Judges compete to select the best and become mentors…Check!
Contestants decide when more than one judge wants them…Check!
Sounds like The Voice, looks like The Voice, feels like The Voice, but certainly does not taste like The Voice. The Taste, Channel 4′s much heralded gastronomic reality show hit our screen today and for me it gets a big thumbs up.
I love the judges. Nigella Lawson was imperious despite her recent problems. Anthony Bourdain of Kitchen Confidential fame was suave and urbane, a culinary equivalent of George Clooney. Ludo Lefebvre was a Gallic tour de force. I loved the interaction between the judges, it was competitive without being bitchy. You would expect that though, as all three judges are very accomplished in their own right and really have nothing to prove by grandstanding.
The food, yes it comes out it single bites sizes on a spoon, but some of those dishes looked absolutely mouth watering. I love the format of the show, judging by taste is what it should be about, not the ‘journey” the contestants have been on – I am talking about you MasterChef!
English: MasterChef Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Monica Galleti is a breath of fresh air. She is a serious chef. Not a pouting diva delivering us lectures on how to boil eggs – I am looking at your Sophie Dahl or a distracting us from the food with an overdose of screen sexiness – I am looking at your Nigella Lawson. Monica is a down to earth hard-working professional who knows her stuff.
She was back this evening in a recap of Masterchef over the years in MasterChef: The Professional Uncovered. A look back at the professionals who have competed recently for the prize of being called BBCs MasterChef. Along with her boss Michel Roux Jr and Gregg Wallace they took us through the highs and lows of the series.
Monica traditionally takes the first half of the series, separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak, and obviously the riskier part of the show because some of the food presented by the cooks for her to taste in those first rounds defy polite description.
It is amazing how the pressure really gets to the competitors especially considering they are supposedly professionals but it seems throw in a few cameras and tv exposure and these guys turning into wobbling souffles.
It also means Monica has to brave her way through a lot of muck before unearthing nuggets of golden cooking ability for Michel Roux Jr to cast his eye over in the later round.
Her facial expressions as she tastes her way through a variety of dishes are the stuff of legends, as is her critique like when she tells one contestant ”if you treated salmon like that in my kitchen I would slap you with it”.
I have to admit I am a bit of a philistine when it comes to food, and particularly do not like my food over-pampered but when I see Monica putting a dish together skills test for the contestants to recreate it just always looks exquisite and rarely matched by even the best of the contestants.
Nigella Lawson is back. Some people have labelled her the queen of Food Porn, but that would suggest what she was offering was brash, vulgar and in your face so to speak.
Despite the liberal use of words like “luscious”, “indulgent, ‘lip-puckering”,”squishy” and filmed in soft rich colours Nigella’s new series on BBC2 – Nigellissima – is as with her previous shows, beautifully presented with mouth watering dishes.
As the name suggests it focuses on Italian cuisine and this introduced me to something I had never heard of before – a Meatzza.
It might sound like something you would get from you local Doner Kebab shop after a night out, but in Nigella’s hands it became a fragrant delicately presented plate of Tuscan delight. A tribute to her ability to make pretty much anything sound desirable..Long live the Queen.