Thursday, 22 January 2009

Blonde Ambition

What we learnt for last night telly: Master Chef

We all know Masterchef is genius but tonight's show did make me wonder just a tad. It started with the dread words ".....a keen experimental cook". Why do they bother these kitchen Marie Curies with their "crazy I just throw things in pan and see what happens" experiments. You just know that at the end of the clip there's going to be a charred plate of former food usually semi raw rice, singed chicken with some random fruit on the top. In tonight's programme there was a liquidised plate of risotto made by one giggling short lived hapless experimentalist.
Next up there's the usual parade of people trying to get into the "food industry", well I don't know about other places but walk down most streets in London and you can get a job in the "food industry" except if you are a financial adviser who wants to run their own deli in Cobham you might not really want to do it the standard way and so take the easy option of a couple of weeks on Masterchef and bobs ya uncle the keys to humus and sunblushed tomato counter are yours, possibly.

Anyway tonight's show did have some good cooks on but it also had Belinda an Aussie (27) (Masterchef like the Daily Mail are very keen on how old people are) financial adviser, who seemed to have only eaten food made from recipes in magazines found at the gym. You know the stuff a random assortment of "superfoods", weird grains and chicken with no skin on. Her food was very new world with her own twist in that everything came with fruit compote.

Belinda also had another killer ingredient she was 6 ft tall blonde and good looking. Greg Wallace and John Torrode almost exploded with cartoonish lust when she walked in.
Belinda also had ambition not some foodie " I've always dreamed of my own little cafe" obsession just general good old fashion ambition. I felt sorry for the other cooks particularly when she came into the interview section in hot pants! Much like Greg and John I can't remember what see said something about wanting to work in food or something.

Before we get back to the final cook off does anyone know why we need these toe curling interview bits. When I was a kid and watched "Superstars" I didn't care why James Hunt or Brian Jacks wanted to win, they just did. Same went for the "Generation Game" or "Mastermind" nowadays contestants have to "have a journey", have to "really want it", to "change their life". So we have to cringe while Anna, (a teacher) gave up her sister's wedding to appear on the show and Matt a burly biker told of his dream of a little place by the sea with the kids. But anyway we got through to the final round having heard everyone's heartbreaking thwarted food business dreams and had another good look at Belinda's pins. The final was a close affair with Matt and Anne making cracking dishes (yay for Anna's rhubarb bread and butter pudding and Matt's smoked scallops) but it also did throw up.

My Masterchef quote of the day:

Greg Wallace to the hotpant wearing eyelash batting coconut pudding baking raspberry stuffing Belinda (27)

"Belinda... I really do love your cakes"

In the distance the kitchen's smoke alarms we bleeping as the smoke and steam rose from Gregg's shiny greengrocer's dome.
Sadly for Belinda her post modern gym food brunch menu didn't win out nor did sadly Anna's refined Northern English fare (a slightly underdone duck breast let her down) no it was Matt who got to ride off into the semi final. Anna will probably sign up for a chefs course or jack in science teaching and become a commis chef in some restaurant in Provence, good luck to her I'm sure she'll do well.
Belinda meanwhile clumped off into a golden sunset, she'll do alright people will "love her cakes" were ever she goes and it will be sunny brunches all over the globe, be it Sydney harbour, Canary wharf or who knows where. Ambition (and hot pants) like that are seldom thwarted.


Cocktails said...

I am addicted to Masterchef. I love the interview sections, especially the fact that they prepare for it, carefully writing down notes. What are they writing other than 'I really, really want to be a chef'... I also love Greg and Johns 'serious' post-interview faces. It's just a power trip for them isn't it really? The other experimental cook (the hatter) was chucked out because she didn't need them to deliver her dreams.

Oh and I thought Belinda was rather plain but what would I know. And she didn't really have the passion, she was just competitive! One of the interesting things about her was that she made John ramp up his Australianness, mate.

Anonymous said...

I knew that Matt would win, those two forty year old male judges just can't resist another forty-plus bloke, especially one who is even balder than Greg, and AND can weep to order!
Crocodile tears, I wonder?
I liked the hat designer who told them to take it or leave it personally, good for her! but a bit of self-respect is no good in a 'reality' programme

BLTP said...

cocktails: I think you right Belinda was on the plain side I was just amused at the reaction she caused in G & J and of course how blatant her use of hotpants was. I thought Mr Torrode was about to get his cork hat out and start saying "cobber" towards the end.
anon: hello and welcome, I think matt was the right choice just on his cooking alone and he had the best "story" too.
The "hatter" did get extra marks from me for not playing the game, I don't think she was that impressed with Belinda either!

steve g said...

regarding the interview bit, and everyone's desire to open a restaurant/cafe/bistro, is there any evidence that this happens? not seen a follow up programme from past series, which they couldn't resist doing if there was something to show.

s said...

COOKING DOESN"T GET TOUGHER THAN THIS! love masterchef too, though not keen on the interviews either, and especially not on ditching one of
them afterwards - let them cook!

and the food recognition bit isn't up to much either

Thought Belinda had it sewn up as she was a pretty lady (John) and made a nice pudding (Gregg)

Anonymous said...

I thought Belinda came across as a Apprendice psycho; Seems like the kind of girl who would do anything to get what she wants; Anything.

Food she prepared look good

Anonymous said...

of course this girl got it all sewn up. It has been said so many times at her office (its an Australian investment bank - the Goldman Sachs of Australia) that she slept with her boss to move up the corporate ladder. Also heard she was eventually fired for claiming that she was sick from glandular fever and was later caught getting really drunk and having loads of fun at a party. She is nothing but bad news. Stay away.