‘MasterChef Australia’: Where are the chefs?

From yabby and fish en papillote to chicken pie and lemon tart. We hope the Battle of Sexes format in the fifth season won’t kill the food we expect from this popular show
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First Published: Wed, Sep 11 2013. 04 34 PM IST
MasterChef Australia
MasterChef Australia
If you were looking to book the 9-10pm TV viewing slot, then sign up for MasterChef Australia season 5 for now but from the looks of it, it might just be worth your while to toggle with Bigg Boss season 7, which starts 15 September at the same time. The first episode of MasterChef Australia went on air on 10 September in India on Star World with 22 contestants who were pre-chosen unlike previous seasons where you got to see how the selection process happens, at least in the first few episodes. This time the teams are divided by gender and frankly the “Battle of the Sexes” or girls vs boys concept is laboured and dated. A little smart mouthing by the girls, a bit too much posturing from the boys does not really make for good-natured bantering that the show was aiming for (scary thought: We hope MasterChef India doesn’t attempt to copy this format in the next season. That show has enough problems as is).
What surprised us were the choices of dishes served in the first episode: The boys’ team served chicken pie as their main course and a turgid pumpkin soup which even to us, the viewer, looked unappetizing. The girls’ team stressed over making the perfect lemon tart and even prayed before the oven; seriously, is a team that cannot get together a lemon tart even worth watching?
Not one contestant really stood out except poor Dan from the boy’s team, who made the goof-up of the day—he was supposed to serve a meringue cake but served a mess or “bunch of crap in a bowl” instead—and Nicky for his serious bossy attitude. Not stuff you want to be remembered for, really.
It seems like in this season the MasterChef team went all out to replace Amina from season 4 with Samira, Audra with Nicky, Dalvinder Dhami with Neha Sen and so on. Instead of finding really good amateur chefs, they just found the right mix of nationalities. But will all these people show us something new? Time will tell.
It is early yet to see if another Ben and Andy “best buddies” pair will emerge or if a dessert king or queen like Emma will show up or if someone with Debra’s grace will be found. For that we will have to watch the face-off round between individual girls and boys tonight.
MasterChef Australia, 9pm, Star World.
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First Published: Wed, Sep 11 2013. 04 34 PM IST
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