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Monthly Archives: August 2012

i’m not a celebrity, get me in there!

So, we’re at the end of week two in the Celebrity Masterchef kitchen and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.  I decided against the previous series – for some reason the fact that it was relegated to BBC1 lunchtime really put me off.  Having said that, 18:30 isn’t much better and I ‘series record’ it but, y’know, I couldn’t be arsed.  Seeing snippets of it on Saturday Kitchen each week has convinced me that I made the right choice.

Anyway, back to the here and now.  Week one, I’d say my stand out was Javine and week two definitely Emma.  I love Emma Kennedy, I want to be her friend.  I feel she is the CMC version of me.  As we are introduced to her, she conveys the giddy excitement that would take hold of any MC fan should they get that telephone call.  I imagine it would go a little bit like this:

Agent: Hi Emma.  So, the BBC got in touch and we discussed the possibility of you taking part in this years Celebrity Masterchef.  You’re a big fan, right?  Are you free for the next few weeks?

Emma: OHMYGODYESPLEASEMASTERCHEFISMYFAVOURITETHINGONTELLYEVERIWILLCANCELANYPLANS

Agent:  … I’ll take that as a ‘yes’ then.

“to celebrate I might go home and try to make a quiche”

If I were to receive a similar call and end up in the famous MC kitchen, it would not be taken lightly had I replicated Emma’s joy at being there.  “Fanny, I get the distinct impression you’re not taking this seriously enough” would be John’s comment as I grin “But I am!  I’m just so excited to be here, I love you guys!”

Having been billed as a MC aficionado Emma made, as Gregg would say, a school boy error.  The final task of the week was the critics round – two courses for previous CMC contestants to sample.  It seems that Lisa Faulkner might get to attend all of these, lucky girl.  Or maybe not. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in BBC, Celebrity Masterchef, Gregg Wallace, John Torode

 

DOUGH!

The Great British Bake-Off is brave in parts. It veers consciously away from at least some competition-genre staples – the candidates, for some bizarre reason, appear to have been chosen for personability, reliability and a general lack of character flaws and abrasiveness. No tears. The commentary is breezy but informative, the reaction shots and back stories brief, and the Mel & Sue hosting fun and a bit silly. The usual middle-class tropes abound; pastel shades, Union Jack bunting, Smeg fridges, dense Instagram colours. Well cosy.

This week: bread. People cook bready stuff, stuff gets judged, someone gets thrown out. The food appearing looks thoughtful and yummy. OK, it’s not the trickiest stuff: poor Cathryn thinks that trying to juggle one flatbread in the oven and one flatbread on the griddle is tricky. MC material she ain’t. The Terence Stamp-like Brendan, with his river-washed hot-rock oven techniques and his 106 grams of flour per portion fills the ‘bonkers’ quota on his own. The rest are a mix of amateur and ambition. You know the drill. Mostly pretty intense. Some haircuts. Pushovers, though. A well-known pair of other judges, shall we say, would have them for breakfast. Mmm, breakfast.

Luckily the judges here are dotty old Mary Berry and the ludicrously-named Paul Hollywood; a roly-poly Scouse fusion of Simon Callow and that well-trimmed bloke who started Paul Mitchell. I’ll give it to him, he looks like a professional baker, and he has a cheery but precise manner. It’s not nasty. The tough-test bagels bit at the end comes with a cheery, informative insert where they go to a proper old Jewish bakery. No one gets their bagels made even remotely right, apart from the Rick Moranis-alike James who supplies an I’m-over-the-moon reaction straight out of the reality book. These people clearly watch too much telly. Then the kicked out Peter gets a hug from the judges and the hosts. That wouldn’t happen on you-know-what.

Yes, I like a bit of pan-banging and cock-in-the-piping-nozzle macho bullshit as much as the next foodie-reality-genre fan, but there’s something great about the Cath Kidston alternative too.

 

greece is the word

With lots of shows cued up on my telly box and the weather waaaay too hot for lil’ ol’ me I decided to have, not quite a marathon, more a fun run of a few of these summery episodes.

One that stood out, initially for good reasons, was ‘Lyndey and Blair’s Taste of Greece’.  One of the myriad Australian shows on the Good Food Channel, this was a 13 part road trip across the Peloponnese for a mother and son.  We are introduced to Blair Milan as an actor and voice-over artist and his mother, Lyndey, a presenter and all round culinary expert.  The moment Blair speaks he is clearly an actor, handsome and confident, appearing in Home and Away among other shows.

They seem to have a great relationship and when they stop in Athens to visit the Agora Market to point at the goat heads, Lyndsey exclaims “having brought him up to be knowledgeable about food I was surprised at how squeamish Blair was – so I decided to make him eat some tripe soup!”  The gelatinous soup is served …

L: “It’s an acquired taste”
B: “Let’s see how acquired … 😦 it’s not the best thing I’ve put in my mouth!” Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

masterchef de mission

… And we’re BACK!  Ah, back to the grindstone after a two week Olympic odyssey and what do I have waiting for me upon my return home?  CELEBRITY MASTERCHEF!

Andy Hunt, Team GB’s chef de mission, told a story of a recent interview on American television.  “So, Andy, what exactly do you cook for these hungry athletes?”   “…”

Fittingly, our celebrity contestants include Olympians Rebecca Romero and swimmer Steve Parry.  Romero won medals in rowing and track cycling becoming only the second woman in history to win medals in two different summer Olympic sports.  There’s also Danny Mills for all you football lovers out there.  There’s also a bit of Madge Bishop for all you Neighbours lovers, too.

The rooky chefs stormed out of their blocks with the surprise box featuring a gurnard!  Now, many of our contestants are familiar to me in a culinary capacity.  There has almost certainly been a Come Dine With Me appearance here or there.  I’m sure ‘husband snatcher’ Javine has competed – she seems a pretty good cook but I think the dark horse early on is Jamie Theakstone.  You always need a useless cook early on and I think this year it’s the aforementioned Parry, bless him.  Upon being given a pasta machine to play with, he exlaimed “I’ve cooked pasta before but only out of a packet.  I don’t see any packet!”  This was after shocking Torode with his presentation of sliced rice and fish … mmmm.

Episode two gives us the ‘drama’ of cooking on an epic scale for students at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (sexy).  Once again the head chef kicks some ass “I wouldn’t give that to my cat!” but they pulled it out of the bag and Javine and Steve’s chilli proved a hit giving one lady a ‘chilli con carne sniffle’.  That’s good apparently.

Tomorrow’s third episode will provide the first elimination – will it be Steve or will our favourite Australian barmaid be in for a quick exit?

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in BBC, Celebrity Masterchef, Gregg Wallace, John Torode