Something’s cooking in Celebrity MasterChef

ITV’s Cooking with the Stars is about to have its thunder well and truly stolen as Celebrity MasterChef returns for a new series – and a line-up that’s eclectic even by this show’s standards.

Sunday, 8th August 2021, 5:00 pm

Among the famous faces who will be taking part in this run are Katie Price, Dion Dublin, Gavin Elser, Joe Swash and Michelle Collins, while fans of The Great British Sewing Bee will get to find out if Patrick Grant is as unflappable in the kitchen as he is in the haberdashery (and when he’s not the one doing the judging).

Of course, MasterChef mainstays Gregg Wallace and John Torode will also be on hand to put their own tastebuds to the test and decide which of this year’s celebs deserves to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Riyadh Khalaf.

The hopefuls who will be making their bid in this opening heat are actor Su Pollard, former EastEnder Rita Simons, actor and pop band Blue’s Duncan James, Happy Mondays legend Bez and comedian and digital creator Munya Chawawa.

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Duncan James, Su Pollard, Munya Chawawa, Rita Simons and Bez

They are not going to be eased in gently as their first challenge is a new addition to the show, Under the Cloche. Each celebrity will be given a cloche, which they will lift up to reveal a different ingredient.

With access to the MasterChef larder, they must then think on their feet and whip up a dish that showcases the foodstuff they have been given.

The new tasks don’t stop there, as next up is the Street Food Challenge.

The celebrities are presented with a popular street food, in this case Danish favourite Frikadeller with red cabbage and apples.

Su, Bez and co must taste it to try to identify the ingredients, before having a go at cooking the classic national dish themselves, following their instincts rather than a recipe.

At least the final challenge of the episode should find them on slightly more familiar ground as they are given an hour to prepare their Dinner Party Dish. But who will convince the judges to come dine with them, and who will be going home?

The contest continues on Tuesday, with a Knowledge and Skills test, as the celebrities have to prove their culinary knowhow by identifying four types of cheese and rustling up a classic pasta carbonara.

In pre-pandemic times, they would have also been sent to work with a professional chef in a restaurant kitchen, but this year the chefs are coming to them, starting with Nisha Katona, who asks them to cook an Indian recipe from her menu. And once again, someone will get the chop at the end of the episode.

Then on Friday, the three remaining celebrities must cook a two-course meal for John and Gregg, and three former Celebrity MasterChef Champions; reigning champ Riyadh, former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and TV presenter Angellica Bell. Only the best two will make it through to the semi-finals stage and a shot at the coveted title.