Cooks are really upping their game when it comes to quirky dishes in this year’s series debut.
MasterChef returns on Wednesday with a fresh batch of quirky dishes as eight new hopefuls compete for a place in the quarter-finals.
The new cooks try their hand at mushroom jelly and custard ravioli, following presenter Gregg Wallace’s advice: “Be bold, be brave, you cannot play it safe”.
“This could be the start of something truly amazing,” he says as he welcomes the newcomers, who include a travel agent, a former footballer, an interior designer and a civil servant.
The show begins with the new “market test”, which will see the cooks visit a makeshift store and pick out ingredients to transform into an unplanned winning dish.
An improvised risotto, freshly made pasta and a colourful lemon tart are among the results, which receive mixed reviews from long-standing judges Gregg and John Torode.
The pickled mushroom jelly raises a few questions, but sweet-toothed Gregg is delighted to see a dessert dish on the menu.
At this stage of the series, only five cooks make it through to the next part of the competition and a chance to secure a spot in the quarter-final.
Nerves reach boiling point as the remaining five present a two-course menu to former MasterChef finalists, including last year’s champion Jane Devonshire.
Again, there are mixed responses, with the judges admitting some offerings are simple but done especially well, while others need “a little more love.”
The winners at the end of the show will move on to the quarter-finals beginning at the end of the week.
Thursday’s show will then welcome the next eight competitors out of the total 64.
MasterChef returns to BBC1 at 8pm on Wednesday.