Friday, 2 October 2009

'Cooking Doesn't Get Better Than This!' (shouted)

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.

10 comments:

Arosebyanyothername said...

I love watching this too. I usually catch it the day after on BBCiplayer whilst sewing or doing the ironing and I can turn the sound down a bit.
What annoys me most - and its not just this programme - is the constantly repeating bits of intro and linking film.
I get somewhat stressed out though for some of the contestants and find myself offering words of advice.

Lindsay said...

"that" woman drives us totally mad!

HER ON THE HILL said...

Hello ARose and Lindsay - thanks for popping by! Glad we're not alone re 'that' woman! She cropped up as 'the voice' for a programme promo on the Terry Wogan show this morning and he said 'Wasn't she 'that' woman from Masterchef?' with a chuckle and a Woganesque twinkle in his voice! And I quite agree about the constant repetition and the linking bits of film (which you get on all these sorts of programmes these days) - it would actually drive you totally insane if you let it!

Mark said...

I can't abide ponsey food - and most posh restaurants too. It seems to me that good food doesn't need all that nonsense. If I could chose my last meal it would be fabulous picnic, with my family, high on the Northumberland moors - but with Italian sunshine too.

Cait O'Connor said...

I gave up watching Master Chef a long time ago because I couldn't stand the two blokes in it and like you I was not impressed with the cooking.
Give me Novelli any day :-)

Preseli Mags said...

I have caught a few episodes of this Masterchef too. So much grimacing and spoon-licking. So much rawness too. A good vet could've revived that venison. Off now to check out your casserole.

Pipany said...

been over to have a look at your casserole blog and yes, it sounds totally gorgeous. Glad your time in Cornwall was good (though more details maybe?) and perhaps next time we could meet up? Sneds the fear of god into you when someone writes that doesn't it!!!! x

Woozle1967 said...

Had to stop watching the darned programme - was no good for my stress levels! Shall pop over to the other side right now.........xx

elizabethm said...

I'm a bit of a Masterchef addict too! it does drive me mad from time to time but it is compulsive viewing isn't it?

French Fancy said...

It is good telly and has sucked me in. Those stock shots of Michel, Monica or Greg looking at their watch and tutting always makes me crack up. Jeez - imagine trying to create a dish with those gimlet eyes staring at you - they've all got them, although I love your description of Michel Roux's 'malteser' eyes. It was his dad that established the name anyway

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