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Master Chef Season 1 Favors Drama over Real Talent -- Will You Apply Next Round?

It's a godawful show. I was able to view last season's Master Chef Australia, and it was night and day. First of all, unlike Ramsey's show, the contestants were picked by their ability to cook---nearly all, even those on the bottom, showed a mastery of terms and techniques and could could talk very precisely about what they were doing and needed to do. They were 'foodies;' in the best sense. Here, there was lots of macho posturing but little food sense . From his other shows, it feels as if Ramsey only wants a kind of "vulgar" type, less articulate and less informed but full of angry vigor. Second, the Aussi judges were very sympathetic and polite and studious. They struggled to get the intention and taste right. Instead of that American beared bully boy of a critic, as uninformed as he is peevish and vengeful, you had a charming and diplomatic Aussie named Matt. Charm is hard for Ramsey productions, I know, but that guy was the worst. 3. The kitchen sets and colors were bright in the Australian version; in the American, the sets looked like dark and gloomy torture chambers. 4. These US judges, in particular that bearded wimp, were -I am repeating myself--poor at analysis. The episode with Cat Cora showed exactly what the show needed--she examined, pulled and picked and sniffed, asked questions and in general showed what a serious food critic should do. In short, without people like her, Master Chef USA is a waste of time for anyone who cares about good eating and good cooking.

Sep 19, 2010
judex3 in Food Media & News

Does Top Chef need a new host?

The whole crew needs a face lift. Tom is sour and predictable- his comments seem less and less driven by a struggle to find something new and interesting than by a reflexive, inarticulated standard. Padma looks bored, and Gail is a frumpish blank. What was refreshing about Bourdain's appearance this time was that he actually argued and disagreed. Yes, open the discussion up among the panal members..more transparency, for godsakes. Most of all, stop this stern prison guard look when the contestants come in to be judged. It looks stupid and fake. Instead, take a look at the Australian Master Chef shows---bright colors, pleasing give and takes between judges and cooks, recipe episodes where the cooks show and tell--on the whole, a production that is more serious and more fun loving and more open. Oh, and find somelike like Tim Gunn (project runway) who can bring a little humanity and elegance into the cooking prep scenes. IN any case, the Uncle or Aunt who comes in during the prepshould not be a judge but a fellow mentor. (Again, I find Tom C grim and utterly uninspiring.)

Sep 19, 2010
judex3 in Food Media & News