Tonight was the first night of MasterChef which is another Gordan Ramsay (Hell's Kitchen) cooking show creation. In this FOX TV show, the idea is that home cooks get a chance to make the leap from cooking for family and friends to being a chef.
Well, the winner will get a quarter of a million dollars and a cookbook deal. There's not a chef job hanging out there like on Hell's Kitchen.
Am I Lusting After This MasterChef Gig? - Well - No
I've never had any desire to be a chef. I love cooking at home, and I dish up some darn good grub. But, I just don't see cooking for a living. It's what I do to relax and because I love to get in the kitchen and create.
I do, however, enjoy watching some of the cooking and chef shows on TV. I get new ideas, and I love to see someone chase and catch a dream.
How Did the First Night Go On MasterChef?
The home cook pool included 100 wanna-be's, so the hour was a bit wild with the first half of the final 30 being selected. Some of the winners and losers got air time and some did not. I was kind of disappointed that apron winners did not all get to showcase dishes, but I guess they only have so many minutes. So, viewers got to kind of know some of the contestants but not others.
No Need for a Beverage with Beer Cheese Soup - Then Again . . .
MasterChef kicked off with a guy from Texas with some beer cheese soup. He seemed pretty sure that he would rock the judges, but Gordan Ramsay said that it was the "most disgusting soup I've ever tasted." I'd have to say that I'd have a hard time downing a big bowl of cheese melted with beer, but Graham (the big judge) said he could handle it. He looks more like the beer cheese soup kind of fellow.
Other Memorable Recipe Bombs on the First Night of MasterChef
A former soccer player from Brazil thought she'd dazzle the male judges by being super flirty and especially with Gordan Ramsay. She wore a rather revealing top and made comments about the front and back field while flashing a dazzling smile. Her fish taco with corn and mango gagged the judges, and my son gagged just thinking about it. Some things just were not meant to be. And, someone might want to practice more on cooking rather than on sucking up.
Then, there was poor Randy. He's Southern. Bless his heart. I can say that. I'm Southern. If a little bit is good, a whole lot is a whole lot better. So, he must have put a whole pound of butter in his "funeral potatoes." Now, I'm sure the family may call them "funeral potatoes," but some things are better not shared. The name of this dish is one of those things, and the actual dish is the second. Glenn (the more serious judge) called it "cave man" food while Ramsay said the funeral potatoes looked like "cow dung topped with cheese." I am pretty sure Ramsay has not seen cow dung. The potatoes did not look like cow poo. They looked like vomit. For real.
The News Was Not ALL Bad of Course - Some Winners on MasterChef Night One
You can't very well have a Master Chef contest and not have any contestants, so the judges, of course, passed a few home cooks through to continue the competition. Really now, imagine that they said every dish was just awful. That makes for a really short TV run.
Duck and Run Back to the Kitchen with the First Apron
The first to get an apron (that's the prize - kind of like the ticket to Vegas on So You Think You Can Dance) was Michael. He made Duck Ssam. In case you are confused, Michael made pan seared duck. Ramsay called the dish "brilliant." I like the comment by the big guy the best. He said the dish was like "sex in the mouth." I think I need to get ahold of that recipe.
Michael is a server, so he has his foot in the culinary door. He had the moves and plating down, and my son predicted that he'd win this one. Guess we'll have to wait and see on that. He was more polished than the other home cooks though.
If You Go Broke as a Doctor, Then Just Be a Chef
Tracy is a medical doctor, and her Momma left her recipes in a notebook. This was shortly before the mother died three years ago - suddenly. This was a really touching story, and I know all about trying to round up the family recipes and save them. I'm still tracking down many in my family that may or may not written down or passed down. (Note to readers - Do write down your special recipes and share them with a family member who will cherish them.)
The dish from Tracy's notebook written by her Mom was a smothered chicken with brussel sprouts. The judges were a little concerned that Tracy might not be able to cook outside the book (made by Mom). Tracy told them that she was there to learn. She made it through, and I hope she does not move so far beyond the family recipes that she loses the heart that made her stand out.
Yes - I Am Cocky Until You Hurt My Feeling and Make Me Cry
David from Boston was sure full of himself. The judges called him on that, since his dish was not what he said it was. Plus, deduct points for David memorizing a couple of words in French but then being unable to converse with Ramsay in French.
The software engineer thought his duck was cooked, although it was really some kind of seafood dish and not duck he cooked. He probably figured he had a ticket home when Ramsay called him a "joker" and not in the good sense. David got a lot more serious then and cried, so the judges put him through.
Maybe the chick from Brazil should have cried instead of flirting. Just saying . . .
Smiling on the South - And a Big Old Bear Hug
Avis hails from Louisiana where she helps the elderly and home based. She's a big lady who looks like she could cook up a big Southern Sunday dinner. I'd be right at her table in a heartbeat.
The judges were not real keen on the overcooked pasta (past-uh as Ramsay says), but they did think Avis nailed the catfish. Hum. It is the Southern way to cook a food to death. Would Avis be able to get beyond that? Ramsay figured he'd wait and see after Avis said, "Please give me a chance." When she bear hugged him, he did say that she "just crushed me."
Please Don't Dump Me in Front of My Wife and Kid
The last guy to move on made mac and cheese, and the judges pointed out that it's a super common dish and that he'd better nail it and make the best ever mac and cheese if he wanted to move on.
The judges were not impressed with the Parmesan cheese butterflies used to hang on the side of the parley for decoration and then they decided he forgot to season (as in add a little salt). It was looking a bit iffie.
When Ramsay called in the guy's wife and kid with a pacifier, I knew this one was going to move on. Come on. Really. It would take a super jerk to call out the wife and kid and then say, "Sorry. No. You're not good enough."
MasterChef Night One - The Final Verdict
MasterChef rode on the heels of Hell's Kitchen, and it really needed a two hour opening with 100 contestants. Still, it looks like a show with potential. The voices and dishes were new and not so polished. I'm sure folks will up the game as they go along like on other reality shows. But, season one looks like it might be more real than most reality shows.