It’s the final week of Masterchef UK 2012, and there are just three top chefs left in the competition!

Jay Tinker leaves Masterchef UK 2012, following a difficult round of pastry and dessert making.

The weeks of culinary build-up have at last come to a climax, as the Masterchef UK 2012 final has arrived! Over 20,000 budding chefs applied for the English version of the cooking competition, and last week, the final four Masterchef contestants became three. Episode 12 of the 8th series of Masterchef UK saw the lovely Jay Tinker voted off by judges Gregg Wallace and John Torode, after he failed to deliver in the pastry challenge. The three Masterchef finalists, Shelina Permalloo, Andrew Kojima and Tom Rennolds will now battle it out in the kitchen this week during three episodes of the hit TV show. Starting tonight, Masterchef fans should tune in to the BBC every evening until Thursday 15th March, when we will find out who will win the title of Masterchef UK 2012.

Click here for news from the three final episodes of Masterchef 2012, and also to find out the winner of Masterchef.

The Masterchef UK final 2012

Shelina, Tom & Andrew have made it to the Masterchef UK 2012 final. Photo from 'The Sun' newspaper.

Last week, the Masterchef contestants were faced with the challenge of making pastry, one of the hardest disciplines for any chef to get to grips with. We have seen Shelina deliver with her delicate desserts week after week, but for poor Jay, a former Liverpool bouncer who is built like a barn door, creating dainty, elegant patisserie at this stage of the competition was never going to be an easy feat.

The first challenge for the Masterchef final four was to create a splendid spread of afternoon tea for some of the greatest names from 1970s British comedy, including Bill Oddie, Alison Steadman and Frank Thornton. Jay, Shelina, Tom and Andrew each had two and a half hours to prepare one savoury item and two sweet treats to wow the TV guests. Jay got started on a menu of salmon and broccoli tarts, chocolate & raspberry ganache and a traditional custard tart. Gregg Wallace was the first to pick up on the stereotypically 70s theme to Jay’s choices, eagerly asking

“Shall I go and get me flares on?”

Oh, how I wish he had!

'Artist's' impression of Gregg Wallace  in the 1970s

What Gregg Wallace might have looked like in the 1970s. I really must stop these terrible photo edits, but it breaks up the page nicely.

Shelina was in her element as she created a wonderful-sounding selection of spicy scones with a mango relish; an exotic fruit tartlet; and a carrot, ginger and pecan cake. Tom hoped that at the very least, the comics would be ‘amused’ by his strawberry and rhubarb macaroons; his coffee, walnut and chocolate gateau; and his confit duck pie; whilst Andrew opted to make savoury scones; carrot cake; and raspberry marshmallows with white chocolate.

How suspicious that the two favourite contestants to win Masterchef 2012 BOTH made a carrot cake and a savoury scone for the panel of comedy judges. Are the BBC trying to intensify the competition in these final stages or is there a rogue copycat chef in the kitchen? After the controversy that occurred when one of the contestants sneakily turned down Aki’s oven temperature a few weeks ago, effectively ruining her chocolate brownies, we just can’t be sure of what goes on when the heat is turned up in the Masterchef kitchen…..

With the exception of Shelina, who remained in control throughout most of the challenge (interesting that she is the only remaining female…), the other chefs all had their fair share of culinary mayhem to deal with. With an hour of their time gone, Jay still hadn’t even blind-baked his pastry case, and when he did put it in the oven, he soon realised that he was blind-baking nothing. Just an empty metal tart tin and a few ceramic beans- hardly Michelin-starred cuisine Jay!

Tom made his first batch of macaroons and had to bin them, leaving him really behind to get his dishes out on time. Andrew, who made the bizarre, and potentially fatal choice to make hand-made marshmallows despite being allergic to eggs, battled on as the judges tried to talk to him in the crucial moments. By this stage of Masterchef 2012, Gregg & John should have realised that Andrew really can’t cook and talk at the same time. As soon as they start asking him questions, the veg-chopping stops, the pot-stirring ceases, and he is no longer Andrew Kojima, top-class chef, but just a sweet little talking rodent again.

As he struggled with the deadly marshmallows that could kill him with one wrong move, he said

“I’m not in control, and I don’t like it.”

I would like to think that what the impossibly nice Andrew actually meant as John banged on about his concern over the dessert turning into “puddles of flavoured egg white” was

“Shut up you Australian egit! You’re intent on trying to distract me from my marshmallows, but when Shelina’s relish starts to burn, you’re the first one to jump in to look after her mangoes.”

Andrew Kojima, Masterchef 2012

Andrew Kojima, the sweetest of all the talking mice I have ever seen

Meanwhile, the comics were reliving their glory days as they waited for the food. Little did they know that in the kitchen, contestants Jay & Tom were way behind. Shelina and Andrew had plated up, but the rules stated that they had to wait until all the chefs were ready before they could take out the food. In the end, Jay had to forfeit his chocolate dessert, and only got two of the three dishes out- twenty minutes late. By that stage, you could see the look on his face that conceded defeat in the Masterchef 2012 competition.

Of the dishes that did make it out, Tom’s duck pie was a huge success, but his macaroon execution was deemed to be ‘absolutely wrong’ by John Torode. Jay’s salmon pastry bites were a bit bland, while his custard tart was the ‘wrong shape’. Gregg Wallace helpfully added

“It looks like the dish of a man running out of time.”

Andrew’s carrot cake was described as ‘mega’, whilst Shelina’s competing cake apparently ‘didn’t taste of carrot’. For comic Frank Thornton, who admitted to having ‘no sense of smell, or taste’, this was hardly surprising.

The second part of the challenge in Masterchef episode 12 was to cook two outstanding desserts for 3 of the world’s best pastry chefs- Claire Clark, Damian Allsop and James ‘Jocky’ Petrie.

Andrew created a complex menu of thai mango tart with a tropical fruit salad; and a chocolate, orange and coriander tart. Coming to a complete standstill mid-preparation to talk to the cameras again, he proudly announced whilst fighting back the tears, that he was doing the show for his wife and son. Cue the BBC music department with an appropriate Coldplay interlude to pull at our heart-strings.

Jay chose to make donuts and cinnamon soup; and a pineapple and cinnamon tart. Shelina got Gregg’s heart racing with her exotic choice of desserts- he just can’t get enough of Shelina’s mangoes. Tom opted for a lemon and lime meringue pie; and a chocolate mint delice.

Andrew’s finished plates looked truly stunning. Every week, his presentation gets even better, and he has a knack for creating food that actually looks almost too good to eat. However, the judges did feel that although the individual elements of the desserts were good- great even, they were just too complex when put together as a whole. Jay’s tart was criticised for having a soggy bottom, whilst his sorbet had too much Malibu in it. Why was I not surprised that Jay loved a good glug of Malibu?! However Jay’s donut dessert had Gregg in ‘dessert-monching heaven‘.

Dessert queen Shelina received top marks  for her dishes, which showed a ‘demonstration of fantastic pastry techniques.’ If she had made an ice cream instead of a sorbet, it would have been perfect. Just like Shelina, thought Gregg.

Gregg Wallace has a soft spot for Shelina in Masterchef 2012

Shelina is the apple of this greengrocer's eye

Tom had a bit of a shocker with his lemon and lime meringue pie. He chose to ‘deconstruct’ it – a new-fangled culinary term which  involves taking a perfectly good plate of food, and picking it apart until it just looks like a big mistake, or as Gregg coined it ‘a farce’. I don’t have a picture of the offending lemon tart, but you can imagine it a bit better if you consider that John said ‘that looks like somebody made a tart and dropped it’. Thankfully for Tom, his second dessert was a winner. Phew- saved by the chocolate delice!

For the judges, I think the decision to send home Jay from Masterchef 2012 in this round was a fairly easy one. Jay has been an excellent contestant, showing true culinary skill, but against the others, he doesn’t seem as ambitious, as skillful or as willing to push himself to new levels in the kitchen. Jay knew that his time was up, and was a graceful loser. There were tears from everyone apart from Tom as they said goodbye to the loveable giant from Liverpool.

Jay Tinker Masterchef 2012. Photo courtesy of the Middleton Guardian.

Jay- the man mountain!

And then there were three…….

The Masterchef finalists 2012. The competition this week is going to be fierce as Shelina, Tom & Andrew face their toughest challenges yet. But there can only be one winner. This week, Masterchef is showing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, when the winner of Masterchef UK 2012 will be announced.

The competition is wide open and any one of the final three contestants could win it!

Click here for all the latest news from Masterchef UK 2012.

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4 thoughts on “It’s the final week of Masterchef UK 2012, and there are just three top chefs left in the competition!

  1. I can’t wait for the final 3 episodes, come on Andrew you can do it! Very amusing blog Secrett Kitchen, I look forward to more!

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