Celebrity MasterChef 2022, Episode 8: Recreational Paprika

I certainly didn’t have “Acapella Mariachi Band” on my MasterChef Bingo Card.

Welcome to a full fat recap of Celebrity Masterchef.

Oh Crepe.

Having not punished them by the medium of pancakes enough in the previous episode’s Street Food Challenge, John and Gregg had made this week’s Skills Test, Crepes Suzette which on top of having to make very thin pancakes meant they were trusting Richard Blackwood with an open flame

mistakes were made.

But at least this time Richard didn’t immediately grab a baking tray and turn the oven up to 200, instead he grabbed a sauce pan to prioritise making his caramel which started life as merely a bowl of lemon juice with a cube of butter in it, which John was visibly distressed about the prospect of having to eat it

and it never really advanced much beyond that as he served a batch of pancakes that were 1 part pancake to every 3 parts lemon-flavoured butter

so he may not have burnt the kitchen down but even Gregg’s iron stomach wasn’t safe from second degree burns due to the sheer amount of citric acid Richard had laced his dessert with but bless him for trying to congratulate Richard on some well made pancakes despite the fact his face was trying to turn itself inside out

there is no evidence that John took a single bite of them after having witnessing Gregg Wallace inverting himself after one mouthful.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was Kirsty Gallacher who I am honestly surprised didn’t walk out of the room the moment they mentioned she would have to make a dessert. Although I’m not really sure we can call her version of Crepes Suzette a dessert given that in her refusal to allow even a single grain of sugar pass her lips she began spooning salt into her pancake batter which John did point out before they ended up with pancakes that tasted like seawater – I did very much enjoy her realisation of what she’d done though

not that she really changed tact and added a decent amount of sugar to her recipe and instead tried to make a caramel using one (1) tablespoon of sugar

and it was at this moment that John decided that Kirsty was absolutely going home

while I was at university in York, I was in one of their many, many, many fudge shops and a woman asked them if they had sugar-free fudge and I am now somewhat convinced that it might have been Kirsty Gallacher who is still on a one woman quest to find that sugar-free fudge.
The only thing really going for her in this round was the fact she folded them correctly and that Gregg was able to wash away the taste of ready salted crisps with a thimble of Grand Marnier

perhaps she would have been better off making Communion Wafers and Sugar-free Squash?

Lesley was the only one in the Okonomiyaki challenge to not royally screw up a pancake and she was once again at something of an advantage, or as much of an advantage as inheriting the ability to make Crepes Suzette through osmosis as her Japanese Scholar Son™ had married a Very Nice French Girl™. And she did get on very well with the challenge, the only real issue she had was the fact she knocked over the milk

and the sound mixer really went ham on the drama by scoring the entire ordeal with an orchestral funeral dirge as though Lesley had just run someone through with a dagger on Game of Thrones. Although I imagine Lesley Joseph’s weapon of choice would be fire, LOT’S OF FIRE

the harrowed look she had when John mentioned she would have to flambee something suggests she has a history with fire

and I fear we may have re-awoken her inner Big Meat Man Nic

I have to periodically remind myself that he actually existed and wasn’t a fever dream I had once. I hope he’s OK. I hope every egg in a 5 mile radius of him is ok.

Back to Lesley’s pancakes which were swimming in a sea of caramel and flaming grand marnier like she was conducting an alcoholic Viking’s funeral

she might not have folded them particularly elegantly but John and Gregg were pretty happy to eat them, which given the fact she went first didn’t set the others up for a great deal of success.

Lastly we have Jimmy Bullard who looks nervous at the best of times but having been sprung with the task of making Crepes Suzette with only cryptic crossword clues as guidance looked like a lapdog who wasn’t sure their owner was ever going to return from Sainsbury’s

but somehow, despite the fact he looked like he was going to dissolve into the aether at any moment, he turned out the best plate of crepes they had seen by the time it was his turn

which is to say they were the best crepes they were going to taste because the only person after him was Richard Blackwood serving a bowl of buttery lemon juice.
I did enjoy that his now trademark gloves lent his folding of the crepes the air of a museum archivist working with ancient, crumbling tomes

I made a joke about being in love with Jimmy Bullard (I am) on Twitter in which I said that it was also potentially because of the gloves and The Express has now called me a “glove enthusiast” which I don’t entirely appreciate but sure. More glove, more love.

India Straits

For this week’s Professional Chef PR Stunt, the celebrities were cooking the food of Asma Khan who runs the Darjeeling Express, a restaurant well known for consisting only of a female staff, which Asma chose due to the fact she wanted to cook only with people who think like her, believing women are intuitive cooks. Which you know, is a little bit invalidating to Kirsty Gallacher who tried to make a caramel with a single tablespoon of sugar.

Kirsty luckily wasn’t having to make a dessert and the only thing she had to really come to terms with was the fact her tiger prawns were served in a coconut sauce and she doesn’t like sauce – at least she seems to have become aware of her shortcomings in a cooking competition

on top of the fact she was having to work out how much sauce a normal person would want in their curry (the correct answer being ALL OF IT) she was having to make rice, which she was rightfully worried about given the last time she attempted it she created a model of the Millenium Dome

but given she was supervised by Asma who wasn’t going to allow anyone to commit crimes against rice, she actually did really well in the end

but she could have done with doubling the sauce quantity.

Lesley was also cooking rice, hers being flavoured with apricot, rose and pistachio and made to look like a pretty bowl of potpourri to make up for the aesthetic shortcomings of her Safed Murgh Saf Kalen (a sort of Persian originator of the Korma)

it might not look pretty but it was made to the absolute letter, or numbers as Lesley had, instead of just estimating a minute or setting a timer, counted a minute out while she stirred the frying onions

I like to think they had to spend an extra £10,000 on the production budget editing out the noise of Lesley counting down the hour of the challenge like Warner Bros. tanking any chance of a profit by rotoscoping out Henry Cavill’s moustache.
She was having to largely deal with everything herself because Asma was a little bit distracted by either making sure Kirsty didn’t traumatise any more rice or giving Jimmy motivational speeches by the deep fat fryers

he was having to make Koftas and Saffron Rotis as well a mint yogurt and a chutney – a task by the end of which had aged him into an 80 year old turnip farmer from Poland

but apparently it was worth it as everyone was pretty happy with his dish, save for the fact that his chutney was a death trap that Gregg fell victim to

it was even a little too hot for Asma who steered well clear of it while Gregg coughed up the last gasps of his dignity next to her.

Richard got the only vegetarian dish with his Aloo Gobi Matar, a dish of cauliflower, potatoes and peas cooked in a tomato gravy – the biggest concern of which was not overcooking the cauliflower, which he did didn’t do!

unfortunately he had undercooked his potatoes and his Chapatis were a similar duality with one side being cooked and one side being uncooked which John demonstrated with a movement that really reminded me of Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries 2 which I appreciated because I’ve been meaning to put that gif on file

and not a single avocado was invited, until about 5 minutes time in which Richard will finally going to fulfill his destiny and serve up the prophesied avocado toast.

Brains vs Brunch

For a place in this week’s quarterfinal the celebrities were having to impress John and Gregg with their best brunch dish, and they only had 1 hour so Kirsty Gallacher couldn’t make overnight oats flavoured with stevia powder and a grated apple. So instead she was making Huevos Rancheros with tortillas and some very prominently displayed cheddar cheese because the camera daren’t focus on the clearly undercooked egg or the very sad tortillas

Gregg was thoroughly put off by the egg, John however was all too happy to wiggle his knife around in there, so congratulations to Kirsty Gallacher for adding to the Unsettling Egg Gif Archive

it wasn’t a dish of many pros though, with the tomato and pepper sauce being the one saving grace and nobody praised her cheese grating abilities.

In Kirsty’s defence though was the fact her brunch was an actual brunch, everyone else’s was a collection of breakfast buffet items and then Jimmy Bullard made fishcakes

and I know, someone reading this has yelled “FISHCAKES ARE ON MANY A BRUNCH MENU!” and I know that but he could have at least poached an egg rather than having the only accompaniment being a salsa. But I can’t be mad at this face

I have a type and apparently it’s very nervous retired football players. Phil Foden, I’ll wait for you.

Reaching the absolute pinnacle of the Breakfast Buffet Brunch was Lesley Joseph who was making crepes filled with salmon and yoghurt with a side of scrambled eggs and fruit salad (not mixed together, thankfully)

I only really bring up the fruit salad because I clocked that Lesley Joseph is a heathen who puts bananas in her fruit salad and I have no choice but to make this into a call out post


Despite their misgivings about her use of yoghurt in the crepes, John and Gregg seemed to like the dish and didn’t even mention the fact her scrambled eggs looked more like Jimmy Bullard’s attempt at an okonomiyaki than scrambled eggs

also a big fan of the fact that now half the dishes that Lesley has cooked over two episodes have been pancakes in some form.

Lastly we have Richard who I’m a little bit surprised wasn’t serving up raw livers he’d ordered from the self-appointed Liver King on Instagram because his confessionals were giving off the vibe of a YouTube pick up artist who listened to the Joe Rogan podcast one too many times and was now hawking horse medicine to combat woke osmosis or whatever their biggest fear is nowadays

however the only meat he was serving was smoked salmon which was hidden beneath two rounds of pent-up avocado, which was further being served alongside a Caribbean flavoured Omelette because he’d had his culinary horizons expanded

and I loved that after his revelations that there was more to life than recreational paprika, they immediately cut to him opening a tin of baked beans and just shaking in a hearty amount of tabasco sauce

it’s such a nonsense plate of food that I can’t help but love it, right down to the very sad excuse for an omelette that is absolutely just a beaten egg topped with some peppers, there’s no cheese in there, I know a cheeseless omelette when I see one. And this did all mean John had to really ham up the praise for the fact Richard Blackwood, Avocado Aficionado, had remembered to squeeze lemon juice over his avo, as if he’d forget. BUT LOOK HOW PROUD HE WAS

you smashed that avocado, you smashed it like a pro, Mr. Blackwood.

A Brunch Dish Ranking

  1. Jimmy Bullard Was An Egg Short of a Brunch
  2. Somehow Richard Blackwood, I guess?
  3. Lesley’s Joseph’s Pancakery: An Ongoing Saga
  4. Kirsty Gallacher’s Central Cheese

Coming into the episode you knew it was a 2 horse race to being eliminated between Richard Blackwood’s looming threat of an il-deployed avocado and Kirsty Gallacher having to caveat anything she cooked with something health related, which is NOT why we’re watching MasterChef and so it was something of a relief that she was sent home before she could serve up a two course menu consisting of Grenade Bar followed by batch cooked unseasoned chicken and broccoli

I’ll miss her denim jumpsuit most of all.

and so we’re onto the third of our quarterfinals

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