MasterChef: The Professionals introduces ‘mind-bending’ challenge in new series
Some 48 professional chefs from across the UK will put their reputations on the line in the new series later this year.
MasterChef: The Professionals will return with a “mind-bending” new task that will challenge the contestants to make ordinary ingredients – including the humble potato – into something extraordinary.
The new series will air later this autumn with Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, acclaimed chef Monica Galetti and MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace presiding over the 48 chefs battling it out to win the title of Professional MasterChef Champion 2018.
Along with the programme’s established challenges, including the tricky skills test, those strong enough to make the quarter-finals will also face the new task.
The contestants will have to invent a special dish based around a special key ingredient chosen by Wareing and Galetti.
Galetti said: “They’re given a range of beautiful ingredients to work with, but the skill is to take an ordinary ingredient, like a potato, or eggs, and make an extraordinary dish that elevates the key ingredient to centre stage.”
She said it is “quite challenging”, but that the chefs manage to deliver some “fantastic plates of food”.
Wareing said: “It was fascinating to see because we chose one ingredient such as vanilla and it’s got to be centre point of the dish, so it’s working everything out around that and it being the stand out flavour.
“I think they were all quite surprised at how simple it sounded but how complicated it could be.
“They have to understand the flavour like a vanilla has to marry everything else that you put with it, it’s got to be the stand-out flavour, the stand-out seasoning, they have to really understand what they are trying to do with it.”
Wareing chose potato and vanilla, while Galetti put the professional chefs to the test with coconut and eggs.
Wareing said some of the contestants found the task “mind-bending”, adding: “It was unusually different, and it was one I wanted to do as I always felt chefs put things on menus, so you can put vanilla in the title of a dish but you may never see it.
But first, the series will kick off with four weeks of heats, where the first task is the skills test.
The professional chefs have to recreate well-known dishes and show off their skills with each component.
They must then deliver a signature dish within 90 minutes to impress the judges in order to make it through to the next round.
Galetti said the programme, which sees chefs from across the UK putting their reputations on the line, is about “encouraging talent and giving them the opportunity to do something truly amazing”.
She added: “Of course, there is a huge risk involved, but you’d like to think that everything is a learning process.
“You have to be ready for knockbacks – this is a very serious competition!”
MasterChef: The Professionals will air on BBC Two this autumn.
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