Monday 26 July 2010

And the winner of MasterChef for 2010 is...

Who cares, really?


Tony Hillier said...

Exactly ... who bloody cares? Can somebody please explain mainstream Orstrailya's absurd obsession with chefs and all things culinary, which the meedya aids and abets. The ComPost saw fit to devote pretty well the whole of page 2 of today's edition to Master Chef. Puerile, vicarious nonsense.

Thom said...

Tony, in your list of Masterchef adjectives you left out "harmless", "fun", "engaging", "empowering" and "educational". Are you seriously that past your used-by date that you'd begrudge an overwhelming majority of people a distraction from the horrors of this world? Surely food is the one thing on this earth that has the power to unite people from all walks of life.

And The Cairns Post's devoting of page 2 to this subject - which has experienced record volumes of interest from the viewing public - demonstrates nothing more deplorable than good news sense. How's your publishing record, by the way?

Tony Hillier said...

Thom, Thom the piper's son, marching to the beat of a homogenous drum, I reckon my publishing record's OK (but I'll let others judge that). How's yours, mate? Yeh, I'm sure food has "the power to unite people from all walks of life". Only problem, Thom me old son of a gun, is most of the Third World doesn't have access to much of it!

JimInCairns said...

The fat has-beens that judged the contestants made me chuckle. One licked his knife after tasting food, and another commented 'If you ever want to be a restauranteur'..
Uncultured oaf! It's 'restaurateur.'

Bloody amateur critics get right up my nose.

Jim In Cairns.

Morgan James Davies said...

Thankfully, that tragic mess is finally over. Judges who lick their dinner-knives, and oneself-aggrandising twerp who didn't know the difference between 'restauranteur' and ' restaurateur'.

KitchenSlut said...


restaurateur (plural restaurateurs)
1.The owner of a restaurant.
[edit] Usage notesThis is also spelled restauranteur (with an ‘n’), but this is considered erroneous by some, and the form restaurateur (without the ‘n’) is preferred in formal writing, and especially in Britain.[1]
The form restaurateur (without the ‘n’) is the earlier form, borrowed from French, while the form restauranteur (with an ‘n’) = restaurant + -eur (“‘(agent) one who’”) is a later formation, from Anglicized forms, and thus seen by some as an etymological error.
However, restauranteur is widely used, and can be found in formal British writing.[2]

If it was good enough for Shakespeare to make up complete new words I don't see why a lowly cook can't get away with relatively common usages? I mean it wasn't even the ABC!

Just licking the knife is a sissy act if its that good good lick the whole damned plate and show proper respect to the chef and leave nothing!

Chuckie said...

I am so sick of having to apologise for being a fan of Masterchef to people who a) choose not to watch it and b) loathe it because lots of people do. When did we become such a bunch of snobs who can justify ridiculing anyone who does not meet our self-imposed cultural standards?

You are right though, Tony. It doesn't really matter who won. The process of elimination has been interesting and entertaining. Unlike some other reality TV drivvle, no-one was hurt or ridiculed along the way.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Whilst I agree with Tony's point about the ComPost, I must agree with Chuckie's take on things. I cannot see any problems with encouraging the population of Australia (well, some of them anyway) to start eating & cooking new & interesting foods, or learn to cook familiar foods well.

It has to have spin-off benefits of better health & nutrition, an increase in appreciation of food, and additionally, involving families and especially kids to cook. We all know the obesity figures here in Oz, & that's largely due to fastfood nonsense. If people have shown a huge interest in good food, what is the problem?

I didn't watch MasterChef - I figure I've got enough saved but uncooked recipes in my kitchen folders without adding more. Also, I didn't watch as I thought it would be another nasty, kill-em-off competition, & I've only realised through a bit of media stuff recently that's not how it was run. I think that's a great change from the ghastly anti-social approaches taken by Big Brother or The Greatest Loser (or whatever it was called). I found these sort of programmes quite scary in a sociological sense, and am very glad that a friendly competitive show is currently a winner. Good sportsmanship plus healthy, good food. What's the problem? We all have our media comfort zones - at the moment, Doc Martin does it for me, even if it's a repeat. There is so much difficulty, disconnect, cruelty, violence etc. in the world & fictionally on the teev, & MasterChef isn't in that league.

Of course, unless we are talking about cruelty to animals through eating them, & that's another whole conversation. HOwever, I understand Curtis Stone had to retract his support for cage eggs & support (proper) free range eggs during this MasterChef so perhaps there are even more positives there.

As for world hunger Tony, that is another huge conversation. I take your point, but to also have a population that is encouraged to be eating well, then they are more likely to think well, & perhaps expand their horizons past the walls of KFC & McWhatevers.

Tony Hillier said...

Point taken, Lillian. Anything that weans the great unwashed off fast food and on to real (nutritious) food has to have merit. Is there any evidence to indicate that programs such as Master Chef actually work the oracle, though. Or do they merely encourage people to live their lives vicariously?

KitchenSlut said...

Well said Lillian I had been intending to past something similar but you beat me!

I have long been an advocate for the cultural context of food in society that is braodly shared and i dont agree that the masterchef coverage has been obsessive relative to alternative obsessions.

Tony Hillier is known as a rugby obsessive so I presume his fave weekend TV entertainment was watching a bunch of arses in a scrum competing for a pill shaped ball. Tony can you tell me why this is not a perverse fetish compared to the relative wholesomeness of masterchef?

I will take issue on the 'third world' reference here and ask to clarify just what the point is? Plase explain?

While acknowledging pockets of poverty the concept of a starving 'third world' has become simplicistically irrellevant and smacks of arrogant ignorance. Please reference the brilliant TED talk from Hans Rosenberg on the extraordinary global move out of poverty in recent decades.

What are the great ethnic cuisines that now enrich our lives? India? Chinese? The food obsessed Thai's? Lebanese and the Middle East? Excuse me but aren't they 'third world'?

Certainly the fusion of food culture has contributed more to our growth as a society than any of our obsessive sports culture! The ethnic infusions have certainly contributed more to understanding and racial harmony than TV league celeb Andrew Johns motivational comments on "black C****"!

I wonder what the masterchef equivalent top the sporting Johns celebrity could be? Perhaps George breaking a chopstick over his knee while he shouts "don't let that curry-muncher beat you" as they compete over a pavlova? Umm no it didn't happen unlike the ongoing soap opera of celebs in the more exposed sport and entertainment?!

So, was the Compost exposure actually excessive given the relative relevant competitive exposure to celebrity mejia in other cultural domains such as sport and music? I suggest not ...

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

As for the ComPost coverage - I took great umbrage to the photo of the local 'MasterChefs' with actual chef's caps on their heads. This may seem pedantic, but chefs who have trained to this level have turned themselves inside out, & to have a few ordinary citizens who can whip up a good scone or the like, wearing chefs caps, well, I think it's just rude to all the great and hardworking chefs out there. Not that there's anything wrong with a great scone, but, I think you take my point.

That said, yes Tony, there is a couple of bits of evidence that MChef is encouraging people to get out there & cook. Firstly, Coles (apparently one of the sponsors of the programme)is reporting huge sales of similar raw foods that were cooked the day/s before on the programme. So people are finding recipes intruiging & buying the ingredients to try at home. Because all their sales are of course computerised, they can keep track of trends. There have been spikes in sales of quite specific food items eg. duck breasts, or tofu, if they were in the last day or so of a MChef recipe.

Second bit of info comes from (I think)an article in the last Weekend Oz Magazine - quite a number of farmers of, shall we say, 'boutique poultry', ie. quail, pheasant, guinea fowl (etc.) are reporting record demand for their birds - 2 to 3 times the usual yearly demand - that they have ever recorded, & they put this down to these items being cooked on MChef.

So, there you go Tony. A few bits of evidence. OK, it might be people who are already cooking are buying recipe foods, but let's face it, most of us foodlovers try & avoid Coles & Woolies to buy especially, fresh food, so there is a possibility that some of the great unwashed are indeed learning to wash their spuds & cook them deliciously, with a bit of the old duck breast & bok choy. Let's hope.

Then there was an example I used above of Curtis Stone having to give support to free-range eggs, so that is a step in the right direction. If the next MasterChef series actually supported humane animal farming practices, that would indeed be amazing. However, since Coles is one of the sponsors, I'm not holding my breath on that one.

As for the rugby bit above, I'll leave Tony & KitchenSlut to slug that one out as I'm a Football-Free Zone. All I would like to say about the ball games is that Italy, that amazing food nation, loves food. . . & soccer. I rest my case.

KitchenSlut said...

Sorry I had meant Hans Rosling and I would suggest consideration before people throw around loose slogans and paradigms about what is "third world" and what it means? I would suggest it no longer exists as a definable single entity?

Yes Lillian and you are right Coles is on a roll vis a vis Woolies and you can now wander in and buy things like duck products that we never could before at reasonable prices.....