MasterChef 13, the story of episode 9, between sustainability and alternative ingredients

When there are only a handful of challenges left until the grand finale, every test at MasterChef Italia can be decisive. But having reached this point, amateur chefs must demonstrate that they know how to handle techniques and ingredients in the best possible way, but also that they want to immerse themselves in the cuisine of the future, and why not, to write part of it. A cuisine that will have sustainability increasingly at its center, and indeed Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo And Giorgio Locatelli in yesterday’s episodes they developed a journey around sustainability on the table and the future of food: to begin with, a Golden Mystery Box full of alternative ingredients to say the least; followed by an Invention Test dedicated to a sustainable ingredient such as garlic; then the Skill Test in the lagoon universe and in the mountain environment thanks to the presence of two excellent examples of sustainability in the kitchen, the chefs Chiara Pavan And Riccardo Gaspariboth 1 Michelin star and 1 Michelin green star, respectively at the restaurant Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo in Venice and al San Brite of Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Two have been eliminated, and at this point inevitably two of the absolute protagonists of this edition will exit: Settimino (61 year old from Santeramo in Colle, in the province of Bari, where he works as a grocer in a delicatessen counter) and Deborah (30 year old who in Poggio Mirteto, in the province of Rieti, she is a team leader and mother of two children). Instead, she transformed amateur chefs into vampires, bringing out much more than one strategy.

Audiences and social interactions

For the Sky Original cooking show produced by Endemol Shine Italy, last night on Sky Uno/+1 and on demand, media evening of 525 thousand spectators and 2% share, with 71% remaining, numbers growing by +22% compared to the equivalent episodes of last season (always broadcast during the week of the Sanremo Festival). In detail, yesterday’s first episode reached 563 thousand average viewers, with a 2% share and 67% retention; the second average 487 thousand spectators, with a 2.1% share and 76% permanence.

In the seven days, last week’s two episodes make a mark 1,990,000 average viewers, with over 2,574,000 unique contacts and the 77% of permanence.

On social media, with 201 thousand total social interactionsgrowing by +43% compared to a year ago, #MasterChefIt was the most commented content in prime time after the Sanremo Festival. During the broadcast, the official hashtag always remained on the podium in the ranking of Italian Trending Topics, in which the names of Michela, Settimino, Niccolò, Eleonora also appeared (sources: Talkwalker SCR;

There Golden Mystery Box

The evening kicked off with a Golden Mystery Box “alternative”, which concealed ingredients that can be used as substitutes for commonly used products, for an increasingly sustainable cuisine: among these, the 3D printed vegetable steak made from legumes and cereals, nutritional yeast (to be used instead of grated cheese ), coconut oil (replacing butter), dulse seaweed (with a seafood or bacon flavor depending on how it is cooked), oyster leaf (with a similar flavor to the mollusk of the same name), ricotta almonds (vegan product that replaces cow’s milk), potato milk, faba water (the cooking water from dried chickpeas) and chickpea flour (with the binding power of eggs). After 30 minutes of cooking, the first amateur chef to finish his “alternative” dish could ring a bell, giving the other competitors just one more minute to finish their course. Anthony he was the fastest and also the one with whom the tastings began Simplicity of a mushroom (mushrooms in coconut oil with seaweed in vinaigrette, julienne of oyster leaves and vegetable broth with aquafaba and potato milk), then Alternative Normality Of Will be (vegetable meat with fried seaweed, vegetable base sauce, soy and mirin, fried mushrooms), Veg-Linton fillet mignon Of Eleanor (vegetable meat with mushrooms, chickpea flour and onion sauce with mirin and faba water), finally Fake pulled pork Of Nicholas (chickpea porridge with shreds of vegetable meat, turmeric mushrooms and crunchy seaweed on almond ricotta). Eleonora, Sara and Antonio convinced the judges and therefore obtained permission to go up to the balcony.

The invention test

All the others faced each other in theInvention Test dedicated to garlic, with the aim of presenting a dish featuring one or more varieties of this multifaceted ingredient. Black garlic from Korea, pink garlic from Nicastro and garlic from Val di Chiana are available, to be rigorously combined with 10 ingredients of your choice. From the balcony, the winner of the Golden Mystery Box Eleonora indicated Niccolò as the first “vampire” of the test, who decided to take spaghetti and pepper away from Settimino, but revenge was not long in coming and the latter in turn deprived the doctor of spaghetti and cod; Michela, however, took away rice and bread from Deborah, who consequently deprived the former of escarole and scallops; Finally, Kassandra “vampirized” Settimino again by taking away his beans and tomato puree. After 45 minutes of cooking, the tastings began Spaghetti with garlic ink Of Kassandra (spaghetti creamed with plum sauce, dates and black garlic, clams and octopus), then Pulpaglio Of Deborah (octopus marinated with lime and soy, confit cherry tomatoes on courgette and garlic cream) and The garlic of love Of Seventh (fried garlic, confit tomatoes on gorgonzola and pecorino cream). It’s still The garlic that goes to the marina Of Nicholas (mussels and confit tomatoes on black garlic cream and chickpea cream, pink garlic and lime) e Tomato and garlic bruschetta Of Michela (bruschetta with tomatoes, edible flowers and black garlic cream), who played the first of his two Golden Pins to go up to the balcony. The decision was almost inevitable: Seventhleft with very few ingredients on the counter, made the most serious mistakes and abandoned the Masterclass.

The ultimate Skill Test

Then the last one took place Skill Test of the season, with special attention to environmental protection. The young chef is the guest Chiara Pavan, 1 Michelin star and 1 Michelin Green star at the Venissa restaurant in the Venetian lagoon thanks to its environmental cuisine, which on the one hand takes care of the environment and on the other describes it. He brought to the Masterclass the blue crab and the rapana venosa, two invasive alien species from the upper Adriatic Sea with which the competitors cooked a dish that made one of the two species the protagonist. Niccolò, winner of the Invention Test, awarded the blue crab to Sara, Antonio, Michela and himself, while Deborah, Kassandra and Eleonora cooked with the turnip. The tastings started from Homeostasis Of Nicholas (steamed blue crab with apricot and basil chutney, baby spinach, rice chips and cherry tomatoes), Mother of pearl Of Will be (blue crab meat with basil mayonnaise, on rice wafer and tomato water), then Out of the shell Of Deborah (seared veno turnip on aubergine cream, bacon and rye bread crumble) and From the depths of the lagoon Of Anthony (blue crab salad, apricots, spinach, rice chips and tomato water). Then again Lagoon toast Of Eleanor (venous turnip dipped in caramel on rye bread and peppers), Crab plan B Of Michela (blue crab salad with apricot sauce) and Rapana green Of Kassandra (seared venous turnip with rye bread croutons and pepper sauce, olives and parsley). Only Niccolò and Antonio immediately went up to the balcony, while the others faced the second step with the arrival of the chef Riccardo Gaspari, 1 Michelin star and 1 Michelin green star at SanBrite in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The amateur chefs created a dish starring celeriac, an apparently simple but fundamental ingredient in the chef’s preparations. But Niccolò once again had the opportunity to entrust a penalty: Eleonora and Deborah thus had to add mountain pine oil to their dish. The tastings started from Forest and undergrowth Of Eleanor (morels stuffed with celeriac with mountain pine celery carpaccio and green apple gel) and Apple celery Of Will be (celeriac puree and carpaccio, diced celeriac and apples with celeriac base, mushrooms and coffee), then From root to heart Of Michela (cream and slice of celeriac with celeriac salad and crunchy speck) e Rapatouille Of Deborah (carpaccio and diced celeriac with curd on a base of celeriac, mountain pine and speck), finally Celeriac textures Of Kassandra (slice and cream of celeriac, carpaccio of celeriac and apple on a base of celeriac and spices). In this step, Eleonora, Kassandra and Michela were saved, who without the Golden Pin will return to compete on equal terms with the others. In the third step Deborah and Sara challenged each other in an “unknown” head-to-head match from inside or outside. Six ingredients must be included in the dish, but must be discovered five minutes apart from each other: immediately available mountain pasture cow’s milk ricotta and violet artichoke from Sant’Erasmo, then a bouquet of halophyte plants from the lagoon, roe deer fillet and more fermented wild vineyard garlic and mountain herbs and berries. Tasting first All I’ve got Of Deborah and then the plate Will be presented by Will be, both containing venison fillet with ricotta, lagoon herbs, mountain flowers, artichokes and fermented garlic. The dish of Deborah the judges did not agree and therefore unfortunately had to abandon the Masterclass.

Next week, Thursday 15 February, always at 9.15pm on Sky and streaming on NOWa breath of international flavors will arrive at MasterChef Italia to give way to the ambitions of amateur chefs: when there are fewer and fewer tests left until the finish line, it is now forbidden for this year’s Top 6 to make mistakes.