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.