Celebrity MasterChef 2023, THE FINAL: Cate Blanchett’s Syrup Content

Nothing but respect for my Thumbnail King.

And thus ends the incumbency of the Anti-sauce Agenda.

The Last Supper

Well, we’ve done it, we’ve reached Gregg’s Little Waistcoat Day

John apparently does not deem the Celebrity MasterChef final worthy of his best Wind in the Willows stage show costuming.

As ever, the final challenge was a three course menu in which the Starters were a universal seafood affair with Luca finally breaking out the scallops because vicariously cooking them through Michael Praed apparently wasn’t enough after they then spent the next two weeks furiously trying to teach Luca to butcher deer and not letting him touch a single fish.
It was kind of your usual scallop dish – pan-fried and served with a few dots of various purees making the plate look like an ancient oracle’s star chart

Outlook not so good.
The only thing he really got marked down for was the fact he hadn’t fully cooked the alcohol off in his Muscat Sabayon – which is an excellent drag name.

Amy’s hat in the seafood ring came in the form of a trio of Really Big Prawns™

which she was spicing with turmeric and ginger and serving carefully balanced in a puddle of red pepper chutney

I enjoy that if you invert the architectural prawn arrangement it reminds me a lot of the elephants that hold the Discworld atop Great A’Tuin

and I think that makes up for the fact it’s just Three Prawns and a Piece(??????) of Sauce

I do enjoy you can pinpoint the exact moments they were trying to let Amy and Luca down gently.

Now I get to tut loudly because Wynne’s starter was a tuna tartare – a shrewd choice in a challenge with a time crunch but I will always side eye the decision slightly. He was however at least doing *something* else with it by topping it with both his retreaded cockle popcorn and an Illusory Mango Egg Yolk

which did of course trigger memories of the confit egg yolk of times gone by

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at egg yolks ever again after that – it’s just trauma responses all the way down.
John and Gregg obviously heartily praise the whole thing, to a degree that made it abundantly obvious that he was winning; there’s only so excited you can be about soy sauce covered raw tuna before you’re over (illusory) egging it.

Paths were diverted slightly in the main – Amy and Wynne went head to head over lamb while Luca was keeping on the Italian straight and narrow with a pasta dish of Porcini Tortelli with fillet steak

and please remember the size of those fillet steaks because it’s going to be very important in 5…4…3…2…

WHERE DID THE OTHER 1 AND 3/4S OF THE STEAK GO LUCA? I can only assume it was serving as an apology to the production team for turning the kitchen into a tableau of The Worst Timeline

they also got 6 panna cottas in the deal because Luca was not going to go out in a blaze of unset gelatinous cream

I did really like the sound of his Drambuie-laced panna cotta which I think was easily the strongest dessert of the three and managed to capture an elegance that sometimes Luca has missed the mark on – so he may not have won the competition, but he did win the thumbnail war

and what is that but a consolation prize that truly means nothing to anyone except me?

Amy was keeping the India-via-Bradford theme of her menu going in her main course of Tikka Marinated Lamb in a Rogan Josh sauce

I really like the look of it and to me it looked and felt the most like a dish you’d see in a restaurant – both Wynne’s and Luca’s main courses felt a little spartan and I think it’s entirely down to how much sauce you give people, and if there’s one thing that has characterised this series it’s been the anti-sauce agenda. Amy did also need a bit of extra sauce because her caddisfly larvae of a bonbon was unfortunately a bit dry

but it tasted good.

On paper Amy’s Baklava Cake and Tahini Ice Cream dessert is my favourite, and I think even with the apparent lack of syrup I’d still snaffle it down like I hadn’t seen food in weeks

baklava is a universal force of good and there’s no way it could ever disappoint me – it’s the Cate Blanchett of the dessert world. But sure, the dryness is an issue – in the baklava, I can’t speak for Cate Blanchett’s syrup content.

Wynne obviously couldn’t not have done a lamb dish for his main course and I think he might have the most successful lamb track record across the MasterChef spectrum, it’s very rare that anyone who cooks it more than once doesn’t leave it still bleating at least once. But truly the dish had me at Mashed Potato Donut (or Pommes Dauphine if you want to be correct)

and of course the erect leek was a nice little cherry on top

I do however think there was potentially a way to present the dish to make it look more generous and welcoming – Wynne swung a little too far in the opposite aesthetic direction, but by all means it tasted great and I will be taking three slices of the lamb fat soaked fried bread to go

I also appreciate that he hadn’t just gone for a slightly tired take on roast lamb – his dish did feel genuinely inventive and well considered. (But if you’re going to give people a slice of bread to mop a sauce up with, give them a decent amount of sauce, babe)

I was less convinced by Wynne’s dessert – thematically, I fully understand it, but I don’t know if it necessarily came together as something that felt like a dessert so much as it did a plate of Christmas food that you have to insist to your family actually tastes really good together as they grimace and shuffle down one cushion on the sofa

I am loathe to disparage some Bara Brith, but it’s more of a post-dessert dessert and I personally felt it lacked a little inventiveness to fully bring it together – the brie ice cream was doing A LOT of heavy lifting. But I can’t argue that it was technically well executed and probably tasted really nice.

A Final Dish Ranking
1. Luca’s Thumbnail Winning Panna Cotta
2. Amy’s Saucy Lamb
3. Wynne’s Less Saucy Lamb
4. The Missing Fillet Steak Investigation
5. Amy’ Starter’s Architectural Prawns
6. Luca’s Scallop Divination Chart
7. Wynne’s Boxing Day Special
8. A Slightly Too Dry Cate Blanchett
9. The Tuna Tartare Penalty Zone

And that’s it for another series of Celebrity MasterChef, at which point it did feel like there was only one obvious winner in the form of Wynne – I didn’t love his final menu, but I can’t argue with his track record and the work he’s put in to manifesting both his win and that Christmas album of opera classics

but Amy and Luca were a great set of runners-up and are forever bonded through the sheer force of Amy’s horned up willpower

and a big thank you to everyone that’s been reading and the patience you’ve had for my erratic publishing schedule – the just about complete implosion of the social media sphere has had a huge effect on small content creators who rely on it to advertise their stuff, so I’m extremely appreciative of everyone who has kept up with the blog, it truly does mean the world to me.

And here’s to our 2023 Champion and resident note belter

Bread of Heaven is still no Superstar.

And to the class of 2023, you were a delightful bunch of chaotic wild hitters

ROW 1: Dani Dyer, James Buckley, Marcus Brigstocke, Mica Venn
ROW 2: Richie Anderson, Amy Walsh, Apl, Cheryl Hole
ROW 3: Dave Benson Phillips, Dianne Buswell, Jamelia, Locksmith
ROW 4: Luca Bish, Max George, Michael Praed, Remi Burgz
ROW 5: Sam Fox, Shazia Mirza, Terry Christian, WYNNE EVANS

And if you’ve enjoyed this recap and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.

5 thoughts on “Celebrity MasterChef 2023, THE FINAL: Cate Blanchett’s Syrup Content

  1. Pam Smith

    Thank you for carrying on with your blog through the difficulties you’ve had – I can honestly say it’s added a lot to my enjoyment of Celeb Masterchef this year.

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