Sunday, July 04, 2010


Masterchef seems to be a runaway success again this year. We all seem to be watching it and we are going to the site for the recipes. I have decided I am making that Opera Cake for Christmas which was featured on Friday. It looks stunning. Mine may not be so stunning looking but I cannot wait to taste it! We've all been talking about who the winner might be because there are a lot of competent people there this year but then they seem to lose it under test conditions. Jonathon , in particular, who has an excellent knowledge of food and technique will just produce something awful and totally out of character when there is an important judge. He needs someone to get in his head and sort that exam pressure out. Ditto Aaron. I have seen him do well and then he completely pulls himself down and when he mentioned about his Dad having a heart attack and you could see all the pain, then I think Aaron is doing really well to be under that pressure and trying to manage the trauma with  his Dad. I like Aaron. I can see him in a  niche bistro for academics and intellectuals. They all fell to bits with the Country Women as judges. I understand the pressure because I have been to Country Women's Association meetings as a guest on more than one occasion and these women are perfectionists when it comes to upholding our traditional baked goods. It was odd, though, how they produced such clumsy food. Marion is consistent and learns very quickly and one of  the genius moments of the show were her poached poultry roulades in Paris. The conditions for them all were unthinkable and horrendous and yet she thought that creation up and it was clever. Callum is going to go a long way. He needs a bit of time and patience to overcome his nerves but he is at one with food and his violet macaroons just looked great. He will always strive to do his best. One of my other favourites is Courtney. She is very down to earth, she doesn't muck about and she is very competent. I like her open manner and her fuss free approach. Claire is very hard to get to know because she is so reserved. She seems to have some good food knowledge but cannot always put that into practice and I think that applies to Jimmy too. Adam is competent but I can't remember him being inspired. What I like about him is he is very balanced and very open to learning.He will do well because he at least understands perfection and genius. Peter gets on my nerves a bit and that is not his fault. He will go very well in a big busy restaurant with a lot to do because he likes busy , he likes active and he thrives on people. Alvin I have saved to last because I just think he is very special and he has a wonderful appreciation of fine food. He was perfect for the chocolatier visit because he thought he'd died and gone to heaven when he was there and you could see him take it all in. He absorbs that very high level subtlety of brilliant food which Jonathon also can do, but Alvin feels it and knows it. He needs to go much , much further and drench and soak himself in all the high end cuisine. So, for consistency and high levels of competence, I'd say Marion. She doesn't always get it right but she corrects it very quickly and then the others all have something to offer the food industry and Alvin has something to offer the world. Callum may well have that in him, too. They  have been a good lot to watch and the whole show has been great viewing.

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