Truly, Kadeena won the moment she donned that navy blue lipstick.
After 6 weeks and many, many culinary highlights and… lowlights… we find out who our Celebrity MasterChef 2021 Champion will be.
Choose Your Fighter
Megan “The Menace to Seafood” McKenna
Everything Megan made has been really rather pretty, and you wouldn’t expect anything less from someone who is very much reaping the benefits of an ITV2 subscription to BooHoo’s entire back catalogue. However, beneath her polished, Essex exterior lurks a darkness that only the blood of Cthulhu’s crustacean army can quench.
Kadeena “The Absolute Most” Cox
Nobody has reached for loftier heights than Kadeena Cox who given any opportunity would make a dish with no less than 5 individual components that championed her Jamaican heritage – it often left her a little frazzled and tired but was always received with nothing but praise and admiration. Also, her arsenal of lipstick colours is enviable.
Karen Taylor, Home Economist
I’m glad the unsung hero of MasterChef is finally getting her moment in the sun.
Joe “The Bombsite” Swash
Never has there been a contestant so obviously dragged through several rounds where they should quite obviously have been eliminated but was saved for no other reason than the fact they make good television. And while I might find his obvious gaming of the reality TV system extremely grating, there is something to be said about his tendency to cook very relatable, nostalgic food without adding any beyond the occasional heart-shaped piece of toast.
A Three Course Race
As ever, for their final challenge the celebrities all had to cook a three course meal that hopefully showcased some of the things they had learned during their progression through the competition – sadly Joe did not learn how to use his spatial awareness and might actually have been better off cooking in an actual pig sty
I hope Karen Taylor, Thee Home Economist had his guts for garters.
Everyone seemed to have taken their pie masterclass to heart and were showcasing their newfound abilities with pastry – Joe using it for his starter of a Caramelised Onion, Pecorino and Tomato Tart made with pastry using olive oil instead of butter
My favourite part of it is obviously the increasingly frantic balsamic vinegar reduction drops around the side – you can pinpoint the exact moment that he just lost interest. I also love the distinctly Café Rouge vibe that the dish naturally exudes.
John and Gregg both love it, praising him very highly for the olive oil pastry – and if you’d like the recipe, tart and all, you can get it from Sainsbury’s Olive Magazine. That isn’t a read, it sounds like a lovely tart. Make it this weekend, why don’t you?
Joe’s main was the French classic, Coq au Vin which Gregg was concerned he wouldn’t get done in time but worded it in a way that made it sound like he thinks Coq au Vin takes 157 years to cook. Naturally they should probably have spent less time being concerned about whether Joe would get it cooked or not and more time biting their nails about how he was going to present it
when I tell you that I died when I saw those heart-shaped pieces of toast jammed into those lumps of mashed potato like some sort of burial mound, I am not exaggerating – my soul left my body, I was yeeted into oblivion. Which feels like the perfect end to The Joe Swash Experience™ and yet we still had his… Meringue Burger? Glorified Pavlova?… Unmade Eton Mess to go
John and Gregg having to overhype this dessert is absolutely Peak Celebrity MasterChef and the whole segment should be played endlessly in The Tate Modern. He does deserve credit for making what are really quite lovely looking meringues, and for stealing Tom Kerridge’s chocolate sauce recipe but swapping the rum for amaretto with nothing more than a cheeky wink. Whether the sauce belonged on the dish or not could be debated, especially as there was already a strawberry coulis being poured over the meringue making it look a bit like a dirty protest at Saint Basil’s Cathedral
who knew Joe Swash was a comrade?
Megan vowed that she’d cook the classics if she made the final, and it seemed fitting to do so while dressed like a woman at the funeral of her first successful “accidental” widowing
and yes, I was having a mild breakdown over the fact she was cooking in velvet – the distress that her flour covered sleeves caused me, I simply cannot.
Her classic menu was certainly starting off on the right foot with a single pan-fried scallop and pea puree
It wouldn’t be MasterChef without it.
She did however put a “twist” on it which was very well received by both John and Gregg, this dish changing twist being to add some chilli, bacon and a parsnip crisp. Vive la Révolution des Coquilles Saint Jacques.
While her added elements are extremely well received, her scallops were only just cooked, meaning she only narrowly avoided another Gavin Esler Incident.
She trod a similarly fine line with her main course of a Pan-fried Duck Breast served with
Dolphin Noise Dauphinoise Potatoes and Orange Juice Braised Chicory, served in Battleship’s classic Flotilla Formation
the potatoes and the chicory are perfectly cooked but the duck is too raw for John Torode and Gregg kind of just nervously pawed at it with his fork
Props to her for managing to have it so raw and yet NOT BLEED ALL OVER THE PLATE.
They do however politely brush passed the gently quacking duck and heap praises upon her red wine sauce – silver linings and all that.
For her dessert Megan was once again championing gluten-free pastry (*insert it’s hard to cook spiel here*) with her take on a lemon tart
and in a classic MasterChef move, it was being served with a very much up-sold “quenelle of unsweetened cream”
The tart earns her the biggest praises of her menu with perfectly made pastry and a filling that packed one hell of a punch, and there’s a wonder there was any filling left in the pie given she channelled her inner Joe Swash while putting it in the oven
Stop Yeeting Pastries Challenge.
While Megan opted to kick off her menu with the classic Scallop and Pea Puree, Kadeena was serving up a tartare but managed to do so without a single person pointing out that it was a tartare – her talents are unlimited. Instead it was being sold as a torched salmon and asparagus salad – she had at least gone the extra mile in an attempt to add some texture by making a tempura prawn
this quest for texture was sadly in vain as the batter never quite crisped up and I will be spending the next 5 years of my life trying to forget the sight of Gregg Wallace trying to cut through a deep-fried prawn that had the texture of a hotel pillow
I choose not to see it, and both John and Gregg seem to choose a similar path and just congratulated her on her Crab Mayonnaise and the Bloody Mary Granita – which I am stealing as my drag name.
For her main course Kadeena was, as ever, doing A LOT, including making a Curried Goat Pie, various roast vegetables and in a truly genius move had relegated a rack of lamb to a mere side dish. I cannot wait for The Toby Carvery to follow suit, chicken is just about already considered a vegetable there. It is a lot to put on one plate and that is largely the reason that is looked like a diorama of Jurassic Park
that perfectly trimmed rack of lamb makes for a very handsome Brachiosaurus.
There’s a lot of very intricate cookery at play and you can appreciate it once you work beyond the very intimidating purple carrot. I do however think that her pie looked a touch too dry inside
but at least she had served it with a jug of her Jerk Sauce, I just think the sauce should be *in* the pie… that’s kind of the whole point of a pie.
Her dessert however is where Kadeena truly shone, as you might expect given her fondness for them. She was making a Choux au Craquelin, which Joe did insist on calling “a doughnut”. And to say it looked like the perfect dessert is an understatement
I am willing to donate to GoFundMe for Kadeena Cox’s Choux Emporium if she ever gets the urge to start it. If she hadn’t already won the competition just for her navy blue lipstick, this choux bun certainly sealed the deal as it just about reduced John to tears.
A Finale Dish Ranking
- Kadeena Cox’s Choux Empire Starts NOW
- Megan’s Tart Tart
- Kadeena’s Edible Dinosaur Diorama
- Megan’s Ode to the MasterChef Classics
- Joe Swash’s Coq au Burial Ground
- Joe Swash’s Olive Magazine Subscription
- Megan’s Faintly Quacking Duck
- Kadeena, it was Kind of Just a Tartare
- I Reject The Meringue Burger
I’ve said since semi-finals week that I couldn’t really see a single possible reality in which Kadeena Cox wouldn’t win this series of MasterChef but after they eliminated both Kem and Dion in back-to-back challenges I was a little concerned about John and Gregg’s decision making processes but ultimately my safe bet was correct and Kadeena triumphed as our Celebrity MasterChef 2021 Champion
I for one welcome our new supreme culinary overlord.
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