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MasterChef - The Professionals


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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.

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!

Haha - an excellent point. These people are charging real money to actual punters right now in their restaurants, and as far as I could tell M. Roux has said he would be happy to pay for about 2 of the 24 or so dishes (one guy's omelette I think, and that brie risotto) so far served up in the first week!

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These people are charging real money to actual punters right now in their restaurants...

Are they? I assumed they were either all junior chefs or (as someone else said) working in catering rather than a restaurant. As junior chefs I doubt they decide what goes out of the kitchen, although thinking back to some of the meals I have had in the UK I may be wrong on that point...!

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Oh God! Is this really the future of British cooking, is this what the "foodie revolution" has produced? A bunch of TV chef wannabe's who aspire to earning one Michelin star and a string of restaurants. A load of chefs who seemingly can't follow a set of instructions or grill a piece of fish? Embarassing is all I can say, the voiceover really needs to calm it down a bit and next year how about simply televising the Roux scholarship so that we can actually see some professional chefs cooking decent food.

As mentioned upthread and by myself elsewhere on this site, why can't we have a TV programme that really does show a decent standard of cooking, not necessarily something everybody can cook at home but something that people might actually watch and simply enjoy because of the skill that has gone into producing it. The amateur masterchef has alluded to the 3* restaurants being some of the best in the world isn't there anyway that we could have a series showing those chefs in action? Is anybody working on these TV shows reading these boards because I would love to know the answer?

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

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

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I'd love that too.

That's why I like Bourdain's TV outings.

“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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These three tonight were a complete shower. When Roux Jnr questioned whether that plonker actually thought about taking up a job that doesn't involve cooking, that was priceless. Magical put-down, fantastic stuff. Fair play though, he took it!

The standard tonight was a little embarrassing, where do they find these people?!

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How about a series focusing on a different chef each week, a trip around the worlds gastronomic destinations, one hour each show a little of their background, the restaurant, explaining their style and then having them cook two or three dishes, not something simple that you can make with supermarket ingredients costing under £5. No "if you haven't got truffles just leave them out", I want "take a 1lb lobe of foie gras and poach it in fat taken from a virgins thighs" type stuff, the things that are not possible to make at home unless you're backed by a sovereign wealth fund and have a personal staff of 10.

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

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How about a series focusing on a different chef each week, a trip around the worlds gastronomic destinations, one hour each show a little of their background, the restaurant, explaining their style and then having them cook two or three dishes

Gets my vote (just in case any of those TV producers you alluded to are reading...). Surely there is some space (esp. on public service telly) for some food programming that is other than lowest common denominator stuff ? Saw "eating with the Enemy" the other day, including our very own Mr Rayner prostituting himself for Auntie BBC's shilling as he and three other critics assessed the predictably dire efforts of some housewife from Barry Island. Is that really as good as it gets for TV cookery? It's like inviting Brian Sewell to do a series on art but telling him to ignore the Uffizi and critique the poster paints of my 2 year old neice instead. I mean, what's the point?

Have recently cooked a bit from - and read a lot more of - the French Laundry Cookbook. I know I can't attempt half of it but that doesn't make it any less interesting to read. We didn't all tune in to watch the Olympics because they'd selected 8 members of the public just like us to run round the track. We watched, not because Usain Bolt is 'just like us' but because he isn't. If people thrill to the best in Sport, why not in cooking rather than putting three hacks on Masterchef who can't fry a fish finger and inviting us to believe that these are professionals "at the top of their game" and "looking to join the culinary elite" ?

Rant over.

G.

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Couple of ideas, came up whilst watching the latest episode (how much worse can the candidates get?!). I thought the BBC was against advertising. No names of chefs, no restaurants, not even "le Gavroche". Yet every other word in the interview is "Michelin". Do the BBC even realize that there are other guides out there (GFG, Harden's etc.) competing with Michelin? It's a 30min advert for the company!

Also, I've had the "chance" to work catering cheap-ish for 90 people (as kitchen slave and washing up slave). During that time I was taught a few things by a guy who did two years in a French catering college. I was very impressed - he could grab a chicken, a knife, and suddenly after jedi-like moves the chicken was boneless. None of the candidates look like they could get near that level of skill. Maybe Masterchef ought to be "Masterchef Professional France". That would be MUCH more interesting.

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... I want "take a 1lb lobe of foie gras and poach it in fat taken from a virgins thighs" type stuff...

I think i may have seen that on the original Iron Chef shows, or was it a virgin poached in foie gras fat...

God i loved those shows. The mystery ingredients were always something incredibly rare/exotic/expensive/alloftheabove, and just to make sure they would use that 1lb of foie gras or white truffles for garnish. It was always surprising and splendidly extravagant! I don't think the show would work here though, too many people still near the bottom of the learning curve to be viable. As evinced by some of the "Professionals" on Masterchef. Though I still have hope that in the end they find a worthy winner.

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We didn't all tune in to watch the Olympics because they'd selected 8 members of the public just like us to run round the track. We watched, not because Usain Bolt is 'just like us' but because he isn't. If people thrill to the best in Sport, why not in cooking rather than putting three hacks on Masterchef who can't fry a fish finger and inviting us to believe that these are professionals "at the top of their game" and "looking to join the culinary elite" ?

Rant over.

G.

But that is Brit TV in a nutshell. Celebs doing things they are not famous for (Come Dancing, Jungle bollocks thing, etc etc) and "ordinary" people trying to be celebs (Fame Acadamy, Britains got talent etc etc )

Masterchef is a strange mix of the 2.Ordinary chef, wants to be famous so that he can then appear on Celeb Love Island and stop cooking!

Personally i wish they would all fuck off back to their kitchens and stop appearing on TV,Can we have a year off from cooking on TV?

Obviously with the execption of MPW !

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How about simply televising the Roux scholarship so that we can actually see some professional chefs cooking decent food.

Great idea. And combined with a Michel Roux masterclass, this would be a really interesting programme. And no, I don’t think we’re talking to ourselves on this one. Surely everyone is sick of the “good television” boyband approach to selecting contestants: the good looking one, the deluded one we feel sorry for, the hard worker, the talented one… actually, that even sounds like an improvement.

And accessible food and bistro dishes with a bit of foam over function thrown in have been done to death. I really think that most people are ready for a true behind the scenes look at cooking at the top end. And not some fast edit, but something that really informs.

BTW, I know everyone worships MPW, but to be honest, I think he’s just out to make the maximum money doing the least possible work at the moment. That means loads of TV, plenty of appearances and a few rants that get him press coverage. I don’t blame him for it (after all, Gordo is making a fortune at it and he has obviously decided to get in on the act), but I think Michel Roux would be a far worthier anchorman for the revival of the classics. First and foremost, he is a chef, a highly talented chef, and he has obviously got provenance. He is not personality driven. He is straight and honest, and a breath of fresh air.

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I like the show but 2 out of 3 chefs in each show are below average. I cannot believe some of those people cook in pro kictchens... ,

I wanted to ask whether there are any of the recipes from the Classics part online. Beebs does not seem to have them up, does anyone know if they are planning to put the up?

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They were the best chefs I had seen last night and I thought that each of them could have won some of the other heats. Interesting that they specified that one of them was an events chef so presumably the others are restaurant chefs?

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

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They were the best chefs I had seen last night and I thought that each of them could have won some of the other heats. Interesting that they specified that one of them was an events chef so presumably the others are restaurant chefs?

What was annoying last night was that none of the chefs on monday should of gone through and 2 if not 3 should of gone through last night. If they are all cack none of them should be going through. It's the fact that the show it's all so template driven every sigle episode and second

Cooking Doesn't get better than this, Two michelin stars since 1991, he understands flavour, right that's him discarded and leaves these two head to head.

I do think Michel Roux jr is doing a great job and coming across really well, actually telling people the secret of teaching the classics and getting these classics on TV everynight.

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They were the best chefs I had seen last night and I thought that each of them could have won some of the other heats. Interesting that they specified that one of them was an events chef so presumably the others are restaurant chefs?

What was annoying last night was that none of the chefs on monday should of gone through and 2 if not 3 should of gone through last night. If they are all cack none of them should be going through. It's the fact that the show it's all so template driven every sigle episode and second

Cooking Doesn't get better than this, Two michelin stars since 1991, he understands flavour, right that's him discarded and leaves these two head to head.

I do think Michel Roux jr is doing a great job and coming across really well, actually telling people the secret of teaching the classics and getting these classics on TV everynight.

It's the first "reality" cooking series I've actually been able to watch, and I have a horrible feeling I'm getting addicted.

Last nights were all of a much higher standard than before - I really felt sorry for that Scottish fella who would have wiped the floor with most of last week's lot.

And yes, M. Roux does a great job in analysing the strengths and weaknesses of each chef, but Baldy Greg is completely useless - all he can do is stand there agreeing with his colleague and trying not to look too out of his depth.

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Well, subject to the various annoyances of (the shrieking of the bald parrot, "cooking doesn't get much better than this ... " etc etc) I quite enjoy this.

The most surprising thing I think is the inconsistency, both in the quality of the contestants and the difficulty of the tasks.

Case in point: on Monday a really sorry bunch were set a fairly simple task (egg florentine, rhubarb tart). Make a tart case, creme pat, poach/cook some rhubarb, toast a pre-made muffin, cook some spinach, make a mornay sauce, assemble. Not a bad test, but not very tough (I'd hope) for a pro. Quite do-able in 80 minutes, I'd think, so long as you work reasonably efficiently, and quite easy to work out what to do first. They made a fair mess of it, nonetheless! Still, one goes through.

Today a much more promising set, but a MUCH harder task. Lobster bisque and coffee dacquoise. Quite apart from the fact that these are (in my opinion at least) harder dishes, the time is really tight--I think you'd be hard pressed to get hazelnuts toasted, meringues made and cool enough to put buttercream (which you have to make) in 80 minutes, let alone doing also all the steps required to make a decent bisque (deal with lobsters, make stock, strain it, concentrate it, prepare lobster meat, bring everything together). Worse than that, if it was me, I'd be struggling to work out a sensible order of play to get everything done because I'd want to get my stock started very early AND my meringues started very early if I was going to have any hope of finishing. Even so, only one of them could go through.

When you put together the fact that the challenges are sometimes easier, sometimes trickier, and the fact that the contestants veer around in quality, it does look slightly doubtful that one can really expect the heats to end up pitting the best against the best in later stages. I understand of course that this is not the point ... even if "cooking doesn't get much better than this" ....

One might even suspect that the groups have been "matched", pitting strong cooks against each other (with difficult tasks) and weak ones against each other with easy tasks, so that each individual programme seems reasonably fair and successful, although the net result is that the competition as a whole is not really fair. Or is that an unworthy thought?

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Today a much more promising set, but a MUCH harder task. Lobster bisque and coffee dacquoise. Quite apart from the fact that these are (in my opinion at least) harder dishes, the time is really tight--I think you'd be hard pressed to get hazelnuts toasted, meringues made and cool enough to put buttercream (which you have to make) in 80 minutes, let alone doing also all the steps required to make a decent bisque (deal with lobsters, make stock, strain it, concentrate it, prepare lobster meat, bring everything together). Worse than that, if it was me, I'd be struggling to work out a sensible order of play to get everything done because I'd want to get my stock started very early AND my meringues started very early if I was going to have any hope of finishing. Even so, only one of them could go through.

Whenever I've made lobster bisque it's taken DAYS, never mind hours :)

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I shouldn't divert my own thread, but did anyone see that plonker in his French vineyard in Chateau Monty on C4. I had to leave the room. The voiceover made me long for the intellect in Masterchef.

Can't understand why he selected an English co-worker to go to France - distrust of "johnny foreigner"? You would have thought fluent french was a qualification. But maybe there was another reason especially since the Italian g/f stayed at home.

I was hoping for an interesting program about running a vineyard in France......I should know better. But I now understand his comment about "needing to have a relathionship with shit" it sums up the program.

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Both of last nights losers would have beaten tonights winner hands down.

I agree, but at least they didn't talk them up as '"it doesn't get much better than this".

Would love to hear more from Michel Roux on "The secret of...." . He has some great comments, many of them gems.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone watch last nights head to head?

I found it quite exciting (I know I am a little sad like that), thought that Dans service @ MC's might have seen him through, but they went for the slightly wobbly under pressure Murray (but who's dishes had more panache). I was absolutely starving by the end of it! :biggrin:

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