That Poor Egg

I don”t think I’ve ever seen someone manage to seperate and poach an egg at the same time – it’s truly a miracle worthy of Moses himself, forget the parting of the Red Sea.

Katie Price’s Plate of Raw Things

Ordinarily I wouldn’t put a dish on the list purely for it being raw because the list would mostly just be lamb and duck but when EVERYTHING on a plate looks distinctly undercooked and like a very unsubtle attempt to give someone food poisoning, well *THEN* we have an issue.

Katie Price’s Vandalised Fish

I said I was going to dismiss the Street Food Round but really, I cannot ignore the reign of terror that Katie Price unleashed upon this unsuspecting sea bream.

Kem Cetinay’s Mutilation of a Bounty Bar

Truly a deep-fried “truffle” made by disembowling a Bounty Bar and rolling it into a ball and then deep-frying it is the sort of lurid fever dream of a dessert that could be thought up by the frazzled and panicked mind of a MasterChef finalist. It is the perfect storm of insanity. And then to pair it with baclava filling with the intention of making it look like “an oyster” and in actuality just making something that looks like a slowly dissolving clown – it is Peak Celebrity MasterChef and Kem should be proud to have birthed such a nightmare.

Su Pollard’s Brainfart Tart

Only Su Pollard could look at a pear being poached in (a quarter of) a saucepan of wine and think “Yes, this is definitely meant to be for a completely dry pear tart.” and not simply leave it as a poached pear. No, she had to slice up the pear, place it on a completely plain piece of pastry and essentially just make a very fancy communion wafer.

Bez’s Two Part Indian Hate Crime

The most tragic part of Bez failing to make either of his desserts was Nisha Katona’s slow realisation that the advert for Mowgli that this challenge so flagrantly was was backfiring tremendously as everyone gazed uneasily at the two (2) overly fried doughballs that looked alarmingly like a feline medical emergency.

Gavin “I’m a Nomad” Esler’s Raw Scallop Nightmare

Black Pudding and Scallops? It’s a MasterChef staple but every now and again someone tries to reinvent it and Gavin, in what I can only imagine was an exhausted fugue state, decided he was going to add sweet potato mash to a dish that is by all means a salad. Which would have put it on the list alone but then he decided to add another layer to the mix by attempting to cook 10 scallops in the same pan and visibly undercooking about 7 of them, 2 of which were given to Lisa Faulkner which might have been her own personal horror story but gave us one of the best MasterChef moments of all time

so at least Gavin added something to the MasterChef Lore because I categorically refuse to call butternuts “the grenades of the vegetable world” anymore. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

Rita Simons and Melissa Johns’s Rice Bludgeons

Lest we forget Rita Simons insisted on describing herself as “The Rice Queen” throughout her run of the show and failed to serve a single bowl of correctly cooked rice. But the Rice Bludgeon remains a staple of Celebrity MasterChef.

Kem Cetinay’s Dead Marshes Buttercream

The contents of that bowl were meant to be a ginger buttercream but what he actually created was Middle-earth’s Dead Marshes. John is baffled. Gregg is Baffled. I am baffled. The hobbits are baffled. The entire scientific community is baffled.

Su Pollard Putting Broccoli in a Sandwich

Truly the sandwich round was a horror show all of its own for the fact nobody could eat a single thing without losing their dignity before the whole nation but Su Pollard deciding to layer broccoli, celery, boiled apricots, a fried egg, ham hock and kimchi in the same sandwich was a new low for the British culinary arts.

Joe Swash’s Pigeon Sauce

Is it a sauce or is the site of a Final Destination death? We’ll never know but we’ll all regret having ever laid eyes on it.

Honourable Mentions

Megan McKenna’s Pot of Lobster Brains

I mean, everything Megan McKenna did to a lobster could be put on this list but somehow scooping out the brains, putting them in a saucepan and just ignoring them was the most horrific to me. Also, the fact Mitch Tonks, Fishmonger Extraordinaire, had to witness her absolutely destruction of a trio of lobsters might be my television highlight of the year.

Max Halley’s Spring Roll Sandwich

I hate this with an intensity I didn’t know was possible. I can’t even really explain why, my soul, my brain, my body, my non-existent uterus just reject it innately. It is my sworn enemy, I must destroy it.

Calum Franklin’s Beet Wellington

I just think vegans deserve better than beetroot in pastry to be quite honest.

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