Well, it does, actually. Some of the stuff these contestants in 'Masterchef: the Professionals' serve up to the boggle-eyed Roux I wouldn't give my granny. He has every right to flare his malteser eyes, lift his designer stubbled chin and grimace. Raw poultry, venison that's practically walking off the plate...the catalogue of basic errors is endless.
But come, come, I mustn't be too harsh, or I'll sound like one of the puffed up, pudgy faced restaurant critics that these hapless souls have to cook for to win a semi-final place. (And what, exactly, I would like to know, equips you to be a restaurant critic? A large stomach, a huge ego and a penchant for a glass of red? I certainly think I am quite capable of eating my way round the best restaurants of the world and knowing the difference between a tasteless, unimaginative, poorly seasoned, poorly conceived dish and one that really tastes rather good. But call me old-fashioned. It is obviously a black art and I'm not in the magic circle.) And I certainly would find my concentration shot to pieces with Greg and Michel hovering like vultures in the background offering up helpful comments like 'You've got 30 seconds left, are you going to do it?' as the poor contestant's sweat drips relentlessly into the Masterchef saucepans. (If the food's too salty - you know why...). Followed with the equally unhelpful 'Well done, now go on, GO!! and don't drop it!'. No, Greg, I'll try not to. And they could at least hold the swing doors open for them - or is that the one final test? Mis-timing your exit and having one of the bastard things swing back and send the plates of food shimmying off your already shaking forearms and skidding across the floor to the feet of the fat critics...now THAT would be good telly.
Actually, it is good telly anyway and I usually try and watch it. The one thing I could REALLY do without though (aside from the shouting - oh, and the tasting mannerisms: food-laden fork hovering in front of close-up of lips then poised, as if time has stood still, in the damp cavity of their mouths, tastebuds sizzling or screaming the while) is the equally nerve-rattling, excessively irritating breathiness and tonal trippery of the girl doing the voice-over. My God. I could hit her.
Anyway, the other day they had to do a Boeuf Bourguignon in the 'Classic Test' which put me in mind of the beef chunks I had in the freezer and the casserole that I've been meaning to cook for the last week or two. I finally got round to it last night and have just enjoyed the left-overs re-heated for my lunch. I posted it over on my 'Fridge Food' blog. It's not Masterchef (even they struggled to make a casserole look pretty and refined on the plate) but my mash didn't have lumps in it and it tasted pretty good too, if I say so myself. So, pop over and take a look. Just don't shout at me, please.