Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Culinary Grand Slam: Master Chef Australia

Much like the grand slam tournaments for tennis in a calendar year, the culinary majors/grand slams for this calendar year have begun with the show Master Chef Australia. The show, Master Chef Australia, is aired from Monday to Friday, 9 -10 pm IST on Star World channel and this year's season has gotten off to a brilliant start. The top 24 contestants form a highly capable lot and they churn out wonders in entree, main course and dessert categories, day after day. Three eliminations - that of Kevin, Lydia and Matt occurred over last three weeks. After Master Chef Australia, Master Chef USA and our own - Master Chef India awaits eager audience. 

Master Chef Australia has the same familiar, friendly trio for its judges - Matt Preston, Gary and George. All of them are extremely supportive, appreciative of sincere efforts and never too critical. However, my favorite  is Matt, an internationally acclaimed food critic,most balanced and impartial in delivering judgement, he forms a crisp opinion with relevant, grounded reasons and possesses taste buds that are sensitive to wide variety of tastes and cuisines. Gary has a terrible weakness for anything sweet - pies with apples and berries, lemon cheese cakes, deconstructed tarts, burnt meringue, ganache, anglaise, granita-  all have him sinking down on his knees and he gets tilted in favor of contestants who seek pride in dessert making. Matt Moran is another judge, more a mentor, who helps contestants during immunity challenges without airs. 

I began watching Master chef Australia intently from the last season. Various techniques contestants use for cutting, cooking and plating are impressive. Recipes for baked dishes and desserts appeal to me largely. This year has already offered many interesting episodes - reinventing a basic sandwich, identifying/making different pastas and preparing a magical 8-textured mousse cake. Team challenges, too,  have been equally exciting. 

My favorites in the show are Audra, Mindy, Amina, Ben and Andy. I pray they go a long way and remain till the end. The ladies are all exceptional in producing clean; lip smacking flavors and innovate with ease. Ben works with extreme patience and precision in the kitchen; qualities that his job as a teacher too demands. Andy is terribly calm and composed, well organised and these qualities along with his poise and confidence impress audience just as much as his cooking skills.

Dalvinder, with Indian roots (advertisements of Master Chef Australia aired in India project her as a representative/ambassador of the nation, much like an athlete representing the nation in Olympics event), Kylie, Alice, Tregan (three of them form a cheerful, happy go lucky gang), Emma (the soft and kind hearted cry baby), Filippo (an expert at bread baking and wood fire oven baked pizzas), TK, Beau, Andrew, Julia (dessert queen) form the next rung of my personal favorites on the show. 

Debra, the oldest contestant on the show has always won accolades from all judges for her expertise in cooking and producing clean, impeccable flavors. To me, she fell from her promising position, only seemed a typical oldie, always ready to complain/incriminate younger folks around for failure after the Yum Cha team challenge at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Sydney. Now I would love to bid her bye ASAP.

There are many more action packed episodes - a multitude of masterclasses, immunity/team/elimination challenges lined up before an immensely talented one wins the title and trophy of culinary excellence. 
And , definitely there will be tears and emotions, much like Roger Federer.

1 comment:

Juhi said...

Hey this is my fav show too, and yeah even though Debra is a great cook,I also want her out after the "Yum Cha team challenge"