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‘Celebrity Masterchef’ 2020 Heat Two Was Full of Cremated Naan and Late Lunch

One contestant literally couldn’t handle the heat

Celebrity Masterchef 2020 contestants Karen Gibson, Dom Littlewood, Baga Chipz, Sam Quek, and Phil Daniels
Celebrity Masterchef 2020 contestants Karen Gibson, Dom Littlewood, Baga Chipz, Sam Quek, and Phil Daniels
BBC [Official Photo]

Celebrity Masterchef 2020 is here, with Jon Torode and Gregg Wallace welcoming another suite of 20 celebrities into their realm, where “cooking doesn’t get tougher than this,” except when it does, like in Masterchef and Masterchef: The Professionals, where the challenges are, well, tougher. Here’s what happened in the second heat.

Celebrity Masterchef 2020 Contestants: Heat Two

  • Phil Daniels, longtime Londoner-playing actor.
  • Baga Chipz, drag artist and star of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
  • Sam Quek, former field hockey player and Olympic gold medal-winner.
  • Karen Gibson, gospel choir founder conductor, who led ‘Stand By Me’ at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
  • Dominic Littlewood, consumer affairs presenter and general wrong-righter.

Back again, to the room full of food market. The insistence on calling it what it’s not, frankly quite weird. The Invention Test just sounds more exciting, too, and bes...

Ah yes, representation for the bald community is here, as Gregg Wallace and Dom Littlewood face each other down. They’re joined by Baga Chipz, Phil Daniels — who the internet delights in reminding of his “PARKLIFE” monologue — and Karen Gibson and Sam Quek, who are not on the receiving end of any lookalike chat. Gregg Wallace’s alter ego just won’t let things lie, though.

These celebrities are here to cook, not varnish their reputations with the help of the BBC, so: Sam is doing a prawn and onion stir-fry, based on her Singaporean heritage; Phil is treating confidence as a preference with his spiced duck and peppers. Karen is baking smoked haddock with tomatoes, while Baga Chipz is plumping for sticky honey prawns with ginger, pepper, and a lot, a lot, a lot of black pepper. Dom Littlewood is making a chorizo hash with smoked haddock, but not before he has his obligatory “lol we look the same” banter with Gregg and not after he inexplicably shoves an egg on top of it with three minutes to go. Per Gregg: “why?”

Baga says she’s going “to the gallows”; Dom says he would enjoy his dish in a restaurant but the judges do not care; Sam’s thoughtful cooking is a hit; Karen’s is a mish-mash and Phil’s is too.

It’s always interesting to see which London restaurants will debase themselves for entertainment. Cinnamon Kitchen, built into the brickwork of Battersea’s arches, and former Masterchef contestants’ Copper and Ink in Blackheath were the victims destinations this week. But:

Normally, we’d move on, but this week’s professional kitchen round is special, because Dom has to cook naan. Dom Littlewood cannot cook naan, but he can cook his timer, which explodes in the tandoor, alongside his cremated breads. The pain of the chefs is etched on their faces. It’s harrowing. It’s:

At the end of the return to the kitchen, Dom somehow makes it through after two abject rounds. It’s Baga who is eliminated, despite doing well-ish in all three challenges. Controversial.

Day two, and it’s the pairs challenge, which is supposed to teach the celebrities communication in the kitchen. This is noble, but if anyone knows of a real restaurant kitchen in which chefs are not allowed to see each other, please inform Eater London.

The same is true of the catering round, which skips through the same process each time — start well, minor error, time is tight, mild panic, major panic, rush, everything’s fine. This time, Sam and Karen were twenty (20) minutes late, but there were no consequences, because this is a TV show. There is no need to go over this. There is need to go over this:

So to the critics, with Dom somehow still in the competition — no-one gets eliminated after the second heat. Unfortunately, the show couldn’t sustain last week’s energy, and slips into lazy stereotyping disguised as “learning.” If a Masterchef presenter doesn’t know what a siu mai dumpling is, particularly when the contestants had to make a variation of siu mai last week, should they really be presenting Masterchef? If a guest celebrity judge is going to say things like choy sum “must be a mate of siu mai,” should they be a guest celebrity judge? No-one knows everything about food, but the lack of context afforded to comments like this simply isn’t good enough on national TV.

Anyway: Dom obviously went out, as did Karen, who can count herself slightly unlucky after outdoing Phil in previous rounds.

Tune in on Friday for heat three!