masterchef the professionals 2011

What an interesting show the first episode of Masterchef the professionals was.  To introduce the contestants to the show, Monica Galetti - Michel Roux's right-hand woman provided them with a handful of ingredients, and gave them just ten minutes to decide how they would use them.  

The ingredients consisted of:

  • A duck breast
  • A cinnamon stick
  • A punnet of blackberries
  • A byunch of thyme
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 leek
The contestants were also provided with a limited larder consisting of salt, pepper, caster sugar, 1 onion, a block of butter, 2 eggs, half a pint of milk, white wine vinegar and olive oil.
After ten minutes the contestants were given fifty minutes to make their ideas a reality, which would then be scrutinised by Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace.

The contestants

This year's Masterchef professionals contestants are a mixed bag, among others we have a cook from an oil rig, a food caterer more in-tune with delivering large quantities of food and a prison chef!

So here are the contestants of Masterchef the professionals 2011

Dan 34, Lincolnshire - Teaches catering in prison

Dan cooked - Roast duck breast with sweet and sour blackberry sauce.


Chris 29, Wrexham - Was a graphic designer, and is now a trained chef

Chris cooked - Pan Fried duck breast with sauteed leeks and onion.


Perry 25, Middlesex - Trained chef

Perry cooked - Confit leek and blackberry tart, pan fried duck breast with cinnamon and blackberry puree and crispy leeks.


Oli 25, Bradford - Trained chef

Oli cooked - Pan Fried duck breast with an onion puree and light gastric.


Sebastien 32, Marseille - Was a banker and is now self-taught chef

Sebastien cooked - Pan Fried duck breast on a cinnamon and garlic puree with a blackberry and black pepper sauce.


Steve 25, London - Professional chef for 5 years, now head chef

Steve cooked - Confit leek and thyme tartlet with pan fried duck breast.


Ben 25, Cornwall - Professional chef

Ben cooked - Pan Fried duck with spiced blackberry sauce with crispy onion and leek rings.


Joanne 28, Gloucester - Caterer

Joanne cooked - Pan Fried duck breast with blackberry vinaigrette dressing and onions and leeks.


Kev 29, Southport - Head chef

Kev cooked - Roast duck breast with cinnamon spiced leeks and sweet and sour blackberry sauce.


Mike 40, Aberdeen - Cook on a North sea oil rig

Mike cooked - Pan Fried duck breast with blackberry and onion ragout.


Check back tomorrow to find out how the contestants faired on their first day, and what they will be doing in episode two of Masterchef the professionals.