Law Society bigwigs sample culinary delights in MasterChef challenge

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By Thomas Connelly on

Solicitor reps’ grand Chancery Lane HQ was the setting for latest round of hit BBC cookery show


Law Society bigwigs made a guest appearance on the BBC’s MasterChef yesterday evening — moonlighting as food critics.

As the popular cookery competition heats up, five professional chefs were put to the test by having to produce a three-course culinary delight for former Law Society president Andrew Caplen.

Caplen — who was still president at the time of filming — was joined by the Law Society’s chief executive Catherine Dixon, young Baker & McKenzie solicitor and chairman of the Junior Lawyers Division (JLD) Max Harris, Islington Borough Council chief lawyer Uma Mehta, and Cris McCurley, a partner at north east firm Ben Hoare Bell.

Dining at the plush Law Society headquarters on Chancery Lane, esteemed guests filed into the grand hall wearing black-tie and ball gowns.

In a move that will without doubt improve the public’s perception of lawyers, the guests quaffed champagne and cracked awkward jokes in front of camera. After toasting Caplen’s birthday, Harris (below right) shared how he felt on hearing that he had been invited to the lavish meal, quipping to Caplen (below left):


As the bantz continued to flow, pressure mounted below deck as the chefs were informed that the president had arrived and wished to eat at 6:15pm.

Having taken their seats and examined the menu, the guests were served their first course: crab tortellini in a spiced bisque.

As those assembled were about to tuck in, Caplen offered his expert analysis on the delicate starter:


As the lawyers tucked into their main course of guineafowl, those sat watching at home were no doubt reminded of their lunch at the local Crown Court that day. A cold cup of tea from a knackered vending machine and a plate of chips may have left some solicitors green with envy — or food poisoning.


With clean plates all round, the third and final course was served: warm pistachio cake with a raspberry sorbet.

As those gathered eyed-up the stunning desert, Harris exclaimed that it made him “upset”. But it was just another gag from the JLD joker.


With the final course demolished, the five weary-looking chefs filtered into the dinning room to warm applause.


Somewhat teary-eyed, Caplen told the MasterChef contestants that he had only six days left in office, and described the evening as a “great memory”.

This isn’t the first time those from the legal world have appeared on MasterChef. Back in 2012 a host of senior judges starred on the show, also as diners, in an episode filmed at Middle Temple.

You can view last night’s episode in full via the iPlayer here.