Well there’s a horrible mental image.
Content Warning: Deconstructed Lasagnes.
A Two Course Race
The quarterfinal is as ever the running of the gauntlet that is having to make a 2 course meal for a series of previous contestants, this week’s panel being Neil “Razor” Ruddock who has come dressed as a literary recluse
one of my surprisingly favourite people Vicky Pattison – the moment she surprise hugged Yotam Ottolenghi because he praised the cooking of her livers has lived in my mind rent free for 3 years now
as does her tearing through the Tenerife supermarkets causing absolute chaos
Tempted to go on Mastermind and make Celebrity MasterChef my specialist subject – it’s all forever trapped in this noggin of mine.
And lastly we have John Partridge who seems to be Single White Female-ing Matt Goss
and much like all of his other stints on the show he was dropping MasterChef buzzwords like he was being paid per word.
The only celeb going for the Starter / Main Course set up was Mel who was starting off with a Fondue that she was serving with miniature square steak sandwiches, and she was really going all out on the beef geometry
she had given herself quite a lot to do what with the fondue, steak sandwiches and her Lasagne-esque main course, so it’s no wonder that she jittered into the dining room like Mrs. Overall
and I’m sure having Gregg standing over her like a Sainsbury’s security guard on a power trip didn’t help matters
but she got there and her Fondue with steak sandwich cubes was mostly good
I say mostly because Vicky was just happy to be eating 4 types of cheese at the same time but Neil’s fondue candle had clearly gone out during Mel’s Mrs. Overall moment and so his cheese had solidified into the brethren of Cliff’s fried cheese tuile
there are a million and one things I want to compare it too but I am abstaining from, you’re welcome.
But if things were getting hectic for Mel and her Fondue, she was absolutely frantic when it came to her main course as she hadn’t even rolled out the pasta by the time she served her starter so she was just scratching at smoked haddock like a feral cat
by her own admission she hadn’t ever actually cooked her main course before, which was an “open lasagne” and if you’re wondering what an Open Lasagne is, it’s a desperate attempt to not say Deconstructed Lasagne
so basically what she was doing was just putting smoked haddock on a plate and draping pasta circles over it in as many layers as she could before time was up
and while sure, it is a lot of work, I’m not really sure it was an impressive feat worthy of John Torode looking like he was witnessing the miracle of birth
this is why he doesn’t judge MasterChef: The Professionals, his brain would simply melt.
While I am ready to yeet the idea of a deconstructed lasagne into the sea before all of Italy realises what we’ve done, it by all accounts tasted very nice and for pasta that was made in 15 minutes with a generous flop sweat on the go, it was very well made and so thin that John Partridge could do some origami with it
and Mel was clearly exhausted and very emotional after the whole ordeal and with Cliff having stolen the only napkin on hand for his neckerchief
Mel was forced to dab her eyes with a throw pillow
YouTube apology videos better step up.
For his menu, Cliff was drawing inspiration from the large Greek community that he group up alongside – his main course being grilled lamb chops served with Greek yoghurt, a Greek salad and potatoes he said would be “drizzled with a little bit of lemon” before he squeezed half a lemon over each portion – it’s the Greek way
and it went down very well with everyone with there being absolutely no complaints
except for Neil who could probably have demolished another whole portion of the lamb chops.
His dessert was a Rice Pudding which was mainly Greek in the sense that it was topped with raisins that he had laced with a Metaxa, a Greek spirit, and because he realised that raisins are the most divisive food stuff on the planet he had added a piece of flambeed blood orange on the side which confused John immensely
bare in mind, he was absolutely unphased by the phrase “open lasagne”.
Cliff struggled to get his rice pudding to the desired consistency but did seem to get there eventually by whacking the heat up to a generous boil, which made his decision to then revert it back to it’s too liquidy state by resaturating the portions with double cream utterly baffling
which did then have everyone calling it “rice soup”
it wasn’t the most warmly received dish of the day, as you would expect for a dish everyone kept calling “soup” but Vicky was mostly struggling with the raisins, meanwhile Neil was over the legal driving limit because they were all he was eating.
Gareth’s menu started with a dish centred around Bavette Steak, which is probably not the best option considering its purposefully chewy (someone tell John Partridge) and he was continuing the doomed venture of advocating non-potato mashed root vegetables
and those mashed vegetables were in everyone’s bad books, the previous contestants all had issues with the chunkiness (which I think a non-potato mash is always going to be lest we call it puree). but Gregg hated it with a burning passion that will likely last generations – The Wallace / Parsnip feud shall be long and bloody
his big issue was the lack of butter, which I’m not sure is Gareth’s fault either because Chris Eubank used the only block of it that production could afford – 2 blocks of butter? IN THIS ECONOMY?
Gareth was needing to claw back major points with his dessert of an Apple Sponge with Custard which wasn’t going particularly well because… it’s an apple sponge and custard, it’s hardly ever going to set the world alight. It certainly wasn’t helping that his custard wasn’t great – “Oh no! There’s a lump!” he cried as he poured what looked like liquid scrambled eggs into the jug
it just wasn’t Gareth’s day as his dessert didn’t really manage to excite anyone very much
and it was pretty apparent that he was going home the moment that they showed us like 5 shots of everyone pouring the heinously lumpy custard over the backs of their spoons. Thanks, I hated it.
A 2 Course Dish Ranking
- Cliff’s Big Fat Greek Barbecue
- Fondue For Me, Fondue For You
- Rice Soup Because I Refuse To Give An Open Lasagne a Podium Finish
- The Open Lasagne
- Gareth’s Steak and Non-Potato Mash
- Gareth’s Horrible, Horrible Custard
Mel was obviously going through with flying colours and then it was up to John and Gregg to try and convince us that there was any jeopardy in the decision between Cliff and Gareth but really with Cliff’s main course being very well praised by everyone and both of Gareth’s dishes falling just a little bit short of the mark, the only thing that might have kept Gareth in was his own enthusiasm, which sadly was not enough and he was eliminated
which does unfortunately mean he won’t get to the Chef’s’ Table round where he could start a 12 piece Michelin Star Choir.
and so, we’re heading on to Heat 3!
And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of Celebrity MasterChef 2022’s second quarterfinal and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.