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Masterchef - the Professionals


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What is the relevance of the competition to the contestants?

The winner gets a place in a michelin starred restaurant? Could they not have worked in one without the competition any way?

I only ask since I recently enrolled on a professional cookery course without being in employment. The course leader was encouraging me to apply for work in michelin starred restaurants on mentioning my ambition. I just politely laughed and explained I'd rather get experience lower down the ladder for a year and find my feet. Now I'm paranoid that I may have missed a trick and am wondering how difficult it is to gain experience at a high level.

I applied for work in 10 2AA rosette restaurants and recieved 5 invitations presumably based on my promise to work for free. It's something I've always said I'm willing to do and was presuming michelin star restaurants were as willing to take on people only wanting to learn as anywhere. Masterchef tP makes me wonder if opportunities might be a little more rare than I had imagined!

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I'm pretty sure we've had this very same question about professional masterchef before. Things may have changed but I think you should be able to find work in a Michelin starred kitchen easily enough especially if you're keen.

I bet there are hundreds of sous chefs and chef de partie around the country laughing at professional masterchef. If thats the best we have to offer the culinary world we've got some serious problems in forthcoming years :rolleyes:

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

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I'm surprised that authors of other guides have not complained about the free publicity given to Michelin in every MC programme.

The fact that no contestant has yet said " My ambition is to run my own GFG level 7 restaurant" suggests that reference to the tyre people's guide is orchestrated by the presenters and/or producers.

Lord Reith is surely turning in his grave :angry: .

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Malcolm, of course it could simply be a reflection of how professional chefs judge the guides. Michelin is mentioned because it is the professionals "gold standard". GFG, Hardens, Zagat, etc not mentioned because they are not (in the profs opinions) in the same league. It is the same with actors, would the dream be an Oscar, a Golden Globe, or a Emmy? Obviously it is nice to be awarded anything but there is a hierarchy.

Back to the OP. IMO isn't it easier to get into a top restaurant as a trainee, there will be lots of churn and thus lots of opportunity. As someone with experience you will want a higher level job, there will be fewer opportunities and more competition. Wouldn't an employer choose someone for this type of job from a). their own team; b). a mates kitchen of a similar (Michelin) standing; or C). from another REstaurant with a top reputation, with Michelin being the obvious yardstick. OK you may be lucky but talent is tricky to judge on paper the best evidence is who employed you, what progress you made and did you stick around.

Whilst on the MC topic. I am in Australia now and we have just started the "Australian Masterchef" franchise. The first series (which I missed) was a great success and was purchased by UK TV for UK broadcast. The current series is "Celebrity Masterchef" and this has people who can cook...! The format is also different, they first cook their signature dish, it is judged by two successful chefs and a professional critic. The winner of that round then chooses one of two dishes to cook from a working chefs menu, the chef then sticks around to comment and give 90 seconds of coaching. Week one was Matt Moran of Aria, week two Brent Savage of Bentley Bar and Grill, and last week was Kylie Kwong of Billie Kwong. Each dish is true restaurant standard and involves many complex processes i.e. Fig and Vanilla Bombe Alaska (http://www.masterchef.com.au/fig-and-vanilla-bombe-alaska.htm).

There are no stupid "build the tension" moments, the judging is skilled and accurate, and the contestants turn out good food in reasonable time frames. It is good to see that serious cooking, real criticism, without the false tension the tired UK format has, really works. Hopefully the BBC will take note of how Channel 10 in Australia breathed life into their format.

Edited by PhilD (log)
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If thats the best we have to offer the culinary world we've got some serious problems in forthcoming years :rolleyes:

A bit harsh!

Consistently good cooking under pressure is difficult to find even in high end restaurants: I am impressed by these guys. One of the finalists had never even eaten in a starred restaurant - it takes some real raw talent to produce such dishes as he did with so little experience of fine dining.

And it's nerve-wracking to cook a top chef's signature dish for the big man himself: nevertheless more than one succeeded in doing so to the chef's satisfaction. No, not bad at all, I would say. Any of them with some experience in a top cuisine will make a fine chef.

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