Celebrity MasterChef 2022, Episode 17: Backfiring Hoisin Sauce

It’s been a long series.


Amateur Dramatics

In order to decide which of the three remaining celebrities would become The Final Three and thrown to the Italian wolves in the next challenge, they had to create a Theatrical Spectacular of a dish, which is why they all entered the kitchen looking like a travelling pantomime show

and all I can say is that we were ROBBED of having Kitty prepare an entire sushi platter and forcing John Torode to eat it off her body like that infamous episode of Come Dine With Me

but she was there in spirit through the shear amount of wigs that John and Gregg had to don in the name of ~whimsy~.

Danny was sticking to his Japanese guns and preparing a meal inspired by a teppanyaki restaurant he went to when McFly were on tuor and the show finally bit the bullet and used the questionable photo of them

it’s the karate hands for me.

He wasn’t however going to be playing the role of the teppanyaki chef as he hasn’t had the time to train or find a talented enough raccoon to help him

instead the drama would be coming from him making a big anthemic stage entrance, or as anthemic as it could be in a slightly dimmed hanger-turned-kitchen with only 3 people silently cheering you on (one of them wearing a pair of rabbit ears)

but my God, Cliff was doing his best 12 year old girl in 2005 impression

I can practically smell the Impulse bodyspray.

As for Danny’s teppanyaki menu, he had made an edamame dumpling, a scallop with sweetcorn puree, various tempura’d vegetables and some seared tuna all of which was served in his guitar case, although he hadn’t plucked up the courage to forgo the plates entirely

and it was all beautifully cooked, but my God did he short change them on the tuna

At least the crew ate well that night.

A lot of this challenge was about style and presentation, which are both things that Cliff has struggled with, but at least this time he could serve something utterly bonkers and John and Gregg would probably just shrug – to think he could have served his Abstracted Beef this round and got away with it!
For this meal he wasn’t delving into the works of the Abstract Masters and was instead making an homage to The Sweeney, sadly not Todd, although the visceral backfiring hoisin sauce was halfway there

in order to reach their takeaway John and Gregg would have to crack the safe,

but not before they had dressed like an elderly soap opera couple that run the cornershop

and Gregg’s wig was shedding like the Pomeranian it had been stolen from

expenses were spared.

To crack the safe, John and Gregg would have to solve clues given to them over a walkie-talkie by Cliff who was sitting at the back of the room in plain sight because it clearly only had a range of 30 feet

every part of this challenge was a gift – just non-stop insanity from beginning to end. Also, Cliff had decided that it was Christmas Day just so that he could make a prawn cracker pun

you could have just waited for the inevitable Christmas special invitation mate.

John and Gregg were very complimentary about his meal and the effort he had put into its presentation, which as fun as it was, I did get a real giggle out of the pile of noodles being surrounded by a bunch of fifties

the only real downside was the fact that in the name of refinement, Cliff had served too small a portion of pork with his Chow Mein but everything else looked and sounded pretty divine.

As was inevitable, someone had to do something vaguely Alice in Wonderland inspired, with Lisa being on Lewis Carroll duty this time and give us a “Twisted Tea Party”, forcing John and Gregg to don a pair of hats that you could read as offensively Irish or offensively Johnny Deppish, but Gregg was just thrilled to have the excuse to wear a second silly hat for Finals Week

and in this Twisted Tea Party, Lisa was playing the role of everyone’s favourite Alice in Wonderland character: the sentient tablecloth

who for her tea party was serving mostly an assortment of choux buns, which upon hearing, John Torode had war flashbacks to Kitty’s Cock and Douche

thankfully Lisa hadn’t misplaced 50% of her choux pastry and her choux buns had all puffed up, albeit into the most absurd shapes you could possibly imagine

sadly she wasn’t trying to Croquembouche them, I can only imagine the weirdly amorphous structure they would have created, instead she was just filling them with an assortment of filling: Salmon & Cream Cheese, Bacon & Cheese, Raspberry & White Chocolate and Hastily Spray Painted Gold, and on top of her choux buns she had also made tomato water and crab fritters – so it’s no wonder she was completely broken by the end of it all

it probably wasn’t helping her nerves that she was trying to balance an assortment of choux buns shaped like meteorites on her tree-like display stand

luckily it all paid off though as John and Gregg were both pretty bowled over by the effort of it all, particularly John who was calling for an encore

A ~Johncore~, if you will.

Lastly we have Mel who was mostly just cooking an infinite amount of peas

she had clearly struggled to conceptualise a dish for this challenge, and you can tell precisely when they must have filmed this episode because her panicked solution to her creative block was to just buy whatever Easter decorations Sainsbury’s had left, including the aforementioned bunny ears

and this very sad plastic bonsai tree bedecked in those chickens that somehow hang around the house until Christmas

and while Danny entered like he was playing Wembley, Lisa tried to dance in a way that didn’t remind her too much of Strictly and Cliff went all The Bill on us – Mel could only bring herself to offer a dejected “Boing”

I love her. I loved everything about this performance of an older sibling being forced to play the role of the Easter Bunny against their will. 5 Stars, a 15 minute standing ovation (SUCK ON THAT CHALAMET) and whatever nominations in whichever BAFTA nominations I can qualify her for.

Despite her personal performance being a more reserved, nuanced act that only ~intellectuals~ could possibly understand, her dish was quite fun, even if it was 90% peas

the cooking of it was her saving grace with her lamb loin being spared the wrath of the MasterChef Gods and coming out perfectly.

A Theatrical Feast Ranking

  1. Danny Probably Should Have Saved This For The Final
  2. Lisa Snowdon’s Choux Wonderland
  3. Cliff’s Takeaway Hostage
  4. Mel’s Scavenged Easter Leftovers

I do think the final three was a bit of a forgone conclusion and the result would have been the same whatever happened, because even though Mel kind of missed the mark challenge-wise, it was Cliff who found himself missing out on the final stretch

I look forward to the recycled Prawn Cracker joke in the 2023 Christmas special.

The Italian Job

And now for a neck breaking u-turn of tone as we go from dancing around the MasterChef studio in an assortment of wigs to being very serious about Italian food in a 35 minute advert for Locanda Locatelli as Lisa, Danny and Mel had to cook the food of Giorgio Locatelli. Who to be fair was very nice, especially for someone who looks like an escaped Jack Nicholson character

I imagine things might have been different if this was Civilian MasterChef, but as these were celebrities they were all just allowed to call him Giorgio and he didn’t get sniffy if they didn’t say “Yes chef!” after everything he said.

Danny was on starter duty, having a lot of pressure put on him to produce 30 perfect ravioli in a Michelin star Italian restaurant – luckily the pasta making went fine, granted he had this man looming behind him at every turn

but the mirepoix gave him issues as he hadn’t cut it fine enough, having Giorgio hand him the chunky pieces of onion like an old woman trying to pay for her groceries in pennies

the Mirepoix 2: Finely-diced Boogaloo was much more successful and his final plate went down very well

everyone’s plates went down well though, this round was more about gassing up the finalists than anything else, but it did also look very well made.

Lisa was doing the main course and having an absolute ball doing so, being so at home in the kitchen that Giorgio did seem prepared to add her to the payroll

that was until she lost her mind in the middle of plating up her veal sweetbreads and became possessed by the spirit of Danny Jones, just manically laughing at these pieces of thymus gland, BECAUSE WHAT? Sweetbreads are not the testicles, contrary to popular belief

once she was done going full Joker mode, she did manage to get her 5 plates of perfectly cooked sweetbreads out

and everyone was pretty impressed with the fact she had managed to cook them so well considering she’s never so much as seen one in her life.

Mel was seeing the menu out with a Pistachio and Blood Orange dessert, of which there was a fair bit that could go pretty pear-shaped in a matter of seconds as she was making Pistachio Ice Cream, a Pistachio Cake and deep-frying 18 miniature cannoli which had to be perfectly Giorgio’s eye-size

despite the ever ominous looming threat of the MasterChef Poltergeist pitching up to possess an ice cream machine, Mel’s dessert was about as perfect as she could have hoped for

this, for me, is the perfect dessert – pump my veins full of pistachio gelato and feed me nothing but tiny little cannoli please.

And that was it! There’s only one episode left – I think it’s mostly between Danny and Lisa – I’d put money on Lisa getting it because Danny hasn’t had much of a ~journey~ whereas Lisa was sent to hell and back in the mass catering round and has gradually overcome the trauma of that. But I’m secretly rooting for Mel to win.

And so, To The Final!

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