MasterChef: The Professionals, BBC1 - review: Chefs have a pleasant plucking time

The hopefuls were put through their paces and asked to prepare a woodcock this week

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The Independent Culture

Spare a thought for the vegetarians tuning in to tonight's instalment of MasterChef: The Professionals.

It's not often that viewers have to witness not once - but four times - the hopefuls preparing a woodcock from scratch. In eye-watering scenes a dead bird had its feathers plucked, feet cut and in most cases the head removed over and over again for our err... viewing pleasure.

MasterChef: The Professionals really does what it says on the tin and seeks out the best chefs in all the land. Technique, presentation, flavour and creatively all count. It's definitely not for faint-hearted viewers and it's certainly not all about food porn (unfortunately).

Luckily, it's not all a tough watch, there are of course some delectable dishes. The tart-making task will send viewers back into a Bake Off reverie - what's not to love about a bit of sweet pastry? Sadly, none of the contestants managed to get their tarts to set, resulting in some raw, puddles.

 

But it's John from Edinburgh who was sent home this week, the Scottish chef's signature dish was a winner but he fell out of flavour, shall we say, with the judges.

Meanwhile 25-year-old sous chef Sven from London seems to be a favourite among this week's group of MasterChef hopefuls.

What's most noticeable about this reality TV food competition is the lack of charisma among the contestants. It's strange and refreshing but this show genuinely appears to be about the cooking - personalities don't come into it. Luckily, the mouth-watering dishes compensate for any zest that the chefs may be lacking.

Tomorrow it's on to the quarter-finals of the competition.

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