Celebrity MasterChef: Tell me why they don't like Mundy's - singer exits the stage
There is no chorus sung, but the singer definitely has the last word in the kitchen
A bird in the hand ... Singer Mundy is the latest contestant to leave the Celebrity MasterChef kitchen
“Monday morning couldn’t guarantee that Monday evening you would still be here with me.” Singer-songwriter Mundy couldn’t have put it better himself as he parked his apron and exited TV3’s Celebrity MasterChef kitchen after a bruising encounter with a grumpy bird.
Flying feathers, blood and guts, and Samantha Mumba’s phantom pregnancy ... this week’s dispatches from the pass had it all. But nothing could upstage the singer-songwriter’s swansong as he distanced himself from the carnage of his attempt at recreating Robin Gill’s black grouse stuffed with heather and hay, served with duck hearts, Roscoff onions and corn salsa.
“Walk away, walk away,” said co-judge Daniel Clifford, calling time. “I’ll f**king walk away alright,” answered a clearly at the end of his tether Mundy, whose trademark freestyle approach had not gone down well this time.
“He was actually going to put raw butter on the dish?” queried an incredulous Gill, when Mundy burnt his beurre noisette and looked for a quick fix. “That breaks my heart.”
If someone wants my taco recipe, I’ll sell it to them
Gill wasn’t the only one feeling emotional. “I’ve grown really attached to you,” said a tearful Clifford when it came to sending Mundy packing. “You’re such a free spirit ... I don’t like tying you down,” the British chef added, moving in for a final manhug to seal the bromance, while Mundy gamely stood his ground.
“I’ll still love cooking, without a doubt, but I’m just going to stick to the music,” the Birr man said as he headed for the door. “If someone wants my taco recipe, I’ll sell it to them,” he added – and it didn’t look like he was joking.
Grouse-gate was no joke for Samantha Mumba either. “I’m actually completely traumatised,” she whimpered, up to her elbows in feathers and entrails. Having sliced into her finger in her distress, the singer then brought the kitchen to a shuddering halt: “Oh my god, my girl was pregnant. There’s a baby in there,” she wailed, whipping her hands out of the bloody carcass.
“Nah, that’s its gizzard,” a more gynaecologically astute Clifford retorted. Later, when Mumba found “a bullet!” in her cooked bird, he’d clearly had enough. “It had a baby in it earlier, what hasn’t your bird been through today?”
“Poor girl,” Mumba cooed, obviously thinking of herself rather than her grouse.
While all this drama was unfolding on Dún Laoghaire pier, where the chefs had decamped to barbecue their dishes in a blur of blazing rather than smouldering hay and weirdly burping Big Green Eggs – one man was cutting through the chaff like a silent weapon.
He may work in the charity sector, but Colm O’Gorman was showing his fellow contestants no mercy as he waltzed through the task. “That’s the closest I’ve tasted to Robin’s dish all day ... Is there no end to this man’s talents?” Clifford enthused, before fast-tracking O’Gorman to the quarter finals and considerably shortening the odds on him adding “MasterChef Champ” to his shiny new food blog.
It was a good week, too, for actor and TV presenter Simon Delaney, whose grouse dish was “the nicest plate of food you’ve cooked to date”, according to its creator. But “mother hen” Niamh Kavanagh and kitchen novice Oisín McConville both came in for criticism, and look vulnerable going into the next stage, where they will face the food critics, who may not prove to be as forgiving as Gill and Clifford.
This week’s restaurant service, with the finalists set loose in the kitchens of Dublin city restaurants Charlotte Quay, The Woollen Mills and Suesey Street, will have gone some way to preparing them for what’s ahead.
“Piece of fish me arse,” Mundy grinned, obviously a little overwhelmed by the mullet with curried prawns he was to cook for lunch diners at The Woollen Mills. “I’d just like that so it doesn’t kill me, if possible,” muttered a dubious Clifford, ordering the dish on his “surprise” visit to the restaurant.
This is going to be a different level of mania
“This is going to be a different level of mania,” Simon Delaney intoned, psyching himself up to deliver 96 portions of gâteau opéra with peanut butter ice-cream and white chocolate soil at Charlotte Quay.
No Simon, cooking for five food critics ... that’s going to be manic.