After impressing during the initial rounds of the BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals, Maltese chef Andre Borg has been eliminated from the televised food competition after serving undercooked pearl barley in a tense coconut dessert stand-off.
Andre is a 26-year-old Maltese chef currently working as a Sous chef at a fine dining restaurant in Darlington, and was the former Junior Sous Chef at Waterbiscuit as well as the former Commis Chef at Gordon Ramsay Restaurant.
In episode three of the BBC series, Andre is tasked with creating a coconut-based dessert
His previous dish had really hit home with the judges, with the Maltese chef making a mark with his BBQ-inspired pork loin dish.
Judges Marcus Wareing, a two Michelin-starred chef, and chef Monica Galetti, had high hopes for Andre, and asked him what he would be making to show off his coconut skills
“I’m doing the coconut in a pearl barley rice pudding, I’m making a crumble, and I’m making a pineapple with spices that will be nice and sticky at the end,” he told the chefs.
“Sounds interesting,” replied Chef Wareing.
Andre himself spoke with his trademark confidence heading into his next challenge
“I had quite good comments the last round, so I’m looking forward to showing my plating skills because it’s where I feel most comfortable,’ said Andre.
“Andre’s got great ideas, and this is playing to his strength, so I’m expecting something knockout today,” said chef Galetti.
He presents his Pearl Barley Coconut Pudding with roasted rum pineapple, coconut crumble, roasted peanuts, and lemon gel
The judges immediately dug into Andre’s coconut dessert – and very quickly noticed the barley hadn’t been cooked correctly.
“The pineapple is lightly roasted, there’s sweetness coming through it, and the crumble has a nice sense of coconut coming through… but the key component of this dessert is undercooked,” said chef Galetti.
“The pearl barley is not cooked at all,” said chef Wareing, “and where’s the coconut in this dish because I have no idea, I’m not getting any coconut whatsoever.”
Soon after, Andre is eliminated from making it to the semi-finals
Though his BBQ pork loin had the judges interest piqued, his mismanagement of the pearl barley was too much for the judges to overlook, and he was asked to go home.
“It’s frustrating you know, very annoying to be honest, because I know I can do better than this,” said Andre. “The other chefs got mixed comments… I don’t know.”
“But to get through to here is still amazing – sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose,” he smiled at the end.
The Bafta award-winning MasterChef, which is in its 11th season, is hosted by beloved MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace, as well as chef Monica Galetti and two-Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing.
The series is on a search for the UK’s finest cooking talent over seven weeks, with 48 professionals facing the rigours of the MasterChef kitchen before one chef is crowned their culinary superstar of 2018.