The first pair of semi-finalists must prove they have the talent to win a place in the finals. They must battle head to head at one of London's most exciting two Michelin starred restaurants, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti send them to service under the exacting eye of Ashley Palmer-Watts, who has earned Dinner two stars in just two years and achieved the highest ranking of any UK restaurant in the acclaimed San Pelligrino Top 50 list, where it is placed at number seven. With up to 170 diners at every service, the two semi-finalists must quickly settle in to this busy, demanding and high-pressure kitchen. They are each responsible for one of the menu's unique, historically inspired and highly complex dishes over the long evening service, and must deliver to two Michelin starred standard every time.
After service, the bar is raised higher as Ashley asks them to recreate one of the restaurant's signature dishes, Salamugundy, a salad of chicken oysters roasted salsify, bone marrow and horseradish. Based on an 18th century recipe, each element requires its own cooking method and the chefs must perfectly execute each one to achieve the balance required.
Then, the two semi-finalists return to the studio for one last challenge before Michel and Monica decide their fate. They must produce a main and dessert inspired by their Michelin experience in just two hours and they simply have to blow the judges' minds. The pressure is firmly on as any mistake now could cost them the competition. Once Michel and Monica have judged their two courses, they must decide if the chefs are good enough to become Professional MasterChef finalists.
|Judge||Michel Roux Jr|
|Series Producer||Rachel Palin|