Celebrity MasterChef 2023, Episode 7: Guinea Pig Waitstaff

Hello? Is this thing on?

Nobody mention the elephant humming a catchy advert jingle in the room.

A quick aside before we get into the overcooked meat of the competition, but I HAVE to talk about the absolutely insane lens flare transitions that someone in the editing suite went absolute nuts for

WHY? Every time it happens I think I’m seeing through reality into another pocket dimension, or at the very least having a minor stroke. It did however give me potentially my favourite screenshot of the year?

it’s very Clarinet Boy Coded

Cloche Encounters of the Torode Kind

As ever we start with the Protein Spot Test in which hope rapidly dwindled for Locksmith as he gazed upon a pair of duck fillets and deduced that they must have somehow come from a cow

perhaps there’s a variety of cow that requires it’s feathers to be plucked – WHAT DID YOU THINK THE DIMPLED SKIN WAS?

Perhaps he should have asked the 1950s business man he keeps in his pouch like a baby kangaroo

in the fear he might try to serve them rare duck breasts, John and Gregg did help him back on the anatine track through a game of marginally patronising charades


He did end up doing quite well, all things considered, with his pan-fried duck breast and rathering bafflingly equally pan-fried broccoli

rather unsurprisingly the broccoli wasn’t properly cooked but the part of the dish that really perplexed John and Gregg was the lack of any sort of sauce – and this would only be the beginning of Locksmith’s Anti-sauce Agenda (the only agenda that was being pushed this episode, you online menaces.)

Jamelia and Cheryl both managed to dodge the protein bullet, although the celeriac still mystified Jamelia but to be fair, they are the scariest root vegetable because they always look like the head of a bog body

she may not have known what it was, but luckily she could always copy class pet, Wynne Evans’s test sheet

and as soon as she knew it was a root vegetable, she knew exactly what to do with it which was of course to make a soup out of it – what else are they good for?

although I think it qualifies as soup in name only because I think Celeriac Mash by any other name is just as gloopy

John and Gregg did still have to praise it because they needed to get their money’s worth out of licensing Superstar for Jamelia’s on-demand acoustic performances (the comeback album, when?)

but their faces while eating the what-we-shall-generously-call-soup were a bit telling

a grimace is worth a thousand words.

Cheryl was on dessert duty having decloched a tower of pears, and imaginably every pear/pair innuendo fell to the cutting room floor like the pyramid of pears

it was probably for the best that she’d drawn the dessert because her master plan was to flirt her way to Finals Week and because John was having to stand 10 feet away in the throes of straight panic

she was instead having to set her sights on the probably more realistic goal of becoming Mrs. Cheryl Wallace-Hole

hey, it’s either flirt, run around rather threateningly with a knife or make a lasagne and pray

and what better way to win his heart than through the medium of a middlingly fine pear and frangipane tart?

they were very complimentary of the fact she’d actually attempted a tart when I think most people might have just shrugged and served up a poached pear (and I have made it ABUNDANTLY clear how I feel about that) but unfortunately for Cheryl the slices of pear on top were very undercooked and so they kind of fell away and let the tart take centre stage

that’s -5 Drag Queen Points for not leaping on the joke that John basically offered up on a silver platter – You feeling ok, Chez?

There did of course have to be someone fighting a fish like it owed you fifty grand, this week’s WWE Cage Match being Samantha Fox vs A Red Mullet

it never stood a chance as Sam very quickly reduced the red mullet to what I can only describe as “a tidy mess of fish”

her plan being to hide the body under as big a pile of noodles and stir-fry miscellania as she possibly could

she had at least got all her timings right so the vegetables all still had a decent enough bite to them without having reduced the fish to rubber or the noodles to mushy unsexiness

but John was not convinced by her use of honey with fish which I will accept as valid but he has to admit apple with fish is weird too.

Lastly we have Wynne Evans of Being An Earworm Menace fame, sadly his Occupational Chyron glossed over that

when he makes it to the obligatory mass catering round he has to do it while wearing the silly moustache because how else is anyone going to know he’s not Richard Corrigan?

but we’ll face that hurdle of potential identity theft when it comes, for now he was showing off by knowing what a poussin was by sight and perfectly spatchcocking it

I’m not *wholly* convinced by it as as perfect a plate of food as John and Gregg made out purely because I think his roasted tomato sauce only counts as a sauce because it was marginally more of a liquid than Jamelia’s soup. But they did of course make sure to show us the interior meat of the poussin was properly cooked despite it being the same colour as every piece of thigh meat Gregg has refused to eat before

to misquote Cher Lloyd entirely, the ringer bells are a ring-a-dinging.

An Invention Test Dish Ranking
1. Wynner Wynner, Poussin Dinner
2. The Body In The Library Noodles
4. The Centre Stage Tart
5. Jamelia’s Celeriac Wallpaper Paste

Dinner Saboteur

Having mostly survived their invention test, it was time for this week’s five celebrities to run the gamut of a two course dinner party – which of course Wynne is well versed in, as his perfectly cooked astro-turfed rack of lamb indicated

we have seen professional chefs become the biggest croppers to the average rack of lamb (I’m still not convinced he isn’t Richard Corrigan doing some accent work.) so I will give him credit for this feat. The theme of Wynne’s entire personality dinner party was celebrating Wales, although as he was making lamb, his dessert was mostly just gently shrugging at a rhubarb crumble and serving it next to a shot of (presumably Welsh) whisky. This wasn’t just any crumble though, this was a DIY Crumble Cocktail (which he was wasting everyone’s time by not calling a Crumbellini)

I’m not quite sure it’s “fun and interactive cocktail” so much as it “mildly threatening apothecary equipment” – the cream being badly squeezed into the shot glass is more upsetting to me than it probably should be.
There was a little confusion about how to eat it, with John dunking a whole lot of whisky into his crumble like a maths teacher trying to get through a year 9 algebra class (Love you Mr. Bass, but we all knew) and upsetting the entire Welsh Whisky industry in the process

it turns out that John actually really liked the combination of whisky and ginger – so now you have to drink every time someone serves it to him in the next series of MasterChef which usually starts filming sometime in September/October.

In a rather unfortunate twist of fate, Cheryl Hole had basically designed the exact same menu as Wynne, starting her meal off with some Lamb Rump

and to her credit, the lamb was very well cooked if a little bit under seasoned. I am however completely and utterly mystified by the crushed potato cake which was just a sort of potato barrows

that’s just a mound of tatoes? I think you might need to do *a little more* to it to officially declare it a cake – not to get all EU Quality Scheme on her or anything.

The only thing more mysterious than Cheryl’s Potato Burial Mound was her dessert which defied the very logic of our mundane reality

truly I would expect nothing less from a dessert that looks like the sort of drink that turns your D&D character into a frog when you drink at the weird tavern on the edge of the woods and fail a constitution saving throw (I lost a very good wood elf on that day)

John and Gregg are braver than I because I genuinely don’t think I could have taken a mouthful while making direct eye contact with the slowly curdling vodka cream and congealing passionfruit coulis.

Having established himself as an Anti-sauce Tyrant in the previous round, Locksmith was keeping his campaign going but he was at least in a marginally happier place as he was cooking “some sort of beef” this time

John and Gregg did excuse it because the dish did at least display a good grasp of some fundamentals – great steak cookery, good chips and of course deigning to put some butter on your vegetables (JAMES BUCKLEY.) But Locksmith was looking to broaden his horizons and had decided to push the boat out a little and made some custard to serve alongside his apple crumble – and even if you don’t want to consider custard a sauce (Wikipedia just calls it “a variety of culinary preparation) but his custard was definitely a sauce

it tasted like a good creme anglaise and they were very pleased with the quality of his crumble, even if he had added to the failed attempts at beautifying a crumble

perhaps he could have made it looks slightly less like the leftovers you eat at 3am but I understand the motive, that is afterall when crumbles are at their best. Also falling foul of British dessert’s lake of aesthetic flare was Sam, because truly there is only one way you can serve up your grandmother’s Bread and Butter Pudding

ah, the begrudging splat of a woman who just spent her entire sunday cooking a roast dinner for very little thanks – true authentic Bread and Butter Pudding.
Her main course was also a nod to her family, and hopefully she and her sister are still on speaking terms as her Shepherd’s Pie didn’t get quite the same warm reception as the pudding

John and Gregg both agreed it needed to be cooked a little longer in order to make it a little more unctuous – somehow the clearly only partially melted cheddar cheese on top went completely unmentioned

It would’ve been mean to kick her sister while she was already down though.

Much like Wynne Evans, Jamelia is a big fan of dinner parties – imaginably her personal collection of guinea pig waitstaff are less enthused

perhaps there’s a reason that Jamelia has never done an episode of Celebrity Come Dine With Me (as the wiki informs me) – you can have an undiscovered indie band awkwardly performing in your living room for half an hour, but they will not allow you to utilise your children as restaurant staff.

Jamelia was starting off her menu with a reinvention of Ackee, hoping to one up the numerous attempts we’ve had over the last 2 series by serving it as a tart alongside macaroni cheese and some thankfully not pan-fried broccoli

there were quite a few positives about the dish – they enjoyed her flavours immensely, but she was unfortunately suffering from a soggy bottom

it happens to the best of us.

She was continuing the sunny, Caribbean theme with her cake inspired by a Pina Colada – which hand on my heart, believe to be the most disappointing cocktail and I say that having tried an Old Fashioned which tastes like you licked the inside of a 10 year old Calpol bottle (I am an uncultured swine)

the cake was a much more successful bake for Jamelia and gave John just the opportunity to plug Young MasterChef – a part of the franchise that still mystifies me given that most of the contestants could qualify for regular MasterChef and seemingly the only common factor was that they all owned Instagram accounts with really annoying names

anyway, there’s a reason John doesn’t host it.

A Dinner Party Dish Ranking
1. Wynne’s Astroturfed Lamb
2. Sam’s Certifiably Authentic Bread and Butter Pudding
3. Dr. Frankenstein’s Crumbellini Experiment
4. Locksmith’s Sauce Gatekeeping
5. Jamelia’s Advocation of a Pina Colada
6. Cheryl’s Lamb and Burial Potatoes
7. A Thankfully Not Deconstructed Apple Crumble
8. Jamelia’s Ackee and Soggy Bottom
=. The Awkward Phone Call to Sam’s Sister
10. Cheryl’s Dubiously Amphibian Cocktail

The first elimination of the week came down to being between Sam, Cheryl and Jamelia who you probably could have tossed a coin to decide who went (those famously three sided coins) but I can’t disagree with Cheryl’s elimination based on how genuinely queasy that dessert made me (but I was very sad to see her go because she makes great television)

she’s done a Drag Race acting challenge, she knows this could have been a more embarrassing outing for her.

And so, onward to the penultimate Kind Of Boring Episode (wishful thinking)

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