Oprah Winfrey, Clara Amfo, Robin Hood – the dinner guests MasterChef celebs want
Celebrity MasterChef is back! This year, 20 celebs share their passion for cooking, and of course are judged for their efforts. We asked four of them just one question: “If you were hosting a dinner party, what would you cook and which three people would you invite?”.
Here’s what Shyko Amos, Karen Gibson, Pete Wicks and Riyadh Khalaf said…
Known for playing police officer Ruby Patterson in Death in Paradise, Shyko will be hoping the judges don’t think her dishes are criminal!
The meal: “My starter would be avocado, tomato, olive and basil bruschetta. My main would be duck breast in plum sauce on a bed of pak choi with sticky rice, and dessert would be vanilla cheesecake – with lots of wine and water throughout.”
The three guests: “Michaela Coel (actor, writer, producer, activist), Clara Amfo (presenter and activist), and Issa Rae from across the pond (also actor, writer, producer, activist). It’s soooo hard to pick three!”
Riyadh is used to presenting on TV and his YouTube channel, but can he present his food to the same high standard?
The meal: “To start, I’ll serve ginger and sesame-infused tuna tartare with cubes of avocado tossed in lime juice and coriander. For main, I’ll dish up crispy beer-batter fish tacos with a selection of delicious ‘get your hands dirty’ toppings like pickled red onion, salsa verde and charred sweetcorn. For dessert, my guests will have dairy-free panna cotta laced with vanilla and served with a sharp raspberry coulis, with a bit of crunch from toasted almond flakes.”
The three guests: “My dream guests would be three personal heroes of mine: Oprah Winfrey, James Cameron and Davina McCall. Can we please make this happen?”
As a star of TOWIE, Pete is used to camera lenses and being talked about on social media, but will people talk about his food?
The meal: “For a starter, I’d go for bean, tomato and watercress salad, then follow it up with satay sweet potato curry. It would have to be sticky toffee pudding for dessert.”
The three guests: “Steve McQueen – he is a complete and utter legend and I just know he would be such a laugh! Margot Robbie – she is my ideal woman. And Robin Hood – I love the Robin Hood films and he just seems so fun!”
As a choir conductor, Karen gained fame when she led the gospel rendition of Stand By Me at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, but will the judges sing the praises of her food?
The meal: “I’d cook the food of my childhood – the food that makes me feel proud to be the daughter of a daughter of the Windrush generation. I’d cook it as an introduction to culture. Some of my favourites are:
“Guyanese pepperpot: Some may call this an acquired taste, but for our family war has nearly broken out over who has the juiciest and tastiest bits, and who hasn’t left any for who when my mother has cooked it. Made from a rich, dark sauce of either cassava or burned sugar (mum says cassava is the real deal), the traditional meat used is oxtail and brisket. It is eaten with either white rice or rice and peas, but also really tasty with ‘hard dough bread’ .
“Curry and roti: This is a favourite from the Caribbean, particularly Guyana and Trinidad, where there is some disagreement as to who did it first. The curry is not the same as over here, as it is influenced by the Indian and African cultures of those locations, and so is seasoned with the relevant herbs and spices. The meat can either be chicken or goat, and I love both. Traditionally, and as far as I’m concerned, the best way for this dish to be consumed is with your hands, so it’s not for the overly genteel!
“Baked trout: I would have to have a fish dish, and this is my favourite. To be fair, it isn’t strictly from the West Indies, but it’s certainly influenced by the seasonings I grew up with: salt, course ground black pepper, onions, spring onions, tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, sweet peppers, garlic and anything else I might get my hands on.
“These would be accompanied by various side dishes: seasoned mac ‘n’ cheese, steamed green beans, honey roasted veg, rosemary roasted potatoes, salads.”
The three guests: “Barack Obama: I love his easy, genial manner and general cool swag. I would be very interested to personally hear his take on world events right now. Prince Harry: I have met him, but it was more about singing and so we didn’t get to chat much. However, I think that along with Meghan, he is doing amazing things in the world and I love his heart for people. He strikes me as a man of integrity and truth. Maya Angelou: This phenomenal woman strikes me as one of the most creative, wise, gracious women that has walked the earth. I love those who teach just by being them. She is one of those”.
Celebrity MasterChef dishes that have caused a stir...
So will the four be successful on Celebrity MasterChef? You’ll have to tune in and find out. But they’re probably hoping their food doesn’t get quite the kind of social media response these dishes got in previous series…
Joey Essex: Stirotto
Apparently ‘stirotto’ was a bit like cold rice pudding with greasy vegetables. Joey did serve it up with a nice rap though, which somehow involved people thinking the dish was ‘peng’, with his nan going one step further and describing it as ‘leng’. We cannot confirm whether his family members thought it lived up to expectations.
Gemma Collins: Chickpea and Cointreau stew
This was a combination of chickpeas, coconut and vegetables, bunged in a pot to stew – we know what you’re thinking; “that’s not bad, quite nice in fact”. But then orange liqueur was poured liberally into the mix. A taste sensation? Apparently not.
Now, stew is often served with rice or a chunk of bread, but Gemma had another idea: how about a crab filled with mango and mascarpone? Well, I guess it’s good to push cooking boundaries…
Sinitta’s beef and spinach mousse in pastry
In theory this would also be quite nice. Beef was popped into a blender with spinach to make a mousse, and once cooked was intended to be served on a bed of pastry – almost like beef Wellington. However, all the elements were unfortunately raw, leaving John Torode and Gregg Wallace unable to sample it for fear of getting ill.
Sinitta looked positively shocked. “It’s supposed to be cooked”, she told the two. She did not make it past the first round of the show.
Marcus Butler’s chocolate brownie with walnuts and salted caramel sauce
Now this sounds delicious, but it was dairy free, so to make sure it all bound together properly every ingredient was key. This was Marcus’ downfall. He forgot the crushed walnuts, so had to add them once the pud was already in the oven. The result? A burnt, chewy concoction, which the guests couldn’t eat because it stuck to their teeth like toffee. “That’s not a chocolate brownie, that’s a hockey puck” commented John backstage, before Gregg followed up with the simple description; “That’s horrendous”. Oh, and the salted caramel sauce? It looked like muddy water.
Michelle Ackerley: Chilli with rice
Well, the chilli received praise. But proving sometimes the simplest things can be the most difficult, the buttered rice became a gelatinous mess. John stuck a fork on it, and the whole lot came up like a big rice lolly. “You know you’ve over-cooked your rice when you offer your guests a slice of it”, said Gregg, as he carved off a couple of pieces.
Watch Celebrity MasterChef on BBC One or catch-up with episodes on iPlayer.