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Masterchef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are back for MasterChef 2021 on BBC One BBC [Official Photo]

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Watch: Celebrity MasterChef Is Back, So Is Gregg Wallace

BBC cooking competition returns, with masterpieces, meltdowns, and Gregg Wallace

Spoilers ahead for Celebrity Masterchef 2018

Celebrity Masterchef is back. The BBC One cooking competition, now in its thirteenth season, sees contestants — some more famous than others — showing off their culinary prowess in the hope of impressing once-upon-a-time chef John Torode and once-upon-a-time greengrocer and husband Gregg Wallace.

Eater will be casting an eye over each episode, picking out the key moments, the best lines, and the winners and losers. Expect GIFs.


Episode 1

Contestants:
Keith Allen — Actor, DJ, and TV presenter; has dog tattoo representing political suspicion
Carol Decker — Singer and former publican; once did a duet with Gregg Wallace
Michelle Ackerley — One Show presenter, Watchdog presenter; dog-watcher
Martin Bayfield — Rugby player and actor; Hagrid’s stunt-double in Harry Potter
Josh Cuthbert — Member of Union J; goalkeeper dream scuppered by loss of half his thumb


Challenge: Mystery Box. One dish, 50 minutes. “Basic larder” more stocked than most kitchens permitted. Mysteries include:

Prawns, fennel, cabbage, pears, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, pork mince, puff pastry.

Eater recommends: Prawn linguine using the heads; larb; pear and blue cheese tart.

03:30: Gregg Wallace adds to his pun count with a Shallow Grave jobby with Keith Allen. Keith then begins pan-frying potato salad. John Torode’s sceptical side comes out.

04:30: Martin Bayfield describes his style as “Carry On cooking.” Nothing bawdy from Gregg. Martin is doing prawn curry, which sounds rational. Ominous music plays over the back of positive comments from John: a contrapuntal MasterChef signature.

06:00: Michelle is making the base of a chilli. Gregg helpfully mansplains this to her. Everything is fine.

Celebrity MasterChef 2018 judge Gregg Wallace Rex Features

06:45: Someone is so bold as to use a pestle and mortar. It’s Keith Allen.

07:15: Josh is making a cabbage leaf wrap, but John is worried he has no idea how to make them soft. Not much of a union, J.

08:00: Gregg talks to Carol. It’s not really clear what she’s cooking. There are more important things at hand:

JUDGING

Gregg gets things off to a strong start with “nice flavours” on Martin’s dish. Ambiguity is the cook’s friend. It’s good. The judges Are Pleased.

Josh’s dish is “Asian-flavoured prawns.” Don’t try and geotag this one. He has left an item off his plate — intentionally. Gregg looks perturbed, but the honour is clear.

Keith has served up a strange burger-y mess, but comes off alright. He blames “ingredient blindness.”

Michelle’s rice is “culinary art.” In a bad way.

Carol is the success story of the round: well-seasoned and tasty.


Challenge: Professional Kitchen


Challenge: Two courses. 60 minutes, dishes competitors’ own.

38:22: Martin is cooking wild garlic and morel soup. Gregg is aghast. Or, something:

Celebrity MasterChef 2018 judge Gregg Wallace Celebrity MasterChef

He then describes Martin’s rack of lamb as a “posh dinner,” adding another inflection to MasterChef’s outsize and deleterious influence on the perception of restaurant cooking in the U.K. at large. Eater will be counting these throughout the series. 1

39:00: Gregg’s first cliché malapropism of the series. “Are you pushing yourself up to the wire with this one?”

39:20: Carol wants to do something “other than mince.” You and the rest of Britain, Carol. She is also doing a chocolate fondant. Vintage. MasterChef. Vin. Tage.

40:48: Keith is serving chicken with olives. Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke at St. Leonards might want to take note; there’s a signature dish there.

42:04: Fish pie and pear and Stilton salad from Michelle. Pear and blue cheese were both in the mystery box challenge.

43:08: John calls Josh’s apple gyoza for what they are: apple turnovers. Nothing gets past him. #tosh #rubbish #fakenews. Namaste. Josh is also doing black cod with miso, with a Nobu sponsorship in the pipeline.

JUDGING

Carol’s made-from-scratch stock and not-very-fondant fondants receive wide acclaim. SAFE

Wise-cracking dullard Keith Allen astonishes Gregg with the flavour combinations of [checks notes] blue cheese, walnut, and chicory. Mid-1900s New York called... He then refers to the noodles on Keith’s very French chicken and olive dish as “a foreign agent.” SAFE

Martin’s wild garlic soup and lamb are a big hit. SAFE

Josh won’t be working at Nobu. His turnovers/gyoza do well, though. TROUBLE

Michelle’s salad has gone mulchy; her mashed potato is too thick. TROUBLE


ELIMINATION

It’s Michelle who goes home.


Episode 2

Contestants:
Keith Allen — Actor, DJ, and TV presenter; has dog tattoo representing political suspicion
Carol Decker — Singer and former publican; once did a duet with Gregg Wallace
Michelle Ackerley — One Show presenter, Watchdog presenter; dog-watcher
Martin Bayfield — Rugby player and actor; Hagrid’s stunt-double in Harry Potter
Josh Cuthbert — Member of Union J; goalkeeper dream scuppered by loss of half his thumb


Challenge: The Pairs Challenge. The four contestants pair up, but are separated by a wall. Each member of a pair must cook the same dish — visually and technically — communicating throughout.

Martin + Josh: Picnic platter — scotch egg, salmon quiche, and piccalilli
Carol + Keith: Blueberry pancakes with blueberry compote, walnut brittle, and maple butter

14:29: Josh and Martin make piccalilli, but manage to forget to cook it. Meanwhile, Carol struggles with a coconut. Things aren’t going very well.

19:30: Josh forgets to put the egg mixture in his quiche, opting for a minimalist take on salmon in croute. Keith and Carol have attempted to make brittle.

21:45: Martin realises that piccalilli requires heat. It’s on to boil.

22:13: Josh is blending piccalilli. Martin’s is “removing the lining from his throat.”


JUDGING

Josh and Martin’s picnic platters look different, which is hardly a surprise given it has various elements, unlike a stack of pancakes, which doesn’t. Subterfuge? Sabotage? Just unfair? Gregg describes the piccalilli as “vinegar in vegetable shapes,” unexpectedly revealing the title of his first poetry chapbook.

Martin Bayfield and Josh Cuthbert’s picnic platters from Episode 2 of Celebrity Masterchef 2018 on BBC One
Josh and Martin’s picnic platters

Keith and Carol’s pancake stacks look the same. No room for new romantic plating here. The pair clearly hold the advantage, but there’s no doubt their task was considerably easier.

Challenge: Cooking for a Crowd120 plates per pair, 60 mains, 60 desserts. 2.5 hours.

31:49: Carol refers to herself as “Mrs Mince.” Eater will hereby refer to Carol as “Mrs Mince.”

Mrs Mince + Keith: Lasagna, mac ‘n’ cheese, cabbage, Aunt Betty pudding

Martin + Josh: Chicken, leek and mushroom pie, broccoli quiche, apple crumble

33:30: Josh says “happy days” for the 4,835th time.

34:49: Keith is about to put bacon in the vegetarian cabbage. John intervenes with one of his top tips: don’t put bacon in vegetarian cabbage.

Chef John Torode and DJ Keith Allen on Celebrity MasterChef 2018
Anguish. Cabbage. Anguish.

42:20: Not much has happened; Josh has invented the upside down crumble, but swiftly reinvents regular crumble. Happy days.

56:59: Finally back in the studio. Catering challenge was even, all things considered. Eater thinks it’s between Keith and Josh to be eliminated. Carol is not cooking mince, so her moniker is rescinded.


Challenge: Critics Cook two courses for John, Gregg, and three returning Celebrity MasterChef contestants.

Carol: Roast guinea fowl in a wild mushroom sauce, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus
White chocolate and blueberry cheesecake
Martin: Roast guinea fowl with spinach. guinea fowl pancake, pickled mushrooms
Rhubarb and apple crumble with custard
Keith: Liver, saffron potato, duck egg, black pudding crumble, onions, more onions
Another Aunt Betty, bam da lam
Josh: Rack of lamb with herb crust, dauphinois potatoes
Tarte tatin

57:54: Greg (sic) uses the word “unctuous” and is hereby cast out of the food pantheon for evermore.

A tweet about Gregg Wallace, judge on Celebrity MasterChef 2018 Twitter

Sorry Gregg.

58:31: Martin contemplates bribery. It’s all getting a bit desperate out there.

UNEXPECTED BEEF KLAXON

Gregg: You couldn’t sing Josh, but maybe you can cook.

Josh: You’ve haven’t heard me sing. Don’t act like you have — you have no idea who I am!

JUDGING

Carol: Roast guinea fowl in a wild mushroom sauce, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus HIT
White chocolate and blueberry cheesecake MISS
Martin: Roast guinea fowl with spinach. guinea fowl pancake, pickled mushrooms HIT
Rhubarb and apple crumble with custard HIT
Keith: Liver, saffron potato, duck egg, black pudding crumble, onions, onions SITTER
Another Aunt Betty, bam da lam ON THE FENCE
Josh: Rack of lamb with herb crust, gratin dauphinoise, green beans DECENT
Tarte tatin HIT

1:24:29: John Torode saCys “buttery biscuit base.”

ELIMINATION

It’s Keith and Carol who go home: Allen’s “liver dance” was flatly rejected while Decker’s cheesecake fell prey to its fatal flaws: too sweet, very sloppy. Josh and Martin advance to the semi finals. Happy days.

Contestants:
Keith Allen — Actor, DJ, and TV presenter; has dog tattoo representing political suspicion
Carol Decker — Singer and former publican; once did a duet with Gregg Wallace
Michelle Ackerley — One Show presenter, Watchdog presenter; dog-watcher
Martin Bayfield — Rugby player and actor; Hagrid’s stunt-double in Harry Potter
Josh Cuthbert — Member of Union J; goalkeeper dream scuppered by loss of half his thumb


Episode 3

Contestants:
Anita Harris — London Palladium veteran, Carry On actor; “legitimate theatre” star
John PartridgeEastenders actor; Cats actor; former Christian
Spencer MatthewsMade in Chelsea star; record holder for drinks thrown in face
Frankie Bridge — The Saturdays singer; S Club Junior; fussy eater
Jean Johansson — One Show presenter; former CBBC presenter; alliterative

Challenge: Mystery Box. One dish, 50 minutes. “Basic larder” more stocked than most kitchens permitted. Mysteries include:

Whole mackerel, romano pepper, aubergine, spinach, mozzarella, lamb rump, filo pastry, apricots

Eater recommends: Grilled mackerel with romano pepper ragu; lamb and apricot filo pie; retro aubergine tian (maybe.)

03:30: Anita Harris is pairing ginger with apricots, because “I like ginger. I LIKE GINGER.” To be clear: this is singing, not shouting. John is concerned; Gregg is confused.

04:55: John (Torode) comments on John (Partridge) expertly filleting a mackerel. “He’s got promise,” says John Torode about John Partridge, and presumably John Torode too.

06:30: Jean has started cooking her sea bass with herbs, chilli and potatoes. The only problem: there’s no sea bass. Mackerel rejected, she starts on the lamb. No buttery bass for Gregg today, folks.

07:22: Boiiiiiiiiiiii Spencer Matthews is cooking mackerel and lamb for the bois. Two-timing? Spencer? Impossible.

08:40: “For me, seasoning, and herbs, don’t really exist.” — Frankie is laying down her marker early.

Each to their own.

10:07: Anita’s self assessment: “it tastes revolting.” Judging with more personality than the actual judges, she will now give all verdicts going forward.

JUDGING

John (Partridge’s) pan-fried mackerel with Thai green curry broth pleases John (Torode): “the vibrancy of chilli!” But wait. Pan-fried... This calls for a grumpy old troll.

Jean’s lamb does well — proper seasoning and a huge sprig of rosemary will see anybody right. There’s some aubergine/mozzarella tian-ish action; potatoes are hard; lamb is soft; Gregg enjoys some “pleasant assault” with a pepper pot.

The boiiiiiiiiiiii is serving lamb. Plenty more mackerel in the sea. It’s good.

Anita. “Fruit, onions, peppers, wine.” Gregg is not a fan. Lamb is cooked nicely; John’s in for the “ferocious amount of ginger”; it’s mixed reviews. Carry on.

Frankie’s seasoning lives up to reputation.

Frankie Bridge’s roast lamb on Celebrity Masterchef 2018 on BBC One
One grain
BBC

Challenge: Professional Kitchen


Challenge: Two courses. 60 minutes, dishes competitors’ own.

40:41: Frankie is doing asparagus with honey. John’s concern: honey and asparagus. “It’s an odd combination.” This show specialises in odd double acts, honey. Chicken casserole will be the main.

41:27: John (Partridge) explains his dishes to Gregg so that the tedious surname bracketing can stop. Gnocchi with sausage ragù and a lemon posset for the former Eastender.

42:28: Anita is able to explain her butternut squash soup, but then devolves into a flurry of “what, what’s boiling, what” anguish in the presence of Gregg and rising steam.

Celebrity Masterchef 2018 judge Gregg Wallace
Run.
BBC

43:15: Jean is doing haggis; Gregg recites part of Address to a Haggis, giving distress to a haggis in the process.

44:47: Spencer is doing some soda bread and some pan-fried PAN-FRIED halibut. Seems like he’s on to something.

JUDGING

John’s rich, well-seasoned gnocchi and “you are smashing it” posset win the day. SAFE

Anita delivers a “great bowl of soup”, but Gregg wants “a neater Anita” as the chicken abd and pasta “looks shocking.” TROUBLE

Frankie’s asparagus with honey goes the way John predicted: honey does not fly. Casserole needs something with it; Gregg goes hard with “really nice.” TROUBLE

Jean’s haggis:

Jean’s cod: “beautiful flavour combinations.” SAFE

Spencer wins some serious praise for making soda bread; Gregg just needs white wine. His halibut with marsala sauce and raita is the dish of the round. SAFE


ELIMINATION

It’s Frankie who goes home.

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