Masterchef USA - as seen in the UK

(John Hartley) #1

Masterchef USA airs in the UK somewhere in the dark recesses of our cable TV, although not on a station available on my package.

One of my regular supermarkets publishes a weekly magazine, usually stuffed with adverts for whatever it is plugging that week. But there’s always some lifestyle sort of articles, including in this week’s a plug for the show, as follows:

“Masterchef USA is so insanely loud and brash (the whooping, the weeping, the fist pumping), it makes Gregg Wallace look like a school librarian. Gordon Ramsay is at his most boastful (I’m the man behind a billion dollar empire) and bullying - bawling like a demented sergeant major. At the end of each challenge he orders the cooks to “put your hands in the air” like they’ve been raided by a SWAT team. Also what exactly are grits? Does anyone know?”

Please don’t blame the messenger if you disagree with this analysis.

(PS: Gregg Wallace is one of the presenters of the UK version)


It is, quite simply, the expected cocky and overbearing American version of almost anything that is done more properly and sedately by the Brits - at least when it comes to current cooking shows IMO. I think the one cooking show that translated pretty well into an American format is/was The Great American Baking Show.

The home cooks are all characters to fit into a certain parameter that has been pre-determined by the producers. There’s always the cocksure cook who is certain that s/he is better than anyone else; there’s always the Midwestern farm wife who cooks plainly, there’s always the very unsure-of-themselves cook who does better than they think they are able, there’s always the cook who has pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to get themselves out of a bad life, blah, blah, blah. Its saving grace is it’s not GR’s Hell’s Kitchen. The American version is absolutely vile.

However, as for the last sentence from your market’s lifestyle article, “What exactly are grits, does anyone know?” Well, this show can at least tell those in the U.K. what they are. Cooking shows from other countries introduces us all to different foods - that’s not a bad thing, is it?

(John Hartley) #3

The cooks are usually stereo typical in the UK version “Great British Bake-off”. Guaranteed to have someone very young (who may also be the very attractive young woman, - but that may be someone else). Always an older person. Always a camp gay person and someone who may or may not turn out to be gay (you have to wait till episode 7 for them to mention a partner). And the cocksure guy who is better than everyone else - and gets eliminated in week 2.

(:@)) :@)) ) #4

I never knew! From your descriptions I don’t think it’s the kind of programme for me.

I can watch Australian version but I never want to. Did see a few episodes of the UK version but it was a long time ago.


I would agree with that analysis.

(John Hartley) #6

Not generally. Although I might make an exception for grits. I think I’ve eaten them three times - none with any enjoyment.


I’ve had them once - and I’m not sure I like them either. LOL But I do love the scene(s) in “My Cousin Vinny” about what is a grit and magic grits. :laughing:


Grits are a Southern and Texas thing. They need lots of butter and pepper and a touch of salt.

(John Hartley) #9

I tell a lie. Looking back on my notes, I see I had them, with shrimp, at Zynodoa in Staunton, VA - and quite enjoyed it. But exceptions prove the rule. It’s like polenta - love it when it’s firmed up and fried but don’t like “wet” polenta.