Has MasterChef found this year’s winner?

Robotics engineer Luke storms into the quarter-finals with a round of applause from John Torode

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Has MasterChef found this year’s winner?
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MasterChef may very well have found its winner in the form of robotics engineer Luke.

John Torode applauded his invention test dish. Actually applauded it. I’m surprised the other contestants didn’t simply slip off their aprons and walk out.

“What I find incredible is you looked at those ingredients and you went to a place not even my mind would go to,” Torode said, as Luke served up a tofu taco dish with a sesame seed coating.

It wasn’t a pud, but Gregg Wallace was still impressed. “An amazing inventive food mind,” he gushed.

The other contestants simply crumbled around Luke. Drew accidentally threw one of his dishes on the floor and Ricky served up a banana and duck concoction – a dish he’s probably vowed never to make again (and one Gregg and John have definitely vowed never to eat again).

Poor Leng opted to deliver a version of steak and salad to three former MasterChef contestants and was treated like he’d microwaved a tin of beans and served it as fine dining.

But Luke, oh Luke, he did a take on traditional fish and chips and was showered with praise.

“I think he’s pretty much nailed every single element of the dish,” they crowed.

It’s a wonder no one licked the plate clean.

Even his dessert – a white chocolate fondant that John, Gregg and the former MasterChef contestants had all been dreading for its sickly centre – turned out to be the perfect mix of sharp and sweet flavours.

The 31-year-old engineer was calm, inventive and not in the least smug. He even laughed along as Gregg made some cheesy ‘the force is strong in this one’ gag.

Luke returns Friday night to make his bid for this year’s semi-finals. My money’s on him going a lot further than that. 

MasterChef continues tonight at 8:00pm, BBC1