From the pressure of the skills test to the unintentional comedy of misplaced inventiveness, cooking. Doesn’t. Get. Tougher (or stranger). Than this
There are so many great things about MasterChef: Gregg’s undeniable love of a buttery biscuit base, the many faces of Monica Galetti, and the music booming at such a pace that we felt more panicked than if we were about to do a skills test with Monica.
The cooking competition is back on our screens (hurrah!) but what culinary wisdom have we picked up in its 11 series?
People don’t respect fish
First there was Aussie salesman Kieron who excitedly introduced dover sole with a smoky fish sauce and a spinach, pear, grape and almond salad to the judges. John’s reaction: “Who wants to eat fish with pears? Nobody.” Oh dear.
Our next fishy friend decided to add whisky and honey into the underwater mix. Wallace gagged and presumably took solace in a dry rich tea biscuit.
Rice goes wrong. A lot
A surprisingly large number of people can’t cook rice. Yes, they know their way around a blast chiller or some liquid nitrogen but ask them to cook a rice dish and they go to pieces. Cue starring blankly at grains of rice while they stick to your plate like cement (anyone remember Carl from last series?). Luckily for you, we’ve got the ultimate guide on how not to screw it up.
Working in a professional kitchen is mind-bogglingly stressful
For the MasterChef contestants (we’re talking your average Joe here, not the professionals), being plonked in a professional service challenge is a bit like trying to manoeuvre a lorry into a car park when you haven’t even heard of parallel parking while a furious person shouts "service!” at you. Who wouldn’t go to pieces?
If there’s not a fondant fail, it’s not MasterChef
Like the best romantic encounters, a good chocolate fondant should be internse with a meltingly soft centre. You make one to impress and show off your cheffy skills – it’s just a shame that those contestants rarely do that. Cue weeping over a spongy bun.
Marcus is actually kind of a nice guy
We admit, when news of Michel Roux Jr’s departure reached our delicate ears, we were devastated. Turns out, the notoriously tough "Mr Nasty” Marcus is, well, not so nasty. He’s rather nice, actually.
Very few people seem to have a ‘normal’ job
Lindy hop dance teacher? Amateau wrestler-slash-rock star? Witchcraft merchant? Check, check and check.
'Kitchen pressure' gets to the best of us
We know, we know, the skills’ test is a scary place but when chef Jogi was asked to make tortellini, he whipped up some papparedelle. They’re not the same, Jogi.
Don’t make pastry out of potatoes, wrap it around a plum and then boil it
"I’m mad me," said Carl before causing Gregg to presumably cry at soggy pastry that tastes of potato. Oh dear.
Skordalia is a thick puree
Those MasterChef contestants were thrown by John’s potato puree. Hands up who knew skordalia was mashed and whipped potato spiked with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil? Nope, didn’t think so.
Gregg is never lost for a line at the mere mention of a dessert
We’ve witnessed a handful of successes that he wanted to “take a running jump into” but we'd settle for a “phwoooooar” or “that’s yummy” if we were on the show. MasterChef bingo, anyone?