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Masterchef: The Professionals


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#1 olicollett

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:26 PM

Surprised this hasn't had a mention on here yet, but has anyone else been following this so far?

The standard seems really hit and miss. Some shows they seem to get 4 chef's who look no better than the contestants on the standard masterchef, but on another they get 4 people who look superb and they end up knocking some people out who had clear potential!

It seems to me that they've made it far too long as well. It's on for over 3hrs each week and I've already forgotten half of the contenders! Ludovic seems to be very creative, although he seems very laid back at times

I'm hoping Jay Rayner will pop in and give us his thoughts (without spoiling anything ;)) given his first hand experience of the food itself.

#2 Simon_S

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 01:45 AM

I agree that the standard is very hit and miss, and some people have been eliminated who'd certainly be in with a shout of winning another episode. Still, I enjoy watching GW trying to come up with alternative ways of saying what MRJ just said, and I love when MRJ says a flat "no" to a dish. He's only just short of rolling up a magazine and smacking the contestant on the nose.

I think the guy who won last night's quarter final is in with a shout, Ludovic also, and there have been a few others along the way who look interesting. I still can't get over some of the mistakes made, though, and I'm no cook myself. The elimination round especially is a real eye-opener.

#3 olicollett

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 05:21 AM

I enjoy watching GW trying to come up with alternative ways of saying what MRJ just said, and I love when MRJ says a flat "no" to a dish. He's only just short of rolling up a magazine and smacking the contestant on the nose.


LOL - Yeah it would be interesting to see what GW would say if he was going first!

#4 jayrayner

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 07:53 AM

No insight to offer, I'm afraid. Each of these series is shot some time in advance (this one, back in March). When we get there for each day's shoot we have no prior knowledge of who has done what, nor are we told who actually does go home as a result of what we've said, let alone who eventually wins (indeed, competitors sign agreements promising not to reveal anything).

So essentially what you saw was what we got: four cooks, three courses each, staggered serving over the course of three to four hours. The clear winners on the days I did itn were Marianne Lumb - her rhubarb tarte tatin was extraordinary, a technical as well as gastronomic triumph - and ludo. His pear and roquefort souffle was masterful. Compared to those two the others were also rans.

and that's all I have for you

Jay
Jay

#5 Simon_S

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:06 AM

Thanks Jay. Are we to take it that you're not involved in later rounds? Shame if not...

#6 JudyB

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:31 AM

I think the guy who won last night's quarter final is in with a shout, Ludovic also, and there have been a few others along the way who look interesting. I still can't get over some of the mistakes made, though, and I'm no cook myself. The elimination round especially is a real eye-opener.

The quality is certainly very variable. We were also wondering this week to what extent they "seed" the contestants since some of the heats are quite tight while in others they seem to be fighting over who will get thrown out.

We just watched last night's quarter finals and the most striking comment from the critics was when Charles Campion pointed out that this was the first time that any Masterchef contestant had completely failed to deliver a course. In addition to one completely failing with his dessert the Irish chef (David?), who went through to the semis, failed to cook half of his main and the main part of his dessert. I assume that the judges felt that overall David was better than the other two, but even so the failure to deliver was surprising.

#7 olicollett

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 01:09 PM

No insight to offer, I'm afraid. Each of these series is shot some time in advance (this one, back in March). When we get there for each day's shoot we have no prior knowledge of who has done what, nor are we told who actually does go home as a result of what we've said, let alone who eventually wins (indeed, competitors sign agreements promising not to reveal anything).

So essentially what you saw was what we got: four cooks, three courses each, staggered serving over the course of three to four hours. The clear winners on the days I did itn were Marianne Lumb - her rhubarb tarte tatin was extraordinary, a technical as well as gastronomic triumph - and ludo. His pear and roquefort souffle was masterful. Compared to those two the others were also rans.

and that's all I have for you

Jay


Thanks Jay, I didn't want you to spoil anything anyway!

I forgot about Marianne, she looked very promising in the first heat. I really want to try that pear and roquefort souffle - looked to me an ideal pre-dessert course, reminded me of the composed cheese course/pre-dessert thing I had at Pierre Gagnaire.

#8 Carlovski

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 02:14 PM

I've been sadly addicted to it for some reason, despite the bizarre scheduling and format. The skills tests seem a bit unfair - some poor lad with a bit of catering college and a year or two in a provincial restaurant being presented with oxtail to bone or a rabbit to joint. Was a bit concerned by the lack of ability of anyone to be able to cook scrambled eggs though.
The classic recipe test is interesting but it would be nice to see something classic, and not French!
When they get to the end of the week quarter finals though something strange happens. At least 3 out of 4 will revert to something fishy or meaty wrapped in bacon/ham and a either a chocolate fondant, a tart or a souffle. Nothing wrong with that - good dishes, but they obviously panic about originality and decide to serve them with something completely bonkers. Monkish in proscuitto? Fine. With pomegranate juice? Maybe not. Or a lemon tart with cucumber sorbet?

The whole concept also slightly annoys me. Everyone wants to have Michelin stars. Nobody wants to cook good food, or have a succesful restaurant. Of course they probably don't want any of those - it's all about being on TV. If you really wanted to work in a top kitchen, you wouldn't be waiting around for a reality TV cooking show.
Of course I'll stick keep watching it though!
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#9 olicollett

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 01:28 PM

Shocking result tonight :shock:

Fair enough though, Ludovic had been consistently good but he never really upped his game

#10 Simon_S

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 01:19 AM

Yep, very surprised that Ludovic didn't go through, but he himself seemed to know that he just hadn't done enough. I had him down as a possible winner, though. Now, I'm thinking that Ryan is probably the one to beat.

#11 fairfranco

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 02:18 AM

I've had Ryan down as the winner since he won his heat. You could see Michel had a bit of a thing for him, obviously recognised his determination and ambition and the talent to go with it.

Some of the others have shown some improvement but that shows the most geniune desire which Michel clearly appreciates.

Does anyone know what the actual prize is in Masterchef?

Much like X Factor type programmes they tend to just spend the whole show saying "I really need this", "I want this so much" and "I'd be devistated if I went out now" without ever mentioning what it is they really want apart from recognised and to be a winner.

Before anyone says it, yes I obviously understand that winning or doing well in this competition is clearly something which would be recognised by restauranteurs and other important people to their trade.