‘Size of Dumbo’s ear’ MasterChef judges blast contestant’s parmesan crisp ‘Too much’

MasterChef: Greg Wallace says contestant’s pork is ‘far too rare’

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Nine MasterChef contestants were asked to cook their signature dishes for Gregg and John who would then decide which three meals were their favourite. The cooks of those dishes would then be given an apron and go straight through to the next phase of the competition, but the remaining six would have to cook again. One contestant, Ioan, was left red-faced when Gregg compared the look of his dish to Dumbo the elephant’s ear and was concerned he was in trouble.

Before having a look at the menu, Gregg told his fellow judge: “This one dish can actually tell us quite a lot about their style, their ability to flavour and of course, their experience.” 

The contestants auditioned in groups of three and had just one hour and 20 minutes to cook their signature dish. 

The first three contestants to start cooking were Daryll, Olayemi, 51, and 38-year-old Ioan. 

Speaking about his love of cooking, Ioan said: “Cooking for me involves probably three of my biggest supporters – my mum and my two grandmas.” 

He explained he learned how to bake from all three of them and wanted to show Gregg and John what he could achieve in the kitchen. 

Ioan decided to make a pork saltimbocca, which is similar to a pork fillet wrapped in Parma ham with a sage and butter filling. 

He also cooked up some Hasselback potatoes, vine tomatoes, onion purée and made a parmesan leaf, but as the judges were reading about his recipe they were concerned his dish could be a “little too busy”. 

As Ioan was about to serve up his speciality dish to the judges, John said he hoped it would “look pretty”, but he was left disappointed by the size of the parmesan crisp which took up the majority of the plate. 

As they tucked into the pork, Gregg praised the contestant for how perfectly cooked the meat was. 

However, he then delivered a crushing blow, saying: “We have a serious issue with proportion here. We have a parmesan crisp the size of Dumbo’s ear.” 

John chimed in: “It’s too much on one plate but I admire you are trying to show us what you can do.” 

He added: “You don’t need to do quite so much, we are looking for someone with potential and you have got that for sure.” 

Following the critique, many viewers took to Twitter to comment on the size of the parmesan crisp with Liam remarking: “Why is that parmesan crisp so big?”

Jason quipped: “That parmesan crisp can be seen from space.” 

@Adadappadan said: “‘We have a parmesan crisp the size of Dumbo’s, ear’… What kinda comparison’s that?!?”

Duncan Dates joked: “Eight tomatoes is a lot of tomatoes and I think he’s invented the parmesan poppadom.” 

Other fans had no complaints with the dish, with Ariadne commenting: “I for one would accept Ioan’s mammoth’s ear of a parmesan tuile without complaining.”

David added: “Never such a thing as too much on a plate! You go Ioan!”

Despite a rocky start, the judges offered Ioan a place in the quarter-final where he will battle it out with the remaining contestants next week.

MasterChef continues next Tuesday at 8pm on BBC One. 

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