I couldn't let the latest Masterchef final go by without a little mention. Incarnated this quarter as 'Masterchef: The Professionals', we were led to believe that the contestants this time round already knew a little bit about cooking, so they replaced the usual 'cooking doesn't get tougher than this' tagline with 'cooking doesn't get better than this' (umm, I think it probably does, actually, but never mind). In order to demonstrate this new philosophy, for their penultimate culinary challenge the three finalists each had to cook a Michelin star-quality course, to be served to a room filled with such kitchen visionaries that they possessed 40 Michelin stars between them, as was repeated to the audience innumerable times.
Each course had been designed by the crazy-eyed chef Michel Roux Junior. Now I'm sorry if this makes me sound like a bit of a food snob (I'm definitely not a food snob, the most extravagant thing I've ever eaten is probably duck), but the main course and the dessert in particular looked like pretty bog-standard fare. The main course partly consisted of a posh macaroni cheese, made with dried - yes DRIED - pasta, stacked up all fancy and whatnot, but essentially it looked like a slice of pasta bake that had been left in the oven for too long.
The voiceover woman even had to justify why dried pasta was being used in the recipe because it really did look a bit rubbish:
"Steve's using high-quality dried pasta, used in many of the best restaurants in Italy."
The pudding was also laughable, consisting of a bit of chocolate on top of a rice crispie cake. But this wasn't any ordinary rice crispie (sorry, 'puffed rice') cake. No. This was because it had CRACKLE CRYSTALS in it. You know, that crackly stuff which pops on your tongue that you used to eat as a kid. The way Michele talked about it, you'd think no one in the world had ever experienced this "fun" popping sensation before. C'mon Junior, they've used this trick on Come Dine With Me!
Once the first challenge was over and done with, it was on to the final task: cooking their best ever three course meal. One of the contestants made the fatal error of making a chocolate fondant for his pudding. The words 'chocolate fondant' on Masterchef are basically the death knell for the contestant attempting to cook it, because they ALWAYS fail. The normal contestants fail, the celebrities fail and now even the professionals fail. It was only slightly gooey in the middle, whereas a flood of chocolate yumminess should have flowed from the sponge casing when the spoon broke through the threshold. Disappointing. I swear if someone made a YouTube compilation video of all the ruined Masterchef chocolate fondants it would be a very long - and amusing - video indeed.
So another series is over, and another Masterchef winner walks away with the fantastic prize of...oh yeah, there is no prize is there? Oh well. The question is, will John Torode be back for the next series? One can only hope...