Arguably the most stressful of all the reality TV shows and definitely not for the feint hearted, the early stages of this show requires it’s participants to compete against each other and the clock over two days at the Masterchef headquarters and also to join a team of professional chefs cooking lunch in a high class London hotel or restaurant. No pressure there then!
Day one of the competition saw Vicki line up alongside fellow actors Chris Parker, best known as Spencer Moon Eastenders and Louis Emerick better known as Mick Johnson from Brookside and for his role as the policeman in Last of the Summer Wine. As ever the trio were presided over by resident judges, top chef John Torode and food writer and expert Gregg Wallace.
Their first task was to produce two dishes from a box of random ingredients in just fifty minutes. Vicki chose to make chicken in tomato sauce with ham served with mashed potato and broccoli spears, followed by mixed berry pancakes with honey and lemon cream. Chef John Torode complimented Vicki on her main course and told her, her dessert was a great concept. Pudding fanatic Gregg echoed the sentiment on her sweet calling it delightful.
Day two found the trio in the heart of London’s West End at the Criterion Restaurant, famous for its classic European cuisine. Here, under the guidance of Head Chef Gary O’Sullivan, the would be apprentices were to face the toughest of tests, preparing, cooking and serving a dish from the lunch menu under pressure during a busy lunch time. This proved to be Vicki’s time to shine. Given the task of cooking wild sea bass fillet with crushed new potatoes and mussel broth, she was quickly into her stride and plating up food with confident expertise. Following the service, Head Chef Gary O’Sullivan praised Vicki in his interview with the judges. “On today’s showing I would have to say Vicki was the one who really hit the mark,” he said. “She got the food on straight away, did it how I showed her the first time and kept producing plate after plate to the same high standard. Never did she struggle at any point today.”
Then it was straight back to Masterchef HQ for the final round of the competition, to cook a two course meal of the contestants own choice in just one hour. Once again fish was the order of the day for Vicki in a dish comprising of scallops on a bed of peas and oven roasted chips with a chocolate fondant to follow. Despite producing a main course which the judges heralded as having fantastic flavours, a hiccup on timing meant Vicki didn’t quite deliver on the pudding prompting Gregg to comment that it was so nearly perfect that he wanted to cry.
This wasn’t to be Vicki’s only appearance on the series, returning as a judge some time later when she teamed up with an all-star comedy cast to past judgment over the contestant’s high tea service.