Thursday, July 15, 2010

Marvellous Masterchef

"Nothing in the world can take the
place of persistence...Persistence and
determination alone are omnipotent."
- Calvin Coolidge
That was a real treat last night. To be in the company of some of our top chefs, to see and hear what they had to say and watch how they approached the food and the contestants was marvellous. So do we listen to
the fact Callum got himself as a trending topic again on Twitter or do we listen to the top chefs who have accolades, credentials , tasted the food and have an impressive combined wealth of experience? No, Callum did not get  all his food on the plate. He did marvellously well, though.

Callum has persisted.He constantly has to battle anxiety and eventually he will win because he just keeps going in there to suffer but he keeps coming up with the gems. In the end his courage will take over and his nerves will settle. As it stands, those 4 top chefs were impressed. All his food had been cooked and was out of the oven. By the time he had served the judges it could have been on the plate as in any normal restaurant, but he had to stop when he was told. Imagine what the judges would have said if all his food had been served? Jimmy did what Indians often do when they wish to honour people...they serve a mountain of food. They are like a lot of Swedish people. They honour you with vast quantities of food. His enthusiasm didn't succeed with the tastes ,though,  and he might have been better concentrating on the 5 plates. Adam's dish was just inspirational. He really can bridge that cultural divide and make you want to taste something different. It all worked and the grill seems to be what let him down. Given we have contestants from different backgrounds then maybe we need to learn about some of the cooking equipment from other countries so we can share in their culinary expertise. I was so sorry for Alvin. He wants to make good yam cakes and last time he had tried turnip cakes because there were no yams and this time they were too heavy. He just needs someone to show him how to get it right because emotionally this means a lot to him. Claire  hit the wall Wednesday night. She was swamped by her MasterChef challenge and just fell apart emotionally. I suspect that was not to do with the challenge but more to do with other things and the fact she has had to do a lot of high level stuff recently. Last night she was back in form. A seemingly simple, exquisite dish which had taken all her skills to prepare. Brilliant! Courtney benefited from the thinking time Matt had given them. I thought that was well conceived to give them a day to think and shop because it meant they had time to pull their ideas together and immerse themselves in their dish in a very real sense. It meant they had the opportunity to think things through and come up with their best. Courtney is clear in what she wants and how she wants it and it was surprising she gave George a serve the other night with that complicated dish they had to prepare, but her instinct paid off and in the end, she is the one who has to go into a kitchen and run a restaurant so she had better be clear about what she wants. All good chefs seem to be very strong in their views. They need to be. It's a tough world. Aaron was so Aaron and took the biggest risks of all of them but he nearly pulled it off. It was an amazing idea and involved a lot of work. It's the sort of dish which would be perfected over time in a restaurant. It was clever and so it seems unfair to go up against Alvin and Jimmy in the fight for survival when they took their safe cultural background route. The rules are the rules. I'd like to think Aaron will come through because he has a lot of ideas and that is something the food industry just eats up. So last night's show was just a joy and a celebration of how far those contestants have come.

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