Mrs Dixon’s Diary - Celebrity Masterchef
June 25, 2009
Grumpy gastronomes are so soft on the celebrities
Is anyone else surprised by how bad the celebrity Masterchef candidates are?
I’m not normally so nasty about people’s culinary efforts (I’m no Angela Hartnett) but it struck me as Dennis Taylor artfully arranged slices of lemon around everything he cooked, a la country pubs 20 years ago, and confessed that he’s only just started cooking that really we couldn’t expect too much here.
Ditto the fearsome Brian Moore who despite saying he cooked almost every day was so inept at making mashed potato that he had to turn it into a bowl of Vichyssoise. Well, very runny leek and potato soup anyway.
What was the most surprising though was the normally ruthless judges’ reactions to these culinary cock-ups.
In the real world where normal people come on and cook their hearts out for nothing in the hope of a scrap of praise from the grumpy gastronomes, they are criticised ruthlessly if their hollandaise isn’t light enough or their panna cotta doesn’t have the correct degree of wobble.
And after a fantastic night out in London recently where dinner was cooked by Masterchef runner-up Andy Oliver I am frankly a bit annoyed that the ‘celebs’ aren’t getting a bit more stick.
From a domestic kitchen in south London, Andy produced delicious canapés of quails eggs, baba ganoush and tiny lamb kebabs, followed by three sublime courses of crab, the most fantastic duck with hazelnuts, green beans and spring onion mash and a delicious pear tarte tartin.
He cooked the whole lot from scratch (even the tart’s pastry) and cleaned up before he left, despite a steady stream of drunk dinner guests (well, me anyway) asking him questions and generally getting in his way.
And he didn’t even win.
That honour went to ‘family cook’ Matt who cried every time he won a round.
He was probably just glad he wasn’t getting told off.
So when I sit at home watching people producing cheesy rice as a main course dinner dish (Rosie Boycott what were you thinking?) I really think grumpy Gregg and jumped-up John could let them have it the way they do with us mere mortals.
Either that, or they’ll have to find some celebs who can cook.