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soufflegate

19 Feb

Ever wondered how the completed, slickly edited, television programmes we see differ from what actually happens in the studio?  I do.  I think about it quite a bit.  I cry “nooooooo!” when a Masterchef contestant responds to the question “what will you be cooking for us today?” with “well, Greg, I’ll be making a chocolate fonant” or, even worse, “a souffle, John”.

Think of the heat, the pressure, the time constraints, the oven you’ve never used … and do you normally have a gurning, bald man stood behind you shaking his head, muttering “you’ve only got 5 minutes until Jay Rayner wants his souffle, mate”?

The Daily Mail cried fowl over Tom’s apparent flop in the souffle department with The BBC explaining that more than one can be made and “As time is called at the end of cooking they must put only one up to be filmed, tasted and judged,” the statement added.  “We always cut back to the shot of the food as it was when first plated up as a reminder of how the dish looked before the tasting.”

Pretty straightforward to me.  How often are shots of a half finished meal inter cut with the original clip of the (usually dry rather than) fabulous fondant?  It’s there to remind us of a glorious plate of food before Pudding Face has licked it clean.

 

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5 responses to “soufflegate

  1. syllabubdobdee

    February 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    There’s actually a lot of small stuff I’m a bit suspicious about re the timeline in MC:OG — for example they all have to be piping hot ready at the exact same time, and yet in early rounds there’s a massive timelag between the first dish being tasted and the final one; easily enough for some delicate dishes to spoil.

    Plus these last two seasons there’s been all the endless stupid Kitchen-Nightmares-style reaction shots (looks of horror or bafflement or sometimes pleasure) where the timing’s always ever so slightly slow and off (because you have to show the thing being reacted to). How many cameras do they have anyway?

     
  2. syllabubdobdee

    February 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    How many cameras do they have anyway?

    I ask this because we never see any others — I’m sure they don’t just have one, it’s an expensive production, but they can’t have a camera on every contestant’s face — plus Toad and GregFace — all the time. Which means some reactions are “non-reality” noddy shots (and Aki said on twitter last week that she had one speech reshot for swears…)

    It’s only one step from a noddy-shot to noddy-PIE, in my (extremely rigorous) opinion.

    ps haha I only just noticed the “Daily Mail cried fowl”
    pps in the interests of full disclosure of noddy-commenting, I consolidated everything on this thread so far into two posts 🙂

     
  3. syllabubdobdee

    February 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

    @akicooks: Yeah the show’s much tenser on TV because of the music. When we cook it’s silent! #askAki

    <— valuable demystificatory point!

     
  4. chef de cuisine

    March 4, 2012 at 11:04 am

    It’s pretty obvious that contestants start at staggered intervals when cooking for the critics (they surely can’t get through 12 courses that quickly!) and I *think* I heard someone say that it’s done over two days which would make sense.

    The slightly confusing thing is when they appear to be making a dish or two each and presenting it one by one. If you assume that desserts will be tasted last then why make a souffle that will sink before they try it? The ‘outrage’ at the editing is silly as John & Greg clearly know that it was successfully made but has sunk in the intervening 20 minutes.

    I often think that the food presented looks cold or that the meat looks well cooked but that it’s been sat there for a while. It’s a logistical nightmare!

     
  5. syllabubdobdee

    March 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I just wish they were more UPFRONT about this kind of thing really, as ANYONE WHO COOKS will be aware of timing issues, and hugely sympathetic. Timed intricacy of problem-solving is 9/10ths of the competition anyway — so why disguise this further layer of complication?

     

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