Wednesday, February 23, 2011

From Master Chief to Masterchef


  • Take an established format.
  • Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170c/gas mark 5.
  • Add Lloyd Grossman for flavour.
  • Sprinkle in eager British amateur cooks until softened but not coloured.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes until thick and glossy.
  • Sieve out fragments of Lloyd Grossman.  These remnants can be kept later on as the basis of a sauce (available at all good branches of Sainsburys, Waitrose and Tesco).
  • Add John Torode and Gregg Wallace.
  • Leave simmering for several years - the mix is now perfect.
  • Add a smattering of X Factor.
  • Ruin the whole fucking thing.
I'm no great cook.  Admittedly I do a mean vegetarian (and also a beef lasagne for normal people) and my white Jambalaya is the stuff of legend (and we'll draw a slow veil over my ill-fated seafood paella), but other than that I'm no great shakes in the kitchen.  I know my way around one (especially when maneuvering around the furniture in the dark in one when desperate for a wee at 3 a.m.) and I certainly do enjoy a good cookery show - and Masterchef used to be one of them.

Oh, how we used to laugh at John and Gregg communicating solely through the medium of shouting, despite the two of them sitting less than two feet away from each other.  The wonderful element of John and Gregg rolling a dice before each show to determine who would be good cop, who would be bad cop.  The joyous delight of Greggs pudding face as he munched into a particularly delicious meringue was a sight to behold in our house (exhibiting the same facial expressions as a man at the point of climax after being fellated by two Thai hookers) - the beautiful anticipation of his little bald face when faced with an exquisite pudding was part of the joy of the program.  John Torode - just being John Torode.  The miserable antipodean bastard.  It was a brilliant format that worked.

But that wasn't enough.  Oh no.  They've fucked it all up.

The latest series has become the X-Factor.  It's simply not enough to whittle down 6 or 8 people to 3, and then determine a winner.  Now they have to become with (what seems like) several hundred.  All seeking to bake an ├╝ber-flan.  With John and Gregg still doing the same old shtick, just with many more people to slag off before they can determine who wins.

The evidence?  Nobody would deny that the X Factor is over-reliant on contestants having a "sob story".  Part of the objective of this evenings Masterchef was to cook a roast dinner.  Cue one contestant breaking into heart-wrenching sobs when asked why she was cooking this particular dinner - It's (sob) because it's what her (sob) dad who died (sob, sniff) six years ago would have (sob) liked.  Jesus wept.

I can bet her dead dad would have preferred the old format Masterchef.  He's no doubt spinning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken.

(picks at Dead Dad flesh).  Under cooked.  I can't eat that.

1 comment:

  1. Three things:
    1) You beat me to the Masterchef/Masterchief thing (probably by a long way).

    2)Have you ever watched Masterchef "The Professionals"? I loved the way Michel Roux would pass judgement and then Gregg Wallace would say almost "what he said".

    3) I've yet to watch tonight's but did they just have to cook a roast dinner?
    Who was that unctuous twat who won a couple of years ago? Mat Follas. I didn't warm to him, but they never asked him to cook a roast, did they?



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