Celebrity MasterChef 2023, Episode 3: Potato Operated Werewolf

Contrary to popular belief, this is not a dating show.

Please accept these three (3) chocolate truffles as an apology for my lateness.

It’s the first Quarterfinal of the series and we come in with a bumper crop of 4 celebrities having to compete to feed a line-up of previous winners and finalists because John and Gregg really could not bring themselves to eliminate Mica over James, which is probably for the best because without her, Marcus’s menu would have had to do a LOT of heavy lifting because for some reason Dani Dyer decided to drive her MasterChef career off a disappointing take-away cliff, starting off with a Thai Fishcake (which let’s be honest are ALWAYS disappointing) and are nothing but little rubbery vehicles for an obscene amount of sweet chilli sauce. John made sure to stress that Thai Fishcakes are VERY different from western fishcakes, Dani however seemed to be committing to a bit of a Beef Trifle situation, serving one giant fishcake instead of the usual, smaller pancake-y ones

and nobody really enjoyed them given they were bland and not in the shape of dinosaur nuggets

Danny Jones will only eat something if you make aeroplane noises as you fly it into his mouth.

For her main, Dani attempted a Prawn Linguine which much like her Grinch’s heart of a fishcake, grew three sizes and became pappardelle which pasta pedant, Lisa Snowdon covertly whispered as though if news got out a out it Dani would be arrested by the Arma dei Carabinieri

and there’s plenty of evidence at the greige crime scene

I think my favourite part is the fact she used the biggest bowl she could for the absolute minimum amount of pasta you could pass off as a main course – followed closely by the anaemic whole prawn that I’m almost entirely sure might be fake because there is not a single shot of anyone even touching it or her cooking it, they just sort of… appeared.

Mica was also risking it on prawns, her menu opening up with the gastro pub favourite – Chilli and Garlic Prawns which did thankfully look like they had:
A. Been cooked.
B. At least been alive once upon a time

and given that she was following Dani Dyer’s ode to British levels of seasoning, everyone was thrilled to finally have something with more than a reserved sprinkling of salt on it. The only real complaint was that she could maybe have given them all a more generous amount of sauce given they had three prawns and 2 slivers of a stale baguette to get through.

I will admit, Mica’s main course did befuddle me a little bit – Chicken Wings with Mac & Cheese, I get and am fully on board with. She lost me a little bit with the addition of the mashed potatoes, loathe as I am to look a gift potato in the mouth

I can only assume that once upon a time they were going to be chips and then you know, her previous attempt at chips very nearly got her axed and mash has a much slimmer margin of error. It certainly worked out because the mash had Angellica howling at the moon like a potato operated werewolf

and it was probably a good thing that it and the mac & cheese were so good because three chicken wings is some crisis level rationing

I feel personally victimised if a take-away portion of bbq chicken wings is 5 pieces, 3 is an invitation for a duel.

Marcus had the most ambitious dish of the day with his duck main course

they could have at least made him go last in the lineup because really it was all downhill from here and given that this is on par with the sort of thing that gets served up in the final, you just have to hope that Marcus hasn’t peaked to early. Although his wife might be happy given that she’s apparently been mainlining mango sauces for the last 12 hours

“Can’t you just use Patak’s mango chutney?” she begged as Marcus asked her if 2 was better than 4 like some sort of chutney optician.

Marcus was doing the only dessert of the episode (I am not condoning three pieces of chocolate as a dessert) with his Tooting Pancakes – earning the Tooting title not because of their effect but because the honey is from Tooting – this being the closest the BBC can ever come to product placement

the funniest thing was everyone then trying to knowledgeably talk about Tooting Honey as though it was a distinct variety of honey and not just, you know, the Matt Willis of honey (I browsed the “Notable people of Tooting” list and decided he was the one most people would know)

I think he probably should have gone for a more crepe-style pancake just to give the dish more of a dessert vibe rather than looking like a particularly decadent cafe breakfast, but a very good cafe breakfast nonetheless! Also shout out to him for being 30 years sober, that’s truly admirable perseverance and commitment, especially within the comedy industry.

Lastly we have James who was under no illusion as to how this challenge would go for him

and truly how could he be given that his main course was a Chicken Stir-fry and Rice in which he had not even deigned to include a James Buckley token carrot

I’m not even sure he added the spring onions, I think those were just in the Gochujang sauce he’d spooned into the wok and hoped for the best. A truly admirable lack of effort made all the more entertaining because Lisa Snowdon was losing her goddamn mind

it’s the clawed hand of frustration for me. She committed to three weeks of cooking A Grade pseudo-Japanese food while fighting a drag queen for screentime, how dare you serve her literally three things on a plate – I’m being generous and counting the undiluted gochujang sauce as 1 thing. Speaking of three things on a plate…

3 reduced price misshapen Thornton’s truffles is one of the funniest things anyone has ever made on MasterChef – the least he could have done was make them a coffee to go with it! But I did love that as Lisa Snowdon’s eyes twitched from the sheer lack of effort, he just went and chuckled to himself in the Shame Chimney

it might be renamed James Buckley’s Lair of Chaos.

A Two Course Menu Ranking:
1. The Only Real Dish of the Night
2. Marcus’s Fancy Brinner
3. Wings ‘n’ Things
4. Gastro Pub Gambas Pil Pil
5. Dani’s Greige Crime Scene
6. Dani’s East Meets West Fishcake
7. The Thornton’s You Left In The Car During a Heatwave
8. James’s Veggie-free Stir-fry

I think we all knew that James was not surviving this week since episode 1 and if you’d made me place a bet before this episode I would have said Marcus and Dani were sailing through then… Dani caved to her pregnancy cravings and thus our first two semi-finalists are Marcus and Mica

still not sure if we’re meant to be calling her Mica or Big Meesh – everyone says Mica, the nametag says Big Meesh, it’s very confusing.

Next Week (This week, shut up my posting schedule is all over the place right now) the BBC failed to line up a Max George and Dianne Buswell reunion because even they forgot he did Strictly once upon a time:

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