If you can cook for Italians, you can probably cook for anyone. So it seems fitting that this closing week of ‘MasterChef’ (with the final episodes on Wednesday and Thursday) begins in that most uniquely food-obsessed nation.
First, our final three hang out with the legendary Mamma Agata and learn how to keep things rustic and simple. Then, they’re off to Florence where, in the kitchens of the triple-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri, things become very complicated indeed. And finally, their own styles are brought to bear on a banquet for various local luminaries.
The usual presentational bells and whistles begin to grate after a while – no worryingly al dente risotto has ever bubbled to a more artificially tension-laden simmer than the one knocked up by Dale tonight. But our podium trio are a likeable lot and the food – particularly the simpler, more achievable-looking rural offerings – looks truly lipsmacking.
Polo Bar Kensington
A neat bar within the four-star Rydges hotel in Kensington, just a short walk from the V&A, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. The modest space is decorated with dark wood and wine-red crushed velvet seating. A big screen telly shows all the major sporting events, which can be paired with a pint of Boddingtons, Stella, Guinness or Becks – all of which are on tap – or a snack from the bar. There's also an open fire to watch if the sport doesn't take your fancy.
Venue says: “For only £12. British beef burger or fish and chips with a pulled pint of Stella. Monday-Sunday from 6pm-9.30pm.”