Judi Love, Phil Daniels and Amar Latif were casualties in the second semi-final of Celebrity MasterChef 2020 on BBC One.
That meant Olympic hockey player Sam Quek, Olympic rowing legend Sir Matthew Pinsent and Irish broadcaster and Internet personality Riyadh Khalaf advanced to the final.
In Thursday’s semi-final, the cooks prepared dishes for and under the tutelage of a giant of Italian cooking in the UK, Aldo Zilli, who set the task of recreating his signature dishes.
Quek starred with her lobster-filled ravioli, while Jones earned a “Bravissimo!” from Zilli for his pan-fried sea bass and deep-fried calamari.
Khalaf stumbled in the first challenge when he served lamb wrapped in pancetta undercooked, although he got a series of superb for his pesto. “Oh that was not a good one,” he said.
Love’s canoli with three fillings were also not cooked enough, which Zilli described as “basically uncooked pastry”. Pinsent’s torte a la meringue earned the compliment “the gelato is just like Mum used to make” from Zilli.
Sadly Jones didn’t appear for the second part of there semi-final because he was unwell, depriving Celebrity MasterChef of a very likely finalist. This was crushing news to his fan club.
“With Gethin unwell and unable to continue in the competition..
*stops watching and turns over*#CelebrityMasterChef
— Laura (@lauralaurab8) July 30, 2020
So that left six contestants who, in the last semi-final challenge, set by John and Gregg, had to produce a plate of food inspired by their family.
Khalaf went for lamb kofta kebabs inspired by his father’s Iraqi roots. Quek opted for a sticky ginger pudding with a fortune cookie, inspired by her Chinese roots.
Khalaf”s food was a triumph. He said: “It’s my family’s food and it’s music to my ears that they liked it.”
Love did a goat curry inspired by her late mother. The judges found the dish too spicy and the meat too dry.
Latif did curry lamb chops and mini shepherd’s pie, which received a mixed reaction from the judges.
Pinsent went for mackerel fillets with taramasalata and, er, mackerel soup. The judges loved it. “Very, very good indeed,” commented Torode.
Daniels’ cardamom and clove rice pudding was just far too spicy. Wallace said he managed to balance all the flavours of his his dishes.
Quek opted for a sticky ginger pudding with a fortune cookie and jasmine tea, inspired by her Chinese roots. Her pudding was “lovely and soft and moist”, said Torode.
Torode said it was a “great semi-final, full of emotion… leaving a really big decision, a tough decision.”
Sir Matthew Pinsent was the first finalist named, followed by Riyadh Khalaf, with Sam Quek the third of the trio, from an original 20 contestants.
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