Masterchef: the banned list

Which unoriginal dishes ought to be banned? Plus our exclusive online Masterchef Random Nonsense Selector, aka the Gregg Garbler - post your favourite quotes below

That. Is. It. If anyone wins another round of Masterchef with any of these components, I will be round John and Gregg's house faster than you can say "Deep, rich, velvety goodness." Scallops. Peas. (Particularly involving mint. Particularly involving a puree). Rack of lamb. Chocolate fondant. Any sodding crumble you care to name.

Seriously. Of the five wholly unoriginal and now banned (by me) Masterchef substances, last night's winner, 24-year-old Chris, managed to incorporate three into his menu: minted pea soup with a scallop; lamb's liver with pancetta, sage, horseradish mash and an over-reduced sauce too dry to actually tip onto the plate; and a chocolate and amaretto fondant. Given that I thought Dennice's menu was uninspired last week, Chris's just seemed safe and rather dull.

Obviously, I'd chomp it all down as fast as old Eggy in a hurry if I was having a nice spot of dinner at my local gastropub. And I am pleased that Chris's fondant (FONDONT! - Gregg) didn't end up on the great trashpile of Masterchef dried-up chocolate puddings in the sky, or whatever they were calling it last night.

But what about Trainee Accountant Alice's delicious-looking sweet potato and roasted cashew nut soup? Or Experimental Cook Steven's mushroom soup with pancetta crisps and basil oil - even if it did look a bit like a bowl of soggy weetabix and some bits of stuff off the kitchen worktop?

And that's before we get to the injustice of Management Consultant and Mother of Two Jennifer, who, on the basis of the heats, was probably the most interesting cook. She was banished from the kitchen for not recognising a wedge of stilton, which was fair enough, and for not having enough passion, which wasn't. Gregg! John! She doesn't go on about her "passion" because she is a) a grown up, and b) has some dignity. Basically, she was sent home for not being shouty and mugging to the camera.

Luckily, there was not shortage of that from Gregg and John, who were, as ever, on fine volume. Two quick favourites for you – both directed at Experimental Cook Steven. John: "God, you've got some big flavours, boy!" which sounds almost rude. And Gregg, on tasting some sweeter-than-sweet concoction: "I just want to take a running jump into it." Which sounds about right.

I look forward to reading your favourite shouty moments below. But just in case you can't wait for your next Eggy fix, there's a special treat in store: the Word of Mouth Masterchef random nonsense selector. Leave your favourite phrases in the comment field here, and, by the magic of the internet, they'll be whizzed into the Gregg Garbler.

Imagine how much fun we're going to have. And how much time we will all waste. In the meantime, I'll see you all back here same time next week, to muse on the next Masterchef quarter final. So long as nobody cooks scallops on pureed minted peas, followed by rack of lamb, followed by chocolate fondant with a side order of crumble, that is. Because who knows what could happen then ...


Vicky Frost

The GuardianTramp

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