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PhilD

MasterChef - The Professionals

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What annoys me is that I need to be able to trust the judgement of the judges. Michel Roux is a case in point.  The stuff he says is fascinating, precise and adds enormously to the show (love the boggle eyed look he uses to make a point too).  Whenever Greg Wallace opens his mouth he is either a) stating the blindingly obvious (or repeating what Michel Roux has just pointed out) or b) saying something that's just wrong.  What I want from an expert if for them to both inform (say something I didn't know) and provide insight (point out something I wouldn't have realised otherwised).  Sure I've probably got higher expectatations than the target audience, but I simply make the observation that Roux provides both, Wallace provides neither.

Other than that I think the format is excellent.  Simple no frills - and definitely a challenge. Two dishes in fifty minutes sounds a tough ask; I assume they get prep time before that.  I like the classics dish too (good way to seperate men from the boys - one thing you notice is that a lot of the high profile competitions like Roux Scholar and Ramsay Scholar have a strong classical dish component.  Gives the contestants nowhere to hide).

I agree. Michel Roux and the Escoffier slot are the most compelling aspects of this twist on the series. Listening to Wallace generally repeat what Roux has said adds nothing and it would probably be completely farcical if they tasted the dishes separately as Roux’s opinion is really the only one that matters.

Really good to see the classics back on the radar. A Roux Cooks the Classics programme would be very interesting, and I suspect have a larger audience than TV heads would expect (if the accepted belief is that people watch and don’t cook). And in a bizarre way, it would feel fresh and new.

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I think it would be wonderful to bring back the old, original Roux Brothers series. They are so funny together and it would be a good preamble to a new series altogether - maybe using two generations of Roux's - after all, Alain and Michel junior hold five Michelin stars between them, don't they, and I think their respective fathers are still pretty involved in the respective restaurants. I think there is another generation waiting in the wings too, Michel junior has a teenage daughter who has been seen helping out at Taste of London on the Gavroche stand.

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Anything that get's rid of Le Légume.


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Anything that get's rid of Le Légume.

let's play the game of "If Gregg was a vegetable, what sort of vegetable would he be?"

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Anything that get's rid of Le Légume.

let's play the game of "If Gregg was a vegetable, what sort of vegetable would he be?"

I'd rather not actually, because I think there's a line between criticising someone's faults (which I am very happy to do) and personal abuse. Particularly in a public forum.

Just my point of view...

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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Anything that get's rid of Le Légume.

let's play the game of "If Gregg was a vegetable, what sort of vegetable would he be?"

I'd rather not actually, because I think there's a line between criticising someone's faults (which I am very happy to do) and personal abuse. Particularly in a public forum.

Just my point of view...

J

Why should it be abusive? To a vegetarian (and other non believers) vegetables can be things of beauty.

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I have a friend called Tom, who a while ago said he was going to be on tv for his cooking. He wasn't allowed to tell me what it was but I have a suspicion it was for Professional Masterchef.

He's worked at the Vineyard (2 michelin stars) in Berkshire for well over a year now and comes home to share his new skills every now and then, which are astounding. Bar any nerves, he's definately one to watch (if he is actually even on the programme hehe).

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Anything that get's rid of Le Légume.

let's play the game of "If Gregg was a vegetable, what sort of vegetable would he be?"

The real point of interest in this series if the background of the competitors.

Some of the dishes are so strange (e.g. one of the omelettes in to-night's programme, a previous pastry dish where the pastry "bateau" was served on top of the fruit) that I cannot believe that some of the participants have even been to an (inadquate?) catering college.

I think Michel Roux brings a real feeling of precision to the programme, but maybe the competitors don't actually know who he is and revere him because he is the oldest guy in the studio :biggrin:

Petrus

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I do think it would be so much better if we were told the type of place they worked.

Tonight's programme seemed rather unbalanced to say the least (but Greg did get his word in first on at least one occasion - rest of the time echoed M Roux's comments). They seem to have picked some quite cocky ones and I wish there were more girls - the one last night didn't do the female sex much good in the kitchen stakes. How many more times are we going to hear them say "I want to have my own restaurant, with a Michelin star", as if it is some kind of magic wand!

I hope they do Iles Flotantes......

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I'm not sure why knowing the background of the contestants matters so much, they can either cook or they can't........

One guy the other night said something like 'i want my own restaurant, Michelin stars, fame and glory' Well, learning to cook would be a good start.

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I somewhat pity Mr Wallace. At one point (in episode 1?) he was talking about his reasons for eliminating a candidate, and Mr Roux was simply smiling in an uncomfortable way as if to say "look, you're just embarassing yourself, and me, because I'm sitting next to you and letting you say things like that". Poor him, having to speak first for the main.

However, it is highly amusing to see just how much food he will be able to put into his mouth. I thought he had gone as far as he would when he put a quarter of that omelette in his mouth, but then he managed to stuff a whole profiterole in there.

Is it just me or is he trying to be like Heston? Glasses, haircut, accent...

The previous comment about Mr Roux setting a new standard for these cooks is spot on. Perhaps he is so good to watch because he gives genuine appreciation for what he sees, he is tough but fair.

And the raw chicken. Wow. How do they let them in? How can you not cook a piece of chicken? When professional?

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Did I hear correctly that tonight is the final? At least the contestants tonight seemed alittle more able but seriously, things like the chicken, forgetting the fact that it was raw how about browning it a little?

Some of the contestants are no better than the amateurs.

Is Greg Wallace pregnant?


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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saw it for the first time last night, thought the bloke that won certainly had talent, but yes, you knew from the open, 'i'm going to do roast chicken and roast chicken' that his time was up.

thought it quite interesting, certainly less irritating and boosted by the gravitas of M. Roux


you don't win friends with salad

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Did I hear correctly that tonight is the final? At least the contestants tonight seemed alittle more able but seriously, things like the chicken, forgetting the fact that it was raw how about browning it a little?

Some of the contestants are no better than the amateurs.

Is Greg Wallace pregnant?

Could not agree more Matthew. The title "Pofessional Masterchef" is seriously misleading. Maybe it should quickly be re-branded as "Aspiring Masterchef". I find the obsession with having a Michelin star quite worrying. Where are the basic foundations to be able to achieve this??

The whole professional angle of the programmme, and the sub-standard results really make me regret the passing of City and Guilds 706 1/2 even more. The current qualifications just don't seem to offer the basic training and necessity to learn the classics. Long gone are the days (apparently) where a budding young chef would learn how to make an omlette, creme pat and choux pastry before experimenting with throwing as many things on a plate as possible and hoping they work!

Having said all that though, M. Roux comes across brilliantly, is a refreshing change and offers invaluable advice.


Taste is everything

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Michel Roux jnr is marvellous, that's all there is to it. I feel a lunch at Le Gav coming on.

What was interesting about last night's winner for me was that he was the first one to mention reading about food and cooking. It seems clear from the show that catering college plus work alone (be that in a restaurant, school, hospital or wherever) aren't enough. You have to put a little bit extra in. Not so surprising really.

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That fucking voiceover drives me mad as well. :angry:

They are not "exceptional young chefs".


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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That fucking voiceover drives me mad as well.  :angry: 

They are not "exceptional young chefs".

Agreed. Apart from a couple the standard's been dire. No wonder it's such hard work getting a decent restaurant meal in this country.

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Michel Roux jnr is marvellous, that's all there is to it. I feel a lunch at Le Gav coming on.

Just come back from lunch there now. £54 inc. service for the set menu inc. wine. A total triumph and a bargain to behold! I was shocked to find out that after 37 years, today was service icon Silvano Giraldin's last lunch as Maitre d': he's semi-retiring. His last dinner is tomorrow night so I booked myself in again straight away for Saturday. Clearly Silvano was in an especially good mood for not only did he comp me glass of Gosset, he also slipped in an extra starter (tuna/sesame/orange on guacamole). Including the canapées and amuse bouche, I had to endure three gorgeous freebie plates before my first ordered course appeared. Such a chore!

Cheers, Howard


Edited by howardlong (log)

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I saw my first full episode last night, I was shocked at how poor the plating was especially from the guy who had been a chef for 8 years and was interested in the artistic side of things. Presumably the CV's contain names such as the Happy Eater and Dave's Caff :shock:

What's interesting is the unquestioning acceptance that 'plating' is a necessary skill for a professional chef( the term meant something entirely different in the late 60s!). The idea that food comes out of top class kitchens already on the plate is a phenomenon from the last 25 years or so-I tend to think that economics have a lot to do with it. There's nothing wrong with it , of course, but it seems never doubted now that this is the only way to do things.

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What's interesting is the unquestioning acceptance that 'plating' is a necessary skill for a professional chef( the term meant something entirely different in the late 60s!). The idea that food comes out of top class kitchens already on the plate is a phenomenon from the last 25 years or so-I tend to think that economics have a lot to do with it. There's nothing wrong with it , of course, but it seems never doubted now that this is the only way to do things.

Agreed. Interesting how much emphasis Michel Roux places of presentation in his comments.

I assume thats one difference between amateur and pro. Amateurs we want it to be edible and (preferably) delicious. Pros want it to be delicious and look good to boot.


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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That fucking voiceover drives me mad as well.  :angry: 

They are not "exceptional young chefs".

Agreed. Apart from a couple the standard's been dire. No wonder it's such hard work getting a decent restaurant meal in this country.

Absolutely Scott, according to the fucking annoying voice over lady "Cooking doesn't get better than this". If that's the case I'm not eating out again. The public deserves better. Do producers ever consult with food lovers when they are developing these programmes?

Notice how one of the biggest honours they give a dish is that they would pay for it. :wacko: I should hope so! They are professional chefs!


Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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That fucking voiceover drives me mad as well.  :angry: 

She sounds like the same "narrator" that does the voiceovers on the Adult Channel. So my friends tell me.

H

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What's interesting is the unquestioning acceptance that 'plating' is a necessary skill for a professional chef( the term meant something entirely different in the late 60s!). The idea that food comes out of top class kitchens already on the plate is a phenomenon from the last 25 years or so-I tend to think that economics have a lot to do with it. There's nothing wrong with it , of course, but it seems never doubted now that this is the only way to do things.

Agreed. Interesting how much emphasis Michel Roux places of presentation in his comments.

I assume thats one difference between amateur and pro. Amateurs we want it to be edible and (preferably) delicious. Pros want it to be delicious and look good to boot.

Yes. But food doesn't have to be 'plated ' to be ravishingly beautiful, and blatant portion control is very

inhospitable.


Edited by muichoi (log)

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