I consider myself to have been working late this week – although I’m not sure everyone would agree with me! Masterchef is back on the TV and it’s my professional duty as a chef to watch. Honest.
In the kitchen we’re always pleased when Masterchef is on (all three versions) . As the competition goes further through the stages, we get more and more involved. We have favourite cooks that we’re rooting for. If you’ll forgive the pun, it can get quite “heated” when we’re talking about who should win!
But back to why watching TV is my professional duty. In Masterchef, the contestants might be “amateurs” but there’s plenty we professionals can learn from them.
Take last year’s winner, Ping. Her Asian-influenced dishes were (and you could tell this even through the telly!) full of flavour, colour and aroma. Vibrant and cooked with passion, her creations were as good as or better than meals created in high-end London restaurants. You could tell the judges looked forward to tasting her food and always enjoyed what they were lucky enough to taste. That’s what all chefs aspire to – that the recipient of the food loves what’s been prepared.
She was up against two other brilliant cooks too – Adam and Luke. They too were creative and eager to learn and Luke in particular had a creative flair which was really extraordinary.
Just because we’re professional chefs working in a professional kitchen, we’re all always learning. We’re learning about how to use ingredients in different ways, new techniques, and new trends. To do that we read magazines, we visit websites, we buy new cookbooks and we eat out a lot! And we watch TV, obviously.
It’s too early to be talking about favourites yet – but already we’re seeing people trying to be creative and try out new ideas. However, we’ll probably be giving avocado cheesecake and chocolate mousses a miss here!