MasterChef judge makes unforgivable comment after Sheffield dad uses Henderson’s Relish
Henderson’s Relish was the special ingredient for Sheffield’s Luke Rhodes as he appeared in the quarter finals of MasterChef: The Professionals.
The 26-year-old from Woodhouse used the famous sauce to elevate his beef jus to the next level – and naturally it didn’t let him down, helping him wow the judges and seal a place in the semi finals.
Advertising rules meant the name of the revered ingredient, dubbed #sheffieldsholywater by Luke on social media, was never named – instead being referred to as ‘a relish that’s native to where I’m from in Sheffield’.
Judge Marcus Wareing made the unforgivable mistake of comparing the relish to its southern rival, saying: “It’s a little bit like a Worcestershire sauce so I’m looking forward to seeing what it brings to the sauce.”
He wasn’t disappointed and nor were the food critics Jay Rayner and Tracy MacLeod, who were in raptures when Luke served up his Wagyu ribeye steak with all the trimmings.
Jay Rayner said: “Puttin that ‘Yorkshire’ relish does give it acidity and that really works.”
Marcus Wareing described it as a ‘knock out sauce’, adding ‘it’s a Yorkshire portion of food beautifully cooked by a proper Yorkshireman’.
Luke, whose first child was born shortly before he appeared on the show and who revealed he is a professional wrestler on the side, also wowed the critics with his toasted coconut panna cotta.
He earlier impressed the judges with his invention test, in which he made pan-roasted duck breast with an Asian lime glaze, rhubarb slaw and kumquat puree.
His only mistake was forgetting to put his Wagyu steak in the water bath, which didn’t cost him as the judges still praised his perfect cooking of the beef.
Luke trained at Sheffield College before working in Australia and, having run his own restaurant called Karnivore after returning to Sheffield, is now a senior sous chef at the University of Sheffield’s Halifax Hall hotel.
His interest in cooking began when he was just five and would bake with his grandmother.
He has praised his college lecturers, Len Unwin, Mick Burke and Neil Taylor, who he says ‘taught me everything I needed to know to get me into the business’.
And Len said ‘we are really proud of Luke and what he has achieved’.
In the quarter finals, which aired on BBC One on Thursday, November 26, at 9pm, Luke revealed more about life as a new father and the influence of his wife, who is a pastry chef.
"My wife’s just come back out of hospital (having given birth to their daughter) and I said you’re more important, you’re my priority,” he told judge Monica Galetti.
"She’s like if you leave this competition you’re in the dog house, so she wants me to do well, she wants me to push on.
"She’s a chef also, a pastry chef, so she gets it. She’s rooting for me and I’m really looking forward to pushing on for her and my daughter as well.”
The semi-finals, featuring the best 10 remaining chefs, are due to air from Tuesday, December 8.
After sealing his place in the semi finals, Luke said: “It’s an absolute honour to be in this position. I must be doing something right.”