Eastbourne man does battle with five other chefs in Masterchef quarter-finals

A Michelin-star Eastbourne cook went head-to-head against five other professional chefs in the quarter-finals of Masterchef.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 10:39 am
Ben Addems

However, Ben Addems, 34, went out of the competition last week (November 21) after judges, Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing, were not convinced by his celeriac fondant.

Ben said on BBC2, “It’s frustrating because I know exactly what it could have been, and it was just off the mark a little bit and these things happen.

“I feel like I had a lot more to give. I think that’s the thing that’s disappointing more than anything, but at the end of the day, that’s life, isn’t it?”

At the start of the program, Ben said, “The competition means the world to me. I have put everything into it, everything else has kind of taken a back-burner - stag-do’s and all that.

“I’m just fully concentrated on this. To go out now I’d not be very happy.”

The chef-de-partie at The Interlude, in Horsham, made a celeriac fondant, infused with coffee and served with chorizo, carrot, beetroot and dill, coffee-pickled mushrooms, hazelnuts, blackberries and a coffee, mushroom and chilli aerated sauce.

Marcus Wareing said, “It sounds a very interesting dish. You were almost doing a vegetarian dish until the chorizo sausage came into the equation. The flavour of the coffee bean has to come out.”

Ben said, “I just wanted to check to see how spicy the chorizo sausage was really. I didn’t want to overpower the dish and take away from the coffee.”

Monica Galetti said, “This fondant has got to be something quite spectacular.”

Ben was visibly deflated when the judges tasted the fondant, as both Monica and Marcus were disappointed.

Monica said, “You’ve got a hint of coffee running through the espuma and it is tasting really lovely and there’s a bit of sharpness running through it.

“I really like it. And then there’s this heat going through it, which was really nice through the dish, but now that’s all I’ve got, a strong heat sitting in my mouth. I’ve lost the coffee.

“I really like the idea of celeriac and the chorizo crumb going through it, and, together, they’re flavours that work but I’m disappointed that the fondant is not cooked.”

Marcus praised Ben’s recipe and said it was a great idea but the ‘chillies killed the dish’.