Masterchef- Series 8

“Cooking does not get tougher than this!”

Yes it does. You could have to cook a live shark using lava from an erupting volcano.

Or possibly a cake made from bears.

Yes, Masterchef is back. Remember when it was just Lloyd Grossman in a big shed with some cabbage and a housewife called Sue from Dagenham? No, us neither. Now, cooking is the new rock and roll and Masterchef contains more dramatic camera angles and contrived peril than an episode of 24.

As usual, it’s not just about 5 minutes of fame these days. Selina wants to change her career: her future’s riding on her Malaysian dish and those ‘big flavours’ (elephant?). Eamonn failed to get through last year’s auditions (does that mean the standard’s dropping? He’ll probably end up making a toast sandwich) so he’s desperate to prove his worth.

By making soups and things.

This is a bit of an aside, but aren’t humanity setting our collective sights rather low in the world of reality TV?  Singers? Chefs? Dancers? OK, we need food and entertainment, but if you put it to the vote most people would probably agree they’d like a cure for cancer too. Or transporter devices like them ones on Star Trek.

Why don’t we have Masterscientist instead? “Ok Dave, you’re a welder but want to be a physicist. Quickly analyse this theorem QUICKLY QUICKLY oh your analysis is flawed. Sorry Dave. You’re out”.

At least Emma (29) isn’t looking for a career change. She’d simply like her cooking to be seen by people other than her mum. So: a show off, then.  She’s opts to make a lemon tart and is told ‘that’s brave’. In fact, she’s the ‘bravest cook in the room’.

It’s a lemon tart, not wolf pie.

It’s all so overblown as to be ludicrous. But that’s the attraction of Masterchef. That, and getting to salivate over a lovely bit of bream or some goat cheese ravioli while you sob into a pint of January Slimfast.

Aki seems to be the one to watch at this stage, mainly because she seems a bit bonkers. Talking of Masterscientist, she’s an actual real physicist and her food is Blumental-esque and imaginative. If you can get quarks and neutrons right in a lab, surely a soufflé can’t be that much trouble: it’s all just atoms after all.

Although as usual, chefs who seem collected in the studio kitchen flap like distressed pigeons trapped in an attic when we see them in a restaurant setting. Even Aki gets told off for forgetting to wash her hands before dishing up her trout salad. It’s Stress Telly, equivalent to trapping 30 people in a 15 capacity lift for an hour and piping in 100 decibel happy hardcore until they start to weep and bite each other.

Despite handwashinggate, Aki goes through: mainly because her bento box with homemade udon noodles was flipping delicious. Gregg made bone marrow dumplings but was told off as the judges couldn’t taste the bone marrow (surely that’s a good thing) but he got a second chance. Not so Ross: his spicy salmon fillet with avocado mousse, though tasty, wasn’t well received as he failed to dish up the accompanying chorizo.

He’ll just have to get his Masterchef apron off eBay.


Masterchef is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 9pm, BBC1 for the next three weeks.

You can catch it on iPlayer here


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

One Response to Masterchef- Series 8

  1. Pingback: Hairy Bikers’ Bakeation « Tellysquawks

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