Recreate Nick Watson's delicious signature dish from Heat 4 of MasterChef 2014.



  • asparagus spears (x 2)
  • whole aubergine (x 1 – only a tiny amount of this will actually be used but needs to be prepped from whole)
  • balsamic vinegar (50ml)
  • banana shallots (x 1)
  • black peppercorns
  • butter (50g)
  • castor sugar (25g)
  • cherry tomato (x 1)
  • chicken stock (70g)
  • chorizo (17g)
  • egg (x 1)
  • fresh double cream (50ml)
  • garlic clove (x 1)
  • gellan gum type f (0.2 tspn)
  • ice (1kg)
  • japanese bread crumbs (100g)
  • liliput capers + juice (1 tbsp)
  • lime (1/4 juice)
  • maldon sea salt
  • micro coriander (1 packet - 1/2 tsp for salsa, some leafs for garnish)
  • milk (2 tbsp )
  • olive oil (1 tbspn)
  • plain flour x 100g
  • rooster potato (233g)
  • red chilli (1/4)
  • sea bass (whole)
  • sweet potato (x1 - only a tiny amount of this will actually be used but needs to be prepped from whole)
  • vegetable oil for deep fat fryer (2 litres)
  • vine tomato (1/2 large)
  • white wine cold (20g)
  • white wine (100ml)


  1. Turn oven onto 110 degrees c
  2. Turn Fryer on to 130 degrees c
  3. Water onto boil
  4. Saucepan onto heat
  5. Ice bath prepared
  6. Metal gastronorm container placed in the fridge/freezer.
  7. Beurre blanc bonbon (start straight away)*:
  8. Finely dice the shallot (use 1/3 for sauce, keep 1/3 aside for salsa and 1/3 for chorizo).
  9. Puree the Garlic by finely dicing and then using the back of a knife push down on the garlic until it becomes translucent (use ½ for sauce, keep ½ set aside for chorizo).
  10. Sweat off your finely diced shallots and pureed garlic in 10g of butter add in 100ml white wine once the shallots have softened but not coloured and reduce.
  11. Meanwhile bind the Gellan Gum with the 20g white wine in a small container until the powder has dissolved. Once the white wine in the pan has almost evaporated pour in the Gellan Gum solution, add double cream, chicken stock and reduce to a thick sauce being careful not to split the cream. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into the cold metal container and place back into the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile prepare an egg wash by whisking the egg with the milk and set aside in a container. In 2 more separate containers, lay out the flour and Japanese breadcrumbs.
  13. Once the sauce has set it should not move when the container is tilted to one side. Carefully mould the sauce into a ball in the palm of your hands and coat in flour, followed by egg wash, followed by breadcrumbs. The sauce will still be very soft and delicate so care should be taken when handling to ensure it maintains its shape. The breadcrumbs should help to firm up its shape. Repeat the process once more by coating in egg wash and breadcrumbs (no need to flour again).
  14. Deep fry for about 15-20 seconds in the 190 degree oil (see garnishes – sweet potato and aubergine crisps must be prepared first at 130 degrees before fryer is increased to 190) and put into the oven simply to keep warm until ready to plate.
  15. * It's important to reduce the sauce to a thick consistency otherwise the sauce will not set and it will not be possible to mould into a shape that can be paneed. For best results leave in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, but may require longer depending on fridge temperature.
  16. Pan seared sea bass:
  17. Fillet the fish and check for bones around the head area of the fillet removing these with either pinboners or tweezers. Gently score the skin 7 times across the length of the fillet. Cut and fillet into pieces across the width of the fillet and set into the fridge to keep it fresh until you are about 12 minutes away from plating up.
  18. Place a frying pan onto a medium heat at least 15 minutes before plating up.
  19. With 12 minutes remaining season both sides of the fish, start frying your filleted fish skin side down and pushing down in the middle of the fish at first until it settles down. The fish should gently cook through from skin side down having previously scored the skin. As the flesh starts to turn white flip the fish over, put in 10g butter and immediately take off the heat before serving.
  20. Tomato and caper salsa (start 40 minutes remaining):
  21. Gently stab 1 large vine tomato evenly 6-7 times around the surface and place into boiling pot of water for 30 seconds and then place immediately into an ice bath, once tomato has cooled peel skin. Remove seeds from tomato and finely dice and place in a mixing bowl. Finely chop the chilli and coriander and add to the tomato along with the shallot. Finally add lime juice and capers. Add salt and pepper. Drain juices using a fine serve before plating up.
  22. The salsa can be prepared in parts when time allows and can be served at room temperature or even warmer if desired. The salsa can be presented on the plate in advance of the other components of the dish being plated up.
  23. Chorizo pomme puree: (start 20 minutes remaining)
  24. Peel potatoes and put onto boil in salted water (this should be done with around 35 minutes reaming)
  25. Finely dice the chorizo and sweat off with shallots and garlic in 30g butter.
  26. Pass boiled potatoes through a fine sieve into the pot with the chorizo/garlic/shallots and mix through the potato. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Place a lid on the pot to keep warm.
  27. Garnish (work on at various times throughout the hour):
  28. - Finely shred some aubergine skin and deep fry. Once left to cool aubergine will crisp and can be inserted into the cherry tomato to give an edible alternative to tomato on the vine. **
  29. - Using a speed peeler prepare a nice long ribbon of sweet potato and trim to give a nice long triangular shape and deep fry (place under the basket using basket to maintain its shape). **
  30. - Balsamic syrup: Caramelise caster sugar and add balsamic. Bring to 'Jam' temperature and pour into piping bottle and leave to cool. ***
  31. - Poach 1 cherry tomato and put into ice bath and then peel skin. Put into the frying pan with the fish just after the butter has been added to give a shiny gloss.
  32. - Blanch 2 asparagus spears and cool in ice bath. Slice length ways. Put into the frying pan with the fish just after the butter has been added to give a shiny gloss.
  33. **The Aubergine and Sweet Potato crisps should be prepared early on (ideally after the sauce has been placed into the fridge. It's important to get these garnishes out of the way so that the fryer can be turned up to 190 for the Bonbon.
  34. ***The balsamic syrup can be prepared in the first 20 minutes and set aside to thicken.