L’Ortolan Junior Sous Chef David Balastegui Gonzalez has recently impressed viewers of the BBC2 programme Masterchef: The Professionals with his extraordinary culinary talents. Last week we saw David reach the semi-finals after Michel Roux Jr. complimented him on his classic ‘high end’ style of cooking. But it was David’s rabbit and chocolate dishes, created for three of the UK’s toughest food critics that secured his place in the next stage of the competition.
We asked David about his Masterchef Professionals journey so far…
What encouraged you to enter Masterchef?
I really wanted to push myself to see what I’m capable of doing. I’ve always enjoyed entering competitions and thought this would be a great challenge. I’ve had a lot of support so it’s good to know people are watching and are behind me.
What is your favourite dish of the series and why?
I loved the lobster and chorizo gazpacho I created in the classics test for Michel Roux Jr. The dish was inspired by my Spanish background and I think that really showed in the flavour combinations. With such a delicate dish it’s difficult to find the right balance, but I think I managed to do that and I loved the way it looked too.
What has been your highlight so far?
Cooking for the critics was one of my personal highlights of the series. At one point I thought I would be serving them a plate of green beans, but luckily I managed to get the dish out and I was really happy with what I served them. Watching it back it was great to see the critics enjoying my food, especially after working so hard to impress them.
What are your plans for the future?
Eventually I’d like to own my own restaurant, I love playing with classic flavours and deconstructing food to add a modern twist.
David has shown an incredible amount of skill and technique over the last few weeks but he believes there’s still a lot more for him to show the judges. Tune into BBC2 next Monday at 8:30pm to see David battle it out with the seven other remaining chefs.