There, I said it.
Don't get me wrong, I love me a little bit of reality TV. "The tribe has spoken, it's time to go, it's time to cut the fat, I am sorry to tell you: you have been eliminated from the race............. PISS OFF CAN'T COOK..."
I am a tragic who is addicted to watching Masterchef, and I am left by my lovely husband to watch alone, so that I can shout abuse at the TV in peace.
And this year, I am really glad that the production team have seen the light and had some of these amateur cooks being exposed to basic but essential techniques such as sauces and fundamental baking. These foundation skills are the back bone of any good cook or chef. Less of the wank food art on a plate and more of the crucial culinary skills is a good thing, for the show, for the contestants and for the folk at home who learn to cook from watching foodie shows on TV.
But what is driving me mental this year is the way that the production team have upped the anti on the "meaningful" soundbites and emotional cry fests.
For fucks sake ladies and gents, you are admitting to the whole of Australia that you want to work in restaurants, and that working with food is your dream, and yet you are CRYING on national TV?
Hospitality, the food industry, restaurants and commercial kitchens are, in my experience, some of the hardest places on earth to work. It takes emotional and physical resilience. It takes strength of character and confidence. And if that confidence is tinged with a little bravado and charming arrogance, that's probably a good thing, for survival.
But being a successful chef is NOT the same as being a good cook.
Some good cooks can train long and hard to become good chefs, eventually.
And being a good cook is an accolade in itself, make no mistake.
Many chefs, I am sure, enjoy and have a love of home cooking.
But being a mediocre cook, no matter how "passionate" you are about food, not matter how much food is your "dream" is never going to make you a chef.
And being on Masterchef is not going to make you into a chef either. It may fast track you to people and places that give a great deal of foodie exposure. But unless you truly have what it takes, I am positive that no decent chef is going to put you on even as a lowly apprentice, unless you have the resilience and confidence and the heart to survive.
And all the crying at criticism, the cracking under challenge time pressures, producing shite food, getting emotional at the idea of being sent home - that does not show ticker to me. So many of the episodes see amateur cooks launch from disaster to disaster, with little focus and sloppy habits that I cover my eyes as I shout at the TV.
"But it's my dream. I've always had a passion for food. I am not ready to leave the compettion yet. If I am eliminated, I will be devastated. I want to follow my dream, and my dream is food...."
Cry, tears, yadda yadda. Snot, bleating, hugs from judges, more tears. Week after bloody week. It shits me enough to blog about it...
Is working in restaurants with food is really your dream? Look in any newspaper or on Seek, and apply for any of the hundred kitchen jobs that are being advertised. The industry is crying out for kitchen staff. Go, go follow your dream. Apply for those kitchen hand jobs - the industry is desperate.
But be warned - your dreams
The working conditions of all commercial food establishments is tough. Long long hours. Split shifts. Poor pay. Hot and cramped conditions. Incredibly stressful prep and service times. Long arduous clean downs followed by more prep. Steamy, noisy, greasy and loud.
I worked in commercial kitchens from the age of thirteen. I completed four years at uni (whilst still working in restaurants part time) which earned me my City and Guilds chef's qualifications, as well as a degree in hospitality management. I was then only then allowed to start on the bottom rung in a brigade in a high volume restaurant. I eventually did very well, and I survived. I lived on cigarettes, speed and adrenalin. But no stars for me. By the age of twenty seven I was totally burned out. Hence I feel I am in a position to shout at the TV and rant on my blog about the fluff that is Masterchef...
Masterchef is a great show. But I hate to think of all of the young people that it is conning into a life of foodie glamour, who do not view it as fairly trite reality TV, but who see it as a reflection of an tempting industry to work in. That scares me, as it is simply not an accurate portrayal.
Chefs in real life do not get flown to Malaysia or drive round Sydney in lots of black chauffeured cars. Chefs in real life do not meet celebrity chefs twice a week, nor do they mingle and dine with the foodie aristocracy. Chefs do not get book deals at the drop of a hat, not do they get hats or stars after their restaurant name without working bloody hard for a number of years, if they're lucky.
I've said it before, and no doubt I'll shout it at the TV again - being a chef is not a game show...
Do you shout at the TV? Tell me what you love and hate about Masterchef?