Last year in October, I paid around 1000 to attend a barbeque lunch organised at the Australian High Commission, where one of the Masterchef Australia’s judges Gary Mehigan was cooking. The fifth season of Masterchef Australia had just about got over on Indian television and my then 9-year-old was a convert. Though her favourite judge was (and still is) George Calombaris, she was happy to catch a glimpse of Gary and even get photographed with him. A few weeks later, her English teacher asked the children to write a short poem on a celebrity they liked. In that class of 40 children, most of whom had poems and sonnets dedicated to Sachin Tendulkar, Katrina Kaif, Saina Nehwal, Mahindra Singh Dhoni and Barkha Dutt, there was an ode to Gary.

The Chef and Me

One day I was on a mission,

Which began at the Australian High Commission,

I stood in the yellow, bright sun,

Waiting for my turn to come.

Gary from Masterchef was hosting a barbeque,

And we were all there to hear his point of view,

He whipped up some delicious meals,

Which we all ate up with a very yummy feel.

Then came the time to get an autograph,

Instead of a scribble I opted for a photograph,

So, finally at the end of that session,

I have a picture with Gary, the chef,

And have completed my mission.

Sure, the format of reality TV is such that it demands a few emotions, some tears and sob stories, but what was refreshing about Masterchef Australia in its earlier seasons was that this show was always more about cooking and less about what makes good reality TV. I, for one, do not mind getting to know a contestant but not before I’ve even have had a chance to see how they cook and what their positive traits are. Among those who bagged the coveted aprons, Emily and Laura are not our top favourites (they both cried you see). We liked Rachael and Ben.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping that after tonight’s episode, and some more sob stories, my daughter will revert to her stipulated bedtime.

This weekly series, which appears on Tuesdays, looks at what’s new with food and drink, and how we are interacting with it.

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