Monday, August 8, 2011

Masterchef

Usually I don't care for reality shows, but (shhh, don't tell anyone, my secret is out) I'm addicted to Masterchef. If you've never heard of Masterchef, it's a TV show where 20 ordinary people test their culinary skills in what is basically an old-fashioned cook off. The judges are Chef Joe Bastianich, Chef Graham Elliot and Chef Gordon Ramsay. When it comes to cooking and being creative, they are a formidable bunch to please, believe me.   Facing these three judges, the competition becomes more like an endurance test than a cooking contest.  Each week a contestant is eliminated until we are left with a winner.

We are now down to the final six five contestants, and it’s pretty much a faceoff between Jennifer (the heroine) and Christian (the villain). They spend much of their time sniping at each other and gritting their teeth over each other's successes. My favorite contestant is Ben Starr from Lewisville, Texas. He always looks so surprised when anyone wins ~~ especially him ~~ or when anyone loses, for that matter. He has the most winning personality of the group, and he is sort of the comic relief. I think he's a pretty good cook, too. He has lasted until now, in any case, and that's not easy. I will be sad if and when he is eliminated.

I love chef Ramsay; every second word he utters has to be bleeped out, and just by his body language he is able to make a grown man cry. Cry over food? Well, I guess so... These folks take this stuff very seriously. Occasionally the judges are presented with a dish so bad, so unpalatable, so unfit for human consumption, it is scraped off the plate and tossed into the garbage, while the unfortunate contestant stands frozen like a deer in the headlights. On one episode Chef Ramsay told a contestant that her offering was the worst dish he had ever eaten. Tears ensued. Chef Bastianich just fixes the contestant with an icy stare, and we are left to guess what it means. Did he like it, did he hate it?  Was he blown away by the dish, or was it beyond disgusting? Chef Elliot just looks amused by the whole thing, but he can be very angry if a dish is not up to his liking.  He likes  his food.

Oh, the drama, the drama.

My favourite part of the show is the mystery box, which is a wooden box filled with surprise elements that the contestants are required to transform into a gourmet meal. Last week several live prawns walked right off the table, their antennae twitching as they nonchalantly strolled away, trying to look inconspicuous. Mercifully, we were not permitted to watch as they were dispatched from the state of being living creatures, into flavourful culinary delights.  However, it all worked out in the end ... well, maybe not for the prawns...

I ask you, is there anything more rewarding than the perfect soufflé, or anything more disappointing than bland tomato soup? "The soup is okay, but it needs more seasoning..." Damned by faint praise.  I had no idea cooking could be so much fun.  Who knew?

11 comments:

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've never heard of the show before and normally hate reality TV, but would definitely watch this. I love to cook and would enjoy being a contestant (maybe.) It sounds like a real test of their creativity,and I really like that.

A human kind of human said...

My whole family (except me who DOES NOT LIKE COOKING but ENDS UP COOKING MOST MEALS) loves Master Chef. They all love cooking and Gordon Ramsey is their favourite. Personally I think he an uncouth oaf (as the classics have it).

PinkPanthress said...

We have a few similar show here, but I only watch them for a few minutes, whenever I zapped into the news too early.

Personally I think cooking can be fun & enjoyable, but not in a contest.

DJan said...

I stumbled onto this show once and thought it was interesting. Glad to know it's so much fun; maybe I'll give it a try!

the walking man said...

I like pot stirring and making thigs boil but not cooking.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've been watching and enjoying this too.

lgsquirrel said...

I don't know if you have the opportunity but the Australian version of Masterchef is in my opinion much better to watch and has a much higher level of cooking skills too. Also there is a Junior Masterchef Australia series too and the kids as young as 8 years old really impress. Gordon Ramsey's foul mouth cannot compete with their sweet cuteness.

Leslie: said...

there's another show like this one on one of the cable channels - the name escapes me at the moment - and I love it. I must give this one a look as it sounds exactly the same.

Russell said...

My dog Bailey makes an incredible Bone Soup.

Think that would be something the MasterChef would be interested in?

Probably not? Oh, well, thought I would .... toss ... out the idea. Heh!!

Paula Slade said...

I love to cook, but I've never seen the show. It sounds quite interesting. Who knew there would be humor and drama in a "cook off." :)

Alicia said...

Oh Jo! This is one of my fav shows as well! I love Chef Bastianich and his icy stare that leaves you wondering was that good or bad??? And Chef Ramsey? Well aside from his potty mouth I loved watching him. He was born to entertain! It's a great show.