In his most recently aired episode, Dino Luciano of Murrieta and the other contestants of the show “Masterchef” were given a skill-based challenge that was aptly titled “Silenced by the Lambs,” as contestants were instructed to “French,” or trim the fat off a rack of lamb.
Under the time restraint of an hour, the contestants were also given a brief lesson by judge Gordon Ramsay. Taking place in the kitchen, all contestants worked side by side to finish their skill test with unsuccessful contestants competing in an elimination round.
“Those who didn’t make it had to recreate Gordon Ramsay’s signature herb-crusted rack of lamb,” Luciano explained.
Luciano was amongst the fortunate few contestants who correctly frenched their rack of lamb and sat on the balcony in safety during the elimination round. In the next challenge, the contestants were instructed to create a dish using their ingredient.
This skill was brand new, and many struggled with cutting off the right amount of fat, Luciano said. Many had cooked with lamb before, but they never actually dealt with frenching the lamb off the bones. Cleaning the lamb requires getting a hold of it, while cutting off the fat and other components that stick to the bone.
It’s tricky and technical, but chefs must know how to do it, Luciano said.
“You are trying to get the right amount of it [the fat] because it is a very temperamental thing. If you cut too much, it all falls apart; it was overall very nerve-wracking,” he said.
Luciano even admitted how he cut his hand several times during the challenge. His performance, however, landed him a safe spot in the top half of contestants.
While on the balcony, the experience of competing during the challenge stuck with him, he said.
“You have all the pressure trying to beat everyone, but at the same time you’re not even trying to be the best,” Luciano said. “You’re just trying to place.”
For the perspective of the viewer, camera shots typically pan over chefs with wandering eyes and Luciano commented on his strategy.
“We’re all focused into what we are doing most of the time, but sometimes you look around to see what other people are doing,” he said. “But I usually try to focus into what I’m doing.”