He’s a choirmaster, twisted choirmaster.
Welcome to Celebrity MasterChef’s Heat 2: Chris Eubank Boogaloo!
Cloche of The Titans
Once again we start with a series of mystery ingredients and falling foul of protein preparations this week was Mojo who is famous for being on Peckham’s Finest and is not the mastermind being the MissMojo empire on YouTube, and who I am instantly obsessed with because of the fact her confessionals would come out of nowhere like the most amped up, excited jump scares
Her mystery ingredient were unshelled prawns and her solution to unwholing them was to take a pair of scissors to their necks in an act of shellfish brutality than even Megan McKenna would think was a bit much, but at least she had the decency to give them their funeral rites ahead of their slapdash beheadings
and once she had eventually finished going all Robespierre on her prawns, she decided that she was going to be making the classic MasterChef Ambiguous Curry
it’s got coconut milk, it’s got onions, it’s got potatoes and just about every spice that the larder had to offer, so it did surprise me that John and Gregg liked it quite so much, which would annoy me but it made MoJo so happy that I can’t really complain
I hope to one day attain even half of that joy.
The only other celebrity having to deal with meat was Gareth Malone who had been given a stack of chicken thighs which had him running straight for the bottle
he didn’t really do anything wildly exciting with them, he kind of just fried them, served them with some leeks, some slightly furry looking parsnip mash and a questionably coloured white wine sauce – it was all a bit of a beige melange
but the judges enjoyed it, their only real complaint somehow being that the chicken skin wasn’t crispy enough and not that the parsnip mash looks a bit like it could unfurl and climb into your lap for scritches at any moment.
We ended up getting two desserts this episode, mostly because Cliff wasn’t daring enough to use his plums to make Su Pollard’s Roast Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Plums. Instead he was setting his sights on the lofty highs of a tarte tatin, which at a certain point he did seem to realise was probably a little bit too ambitious and proceeded to look around the kitchen like a meerkat that’s positive there’s a bird of prey *somewhere* in the room
little did he know, the true terror in the room was being created by his own hands as he flipped over his tarte tatin which was a bit of a soggy mess, but shout out to the camera operator for treating us to a stellar crash zoom during its unveiling
it’s not *awful* but it did all just look a bit soupy and I find the fact I could have feasibly confused it for a pepperoni pizza a little upsetting, and the judges weren’t entirely keen either – or at least that’s what I garnered from the fact John’s favourite part of the dish was the overly whipped cream and the bowl of crushed pistachios and amaretti biscuits on the side
which Cliff did absolutely realise was the backhandedest of backhanded compliments
HOW DARE YOU UPSET MY FAVOURITE MALL SANTA, TORODE.
The other dessert came from Mel Blatt who had been given chocolate which she turned into an absolutely lethal looking Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake which I would very much like to be my cause of death, thanks
and by all accounts it was pretty damn incredible, so much so that Gregg had a, to be Not Gross™, religious experience when he tasted it
and as is want to happen, it sparked a bit of Food Envy in the room and Chris Eubank requested they save him a quarter of it, which would have still been enough to feed an entire family of 4 for about a week
and it got the Eubank Seal of Approval
he’s been banned from every restaurant in London for shadowboxing instead of givings tips.
And speaking of Chris Eubank, he was nothing but a delight this entire episode, from the moment he sauntered into the room looking like the sheriff of an old-timey Kansas saloon town
to his joyous HypeMan-ing of every other contestant
for his mystery ingredient he had been given a butternut and for his dish he was going to be serving The Butteriest Butternut that ever Butternutted as his idea of cooking it was to just poach it in an entire swamp of butter
but he truly believed in this dish because John and Gregg were only going to be served a Buttery Buttery Butternut
my favourite thing about it is the fact the what-I-shall-generously-call-a-garnish on top makes it look a bit like the bowl of things Rafiki uses to make the mixture to daub Simba’s head with
sadly the purpose at hand was not to dub Gregg Wallace the Heir of the Pride Lands and instead Gregg and John both had to find enough things to say about a piece of butter soaked butternut, which they did very admirably – mostly praising the simplicity and statement of the dish like it was a Damien Hirst exhibit with marginally more artistic merit, but I didn’t expect anything less because Chris was very much speaking Gregg’s love language
the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his carotid arteries.
A Mystery Ingredient Dish Ranking
- Death By Cheesecake
- MoJo’s Ambiguous Curry
- Gareth Malone’s Showcase of Beige
- The Sheer Effort Of Making A Tarte Tatin
- The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (Vegetarian Edition)
Poutine On A Show
For this week’s Street Food Challenge the celebrities were having to contend with Poutine and Mel was showing off that she knew what it was by writing the name of it on the top of her ingredient sheet
and then proceeded to correctly guess each and every ingredient in the dish and basically make the perfect bowl of poutine by the end of it, her only temporary roadblock being that she dithered over whether or not to include the rogue redcurrant jelly, which she didn’t – Cliff and Chris on the other hand promptly upended half of the jar into their frying pans
which does explain why Chris Eubank’s gravy looked like the final scene in Ready Or Not (2019) (if you know, you know)
Gregg and John valiantly persisted in tasting it though and declared that it apparently tasted like a Chinese Spare Rib – so we’re now owing apologies to both Canada and China, and probably the French while we’re at it
Chris Eubank ritualistically sacrifices one French person every time he makes chips, pass it on.
Cliff on the other hand hadn’t just fallen for the rogue redcurrant jelly, he had basically taken any and every ingredient on the tray and put it in his frying pan – it’s something of a miracle that he didn’t find room for the cheddar cheese and the sweet potatoes in his chaotic and highly evil mixture
but he did find room for a Chris Eubank amount of butter
it was very much not a bowl of poutine, mostly because he had put so much redcurrant jelly into it that John and Gregg had to describe it as “fruity” and he had put so many molten cheese curds into it that it had surpassed being merely a bowl of food and had become a sustainable building material
but the one person who was absolutely not going to fall foul of the redcurrant jelly was MoJo who took one taste of it and had the exact opposite of Gregg’s reaction to tasting Mel’s cheesecake
her biggest mistake in the whole process was not getting the right gravy to chips ratio – she got a bit carried away in the chip department, mostly because it was the only component in the dish that she knew she could cook well
and despite having written “BEEF STEAK??” on her ingredient sheet she had sadly opted for the venison fillet instead
a needless amount of deer died for a series of subpar bowls of poutine. But had she made more gravy, she would have had the best dish out of everyone who wasn’t acutely aware of what Poutine was prior to the challenge.
Gareth did very well and didn’t make any mistakes ingredient wise, which is probably why he got to the end of the challenge and held his bowl aloft like a Greek God ready to bestow whatever divine retribution they cooked up because someone didn’t put enough dates on their altar or whatever petty nonsense the Greek Gods tended to get upset with
meanwhile Cliff just looked a bit distraught over the fact he had made a bowl of cheesey chips and gravy that tasted like a Fruit Twist Fanta
the secret to Gareth’s success though was that he ate so much of the poutine in the beginning that John and Gregg genuinely had to commend him for it – so there’s my new life goal: Eat Enough Poutine To Warrant An Accolade.
Dinner Party Hard
As usual, their last chance to impress John and Gregg ahead of this week’s first elimination was for the celebs to cook their favourite dinner party dishes, Chris Eubank however was speed-running the competition and had fast-forwarded to the Fondest Food Memory Challenge that comes up in Semi-finals week
his plan was to make Corned Beef and Rice, which sounds simple but he was making life difficult for himself by quite literally trying to shove square pegs into round holes
sadly we didn’t quite get the rotunda of corned beef we deserved and instead it did look a bit like a side character from AAAH! Real Monsters, what with the beady cherry tomato eye he had finished it all off with ~for flare~
John and Gregg were very polite about the fact that Chris’s culinary skills had amounted to boiling rice and frying some corned beef but it’s the first episode so he can get away with it, now if he rocks up in the quarterfinal and just heats some beans and makes toast then… honestly put him in the final.
We did have a bit of a dish rivalry going on as MoJo and Cliff, the obvious choices for elimination by this point, were facing off over Seafood Linguine. MoJo was once again braving the prawns, this time she didn’t have to get out her trusty scissors though. As well as her Prawn Linguine she was making a very intriguing sounded Brioche Garlic Bread, Twitter of course had ~a thing~ about the fact she was making it using pre-bought brioche
I do not care, and I wish everyone a swift recovery from their Come Dine With Me Brain Rot, she had one (1) hour, she’s hardly going to be able to make an enriched dough and she was making her own pasta – which she did in a terrible flap in the last 10 minutes of the challenge which makes it remarkable how good it was
the visibly raw prawns are significantly less excellent and naturally John and Gregg ate around them, while Lisa Faulkner banged and clawed at the window for some of the sweet, delicious raw shellfish flesh.
Despite the fact they really liked the quality of her pasta, the biggest talking point was the War and Peace sized garlic bread
with John liking the texture and then saying it tasted a bit like someone had put garlic butter on a doughnut and I would BEG John Torode to be more careful with his words because that just sounds like an encouragement of novelty American Barbecue restaurants that plague the high street like cupcake bars in 2011. But I suppose the tepid reception of her sweet garlic bread kind of answers this question
someone’s Bebo Top 12 is getting a reshuffle.
Cliff’s Seafood Linguine was a little more successful, mostly because his seafood was cooked, and it needed to be because he had made them buy him whole scallops, king prawns and mussels – no wonder Chris had to use corned beef and rice. And as nice as the seafood sounded, John had some pressing questions
it’s called cutlery Jonathan.
Gregg, much more used to the face-to-plate method of eating and therefore not fretting about how big is too big when it comes to shoving a scallop in your gob, was instead curious about Cliff’s Nduja Sausage which he was going to be making into a Singular Crumb if he had the time, as it turns he did have the time and it certainly elevated his seafood linguine from looking like Just A Seafood Linguine to looking like somebody had tried to bury their seafood linguine in the woods
his cooking of the seafood was perfect – John particularly loved the scallops which he was able to enjoy because he had cracked the enigma that is a knife and fork
I know the show needs drama but “SCALLOP TOO BIG FOR MOUTH!” is maybe not the best angle.
The unfortunate side of the dish was that fact his linguine was a little bit too thick which meant it hadn’t cooked properly, but I’m always willing to give someone props for attempting to make pasta, especially in only 60 minutes on top of everything else.
Gareth was also doing a seafood dish with his pan-fried Seabass with Duchess Potatoes, Samphire and Hollandaise Sauce which he was serving in the style of a MasterChef: The Professionals contestant as NOTHING IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH
he had filleted the fish himself which John and Gregg both commended him for, as well as the fact he showed a fair bit of technique with the Hollandaise and the Duchess Potatoes, a compliment they bestowed while making unflinching eye contact with Chris Eubank’s corned beef.
Lastly we have Mel who was making a Cottage Pie that she was fancying up by putting some truffle oil in the mash and serving alongside a completely disproportionate amount of peas
but in order to fancy the peas up she had thrown in a Chris Eubank amount of butter
which makes the fact it’s a 1:1 ratio of cottage pie to peas a little less of an afront. The judges rave about it, there’s really not a lot to say – I think I wrote 3 whole notes about it, it’s just a bit dull when you’re in a room with Chris Eubank ASMRing his way through some fried corned beef and MoJo making Birthday Cake Garlic Bread – which does mean Mel and Gareth will go through to the semi-final.
A Dinner Party Dish Ranking
- This Isn’t Just a Cottage Pie, This Is Mel Blatt’s Truffle Infused Cottage Pie
- Gareth Malone’s Socially Distanced Seabass
- Cliff’s Buried Linguine
- Chris Eubank Spending 60 Minutes Frying Corned Beef
- MoJo’s Raw Prawns and Garlicky Doughnut
The only two possibilities for elimination were Cliff and MoJo – Gregg and Chris were getting along too well for it end after just 1 episode
and after the second challenge I would have said Cliff was a goner but then Mojo tried to cook prawns in about 10 seconds and alas my brief and fleeting obsession with her came to an end as she was sent home
I WILL AVENGE HER.
and so, we’re steaming ahead to the second octofinal(?) with Gareth Malone, Mel Blatt, Chris Eubank and Cliff Parisi
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