As a self-proclaimed amateur home cook I love cooking shows to death. I might not own fancy kitchen appliances like magic-mixers or necessarily always use fresh thyme sprigs (believe me the dried stuff is pretty good and doesn’t go bad in the fridge) but I love cooking. I love sautéing, frying, poaching, stewing, baking roasting and all things that start on a cooktop and end in “ing”. I love watching cooking shows (obviously) and I watch all of them, I mean I try, I have a full time job you see. I watch the good ones with great camera work and which actually show you the inside of the pot and the not-so-good ones where the chef stands sideways and they never take the camera close to the pot. I even watch the shows that appear on infomercial dedicated channels where only the chef’s voice makes it to the video, which now that I am thinking about (who makes it after all).
Anyway, so since my love for food and all things cooking has been established you can imagine my excitement for the 3 months in the year when Masterchef is on the television. I religiously come home on time and have my tea (because otherwise I start drooling as I watch) take a bathroom break and sit down to watch the master of all cooking shows the Masterchef. However from the very first episode the thing that stands out are the “mastercheffy” phrases that are inserted in the mouths of the judges (sometimes against their will I am sure). I love these because they are overused, clichéd and sometimes don’t make sense logically. So here are my top 5 overused but never too old phrases in dedication to the Top 10 contestants that have made it thus far through blood and sweat (literally).
1. “I am salivating”- Ermm of course you arel, you probably have not eaten yet because you have to judge 24 dishes times 2 or 3 rounds (even 1 forkful times 24 times 3 is a lot of food) and the whole place must smell amazingly confusing, what with French, indian, spanish, Mexican, Italian food being cooked at the same time. I know you are salivating but please leave the mention of drool to us viewers at home.
2. “A well-oiled machine”- Yes of course he/she is. I mean they run a kitchen and a successful business together in a time of uncertain economy, but can we think of any other metaphors for a well-oiled machine.
3. “That duck/chicken/lamb/steak is a minute over”- 1 MINUTE, that is about the length of time it takes to grab a tea towel and accidentally drop it and pick it up and take the pan off the heat. C’mon 1 minute does not the world break, unless we are talking deep impact.
4. “It lacks a bit of zing”- the most confusing of all flavours is zing. It is just above umami and under truffle I guess because it is really hard to achieve. If I ever aspire to join the culinary greats I will have to discover this mysterious flavour and unearth its hiding place.
5. “Oomph factor”- Now I know about fear factor but nothing inspires more fear than lacking this elusive factor. Someone really needs to harness this factor and put it in a jar.
6. “The perfect marriage”- Now I know the news of the successful nuptials of pork and apple, duck and orange, strawberry and cream, but the poor contestants just made a dessert with blue cheese, beetroot and cauliflower and paired it with chocolate, may be the idea of the perfect marriage of tastes is passé, it is the era of collision and disagreements of flavours
7. “It does not look like a restaurant dish”- Yes, because obviously they had to cook within 60 minutes and that included the shopping (so what if it was from the shop-with-everything next door), plus there were multiple cameras and 3 cooking stalwarts breathing down their neck. Its lucky that the medic outside is only called in for cut and burnt fingers and not nervous breakdowns or PTSD.
8. “You have tried to make it a look like a restaurant dish, when all we want is you cook from your heart”- MMMhhhhmmm, yeah I don’t know what to say
9. “It lacks that textural component”- Oh yes, the texture fixture has driven all the contestants to so much madness that they are ready to put cornflakes from a box on a beautiful lemon-curd pudding (there wasn’t time or ingredients to make a textural element) or dip fried rice noodles in chocolate to create wonky looking chocolate spiders (oh what the hell)
10. “This is my version of…”- Well it looks wonderful, of course and must taste amazing but you have only had a whole day and all the time in the world to cook it not to mention “the one I made earlier” version of the dish to help you along. But that’s okay.
This should, however, not reflect on my love for the show, I have, I am and I will keep watching this for all seasons to come.
Do you have a favourite phrase you think is hilarious?
Now that is a restaurant quality dish from a restaurant