In the elimination round, contestants were given a masterclass in calamari from renowned chef Rick Stein.
And whilst Phil’s initial dish impressed the judges with its technical execution, he fell slightly short of perfection and found himself in the second round, alongside Ralph, Malissa, and Declan.
In the second round (that ultimately sent Phil home), the contestants had the chance to choose one out of five locations inspired by Rick’s extensive travels. Their task was to craft a dish that showcased the authentic cuisine of the selected country.
Whilst we are sure the dish was every bit as delicious as it looked, judge Andy questioned the balance of the aromatics, telling Phil that he wished the dish had more acidity and freshness.
So is there any perfect way in which any would-be applicant can prepare for the challenges of the MasterChef kitchen?
In short no, but Phil did share some insight.
“I think getting as much exposure to different restaurants, cuisines, and skills is really needed.”
The former fitness studio manager also touched upon his excitement at learning from and cooking alongside celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver.
“Meeting all those incredible chefs was just a massive highlight, I still pinch myself, did I really get to cook with Jamie Oliver for that week? My very first cookbook was a Jamie Oliver cookbook and to actually cook for him in the MasterChef kitchen is something that I will never forget.”
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“I think just being on that show, with the other contestants and the judges really just instilled a bit of belief back in myself and what I can achieve, and that I know I am on the right path with my food journey.”
According to Phil, he is “pretty stacked” schedule-wise at the moment, working in the wine-buying space Monday to Friday and as a chef on weekends.
As for who he is tipping to take the MasterChef crown, Phil says Theo is one to watch.
“I really feel like anyone could win it at the moment but Theo is who I roomed with from day one so I will be backing him until the end.”
“I’m just excited to watch it all unfold as a fan from the couch.”