Celebrity MasterChef 2023, Episode 4: Six-sided Duck Dice

Long Lost Family always gets me.

I wrote this recap with my bare hands.

Cloche, But No Cigar

Last week it looked like seafood was finally safe from being put through varying degrees of torture by people of varying degrees of fame with Marcus Brigstocke perfectly preparing a seabass. Things could not have been more different this week as Remi Burgz encountered a mackerel, whose identity was being preserved given the nature of the events that followed

because truly this was unlike any previous act of seafood desecration with Remi, filled with some sort of unquenchable piscine bloodlust, just ripping out the bones and cartilage with her own bare hands

which you know, does at least send a clear and potent message to John Torode

and yet somehow Remi Burgz’s Bareknuckle Animal Boxing paid off for her and John and Gregg were both rather happy with her mackerel fillet (and potentially all too aware of how many bones were in their own bodies)

it’s not strictly a real plate of food because Remi kind of went into it blind – I do think mackerel is kind of a hard ingredient to conceptualise a dish with off the fly though. John’s biggest issue was with the chips, which continue to be a thorn in the side of the average celebrity

I think we’re at a point where someone is more likely to undercook a chip than a piece of lamb.

Also on seafood duty was Terry Christian who is seemingly on a mission to be the pantomime villain of the series by generally doing WAY TO MUCH

I don’t know if he really needed all the smack talk though because his Joker eyebrows were doing more than enough of the heavy lifting

and for the first step of his Evil Plan™ he was going to be intimidating all of the others with a bowl of mussels that he very swiftly crapped up with fried sweet potatoes, some asparagus and mushroom and cream sauce

I don’t blame him, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to just serve up a bowl of steamed mussels given you have an hour at your disposal and what are sweet potatoes but the mussels of the tuber world? But at least the mussels were well cooked.

It was an episode of pretty rough ingredients with the aforementioned mackerel and mussels and then Shazia Mirza being given duck which she carried around with like that episode of Grey’s Anatomy in which they had to remove a bomb from someone’s stomach

I don’t think a lot of average homecooks would really know what to do with a duck breast and I have to say, something about diced duck just looks wrong

and with her six-sided duck dice, she was making a curry (which I think was her plan no matter what ingredient she got) but she was also utilising her limited knowledge of duck, which I think mostly extended to the Hoisin Duck Wraps you can buy when you’re feeling too fancy for a Tuna and Sweetcorn Sandwich

I do think John and Gregg were very kind about the curry because the turmeric and hoisin combination genuinely makes my brain stop working, but they REALLY enjoyed her emergency chapatis which she whipped up at the last minute after she realised you had to serve a curry with something and she wasn’t going to try and boil rice in 10 minutes.

The last of the savoury dishes was from Max George who I only just learned was on Glee because the show was going to town on his career chryon and I gave up on Glee when they decided that Tater Tots were going to be a prominent part of Mercedes’s personality instead of giving her more solos

the bravery to cast a man that has probably looked 30 since he was 15 as a highschooler <3 and his character’s biography on the Glee wiki is maybe my favourite thing ever?

but I hope they don’t stop calling him “The Wanted star, Max George” because it does make him sound like she’s a criminal on the run

and I can’t say I had high hopes of Max’s talents extending to cooking given that despite John and Gregg telling him he was cooking a butternut he just kept calling it a pumpkin

but he made a pretty good butternut soup that Gregg was more than happy to put in a little takeaway cup to save for later

I did love how proud of himself he was for thinking to add the drizzle of cream on the top – he’s doing well as this year’s Himbo Supreme.

There did of course have to be the obligatory invitation for a dessert, with Dave Benson Phillips decloching a bar of chocolate

and he may have said that as a joke but it’s *not* not what he ended up doing, with his use of chocolate being to just grate it over the top of his cheesecakes and when his hands started hurting from trying to grate an entire bar he just gave up and tossed a few piece of large dark chocolate shrapnel on for good measure

the cheesecake wasn’t even chocolate flavoured because when life gives you chocolate, you make lemon cheesecakes (apparently)

they were also cheeseless cheesecakes and I did love how seemingly aghast Dave was when Gregg dared to ask if there was cream cheese in the cheesecakes

but what I will say for him is they do at least look like a cheesecake, because the same could not be said for Clara Amfo’s Cheeseless Cheesecakes


A Cloched Ingredient Dish Ranking
1. Max’s Perfectly Good Soup of the Day
2. Terry’s Mussels and Gubbins
3. Shazia’s Ducking Around
4. Remi’s Bareknuckle Animal Boxing
5. Dave, You OK?

Dinner Party Chaos

For their last chance to avoid elimination the celebs had to make their ideal dinner party menu consisting of a main and a dessert. Seeing as suplexing a mackerel into submission had served her quite well in the previous round, Remi was sticking with fish – this time opting for salmon which she was serving with Jollof Rice

it was a tale of two halves for her main course as John and Gregg were big fans of the Jollof Rice – which I think was the more important element considering Remi had talked a big game about it. The salmon however… I genuinely didn’t know you could cook the pink out of it

and seemingly for the sake of eliminating a scientific anomaly, Dave had also chosen to remove every trace of life from his own salmon

is there something in the MasterChef water? Is everyone ok? There truly was no salvaging Dave’s dish though because Remi at least had the jollof to make up for her husk of a former salmon and lack of sauce – Dave only had some solid mashed potato and carbonised kale, which were a sort of dried out Yin and Yang

Dave’s dessert wasn’t doing a great deal to claw him back any points – and truly a microwaved sponge pudding is basically an Aunt Bessie’s White Flag in the MasterChef kitchen

and he never really got the hang of those Gregg Wallace portions with Gregg managing to mop up his rationing of cream in about 2 spoonfuls.

Remi’s dessert faired a lot better, as she continued to impress with her Puff Puffs, a sort of Nigerian doughnut which she served with a dipping sauce and some peanuts

and wasn’t dissimilar from Terry’s choux bun dessert, which I am still a little bit confused by – and not just because John and Gregg were perfectly happy to overlook the fact his “soft serve ice cream” was beyond “soft serve”, there’s Mr. Whippy and then there’s Mr. Whipped

he did run out of time to complete the dish – and I’m still trying to work out if his intention was to put the mango ice cream inside the choux buns like a sort of fancy Oyster Delight

which would maybe have been oddly genius? And though the ice cream may not have worked out great, to his credit he’d made some good looking choux buns which is not something you can say about a lot of the choux buns that get attempted on this show.

Max Power George was happy to finally be able to cook some meat, opting for a ribeye steak, some (as Gregg called them) “Big Fat Steak Chips” and the asparagus that seems to be constantly passed around the MasterChef kitchen until it finds a home

at least it makes slightly more sense here than it did with the mussels and John and Gregg seemed perfectly happy with the dish – nicely cooked steak, chips that could be called chips and an actual bona fide sauce!
For his dessert he was keeping with the classics and making a jam sponge that you could have convinced me had been made by a discontented dinner lady named Doris in 1984

the visceral gleam of that lifetime supply of jam heaped on top of an equally big pudding takes you right back – and Gregg who was obviously a discontented dinner lady named Doris in a previous life, was all giddy and nostalgic for it.

Lastly we have Shazia who was relieved that there was no way a duck could scupper her plans to make a decent curry this time – opting for the Birmingham favourite, Balti

John and Gregg lavished praise on for her layering of spices and diversity of flavours – which did then make the praise for Terry’s curry being that it “tasted just like chip shop curry sauce” sound not quite as positive

I will continue with my anti-curry sauce propaganda, YOU CANNOT SILENCE ME.

Shazia continued to showcase the food of Pakistan with a bowl of Pot Pourri for dessert

somewhere under the rose petals is some Kheer – which Gregg thought wasn’t sweet enough but he was still picking gobbets of Max’s hellfire jam off the roof of his mouth and John thought it was perfectly sweet enough, so long as you made sure to include a raisin in every mouthful.

A Dinner Party Dish Ranking
1. Shazia’s Belting Balti
2. Maximum Steak, Minimum Mistakes
3. Puff The Magic Beignet
4. The 80s to the Max Dessert
5. Dave’s Chip Shop Curry
6. Shazia’s Pot Pou-Kheer
7. Terry’s Fancy Oyster Delight
8. Remi’s Jollof Saviour
9. Dave’s 30 Second Dessert
10. Dave’s Chaotic Balance

It was a pretty cut and dry decision as to who to eliminate with Dave Benson Phillips being the first to fall this week

sadly not even the very good shirts could save him.

And so, we still have quite a few celebs left

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