MasterChef created a nation of know-nothing food tossers
MasterChef has a lot to answer for, and not just because my work colleagues have been spending their weekends at home teaching their 10-year-olds how to make croquembouche.
And it’s not over yet. The MasterChef season two cattle-call is closing this week, so it’s only a matter of time before it all starts again.
Now, while I missed out on watching the first season of MasterChef (it’s a long story) what I did watch was the rest of Australia watching MasterChef. And you all went a little crazy.
The hysteria from season one has barely subsided and I already have friends telling me how excited they are by the possibility of being Australia’s next MasterChef – honestly, they’ve only just filled out an application form and they don’t have half a chance.
Will I be watching MasterChef season two? You bet. Will I be recreating recipes from the show at home? Absolutely. Buying trashy mags to read about the new contestants and jumping to their defence in tea-room debates? Yes, yes and yes. See, we all have our weaknesses, and I was only strong enough to resist the first time around. MasterChef will get to us all in the end – I might not be able to escape it, but I still don’t have to like it.
Please, just sit still, have a cup of tea, think for a moment about what your life was like before MasterChef.
How many of you knew who Matt Preston was six months ago? Hands up who went out and bought a microplane? Three million people are now using words like sauté and blancmange in everyday conversation and we all think this is normal behaviour. Well it’s not. Although I must say microplanes are incredibly useful kitchen implements – if you don’t have one go and buy one immediately.
A commercially produced reality television show has changed the way we eat, the way we shop and raised our expectations of what our food should look and taste like – and we hardly even noticed. Reality television is dictating to our society rather than being a reflection of it. While we may be more deft in the kitchen – perhaps we should have a think about that fact that MasterChef has turned a fair few of us into pretentious food wankers who would happily spend $40 on a bottle of hazelnut oil and will be asking for Le Creuset baking dishes come Christmas – just because a bunch of every-day people who know almost nothing about food were on the telly every week.
And don’t get me started on “lovable mother-of-three” and season one winner Julie, as she was made into a yummy-mummy for the benefits of mainstream media either. The response of a chef friend of mine pretty much summed it up: “oh not her again (expletive, expletive) she’s not a bloody chef she’s a cook!” Although “MasterCook” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
Dinner parties now involve serving food no one has ever heard of, from a country people didn’t know existed, bought from a little shop no-one else will ever be able to find. I’m scared to have people over at mealtimes now. I’m delighted that we all care more about what we eat but this MasterChef business has gone too far.
Don’t complain to me when you’re at the emergency room for the second-degree burns you picked up trying to spin your own sugar either. Don’t worry; soon you will be able to kill time in the waiting room reading MasterChef the Magazine – which will surely be the complete cash cow it is intended to be and fall squarely into the category of too much of a good thing. Watch out, it will be MasterChef the Musical next.
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