For my Kiwi friends, this post contains no spoilers…
I love Masterchef – the Australian version, that is – it’s one of the rare reality shows that has a good positive feel to it. As tempting as it would be to play up the challenges of living in a group house – and everyone who’s ever lived in a group or share house knows what I’m talking about – the producers keep the focus firmly on the food and really celebrate the growth of the contestants.
This year though, something has been rankling at me – just a vague irritation that started as a bit of an itch, but that now is like that mozzie bite that you can forget about for most of the time, but that flares up just when you’re trying to go to sleep.
I’ve managed to pinpoint it to two root causes: the focus on dessert and fancy equipment.
Now, don’t get me wrong, although I don’t eat sugar (outside of its fermented form) and generally have just a handful of desserts per year, I can appreciate the beauty of the creations that are being, well, created. And by amateurs. But average home cooks these aren’t – no matter what the advertising says.
Masterchef has done a great job of encouraging people into the kitchen, but with the attention on dishes that no ordinary person can recreate – seriously, what was with that floating ice cream? – I have to wonder whether they’re in danger of intimidating the same people they’re looking to inspire.
IMHO the best week this year was home cook week – when all the fancy equipment was taken away. No blast chillers (after all, who really has one of them in their suburban kitchen?), no sous vide machines (is that how you spell it?), no smoking guns, no thermomixes – just the blenders, mixers and food processors that most people have. The looks on some of the contestants faces had to be seen to be believed – they want us to do what without what?
I also enjoyed the mac cheese challenge – although some of them obviously hadn’t eaten much mac cheese in their time – and the 6 egg elimination where they only had 6 eggs to last through the whole of up to 3 rounds. We’ve all been there.
If you look at my favourite episodes in recent years there’s a definite theme: the jaffle challenge, the dude food challenge, the leftovers challenge, and the Nigella midnight feast challenge. As an aside, Nigella looked far better in that red checked shirt than anyone has the right to look in a checked shirt.
There’s absolutely a place for the amazing conceptual creations – these guys are seriously that good and I love watching with awe what they come up with – but mixed between the fine food and super dessert challenges that are unlike anything we’ve ever seen on Masterchef before – I’d like to see things like:
- The mince challenge – over three rounds. Let’s see how many ways they can do this family staple.
- The rissole challenge. From the humble salmon rissole to a hearty wagyu burger, the options are wide.
- The leftover challenge. Again let’s make it over three rounds – and let’s make the leftovers the real things that you’d find in an ordinary fridge. Sausages three ways anyone?
- The caravan challenge using ingredients and equipment that you’d find in the average holiday-maker’s caravan and packed SUV.
- The dinner guest challenge. The one where you’re confronted at the last minute by the lactose/gluten intolerant vegetarian who doesn’t eat all vegetables – but only some of them – and sometimes eats fish, but not shellfish. And, before you write to me, I’m not having a go at anyone with dietary intolerances, choices, or allergies – only those who accept a dinner invitation and tell you about those intolerances and allergies once they’re actually sitting down. True story.
- The footy challenge. Similar to the dude food challenge, but the judges are footy fans in the middle of watching the State of Origin.
- The challenge where the contestants have to attempt to source the ingredients in their local store to recreate the elimination challenge super dessert that’s like nothing that’s ever been seen on Masterchef before.
- The Sunday night challenge – the one where you’ve had lunch out and everyone wants something to eat, but isn’t sure what – and doesn’t want too much. That one.
Anyways, rant over, I have to go and watch the recording of last nights show – without the annoying flame bits. Apparently the food is some of the best this season.
Do you watch Masterchef? What challenges would you like to see? Have you ever tried recreating any of the dessert challenge masterpieces?
Ok, it’s Thursday, so that means sharing our happy. Like the Partridge Family sang C’mon Get Happy! Am I the only sad case old enough to remember that?
Feel free to link up a post that reflects what you’re lovin’ about life. All bloggers are welcome! Fashion, food, beauty, business, personal, parenting … whatever … If you’re not a blogger then use the #lovinlife hashtag to tag instagram photos or tweets about the things that are making you smile. You can also click on some of the Lovin’ Life links below and see what else is in the blogosphere. So much to love …
To join in the Lovin’ Life Linky, all you’ve got to do is: Link one post about what you’re currently lovin’ in life. Read two or three posts from other Lovin’ Life Linkers and leave a comment so they know you’ve dropped by. Spread the Lovin’ Life word and feel free to link back. The linky goes live at 7.30am every Thursday and finishes at 7.30am of a Monday (Australian Eastern Time).
Click on the link below to join in…