For those of you that don’t know Master Chef, it is a competition where they compete to find the best home cooks in America. Each week there are winners who get an advantage in the next challenge or a special treat like a limousine ride to a fancy restaurant in whatever town they are filming in. Of course, each week there are losers as well who leave the competition.
The three judges help the home cooks refine their skills to produce restaurant quality dishes. Yes, it is another Gordon Ramsey cooking show, but before you stop reading let me set a few things straight. Number one, Gordon’s TV personality on most, if not all, of his other shows is mean terrible and downright scary. I’m not discounting that. However, on this show he gives sound advice in a nice tone (most of the time). Don’t get me wrong, he still yells sometimes, especially during team competitions, but it is only when a cook makes an elementary mistake. His expectations in the beginning are lower because he recognizes they are not trained chefs and don’t work in a professional kitchen. I know this post is about Master Chef, but one last point about Gordon Ramsey. In case you weren’t unconvinced under all of that intense TV personality, Ramsay is actually a decent guy. He went on Reddit and allowed users to ask him anything. A downtrodden chef wrote about his outlook and if Gordon had ever felt the same. Gordon responded very frankly and his response had the possibility of turning that chef’s life around. He even told the chef to send his resume and he would review it to possible work in one of Gordon’s restaurants.
Ok, now that Gordon’s out of the way, on to the show. Throughout the competition, each week usually switches from a combination of a Mystery Box and an Elimination to a Team Challenge and a Pressure Test for the losing team(s) which results in an Elimination. I personally enjoy the Mystery Box days and the Pressure test portion of the other weeks. I can’t stand the team competitions. I watch the show to learn about different cooking techniques in an entertaining way and all that really comes across in team competition is drama and yelling. I usually learn the most during elimination tests and pressure tests. The mystery boxes are good for seeing how a specific set of ingredients can be made into a variety of different dishes. In the couple of years that I have followed the show I have learned the proper way to poach an egg, fillet a fish, shuck a scallop and cook steak and many others. The only lesson I have put into practice has been to poach an egg. It only took a couple of tries. I could try others, but most of the ingredients they give tips on are on the more expensive side of things.
This season there have been a couple of characters, mainly Tommy who went home recently. He is one of the most flamboyantly gay man I have ever seen. Some of the lines he came out with were gut busting funny. He added a whole other layer to the show. You were never sure what he was going to come out with next. My favorites that are in the top 8 are Katrina (she has gained a ton of confidence), Derrick (the drummer), and Claudia (the one with black and pink hair). In this season, Katrina started with extremely low confidence. In the beginning I found her lack of confidence annoying, but slowly the judges helped her build her confidence. You can’t even tell she is the same person. I really admire this show for truly changing people’s lives. You don’t even have to win for your life to take on a new direction. Many of the cut competitors have gotten job offers from the judges.
Speaking of judges, this year Christina Tosi joined the judges panel because Joe Bastianich left. I applaud the addition. She has brought expertise in the dessert area and a unique perspective. It also doesn’t hurt to represent the female chefs of the world. I hope she stays for many future seasons and maybe come on to Master Chef Junior. Well that is my tidbit on Master Chef.