Male Masterchef contestants have complained that they ‘have no way of winning’ following new rules that mean they have to leave the kitchen tidy.
While soufflés and reductions hold no fear for men in the tea-cooking contest, wiping a damp cloth around the worktops afterwards is more than many can manage.
Hosts Gregg Wallace and John Torode have winced at the attempts by some men to clean up after themselves. They fear that just the thought of having to leave the place spotless will make many contestants ‘dumb down’ their menus to avoid mess.
Extracts from last night’s show seem to support this.
Fisher (voiceover): Ricky has made his signature dish of cooled-over beans served in a tin cylinder. His workstation remains spotless.
Fisher: Contestant Liam from Dorset at least seems to be trying. He’s served snowdrops of textured soya infused with the flavour of free range chicken served in a fungi jus on a bed of Japanese style noodles.
Fisher: Jim has ordered a pizza.
Fisher: Jim has popped the empty box out of the window.
Female contestants are still making an effort, although they are showing signs of influence from the men. Jemimah has served ryvita, with a cottage cheese topping and a sprig of geranium.
The change to the format might yet be reversed, following a technical issue in the pilot episode. As Torode explained: ‘It was very hard to set the studio up to show a dirty kitchen properly. By the time we’d set the lights up Gregg had licked every flat surface clean with his tongue.”
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