BY TOBY PORTER
In the end, the long arm of the law was not enough to grapple a place in the next round of MasterChef.
Hasan Berkül, 38, a Turkish Cypriot copper from Greenwich, was ousted from BBC1’s top kitchen show on Tuesday.
And he had admitted beforehand, that if it happened, he is not too old to get a clip round the ear from his mum. So maybe the long arm of the mum will get the last word.
Terrifying tasters John Torode and Gregg Wallace – Peckham born and raised – obviously wanted to bring their involvement with law enforcement to an end as quickly as possible, though.
There were nine contestants on Tuesday – two from South London.
Mr Berkül did a keriarik sliced aubergine stuffed with spiced mincemeat, red pepper paste and chilli; plus traditional Turkish pilaf, garlic tzatziki and sumac spice powder.
He said: “Policemen have to perform under intense pressure so I will use those skills in the kitchen”.
[My dish] can look a bit sloppy so I’m hoping to refine it as well. It was last cooked by my mother so it’s very close to my heart. I’m not too old for a clip around the ear if I get it wrong – so no pressure.
“I am from Turkish Cypriot heritage so the fact that I was on the show meant a lot to a community that’s tight-knit.
“My family have always known that I had a penchant for cooking and to be on the show was a proud moment for my wife and our family.”
Mr Wallace said: “You really, really flavour your food. There’s so much pepper with this tomato in with the mince.
“It’s really lovely. There’s so much garlic with the tzatziki it’s almost on fire. I think the butter with the rice is a mistake. It’s becoming a bit rich. I’m looking for a bit of calm relief.”
He also got to do a traditional Turkish knafeh dessert with kasar cheese, sandwiched between fried layers of creamed kataifi pastry coated in sugar syrup served with vanilla ice cream and a hint of Seville Orange.
Wallace liked the saltiness of the cheese but felt the dish had become soggy – and the ice cream did not have enough flavour. So now he’s off the beating whisk and back on the beat.
Has said: “I gave it my all. Disappointing but I’ve now put out some food which was a life’s ambition. I’ve done that now so I’ve got absolutely no regrets at all.”
Holly Parnell is through to the quarter -final, to be shown tonight.
She is a theatre director from Bermondsey, who runs the Pen Theatre in Penarth Street, and is a graduate of the Rose Bruford College in Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup.
She cooked a cod dish which received high praise from the judges.
Holly said: “Working in the theatre and cooking are the same thing. They are both an event.. I like to bring the theatrical element to it.”
She made chorizo and black pudding encrusted cod loin, served with a squid ink tagliatelle with a romesco pepper sauce and a parsley oil.
Mr Wallace said: “Holly is almost like a bit of a rebel. She’s not only playing with big flavours, she’s playing with big colours. Her pasta is perfect. It’s a very adventurous, complex, difficult dish to pull off.”