The BBC’s MasterChef competition has been won by a contestant successfully pulling off his elaborate signature dish of reheated baked beans drizzled over a bed of lightly toasted shop-bought Mighty White and served in a thick tomato sauce.
‘In the wrong hands, it’s a dish that can go badly wrong,’ said judge John Torode. ‘The beans have to be carefully heated through the evening before, but then left on the hob to cool naturally overnight. And people think toasting the bread is easy, but you have to get it just right – if it’s under-toasted it soaks up the tomato jus like a sponge, but over-toasted and the crunchy charcoal finish overpowers the delicate flavour of the beans. That’s the fine line between failure and success.’
Other judge Gregg Wallace was also impressed. ‘The combination of the rich tomato dressing balanced against the lightly-buttered crispness of the toast creates an incredible taste sensation in the mouth,’ he said. ‘And the presentation was beautiful. The precise straight lines of the toast complementing the soft ovoid shape of the beans made this a delight for the eye as much as the stomach.’
The winning contestant has pledged to celebrate his victory at a top London restaurant where he will order a confit of dried noodle and vegetable extract submerged in a gala of boiling water, served up in an exquisite pot plastique with a side-salad of usine-fried salt and vinegar potato chips.