Extreme Cooking

John Torode (left) and Gregg Wallace

IF watching cookery programmes on TV correlated with one's ability in the kitchen I would be churning out Michelin star quality dishes every evening. But, like a lot of busy people, come 7 o'clock I am flinging open cupboard doors hoping some left-over chicken and wrinkled peppers have miraculously transmogrified into poulet basquaise. They never have.

I love the way the celebrity chefs try to inspire me to cook something more exciting than egg and chips. I am enthused and try out their dishes with what I have in the store cupboard. Let me tell you, you can't recreate Heston Blumenthal's Snail Porridge by heating up prawns in Quaker Oats.

My lack of cookery skill, however, does not stop me from having strong opinions on the ability of contestants in Masterchef. I love Masterchef in all its incarnations: Masterchef UK, Masterchef Australia, Masterchef New Zealand, Masterchef the Professionals etc etc.

I always watch the UK's John Torode and Gregg Wallace, although the catchphrase, "Cooking doesn't get tougher than this," annoys the hell out of me. Really? Last week I made two bacon sandwiches at 2am  after an evening drinking gin and tonic without setting the house on fire. So don't talk to me about cooking being tough, Wallace and Torode.

I sit in my culinary ivory tower and criticise the contestants.

"You're going to have to improve your presentation. No point in it tasting good if it looks crap - not at this level," says I, whose idea of presentation is taking a serving spoon and dolloping everything in lumps side by side on the plate.

Or yelling, "What about your seasoning!" My seasoning consists of salt, pepper and maybe a touch of Schwartz five spice if I'm feeling exotic.

"Cheese with fish? What were you thinking!" I shout, when my lunchtime sandwich contained Marmite, corned beef and sliced grapes.

No, cooking may not be my forte but there is one way in which I am exactly like a Masterchef contestant - I  cry when everything goes horribly wrong.

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  1. Enjoyed this a lot! We have a Spanish version of Master Chef. Once I caught a kids master chef here. Do you have it back in the UK? Probably no way, paranoid Health and Safety bla bla bla... one kid burned finger slightly... no probs. Cheers.
    MY blog is at www.valeriecollinswriter.com

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! I don't watch too much of the cooking shows, mainly because they worry me the way they handle knives. I do wish I loved cooking though. My imagination is nil in the kitchen--I cook/eat to survive. :(

  3. I like to watch cooking shows. Then I end up being hungry and eat when I shouldn't My favorite is Chopped. How they come us with those basket ingredients is astounding!

    Paula from
    Smidgen, Snippets, & Bits

  4. My father has criticized my mother for watching food related shows when she doesn't cook. ~rolls eyes~ Whatever. They can be entertaining regardless. Best wishes!

    Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
    I’m focusing on my music collection this month. And having fun. Hurray for that!

  5. I love watching the cooking show, and I've picked up a few techniques, but I'm no chef. Still it's fun to watch.

    I'll check out your other blog too! I though I was the only crazy person to attempt more than one blog, but damn, their are even crazier folks out there, one with 4 blogs! LOL

    Happy April 5th!
    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    Murderous Imaginings