And here we see Lesley Joseph being questioned about her crimes against tarts.
How many times can Chekhov ruin one man’s day?
A Two Course Race
For this week’s quarterfinal Lesley, Jimmy and Richard were having to cook their 2 course menus for the 2021 champion Riyadh Khalaf
last year’s finalist and scourge to the entire lobster population of the English Channel, Megan McKenna
and because someone had opened an envelope, Andi Peters had made his annual appearance
at least he’s no longer even vaguely trying to hide the simmering resentment over being a runner up, acknowledgement if often the first steps to recovery.
Kicking off the proceedings was Jimmy Bullard who was putting Andi Peters through some serious MasterChef Cognitive Behavioural Therapy by creating a meal straight out of 2008, starting of course with Scallops and Black Pudding, forgoing however the pea puree and opting instead for a Butter Sauce that Andi very helpfully clarified did indeed taste like butter
it is a very simply dish but he had cooked the scallops really well, so well in fact that Megan dubbed them better than the scallops she’s had in many a restaurant and made doubly sure to make us understand that she goes to GOOD restaurants. Hun, we know. You’re talking about scallops, we hardly think you’re comparing them to the fare of TGI Friday’s.
Jimmy was however offsetting the simplicity of his starter with a much more involved and technical main course consisting of lamb chops that he was desperately trying to make part of the British greenbelt
rather unsurprisingly the vaguely herb flavoured bread dough didn’t really stick to the lamb and was demoted from Crust to Singular Crumb as it became a garnish to the lamb chops and the Boulanger Potatoes
and much like the scallops before he had cooked the lamb absolutely perfectly and yet despite this he was having a bit of a breakdown in the post-match chimney
he was mostly worried about his red wine reduction which he thought was a little bit too watery but it went down exceedingly well with the judges who know their way around a red wine reduction as Megan McKenna had made one for Andi Peters in her quarterfinal last year which he DEFINITELY REMEMBERED
Megan was out for Andi’s blood this episode – I hope she’s holding a grudge over the comments about gluten-free pastry.
Following Jimmy’s incredibly strong start was Lesley who would be spending most of her time running around with a treacle tart in her hands
but we’ll get to the well toured Treacle Tart in a minute as her menu started with a Fish Pie that in true authentic fish pie fashion had absolutely no care for aesthetics
that is the sort of pie that a pub landlady called Sandra slams down on the table in front of you while making unbreaking eye contact until you say thank you.
It very much got the critiques you would expect in that it wasn’t particularly pretty – she could have dragged a fork through the mashed potato which might have helped it brown up a little more, but the filling was highly praised by everyone.
Now for the treacle tart that saw more of the kitchen than Chris Eubank. Lesley had made the decision to make sure Kirsty Gallacher was properly exorcised from the kitchen by doubling the treacle content of it which later caused her some concern as to whether or not it was actually cooked as she thumbed the lava hot sugar
and I think a few things happened here:
A. The tart was mostly just Golden Syrup, thus lacking the ability to all congeal together properly.
B. She had refrigerated the filling.
C. She had used puff pastry???
I imagine it was because it gave her more of an excuse to buy the shop bought stuff (because life is indeed too short to make your own puff pastry) but I’m not sure it’s ever going to cook properly with a filling that is mostly just liquid sugar, so she tried her best to slice it up but she was very much just viscerally shredding this poor tart
but you know, it was a perfect aesthetic match for her fish pie
and upon serving it, fled from the room like a villain that just poisoned the wine
The returning contestants did not love it, deeming it far too sweet because each slice contained 30 years of Kirsty Gallacher’s entire family’s daily sugar allowance, and as Riyadh made an emergency call to Rylan Clarke’s dental surgeon, the editor chose to smash-cut to John and Gregg absolutely wolfing down Lesley’s Double Treacle Tart without any complaints. Imaginably because it was the only dessert they were getting this time and because it was very much a predetermined reality that Richard Blackwood would be going home, which is shame because I could have done with more of his after dinner theatre performances
and he was putting in some significant effort as he was leaving every avocado he knew at home and not serving a single one of them! Instead his menu would be an homage to his Jamaican heritage and would therefore be slipping in and out of a Jamaican accent like he was part of the cast for Don’t Worry Darling.
His menu was starting with Chicken Wings flavoured with his recreational paprika and served alongside a mysterious dipping sauce that he was keeping a closely guarded secret and I feel really bad for Richard because this man really thought his sauce was something – he was ready to phone Sainsbury’s and write a very catchy jingle for Richard Blackwood’s Mystery Sauce and yet upon tasting it everyone looked like Lisa Faulkner accidentally eating a raw scallop
“There seems to maybe be peanut butter in there?” postulated a very confused Riyadh…
CHEKHOV’S PEANUT BUTTER!
It didn’t help Richard’s sauce that he had advertised it as a Dark Rum Sauce and then only used 3 tablespoons of the stuff, but at least his chicken wings were good and Andi Peters didn’t have to throw a tantrum for being served less than 6 of them
I shall be contacting my local Chinese Takeaway with notes about their 5 piece portions.
For his main course Richard really had no other choice but to make Ackee and Saltfish and the moment they showed him clawing his way through that salted cod looking for fishbones, I knew Chekhov was about to strike again
and sure enough John pulled out several of Chekhov’s Fishbones from within the cavities caused by Lesley’s treacle tart
but John’s bigger problem than the entire skeleton he was excavating from his teeth was how Richard’s dish looked
I mean it isn’t great and he could have made it look a little bit neater but I liked that he went down the more traditional route of using the dumpling instead of opting for rice which showed a little more skill and involvement.
A 2 Course Menu Ranking
- Jimmy Defies The Lamb Odds
- Jimmy’s 2008 Throwback Starter
- YOU’LL EAT THIS FISH AND ENJOY IT
- Richard Blackwood’s Chicken Wings and Mystery Sauce
- BONES FOR THE BONE GODS
- Lesley’s Syrupy Breadcrumbs
At the end of it all Lesley and Richard were pretty much on an even footing and both at risk of being eliminated, Jimmy Bullard having more than cleared the bar. But given the overall week, Lesley was the stronger of the two and so it was Richard Blackwood who was eliminated
I wish him luck with his chaotic sauce and avocado empire.
And so, we only have 1 more heat and next week I shall be protecting Kitty Scott Claus from The Discourse™
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